First is Up In The Air, Jason Reitman’s take on the cleverly successful novel by Walter Kim. Already nominated for 6 Golden Globes, George Clooney gives a career defining performance as Ryan Bingham, a middle-aged road warrior whose occupation is in terminating employees of other corporations that lack the backbone to let go of them. Bingham lives a life of controlled solitude with his personal achievements measured by VIP status with various companies that cater to the traveling business class. When his company seeks to try another avenue presented by a young up and comer, Natalie Keener played by Anna Kendrick, Bingham is forced to not only train her on the ins and outs of his job but also introduce her into his itinerant lifestyle. Complications arise when he is grounded and forced to re-evaluate his personal life philosophy.
You’ll leave this film reflecting on the personal relationship you do have and the ones that have seem to have faded. There is a monologue that Clooney delivers in the film as motivational speech that will have you second guessing necessities of your possessions and relationships.
The second movie you should have seen this holiday season was the long awaited James Cameron epic Avatar. Pushing the boundaries of cinema technology and creating a new world on the moon of Pandora, Cameron sets the story of Jake Sully, a paraplegic former Marine, who is invited to join a scientific team on Pandora after the death of his twin brother. A corporate mining operation is halted by the placement of an indigenous race. A group of scientists race to create a diplomatic solution by interacting with the Na’vi in genetically engineered beings resembled to look like them.
Already the second highest grossing film of all time, Avatar has a story that both is engaging and visually stunning. Although the plot is lacking overwhelming originality – at times it seems to be a mated version of Dances With Wolves and Fern Gully – it has the imagination, charm and wonder of science fiction novels from the 50’s and 60’s. Although, one needn’t be a fan boy to understand the hypothetical science suggested in the film.
Last but not the least in any sense is Sherlock Holmes. Guy Ritchie, now a seasoned veteran from the MTV generation of filmmakers takes on the legendary detective from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novels. Robert Downey, Jr. steps into the clothes of Holmes with an almost familiar sense of belonging, thankfully he never wears that dreaded hat, and Jude Law as Dr. Watson couldn’t have been more perfectly cast. The two actors have a chemistry that surprises you that they’ve never worked together before.
Hip and modern while still holding true to the time period, this film will drawn you into the nefarious plot hatched by Lord Blackwood to seize control of English parliament as to return England to it place as the most powerful empire in the world. This film above all others was a must see.