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Random Holiday Thoughts

1. Gave my parents the new Beatles Trivial Pursuit game for Christmas. I thought the 3 of us would have an easy time of it but they added six levels of difficulty to every category. Of course we got a lot of 5 and 6 level questions like where did John go to school or what street he lived on. Yikes! Get this there's a movie category and we watched Hard Days Night. It didn't help. It was good though as my father took an early lead before my mother took over. I ended up winning merely on a dice-roll.

2. Got two big music gifts this year. My parents gave me Tom Petty's Live Anthology which though it's set up as a long concert, it's actually several different concert clips spliced together. You really don't notice. I love it!

b. Meanwhile my cousin gave me the John Lennon Anthology which is analogous to The Beatle Anthology as it's a compilation of outtakes, parodies and live tracks selected by Yoko Ono who also wrote the liner notes. This is great too!

3. Saw many a movie the past few weeks including two versions of Little Women. I had forgotten Christian Bale was in the '90's version. I also saw part of Public Enemies yesterday where I think he's doing the same accent... Among the new ones:

a. Everybody's Fine-Deniro is a much more versatile actor than he gets credit for I think. In many ways his character was an extreme version of my own grandfather in his love of yard work and his deference to his now-deceased wife in keeping up with family news. I mentioned this on Twitter but Kate Beckinsale seems to get better scripts where she's forced to play an American. I don't know why that is. One othher note, Drew Barrymore seems almost typecast as a possibly bisexual single mother. Granted you have to go all the way back to Boys on the Side for a similar role but it was just a feeling I had. (Oh damn! I revealed a plot twist...) And yes, I promised my father I'd tell him if I ended up in a Mexican prison on drug charges...

b. Four Christmases-We had company earlier this week and she brought a few movies with her. This one was pretty good and had a great cast. Well, I say that but I really didn't buy Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon as a couple. (Who know that there was that much difference between Jennifer Aniston and Witherspoon since they convincingly have played sisters but there you go...) You know you have a messed up family when Jon Voigt is the most stable of the four parents. Finally, I dare you to eat when Witherspoon's grandmother ask for spiritual guidence. I pulled it off but...

c. Yesterday morning we watched District 9. It was definitely a more original way to handle first contact with aliens. I frankly wouldn't watch it with people that prefer their science fiction blantant and straightforward. For instance, if you feel Independence Day holds up as the greatest alien invasion film. I seriously think you'll hate this one. Finally, Sharlto Copley will be awesome as Howling Mad Murdock in the new A-Team film. He showed just the right amount of crazy in this one...

d. As part of our New Year's Eve celebration, we watched a movie my aunt gave my cousin (That is my aunt from the other side of the family...): The Cooler with William H. Macy and Alec Baldwin. I thought I had seen it before but I definitely didn't remember any of it. I thought it was a very good movie.

4. Last night was pretty low key. We snacked, had virgin cosmopolitans and watched A River Runs Through It in addition to the above movie. No similarities which was good.

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