Thanksgiving officially marks the start of the madness that is the American winter holiday season. And while everyone starts losing their mind over how they are going to pay for all the shit the advertising agencies and merchandise retailers are desperately hoping you will buy, the one thing that makes this season rather fun for me right now is whats going in the box office race.
Last weekend's vampire teen chick-flick "Twilight" opened better than expected, due in no small part to the army of passionate, overly-obsessed, mostly crazy fans that read (and re-read) the books. But with three new films opening this weekend, Twilight sees some competition for the top spot.
However, there appears to be next to nothing worthwhile about any of the films that are opening this weekend. Reviews have been mixed at best for everything:
First is "Four Christmases." A family-oriented comedy with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon - two actors that I personally can only handle for so many minutes before I want to get sick. Reviews are as predictable as the movie is bad - Rotten Tomatoes currently rates it at 26% with Variety's Todd McCarthy calling it an "oddly misanthropic, occasionally amusing but thoroughly cheerless holiday attraction."
Next, at 35% on the tomato-meter scale, balding action star David Statham returns once more to milk a few more dollars out of the franchise in "Transporter 3." The consensus at Rotten Tomatoes is that the film "is a few steps down from its predecessors, featuring generic stunts and a lack of energy." Still, fans of the first two will probably check it out.
And the big film of the season that was originally thought to be the next huge hit is Baz Luhrmann's "Austrailia" which, now that critics have seen it, is not nearly as good as everyone had hoped. Registering just barely on the positive side with the majority of reviews, including Tom Long from the Detroit News, who called it, "an endurance test that ends in moans of recognition as characters seem to be acting out scenes from other, better movies. Really, you don't want to sit through this. "
So yes, there are three new films to compete with last week's big winner, but none of the films seem to be anything to really fall in love with. Sure they are probably all perfect ways to zone out from the holiday consumer orgy, but are they good movies? Not so much.
So it will be really interesting to see just what happens this "weekend" (which they studios start counting from today) .