The Tangential Thinker

Sure, it’s Halloween. We’re used to the standard-issue horror fare. And it’s Oscar season, so we’re ready for some heady stuff. However, it is also the holiday season, and we know the kind of fun, madcap family comedies we can expect…or can we? It seems that despite Obama’s presence in the White House, Hollywood is still in a bad mood…well not so much bad as bleak. Let’s see what’s on the schedule for this holiday season.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol

Nov. 6

    What’s that you say? A Christmas movie at Christmastime? Are you even allowed to say Christmas anymore? Shouldn’t it be Disney’s A Holiday Carol? But I digress. The simple fact that The Mouse added ‘Disney’ to the title is jaded enough, I suppose…and it’s 3D to add to the tackiness. Maybe I’m just being a curmudgeon. The kids will love this updated classic.

The Box

Nov. 6

    The innocuous title has me worried—that and the rotating door of release dates for this Cameron Diaz-James Marsden thriller. The premise: a mysterious man delivers the struggling couple a box with a button. Press the button, you get $1 million, but someone somewhere will die because of your action. Now I’d be pushing that thing all day long, but apparently these characters are in a quandary…we’ll see.

The Fourth Kind

Nov. 6

    Continuing on our path to the dark side, The Fourth Kind is a reference to alien encounters. The first kind being a sighting; the second being, I don’t know, maybe some kind of shared meal; the third kind, say a handshake or a kiss good night; and the fourth kind is going all the way, by which I mean abduction. This film takes the Blair Witch/ Paranormal Activity route of pretending it’s an amateur documentary. “Based on a true story” or “inspired by actual events” so you know it really happened.

The Men Who Stare at Goats

Nov. 6

    Hurray, a comedy. And what would the premise of this comedy be? It’s about a top secret military operation consisting of men who use their psychic abilities, instead of guns, to defeat their enemies. Stars George Clooney and Ewan McGregor, and it looks hilarious.


Nov. 13

    And the roller coaster ride to hell continues. Here we have 2012, the day the Mayan calendar predicts the apocalypse—of course even the Mayans claim that is not the case, but go with it. John Cusack plays a dad on a seemingly innocent road trip with his family when the world starts to blow up. Filmmaker Roland Emmerich (Indepen dence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) gets his special effect on: collapsing mountain ranges, destroying cities and of course he throws in the requisite CGI tidal wave. Order the large popcorn and lose a few IQ points.

New Moon

Nov. 13

     It’s the Twilight sequel. If you don’t know about it, you really need to get out more.

The Road

Nov. 25

…and if we survive 2012 we have The Road. Self-declared ‘retired’ actor Viggo Mortensen stars here as a father in a post-apocalyptic world trying to get himself and his son to safety. Based on the popular Cormac McCarthy bestseller, this is another film whose release date has bounced all over the calendar, but the Weinsteins chose the untimely holidays for their end-of-mankind film.

    So that’s what’s down the pike. Have a holly jolly…and maybe rent Home Alone.

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