Christmas With the Kranks
Predictable holiday comedy celebrate suburban conformity
Every year about this time, Hollywood feels obliged to give us at least one “holiday” movie. That is, one fluffy, family-oriented film set during the actual holiday season just to remind us that, yes, this is the holiday season. I'm pretty sure we could figure it out without Hollywood's help, but we're still greeted every year with The Santa Clause 2 or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Unfortunately, for every A Christmas Story that comes our way, we get two or three Surviving Christmases. Among the holiday offerings stuffed into this year's stocking is Christmas With the Kranks.
Charitable Cinema—On Saturday, Dec. 4, Youth In Transition, Inc. will present a Short Film Series at The Guild Cinema in Nob Hill from 11 p.m. to 3 p.m. YIT, Albuquerque's drop-in center for homeless youth, has gone through some difficult times of late with the destruction of the group's facility and the arrest (and eventual acquittal) of founder Donna Rowe. This Short Film Series will present seven films/videos documenting homelessness in Albuquerque. Among the films to be screened are “Escape from the Streets” by the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, “Waking Up on Central” by Beverly Singer and “Give Us Your Poor” by Michael Mierendorf. Time permitting, they will also screen the complete police surveillance video which was used to “illegitimately arrest Donna Rowe and hold her on a $1 million bond.” Tickets are $10 to $100 on a sliding scale and all proceeds go to help YIT, which is struggling to keep its doors open this winter.
Sober look our our nation's sexual history still stirs up controversy
Earlier this month, the makers of Alfie blamed their film's box office failure on the recent reelection of George W. Bush. While that may be stretching the boundaries of the blame game a bit far, there is a certain truth to the idea that America has suddenly become a very conservative nation--at least on the surface. If audiences couldn't handle a little comedy/drama about a womanizing Brit, what are they going to think about a biopic about the father of the Sexual Revolution?
Thanksgiving Around the Dial
Let's face it: The only reason for getting up on Thanksgiving morning is to watch the “Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade” (KOB-4 9 a.m.). This year's 78th annual affair runs for three whole hours, ensuing you won't miss a single float, marching band or freezing Broadway performer. Hosts of little consequence include Katie Couric, Matt Lauer. Guest stars include Kelsey Grammer, Jimmy Smits, Tony Shalhoub and Nikki Cox. The “CBS All-American Thanksgiving Parade” (KRQE-13 7 a.m.) consists largely of the exact same Macy's parade, but is disguised under a more patriotic name and features a slightly earlier air time. FOX, trying its best to one-up New York, offers “America's Thanksgiving Parade” (KASA-2 9 a.m.), a one-hour special from Detroit featuring floats, balloons, bands and (I would think) random muggings.
The Week in Sloth
“8 Simple Rules” (KOAT-7 7 p.m.) ABC's Friday night sitcom lineup (including “Complete Savages” and “Hope & Faith”) gets into the holiday spirit with a run of Thanksgiving-themed episodes. Odds are somebody's kid will lose a part in the school play, or somebody will hide a live turkey in the bathroom to protect it from being killed or some sweet old person from across the street will be invited over for dinner as part of a “very special episode”--you know the drill by now.
Fantasy-filled biopic soars with imagination, emotion
Finding Neverland sits more or less on the opposite end of the spectrum from Kinsey, this week’s other biopic offering. Both are intelligent, well-made and worthy Oscar contenders. They have wildly different subject matters, however, and approach them from completely divergent ends. Whereas Kinsey is brainy, mature and thought-provoking, Finding Neverland is creative, whimsical and emotional.