[Avon-theatre-news] AVON THEATRE NEWS--Dec. 5th

Skip Huston Skip at TheAvon.com
Thu Dec 4 12:34:38 EST 2008

Showtimes, Programs, Erudition and Miscellaneous Folderol 
"All of Life's Answers are in the Movies!"  -Dr. Skippy P. Huston
Check out our cool website at: www.TheAvon.com

OPENING FRIDAY: BRUCE CAMPBELL in "MY NAME IS BRUCE" (R) A Laff-Hoot in it's limited regular run!!

CONTINUING: AUSTRALIA (PG13) Epic Romantic Adventure with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman

                  FOUR CHRISTMASES (PG13) Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon!!
              QUANTUM OF SOLACE (PG13)--James Bond is Back! ENDS SOON!!
DEC. 12th: THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (PG13) The NEW version of the sci-fi classic!!
DEC. 25th: MARLEY AND ME (PG) Owen Wilson & Jennifer Aniston and a BAD DOGGIE!!
DEC. 25th: BEDTIME STORIES (G) Adam Sandler & Keri Russell
...and, wait...THERE IS MORE!!! (but it is a secret for now)
AUSTRALIA (PG13) All I can say is "WOW!!". Here is a prime example of an epic romance that most of the critics did not care for, but the vast majority of the audiences LOVED! Isn't that how it is many times? The critics will jump and squeal about something that the ticket buyers end up loathing. I wonder why anyone takes critics seriously anymore! They get it right so few times these days, it really makes you wonder exactly how valid they really are. Anyway, this is a movie that needs to be seen on the biggest screen you can find, and guess where that is?
Here is a guest review from one of my favorite film critics, Chuck Koplinski from Champaign-Urbana...take it away, Chuck!
Australia:?A movie as grand as the continent itself--by Chuck Koplinski
Director Baz Luhrmann has never been satisfied with modest productions. Strictly Ballroom, Romeo+Juliet and Moulin Rouge, for good or ill, all wallowed in wretched excess and his latest, Australia, is no exception. Luhrmann's trademark flourishes are on lavish display here as larger than life characters, heartrending emotional turmoil and a plot as deep as a puddle are all on display here. However, the conviction with which the filmmaker and his cast approach this material put it over the top and the result is an old-fashioned piece of entertainment that is far more emotionally satisfying than many of its contemporary counterparts. 

Taking cues from Gone with the Wind, Red River and Giant, Luhrmann casts Aussie superstars Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman as opposites who are eventually attracted to each other. He's the Drover, a rugged man's man who takes great pride in being dependent on no man and belonging to no woman. He's been in the employ of Lord Ashley, the owner of the Far Away Downs, the only cattle ranch in the Outback not owned by King Carney (Bryon Brown), who's intent on having a monopoly on the industry. His intent is to be the sole supplier of beef to the Australian Army on the eve of World War II, however the arrival of Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) puts a kink in his plans. Determined to protect a young half-Aboriginal child, Nullah (Brandon Walters), and save her late husband's legacy, she decides to deliver the cattle to market herself, with the Drover's help and the ragtag bunch left on the ranch. 

The cattle drive that follows is spectacular, though it does defy logic at times, particularly during a stampede that sends the herd precariously close to running off a cliff to certain death. No matter, it's thrilling stuff as Luhrmann puts us right in the middle of this thundering herd and logic goes out the window as these beasts bear down on various characters. This is the film's visual set piece and it delivers a kind of breathless excitement that's all too rare in films these days. This sets the bar high for the rest of the movie and the rest of the drive proves anticlimactic. It's obvious that Luhrmann cut out a large piece of the rest of the cattle drive as the characters are faced with crossing a deadly stretch of desert only to wind up at their journey's end without incident. This upsets the film's narrative flow but that doesn't stop the director from taking the audience on an emotional roller coaster more than once before the movie's end as Drover, Lady Ashley and Nullah all face separation and death with the outbreak of WW II and the efforts of Carney's right hand man, Fletcher (David Wenham). 

