Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

October 29, 2013

CALLERI: Get ready for the march of the motion pictures, plus a pair to see during the lull

Night & Day — I have to admit that when I saw Halloween candy at a local supermarket on a sweltering day in August, I was momentarily surprised and annoyed.

In September, I caught some television commercials exalting the upcoming Christmas holiday. Knowing the way the world is, it didn’t surprise me, although it did sadden me a bit. I like my holidays to be recognized, oh I don’t know, around the time they occur.

The Christmas spirit (or lack of respect for it) made me wonder what will happen to such proud November moments as Election Day, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving? Frankly, Thanksgiving seems more and more like a crass opportunity to binge-eat rather than a day to celebrate family and the bounty of America. Don’t get me started on what I consider to be the unfortunate opening of major stores on Thanksgiving. I always think about the employees and their families and the disruption to their lives. No, I don’t ever shop on Black Friday, which is now going to be linked to Bleak Thanksgiving Thursday, at least for those who have to go to work to ring up merchandise made in Asia.

Does anyone even think about Saint Nicholas Day anymore? That’s December 6 for the unfamiliar, and a fun day for children across Europe, especially in France and Italy. While growing up, our family always did something special that day.

I write this because faster than you can say “it’s only November,” the “holiday movie season” is going to overtake your lives. Coming at you starting Friday, November 8, and running at full gallop for eight weeks, are more films than many of you will see in theaters in an entire year.

This rush of movies is part of the annual “holiday” race to the Academy Awards. The field is so crowded, that three features set for Christmas have been pulled from release. The rescheduling of one of them is a big surprise. It’s “The Monuments Men,” the highly-anticipated, star-packed George Clooney-directed film about American art experts and the U.S. military saving priceless masterpieces from destruction during World War II. Clooney stated that his picture would not make its December 18 opening date due to work needed to be done on digital special effects. The others postponed until 2014 are “Foxcatcher,” Sony’s drama about Olympic wrestling and one family’s personal tragedy, and The Weinstein Company’s biography, “Grace Of Monaco.”

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