Christmas Time Is Here Again …

… and that means the studios bring out their heaviest of hitters, in an attempt to court all the people in need of a break from family/holiday overload. Shall we get to it?

The Central Park Five: Co-directed by living legend Ken Burns, this documentary looks at the Central Park Jogger assault case of 1989 — and the race-baiting frame-up that resulted. Rad loved it, as did many who saw it at TIFF; I’m hoping to catch up to it sometime this week.

Django Unchained: In which Quentin Tarantino applies himself to the spaghetti Western, or at least steals a few elements from that genre before following his own self-indulgent bliss. Look, I love the guy, and Christoph Waltz is an awful lot of fun, but at 165 ass-numbing minutes, this movie wore out its welcome long before it got to what QT clearly considers “the good stuff”.

Les Miserables: Tom Hooper applies his self-conscious camera trickery to the blockbuster stage musical — to make it more real, man! Anne Hathaway nails Fantine and Hugh Jackman makes a pretty good Jean Valjean, but it’s like being beaten with feelings for two and a half hours. Glenn is even more exasperated than I am.

Parental Guidance: Cross-generational wackiness ensues when aging, clueless parents weigh in on their daughter’s child-rearing. You just know this is one of those movies where Bette Midler will be confused by an iPad, and Billy Crystal will make a joke about sexting. And then they’ll all learn something from each other.

Oh, and in case you missed my tweet, I interviewed Billy West for MSN Movies earlier this month. It’s up now. He’s cool. You should check it out.

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