Unabashedly melodramatic, this film will put off those who eschew passionate romantic embraces set to swelling music or doe-eyed children whose sole purpose seems to be to break your heart. Yet, Jackman, Kidman and the rest know their job is to take things a bit over the top and they run with it. They're required to inhabit characters and display emotions as grand as the canvas that Luhrmann has placed them in and they rise to the challenge. Jackman and Kidman are having great fun here, going at each other early on, warming to one another and falling passionately in love. They make you believe they'd overcome a Japanese air attack or a mustache-twirling villain to be together, and without this sort of conviction, the film simply wouldn't work. Ironically, they're both blown off screen whenever they're forced to share it with Walters, a heartbreaker who steals every scene he's in with his natural approach. Try taking your eyes off him. It can't be done. 

Nearly as large as the continent itself, Australia is good old-fashioned epic filmmaking that sets out to tell a passionate story on a grand scale and succeeds, though it does overstay its welcome. Luhrmann disproves the notion that "they don't make 'em like they used to," and I for one, wish other filmmakers would follow his lead. 

Sounds like a real good'un, huh, folks! DON'T MISS IT!

(Showtimes in brackets are $6.00- $5.50 'Bargain Matinees")

FRI: (3:45) - 7:30 
SAT & SUN: (12:00) - (3:45) - 7:30
MON thru THURS: 6:45
FOUR CHRISTMASES (PG13) Just considering the cast in this movie is a pretty awesome thing: Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Robert Duvall, Mary Steenburgen, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight--and still others! This holiday treat is a real laff-fest about a couple forced to spend their Christmas with each of their four divorced parents! This is currently #1 at the national box-office, and whole lot of fun!!
(Showtimes in brackets are $6.00- $5.50 'Bargain Matinees")

FRI: (5:30) - 8:00  
SAT & SUN: (12:45) - (3:10) - (5:30) - 8:00
MON thru THURS: 6:30

MY NAME IS BRUCE (R) As many of you already know, cult TV/Move Star BRUCE CAMPBELL made a LIVE and IN-PERSON appearance at the Avon on Monday, Dec. 1st to promote his new movie. The place was PACKED, and Bruce did a fall-down hilarious Q & A afterward. A good time was had by all!!
BUT, the one thing that got overshadowed is that Bruce's movie is actually FUNNY as all get-out!
Here it is for a limited engagement!
(Showtimes in brackets are $6.00- $5.50 'Bargain Matinees")
FRI: 8:15
SAT & SUN: (1:00) - 8:15
MON thru THURS: 8:30
QUANTUM OF SOLACE (PG13) And here are your last chances for this thrilling new entry in the James Bond series!
(Showtimes in brackets are $6.00- $5.50 'Bargain Matinees")

FRI: 6:00 
SAT & SUN: (3:30) - 6:00

Ok, gang, the time has come again for you to strike a blow for truth, justice and the Avonian way.

Follow the link below and fill-out at least 45 categories for the Herald & Review's Reader's Choice poll!!
Reader's Choice 2008 Ballot <<<<<click there

For the past few years, YOU have made the Avon the winner of the Best Movie Theater ("Best Place to See a Movie") category, and we need YOUR help once again to defeat the out-of-town forces of darkness!!!

Don't let those "other guys" beat us!!
It's ALL up to YOU!!
That doesn't give you much time, so get them hushpuppies in gear!!!!

Please vote for THE AVON as the "Best Place to See a Movie", and...


Here is another tip: It is not that hard to come up with just 45 entries to the categories. I got all 45 and still left a bunch of it blank!
Maybe even "The Avon" as the "Best Decaturite"???
-or- Maybe ME for "Best Decaturite" ??  :-)
FYI: You don't have to be a Decatur resident to vote in this poll either!!! 


* Best Movie Theater ("Best Place to See a Movie")
* Best Popcorn (you know in your heart it is true!)

Reader's Choice 2008 Ballot <<<<<click there

Send a message, loud and clear, that Decatur cares about looking out for its "own"!!

Come See Me This Weekend!
The left-over Turkey is gone, and all the relatives have skedaddled too!
It's time for a trip to AVONIA!!
-Skip Huston

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