Notes from the back row 

Blood, popcorn, snowboarding

According to the Internet, if you eat popcorn and drink blood at the same time you run the risk of contracting the AIDS virus. Apparently the popcorn kernels can cause tiny, undetected lacerations to your gums and mouth. Then the infected blood seeps in and next thing you know everyone is laughing at you for taking the new Twilight movie way too seriously.

Twilight , opening Friday at the Village 8 (or Thursday at midnight if you are really keen) is the new Vampire love-story movie adapted from those Stephanie Meyer novels that seem to have taken the world (or at least all the lonely housewives and teenage girls in the world) by storm. There were no critics’ previews available for this one, which usually means the producers/film company are scared it will get slammed. And it probably will — by many accounts the story, about Bella, a teen who falls in love with Edward, a vampire who doesn’t drink human blood, is juvenile at best.

Directed by Catherine Hardwick ( Lords of Dogtown, Thirteen) Twilight is two hours long, rated PG-13 for violence and one sensual scene (but only one), and has been hyped up enough that theatres should be full all weekend as all the goth kids leave their dark little caves to come out and wish their lives were just as pasty-faced and faux-dangerous as those on the screen.

Much younger kids and media-savvy dog lovers will also be out this weekend to check out Bolt , the latest animated feature from Disney. Even though John Travolta does the voice of Bolt, a TV show super-dog actor who believes he actually has wondrous powers, the film is otherwise top-notch and should increase pet adoption rates worldwide.

Bolt is tricked out of his Hollywood lifestyle by some cats and ends up in New York, still believing himself to be a superhero, where he hooks up with Mittens, an alley cat, and Rhino, a hamster who’s a big fan of Bolt’s show, for the life-lesson-riddled journey back to L.A. and his beloved TV owner Penny.

Bolt is a bit run of the mill, not as risky as Pixar’s Wall- E, but Disney is hoping this might be the Old Yeller or Fox and the Hound for the next generation and so they’ve brought in the big guns — Miley Cyrus — to voice Penny. Thanks to the Hannah Montana phenomena, Miley is as big as it gets in the kiddie market. (Creepily, her weird dad Billy Rae also seems happy to push her into the ‘sex sells’ arena and seemingly has no problem setting her up with a 20-year old boyfriend/co-songwriter.) Regardless (or because) of that, Bolt should do just fine at the box office.

Speaking of Box Offices, it’s a good time of the year for local film fans. The Whistler Film Festival is just around the corner and this year’s line-up looks incredible. As well, you can celebrate the pending arrival of shred season by hitting up the hottest snowboard premier of the year, All Day Every Day, the latest HD movie from Sandbox. Known for mind-blowing riding, tons of local talent, and ultra-creative intro segments, the Sandbox crew is going high class this year and screening their flick in the luxurious Westin Hotel’s Emerald Ballroom. If you only see one premier this season, this is the one. Tix are $10 at the door but I’d get them in advance at the Circle or Showcase. No blood drinking here, but they’ve got three bars in the room so let the good times roll.

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