Tis the season for ticket sales

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The holidays are here!  The time for festive decorations, gift giving/receiving, family gatherings and just all around joyfulness.  But behind the piles of wrapping paper and empty boxes there is an annual battle that is waged for your gift money.  The box office battle!

There are a slew of films being released for Christmas.  With all the holiday celebrations in full swing what better way to spend time with your friends and relatives than sitting in a dark room with none of them speaking!  If you’re savvy enough perhaps you can even convince them to let you choose the film.  And oh the options you have, lets evaluate the pictures that are dropping tomorrow on Xmas day….

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:   IMDB

This film is an adaptation of a F. Scott Fitzgerald story from the 20s.  It chronicles the life of the main character, Benjamin Button, from birth to death.  The twist is that Benjamin is born at the end of his life and as he “grows” rather than get older he gets younger.  This is a confusing concept to explain without having seen the film but my understanding is that he is born the size of an infant but with elderly features and he then grows to adult size while slowly getting younger and then once he ages to the point of childhood his body begins to shrink again.  His condition is apparently just physical and therefore is born with no knowledge of the world as a normal child.  Based on that assumption he will also experience health problems typically associated with the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s, as he becomes a child.

This will be a good family movie if you can successfully explain the situation of the main character to your children.  Otherwise this could easily be an agonizing crying/nag filled two and a half hours.

The Wrestler:   IMDB

I was excited about this film as soon as I saw the first commercial.  I really like Mickey Rourke and am excited to see him return as Marv in Sin City 2, however that doesn’t release until 2010 and that will place it 5 years from the last time he was in decent films, Sin City 1 and Domino.  The story focuses on Rourke’s character, a washed up wrestler trying to squeak out the last few drops from his long dead career.  An injury forces him to finally retire and he decides it is time to focus on living his life.  It shows him trying to get in touch with his estranged daughter while maintaining his newly formed relationship with a stripper named Cassidy (Marisa Tomei).  There is a burgeoning whisper of Oscar buzz for Rourke’s role as Randy “The Ram” Robinson.

This has the possibility to be a feel good film about a “lost” man rebuilding his family but without knowing the ending Its truly hard to say.  It’s just the type of film that could take a turn for the worse near the end and finish as a heartbreaking tear jerker.  Its R rating puts it above any families that have children.

Valkyrie:   IMDB

Tom Cruise. Good actor. Crazy person.  This film, which is based on a true story, looks incredible.  It tells the tale of a group of high level German officers and their plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler in an attempt to end World War II.  Bill Nighy, Sean of the Dead and Pirates of the Carrbbean, plays another German general and Eddie Izzard also plays a part, which almost guarantees some laughs in what otherwise seems to be a very serious and “edge or your seat” film.

Its PG-13 rating and serious tone makes it least compatible to go with that warm festive feeling everyone will be high on.  And it is far from a family film.

The Spirit:   IMDB

Frank Miller has taken this story from comic strips in 1940s newspapers and added his signature art style to it.  The main character, Denny Colt/The Spirit, is played by Gabriel Macht.  Who is that you ask?  I have no idea.  But the real big name in this film is Samuel L. Jackson who plays the big bad guy, The Octopus.  The story goes as follows…  Denny Colt is a rookie cop who dies and is brought back as The Spirit.  He then strives to bring The Octopus to justice and halt his plan to wipe out the entirety of Central City.  A cast of lovely ladies, such as Scarlett Johansson, play various women that The Spirit confronts while on his hunt for The Octopus.

Violenece, sexual content and brief nudity make this another reason to leave the kids home with grandma while the other adult family members head to the theatre.

Bedtime Stories:   IMDB

Not your average Adam Sandler movie.  Skeeter Bronson (Sandler) tells bedtime stories to his niece and nephew and the children add in their own special twists to the stories.  The catch is that all the parts that the kids add to the stories end up coming to fruitition in the everday life of Skeeter.

Obviously geared towards an audience dominated by kids/families and therefore will probably be the top movie this holiday.  Don’t fear though, Sandler’s inclusion in the project practically insures that there will be humor to appeal to older viewers as well.

So there it is, those are your choices.  I mean, yeah i guess you could see a movie that came out sometime in the last week or so and that they still have showtimes for.  Well whether you decide to see one of these films tomorrow or not I’d definitely recommend seeing them sometime in the future (maybe not neceassarily Bedtime Stories, but the rest should be winners).

Have a happy a safe holidays everyone!

-Z-

ps.  I intended to have a comic to go with this post but got so busy with holiday stuff that I never finished it.  I’ll try and get it up this weekend if I have time.

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