LABJ FORUM: Seasonal Movie Going
Retailers ailed during the Christmas season, but Hollywood was going full throttle. As usual, the last few weeks of the year were a time for the studio’s to release their most prized films no doubt to garner attention for the upcoming awards season. And the box office stayed busy, befitting a year in which U.S. movie-ticket sales totaled $9.3 billion, up at least 11 percent from 2001. So the Business Journal asks: Have you seen any of the new holiday movies?
I saw “Chicago” and I absolutely loved it. I loved the energy, the editing, the directing and there were outstanding performances by Renee Zelwegger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere, all of whom use their own voices and whatever dancing skills they have. It captured the same excitement of the stage presentation. I’ve heard some critics say it’s the best American musical ever. Well, I’ve seen “Singing in the Rain” probably 20 times. “Chicago” I’ll see once more.
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I’ve seen a few. I saw “Two Weeks Notice,” because I was looking for a comedy. It was like one of those old Spencer Tracy movies where enemies fall in love. I saw “Adaptation” and I thought that was good. Some of these holiday movies are pretty serious, and I want to laugh. I heard gruesome things about that “Gangs of New York,” so I didn’t go to that. I was going to take my grandkids to “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” but they went without me.
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The only one I’ve seen so far is “Catch Me if You Can.” I saw it with my wife my mother-in-law and my uncle, and the theater was packed. It was not only an amazing story, intricately told, but there were some amazing performances. It’s amazing to me the amount of detail they were able to get into the movie, but still have it be accessible and entertaining. There are a lot more movies on my “to see” list. But this one I went to because I just needed a fun night at the movies.
I saw “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” I loved the first “Lord of the Rings” movie and I thought the effects were great, so I was really looking forward to “The Two Towers.” I saw it in Westwood at midnight the day it came out, which was the first public showing in Los Angeles. It was packed, 900 people, and it was a very enthusiastic crowd. The movie was different than I thought, though. The first “Lord of the Rings” was an action adventure. “The Two Towers” was more like a western or war movie.
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I saw “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” I enjoyed it because it was a richly filmed, and I read the books many years ago. I enjoyed the first movie, so that’s why I picked it. However, I was ultimately unsatisfied. I have to wait until next year to find out how it ends. The second movie in a trilogy is always tough to tell. I was with my kids and they wanted to see it. I still have a bunch on my list like “Gangs of New York.” And I still haven’t seen “Frida.”