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The Quick Take for November 29, 2013
Jason Statham in 'Homefront'

Streaming Picks

Last year's action flick remake Red Dawn, starring Thor's Chris Hemsworth, is on Netflix, as is season 3 of the hit television post-apocalyptic zombie drama The Walking Dead. If you're looking for something a bit classier, try the 1950s drama The Men, Marlon Brando's film debut (and a New York Times Critics' Pick). And Disney's The Three Musketeers is a fun kids' movie staring Mickey Mouse.

Critics Roundup

Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay for Homefront, a film that's getting attention mainly for that reason. Indiewire's Gabe Toro gave the film itself a B-, but he praised the trusty Jason Statham for delivering in a role originally meant for Stallone himself. The result is a predictable, but satisfying film: "It's basically as if Statham, with an assist from Stallone, came into your home and set the table for you. You know exactly what's cooking." All that to say, it still didn't resound with critics as a groundbreaking or even well-made action piece. Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of A.V. Club said that "Director Gary Fleder can't mount a compelling action scene, let alone pull off the movie's centerpiece shootout . . . (there's) no sense of rhythm or force."

Philomena went into wider release this week, and it's still generating buzz. The story about the woman searching for her son after 50 years of separation has been receiving mostly applause and generally positive ratings from critics (read our review here). But Kyle Smith of The New York Post made some stinging comments, declaring the film to be anti-Catholic, an attack on Republicans, and "a sucker punch, or maybe a sugary slice of arsenic cake." Philomena Lee—the woman who's played by Judi Dench in the film—disagrees. Earlier this week, she addressed Smith directly, saying that the movie was "a testament to good things, not an attack." She concluded with "I forgive you for not taking the time to understand my story. I do hope though that the families heading to the movie theatre to see the film decide for themselves – and disagree with you." Read her full response here.

News

Lately, sequels, spin-offs, and remakes are dominating both on television and at the movies. And another trend is showing up, too: black-and-white films (Alexander Payne's much-lauded drama Nebraska might have started something). The combination of both is on its way: It's a Wonderful Life might get a colorless sequel. The story would focus on George Bailey's grandson, George Bailey (the fourth?) But Paramount, which made the original film, is planning to block this proposed follow up. Read more here.

Quentin Tarantino loves westerns, according to what he told Jay Leno (watch it here). After the success of Django Unchained, he's declared that his next big project will be another western. He's kept the rest a mystery.

Taylor Lindsay is a fall intern with Christianity Today Movies and a student at The King's College in New York City.

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The Quick Take for November 29, 2013