Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day The Theater Was Sold Out

Christmas used to be a great day to go to the movies, as you and a handful of people didn't have to suffer lines or sell-outs. You could stroll up to the box office three minutes before show time and still get a prime seat. Not so anymore. Movies get released on Christmas day and people have turned what was a secret Jewish custom into a national event. I know the Jews must be pissed at the Gentiles for co-opting their Christmas tradition.

But we were torn yesterday. Nothing really jumped out at us.

There was the new Brad Pitt movie, which looked OK, but we didn't feel like sitting through three solid hours of Pitt being pretty. Eventually, maybe when the crowds die down, we will see what all the hype is about.

There was Brad Pitt's ex-wife's new movie, in which she stars with that idiot Owen dude. Aniston is sure to play a lovable if slightly ditzy hot chick, while Owen is sure to play a lovable, if slightly ditzy, laid-back surfer type. There's also a dog. Cute. Not happening. Not even on DVD or HBO.

There was Brad Pitt's ex-wife's ex-boyfriend Vince Vaughn in a throwaway Christmas feel-good festival. I wish to meet Vince Vaughn some dark night in a drunken alley knife fight.

Will Smith's new offering seemed a little weird, all about organ donation. Not your average holiday fare, so we declined on that.

Actor du jour Philip Seymour Hoffman stars opposite Meryl Streep in a movie about a priest who might be molesting boys. Sounds like fun - when I am stranded on a desert island and a rescue package arrives and the only thing in it is a battery powered DVD player and that movie.

There were various animated things, crap movies from Sandler and Carey, both of whom have worn out their welcome playing the same guy all the time (France - you want these guys?) that vampire movie for tween girls, and Keanu Reeves playing himself in a remake of the classic The Day The Earth Stood Still.

So, much to my horror, we agreed on Tom Cruise's new film, in which he plays Tom Cruise trying to act like a Nazi officer. I was sure he would strut about in Tom Cruise fashion, being all Tom Cruisey, urgent and badly trying to convey earnestness.

Sold out. I was not really disappointed.

So we saw Keanu, in IMAX, and it was a good mindless romp in that campy old sci-fi style in which every military or government type is hyper-dogmatic and cardboard. Reeves did not even bother me in this role, because it was made for his limited skills as an actor. Kathy Bates is the Secretary of Defense, and clearly modeled her performance on Hillary Clinton. The heavy-handed "You're killing the planet so we have to kill you" message was groan-inspiring and I half expected Al Gore to make a cameo. John Cleese did make a cameo, which is always nice. And for anyone who is not a fan of the New York Giants, the destruction of Giants stadium is awesome, but I'm sure it's pure sacrilege worthy of a fatwa in certain areas of the northeast.

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