The Sunday Drive: 11/27/11

3. Hugo
While my colleagues and I have certainly put our love for The Muppets on display these past few days, when we actually break down and start discussing this week's movies, it's Hugo we end up talking about the most. Truly an unforgettable experience, admittedly with problems, but Martin Scorsese has managed to make one of his most personal movies hidden in the guise of a children's adventure film. Hugo is at it's core a love letter by a man who has never lost his childhood adoration of cinema. It's his desperate plea that we all pay the pioneers of this great industry their proper respect. For guys like me and the rest of my peers, Hugo is a must see. I have my doubts whether those less enamored of film history will feel the same.

2. The Muppets
Deep sigh of relief, Muppet fans! Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and the gang are back and it's like they never left. Thank longtime uber fans, Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, who penned their latest madcap adventure, a sweet and cheerful combination of music, silly celebrity cameos, and innocent humor in the classic Jim Henson style.
1. The Descendants
It was #1 last week, and here it is again, where it may stick around for awhile. The Descendants is Alexander Payne's finest work, a film that is both heartwarming and hilarious, painful and cleansing. George Clooney gives yet another Oscar worthy performance, this time as a father and husband dealing with the impending death of his comatose wife, her past infidelities, and the prospect of raising his two defiant daughters completely on his own.

DVD Pick of the Week:  Super 8
I feel like there's been a backlash against Super 8 as we home in on the awards season. Certainly his ode to the imaginative films of the 1980s, the stuff that brought us gems like The Goonies and E.T., deserves to be mentioned as one of the year's best. The turn against it seems centered on the way he so idolizes the work of Steven Spielberg(also a producer), so much so that people claim he's outright stealing. To me that's a load of nonsense. Super 8 hits all the right nostalgia buttons, but feels like the work of a guy remembering the reasons why he loved movies so much as a kid, with child heroes on a grand, epic adventure. There's a palpable sense of awe and wonder flowing through every single scene that few other films this year have been able to match.