Weekend Movie Guide: Screw The Oscar Bait, Larry The Cable Guy Meets Madea!

Opening Everywhere: Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, Hours

FilmDrunk Suggests: Holy crap, what a busy weekend. Obviously, you should see A Madea Christmas first and then flip a coin or draw names from a hat beyond that point. I don’t really recognize any of the titles of these other movies anyway. They must be indies.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 29% critics, 85% audience (that’s from 25,000 people, mind you)

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

I don’t know, maybe it worked as theater. Onscreen, it’s torture. – Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

No amount of seasonal cheer and supporting turns from former Facts of Life stars is going to steer the sleigh to satisfaction. Even for a Tyler Perry movie, this feature seems excessively cheap and lifeless. – Brian Orndorf, Blu-Ray.com

Armchair Analysis: There are only seven reviews counted on Rotten Tomatoes for Tyler Perry’s latest film, which means that it didn’t screen for critics and therefore BLOWWWWWWWWS. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone, least of all Perry, who is probably just smiling that condescending smile that he always has, as if to tell us, “Cha-ching, mother*ckers.”

Someone asked me last week if I am going to see A Madea Christmas for next week’s Worst Movies of 2013 list, and the answer is no, I’m free of having to see it because of my rule that no two movies from the same person can be included. Fortunately, I watched one Perry movie already this year, and you can bet your asses that it’s in the Top 10.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 74% critics, 89% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

Peter Jackson’s newest installment of the Tolkien trilogy is set afire by the scorching roar of a dragon. – Betsy Sharkey, L.A. Times

Director Peter Jackson performs the same kind of miracles with the digital Smaug that he did with Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Armchair Analysis: Gee, will this be a brilliant display of visual wonder? I don’t have the faintest clue. *hands duffle bag full of trophies to Peter Jackson*

Saving Mr. Banks

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 82% critics, 91% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

The picture finally succeeds as the kind of fantasy that its two main characters consorted in, individually and, on one project, together. – Richard Corliss, TIME

Travers would have despised it. For the rest of us it’s an entertaining, affecting, deftly acted saga, interspersed with illustrative flashbacks from Travers’ childhood. – Claudia Puig, USA Today

Armchair Analysis: I’m looking forward to the part where Walt Disney sings, “A spoonful of medicine makes the Nazi sympathizing go down.” But seriously, folks, the teacups are my favorite ride.

American Hustle

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 96% critics, 87% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

Overweight, balding, and outfitted in supremely ugly ’70s high fashion-I seem to recall a pumpkin-colored polyester three-piece suit-Bale has never looked worse, or been better. – Dana Stevens, Slate

Russell out-Scorseses Scorsese with hyperbolic technique: whip-pans, whooshes, slo-mo, and tacky but great ’70s chart-toppers. He winds his actors up and lets them loose. – David Edelstein, NPR

Armchair Analysis: Does anybody else get the feeling that Jennifer Lawrence is so squeaky clean and likable that she has at least a dozen bodies in her basement?


Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 52% critics, 58% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

Hurricane Katrina has already been pretty thoroughly mined for documentaries and fictional stories, but “Hours” holds your interest nonetheless. – Neil Genzlinger, NY Times

To the extent the film has an idea, it’s that people can be at their worst (or best) in extremis, but the situations it devises (such as an armed looter who wanders in to steal some of Nolan’s junk food) are blandly realized. – Kyle Smith, NY Post

Armchair Analysis: I don’t think this will technically be Paul Walker’s last film, since Brick Mansions is in post-production and Universal is probably going to find a way to include some of the footage he already filmed for Fast and Furious 7, but let’s enjoy what we still have. And if you don’t like Hours, watch Running Scared.