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MOVIE CHATTER

A Sunday kind of movie
What's better than seeing a film? Arguing about it afterward! There's a priceless opportunity to do just that at 1 p.m. on Jan. 9, when the City of Light Film Group holds its next meeting at the Angelika Film Center. Everyone's welcome. (Call 855-3096 for information.) This time around, the movie screened will be "The Cider House Rules." After the final credits roll, the group adjourns for coffee at the Angelika Cafe and conversation, monitored by movie guru Marvin Lunenfeld. In case you didn't read the novel by John Irving, "The Cider House Rules" concerns "a young man who finds himself irrevocably tied to the orphanage in which he grew up, and the abortion doctor who runs the facility." It sounds like something worth arguing to us. We predict a colorful afternoon.

Frankly, my dear...
. . . we couldn't think of any nicer way to warm up a long winter evening than watching "Gone With the Wind." The 1939 classic has everything. A win/win situation (woman forced to choose between Clark Gable and Leslie Howard). Lots of voluminous clothes and calories (that barbecue at Twelve Oaks alone has been known to add five pounds to viewers' frames). And that teary, magnificent music by Max Steiner. "Gone With the Wind" is showing tonight at 7 p.m., free, in the Arts Council of Wyoming County Gallery, 31 S. Main Street in Perry. Here's a wonderful chance to watch the movie as it should be seen -- among intelligent people, without all kinds of cretins yelling the lines and ruining things. And may we add that when that wind chill factor kicks in, magnolia trees and soft Southern drawls make for powerful therapy.
Bicentennial cliches
Those holiday blockbusters, we love them. But sometimes we think we've seen them before. Maybe it's because movies share certain traits -- a few hundred of which are listed on a funny, grouchy Web site, www.moviecliches.com. We perused the list, keeping in mind as our test flick, just for the heck of it, "Bicentennial Man." And guess what? These cliches check out! "People are often exact duplicates of remote ancestors, or of their parent at the same age." Certainly true here: Williams initially confuses his sweetheart with her grandmother. "People never cough, sneeze or show any other symptoms of being in less than perfect health." True; in "Bicentennial Man," death comes only from sudden old age. Which brings us to one more accurate kvetch: "A dying person's last words will always be coherent and significant." Very true, in this Mercedes Benz of deathbed movies. Want to add your favorite cliches? Feel free; the site welcomes them.
-- Mary Kunz

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