Notes from the back row 

Great Preparations for an Incredible Christmas

T’was the day after Thanksgiving, for our friends in the States

And shopping malls everywhere began to open their gates.

The sale items were hung in the aisles with care,

In hopes that consumers, would soon be there.

Thanksgiving Day weekend, only the box office can tell

Which movies will flop, and which movies will sell.

Are you ready? It is Christmas you know, tomorrow. Well pretty much. For our classic holiday viewing director Joe Sharp ( Revenge of the Nerds II , Streets of Gold ) brings us Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd and a special guest appearance by Cheech Marin in Christmas with the Kranks . In the film Allen, who plays Luther Krank, decides that since his daughter is going to be away this year, it would be nice to skip Christmas. Maybe go on vacation with his wife, (Curtis) and bask in the sunshine. It sounds amazing actually, although the rest of his small tight-knit town has a big problem with it.

Then, of course, being the fickle female she is, their daughter decides at the last minute to come home for the holidays, and they have 12 hours to make Christmas happen. You know it’s going to be full of crazy Christmas Eve escapades. Functioning on that day alone is hard enough. I’m interested to see how they handle themselves. I heard that Tim Allen doesn’t get hurt in it either.

Pixar, the company with the cute little lamp as their mascot, amazes us once again with the unfolding advancements in digital animation. The Incredibles are a family of ex superheroes who were forced by the government to go into a witness relocation program to protect them from an old nemesis of Mr. Incredible. Bill Parr’s (a.k.a. Mr. Incredible) nostalgia for heroism is still strong, and when he takes the opportunity to play the role of a superhero once again, he ends up being caught in a trap. The rest of his family must reveal their super selves to come to his rescue. Wheeee!

Apparently, sometime around June 10, 323 BC, Alexander the Great died at the age of 33. Like all Macedonians, Alexander liked his liquor; his fondness for wine also caused some of his outbursts of rage. Alexander liked drama, the flute and the lyre, poetry and hunting. What he truly wanted in his life was glory and valour, rather than easy living and riches. "I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity…."

It’s a good thing then that Hollywood decided to finally option his script. Now, he will live eternally in the eyes of film critics and cynical movie-goers everywhere. Alexander , the newest saga from Oliver Stone ( JFK, Natural Born Killers ) came out this week. Colin Farrell plays Alexander the Great, alongside Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins and Feet Banks’ main female weakness, Angelina Jolie.

Did you know that Jolie has a tattoo of a blue window on her lower back? She claims it's because no matter where she is at any point in her life she always finds herself looking out a window wishing to be elsewhere.

This does not say anything about the film though. I’m sure three hours of glorified Macedonian history directed by the great Oliver Stone is beneficial to everyone. P.S. But don’t forget to bring a pillow.

At Village 8 Nov. 26-Dec. 2: Christmas With the Kranks; National Treasure; Spongebob SquarePants; The Incredibles; After the Sunset; Polar Express; Bridget Jones 2; Alexander. Dec. 2 only: Motorcycle Diaries.

At Rainbow Theatre Nov. 26-Dec. 2: Ladder 49

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