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December 24, 2008

Reel Geezer reviews

Who cares if the Reel Geezers confuse Woody Harrelson with James Woods? They're delightful! 

In case the current crop of Nazi films don't tickle your family's holiday movie fancy, here are some old school (and we mean that literally) reviews of newly available DVDs that could keep at least some of the post-dinner slapfighting to a minimum. 

In short, the Geezers agreed with your resident Gold Rusher in digging "Transsiberian," a little-seen but well-reviewed and very engaging thriller with Harrelson (not Woods), Emily Mortimer, Kate Mara and Eduardo Noriega on a train across snowbound Russia. Ben Kingsley joins up as a shady cop. They also liked Werner Herzog's "Encounters at the End of the World," which is short-listed for the best documentary Oscar, and -- surprise! -- "Young@Heart."

Solid recommendations, all (if you overlook that "Mummy 3" rave). And more where those came from here.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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