Hard to believe the year 2009 is almost gone, and the snow (like it not) shouldn’t be too far behind. Such is the transition from fall to winter; the pace of life quickens with its last remnants, leaves scattering, giving way to grayer days and colder nights. And you’re left wondering, as you ring in the New Year, where did it all go?
December means last minute shopping and a mad scramble to get those vacation (and sick) days in before changing the calendars on our walls. It also means a slew of Oscar hopefuls coming to the multiplex, and the Sci-Fi Channel (sorry, that’s SyFY) will present its miniseries event, “Alice,” a re-imagining of the Lewis Carroll classic, “Alice in Wonderland.”
An interesting move considering Tim Burton’s own “Alice in Wonderland” will be released later next year. There won’t be room for a comparison by the time most people get around to seeing it. SyFy’s “Alice” (premiering on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 9 p.m., and concluding on Monday), is an intriguing exercise in revisionist storytelling, using an adult Alice in a grittier, meaner Wonderland.
Though I anticipate strong ratings for the miniseries, chances are once Burton’s highly anticipated film hits theaters, most folk are likely to forget the television “Alice.” I’ve watched the first part and though it is not as ambitious as “Tin Man” (a re-imagining of “The Wizard of Oz”) or “Dune Messiah,” it is, at best, a nice diversion and fun enough to hold the attention.
“Avatar” (Dec. 18) and Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” (from the critically acclaimed novel by Alice Sebold) will soon be out and that’s great; in fact, long overdue. “Avatar” represents the type of innovative filmmaking one expects from director James Cameron (director of “Terminator” and “Titanic”). A few years back I downloaded one of Cameron’s rough drafts for the script and what I have seen in the trailers surpasses anything I could have imagined in my head. “The Lovely Bones,” a ghost story of sorts, is expected to be Jackson’s comeback from the disappointing (though visually arresting) “King Kong.”
Speaking of visually arresting…
Niagara Falls, Ontario is truly a natural wonder. Though the exchange rate is nothing to speak of (for all intents and purposes there is very little to exchange since it’s all equal), my stay was nice. It was great getting away for a while, breathing the air of another city, pounding the pavement, watching the world go by.
The holidays are a great time to purchase DVDs as Blu-ray is doing its best to edge out the current champion of home video. You’ll find many titles under $10 and it’s a good gift idea or if you want to expand your DVD library. The good news is Blu-ray is backwards compatible so all those bargain DVDs you purchased can still be viewed on your new Blu-ray player.
The influx of comic book movies has slowed till next summer, so it’s always a good idea to take a trip to the local comic book shop, as most of the titles released this month carry a holiday theme.
My personal favorite is DC Comics’ annual holiday specials. Lushly illustrated and just plain fun, I’m just a sucker for seeing my favorite characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman spread a little holiday cheer.
’Tis the season, I guess.
Read Cornelius A. Fortune’s blog “Pop Culture Saturation” at www.michronicleonline.com.