Weekend Movie Preview (11.18.11)


The twilight shines brightest before the dawn. This week the two-part conclusion (sigh) of the “Twilight” saga begins, and as I write this, millions are already waiting eagerly for their midnight screening of “Breaking Dawn – Part 1” to commence. For everyone else, a trip to the antarctic with “Happy Feet Two” offers some family-friendly programming.

New This Week

 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn
Part 1

Directed by Bill Condon
Written by Melissa Rosenberg, Stephenie Meyer (novel)
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

Summary: Edward and Bella have committed to each other and tie the knot, but when Bella gets pregnant on their honeymoon, her unborn child causes a stir in the werewolf and vampire worlds.

The Word: As the “Twilight” series taks its bizarre and dramatic final turn, it gets Bill Condon, “Dreamgirls” director and easily the most respected of the previous three directors to take on this franchise. Movie theaters have already sold out certain screenings, so regardless of quality, the saga will make another tremendous dent in movie history.

Rotten Tomatoes: 29% (bad)

My Thoughts: Just one more year and we’ll be done with it. I don’t hate the “Twilight” franchise, it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen, but based on the first two movies, which I did sit through, this story has no business being the phenomenon it has become. The fact that there will be five times in my lifetime when the movie world stopped for “Twilight” is sad enough. All that can be done is hope Condon managed to make something good out of this finale so that we won’t be talking about the most lucrative yet critically panned franchise of all time.

Recommendation: For fans of the previous films and books. Pretty self-explanatory.


 Happy Feet Two

Directed by George Miller
Written by George Miller, Warren Coleman, Gary Eck, Paul Livingston
Starring: (voices) Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Pink, Ava Acres

Summary: Mumble the penguin returns with a son of his own named Erik, who also struggles to fit in with this webbed-toe-tapping musical penguin world and runs away where he discovers the Mighty Sven, a flying penguin. But greater problems for these emperor penguins arise when walls of ice trap them together in one spot.

The Word: Five years ago, “Mad Max” and “Babe: Pig in the City” director George Miller helped Warner Bros. bring to life the studio’s first CGI animated film and it went on to win the Best Animated Feature Oscar while wooing audiences worldwide with cute singing and dancing penguins. The only surprise about this sequel is it comes five years later, but penguins seem to be the most timeless of CGI creatures. The voice cast for this one has also expanded drastically including Pink, Sofia Vergara, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt.

Rotten Tomatoes: 37% (not good)

My Thoughts: The first film delivered a rollicking good time despite a generic plot and strangely political themes/messages relating to the way humans treat the environment. I suppose the same thing should be expected here with Miller directing again and most of the voice cast reprised, especially Robin Williams, who easily sits among the greatest voice actors of all time. Early reviews are discouraging, however, especially with the bar set so high for animated films these days.

Recommendation: A great offering for the young ones, but it seems that given the family fare on the horizon, you could still wait for the DVD.



Box Office Predictions

You get few gimmes like a “Twilight” movie. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 should easily “eclipse” $120 million. It might be tough to break “New Moon’s” $148.2 million from back in 2009; as we saw with “Harry Potter,” “Part 2” tends to have the bigger opening.

Considering the first “Happy Feet” opened with $41 million exactly five years ago, Happy Feet Two should  should achieve second place with ease. It’s tough to say whether the first film retained its fans for so long, but somewhere between $35 and 50 million seems likely.

As last week’s winner and the “Anti-Twilight,” Immortals should manage $15 million in its second week.

It might have been close last weekend, but no doubt that even with a new animated contender that Puss in Boots should out-duel Jack and Jill. In fact, the Spanish Kitty might have put some serious heat on “Immortals” if “Happy Feet Two” weren’t being offered. Just under $15 million should be expected. Adam Sandler’s comedy should be between $10-12 million.

1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
2. Happy Feet Two
3. Immortals
4. Puss in Boots
5. Jack and Jill


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment