A Can’t Lose Weekend at the Theater
'The Muppets' (Walt Disney Pictures), 'Hugo' (Paramount Pictures), and 'Arthur Christmas' (Columbia Pictures)
This holiday weekend, three hotly anticipated family films hit theaters: 'The Muppets,' 'Hugo,' and 'Arthur Christmas.' Each flick is scoring with Web searches and the critics. Here's a quick rundown to help you decide which flick is the best fit.
It's been more than a decade since the Muppets have been on the big screen. From the looks of the reviews, their new movie, which stars Jason Segel and Amy Adams (as well as Kermit, Piggy, and company), was worth the wait.
The flick is earning strong marks across the board. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone says the film "slaps a smile on your face you won't want to wipe off." Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum remarks that "the movie's gentle, clever, unironic humor feels freshly, trendily retro now."
The film also features cameos aplenty. Emily Blunt, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jack Black all make appearances. Web searches on "muppet cast members," "muppets soundtrack," and "muppet movies in order" are all hopping. Plus, overall interest in the film is up over 100% over the past week. It ain't easy being green, but this movie is gonna make plenty of it.
Watch film clips from 'The Muppets':
Wait, Martin Scorsese made a family film? Yup. The Oscar-winning director adapted the acclaimed graphic novel about a young boy's magical and dangerous life inside a train station. The film stars Jude Law, Sacha Baron Cohen, and relative newcomer Asa Butterfield in the title role.
Thus far, critics are impressed with Scorsese's change of pace. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gives the effort four out of four stars and writes that it is "unlike any other film Martin Scorsese has ever made, and yet possibly the closest to his heart." USA Today's Claudia Puig was similarly impressed. She gives 'Hugo' three and a half stars, calling it "an ambitious and fanciful ride."
Web searches on the fantasy flick are just a smidgen behind those for 'The Muppets.' Popular related lookups include: "hugo tickets," "hugo book," and "hugo 3D." Apparently, this is one film where the 3D might be worth the extra surcharge. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe says, "No one may have used 3D this wryly before."
Watch scenes from 'Hugo':
Coming in third in Search, but not by much, is 'Arthur Christmas.' The film, from the folks behind 'Wallace and Gromit,' features the vocal talents of James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, and Jim Broadbent as Santa Claus. The film aims to explain how one man and his elfish assistants can deliver millions of gifts to millions of people all around the world in just one night.
David Germain of the Associated Press notes that the film works for both kids and adults. "The visual gags will carry youngsters along, while there are plenty of clever wisecracks to keep their parents occupied," he writes. Neil Genzlinger from the New York Times calls the film "smart" and "scrappy," and the Hollywood Reporter's Michael Rechtshaffen writes that the computer-animated holiday tale "delivers the holiday goods."