1. Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (FOX, 3,723 Theaters, 87 Minutes, Rated G): Ross Bagdasarian, a.k.a. Dave Seville, is a great American success story. He came up with a simple idea–speeding up vocals on albums so it sounds like rodents singing–that was so powerful, it is still going strong over 50 years after it started and almost 40 years after Bagdasarian died.
Of course, there will be those, and I count myself amongst them, that think the modern day Chipmunks can’t hold a candle to the earlier ones. But they are defying logic by keeping going strong.
This second sequel finds the ‘Munks shipwrecked on a deserted island. Yeah, that is what fills the 87 minutes of the movie. Numbs the mind, doesn’t it?
2. Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (Warner Brothers, 3,703 Theaters, 129 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Yet another sequel to a film that I didn’t think would ever be successful enough to garner one.
Guy Ritchie’s 2009 updating of the Holmes mythos did double its budget, so a sequel we have. This time Moriarity, now played by Jared Harris, comes to the forefront to battle Holmes and Watson.
I remember wanting to see the first one when it came out, but never got around to it. This one, not so much. It’s ads make it out to be a lot of running around and explosions with not a lot of plot but a lot of disguises for Robert Downey, Jr. to wear.
3. Young Adult (Paramount, 986 Theaters, 94 Minutes, Rated R): This film opened last week but is go wide this week, so we decided to cover it here.
The last time Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman worked together, Cody got an Oscar. This time, it seems like a step back.
The film focuses on a newly divorced fiction writer who comes back to her hometown to steal the heart of her high school crush. Only problem is, he’s happily married.
Cody is that works with high concepts by adding snappy dialogue to it. But this concept, both unappealing and far-fetched, might be more than even her writing and Reitman’s directing can save.
4. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Paramount, 425 Theaters [3,400 on Wednesday, 12/21], 133 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Weird how this film gets a sneak preview, if you will, the week before it really opens wide. Probably a good idea, because there are two other big movies opening on Wednesday, one on Sunday, and one on Friday.
I am conflicted about this film. On one hand, I have never been a fan of the franchise and have become less of a fan of Tom Cruise over the years. However, this is Brad Bird directing. He’s one of the creative masterminds from Pixar working big-budget live-action for the first time. I’m curious to see how he fares.
However, all those ads with Cruise in a hoodie and the fact the plot is very similar to the first one (Ethan Hunt is framed and