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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

my week at the movies: ‘Avatar,’ ‘Invictus,’ ‘Crazy Heart’

Seems like we’ve been hearing about it forever, and now it’s finally here. I’m a bit mystified, though, that the NYC press screenings of Avatar (opens in the U.K. on December 17, and in the U.S. on December 18) are not taking place in the one true IMAX theater in Manhattan but at one of those fakey retrofitted IMAXish places. *sigh*

I was supposed to see Invictus (opens in the U.S. on December 11, and in the U.K. on February 5, 2010) last week, but the awards screening I’d RSVPed for ended up overbooked, so I gave up my seat, knowing I’d have another opportunity to see it this week. And then I received an awards screener via FedEx this morning, which is even better. Some movies need to be seen on a big screen. I’m not sure this is one of them.

This time of year it’s like, well, Christmas for a film critic: Elves in FedEx blue or UPS brown ring the bell and hand me packages containing all sorts of DVDs for films the studios are pushing for awards. I’ll watch Crazy Heart (opens in the U.S. on December 16; no U.K. release date has been announced yet) on another screener that arrived today. And maybe I’ll get through some of the other screeners in the pile this week, too. I’ve seen almost everything on offer by now, though, so the next couple weeks — through New Year’s — will be very light on screenings.

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