TL;DR This Week In Cinema: The Christmas Movie Rundown, And The Verdict On The Best Of The Bunch
Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. It's Christmastime, so get ready for a slew of festive films to plonk your kids in front of while you do something worthwhile.
Although, as we covered the awful Alvin & The Chipmunks last week, it's possible we may have already gotten the worst out of the way. This list is more diverse, and less Christmas-focused than expected - all good things. Here's our definitive Boxing Day Breakdown™!
There's nothing new to the formula here: the Frat Pack's latest pits in-vogue badboy Mark Wahlberg against Will Ferrell's loser stepdad in a dick-measuring contest to win the love of the children.
The trailer promises a slapstick-heavy goof-off, and Ferrell is always enjoyable when playing his less-than-stellar everyman characters. Whether or not Wahlberg can deliver the laughs is yet to be seen, but it could be a fun way to waste a few hours.
tl;dr My money's on Ron Burgundy.
Joy marks the continuation of two trends - the flood of autobiographical films come award season, and the professional love affair between Jennifer Lawrence and notorious tantrum-thrower David O. Russell.
You can expect to see Russell regulars Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in this story of a young woman who makes her American dream a reality through invention and learning not to compromise.
tl;dr More American Hustle from your favourite J-Law
THE BÉLIER FAMILY
Nawww... the poster made a little bile rise in my throat, but the trailer! This *vaguely* Christmassy movie sees a young girl who is the rock in her hearing-impaired and hilariously dysfunctional family torn between staying with them or pursuing her dreams.
It's coming-of-age with a twist. And it's French! If that's your thing or whatever. Odds are this will be heartwarming, family-friendly fare.
tl;dr It's being a teenager, ASL-style.
THE GOOD DINOSAUR
Pixar has a phenomenal track record when it comes to family films. With only a few small missteps along the way, it's made its name the one to trust for intelligent, nuanced, hilarious and emotional animated films that keep adults as enthralled as their spawn.
The Good Dinosaur, ostensibly an anthropomorphised coming-of-age story, may crib off Grave Of The Fireflies in its trailer (Ghibli and Pixar often leave cheeky nods to each other), but it isn't aiming to break hearts. Peter Sohn's directorial debut quirky, adventurous and fun.
And if you take your children to Alvin & The Chipmunks over this, I fear for their futures.
tl;dr Hands down best dinosaur movie of the year. NO CONTEST.
What'd I tell you about award season? There are two surefire ways to an Oscar, and the other one is making movies about movies. Ask Birdman and Argo.
But hey, isn't that lovable comedy dad Bryan Cranston once again transforming for a role? It's utterly thrilled to be alive in the age when Cranston's career is hitting its stride. He is a joy to behold and this looks no different - though the trailer's heavy-handedness is a little offputting.
tl;dr Walt's gunning for that Oscar.
And now for THE VERDICT - maybe you only get the chance to see one of these flicks on the big screen, and you don't wanna waste that night out. So, drum roll please...
For drama, as I'm a cinephile, I would take Trumbo over Joy, regardless of the quality guarantee that is Jennifer Lawrence. For anything else, and particularly for families, Pixar is the go.
Until next year!