Tom Cruise Did It Again.

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Happy Boxing Day! In case you aren’t completely familiar with it, Boxing Day is one of those holidays that the US doesn’t celebrate but most everyone else on earth does. It’s got more than a few suspected origins, but it’s generally celebrated as a day of charity, helping the needy, and/or (depending on the country) shopping. In related news, how was your Christmas? Or, if you’re not an observer, how were the last three days – otherwise known as Christmas weekend? Ours was lovely here in Southern California, although the whole tinsel-on-a-palm-tree does take some getting used to…. Did you catch any of the three hundred football games that appeared to have taken over every news channel I was seeking on TV with my clicker? We had family here in LA, alongside the always fun PCA Prezy Fred Nelson (who’s out here on account of the fact that January 11th will be here sooner than you think). The Awards are less than three weeks away. Did you vote for shows yet? You still can; let us know your picks. Best  TV newbies (and I have to say that this year yielded a bumper crop).I think a certain soapy drama about a pretty young thing exacting retribution upon the idle rich on Long Islands’ Hamptons is by far the best, but that’s just me.

Now, what’s an ideal diversion on weekends – holiday or otherwise – for you? If you’re me, you’re headed to the movies. Which I will be today, because today’s one of those weird non-holiday holidays where some people are working, some are not, but everyone’s exhausted. And getting ready to return a lot of Christmas loot. What’s the best movie out there right now? Contrary to some predictions, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo did not do as swimmingly as initially expected. Even though it debuted impressively, somehow Tom Cruise managed to blow it and everyone else away with his latest installment Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Right behind MI 4? Sherlock Holmes, followed closely by Alvin and the Chipmunks. Which makes you wonder… Why didn’t Dragon Tattoo do better? ? Is it because Tom Cruise can always hook us with a smart thriller? Is it because we love a little escapist fun (that may or may not include hot guys doing swan dives off skyscrapers in Dubai)? Is it because lots of kids had to see Alvin a fourth time and parents needed something new to watch in the meantime? Is it because we all got Sherlock Holmes out of the way before Christmas and the family wanted something “diverting” that wasn’t necessarily “gory?” It’s probably all of the above. But here’s another thing: the hype for Dragon Tattoo has been beyond extreme. Especially with David Fincher (Dragon’s director, who also made Se7en and Fight Club) not being known for his light touch when it comes to violence. Oh, this movie will do really well, there’s no doubt – but it was disappointing to its makers this weekend and I’m guessing that perhaps women got a little turned off by the violence. For even though it’s guaranteed to make Rooney Mara a big star, the original title of the book was Men Who Hate Women. The extremely graphic (and sexual) brutality may keep soccer moms at bay. On the other hand, maybe it’s just a matter of time before the thing becomes a huge hit. We’ll wait and see. What do you think? Will you see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo? If you already have, by all means let us know what you think. Now, let’s give props to the box office champ with a look at some of his other blockbusters.

Today’s poll:

Tom Cruise won the box office race with Ghost Protocol. Which of these other films is your favorite?

1) Minority Report

2) Top Gun

3) Jerry Maguire

4) Mission Impossible (1,2,3)

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