http://chud.com/nextraimages/berniebernie.jpgHope you had Christmases. Really. I’m not just saying that. I got monogrammed towels. I’m at an age where that’s an awesome gift. I also got Steve Martin’s autobiography, which is excellent, and highly recommend, though short (I breezed through a hundred pages without trying on my flight back). I went home for the holidays. To Portland, Oregon. I’m at the point now with my mother where we get along rather well, which is something that was earned. It was great to go to a party and have ask me to drive because she wanted to drink. I met friends at 1:40 in the morning Christmas night because I wouldn’t see them again for at least a year. It’s funny how quick that can pass though. I saw people I went to high school with. The years have changed them and made them remain the same in different ways then you’d think. It’s funny when some are married, divorced, balding when they were once rocking long hair, or shaved bald to make sure their age doesn’t show.

I went out dancing tonight. Someone recorded me on their phone. If you see a large blond man dancing to Atomic Dog somehow making the rounds on Youtube, I’ve been punked. Or have ascended into godhood. One way or the other.

AND SO THE YEAR ENDS

Not with a bang but a whimper. Paul Thomas Anderson went the mellow route on There Will Be Blood awards wise, at least mostly, in that it premiered in Austin, and is opening this week on two screens (technically more, as the Arclight has three prints going), while The Bucket List, Persepolis and The Orhanage round out the academy hopeful making their debuts this week. AVP:S (the S is for Shit), The Great Debators and Academy frontrunner The Water Arm: Legend of Don Murphy (bows to Justin) opened for Christmas. And what have you done. While Juno, and another award hopeful The Savages expanded, with Juno hitting near 1000 screens and the latter tagging a little over a hundred.

Next week, once the technical year is over, we can sift through the true winners and losers. Such as they are. Though at this point, I’ve probably made those clear week in and week out. The true winners will be films like No Country for Old Men or the Apatow films that worked – all exceeding expectations – and the losers will be the same cans kicked around for the year, like The Invasion, The Golden Compass (a deadly Kidman/Craig two-fer), Evan Almighty, and the like. I will try and make it interesting though, and through in random references to Childhood memorabilia, music I love, the collected works of e.e. cummings, the works of Carl Theodore Dryer and Max Ophuls, and maybe, just maybe, a taste of Jean Renoir’s father, Pierre-August Renoir. But I’m like that. Classy. Like a man who calls the next day.

Speaking of nostalgia, remember those Dairy Queen ads? The ones where there was a chocolate explosion in the land of chocolate waterfalls when a pesky strawberry fell into the mix? I would love to see a film set in that environment. The people who one day hope to eat a healthy meal. I feel for them. It would have to rain chocolate there, wouldn’t it? Would all their carbon emissions eventual turn it into a toxic White Chocolate rain? Would there be Pineapple wranglers? Those ads scare me. But I love them. Like I love the ads back in the day for Rainer or Hamm’s, the beer refreshing. Hamms, the beer refreshing. Seriously, they sold beer with a carton bear? When I was a kid playing hockey, I would star at that whilst playing goalie hanging out at the back of the skating rink. No wonder I drink too much.

MY MOON, MY PREDICTION, A CHANGEABLE PREDICTION, SUCH A LOVEABLE PREDICTION TO ME

After last weekend’s take, you’re dealing with a lot of people who ain’t working. At least in the business sector. Monday-Tuesday were holiday days for many, and so will be next Monday and Tuesday.

AVP:SHITE opened strong on Tuesday to a near $10 million gross but rather putrid word of mouth will hurt as much as nothing much else new will help. It sounds like repeat business won’t be much of a factor since most real grindhouses are gone, and heroin addicts have found better places to shoot up in New York. But because of the 3-day/5-day factor, some thing will surely slum well. But not much will change, and the numbers for Walk Hard will not get much better. Sadly. For it. I plan on spending the weekend playing year-end catch-up thanks to friends with academy screeners, and the local multiplex. And, of course, partying like it’s 1999.

So, let me give you the five crack commandments:

1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets – 34.8 Million
2. I Am Legend – 25.9 Million
3. Alvin and the Shitmunks – 23.4 Million
4. Alien vs. Pralien vs. Kramer vs. Kramer vs. Versus vs. Predator - $15.1 Million
5. Charlie Wilson’s War – 8.5 Million

Though if Juno or The Great Debaters slips into #5, I’ll be wrong. But right in mentioning that I might be wrong.

Sunday, Sunday. That’s my fun day. How long must we sing this song? Cause tonight… we can be as one.