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Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.


Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris


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Film review

'Kranks' makes audience cranky

By BILLY NORRIS
Published November 29, 2004

Photo
[Sony Pictures]
Jamie Lee Curtis, left, Dan Aykroyd, and other stars famous for inciting laughter fail to do more than create a few grins in Christmas With the Kranks.

Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

Movie: Christmas With the Kranks

Rating: PG

Summary: For the first time in 23 years, Luther and Nora Krank (Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) will be without their daughter Blair (Julie Gonzalo) on Christmas. She has joined the Peace Corps and will be in Peru for more than a year. Luther, fed up with the money "thrown away" every year on Christmas, proposes skipping the holiday. Nora reluctantly agrees and, much to the neighbors' chagrin, the Kranks begin planning a 10-day Caribbean cruise and their boycott of the holiday.

My view: This film is disappointingly mediocre. It is based on a John Grisham novel and is a grand departure from Grisham's typical legal lore. It's a pleasant tale, but nothing sets it apart from run-of-the-mill Christmas fare. The cast is loaded with stars - Dan Aykroyd and Cheech Marin play supporting roles, along with Allen and Curtis - but they didn't bring anything spectacular to the movie. I found myself only grinning at the intended humorous material; rarely did I actually laugh. The ending probably will be the only happy ending Christmas With the Kranks will see: It probably won't be having a very happy ending in the box office.

Recommendations: If you're waiting for this year's Elf, you won't find it here.

Grade: C

- Billy Norris, 17, in the 11th grade at Seminole High School, is a former member of the X-Team.

[Last modified November 26, 2004, 09:55:09]

Here's the rest of today's Xpress

  • Warm memories of thoughtful places
  • XPress rules

  • Film review
  • 'Kranks' makes audience cranky
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