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Skip The Presents, Pass The Popcorn

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 21, 2004 5:00PM

If it isn’t a family tradition in your house, Chicagoist recommends heading out to see a movie on Christmas Day. Think of it: two whole hours where everyone in your family has to be quiet or face bodily removal from your immediate vicinity. That’s what we call a win-win situation. Every year, studios take advantage of the need for quiet time in the family and release a few movies on Christmas. This year The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Fat Albert, and The Aviator will all see yuletide release dates. Two of the most inessential movies of the year, Meet The Fockers and Phantom of the Opera, will get the jump on the weekend in wide release tomorrow.

Unfortunately, Meet The Fockers is probably your best bet if you’ll be movie-going with Aunt Louise and Uncle Ray. The Aviator’s three-hour plus length will make Louise’s sciatica act up and though we’d relish every quirk of The Life Aquatic, it’s one of those movies that your grandfather would describe as “too out there for me.” We’d recommend something from one of the smaller Hey, isn't that the train from Schindler's List?movie houses but most of them are closed on Christmas. If you’re not too burnt out on Christmas cheer then the IMAX at Navy Pier will be showing Santa vs The Snowman 3D and The Polar Express. Why not have an alternative Christmas movie fest instead by renting Die Hard and Die Hard 2: Die Harder? They both take place on Christmas, right? Yippee-kay-yay mother…uh, trucker!

Lastly, it’s probably a wise idea that Saints and Sinners isn’t playing over Christmas since it hits the don’t-talk-about-them-at-the-dinner-table trifecta of hot topics: politics, religion and sex. Regardless, it’s the most humanizing look at the topic of gay marriage that you’ll see all year so be sure and see it at Facets before it closes this Thursday.