It’s culture-clash weekend at the box office! Wildly different movies open on the same weekend all the time, but this particular mid-holiday frame’s lineup is just plain bizarre.
Obviously, a vast conspiracy is at work—a bunch of Hollywood suits sat down over a bottle of Coppola Wine and decided that Americans needed a good dose of hot-button issues. In Shakespearean tragic tones, here’s what you’ve got coming:
“Something’s rotten in the State of the Middle East”—The George Clooney-Matt Damon vehicle “Syriana” expands into national release, and a kaleidoscopic story chronicling the nasty effects of the global oil industry couldn’t have come at a better time.
If you didn’t notice, oil is a problematic commodity, and crazy stuff seems to happen all the time in the Middle East.
Finally, George Clooney has noticed that there may be a connection between the two problems. But, in all seriousness, this flick could be a winner, and Mr. Clooney is pretty hot with a scraggly beard.
“Something’s rotten in the State of Japanese-Chinese Relations”—IMDB.com recently reported a quotation from a blogger who wrote that mega-hot Chinese superstar Ziyi Zhang “is a traitor to her country. Shooting her would not be an adequate punishment.”
What the (presumably Chinese) blogger is referring to is her starring role in “Memoirs of a Geisha,” in which she (gasp!) portrays a Japanese character, as do several other Chinese stars.
Many Japanese are upset that their history is being played out by Chinese actors, and many Chinese are enraged because their movie stars are playing sympathetic characters in a film about a country that was, let’s be honest, more than a bit naughty towards China in the early 20th century.
Who wins out? The director—Rob Marshall, a white guy from Wisconsin.
“Something’s rotten in the State of that Tent Over There…is that two gay cowboys making out?”—“Brokeback Mountain” needs no introduction.
It’s easily the most anticipated film of all time for every homosexual male in the U.S.A., not to mention for a huge number of closeted he-men, whose uber-masculine towel-smacking is a thin disguise for some serious locker-room fantasies.
Likely, the Republicans will go crazy, homophobic hicks across America will charge up the repression engine, church groups will picket the screenings, and President Bush will think fondly of his favorite stable boys.
“Something’s rotten in the State of Christian Morality”—This problem can be fixed easily with a good dose of heavy-handed allegory!
I’m referring here of course to the weekend’s blockbuster—the first installment in the non-awaited film adaptations of “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
Kids will be screaming for the mighty Lion Aslan (Christ) to kick some evil witch (Satan/Woman/Jew) butt! For in Narnia, it will be always be winter, but never Christmas.
Hopefully the Pevensie children will be victorious, because Baby Jesus’s birthday is in less than three weeks and I plan on celebrating!
So with this weekend to whet your appetites for a time-capsule of World 2005, I leave you all in peace with wishes of a merry Christmas and an illegal New Year.
But before I go I must remind you to get your 12-year-old cousin the DVD of Lars von Trier’s “Dogville” for Christmas. She’ll love it! And don’t forget to bake a cake for Baby Jesus!
—Staff writer Clint J. Froehlich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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