Although all three movie releases this weekend are geared towards families, I do not think any adult should be ashamed to see any of them without a kid in tow.
It is no secret that Jason Segel loves The Muppets. The star of How I Met Your Mother included puppets in his very adult-oriented comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall and soon after, he and Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller started pitching concepts for a Muppet movie to Disney.
Although Segel himself may be the world’s biggest Muppets fan, his and Stoller’s script is about a puppet from Smalltown, USA who claims to be the Muppets’ biggest fan. While on vacation in Los Angeles, Walter and his friends Gary (Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) discover a nefarious plan by an oilman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theatre and drill for oil discovered beneath it. The friends decide to help Kermit reunite the Muppets and hold a telethon to raise $10 million needed to save the theatre.
An early working title was The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time!!!, which may not have been far from the truth.
Another filmmaker best known for adult-themed films has made a family film with critical success. Although it may not seem surprising that Martin Scorsese has won over the critics with Hugo, what is surprising is that it is a Spielberg-like 3D family adventure.
Based upon the New York Times best-seller, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the title character is a wily and resourceful boy who embarks on an adventure to unlock a secret left to him by his father. Relative newcomer Asa Butterfield (Nanny McPhee Returns) stars along with Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) and acting heavyweights Ben Kingsley, Ray Winstone, Sacha Baron Cohen, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law and Christopher Lee.
Aardman Animation is best known for stop-motion animation like Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run but now they have taken their distinct look and made a computer generated adventure called Arthur Christmas.
The story reveals the answer to the age old question: How does Santa deliver all those presents in one night? However, when the high-tech military precision of Santa’s annual trek misses one child, his son Arthur must embark on an adventure to make sure one child is not disappointed Christmas morning. While not getting the unanimous praises both Muppets and Hugo are getting, most critics like the new take on a Christmas legend.
Anonymous, the period drama claiming that Shakespeare did not write his famous works, opens tomorrow at the Paramount Theatre. And, on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., the Paramount is hosting An Insignificant Harvey (www.vitalitymedia.com/aih), a Canadian drama that features the director and cast in attendance.
Rick Davis is the manager of the Capitol Theatre in West Kelowna.