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The Monkey Has My Ten Bucks

The other day, I was taken to task after admitting that the only movie I knew for sure I'd be seeing in December was King Kong. This wouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who listened to last week's podcast, but it shocked the heck out of the person I was talking to. Big, commercial, special-effects-fueled monkey goodness: why would it get my ten bucks, over other more "deserving" fare?

Well, it's Christmas time, and money's pretty tight. If I've only got a handful of dollars to spend on movies this month, I have to prioritize... and there's no way I'm getting out of the month without seeing the giant monkey. That said, though, the holidays are certainly a time to be discriminating with the Famous Players gift certificates.

Here's how it goes down:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Hollywood's Great White Hope for 2005's Christmas season, LWW is supposed to do Harry Potter business mixed with Lord of the Rings business with a little Star Wars business thrown in. Fans of the book, though, are going to be really uneasy about goofy Andrew Adamson's 21st-century, battle-heavy take on this childrens' classic. I'll see it, but begrudgingly.

Memoirs of a Geisha

One of those big important pictures that's big and important because it tells you it is. A clean miss, if only because casting a Japanese period pic with entirely non-Japanese principal actors is so "last century."

Syriana

Comes with a mightily scary pedigree between Clooney and Damon, but has enough working under the hood to make it potentially beecome this year's Traffic. (Naturally, seeing as how the director of Syriana wrote Traffic.) Or at least, it may take a bite out of Crash's Oscar-lock.

Brokeback Mountain

Gay lover cowboys. What's not to want?

Munich

Spielberg's latest serious opus (seri-opus?) is receiving almost no advance attention at all, because Spielberg wants people to see the potentially-divisive thriller and decide for themselves about its content. That's reason enough to see it all on its own.

Fun With Dick and Jane

Jim Carrey, meet Tea Leoni. Everyone else: avoid at all costs.

The Producers

Didn't like the musical particularly much, but Toronto natives might get a kick out of seeing Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the roles they made famous on Broadway, rather than our Canadian variants.

The New World

Terrence Malick is one of cinema's true auteur geniuses, and he only makes a movie about once every kajillion years. Besides, this mature take on the origins of the Pocahontas tale is gorgeous as hell, might be somewhat more comprehensible than The Thin Red Line, and has a chance of sneaking in under the wire as a year-end favourite.

King Kong

Why Kong? Because Peter Jackson has never made a movie I haven't loved. Because a 3-hour, modernized take on a classic, 90-minute story is fascinating in itself. And because there's a giant monkey.


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