New movies this week
A Very Harold & Kumar 3-D Christmas
The gist: Proof that America is better than the rest of the world: Two stoners smoke weed, make poop jokes and ogle naked women for 89 minutes in what passes as a holiday movie. Take that, A Christmas Story! R
The cast: John Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris, Patton Oswalt, Danny Trejo and David Burtka.
The buzz: Hey, it ain't high art. Well, wait, that's a bad choice of words. "A mildly diverting naughty comedy, lacking the pure comic nastiness of Bad Santa or the sheer audacity of Up in Smoke," the Hollywood Reporter says.
The gist: An stellar comic cast are caught up in a modern-day Robin Hood caper in which average joes decide to try to break into the luxury condo of the Wall Street swindler who pilfered their retirement funds. Yes, the powerless masses should be distracted by that little nugget of storytelling, Hollywood Rich Guy cackles, gleefully rubbing his hands together like Snidely Whiplash. PG-13
The cast: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda and Matthew Broderick.
The buzz: Worth a laugh or two, as long as you don't think about it too much. "For what it is — recessionary wish-fulfillment escapism, with a lot of highly skilled familiar faces in its amply qualified cast — it's fun," the Chicago Tribune says.
Puss In Boots
The gist: Because we forgot last week, we'd like to remind you that Antonio Banderas' dashing kitty cat from Shrek got his own spinoff (although box office returns prove you don't need us to tell you about it). It reunites Banderas with Salma Hayek, who had a really steamy sex scene together the last time they were together in Desperado. You probably don't want to tell your kids about that. PG
The cast: Voices of Banderas, Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Sedaris, Billy Bob Thornton and Constance Marie.
The buzz: Dreamworks kinda knows what it's doing by now. "Almost shockingly good. And not just because a lot of you will approach it with lowered expectations," the Washington Post lauds.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org