This is a weekend for families. A week after the box office was led by the serial bloodfest Saw III, we are looking to a week led by a pair of films for the family. This weekend also kicks off the Christmas season, officially, with the arrival of the first holiday film. There is also something else notable about this week's releases. Sascha Baron Cohen's Borat had its wide release slashed from 2000 theaters to 800, and it looks like my town was on the cut list. I've read the reason for the cuts is that Middle America doesn't "get" the character. It is hoped the smaller release will generate positive word of mouth to allow for a wider opening in a week or two. I can only hope — the trailers look hilarious.
Flushed Away. (2006, 86 minutes, PG, animated comedy, trailer) Welcome to the underworld. This is Aardman Studios' follow up to the successful and delightful Wallace & Gromit in Curse of the Were-Rabbit. This time out, the story concerns an upper class rat accidentally flushed from his well to do digs and finds himself in the sewer community under London. I have to say this looks like fun. The animation looks good, and there is a great list of talent to supply voices, including Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Bill Nighy, and Andy Serkis. Looks like a good outing for the family.
Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. (2006, 98 minutes, G, comedy, trailer) I liked the first, didn't like the second, how will the third fare? I can only hope it is better than Tim Allen's last attempt at Christmas comedy, the absolutely abysmal Christmas with the Kranks. I think the trailers for this one actually look pretty good, despite the use of Nightmare Before Christmas music. What makes me actually look forward to this is the presence of Martin Short as the nefarious Jack Frost. Frost is looking to take the Claus mantle using a loophole in the Santa Clause mythos. I can only hope to be mildly entertained.