A Blockbuster Sunrise in Wildwood, NJ
Some Happy Feet were beating a path to the Holiday by the sea, where the Pursuit of Happyness was, well, happily realized. Santa Claus was naturally leading the (pre)holiday way, with the Good Shephard spreading cheer from Ocean Ave. and beyond. The year 2006 was most certainly A Good Year at the movies and at the beach, proving that reality, while Stranger Than Fiction, was best experienced among the surf and the stars…
Hope you enjoy this week’s starry-eyed Trip Back in Movie Time!
Originally Published in the Sun by the Sea…Holiday 2006 edition
Meg the Movie Buff Goes to Hollywood
The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends, the ones we know and the ones soon to grace the big screen. Before you Deck the Halls, why not brighten your local movie theater with your presence? The Happy Feet standing in line include The Good Shepherd, taking a break from his good deeds, not to be confused with The Good German, who’s searching for a politically correct place to sit, and Rocky Balboa, looking to start his retirement off right with a front row seat. First in the ticket line, however, is a very modern Santa Clause, looking for the Escape Clause in his contract that permits time away from the North Pole for a little R&R. Charlotte’s Web has woven a tale for everyone this holiday season! Why, with this selection of movies to choose from, even the Grinch would approve!
Before weaving your way to your local movie theater, please check your local listings. Release date change more frequently than the Santa Claus at the mall.
A high society rat (voice of Hugh Jackman) gets Flushed Away (opens Nov. 3rd) in this clay-animated film, landing in London’s sewers and a dangerous new world. Joining him in Ratropolis, which is a far cry from our clean, peaceful island, is tough sewer worker Rita (voice of Kate Winslet).
In an animated Antarctica, also known as the land of singers, penguin Mumble (voice of Elijah Wood), as his name suggests, can’t carry a tune. Fortunately, his Happy Feet (opens Nov. 3rd), which would feel right at home buried in our cool sand, can do a mean tap dance. Starring as his parents are the voices of Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.
It wouldn’t be the holidays without a movie about the man of the hour himself. Tim Allen brings him back to the big screen in Santa Claus 3: The Escape Clause (opens Nov. 3rd). Now living at the North Pole with his son and extended family, Santa must do battle with the trouble making Jack Frost (Martin Short), who attempts to take over Christmas.
An IRS auditor (Will Ferrell) finds life is Stranger Than Fiction (opens Nov. 10th) when he hears the events of his life being narrated by a famous writer (Emma Thompson) who, much to his horror, is planning his death. Also stars Dustin Hoffman and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
It turns out to be A Good Year (opens Nov. 10th) for an investment expert (Russell Crowe) when he movies to Provence hoping to sell the modest vineyard left to him by his late uncle (Albert Finney). Things do not go smoothy, however, when he meets a woman (Abbie Cornish) claiming to own the property.
The Fountain (opens Nov. 22nd) may hold the key to eternal life and one man’s (Hugh Jackman) fight to save his cancer-stricken wife. His journey takes him through eternity, beginning in the 16th Century, leading to the 26th Century and his discovery of the true meaning of life, death and what it means to be reborn. Possibly he’ll march through a holiday parade or two as he travels through time.
Looking to Deck the Halls (opens Nov. 22nd) this holiday season, as well as pick up some pointers at the Lighting of the Christmas Tree Ceremony, are competing neighbors (Danny Devito and Matthew Broderick) who clash when one plans on decorating the house with enough lights to be seen from space. The other decides if you can’t join him, beat him.
The Good German (opens Dec. 8th) is alive and well in post war Berlin when an American journalist (George Clooney) searches for a former mistress (Cate Blanchett) only to get tangled into an even bigger mystery surrounding her missing husband and a deceased soldier.
Kindred spirits meet during The Holiday (opens Dec. 8th) when an American woman (Cameron Diaz) plagued by man problems heads to England, trading her Hollywood home with a British woman (Kate Winslet) experiencing the same troubles. Also stars Jude Law and Jack Black.
Inspired by a true success story, Will Smith searches for The Pursuit of Happyness (opens Dec. 15th) as Christopher Gardner, a single dad facing eviction and a non-paying internship as a stockbroker. Forced to move to a shelter, he refuses to give up pursuing a happy life for himself and his son (Jaden Smith). One can only assume his happy pursuit includes a home at the shore.
Charlotte’s Web spins a tale beginning Dec. 20th. From E.B. White’s classic story, farm girl Fern (Dakota Fanning) is the only one who can hear Wilbur the pig when he speaks. Except for, of course, Charlotte (voice of Julia Roberts) a spider who tries to save Wilbur from becoming dinner by spinning a web of words. Also starring the voices of Oprah Winfrey, Robert Redford and Jennifer Garner. A warm respite when the beach turns cold😊
Matt Damon is The Good Shephard (opens Dec. 22nd), a man in need of a shore vacation, in co-star/director Robert DeNiro’s story about a socialite (Angelina Jolie) and a CIA agent (Damon) who sacrifices everything for his work.
Deserving a parade of their own, We Are Marshall (opens Dec. 22nd) follows the true-life inspirational story of coach Jack Lengyel’s (Matthew McConaughey) determination to rebuild a West Virginia football team after a plane crash claims the lives of its team members as well as most of the coaches in 1970. Also stars Matthew Fox as coach Red Dawson.
Retired Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone, opens Dec. 22nd) is back for one last round in the ring, facing a new opponent and personal tragedy. Long, daily walks on our cold beach should toughen him up again. Also stars Milo Ventimiglia.
Looking for a little Pride (opens Dec. 22nd) in his community, inner city Philadelphia swim coach Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard) fights to create a swim team in a tough Philadelphia neighborhood in the 1970’s, ultimately leading the swimmers to state championship (and possibly a run in with a much younger Rocky Balboa?) Bernie Mac also stars in the inspirational true story.
Spending the holidays in a movie theater (sans Christmas tree) may seem Stranger Than Fiction, but the Hollywood folks take much Pride in what they have to offer this festive season. With the beach and boardwalk providing limited entertainment this time of year, The Pursuit of Happyness is just a movie ticket away! With a quick stop at The Fountain for rejuvenation, the team of We Are Marshall is ready to do battle to ensure everyone has a great time. Don’t let this festive time get Flushed Away without a trip to your local movie theater!
No matter where you spend The Holiday, here’s wishing you happiness and A Good Year to come.🥤🍿🎬