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Holiday Movie Quick-Hits

There have been so many movies coming out this holiday season, that I haven’t had the time to assess them all. Here are a few quick reviews from some films that have come out in the past month…

12 Years A Slave

The subject matter is anything but unique. But the portrayals and gritty realism with which this film, based on a true story, presents itself is unmatched by anything before it. Simply put, it is the Roots of our generation and as jarring as the film may be from start to finish, it is a must see for anyone who cares to be enlightened about an era society often desires to water down or paint in a less horrific light.  FINAL GRADE: A

Best Man Holiday


While it still manages to delve into soap opera-esque drama and some parts seem only for fan service (The air band scene), Holiday somehow manages to be more relevant than its wildly successful predecessor. It does this by highlighting each character’s strengths and weaknesses and giving them all adequate time to interact (better than any Tyler Perry film… but I digress). Between the emotional chords it strikes and the snarky humor added by Terrence Howard, there is much more to love than dislike about this film. FINAL GRADE: B+

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug


The Hobbit/Lord of the Ring series is as much an acquired taste as any film series. There’s reasons to love them: Action, adventure, slapstick humor, mythical beasts and such. And reasons to hate it: Slow paced, slow paced, slow paced, and slow paced. Desolation of Smaug contains all of the good things while managing to minimize those nasty pacing issues better than most of the other films. While this film still runs at about 160 minutes, an action packed middle and a captivating, cliff-hanging end, make it much livelier than the last journey into Middle Earth. FINAL GRADE: B+

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues


If Hangover 2 and 3 taught us anything, it’s that classic comedies don’t always begat great comedic sequels. So it’s easy to see why so many people might’ve been nervous about a sequel to one of the most quoted comedies ever, being made nearly a decade later. Anchorman 2 waists very little time in casting those worries aside. Will Ferrell and company manage to recapture most of the moments we loved from the original, even upping the ante in some places (The rehashed news team rumble is packed with more hilarious cameos than imaginable), while also successfully giving us a worthwhile plot. It may not be quite as good as its predecessor, but it still packs enough laughs to make it worthy of existing. FINAL GRADE: A- 

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