Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Movie Poll

Year Of The Dog
Cave of the Yellow Dog
About A Boy

OK everybody, just when you thought the elections were over here I come with a new primary runoff. Now, for the first time, all the Thanksgiving guests get to officially vote on the movie they want to see. I've put together this list by searching for holiday family movies on Yahoo, AOL, and the Rotten Tomatoes web site. I also checked the Movie Mom reviewer ratings on Yahoo. Frankly, it was grim pickings. You'll be happy to know I passed on the Western serial killer comedy. If you want to do a write-in, just post a comment on the blog.

Here are the summaries:

  • 'A Prairie Home Companion' is a fictionalized account of Garrison Keillor's award-winning show, which currently runs on more than 558 public radio stations. The film follows the show's cast of characters preparing for the final live broadcast on the eve of being shut down after 30 years. The Johnson Sisters, Yolanda (Meryl Streep) and Rhonda (Lily Tomlin), are an aging country duet who've survived the country-fair circuit. Yolanda's daughter Lola (Lindsay Lohan) hopes to follow in her mother's footsteps but when she finally gets her big break to sing with the show, she forgets the words. Guy Noir (Kevin Klein) is a down and out private eye who moonlights as the backstage doorkeeper and Dusty and Lefty, (Woody Harrelson and John C Reily, respectively) the Old Trailhands, are a cowboy duo who have also been on the circuit for years. Add Virginia Madsen as an angel, Tommy Lee Jones as the Axeman, Maya Rudolph as a pregnant stagehand and Garrison Keillor himself in the role of emcee and you have a playful story set on a rainy Saturday night in St. Paul, Minnesota, where fans file into the Fitzgerald Theater to see 'A Prairie Home Companion,' a staple of radio station WLT, not knowing its been sold to a Texas conglomerate and tonight's show will be the last.
  • 'Christmas In The Clouds': Ray (Tim Vahle) has just returned from college to run a Native-American ski lodge. A laid-back place where employees' children play in the lobby and the handyman has a habit of macking on guests, the lodge isn't exactly four-star travel guide material. So when Ray learns that a travel guide representative is coming to make an inspection, he makes an executive decision to make the lodge a professional place of business. In addition to keeping his father, who happens to be the hotel's former manager, out of his way, he also has to contend with his somewhat eccentric staff, which includes an emotional vegetarian chef (Graham Greene) who takes a certain pleasure in informing his diners of the names he has given the animals they're eating. Despite Ray's exhaustive preparations, something, of course, goes wrong: something that, in this case, turns out to be a case of mistaken identity: when Tina, a comely Mohawk woman, shows up at the lodge, Ray assumes her to be the representative, and sets about giving her the royal treatment while the actual representative (M. Emmet Walsh) is ignored and must contend with a hefty dose of hotel mismanagement. Christmas in the Clouds was an audience favorite at the 2002 Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema.
  • 'Pieces Of April': In this independent comedy-drama, misfit April Burns (Katie Holmes), living in a rundown tenement in Manhattan, is persuaded to host Thanksgiving dinner for her conservative suburban family so she can spend time with her dying mom (Patricia Clarkson). As the family journeys into the city, the plan slowly spins out of control.
  • 'Everything Is Illuminated': A young man takes a strange and unexpectedly funny journey in search of a family heroine he's never known in this screen adaptation of the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. Jonathan (Elijah Wood) is a lifelong collector of any and all objects pertaining to his family, and he has become obsessed with a woman he's never met. The woman saved the life of his grandfather Safran during World War II, when the city in the Ukraine where he was born was destroyed by Nazi troops. Wanting to know more about the woman, Jonathan flies to the Ukraine, where with the help of a driver who has claimed to be blind since his wife's death, a good-natured but tongue-tied tour guide and translator named Alex (Eugene Hutz), and a dog named Sammy Davis Junior Junior, he searches for the meaning of the present that lies buried in the past, unexpectedly shedding the same such light on the lives of those around him. Everything Is Illuminated was the first directorial assignment for acclaimed actor Liev Schreiber.
  • 'Home For The Holidays': It's been said that while most people love their families, they don't always like them very much, and that emotional dividing line is the heart of this comedy directed by Jodie Foster. Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) usually approaches family reunions with a certain trepidation, but as she prepares to fly from her home in Chicago to her parent's place in Baltimore for Thanksgiving, she is more apprehensive than usual. Claudia has just lost her job, she's not feeling at all well, and her teenage daughter, Kitt (Claire Danes), who is staying behind, informs Claudia on the way to the airport that she plans to use the weekend to lose her virginity with her boyfriend. The family festivities are already under way when Claudia arrives at the home of her mother, Adele (Anne Bancroft), and father, Henry (Charles Durning). Claudia's brother, Tommy (Robert Downey Jr.), whose homosexuality is tolerated without being discussed on a practical basis, has brought along his new friend Leo Fish (Dylan McDermott), to the disappointment of several members of the family, who had grown to like Tommy's former lover. Tommy doesn't get along well with his fussbudget sister, Joanne (Cynthia Stevenson), who wears her self-sacrifice like a badge of honor, and he simply hates her husband, Walter (Steve Guttenberg), who has often been the target of Tommy's barbed sense of humor. While the siblings and in-laws struggle to remain civil, their quite eccentric aunt Galdys (Geraldine Chaplin) arrives; she insists on discussing her digestive problems, and after a few drinks, she confesses her long-ago lust for Henry. Home for the Holidays was Jodie Foster's second film as a director, and the first in which she didn't also star.
  • 'Dutch': John Hughes re-works his already over-used formulas from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and Uncle Buck in this bald-faced rip-off directed by Peter Faiman. Ed O'Neill stars as working stiff Dutch Dooley. Dutch is in love with Natalie (JoBeth Williams), who is recovering from a failed marriage to the priggish Reed (Christopher McDonald). Her 13-year-old son Doyle (Ethan Randall) blames Natalie for the break-up of the marriage. Doyle is an effete and snobbish rich kid betraying inflections of William F. Buckley. When he refuses to join his mother for Thanksgiving, Dutch heads off to Doyle's Atlanta boarding school to kidnap him and force him to go on a ride to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his mother. Doyle hates Dutch for his loutish working-class ways, but when the vengeful teenager destroys Dutch's car, the two must join forces to get to Chicago by any means necessary. Along the way the two learn to love and respect each other.
I want to see this movie on Thanksgiving:
A Prairie Home Companion
Christmas In The Clouds
Pieces Of April
Everything Is Illuminated
Home For The Holidays
Other (Please email the group)
Free polls from Pollhost.com


