Welcome back to a special holiday edition of Defamer Attractions, your weekly guide to everything new, noteworthy and/or stillborn at the movies. And this Thanksgiving, we're grateful for a slate of Wednesday releases granting us a reprieve from another day of Twilight chatter. Not that any of them will surmount last week's blockbuster, but we have a quick and dirty forecast for long weekend's hits, sleepers and subplots, including a glimpse at the biggest disappointment and underdog to come. As always, our opinions are our own, but are easy to bake for that last-minute dessert idea. The full recipe is after the jump.WHAT'S NEW: Speaking of recipes, Four Christmases sure has a fresh one! Mix Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. Add two cups of diced ensemble players including Robrt Duvall, Jon Favreau, Kristin Chenoweth and Sissy Spacek. Flavor with ball-kicking, pratfall and baby-vomit jokes. Bake for two hours. Serve lukewarm. It's good for about $40 million over five days. Transporter 2 is a little simpler hors d'oeurve for the guys out there, with Jason Statham liberally seasoned with bullets, quick cuts and decibels, turning out $18 million before the main course on DVD. But if you're allergic to the multiplex, you may be best best suited to skip ahead to this week's new home video releases; the art-house kitchen appears to be closed to deliveries for the holiday weekend. THE BIG LOSER: Australia is almost three hours' worth of the expansive (and expensive, at $130 million) hisorical epic no one makes anymore. And despite Oprah Winfrey's lavish endorsement, there's a reason for that: It's one in a generation that actually finds any traction in the two female quadrants whose repeat viewings push it toward box-office longevity and, almost necessarily, Oscar luster. Fox needs half a Titanic here (thus its Hugh Jackman heartthrob push at non-starter Nicole Kidman's expense) to make this work, and for the sake of the studio and director Baz Luhrmann and all involved, we hope they get it. But the middling, $26 million reality — especially on Twilight's likely second week at No. 1 — is what it is.
THE UNDERDOG: Instant-message quibbles aside, Milk is far and away the best thing opening this weekend; expect sell-outs and a per-screen average of at least $39,000 in 17 markets. (It opens wide Dec. 12.) FOR SHUT-INS: This week's new DVD's include Will Smith's brooding hero Hancock, the summer champs Meet Dave and Space Chimps, more Vaughn holiday frolic in Fred Claus, the TV knockoffs A Colbert Christmas and 24: Redemption, and just in time for the holidays/white-elephant gift exchange, Beverly Hills 90210: The Complete Sixth Season. So will your Turkey Day food coma overlap into moviegoing? Is it more of a football-and-shopping weekend, or will the budgie-smuggling pull of Australia be just too challenging to withstand? In any event, have a fantastic holiday, and should you brave Space Chimps, please let us know what we're missing.