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One of the real pleasures of the holiday week off was the chance to go to the movies a bunch of times. I read recently that the average American goes to a movie theater fewer than six times a year…well, I almost beat that in a single week.

(Though it paled compared to my days as a film student, when I’d see 150 movies a year…and that was in the days before VCRs, DVDs and cable television!)

My favorite movie during the recent spell of theater-going was “Munich,” the Steven Spielberg-directed thriller about Israeli agents tracking down the terrorists responsible for the killing of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. “Munich” is a work of amazing power, as it lays out in heart-breaking detail the psychological damage that can be caused by a secret war. Beautifully acted by Eric Bana, Daniel Craig (the new James Bond), Ciarán Hinds and Geoffrey Rush, “Munich” is thought-provoking and Spielberg at the height of his powers.

I was somewhat less enthralled with “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” My kids all liked it, but it just ain’t my genre.

One movie that has generated almost universally poor reviews is “Rumor Has it…”, the Rob Reiner-directed movie about a woman (Jennifer Anniston) who finds out that the characters in “The Graduate” were modeled on her family. But here’s the thing – everybody I know who has seen it has liked it. Including me. It just sort of works as an audience pleaser, and Kevin Costner shows some of that old “Bull Durham” charm.

Finally, I saw “The Producers,” the film version of the hit Broadway musical. It isn’t a completely successful transition, and some of the best songs from the stage version have been cut out – but Nathan Lane is a stitch and Will Ferrell is, as always, very, very funny.

One other movie worth seeing: “Crash” (2004), which is just out on DVD. Directed by Paul Haggis, it is the story of disparate residents of Los Angeles who are disconnected by the isolated cultures in which they live, and yet connected through random acts of violence. It has a wonderful cast, including Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard, and it reminded me of a seventies Robert Altman film in its structure and complexity. This is a terrific and troubling movie, and is almost a companion piece to Lawrence Kasdan’s barely sunnier “Grand Canyon” (1991).

Just nine days until “24.” Yippee.

New Yea’s Eve this year featured grilled lobster with a crabmeat stuffing, and a farro risotto made with bacon, carrots and peas. I learned two things about farro – it makes wonderful risotto (though it takes a little longer to cook than Arborio rice), and it tastes even better the next day when heated up in the microwave.

Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” is hosting the Oscars this year. Priceless.

A few wines for you to try.

A 2003 Barefoot Reserve Pinot Noir from Sonoma Valley, which is rich and smooth with just a hint of cranberries.

And a 2000 J. Bookwalter Cabernet Sauvignon was spicy and elegant…one of the best wines we’ve tasted in a long time. The only downside – after we opened and drank it we did a little research and found out it would have tasted even better between 2008 and 2015.

Ah, well. It wasn’t so bad a couple of years early.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for your patience with the new site…and we’ll see you on Monday.

Have a great weekend.

KC's View: