Weekend At The Movies: Black Friday Edition


Ok so I know that some movies came out Wednesday and another on Thanksgiving, but like most sane people, I actually treated Thanksgiving like a holiday. In any case, the weekend is still young so lets see whats new in the theaters. A busy week for the industry saw the release of several anticipated movies including “Mandela” and “Frozen.” While the forecast looks good for these movies, they still must do battle with the heavyweight that is “Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Here’s a rundown of this weeks new movies:


Opening This Week – November 29

Frozen (2013) Poster

Frozen (2013) – [Opens 11/27]

Certificate PG 108 min   –   Animation | Adventure | Comedy | Family | Fantasy |Musical

Metascore: 75/100 (37 reviews)
Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

Chris Buck | Jennifer Lee

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THE BUZZ: Jennifer Lee, co-writer of the deserved hit Wreck-It Ralph (2012), was placed in the co-director’s chair alongside Chris Buck (Surf’s Up (2007)) for Disney’s adaptation of this Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, which has been met with stellar reviews as its wide release date nears. No doubt the studio will be eyeing opening weekend after Delivery Man(2013)’s recent, surprisingly weak performance.

Oldboy (2013) Poster

Oldboy (2013) – [Opens 11/27]

Certificate R 104 min   –   Action | Drama | Mystery | Thriller

Metascore: 50/100 (37 reviews)
Obsessed with vengeance, a man sets out to find out why he was kidnapped and locked into solitary confinement for 20 years without reason.

Spike Lee

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THE BUZZ: Spike Lee spoke freely about how hard it is for him to get film financing at this point in his career, but I think that was a smart stance for a veteran indie filmmaker to take as he signed on to direct a remake of a beloved genre film that had trouble holding onto its cast before cameras rolled. But the ultimate cast is fantastic, screenwriter Mark Protosevich is demand, and the studio FilmDistrict does like to take chances with darker-themed material. And word-of-mouth about the shocking final scenes could result in a sleeper hit.

Black Nativity (2013) Poster

Black Nativity (2013) – [Opens 11/27]

Certificate PG 93 min   –   Drama | Musical

Metascore: 49/100 (24 reviews)
A street-wise teen from Baltimore who has been raised by a single mother travels to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives, where he embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey.

Kasi Lemmons

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THE BUZZ: Four films in, director Kasi Lemmons (Talk to Me (2007), Eve’s Bayou (1997)) has switched up genres each time, and her latest film, based on the gospel musical by Langston Hughes, might be her greatest success to date. And we’re happy for Angela Bassett, who has this role, a surprise hit with Olympus Has Fallen (2013), and is owning the small screen with her appearances in “American Horror Story: Coven”.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) Poster

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) – [Opens 11/27 – Limited Release]

Certificate PG-13 139 min   –   Biography | Drama | History

Metascore: 55/100 (10 reviews)
A chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

Justin Chadwick

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THE BUZZ: Whether you think Pacific Rim (2013) was a worldwide hit or kind of a letdown, it’s still been a big year for Idris Elba, and his portrayal as Nelson Mandela is just the beginning of many starring roles coming down the pike. We’re unsure of his Oscar chances, but we love that he’s become a bona fide leading man.

Homefront (2013) Poster

Homefront (2013) – [11/27]

Certificate R 100 min   –   Action | Crime | Thriller

Metascore: 38/100 (31 reviews)
A former DEA agent moves his family to a quiet town, where he soon tangles with a local meth druglord.

Gary Fleder

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THE BUZZ: We don’t know if James Franco will ever play another villain as memorable as Alien, but thought of watching him as a meth-maker facing off against Jason Statham that seems like solid B-level entertainment to us. Especially when you consider that Sylvester Stallone adapted the pulpy source material for the screenplay.

Bullett Raja (2013) Poster

Bullett Raja (2013) – [Opens 11/28]

Certificate Not Rated 138 min   –   Action | Crime | Drama | Romance

A common man who transforms into a gangster revolts against the very system he once obediently followed by declaring war on the police, the government, and the industrialists.

Tigmanshu Dhulia

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THE BUZZIrrfan Khan was set to co-star in the newest project from director Tigmanshu Dhulia (he directed Khan in Paan Singh Tomar (2010)) but the pairing of superstars Saif Ali Khan and Sonakshi Sinha, along with the outlaw-gangster theme, should result in a massive hit in India and the U.S.

The Punk Singer (2013) Poster

The Punk Singer (2013) – [LA/NYC]

80 min   –   Documentary

Metascore: 74/100 (8 reviews)
A look at the life of activist, musician, and cultural icon Kathleen Hanna, who formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the “riot grrrl” movement of the 1990s.

Sini Anderson

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THE BUZZ: Kathleen Hanna is raging on a different platform these days when compared to her days as leader of the bands who created a punk-like youth movement (Bikini Kill) and politicized dance floors at the turn of the millennium (Le Tigre). Retired from the stage for almost a decade, Hanna first resurfaced with unflinching reports of her health and her legacy, and recently she provided one of the strongest voices for Pussy Riot just before hitting the road with her reunited/reformed band, The Julie Ruin. Because Hanna’s present message is as strong as her past, Sini Anderson’s documentary has been resonating with audiences since its South by Southwest debut.

Reaching for the Moon (2013) Poster

Reaching for the Moon (2013) – [Los Angeles]

118 min   –   Biography | Drama | Romance

Metascore: 43/100 (6 reviews)
A chronicle of the tragic love affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares.

Bruno Barreto

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THE BUZZ: Bruno Barreto’s drama has piled on awards from queer film festivals across North America before making its way into general release, powered by Gloria Pires and Miranda Otto’s respective performances.




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