Movie magic


WHAT better way to spend the school holidays than to catch up with movie watching and channel surfing? It may not be the most industrious or beneficial way to spend your time but heck, it's a load of fun! 

For movies buffs, there's a host of new movies playing, some of which are featured below. For those of you who have not had the chance to watch some of this year's biggest hits – Shrek 2, Spiderman 2, The Passion of the Christ, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Day After Tomorrow, The Bourne Supremacy, Elf and many more – get in touch with your usual DVD supplier. 

Alternatively, check out the Ikano CineMagic Theatre at the Ikano Power Centre in Mutiara Damansara which claims to be “the first open air theatre in a shopping mall”. 

'Ella Enchanted' is a Cinderella-like tale that will surely leave you warm.

It will feature a movie every Friday and Saturday night from Nov 12 to Dec 18. Tickets are pried at RM6 for adults (15 years and above), RM2 for children aged eight to 14, while for children aged seven and below, entrance is free. 

The movies start at 8pm for every screening but head there early to book your favourite spot as there is no reserved seating. Doors open at 7pm. 

Movies featured are Shrek 2 (Nov 12), Big Fish (Nov 13), Finding Nemo (Nov 19), Peter Pan (Nov 20), Garfield (Nov 26), A Cinderella Story (Nov 27), Mean Girls (Dec 3), I, Robot (Dec 4), Spiderman 2 (Dec 10), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Dec 11), Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (Dec 17) and 13 Going on 30 (Dec 18).  

For control freaks who love clicking away at the television or Astro remote control, check out some of the featured highlights this holiday season.  

Big or small, the screen has a lot to offer! 

Movies: Now showing and coming soon 

The Polar Express 

For those of you who have not read Chris Van Allsburg's best-selling novel The Polar Express, do it before the movie's release on Dec 2. Then, you will not only be able to brag to your friends about the subtle differences between the book and the movie but also appreciate the movie more.  

A typical feel-good Christmas movie, The Polar Express deals with what every child wonders about – does Santa Claus really exist?  

While waiting to hear Santa's reindeer late one Christmas eve, a cynical boy instead hears the chugging of a train on his roof and is invited aboard the Polar Express to embark on a journey of fun and adventure. 

The computer-generated images are a cut above previous animation efforts, making this train's journey through mountainous terrain and icy lakes all the more realistic. The CGI is so good that some scenes will actually leave you sitting on the edge of your seats! 

For adults who have lost faith in Santa Claus and the Christmas spirit, this movie will help you recapture the magic of Christmas. 

The Incredibles 

A superhero story unlike any before, The Incredibles features a typically dysfunctional family, coping with the pressures of everyday life in suburbia while trying to keep their identities as superheroes anonymous. 

Leading The Supers, as they are known, is Bob Parr who is on the verge of a nervous breakdown juggling his job as an insurance claims specialist and roles as husband and father. 

Under a special witness protection programme to hide their identifies as superheroes, the family is continually put to the test to suppress their powers...until one day when Mr Incredible himself (Bob Parr) is called up by a secret informant for a mission. 

The rest is a roller-coaster ride of hilarious adventure. Despite being an animation flick, this movie's plot is adult-oriented in various respects. For one thing, the movie is about two hours long and has some rather violent scenes. 

Still, don't miss this one. Make it a family outing as it readily dishes out laughs for both parents and children. It's already proving to be a huge hit in the United States. 

Shark Tale 

Make no mistake, this is a gangster flick – with a load of laughs! Well, how else would you characterise a movie that's a mix of The Godfather, Jaws and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?  

It boasts a cast that includes Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renee Zellweger, Angelina Jolie and Jack Black. As one reviewer put it, “It's very Will Smith, so be prepared for lots of laughs”.  

Smith's character, Oscar, is at the centre of a murder mystery when he claims to have murdered the son of a mafia boss (De Niro). While it seemed cool at the time, his role as gangster-fish backfires when he learns that there are dire consequences involved. 

Although the movie, geared towards a younger audience, did not live up to most reviewers' expectations, it entertained nonetheless.  

Phantom of the Opera 

Yet another version of Phantom of the Opera makes it to the big screen. 

Deep in the recesses of a French opera house lives the “phantom” who terrorises members of the cast and crew until he meets Christine, his one true love. But the phantom is not the only one who is in love with Christine.  

