Tomorrow is American Thanksgiving, which signals the official start of the holiday movie season. But unofficially, it all kicks off today, with the first wave of seasonal releases. My reviews won’t be available until later tonight, when the new issue of NOW hits the street, but at least you have my capsules to guide you.
“Arthur Christmas“: Aardman Animation’s second CG feature (after the underrated “Flushed Away” is a delightful, inventive goof on Santa movies, featuring a top-notch voice cast, a sleek visual sensibility and charming character design. Go go go.
“Hugo“: Martin Scorsese takes a children’s book and turns it into a rhapsody to early cinema; I’m not entirely sure the fusion of the two things works, but I’m not entirely sure it doesn’t, either. And, like “Avatar”, it’s an excellent argument for 3D as a storytelling tool rather than a gimmick.
“The Muppets“: Jason Segel resurrects the original, celebrational sensibility behind Jim Henson’s felt hordes in a movie that — for all its many flaws — feels exactly like a grown-up Muppet movie ought to feel. And yes, Chris Cooper raps.
There, the reviews are up. You know what you want to see.