Luckily, the crop of movies that hit local theaters on Wednesday seem to have managed that impossible-to-hit combination of being appealing to kids, interesting to adults, and high-quality enough to be more than a time-filler. (And, since all the teenagers will still be dragging their poor parents into the latest “Twilight,” you might even be able to find a seat).
Muppet fans have all been waiting anxiously for “The Muppets,” Kermit and company’s latest return to the silver screen. Critical response so far has been good, with the movie generally managing to appeal to both current fans and draw in new ones.
The plot follows the basic “gather the old crew together for a theater-saving variety show” plot that fueled more than a few old movies.Though that gives the movie a few too many chances to shove in hit songs for no particular reason it allows room for the sort of free-form zaniness that the Muppets used to be able to do so well. (Rated PG for “mild rude humor”)
If memories of computer-generated junk from Christmases past has put you off of “Arthur Christmas,” with trailers that seem to consist mostly of elves and poor Arthur running around frantically, you might want to give it a second chance.
Aardman Animations (the people who keep bringing us “Wallace and Gromit”) are behind the production, which follows Santa’s son Arthur as he tries to earn his family’s respect and deliver a present that ended up getting missed. Critical response has been positive (though slightly lukewarm from the British set), with the general consensus being that “Arthur Christmas” is light, sweet, and funny. (Also rated PG for “mild rude humor”)
“Hugo,” which marks Martin Scorsese’s latest return to the screen, is a magical-realistic story of an orphan boy who secretly lives in the walls of a Paris train station. Based on the award-winning book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” the movie adds in a mechanical man, a secret from his dead father, an eccentric friend, and 3D that early reviews say is top-notch. Critical consensus so far paints it as a magical movie with a big heart, and though the pace is leisurely it should reward those looking for something you can’t find anywhere else. (Rated PG for peril and smoking)
My Week With Marilyn
If you have no kids and are itching for something a little grown up, you might want to try “My Week With Marilyn.” Opening down at Broadway Theatre in Salt Lake, “Marilyn” tells the based-on-a-true-story of one production assistant’s idyllic week with Marilyn Monroe during the making of the 1957 movie “The Prince and the Showgirl.”
The movie is generally well-reviewed, but the plot is thin and Michelle Williams’ rave-inducing performance as Marilyn is what seems to be the big draw. If you don’t think that’s enough to hold you, stay home and have more turkey. (Rated R for language)