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:31 PM

Blogger Dinah said...

What, no links to the movie websites? And no ratings?? the children, the children.

Okay, 2 of us have seen Pieces oF April. It's about a girl who wants to make a turkey and the oven breaks. Not a lot of action here, hon.

Given my track record, I don't think I should vote.

5:39 PM

Blogger ClinkShrink said...

On this poll you can vote more than once, so be sure to let the kiddies have a vote (pets count too). As for the ratings, that's why I defer to the parents. My cats never cared if movies had sex or violence. They prefer animated fish.

7:24 PM

Blogger Dinah said...

remind me I have a duck for you

7:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

EEK, I love you clinkshrink and I loved "Everything is Illuninated" hanid should see this movie too. I don't know if her teenagers would appreiciate it. It is very funny and sad at the same time. I am not sure about the others though. My twelve year old daughter just watched "Airplane" which is one of my husband's favorites. It seems it would be a good turkey day film. abf

7:25 PM

Blogger Roy said...

I vote for Illuminated (though I won't be there)... If Borat were on DVD, I'd vote that. I also liked the movie, Pi, by the same guy who did Requiem for a Dream.

Since it's Thanksgiving, at least consider Alice's Restaurant (though I have no idea if the song-turned-movie idea works).

So, will you be serving duck?

9:17 PM

Blogger ClinkShrink said...

Nooo, no duck food!

After a semi-successful BlockBuster run I have found Prairie Home Companion and Christmas in the Clouds. The last three listed movies were either checked out or I couldn't find them. As substitutes I checked out Christmas With The Kranks and Surviving Christmas.

I am still taking requests.

1:30 PM


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