Where to begin? The good, the bad, or merely the ugly, this month had a wide variety of quality. The studios offered up comedies of the serious and ludicrous variety, animated features with underground rodents and dancing birds of the South, Oscar hopefuls, sequels, horror, arthouse, and others. A little bit for everyone, and a lot for nobody. When they were good, they were really good, when they were bad, they were really bad, and I am still undecided on at least one of them.
November got under way with a weekend dedicated to the young of the nation. Following the final frame of October, which featured the bloodshed of Saw III leading into Halloween, there had to be a release. That release came in the form of the third entry in Tim Allen's Santa Clause franchise, this one bearing the subtitle of The Escape Clause, and in Aardman Studios' Flushed Away. Neither one really set the world afire, although Martin Short does bring a lot of life to Santa Clause.
The next week saw a broader selection of films. Among those films was the surprise hit Borat, whose lawsuits keep accumulating and may be the most sued film of the year. Joining it was a more straight Will Ferrell than has been seen before in the surprisingly sweet and subtle Stranger Than Fiction. Ridley Scott made his way back to the big screen with the sputtering Russell Crowe film A Good Year. But wait, there's more - there were plenty of offerings for all tastes. Brad Pitt reappeared on the big screen with the world-spanning drama Babel, while Sarah Michelle Gellar sputtered with The Return.
Now it is time for the best cinematic weekend November had to offer, with two of the months best movies making their debut. First up is the first animated feature from Mad Max director George Miller, the dancing penguin phenomenon Happy Feet. That is followed with the resurgence of the Bond franchise in Casino Royale, featuring the auspicious debut of Daniel Craig in the role. Lastly, Dax Shepard and Will Arnett team up in the mediocre comedy Let's Go to Prison.