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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘The Secret Life of Bees,’ ‘Body of Lies,’ ‘Good Dick,’ ‘Eagle Eye,’ ‘RocknRolla,’ ‘Religulous’

The jetlag is lingering — I’m wide awake at 3am, and ready to collapse by 5pm — but I’m forcing myself back into the swing of things with a full slate of movies.

It’s South Carolina, 1964, and all cannot be well, can it? The Secret Life of Bees (opens wide October 17) is a young girl’s coming-of-age story, featuring interracial friendship and beekeeping. I predict a few stings will be in the offing along the way. Should be worth the time, though, with a cast including the likes of Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, and Sophie Okonedo.

The cast is the big draw for me when it comes to Body of Lies (opens October 10), too, which I mentioned earlier. Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio will surely be explosive together. I just hope the movie beyond them doesn’t end up feeling like we’ve seen it all before.

It was winner of the New Directors Award at the 2008 Edinburgh Film Festival and an official selection at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, so Good Dick (opens limited October 10) is not what it sounds like. It’s a romance, and a young woman’s sexual awakening, but it’s written and directed by an actual woman — Marianna Palka — so it should have some actual insight into what it means to be a woman, and not merely be some guy’s idea of it.

The rest of the week will be all catching up on stuff I missed while I was away. I must see Eagle Eye (now playing) if only to figure out why it’s doing so well at the box office. (Plus, Shia is adorable.) RocknRolla opens here in NYC tomorrow (and everywhere else on October 31), and I don’t expect it to be more than just another slice of Guy Ritchie, but that’s fine. And of course I cannot pass up Bill Maher’s takedown of how America misuses faith in Religulous (now playing limited).



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