LAST | November Thoughts
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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
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 the DVD fan don't miss some great deals on the internet. 800.com is selling three DVD's for a $1, if you can ever connect with their site. Bestbuy.com offers 50% off retail price, with a great selection, and $1 shipping for orders of three or more. Amazon.com and Buy.com 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
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