The Weekender, Christmas Edition: A Master ‘Unchained’


Django Unchained* (R)
Starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
Right now, I’d put this on the lower end of Tarantino’s filmography. Of course that means it’s better than 90% of what you’ll see this year. I don’t buy any of the deeper points about slavery or ugly moments in American history that’s being projected on it, but as pure entertainment—a spaghetti Western revenge fantasy—it’s terrific. Read my review at College Movie Review.

Les Misérables (PG-13)
Starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway
Written for the screen by William Nicholson
Directed by Tom Hooper
Every year, a trailer causes me to get a little misty. The preview for the big-screen version of the beloved musical got my waterworks going. Thanks a lot, Anne Hathaway.

Parental Guidance (PG)
Starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei
Written by Lisa Addario & Joe Syracuse
Directed by Andy Fickman
Completely predictable, but still finds some moments of genuine warmth and humor. At times, it seems there’s a much deeper movie trying to get out, but it’s beaten down by whacks to the groin and too-obvious platitudes like “Believe in yourself.” Still, this is harmless entertainment for the whole family, and you won’t spend too much time groaning while you’re watching it.


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