“The Tourist” – Dearth in Venice

Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s “The Tourist,” a big, bountiful cat-and-mouser with hardly hidden aspirations to “Charade” (1963) and “North by Northwest” (1959), is like a fully loaded luxury car. While the overindulgence initially impresses, after a while you long for the engineering and élan of a much more sophisticated ride.

Writer’s Block: What Do You Want For Christmas?

Overheard at the mall this weekend: “I want new Uggs for Christmas, Mom, and not those knock-off ones because they’re not good. I could also use a new Coach bag and, oh yeah, a navy blue cashmere sweater. And you could tell Aunt Janice she could get me a gift certificate to Sephora. Okay?”