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ISSUE 121 VOL 9 PUBLISHED 11/30/2007

Silver screen lights up the holidays

By Hannah Hayes
Staff Writer

Friday, November 30, 2007

When the hustling of the shopping malls has gotten to your head and your relatives are bustling all up in your grill, the holiday season offers you an $8 vacation from the madness: the movies.

But this same gift of the Christmas season can also prove stressful, especially with your relatives in tow. Which movie won't make Granny Ester's ears burn? Will your seven-year-old cousin Kyle really enjoy that indie tearjerker? Fear not, for the holiday's cinematic pickings have been categorized for your viewing enjoyment.

Movies to see with your younger, computer animation junky cousins

Disney's "Enchanted" and "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep," made by the people who brought you the "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," are fail-safes for the younger portion of the family. "Enchanted," the tale of an animated princess lost in the real Manhattan, is chock full of Disney references and features McDreamy of "Grey's Anatomy." "Water Horse" is a little less girly and gives a kid-friendly fictional explanation for the Loch Ness Monster. If you're one of those strange people who actually liked "Shrek," you might enjoy these flicks too.

Movies you can see with everyone from Grandma Ester to Great Uncle Chester

If you're willing to sacrifice some quality in the name of neutrality, there's a plethora of movies to chose from for the annual family movie outing. Real life siblings playing fictional siblings are always crowd pleasers. "Martian Child" stars the annoying Joan Cusack and her decreasingly talented brother John in a story about how his adoption a child who claims to be from Mars. Another holiday feel-good film, "August Rush," features that precocious boy-toy, Freddie Highmore. Highmore plays an orphan who by means of music, finds his biological and exceptionally good looking parents, Kerri Russell and Johnathan Rhys Myers. Robin Williams also plays a cowboy street musician. It couldn't be worse than his performance in "RV."

A movie you can see with your persnickety grandpa

A movie made by old men for old men, "The Bucket List" boasts not one, but two iconic, Academy Award winning actors, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. However, Nicholson is definitely not playing it cool, and Freeman is not talking about penguins. Both play aging men with terminal illnesses who find themselves laid up in the same hospital room. They proceed to make a list of everything they want to do before they die and find out more about each other in the process. Spoiler: They go skydiving.

Movies you should see with your fart-joking, video game-playing brother

Judd Apatow has become the gold standard for raunchy comedy, producing everything from "Talladega Nights" to the infamous "Superbad." Now comes his version of "Walk The Line," "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story," starring John C. Reilly as Dewey Cox in the story of a musical legend and his rock n' roll journey from a child blues prodigy to a breakfast sausage brand name. On the action side of the holiday movie selection "Hitman," based on the namesake video game series, provides a little testosterone break from wrapping paper and Christmas lights. You might recognize Agent 47 as Timothy Olyphant, who played John McClean's nemesis in the equally action packed "Live Free or Die Hard."

A movie to see with your brother who lives in the basement and reads Norse mythology in his spare time

With a little more excitement than the dramatic readings your Advanced Placement (AP) English teacher did in high school, "Beowulf" comes to the big screen with a "300"-like feel. If Vikings slashing monsters with swords isn't enough excitement, there's always the prospect of seeing a naked Angelina Jolie to entice any male family member to join you. Honestly, a screenplay by Pulp Fiction creator Roger Avary and fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman, plus Angie in the nude & what's not to love?

A movie to see with your eccentric, misfit Aunt Matilda

Nicole Kidman is just about as polarizing as Hillary Clinton, but her performance in "Margot at the Wedding" has received positive reviews. Kidman plays Margot, a witty writer who has chosen to reconnect herself with her estranged family prior to her sister's wedding. The movie also features a darker Jack Black, who seems to do the serious comedian thing a lot better than Jim Carrey.

Movies to see with your Sister who loved "The Notebook"

If you haven't seen the trailers for "Juno" it's the standard issue, tissue-required chick flick with the standard twist: teen pregnancy and an awesome boyfriend who happens to have a terminal illness. The shocker is that "Juno" looks like it doesn't suck. With "Arrested Development"'s Michael Cera, how could it?

Here's to hoping your holiday movie viewing is merry and your movie screen, bright.

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