Watch the movie to know what happens next. 

The story has come a long way since the original movie was produced in 1925. The version that's scheduled to be released on Dec 16 in cinemas nationwide is Andrew Lloyd Webber's acclaimed stage musical. There are many eager “Phantom” fans who are waiting to see if the movie lives up to its stage production's reputation.  

For those of you who have not watched the movie or the play before – be prepared to fall in love with it! 

Alexander 

What Alexander The Great accomplished by age 32 was astounding by any measure. Considered a military mastermind, he amassed an empire that stretched from Greece to as far as India, temporarily uniting the East and West. 

'Alexander' offers fascinating insights into one of history's greatest military masterminds.

In a rare attempt to capture one of history's most captivating military men and explorer, Oscar-winning director/screenwriter Oliver Stone's Alexander is expected to feature some astonishing footage captured in locations around the world. Couple that with the costumes, music and a winning cast, and a hit is expected – and perhaps history in the making at next year's Oscars! Scheduled to open on Nov 26. 

Ella Enchanted 

Imagine having to live under spell of obedience, always having to do whatever you're told. It's a trying task by any measure. Factor in a stepmother from hell and it spells disaster for Ella, who is best described as a social activist in Cinderella's shoes. 

Ella, played by Anne Hathaway (Princess Diaries), is a determined young girl who takes it upon herself to fight for the rights of ogres, elves and giants, who have been told by Prince Edgar to leave the city and live in the forest. In her journey, she (of course) meets her prince charming, Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy) who helps here in her endeavour. 

This chick flick opens Dec 2. 

What's on TV? 

Nickelodeon 

From Dec 20 to 25, Nickelodeon will host A Fairly Odd Christmas where it will screen holiday-themed Nick shows to all fans out there! 

Holiday episodes include Romeo, My Dad the Rockstar, Rugrats, Eddie McDowd, Invader Zim, Spongebob SquarePants & Jimmy Neutron.  

On Christmas Day, catch all these episodes again for five hours non-stop plus a never-seen-before episode of The Fairly Odd Parents; The Big SuperHero Wish.  

In this episode, Timmy is disappointed by his friends and family and wishes the whole world would be like his Crimson Chin comic book, filled with Superheroes who would never let him down. It’s a Christmas wish you’re not going to forget!  

On New Year's eve at 1pm and 6.30pm there will be an hour-long special screening of All That to celebrate its 100th episode, featuring a galaxy of stars, music, mayhem and lots of laughs! 

Disney 

Monsters Inc 

Huggable Sully and his hilarious one-eyed sidekick, Mike, are in town to practice their kid-scaring tactics! The idea is to emerge as top Scarer - the monster that can induce the loudest and most number of screams from children. Monsters Inc., the largest scream-producing factory in the world, is set in the monster-infested town of Monstropolis where children are believed to be toxic so direct contact with them is forbidden. Unfortunately, things become complicated when a little girl named Boo unwittingly follows Sully back into his monster world. 

When? Nov 27 at 7.30pm, with repeat on Nov 28 at 12pm. 

Finding Nemo 

Fish Ahoy! There are 3.7 trillion fish in the ocean but the search is on for one precocious clownfish in this underwater adventure. On the way to his first day of school, the ever-playful Nemo gets sidetracked and captured by a scuba diver. Life takes a drastic turn as Nemo winds up in a fish tank in a dentist's office overlooking the Sydney Harbor!  

When? Christmas Day at 7.30pm. 

Jungle Book 2 

Jungle boy Mowgli begins to feel out of place in his new home despite the efforts of his friend Shanti and his new little brother. So when his old friend Baloo pops in for a visit, the man-cub seizes the opportunity to return to the bare necessities of the wild for some fun in the jungle! However, the evil tiger Shere Khan is still on the hunt and seeking payback after Mowgli's last adventure!  

When? Dec 11 and 12 at 7.30pm. 

Playhouse Disney Channel 

Winnie the Pooh Spreads the Holiday Cheer 

Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year  

Playhouse Disney Channel has lined up special Christmas movies from Winnie the Pooh that will warm every child’s heart this season.  

