Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 51
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

Kam’s Kapsules by Kam Williams

2012 (PG-13 for profanity and intense disaster sequences). Adventure about the heroic efforts of an academic researcher (John Cusack) to lead a group of survivors to safety in the wake of an apocalyptic global event which devastates the planet, leaving humanity on the brink of extinction. Cast includes Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover, and Woody Harrelson.

Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Squeakquel (PG for mild rude humor). Animated sequel reunites the singing siblings Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) for another round of hijinks during which they find themselves facing the pressures of school, celebrity, and competition from a female group called The Chipettes. With voiceover work by Amy Poehler, Anna Faris, and Christina Applegate.

Armored (PG-13 for intense violence, disturbing images, and brief profanity). Action thriller about employees of an armored car company whose foolproof plan to steal $42 million from one of their own trucks goes horribly wrong when one of the conspirators (Columbus Short) has misgivings after a cop (Milo Ventimiglia) is shot during the heist. With Laurence Fishburne, Matt Dillon, Skeet Ulrich, Jean Reno, Fred Ward, and John Cena.

Avatar (PG-13 for sensuality, profanity, smoking, and intense epic battle sequences). James Cameron’s long-awaited science fiction thriller, revolving around a paraplegic, ex-Marine (Sam Worthington) torn between loyalty to the corporate employer which sent him to extract rare minerals from a remote planet and his concern for the welfare of the locals, especially the attractive humanoid (Zoe Saldana) who turns his head. Cast includes Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Laz Alonso, CCH Pounder, and Giovanni Ribisi.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (Unrated). Nicolas Cage handles the title role in this remake loosely based on a 1992, New York City crime thriller, now set in post-Katrina New Orleans and chronicling the efforts of an amoral cop to solve the murder of several Senegalese immigrants. Cast includes Val Kilmer, Michael Shannon, Eva Mendes, Xzibit, Jennifer Coolidge, Fairuza Balk, Denzel Whitaker, and Brad Dourif. In English and Spanish with subtitles.

The Blind Side (PG-13 for sexual references, drug use, and brief violence). Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw co-star in this true story about a wealthy white couple who adopt a homeless black teenager (Quinton Aaron) and help him pursue his dream of playing football in college and professionally.

Brothers (R for profanity and disturbing violence). Jim Sheridan directs this dysfunctional family drama about an ex-con (Jake Gyllenhaal) who gets involved with his big brother’s (Tobey Maguire) wife (Natalie Portman) after his sibling goes missing in Afghanistan, only to have a lot of explaining to do upon the decorated veteran’s rescue and return to the States. Cast includes Sam Shepard and Mare Winningham.

A Christmas Carol (PG for scary images). Animated Disney version of the Charles Dickens classic about a miserly cold hearted curmudgeon (Jim Carrey) who has to experience an epiphany in order to be able to appreciate the holiday season. With voice work by Bob Hoskins, Colin Firth, Robin Wright Penn, Gary Oldman, and Fionnula Flanagan.

Did You Hear about the Morgans? (PG-13 for sexual references and momentary violence). Romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker as an estranged couple who get a sorely needed change of scenery and an opportunity to work on their marriage when they’re relocated by the FBI from Manhattan to Wyoming for their own protection after witnessing a murder. With Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen, Mandy Moore, and Wilfred Brimley.

An Education (PG-13 for sexuality, smoking, and mature themes). Coming-of-age drama, set in London in the sixties, adapted by Nick Hornby from Lynn Barber’s memoir about a bright 17-year-old (Carey Mulligan) who abandons her plans to attend Oxford in order to entertain the advances of a suave gentleman (Peter Sarsgaard) more than twice her age. With Alfred Molina, Olivia Williams, and Cara Seymour.

Everybody’s Fine (PG-13 for mature themes and brief profanity). Robert De Niro stars in this remake of Stanno Tutti Bene (1990) the Italian drama about a grieving widower who embarks on an impromptu road trip against doctor’s orders in order to reconnect with his grown children (Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, and Sam Rockwell) after they decline his offer to host a family reunion.

Fantastic Mr. Fox (PG for action, smoking, and slang). Wes Anderson directs this animated comedy about three mean farmers (Michael Gambon, Robin Hurlstone, and Hugo Guinness) who join forces to catch the clever fox (George Clooney) who’s been raiding their chicken coops. Voice cast includes Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, and Jason Schwartzman.

