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Movies As An Escape

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 22, 2005 6:22PM

As has been pointed out elsewhere, Thanksgiving is often a time for families to get together and share some quality time.

You just threw up in your mouth a little, didn’t you?

Somewhere around Hour Four of your Familial Celebration of Overeating and Passive-Agressive Conversation, you’ll be looking for an out. If two hours of sitting in the dark while no one sharing your DNA says a thing sounds like heaven, then it’s off to the movies you’ll go as a slew of flicks see release tomorrow.

If you’re stuck out of town, then shades of Chicago can be found at the multiplex. We’ve already told you about the Chicago guys in Rent. After brilliantly portraying the lead role in a Steppenwolf production, John Malkovich steps into the shoes of King Charles II in The Libertine, which sees limited release in New York and L.A..

2005_11_22_johnny.jpgFinally, John Cusack…oh, John. Look, dude, we’re going to withhold judgment on The Ice Harvest until we see it since that’s only fair. But every time we see the preview, we keep thinking “Hey, someone remade Reindeer Games as a comedy.” We keep hearing the film described as a “black comedy” but that requires subtlety. And lately, director Harold Ramis has handled subtlety the way Gary Glitter handles Vietnamese children.

For those who’ll be staying in town, you can counteract all that family fun with some good rock and roll debauchery. New York Doll, the story of Arthur “Killer” Kane who went from member of the New York Dolls, to Mormon librarian and back again, will screen at the Music Box starting Friday. Stay late and you can catch Rocky Horror Picture Show too.

As the weekend winds down, relax at the Gene Siskel Film Center with the Chicago premiere of Everything’s Coming My Way: The Life and Music of Gordon Thomas. The directors will appear in person to present their film about former big band trombonist Thomas, who gets a chance to perform his own compositions for the first time at the ripe old age of 89. Way more impressive than your grandfather’s pull-my-finger trick and showing this Sunday night at 5:15 PM.