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Movies – Nov 2007

November, 2007
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this christmas

This Christmas

The holidays are a time for families to gather around the good stuff, share happiness and offer support. Of course in Hollywood it’s never that simple and there’s always some drama brewing under it all. But isn’t life like that anyway? In this seasonal piece you’ll find a host of interesting characters, that all-important seasonal atmosphere and even the ubiquitous comfy sweaters people tend to wear when at home during Christmas. For an all-round feel good story, check this one out. As the tagline says, you can’t exchange family!

Director: Preston Whitmore
Starring: Delroy Lindo, Mekhi Phifer, Regina King
Rating: PG-13

golden compass

The Golden Compass

Helping make the most of the festive adventure niche, this film stars teen Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra, a kid growing up in England’s Oxford university. She soon become embroiled in a cosmic battle for magical dust found only in the north pole, which is invariably tied to Christmas and good old Santa. Lyra joins magicians and mystical creatures in a timely storytelling and effects-rich escapade that’s got just the right amount of magic we all crave this time of year. Plus some big talent to boot!

Director: Chris Weitz
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Ian McKellen
Rating: PG
 

grace is gone

Grace is Gone

It isn’t cheer and happiness all the time, as the characters in this movie reveal so eloquently. When the family’s mother is killed in action in Iraq, the father decides to take his two daughters on a road trip of bonding, challenges and discovery. It is also a journey meant to delay telling the kids about what happened to their mother, and so the as audience is taken along for the ride, they also join in the struggles a family must face when dealing with such overwhelming tragedy. Better get those boxes of tissues ready!

Director: James C. Strouse
Starring: John Cusack, Gracie Bednarczyk, Shélan O’Keefe
Rating: PG-13

alvin

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Combining animation with live action, Alvin and the Chipmunks is perfect for relieving any pressures and easing your mind off the worries of the world on the eve of your holiday of choice. It’s a fun story about a band of cuddly, yet oddly chic and cool, chipmunks, as they take to performing their bubbly music and meeting all manner of interesting people.

The film is a remake of a 1980’s television series of the same name, and it’s interesting for its mix of cartoon comedy and actual thespians. Be there when the music starts.

Director: Tim Hill
Starring: Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Jason Lee, Janice Karman
Rating: PG

water horse

The Water Horse

Slated to come out on Christmas day in many markets, The Water Horse looks like a lot of fun. It’s also a mix of real footage and animation, this time set in Scotland and revolving around a mythological creature that becomes the good friend and protector of kid Angus. Set in World War II, the story takes a look at period life as well as timeless values like friendship, courage and curiosity. It touches upon urban legends about the infamous Loch Ness monster, and has something in store for everyone. 

Director: Jay Russell
Starring: Alex Etel, Brian Cox, Emily Watson 
Rating: PG 

 

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

The first National Treasure movie was an enjoyable romp that was equal parts Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider and a Disney family flick, and its sequel seems to feature much of the same attractive action-meets-history-lesson blend.

Jaded adventurer Ben Gates this time has to face an elaborate conspiracy centered on a rare and powerful book only elected presidents can access, with the plot driven by links to the assassination of cherished leader Abraham Lincoln. In true holiday fashion, Gates and his merry gang of treasure hunters end up in seats of power from Buckingham Palace to the White House, so why not get in on the action? 

Director: Jon Turtletaub
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger, Peter Greenwood
Rating: PG

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