Weekend Movie Preview: November 23, 2011

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It is about as crowded as it can be this Thanksgiving weekend at the local movie house. Three big films that should please everyone in the family debut today: Arthur Christmas, Hugo and The Muppets. Then, on Friday, the Oscar contenders arrive in The Artist, My Week with Marilyn and A Dangerous Method.

The Muppets: Jason Segel and writing partner Nick Stoller have brought The Muppets back for a whole new generation, but also have crafted a film that longtime fans will adore. The Muppets features classic songs and new terrific tracks as well. As many Muppet movies have done in the past, there are also cameos galore (we won’t reveal… don’t want to ruin the surprise for you!). Check out our The Muppets review for all the details on this five-star film.

Hugo: Martin Scorsese has outdone himself with his work of art that is Hugo. The film is based on the best-selling book and is beautiful as a vision, but also as a cinematic experience. Hugo is an orphan living in the Paris train station. His only companion is a wired like a clock “robotic” man. That metal face holds a secret left to Hugo by his father that will unify all the colorful characters in Scorsese’s latest classic in one heart-warming tale that is perfect for the holidays or any time of year. Be sure to read our Hugo review for further insight into a modern masterpiece.

Arthur Christmas: Aardman Animation (Wallace and Gromit films) takes a slightly different turn and creates a 3D animated Christmas film with all the heart, action, suspense and family camaraderie an audience could ask for of any film. Director Sarah Smith takes us inside how Santa delivers billions of presents in one evening... and it’s thanks to an army of elves and one very well-oiled machine. Steve may be heir apparent to the Santa Claus throne, but it seems his younger brother Arthur captures the Christmas spirit as no one else in this house of Santas. Don’t miss our Arthur Christmas review to discover why we have got a brand new Christmas classic.

Out Friday:

My Week with Marilyn: When Marilyn Monroe ventured to Britain to film The Prince and the Showgirl with Sir Laurence Olivier, her challenges were many. To aid her, a twenty-something Brit named Colin Clark was assigned to Monroe to be her assistant. He wrote two books about his time with the icon, The Prince, The Showgirl and Me as well as My Week with Marilyn. Those memoirs serve as the landscape for this fascinating film that features Michelle Williams in a role that could earn her Oscar gold. Be sure to check out our My Week with Marilyn review.

The Artist: A black and white silent movie in 2011 that is one of the best of the year? You bet and the film works on so many levels and is truly a marvel of modern filmmaking. The Artist follows the rise and fall of a silent movie star and the ascent of a starlet who will be Hollywood’s first movie star of talkies. The Artist is powerful and features an all-star cast including James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller and John Goodman. Don't miss our The Artist review!

A Dangerous Method: Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were mentor and student and in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, the director explores what happens when the student breaks out on his own while a woman comes between them. Michael Fassbender is Jung and Viggo Mortensen is Freud while Keira Knightley is the woman with whom both men become enthralled.

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