Holiday movie season disappoints fans

Though the leaves have begun to turn the most vibrant and beautiful oranges and reds, and the temperature outside is not nearly as stifling as it was just a month ago, I can’t help but feel somewhat depressed and ashamed of where this season is inevitably heading.

Could it be my lack of motivation in almost all of my classes that is bringing me down? No, I’ve accepted (and somewhat embraced) that. How about my intense diffidence and uncertainty of what life after Tech will be like? Well, that’s more of a constant and ongoing ulcer.

No, this current problem is sadly out of my control—one that I am powerless over. As the holidays approach, moviegoers will arrive at theaters with faces aglow, giddy with anticipation that only the cinema can provide—and discover that there is absolutely nothing to see. It’s that time of year when we should be full steam ahead for a slew of big Oscar contenders, and yet the horizon is looking rather bleak.

It was around this time last year when moviegoers were treated to the Coen brothers’ instant classic No Country for Old Men. December saw the release of the quirky, crowd-pleasing Juno and the horrifying, arguably perfect There Will Be Blood. Is there anything coming up that looks as though it could even compare to these? Are Twilight and Transporter 3 really going to carry the complex storyline of Michael Clayton or the style of Sweeney Todd?

All right, I know it’s a little unfair to compare the complexity of a film aimed at teen girls about teen vampires to a film about a fixer in a law firm and the moral ambiguities that arise, but the point is that there doesn’t seem to be anything on deck that really has that “Wow, I have to see that!” kind of appeal.

What makes it worse is that last year felt slow too. Honestly, movies like Michael Clayton didn’t grab my attention at first. I put off seeing it until well after its release. A few films that ended up receiving stellar reviews and winning multiple awards didn’t seem all that interesting in the beginning. So it could be that there are some hidden gems in what currently looks to be a rather slow upcoming season at the movies. But at least last year I was looking forward to some things. I wanted to see No Country. I wanted to see There Will Be Blood. I can’t honestly say I want to see Four Christmases.

All hope is not lost, though. Today marks the release of the new James Bond flick, and if it’s half as good as the previous installment, well…I guess it would be half of a really good movie. With action aplenty, Quantum of Solace should at least be a nice diversion. But will installment number 22 of the series really have something that awards-season moviegoers can sink their teeth into? It’s not likely.

If James Bond isn’t your thing, Christmas might have the solution. David Fincher of Fight Club and Se7en fame now releases The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a story about a man who ages backwards.

The prerelease buzz along with an excellent trailer put Benjamin Button as the shining beacon of hope at the end of the year. And for those who lack faith in Fincher, still thinking of him as that guy who just makes cult movies with no real substance, I urge them to go see his last film, 2007’s Zodiac.

Although the movie season does look dull (with a few aforementioned exceptions), people seeking entertainment can hopefully find their fix through other mediums. For those who enjoy video games, take solace in what appears to be a golden age of gaming. Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, Gears of War 2, Fable 2, LittleBigPlanet, Rock Band 2, Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge have all been released within the past couple of months, giving gamers plenty of options on how to empty their wallets.

This movie season might not currently be filled with as many homeruns as we may have hoped, but maybe the upcoming months will see the uncovering of some surprises. Until then, try to enjoy the young, brooding vampires and more of Jason Statham’s ridiculous action sequences.