18 December 2009

Holiday film preview: The blockbusters I'll (probably not) see

The holiday movie season is here! The holiday movie season is here!

Okay, sarcasm doesn't read well. Yes, the holiday movie season is upon us. Everyone is talking about James Cameron's "Avatar" and Hollywood is gambling that millions and millions of people will get so tired of dealing with Aunt Sarah and her dog stories that they will flee family gatherings in droves and head to the theater. It's a good bet.

I probably won't be one of those people. I simply don't make it out much to the movies these days. In the past, I never was one to go to the movies often, and now a trip to the cineplex is an incredibly rare treat. I might make it out to see a first-run film once, maybe twice a year at most.

Of course, there are good reasons for this. For one, I'm pretty much a homebody. One of my favorite things to do is to lounge on the sofa at home with Jean on the nights we have together, watching a DVD on our tiny TV.

For another thing, I'm not an early adopter of gadgets, social trends, or any thing else, so it follows that I'm not one of those people who has to see a movie when it first comes out. I'm generally happy to wait to see a film until I can get it at the movie store, or even better, for free at the library.

A few more advantages of staying in over heading to the multiplex are that I can control the temperature of the room (I usually come out of the theater with my lips having turned blue), I can drink beer instead of six-dollar buckets of soda, and I can pause the action whenever my tiny bladder demands. And, of course, there's the cost. A trip to the Rave in Vestavia for the family will set me back a quick fifty bucks, easy.

So it's no mean feat to get me out the door to the movies. A film must significantly tickle my fancy for me to plant my butt in a theater seat. This year, there are a couple of likely candidates.

Sure, everybody is going to see "Avatar" (Roger Ebert likened it to an event movie, like "Star Wars" or "Harry Potter"), and it looks good to me, but I'll wait for the furor to die down a bit. What should be an easy ticket is the new Terry Gilliam film "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus".

Gilliam's movies work best when he's dealing with the fantastic (See "Brazil", "Twelve Monkeys"... hell, just watch anything he's done), and from the trailer it seems that he's headed in that direction once more. This film might just be another "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen", but the cast -- including Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer, and Colin Farrell -- should ensure that nothing like that happens.

Another flick that might find me out of the house on Christmas Day is "Tony Stark Goes to Victorian London", also known as "Sherlock Holmes". In "Iron Man", it seemed like Robert Downey Jr. found his acting niche as the charismatic, intelligent, tech-savvy playboy. The trailer for "Sherlock Holmes" appears to be more of the same:

Guy Ritchie is directing (I wondered about that when I saw the fight scene, and is that Bullet-Tooth Tony I saw in there?), and the cast includes Jude Law and Rachel McAdams. It should be fun to see the long-historic character of Holmes turned into an action/supernatural blockbuster.

So there you have it. I probably won't see you at the theater for these, but you can bet that by March, I'll have been to Blockbuster and you'll find me on the sofa enjoying these two films.

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