Joel's Thanksgiving Weekend Movie Guide


Nov. 22, 2006 — -- It didn't surprise me when "Happy Feet" beat "Casino Royale" as last weekend's No. 1 movie at the box office. The Bond movie only has one guy in a penguin suit. "Happy Feet" has thousands.

Emperor penguins live to sing, but Mumbles, our hero, can't sing a lick. Still, he can dance! It's a great character.

But instead of a happily-ever-after ending about differences being a good thing after all, "Happy Feet" is incomprehensible to kids.

The computer-generated animation is gorgeous. So is the score. And that just may be reason enough for you to dance on over to a theater near you.

In "For Your Consideration," Christopher Guest and his "Best in Show" cast play a Hollywood troupe of has-beens and never-will-bes -- and they bite the hand that feeds them.

They're shooting a pathetically titled low-budget movie called "Home for Purim." Someone who snuck onto the set predicts Oscar buzz, which creates more Oscar buzz. It really does work that way.

How do they react to the Oscar buzz? The cast becomes divas. The studio changes the title to "Home for Thanksgiving." Hollywood may be the greatest straight man that ever was. It's hurt-yourself funny and the satire can cut through steel.

OK, the film deflates and the jokes disappear three-quarters of the way in. But I still can't wait for the sequel: "Home for Arbor Day."

In "Déjà Vu," Denzel Washington plays a cop investigating a 9/11-scale horror that happened in New Orleans. Or did it?

It seems the government stumbled on a surveillance device code named "Snow White" because it uses seven small satellites -- and that allows us to see four days into the past. And, maybe, travel back in time.

Technically, "Déjà Vu" is the kind of well-made movie you want to see over again. The score is perfect. The effects are perfect. It's exactly what you'd expect from producer Jerry Bruckheimer. If you didn't speak English, the film would be perfect.

But the middle of the movie is a physics lecture, code named "Snow White" for another reason, because it makes you feel either Sleepy or Dopey. If Albert Einstein were a movie critic, his one-word review would be … "What?!"

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