Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, Alan Arkin,
Jack Black, Billy Crystal, Zach Galifianakis, Kathy Griffin,
Ricky Gervais, Emily Blunt, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy,
Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal & Walter
Directed by James Bobin for distribution by Walt Disney Pictures
The Plot: After years out of the spotlight, the Muppets band together to save their theater from a greedy developer determined to tear it down.
The Final Word: If you didn’t know the Muppets were coming back to theaters, you really may have been living under a rock, because Kermit and friends have been everywhere this year. Co-written by and starring “How I Met Your Mother’s” Jason Segel, the film looks to re-cement the classic Jim Henson characters status as pop culture kings. With an arsenal of celebrities signed on for cameos and built-in name recognition, this is expected to be one of the top Hollywood films this season. Although many (including a few of the original puppeteers), remain unconvinced that Segel and crew has successfully captured the tone and magic that made the Muppets a hit in the 70’s.
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley,
Jude Law, Ray Winstone, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Richard Griffiths,
Frances de la Tour, Emily Mortimer & Michael Stuhlbarg
Directed by Martin Scorsese for distribution by Paramount
The Plot: An orphan living in a 1930’s Parisian train station struggles to unlock the mysteries behind his father’s death and the strange invention he left behind.
The Final Word: While 3D had taken a huge beating at the box office, its proponents (those that are left that is), have rallied behind “Hugo.” With film legend Martin Scorsese making his initial foray into the third dimension, many believe if anything can help the technique it’s him. Although this is no slam dunk as the competition is fierce and the plot isn’t the easiest to explain, but Scorsese’s pedigree needs no explanation and you’d be wise to not bet against the iconic director. Still, going up again “Happy Feet Two” and “The Muppets” will eat away at its opening week, but by how much remains to be seen.
Starring (voices): James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent,
Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton & Ashley Jensen
Directed by Sarah Smith & Barry Cook for distribution by Sony Pictures Animation
The Plot: Ever wonder how Santa really pulls off his yearly round-the-world trip? Go behind the scenes as Santa’s youngest son tries to help his father with his journey after an unexpected problem arises.
The Final Word: What started out as a movie with a very clever marketing campaign has seemingly stalled, which is odd given the clever premise and “A”-list cast. Either way, the film is going to have some tough competition between the instantly recognizable “Muppets” and the 3D spectacle that is Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo.” Still animation enthusiasts are very excited about the picture as it is from Aardman Animations, the same people who brought the loveable “Wallace and Grommit” to life. Sony has to hope that this will have the same success “W & G” had, instead of the failure DreamWorks saw when it teamed up with them on “Flushed Away.”
Previewed next week: The "Best Picture" contenders previewed!