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Notes from the Back Row

Heads roll, Sandler doesn't

We have it pretty good. Sure, sure, the economy is in the crapper and it's looking like our oil-based lifestyle (and short-sighted politicians) will probably destroy the entire planet (or at least the good parts of it), but as far as the day-to-day grind goes, we really can't complain. Track down an old-timer who remembers what it was like to land on Juno Beach in WWII if you think you've got it tough these days. Whatever your problems are friend, they ain't squat compared to wading into a few battalions of Nazis and watching half your friends go down in the first hour.

This Friday is 11-11-11, Remembrance Day, and we should all pour some on the block for the brave men and women who fought and died to keep us free (or at least free enough to screw things up on our own). Ideally you should even hit up the ceremonies at your local cenotaph. Things get rolling around 10:45 a.m. and the bagpipes always sound good.

Hollywood is celebrating Novembrance Day with a big-time war picture called Immortals, a swords-and-sandals epic in the vein of 300 - all lubed up dudes and fast-slow action sequences. There were no sneak peaks on this one but it's R-rated, directed by the guy who made The Cell, and looks entertaining enough.

Immortals is a lavish Greek mythological tale about a regular stonemason (Henry Cavill, the actor slated for the next Superman) out to save the world from a power-hungry king (Mickey Rourke) and a band of badass titans. Expect some over-the-top dialogue and acting, especially from Rourke, but this one also stars Frieda Pinto ( Slumdog Millionaire) as a lithe oracle/love interest and, not unlike the subcompact automobile from Ford with the same name, this Pinto is dangerously hot. Immortals opens in 2D on Friday in Whistler only.

Squamish movie lovers get a cinematic kick in the nuts courtesy of Adam Sandler when Jack and Jill hits screens on Friday. Jack (Adam Sandler) is a successful guy with a great life who dreads the once-a-year visit of his twin sister Jill, also played by Adam Sandler. Sounds idiotic right? Don't worry, it gets worse. Director Dennis Dugan has this track record to show for the last 13 years - Grown Ups, Don't Mess with the Zohan, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, The Benchwarmers, National Security, Big Daddy, Beverly Hills Ninja. All garbage.

Okay, that last one wasn't that bad, and neither was Duncan's Saving Silverman but I think we can officially say Adam Sandler has lost it. Certainly he has moments but his talent is waning and when you start dressing in drag just to sell a stupid concept, well that's delving into Travolta and Eddie Murphy's territory - never a good thing. You had a nice run, Sandler, and Little Nicky will always rule but it's time to give it up.

The best flick running this week, other than Harold and Kumar's Christmas , is J. Edgar but it's only playing at the Whistler Village 8. Clint Eastwood directs and Leo DiCaprio stars as the FBI's first (and perhaps most tyrannical) director. Eastwood can craft a nice period piece and J. Edgar shares the same look as Changelin, but rather than delve into the psychology of Hoover, Clint seems happy to just put him on screen and watch him age and decay. The script isn't going to blow the roof off your mind either but DiCaprio and Eastwood pull together an interesting historical biopic of a tyrant.

Also, Twilight opens next Thursday. Get ready for lusty women and crazed little girls to storm the local theatres in droves. It should be the biggest movie of the year, a fact that also deserves a moment of silence.