Renaissance Column

HOLIDAYS 1998 | VOL. 2, NO. 7



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At a Glance


  • Dawson's Creek (The WB)
  • Felicity (The WB)
  • Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS)


  • James Patterson


  • The Thin Red Line
  • The Prince of Egypt
  • A Civil Action


  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

    --Rob Gallo


    Holiday Entertainment
    The Holiday Season Brings Out the Very Best

    in the Entertainment World


    It's Christmas time, and that means the arts and entertainment world is in full tilt trying to sell its products to all of us consumers. This provides me with plenty of material for this month's thoughts

    Enemy of the State For those of you who are turned off by Hollywood's shift to more serious movies this time of year, don't miss "Enemy of the State". The National Security Agency is after Will Smith, playing a labor attorney, because he has something they want, but Smith's character has no idea why they are chasing him. The government is willing to do anything in its power to get what they want, and along the way the viewer is treated to some awesome, if not scary, displays of technology. Directed by Tony Scott and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the movie is more intelligent than the duo's last couple of films (Con Air, The Rock), but just as action packed. Will Smith shows that he can carry a film, and the extensive supporting cast including Gene Hackman, Jason Robards, Gabriel Byrne, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet, Jason Lee ("Chasing Amy"), Regina King ("Jerry Maguire", also of "227" fame), and even Bulldog from "Frasier" make the movie even better. The only drawback is that the cast will have you asking the person next to you "Is that the guy from..." throughout the movie

    A major bonus for all of you who see "Enemy of the State" is the trailer for the new Star Wars movie, "Episode 1: The Phantom Menace", scheduled for release in May 1999. It is always hard to judge a movie by its trailer, but this one looks like it is worth the sixteen year wait since "Return of the Jedi"

    For those of you who, like me, welcome the studios shift to more serious fare, this holiday season promises to be a movie goer's delight. Christmas day alone, falling on a Friday this year, offers up five potential blockbusters. "Patch Adams", starring Robin Williams as a radical medical student could garner Williams another Oscar nomination. "Stepmom", starring both Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon in a family drama could bring an Oscar nomination to either or both actresses. Also opening are three of the movies I mentioned last month, "You've Got Mail" (Dec. 18), "A Civil Action" and "A Thin Red Line". I will have to make some hard choices on what to see first

    For those of you still shopping for gifts, some potential suggestions:
    For your favorite younger brother or sister try the new Zelda game, "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" for Nintendo 64. It has the best graphics to date for a video game, and will keep even the smartest of kids busy for hours. And if they're not so smart (or an adult) busy for possibly months. The Blue Room For the adult on your list, how about tickets to the hottest play on Broadway, "The Blue Room". The play stars Nicole Kidman (right) and premiered in London to rave reviews. But be forewarned, for those of you who are more conservative, Kidman does not keep her clothes on for the entire play. That may explain the rave reviews and the sell-out crowds.

    For someone who needs a little holiday cheer, how about a great Christmas movie. Everybody loves "It's a Wonderful Life", so I'll leave that off my list. But here are six of my favorites:

    • "A Miracle on 34th Street" - the black and white version, not Ted Turner's crappy colorized version
    • "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" (the original of course) - it still looks great after all these years
    • "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" - a classic for all ages, no matter how many times you see it
    • "A Charlie Brown Christmas" - the Peanuts gang do a great Christmas pageant
    • "A Christmas Story" for those who like to laugh ("You'll shoot your eye out.")
    • "Home Alone" - watching Macauley Culkin terrorize Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern always makes me laugh

    For the DVD fan don't miss some great deals on the internet. is selling three DVD's for a $1, if you can ever connect with their site. offers 50% off retail price, with a great selection, and $1 shipping for orders of three or more. and offer 50% off on the more popular DVD's. Stock up because these dealers are selling at a loss, so these prices will not last long

    Patrick Ewing A final thought. It looks like the cancellation of the NBA season is going to be a reality in the next couple of weeks. Both sides are to blame, but the players should use this free time to do something most of them never got to do before joining the NBA, finish their college degree. Instead of selling sneakers or playing pickup games in their spare time they could send a message to the kids who idolize them, by finishing off their degrees

    Until next month...


    ROB GALLO of Wethersfield, CT, is a staff writer and the movie guru of Renaissance Online Magazine.

    PICTURE of Nicole Kidman copyright ©1998 Newsweek "Hot Ticket" 12.14.98

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