is delicious. It is no accident it has become the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Anyone serving beets instead should be deported. However, Ron Emmerson and his
young son and teenaged daughter are guests of his hippy granola Aunt Cly, so
they will have to make do. Fortunately, they will get so sidetracked with the monsters
in the forest they will not have time to worry about food in Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow (trailer here), an original Lifetime
movie produced by Lisa Henson, based on an idea the Muppet creator once
developed with his writing partner Jerry Juhl, which premieres on the cable
network this Saturday.
basically lost everything in his recent divorce except his dignity—and even
that is debatable. Unexpectedly stuck with his kids, the snotty social
media-obsessed Annie and the geeky Tim, Emmerson invites them all over to his
Aunt Cly’s hoping she would look after them while he finishes a presentation
for his corporate slave-master. However, when gawky Timmy inadvertently lets
loose evil Eldridge Sump’s gaggle of genetically juiced turkeys into the wild,
Aunt Cly stands to lose her organic sustainable farm to Scrooge McTurkey.
redeem himself, Tim heads out to take a snap of the local Big Foot-like legend
and hereby claim a longstanding reward. Instead, he and Annie encounter a
quartet of musical, rock-eating monsters and a pair of Sump’s goons.
the villainous agri-business baddie is just a tediously dull cliché. It would
have been much more interesting and realistic if the bad guys were the hippies,
trying to frame an industrious Aunt Cly for reasons of ideology. However, the whole
point of Hollow are the monsters and
they are rather cute. They definitely follow in the Muppet tradition, except
maybe bushier around the eyes. Youngsters who are already fans of the Muppets
and the Fraggles should be charmed silly by the Turkey Hollow quartet.
with her character’s annoying eccentricities, Mary Steenburgen is wonderfully
acerbic as Aunt Cly. Believe it or not, this is quite a nice role for her. Jay
Harrington also exceeds expectations as the not-as-square-as-he-sounds
Emmerson. However, the kids are just sort of okay and the bad guys are a shticky
embarrassment. Yet, the real wincing comes from Chris “Ludacris” Bridges’
supposedly hip and ironic walk-on narration sequences. Let’s just say he is no
You’ve got four endearing monsters in Hollow and if you are under thirteen
that is more than enough. Despite the environmental organic blah, blah, blah,
the film still has a nice message regarding the importance and resiliency of
family. Director Kirk R. Thatcher, a Henson veteran, keeps it moving along at a
good clip, powering through the shortcomings of Chris Baldi and Tim Burns’ ultra-conventional
script. Worth checking in on to see the latest creations of the Henson
workshop, but not worth rescheduling your weekend for, Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow airs this Saturday (11/21) on Lifetime.
Labels: Jim Henson, Lifetime