A look at what's to come

Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's the holiday season, and everybody has a ton of stuff on their minds. What do Mom and Dad need for Christmas? What do you want for Christmas? How do you stomach the annoying drunken stupor of your uncle this year? It should therefore be assumed that some things will slip your mind in the coming weeks.

Courtesy Of Paramount Pictures
Courtesy Of Paramount Pictures

That goes for Hollywood, too, because they pretty much forgot to premier any worthwhile movies last weekend (sorry, "Punisher: War Zone," but you are supposed to be alarmingly terrible and Juneau wanted nothing to do with you).

For the purposes of this column, there was "The Secret Life of Bees" but that ends tomorrow - so what would be the point?

Thus, it's time once again to unveil the chances-it's-worth-your-cash (CIWYC) ratings for the upcoming holiday-season flicks. It's the most I can afford to give you, folks, in these economic times.

'The Day the Earth Stood Still' (12/12): Unless your power has been out for the past couple of weeks, you have already seen 879 trailers for this remake. Keanu Reeves is in it, giving it an automatic "The Matrix" vibe. So is Will Smith's kid (more on that later), Jaden. The original is a classic, but since it has been more than 50 years since it came out I guess the remake was inevitable. Aliens come to earth, so do some really cool looking robots (so of course Keanu was perfect). It might be awful, but it does have "big screen" written all over it. (CIWYC - 75%)

'Seven Pounds' (12/19): One week after son Jaden's movie comes out, father Will hits the screen. I wonder if there's a Smith family bet on which movie does better ... but I digress. Gabriele Muccino, who directed 2006's "The Pursuit of Happyness," again teams with the biggest star on planet Earth (whether it is standing still or not). Previews are purposely vague - much to the chagrin of my girlfriend - but Smith plays an IRS agent with a dark secret who has set about to drastically change the lives of seven strangers. Why? How? Only one way to find out. (CIWYC - 91%)

'Yes Man' (12/19): This is the Jim Carrey we all know and love from "Liar Liar." Carey plays a man who challenges himself to say "yes" to everything and anything for an entire year. Imagine the possibilities! And honestly, who better to play such a role? The previews are quite promising. I just have to dock it on the CIWYC scale because director Peyton Reed's credits include "Bring It On." (CIWYC - 65%)

'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' (12/25): Brad Pitt is Benjamin Button; Benjamin Button is a man aging backwards. Yep, you got it. Obviously this has some bizarre consequences for Button and the people around him, such as Cate Blanchett. David Fincher directs this adaptation of an F. Scott Fitzgerald story. Fincher's forte is more along the suspense-thriller lines, but it should be fascinating either way to see what these talented folks do with such a potentially captivating tale. (CIWYC - 82%)

'Valkyrie' (12/25): Because nothing says "Christmas" like a plot to assassinate Hitler. That's their tagline. OK, it isn't. That is, however, what this Christmas-day release is about. It's a true story, and an extraordinary one at that. I admit I knew nothing about it, either, until looking into the movie. Bryan Singer directs, Tom Cruise stars, and we already know the ending is not a happy one. Yet, I am anxious to see it. Maybe just not on Christmas day. (CIWYC - 65%)

As usual with this column, there just are not enough words! Apologies to those who missed the cut.

Chances-this-column-helps-you-decide-on-which-movies-to-see, 50%.

• Check out Carson's movie blog at www.juneaublogger.com/movies.

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