Verdict : Some people may not have enjoyed it. However, my Contention is it is pretty darn good.
Jeff and I managed to avoid another night of the Jesse James movie and instead made the rather good choice of watching this movie. Another night of skipping Jesse James and I guess it should go back to Netflix.
I must say that I really like Christian Bale in every movie he is in. I also have to admit that before we unwittingly named our son after Daniel Craig, Russell Crowe was the movie star object of my affection. They both did awesome jobs in this movie. I even now like an actor that I really disliked in the past--Ben Foster (maybe it was your acting that made me wish your character would die in Six Feet Under. Awesome gun-slinging, BTW.).
Jeff and I were ready to settle in for yet another night of the Jesse James movie when we caught the beginning of Dreamgirls on HBO. We were sucked in.
There was too much singing. Yes, I know that it was a musical but geez... I do have to admit that outside of Guys and Dolls, Grease, and Jesus Christ Superstar, I don't really like musicals. Even those have a few too many songs.
It was predictable and the characters were a little one-dimensional with the exception of Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson. All I can say about Jennifer Hudson is wow. Plus, she made me cry when she was SINGING in a movie that I thought was just alright.
My favorite Christmas movie to watch is Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It isn't particularly Christmas-y though it is themed around holidays. It is funny as heck and has great music (White Christmas; Easter Parade; Happy Holidays; Be Careful, It's my Heart; and the same big band song throughout for different numbers).
It is a predecessor of the lame movie White Christmas. Fred Astaire dances while lighting firecrackers. The lead men fall in and out of love very easy. There is a pretty politically incorrect number about Abe Lincoln and there is inappropriate comic relief with Mamie and her kids.
A great synopsis of it is here but I recommend you just rent it or watch it when it is on TV. It doesn't get played as often as the aforementioned lame movie (though I should admit that Missy and I sing "Sisters" quite often).