When? Christmas Eve (Holiday Cheer) at 10am and 6pm and New Year's Ever at 10am and 6pm (Merry Pooh Year). 

A Madeline Misadventure 

Madeline always tries to be on her best behaviour but when the little pride of Paris tries to stop some thieves in the midst of pulling a heist at The Louvre, she is mistakenly accused of misbehaving. As a result, she gets sent to a London etiquette school to improve on her manners but learns of a plot to steal the crown jewels - by the very same crooks. Now it's up to Madeline to foil the plans and protect the priceless crown jewels.  

When? Dec 3 at 10am and 6pm. 

Cartoon Network 

Xiaolin Showdown 

Don’t miss the national premiere of Xiaolin Showdown this December. 

Four young warriors unite to bravely battle evil. Omi, a gifted Xiaolin Dragon-in-training, and his fellow trainees, rich Japanese hacker girl Kimiko, flashy Brazilian circus star Raimundo and Texas Kung Fu cowboy Clay, travel around the world to find and protect the sacred Shen Gong Wu-ancient power objects, which hold the keys to martial arts superpowers. 

Challenging the young monks in their noble quest are legendary witch Wuya and her evil boy genius apprentice, Jack Spicer, aided by his custom-built robot army.  

When? Starts Dec 3, every Friday, 4pm. 

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends        

From Craig McCracken, creator of The Powerpuff Girls, comes Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, which follows the adventures of Mac, a smart, creative and shy eight-year-old, and his imaginary friend Bloo. Mac's mom thinks that her son is too old to have an imaginary friend, so Bloo is sent to live at the Victorian mansion that serves as Madame Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Enter a whimsical world where your friends are as funny and peculiar as you could, well, imagine!  

When? Starts Dec 5 and is on every Sunday at 8am and 7.30pm. 

Atomic Betty 

Betty is a little girl with a big secret. To the people of Moosejaw Heights, Betty is just ? Betty, a girl with an odd habit of disappearing at short notice. But to the 4,385,263,627,552 planets in our galaxy, she is Atomic Betty – Galactic Guardian, Champion of the Cosmos and Defender of the Milky Way!  

When? Starts Dec 4 and will be on every Sunday at 7am and 4.30pm. Repeat: Saturday at 7am and 4.30pm. 

Very Jerry Christmas 

Your favourite mouse Jerry is joining the Christmas celebrations this year and he has brought your favourite cartoon stars along with him. Celebrate Christmas with the Powerpuff Girls, Dexter, Scooby-Doo, Johnny Bravo, the Jetsons and Courage the Cowardly Dog, in a 36-hour cartoon marathon featuring some of your favourite movies like The Little Polar Bear and Tom & Jerry: The Magic Ring, as well as Christmas specials including The Powerpuff Girls: Twas the Fight before Christmas and A Johnny Bravo Christmas.  

When? Starts on Christmas eve at 7pm and on Dec 26 at 7am. 

TV3 

TV3 is allocating more programmes for children this coming school break. There will be more of your current favourites – Mon Colle Knight will be aired every Wednesday to Friday at 9.30am and Totally Spies, every Monday to Friday at 10.32am.  

More hours are being added to the TV3 Kids’ belt. There will be two full hours from 9am to 11am every Monday to Thursday, and four great hours every Friday from 9am to 1pm.  

For the festivities, Fluppy Dogs will be aired on Thursday, Nov 11 at 9am. It is about a group of dogs from another dimension that gain possession of a key that allows them to open doorways and travel through dimensions.  

During Hari Raya, catch Goofy’s Guide To Success on Nov 13 at 9am where the lovable Goody learns how to source for a career. 

Among the new shows to look forward to are Jackie Chan Adventure which debuts on Nov 20 at 9am, Sponge Bob Square Pants every Sunday to Thursday at 10am beginning Nov 22, Danny Phantom every Friday at 10am and My Life As A Teenage Robot on Saturdays at 9.30am.  

Among the Disney movies to look forward to are A Knight in Camelot on Nov 19 at 11am and Your Lucky Dog on Nov 26 at 11am.  

Now, which girl does not love Barbie? It is almost every little girl’s dream to be like this famous character. This school break, TV3 has one very special show featuring the beautiful Barbie in Barbie As The Princess And The Pauper. It will be aired on Nov 21 at 9.30am.  

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