Thanksgiving means many different things to many people. For some, it’s a time for somber contemplation on all of life’s blessings. For others, it’s a chance to be around friends and family. And for some of us, it’s a chance to see new releases on a Wednesday instead of a Friday. I can get all my movie viewing done and still have the entire weekend free! Now there’s something to be thankful for. And equally worthy of gratitude is the fact that we actually look to be getting some good stuff to go along with our turkeys.
Although I’m not entirely sure about Victor Frankenstein. The movie, that is; I’m sure the person was a rather nice fellow, once you got past the whole digging up corpses thing. I’ll say this for Daniel Radcliffe: he’s certainly choosing to go in some interesting directions with his post-Potter career. Who’d have expected him to be playing Igor to James McAvoy’s Frankenstein? But that’s what we’ve got here, in a re-telling of the story from the assistant’s point of view. These sort of things are always dicey. Change too much and why bother telling the story at all; change too little and, well, why bother telling the story at all. If they nail the right tone of gothic quirkiness it could be fun, but they’ve got a hell of an uphill battle this weekend.
Speaking of rising from the dead, hey there Sylvester Stallone! Okay, all too easy, but resurrection jokes aren’t entirely inappropriate here, as Stallone brings back Rocky Balboa after a nine-year absence in Creed. This time though, Rocky is in the Mickey role, playing the mentor to the illegitimate son of his old friend Apollo Creed. But while it’s got the DNA of a a Rocky film, this is the first one not written by Sly himself; honors this time go to Ryan Coogler, director of 2013’s indie sensation Fruitvale Station. And all indications are Coogler has nailed this. I’ve been seeing near ecstatic responses to this from people I follow who have already seen it, and if they’re to be believed, there are going to be a lot of grown men denying they were crying over the long weekend.
But as much as I want to see Creed, Pixar has my sword. Aside from Cars (which I can’t even muster all that hate towards; kids love it, and it’s undoubtedly paying for a lot of other projects), I’ve yet to be disappointed in any of their films, and the trailers for The Good Dinosaur haven’t led me to believe it’ll be the exception. I do think the film is going to suffer a bit from being released in the same year as Inside Out; no matter how good this dinosaur might be, it’s going to have a hard time competing with the emotional punch of that film. And the rapturous critical response to Inside Out is only going to give The Good Dinosaur some impossible standards to live up to. Of course, Pixar’s been in the habit of doing that for some time now and haven’t dropped the ball yet. So apologies to Rocky and company, but this is the one I want to see most this weekend.
Not that I won’t see both. I plan on doing a little marathon after work today and knocking both of these out so I can get down to the serious marathons to come this weekend: MST3K tomorrow, and my personal Lord of the Rings marathon on Friday. I still haven’t decided if I’m doing theatrical or extended; that may depend on when I get back from shopping on Friday. But hell, I’ve got nothing to do Saturday until 10 AM. I may just go for the long ball on that one. Provided all the turkey lets me stay awake long enough to do it.