Four big new movies open wide this weekend, and there's something for pretty much everyone in the mix. (Unless, of course, you're look for gay cowboys. But then, you know where to go to find them by now.) In brief: Queen Latifah rules, James Franco doesn't; Hoodwinked gets people excited, Glory Road doesn't. For details, read on.
- Last Holiday: That sound you hear, friends, is the sweet music of 95% of all American critics falling completely in love with Queen Latifah. I've never read a group of reviews so enamored of a movie's star, and of her effect on what would otherwise be an utterly forgettable film. Roger Ebert summed up the general feeling best when he said "Last Holiday plays like a hug." (I know. But they're almost all like this. It's awesome.)
- Glory Road: While most critics are bit more generous than Jette, everybody agrees that the based-on-a-true-story flick is formulaic and predictable, so much so that "you could be forgiven for thinking Stouffer's produced it, not Disney." That said, however, its young actors win praise, and a few critics feel the film addresses the racism at the core of its story with surprising grace. And, as a bonus, the basketball scenes don't suck!
- Tristan & Isolde: Nobody (apart from Roger Ebert, who praises its realism) really likes this one. At best, it's bland with good action scenes; at worst, "like a Monty Python movie with the jokes removed." Not only do they not like the movie as a whole, but several critics also set a little space aside to rip on poor James Franco, who hasn't really successfully conveyed an emotion since Freaks and Geeks.
- Hoodwinked: Holy divergence of opinion, Batman! Reactions to this one range from raves to pure, unadulterated hatred, and include pretty much everything in between. Either it's clever and snappy, or it's a big pile of crap - and you're going to have decide for yourselves. If it helps at all, most people come down somewhere in the middle, but going to see this one really is going to be a crapshoot.