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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘The Young Victoria,’ ‘The Box,’ ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats,’ ‘The Private Lives of Pippa Lee,’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

Here it’s already Wednesday, and I’m just getting around to this now. But that’s okay, actually, because my “week” at the movies pretty much begins today.

I did see The Young Victoria (already available on DVD in the U.K.; opens in the U.S. on December 18) yesterday, and I quite liked it. But today and tomorrow are the onslaught, and a rather disturbing one. For three out of four of these movies open this Friday, and I’m just seeing them now.

Today I’ll start with The Box (opens in the U.S. on November 6, and in the U.K. on December 4), the thriller starring Cameron Diaz and — not that you’d know it from the poster — poor James Marsden. Then it’ll be on to The Men Who Stare at Goats (opens in the U.S. and the U.K. on November 6), which I really really hope will be as funny as the trailer suggests, but this late a screening isn’t promising.

Tomorrow, in the afternoon, is a screening with a relatively comfy long lead: The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (already available on DVD in the U.K.; opens in the U.S. on November 27), which appears to be about a woman’s midlife crisis, which we don’t usually see onscreen; Robin Wright Penn stars, and I usually like her, so my fingers are crossed.

But then, tomorrow evening, I have to catch one of the first midnight screenings of that nightmarish-looking A Christmas Carol (opens in the U.S. and the U.K. on November 6), starring a CGIed Jim Carrey in just about every role. This is because I’m still on Disney’s shitlist, and they didn’t invite me to the all-media screening that occured here on Monday night. Oh well. I don’t mind coming home on the subway at 2am.



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  • bracyman

    Are you crazy? You don’t announce your subway travel plans where just anyone could read them! You could be swarmed by fans asking for personalized snarky comments.

  • Tim1974

    I give you credit for even riding on the subway because this country boy has no intention of ever getting on one let alone at that time of the morning. Dang Wait….didn’t I just read that one of the DVDs in the ‘Jenny” series was called, “Jenny Rides the Subway ?”

  • CB

    So I don’t know that much about The Box, I think I saw a trailer once, but is it really just the “moral dilemma” of getting $1 million and having a stranger die?

    And does the press material for the movie spell out the obvious twist that the “stranger” that dies was the last person to use The Box? I mean who could believe that some mysterious organization goes around handing out millions of dollars to some people, and randomly killing others? Why would you trust such an organization to let you keep your money?

    Oh yeah, and I just now learned that the Christmas Carol thing starts Jim Carrey, double-ensuring I won’t go see it. Not that I don’t like Carrey in some things, but after seeing what they did to The Grinch, I can’t bear to watch him assist in the destruction of another holiday classic.

  • CB

    So I was actually curious and googled a bit, and discovered that this story is based on an 80s Twilight Zone episode called “Button, Button”, and I don’t know if this counts as a spoiler or not but um… LOL.

  • Paul

    I recieved a ticket in the mail to a sequel to “Christmas Carol” being put on at a conservative church. I found myself thinking, what are they going to do, turn Scrooge back into a Republican?

  • allochthon

    I’m very much looking forward to your review of “The Men Who Stare at Goats.”

  • Lisa

    i’ll see goats for Clooney’s tache and haircut alone

    wished I could have seen Pippa Lee but they didn’t show it in my local

    the Box – maybe they put a picture of Cameron Diaz on the poster so they can blame her when it crashes and burns

    xmas carol no interest

  • JT

    Oh jeez! More of Zemeckis’ creepy soulless creations. No thanks.

    Semi-looking forward to ‘The Men Who Stare At Goats’.

  • Jason M.

    JT, I assume you won’t be seeing RZ’s remake of “Yellow Submarine” then? Because newer is better.

  • MaryAnn

    I give you credit for even riding on the subway because this country boy has no intention of ever getting on one let alone at that time of the morning.

    Actually, the subway tends to be more crowded at 2am than it is at 2pm. Really.

    So I don’t know that much about The Box, I think I saw a trailer once, but is it really just the “moral dilemma” of getting $1 million and having a stranger die?

    No, it’s much, much more than that.

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