Hey, movie-lovers! Heat up your seat with the following Hollywood and independent cinematic releases!

Opening Dec 7th!

* Ocean's 11--A remake of the crappy Rat Pack heist flick starring Frankie, Dino, and Sammy, this new version stars a whole new pack of Hollywood rats including Clooney, Damon, Pitt, and Julia Roberts. While it would be easy to shake off this story of modern-day gangstas knocking off a slew of Vegas casinos, it's directed by Steven Soderbergh (Traffic), who is always capable of making chicken salad out of chicken shit.

* Band of Outsiders--(Cinema 21) Fans of consummate Frenchie director Jean-Luc Godard will throw their berets in the air for this criminal potboiler from 1964. A hotsy-totsy femme fatale hires two goons to rip off her aunt. Love triangles and self-reflexive comments on the modern cinema ensue!

Opening Dec 14th!

* The Royal Tenenbaums--Possibly the most anticipated of the holiday releases--that is, if you're not a Harry Potter-lovin' punk. This flick from Wes Anderson (Rushmore) tells the tender tale of terminally ill Royal (Gene Hackman), and his attempts to reunite his family of prodigies (Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Luke Wilson).

* Vanilla Sky--Tom Cruise has a new beard err girlfriend! Check out Thomas and Ms. Penelope Cruz in director Cameron Crowe's (Almost Famous) adaptation of the 1997 Spanish romantic thriller Abre los Ojos. Interesting, if for no other reason, than to see Tom's beautiful face get smashed into a tree.

* The Business of Strangers--(Cinema 21) Good buzz abounds regarding this sleeper hit from the San Francisco Film Fest. Stockard Channing and Julia Stiles (Uggh! What do people see in her??) star as a businesswoman and her assistant who rejoice in screwing with the brain of a poor sap while stuck in an airport hotel.

Opening Dec 19th!

* Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings--Here's the plot according to the studio: "An ancient Ring thought lost for centuries has been found, and has been given to a small Hobbit named Frodo. When Gandalf discovers the Ring is in fact the One Ring of the Dark Lord Sauron, Frodo must make an epic quest to the Cracks of Doom in order to destroy it! He is joined by Gandalf, Legolas the Elf, Gimli the Dwarf, Aragorn, Boromir, and his three Hobbit friends, Merry, Pippin, and Samwise. Their quest to destroy the One Ring is the only hope for the end of the Dark Lord's reign!" HAW! HAW! HAWWW! Eat it up, nerds!

Opening Dec 21st!

* An American in Paris--(Clinton Street) This oughta cheer ya up, Gloomy Gus! A rare opportunity to see Gene Kelly dance his beautiful ass off in the classic musical from 1951, An American in Paris! Gene stars as an ex G.I. who hangs around gay Paree after the war, in order to study painting and woos the pants off the delicious Leslie Caron.

Opening Dec 25th!

* Ali--A biopic of the century's greatest sports figure, Muhammad Ali, who actually stood for issues rather than standing up for Hanes underwear. Directed by Michael Mann (The Insider, The Last of the Mohicans--uh, oh! Could be a snooze-fest!), and starring the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith. (And if DJ Jazzy Jeff doesn't get a part in this flick, I'm gonna be pissed!)

Opening Dec 28th!

* A Galaxy Far, Far Away--(Clinton Street) Director Tariq Jalil gives us an inside look (whether we want it or not) at Star Wars geeks from across the country. Obsessive-compulsive behavior rules the day as interviews are conducted with hapless fans waiting in line for days to see Episode I: The Phantom Menace.


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