Invictus (PG-13 for brief profanity). Clint Eastwood directs this uplifting saga based on John Carlin’s best seller recounting recently elected South African President Nelson Mandela’s (Morgan Freeman) attempt to unite his apartheid divided nation during the national rugby team’s run to the 1995 World Cup Championship. Co-starring Matt Damon and Scott Eastwood.

It’s Complicated (R for drug use and sexuality). Midlife crisis sitcom about a divorced restaurateur (Meryl Streep) who embarks on an ill-advised affair with her remarried ex-husband (Alec Baldwin) after sparks start to fly again at their son’s (Hunter Parrish) college graduation. With Steve Martin, Lake Bell, Mary Kay Place, Rita Wilson, and Zoe Kazan.

Me and Orson Welles (PG-13 for smoking and sexual references). Zac Efron stars in this screen adaptation of Robert Kaplow’s historical novel, set in 1937, about the ill-fated love affair between a young actor cast in a New York City production of Julius Caesar and an ambitious stage assistant (Claire Danes) who’d just as soon sleep with the play’s womanizing director, Orson Welles (Christian McKay). With Eddie Marsan as John Houseman and James Tupper as Joseph Cotten.

Ninja Assassin (R for profanity and graphic violence). Korean singing sensation Rain stars as the title character in this martial arts saga about a renegade from a secret society of trained killers who is forced to fight his former comrades when they trail him from the Far East to Berlin. With Naomie Harris, Rick Yune, and Ben Miles.

Old Dogs (PG for crude humor). Disney family comedy about a couple of freewheeling bachelors and business partners (John Travolta and Robin Williams) who get a big lesson in what’s really important in life when they’re suddenly left in charge of the 7-year-old twins (Ella Bleu Travolta and Conner Rayburn) that one of them never knew he’d fathered with his ex (Kelly Preston). Cast includes Seth Green, Matt Dillon, Ann-Margaret, Amy Sedaris, Rita Wilson, and features the final screen performance of the late Bernie Mac.

Precious (R for rape, child abuse, pervasive profanity, and ethnic slurs). Lee Daniels directs this screen adaptation of the Sapphire best seller, set in Harlem in 1987, about a teenage mother’s (Gabby Sidibe) attempt to finish school and to find love in the face of a monstrous mother (Mo’Nique) who insists she’ll never amount to anything. With Mariah Carey, Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz, and Sherri Shepherd.

The Princess and the Frog (G). Animated musical tale, set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where a jazz loving frog (Bruno Campos) is turned back into a prince with the help of a kiss from a beautiful waitress (Anika Noni Rose). With voiceover work by Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, John Goodman, Keith David, Jenifer Lewis, and Randy Newman.

A Serious Man (R for profanity, sexuality, nudity, and brief violence). Semi-autobiographical comedy set in Minnesota in 1967, written and directed by the Coen Brothers, about a college professor (Michael Stuhlbarg) whose life falls apart when he is left by his wife (Sari Lennick) for one of his colleagues (Fred Melamed).

Sherlock Holmes (PG-13 for intense violence, startling images, and one suggestive scene). Latest incarnation of the legendary sleuth created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle features Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role, accompanied by Jude Law as the loyal Dr. Watson. Crime thriller pits the pair in a battle of wits with a diabolical Satanist (Mark Strong) who has risen from the dead to resume a gruesome killing spree.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (PG-13 for violence and action). Second installment in Stephenie Meyer’s fantasy series finds 18-year-old Bella (Kristen Stewart) brokenhearted but in a budding relationship with her mysterious childhood friend, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), after her vampire lover Edward (Robert Pattinson) and the rest of the Cullen clan leave town to protect her from their craven bloodlust. Cast includes Dakota Fanning, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, and Billy Burke.

Up in the Air (R for profanity and sexuality). Jason Reitman directs this screen adaptation of Walter Kirn’s best seller about a hatchet man (George Clooney) who works for a downsizing corporation who suddenly finds himself grounded just when he’s on the brink of accumulating ten million frequent flyer miles and right after he’s fallen in love with a like-minded traveler (Vera Farmiga). With Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Sam Elliott, Danny McBride, and Zach Galifianakis.

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