One great way to spoil Thanksgiving would be to drag the friends and family to “Horrible Bosses 2,” with its headache-inducing two-guys-babbling/one-guy-screeching all at once dialogue, limp plot and reprised characters totally outclassing the new additions.
Chris Pine does the charming rogue thing, Christoph Waltz is typecast and it is up to Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey to walk off with the movie Jason Bateman can’t slow-burn to life. Poor reviews across the board for this one. A good one to sleep off that turkey triptofan buzz with.
What about those over-exposed “Penguins of Madagascar”? I laughed and laughed, but I figured most reviewers would dump over its derivative plot and villains. Naah. We all laughed. Well, most of us. Damned funny penguin puns, John Malkovich has lots of movie star punchlines as the villain. It works. Good reviews for that one.
“The Imitation Game” is an Oscar contender, though perhaps not the slam dunk it might have seemed on the page. Benedict Cumberbatch is solid, but the Alan Turing saves the world but is persecuted for his homosexuality story is conventionally told and oddly unaffecting. I love WWII tales, the Enigma/Ultra story in general (I liked the fictional version of this, “Enigma,” that Michael Apted did with Kate Winslet and Jeremy Northam some years back). It’s quite good, but not the best picture of the year. Reviews are respectful and overwhelmingly positive.
“Before I Disappear” didn’t get the break I would have hoped. I loved Shawn Christensen’s Oscar winning short, “Curfew,” and was totally into this dark comedy about a suicidal junkie trapped taking care of the precocious niece he doesn’t know. Just one night, padded out to a feature film. Adding Ron Perlman and Emmy Rossum — big pluses. I dig it. Other critics? More indifferent.
“The Babadook” is earning the kind of rapturous praise that only that rare horror story that works does. Reviews from the faithful are titling this one into the high end of the Tomatometer, though Metacritic is, as ever, more measured in its praise. Damned spooky story from Australia, a real midnight movie. Dive in.