Hollywood prepares for holidays

It’s the holiday season, and the film industry has no shortage of selections for the average movie-goer. In November, we see the return of everyone’s favorite “wanton sex goddess” in Bridget Jones: The Edge of

It’s the holiday season, and the film industry has no shortage of selections for the average movie-goer.

In November, we see the return of everyone’s favorite “wanton sex goddess” in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. This time around, Bridget is head over heels in love with childhood friend Marc Darcy, but the more things heat up, the more insecure Bridget becomes.

Her new job isn’t going well, a leggy intern is closing in on Marc and Bridget’s former boss and old flame is back on the scene. See Bridget cope in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, when it is released Nov. 19.

Also on the November line-up is the highly anticipated Oliver Stone-directed film Alexander, starring Colin Farrell as the legendary king and military general.

Alexander the Great died young, at age 33, but not before he conquered ninety percent of the world by his 25th birthday and falling in love with his childhood friend and military comrade Hephaestion, played by Jared Leto. With two gorgeous actors dominating the same movie, it’s a wonder how any female audience member will be able to pay attention to the actual plot.

For the kids, there’s the technologically marvelous The Polar Express, starring Tom Hanks.

This visually stunning picture is an adaptation of the popular children’s book of the same name.

When a young boy gets the opportunity to travel to the North Pole via the Polar Express one fateful Christmas Eve, he gets the chance to meet the jolly old elf and see sites that could only exist in dreams. Look for a big box office payoff when The Polar Express came out Wednesday.

Then there’s The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, starring everybody’s favorite undersea sponge. Along for the ride are the other wacky members of the Nickelodeon cartoon, including Patrick, the intellectually challenged starfish, Squidward, the ill-tempered squid, and Sandy Cheeks, the athletic enthusiast squirrel from Texas.

This time, the gang bands together to save their town from the power-hungry clutches of King Neptune, voiced by character actor Jeffrey Tambor. Catch Spongebob and friends in theaters on Nov. 19.

The kid-oriented film madness continues into December, with a live-action film adaptation of Bill Cosby’s “Fat Albert” and the adaptation of the popular children’s novel Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events. Saturday Night Live performer Kenan Thompson takes on the title character as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids magically come out of their animated, inner city junkyard into the real world and look for their creator, Bill Cosby.

It wasn’t filmed in Philadelphia, but perhaps the appearance of Bill Cosby will appease die-hard fans when Fat Albert hits theaters Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, funnyman Jim Carrey stars in what looks like a faithful adaptation to the first book of the children’s series Lemony Snicket’s.

The film follows the misadventures of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, three children who have just lost their wealthy parents to a fire.

They are sent to live with Carrey’s character, the diabolical Count Olaf, who is plotting to destroy the children and take the fortune their parents left them for himself. Watch out for Lemony Snicket’s when it arrives on Dec. 17.

Speaking of money, December also marks the opening of Ocean’s Twelve, the high-energy sequel to director Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 hit film.

The gang’s all here – well, they’re in Europe – to pull off another risky heist that could lead to a huge payoff.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts reprise their original roles, but there’s also plenty of new faces along for the ride, including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bruce Willis.

Twelve is the new eleven when Ocean’s Twelve hits theaters Dec.. 10.

Then, of course, there are the Oscar contenders. No holiday season would be complete without at least one over-hyped award darling, and, lucky for us, we’re getting not one but three potential darlings.

From Academy Award-winner James L. Brooks comes the film Spanglish, starring Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni. Sandler seems like an unlikely fit for Brooks, but the current buzz suggests that Sandler’s performance is not only watchable, but might also be Oscar-worthy.

He and Leoni portray John and Deborah Clasky, two eccentric yet insecure individuals who hire a Mexican emigrant to be their housekeeper. Languages and cultures collide in Brook’s latest masterpiece when Spanglish arrives in theaters on Dec. 17.

Perhaps, the biggest Oscar battle will occur between two Oscar award-winners: Kevin Spacey, a newcomer in the world of film directing, versus Martin Scorsese, the veteran film master.

From Spacey comes the much-awaited Bobby Darin biopic Beyond the Sea. In it Spacey plays the tragic singer from his early years to the end of his prolific career and chronicles all the songs and loves in-between.

Scorsese also offers a biopic, The Aviator, about legendary film director Howard Hughes and his film career between the 1920s and the 1940s.

Both films feature legends and are directed by men who will no doubt become legends of their time, but only one can take the gold. For now, look for Beyond the Sea and The Aviator when they begin their campaign for Oscar greatness on Dec. 10 and 17.

Marta Rusek can be reached at mrusek@temple.edu.

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