Christmas is finally here and that means one thing: movies! (And, for some of us, Chinese food.) Hollywood has placed some of its biggest offerings under the tree and, as a result, we wouldn’t be surprised if this wound up being one of the most lucrative holidays ever. As we do every Wednesday, here’s a handy guide to the new releases.
What’s the story: Frankly, we’re kind of surprised it took Hollywood this long to reboot Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s pulp fiction classic for modern audiences. And while Guy Ritchie might be the last person you’d ever expect to find behind the camera of a big-budget potential franchise, who better than Robert Downey Jr. to bring the good detective to life on-screen. Reviews for Holmes have been unpleasant—our Rex Reed found it so awful that he envisioned Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “turning over in his grave“—but everyone we know seems pretty excited to see what looks like a cross between Iron Man, Batman Begins and the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. One quibble: RDJ already has one massive franchise, does he really need another?
Who should see it: The ghost of Basil Rathbone
What’s the story: Admit it: you want to see It’s Complicated even more than your 60-something mother does. Or maybe that’s just us. Regardless, the lifestyles of the rich and richer romantic comedy from director Nancy Meyers gives audiences at least two reasons to be excited: Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep. Sure, this thing looks completely paint-by-numbers (something even the good reviews confirm), but funny is funny and watching Mr. Baldwin and Ms. Streep battle each other seems like it should be pretty darn funny. Oh, and did we mention Steve Martin shows up as well? Terrible title aside, It’s Complicated feels like a massive hit waiting to happen.
Who should see it: Jack Donaghy.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
What’s the story: When those creepy aliens from the end of A.I. are walking around the earth in a thousand years and they stumble across a copy of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, we have a strange feeling they’ll find all the answers they need as to why humanity ended. Note to all the parents who will be forced to sit through this over the holiday: we’re sorry.
Who should see it: Garfield.
Also opening this weekend: a lost Tennessee Williams script finds its way to the big screen in The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond; Nine expands nationwide; and there’s also this little indie film called Avatar that we’ve heard so much about.