movies this week: nothing new

The weekend after Thanksgiving is generally pretty low-attendance at the box office, since everyone scurried out during the extended holiday weekend to see all the big shiny blockbusters. Didn’t you? I didn’t, but then I was in Boston eating beans and haddock and clam chowder and looking in the holiday-decorated windows at Filene’s and finding a winter hat that covers my ears without making me look like that chick in The Blair Witch Project. I ended up with the most irresistably adorable hat ever. Every time I put it on, my boyfriend stops whatever he is doing to kiss me. Yes, we’re kind of nauseating in that way sometimes. Better hope you don’t run into us on a cold day.
Anyway, the traditional drop in box office is probably the reason why hardly any new movies are opening this weekend. I guess the conventional wisdom is that we’re all planning to stay home, trim the tree, and watch some old holiday favorite on TV like It’s a Wonderful Life or Brazil. Screw the conventional wisdom, there are plenty of good movies still in theaters, from The Incredibles to The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie to Sideways. Austin theaters are still showing The Motorcycle Diaries, Kinsey, and I Heart Huckabees.

New movies in Austin this week:
Closer—Remember Mike Nichols? I bet you didn’t even realize he was making movies anymore. This movie is getting all kinds of rave reviews and people are comparing it to his earlier films, such as Carnal Knowledge and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The movie stars Julia Roberts and Jude Law but it ain’t no frothy romantic comedy, it’s supposed to be gritty and downbeat. Enjoy.
Weapons of Mass Deception—A film about the U.S. media coverage of the war in Iraq. It appears to be a documentary in the same way that Fahrenheit 9/11 and Super Size Me are documentaries—the kind in which the filmmaker is the main character. It’s only playing at Dobie for a week, so if this interests you, see it now.
Notable events/revivals in Austin:
Elf—Playing at Westgate and Lakelike on Saturday 12/4 at 10 am, for free. I am all about free movies, especially for kids … but is this a kids’ movie? I haven’t seen it so I don’t know, but the only people I’ve heard raving about Elf have been grown-ups who love Will Ferrell.
A Hard Day’s Night—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Monday 12/6 ($1 admission) and Wednesday 12/8 (with a Beatles cover band). I love this movie. It’s the last movie I saw at the old Village Theater before it closed and then turned into Alamo Village. Loads of fun, definitely worth a dollar.
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius—Playing at Westgate and Lakelike on Saturday 12/4 at 10 am, for free. Another one of Regal’s “Free Family Flicks.”
The Mr. Sinus Christmas Show—Playing at Alamo Downtown throughout December. The Christmas show isn’t one movie, it’s a number of bizarre holiday-related clips. The year I went, they showed everything from a Martha Stewart special (where she learns glassblowing) to “Davy and Goliath” to some topless chick Christmas thing. They also serve milk and cookies. Definitely worthwhile.
The Polar Express—Yes, I know this is still in first-run theaters and many people think it’s nothing special (at best). However, I would like to point out that the Texas State History Museum IMAX theater is showing the 3D version of this movie. If you’re going to see it (I’m not), that seems like the way to go.
Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Tuesday 12/7. A documentary about the theremin, the world’s first electronic musical instrument, and the man who created it. The Austin Theremin Orchestra will perform after the movie.
At home, we still, still, still have The Philadelphia Story, Seconds, and Gods and Monsters. We tried to watch The Philadelphia Story before Thanksgiving but my boyfriend only lasted through the first five minutes or so. He didn’t even make it to Ruth Hussey and Jimmy Stewart. Maybe we’ll try again later.
I am hoping to see either Sideways or The Incredibles this weekend.
I still have to write reviews for these movies: Lightning in a Bottle, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, If You Could Only Cook, The Getaway, Muriel’s Wedding, and Quills. I hope I’ll actually remember something about them when I sit down to write about them.
Since there weren’t many movies to talk about this week, I will now share an irrelevant and gratuitous film-related anecdote, which I am posting here because I want someone to laugh at the damn thing. (My boyfriend didn’t think it was a bit funny.)
We were in the car the other night and I was thinking about some news I had just learned. Sears and Kmart are planning to merge next year. The news surprised me. Suddenly I had a rare flash of inspiration.
I turned to my boyfriend and said, “If Sears and Kmart are merging, what do you think they’ll call the new company?”
He paused, frowned, and said, “Don’t say it.”
“But I was just thinking—”
“Stop it.”
I couldn’t help it. I started giggling at my own joke, even though I hadn’t said it out loud yet. I had to say it.
“They’re gonna be S-Mart. ‘Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.'”
I spent the next few minutes laughing my head off and occasionally saying things like, “Name’s Ash. Housewares.” My boyfriend kept driving, trying to ignore me, even though I was wearing the Hat of Irresistable Adorableness.
Obviously I still haven’t outgrown that whole Bruce Campbell thing. Maybe someday, but I wouldn’t count on it. It is also obvious that my boyfriend knows me maybe a little too well.

One thought on “movies this week: nothing new”

  1. Yep, Elf is kid-friendly. Nothing objectionable in it and it’s surprisingly sweet. But funny for the adults, too. As much as I like Will Ferrell, on the third viewing (I had to review the DVD, so I’ve seen the movie three or four times), my favorite thing in the movie has become Bob Newhart. Seriously.

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