Arthur Christmas adds a whole new spin to the classic tale of Santa’s busy Christmas Eve as the deliverer of presents and joy to every child in the world. In this version, Santa Claus is simply a figurehead, and the true genius behind the success of Christmas Eve is Santa's eldest son, Steve, and the millions of elves found in Santa’s highly technological workshop.
Breaking Dawn, part one of the final installment of the Twilight movie saga, brought in $139.5 million in its major North American box office debut. The film, though essentially just a teen flick, proved satisfactory to its most avid fans — which is about all that can be expected from a series about a girl who chooses to love and wed a vampire.
It is predictable that J. Edgar takes a less than favorable approach to J. Edgar Hoover, founder and director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hollywood never did embrace anti-communist stalwarts. However, this production’s treatment of Hoover is somewhat surprising seeing as it was directed by Clint Eastwood, typically a more conservative-minded presence in Hollywood. J. Edgar is expectedly an entertaining and engaging film, given the impeccable cast and direction, but its somewhat unfair depiction of Hoover undermines its overall quality.
When Janie Jones was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, it was a hit, and it is not too difficult to see why. Focused on a blossoming relationship between a father and his daughter, and comprised of wonderful musical performances, the film is heart-warming, though predictable. However, some of the film’s content may make it unsuitable for younger audiences.
Since its launch on YouTube on September 26, the pro-life documentary 180, produced by Christian apologist Ray Comfort, has gone “viral,” receiving nearly 1.4 million views in just a little over one month. The 30-minute video features man-on-the-street interviews in which Comfort manages to change the minds of several “pro-choice” young people as he confronts them with undeniable parallels between Hitler’s Holocaust, which claimed the lives of over six million Jews, and America’s own abortion holocaust, which has killed more than 53 million babies in nearly 40 years.
Despite terrible reviews, Paranormal Activity 3, released last weekend, managed to break U.S. box office records. Initially, the third installment in the series seemed unworthy of The New American’s attention until it became apparent that there was something drawing moviegoers to fork over so many inflated dollars for a film that seemed at best uninteresting and at worst laughable. It turns out all the hoopla amounted to nothing: PA3 was spiritless — at least in the sense of dull as dishwater.
It’s 1943 and you find yourself in Germany. A Nazi officer is pointing a gun at you and demanding that you hop on a bulldozer and use it to bury hundreds of Jewish families who have been shot and are piled up in a huge pit. But among the dead are some individuals who are still living, crying out for mercy. What would you do, knowing that if you refuse to bury these people alive you will be gunned down yourself?
The recently released movie The Big Year — featuring a cast of well-known faces and a number of poignant and also comical scenes — focuses on a group of bird-watchers who allow their pride to interfere with everything that's important in life. With a positive pro-family message and loads of humor, it's a family friendly film for audiences of all ages.
Real Steel is an engaging film about the world of boxing in the year 2020, when the sport no longer permits human fighters. Instead, the boxing industry features bouts between 1,000-pound robots, leaving pugilists such as Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) in the lurch. The movie — reportedly inspired by a 1963 episode of Twilight Zone, and adapted to the big screen by John Gatins — ranges from action-packed boxing scenes to the emotional drama of paternal relationships. It's an underdog story that's virtually a cross between Rocky and Cinderella Man.
Courageous is one of the few films to hit the big screen this year that's worth writing home about. Exploring the lives of four men who are impacted by tragedy, the movie deals with spirituality and faith, and tells a story that will likely remain with its viewers long after the final credits.
When one considers viewing a movie that explores in depth the difficulties of coping with terminal illness, and depicts the full range of agonizing and grievous emotions, one would not expect the fim to include Seth Rogen, who is better known for his roles in foolish films such as Pineapple Express and Superbad. Yet in 50/50 Rogen proves that Rogen is a multi-faceted performer.