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For those who are ready to push away from a groaning Thanksgiving table, having eaten their fill and given thanks, there are four new films to choose from for families to watch at the cinema. Comedy rules the turkey day weekend with two very funny offerings. Out of the comedic films, one is for kids, big and little, and the other is of the more grown up variety; lastly there is one of the best romance stories of modern times and a historical drama that will make one think.
Penguins of Madagascar opened on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and it is aimed straight at the family demographic. Dreamworks has trotted out these fan favorites from the Madagascar animated film franchise and added some celestial names to the cast list to appeal the “older” kids in the audience. Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Stormare, John Malkovich are the Hollywood “names” who join the group of penguins for this global romp.
The flightless birds escape from Madagascar and King Julien’s endless parties and wind up being kidnapped, or penguin-napped, by a figure from their past. This villain is determined to settle a score with the cute penguins and a secret organization known as The North Wind step in and help rescue the Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and the Private. Cumberbatch plays the leader of the organization, Classified; Peter Stormare is the polar bear enforcer, Corporal and Malkovich is Dave the super villain.
This film is a real family friendly comedic offering this Thanksgiving and out of all the movies at the cinema is the one that will appeal to almost everyone, tiny children will most likely be bored, but from grandma to the teenage tearaway, this film will deliver gales of laughter. Keep an ear out for the Sherlock Holmes star’s pronunciation of penguins. Rated PG for some stressful situations.
Another comedy offering is the sequel to Horrible Bosses, Horrible Bosses 2. This follow up to the original 2011 film, is less murderous in nature and twice as funny. This dark comedy has Justin Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis back as the three hapless guys from the first movie. This Thanksgiving day offering has the trio returning as their own bosses on a business venture involving their invention of the “Shower Buddy.” The men go on television to tout their new product to entice backers to invest in the new company and its product.
Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz play the two hardball business men who buy into the men’s idea and company. When the guys turn down Pine’s character’s offer of a one-time buyout, they accept his father’s offer of letting them keep the product and their company. Pine is Rex Hanson, son of Burt (Waltz) and the two successful retail magnates are as bad as each other. Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston are both back reprising their roles in this sequel and all deliver a top notch comedy guaranteed to keep the audience in stitches. Rated R for more “adult” humor, this is one for the grownups to enjoy.
The third, “must see” Thanksgiving offering is a love story that will appeal to every romantic soul out there. The Theory of Everything is about the “first-love” of the world famous physicist Stephen Hawking. Based on the book by Jane Wilde Hawking, the film charts the story of two people who fall in love, have a family and struggle with Hawking’s Motor Neuron Disease. Along the way, the scientist continues to amaze the world as well as become a celebrity because of his brilliance. The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Hawking and Felicity Jones as Jane, both English actors give life to these real people that they portray and this film is one that has the audience leaving the theatre with a warm glow and that the sky, or the universe, really is the limit feeling. Rated PG-13 since it deals with concepts that children may find a bit confusing and its grown up theme, presumably.
The fourth Thanksgiving weekend opening, depending upon one’s location, is the second Benedict Cumberbatch film on offer The Imitation Game. The star plays Alan Turing, the Englishman who was instrumental in cracking Enigma during WWII. Keira Knightley plays the woman he almost married, despite Turing’s being a homosexual at a time when it was illegal in the United Kingdom. This gripping drama has no real action and it mostly the story of another genius and his contribution to society and his unjust reward afterward. Brilliant stuff that looks at this brilliant man during the war and one that keeps the audience immersed in WWII England. Rated PG-13.
There are other films still available at the theater’s this Thanksgiving: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Big Hero 6, Interstellar, and Birdman are just some of the excellent choices on offer. Thanksgiving, 2014 does have at least four new movies that should be watched at the cinema this weekend. The films on offer do lack the obligatory action film but this can be overlooked when taking into consideration the amount of entertaining movies on offer this Thanksgiving. Trailers for these features are below.
By Michael Smith