XMAS REPORT: You know what I did for X-MAS? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Didn’t hang out with anyone and only left my house to watch movies (saw four). It was amazing. Since the end of SUNDAY-FUNDAY in AUGUST, I’ve been traveling non-stop almost every weekend, sometimes more. It’s been fantastic. I never once imagined that I’d be doing anything like this, but I’ve had the opportunity, and I’ve seized it. I’ve pushed myself to the point of exhaustion and beyond, accomplishing goal after goal and as funny as it sounds, finally figuring out what I wanna do with my life. IHEARTCOMIX is that. What we’re planning and what we’re making it to be, is, in a sense, a totally accumulation of everything I’ve ever loved in my life. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes and I’ve never been this dedicated to anything before. I want to make sure I do the best job possible, so to make sure I do that, I’m canceling and/or postponing a few trips and taking the next few months to really buckle down and work. Plus, and more importantly, I miss my home and my friends. I’ve been gone too long and I’m very, very tired. Back to XMAS, I don’t really celebrate. I find the holiday to be too commercial and I’m not much of a religious person either. I did talk to my mother, which is always a blast (love you mom!), but I don’t really get into it. I think the holiday got ruined for me in 6th grade when we moved across the street from the guy who held the record for the most XMAS lights in the state of INDIANA. It was worse than the house in NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION. He’d have his unveiling and they’d bring SANTA CLAUSE in on a fire truck. He’d blast XMAS music through a p.a. speaker at all hours of the day and night at full volume. We didn’t live in a nice neighborhood either, just a one level, 5 room house in a low income suburban neighborhood by the school. It was hell. I haven’t felt the same way about the holiday since. X-MAS is a great excuse to see movies though. I saw four, but I’ll throw KONG in for kicks (I saw it in SEATTLE). Here’s a quick review: WALK THE LINE: I found the film to be very entertaining. The music was great, REESE WITHERSPOON was fantastic, I even enjoyed JOAQUIN PHEONIX as CASH. I’m a sucker for music biopics and love stories. This movie provided them both. Still, as much as I found myself really getting into it, I couldn’t help but think to myself that I’ve seen this movie before. I found multiple similarities to RAY, LA BAMBA and BUDDY HOLLY, among others. There has to be a different way to tell the story of a musician from the 50’s/60’s then always focusing on their dead brother or some other tragedy. Each (except for RICHIE VALENS and BUDDY HOLLY) had long, fruitful careers. Why not explore that? It seemed fresh when RAY redid the approach, with WALK THE LINE, I felt like I was only getting half the story. MUNICH: In the days leading up to watching this movie, I’d only heard rave reviews. I was excited and curious to see what SPIELBERG was going to accomplish with such a serious and controversial topic. The answer: not much. MUNICH is a waste of time. Sure, the acting is alright, it’s shot and directed well, but that doesn’t make a good movie. It’s entertaining, and that’s the problem. Tell me, what exactly is fun about 11 people being brutally murdered and then a government hiring assassins to hunt down and kill the people responsible for those murders? The movie felt more like CATCH ME IF YOU CAN than a serious examination of the tragic events and it’s metaphorical reflection to our world’s current problems, which, I suppose, it was meant to be. The movie is also very one sided. I don’t like terrorists either, but that doesn’t mean everyone in the MIDDLE EAST is a fanatic and the attempts to balance the issue are pathetic at best. Every person in the movie who tries to explain the ARAB point of view, also just so happens to be terrorist or fanatic themselves. The main moral of the story is ‘violence begets violence.’ And to that I say, “Really?” The ISREALI’s in the film, much like our own government, at some point need to take some personal responsibility for actions taken against them and vice versa. It’s one of the first things I learned in physics class, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The only thing SPIELBERG accomplishes with this movie is fanning the flames of rage we can only assume he’s trying to help extinguish. In his favor, I am looking forward to INDIANA JONES 4. NEW WORLD: I walked into NEW WORLD with only mild expectations. I knew director TERRENCE MALICKS’s other work, but the trailers for this film only made it seem so so. What I got out of it in the end, what I walked away with from that movie was something entirely different. It ripped me in half. I walked out of the theatre stunned and shaking, reexamining past relationships and questioning certain choices I’ve made in my life. What’s essentially advertised as the POCAHANTIS story, accomplishes so much more. It’s not only a biopic and it’s not just a love story, it’s two life stories, beginning with one, intersecting and then continuing with the other. The time and setting are basically inconsequential as the subject matter and how the story is told pierces though any time and cultural barriers. I found myself relating to the relationships and thoughts of the characters in such an intimate way that I wanted to be there. I wanted to go back in time, have a couple do-overs. New comer, Q’ORIANKA KILCHER, as the Indian princess was amazing and utterly believable. The acting over all was superb. The movie was shot and edited beautifully and probably had the best score I’ve ever heard in a movie, evoking and sucking the emotion out of you. If I had four thumbs, I’d give it that. Highly recommended. CAPOTE: I saw this one last night. It’s another winner. Pretty much hands down you cant go wrong with PHILLIP SEYMORE HOFFMAN (even as the villain in MI:3). The movie is everything you’d expect, entertaining, funny at times, sad at times, informative, etc…. Without getting into the story too much, its only real downfall is in the 3rd act as HOFFMAN’s character falls into a depression while trying to finish his novel. The movie begins to drag as they keep beating you over the head with his emotional state. The whole thing pulls back together at the end, but they could have taken out 15 minutes and you wouldn’t have missed a thing. Overall, a great film. KING KONG: PETER JACKSON pulls it off again! Just about everything about this film is spectacular. Much like the first time I saw JURASSIC PARK when I was a kid, when the characters in that film drive over a hill and first set their eyes on the dinosaurs and their jaws drop, then the camera shows what their seeing and mine dropped as well, I believed dinosaurs were real. JACKSON does the same with KONG, only he multiplies it by 10. The cgi animation is so superb in this movie and the violence and actions of the characters so believable, I found myself feeling sorry for and proud of whoever animated them at the same time. It must have been hell as JACKSON changed, modified and kept asking for more, but the end product is so awesome that if I were them, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. That’s not to say the acting wasn’t superb. NAOMI WATTS does an amazing job, you understand KONG’s fascination with her. JACK BLACK pulls it off as well. His being cast in the movie seemed questionable at first, but it works and he fleshes out his character superbly. ADRIAN BRODY, on the other hand, seemed a bit lacking. I never quite connected with his character in the way I think the audience was meant to. KING KONG’s only real major draw back is it’s length. Running over 3 hours, I felt like they could have cut out at least 45 min of the movie and would have still accomplished it’s goal, and maybe would have been more powerful. With the LORD OF THE RINGS movie’s extended editions, in my mind, were the real movies, but with KONG, I could have waited for the extra footage. It makes me a little afraid of what the dvd will bring. And there you go. I could go much more in depth with each of these, but who’d want to read that? If anyone wants to challenge or discuss my opinions, get in touch. Happy holidays everyone.