It’s getting harder to come up with new movies. I keep seeing the same old ones. But here goes.
The Christmas Chronicles
A new fare technically last year but I didn’t see it until this year. New telling of someone wrecks Christmas. Helps Santa save Christmas. But in a new refreshing way. I recommend. Starring Kurt Russell as St. Nick. Find it on Netflix.
Christmas With the Kranks
Couple decide to blow off Christmas and head for the tropics. Empty Nester kids announce they are going to show up after all. A mad dash at the last minute to do a months worth of decorating. Hilarity ensues. Another Tim Allen Christmas movie. He’s becoming to be the go to Christmas actor.
FX’s A Christmas Carol
Fox Extra’s channel retelling of A Christmas Carol. Starring Guy Pierce. This one’s a little dark, so it may not be for the very young.
This is the third installment of Christmas Movies. Search the post for the other two. Starting off is one I recently saw on FXM.
This story revolves around a boy names Max. He belongs to a modern suburban family , a mother and father that are consumed with the hectic problems of everyday life. A teenage older sister. And a kindly grandmother that mostly speaks German. Add to that the redneck hillbilly relative that are dropping in for the holidays. This group’s patriarch is played by David Koechner if that tells you anything.
Max gets disillusioned about the whole Christmas thing and disavows Santa Clause. This causes a demonic evil Santa called Krampus rise and start detroying the neighborhood in a whiteout blizzard. After much death and destruction, only Max believing in Santa again can save them.
All in all a nice dark comedy / horror movie. I had passed it up before but found it entertaining.
Prep and Landing
While not technically a movie, it a television show. The Dawg’s brother Rob told him about this one. There are two 30 minute specials Prep and Landing and Prep and Landing: Naughty vs Nice. These were co-developed by Disney and ABC. You can find these on one of their affiliate channels. I know Freeform channel is airing them this year. These revolve around the behind the scene elves that make Christmas possible. Wayne, a Christmas elf, is part of an elite organization known as “Prep & Landing”, whose job is to ready millions of homes around the world for Santa Clause’s visit. Nice story combined with good animation, something that Christmas cartoons aren’t known for.
About a couple, Brad and Kate played by Vince Vaughan and Reese Witherspoon, was filmed at the airport after their flight to Fiji was cancelled due to fog. A local TV news crew filmed them at the check in line. After all of their divorced parents see them on TV they are forced to go pay them visits individually. Naturally each visit is a different type of train wreck. Starring Robert Duvall and Mary Steenburgen as Brad’s parents. Jon Voight abd Sissy Spacek as Kate’s parents. Vince Vaughan plays the lovable straight man that seems to get constantly psychically abused.and Reese Witherspoon as always her generations go to comedic actress .
This movie is loaded with an all star cast and I highly recommend it. Go check out the cast list at IMDB.
The Santa Clause
And there’s The Santa Clause staring Tim Allen as Scott. A toy salesman. When Santa lands on his roof he wakes Scott’s son Charlie. Scott rushes outside startles Santa and falls off the roof unconscious. Scott finds a card on Santa that reads put the suit on the reindeer will know what to do. After Tim Allen puts on the suit Santa disappears. Son Charlie persuades Scott to deliver the rest of the toys. They climb up the roof into the sleigh and the reindeer fly off to the appointed houses. Afterward the head elf tell him that because he put the suit on he is legally obligated to be Santa. He goes on to tell him that he has one year to get his affairs in order before reporting back to the North Pole next Thanksgiving. During the next year he starts to transform into Santa. I’ll stop right there.
Tim Allen goes on to star in two more Santa Clause movies. All in all a fun filled movie. Tim Allen delivers a good old fashion holiday spirited movie. The Santa Clause movies are becoming Christmas classics. As a bonus on Tim’s show Last Man Standing he makes a tongue in cheek reference when he says: “Who do you think I am, Santa?”
Then there is The Family Man. Because well, heck, you hardly ever see Nic Cage anymore.
And there there is Jingle All the Way
Normally I wouldn’t put anything on this list that wasn’t already a classic. But I liked the first one so much I’m going on a leap of faith unseen. It had it’s theatrical release last month. You won’t get to own the DVD / Blue Ray until February 21. I give you Bad Santa 2.
What’s your take? Do you have a favorite? Leave it in the comments below.
Nothing makes a movie a timeless classic like a orchestral movie theme. There’s nothing like Kenny Loggins’ “I’m All Right”, or “Danger Zone” to anchor a movie in a set period of time. I prefer large orchestras over the latest top 40 flavor of the month as background music for movies. For this exercise I’m going to limit themes to the last forty years or so. Here are some notable examples. Feel free to add your favorites in the comments.
First of all there is the Legendary John Williams. If you haven’t heard this, crawl back under your rock.
Then there’s Hans Zimmer. His works include Red Tide, The Last Samurai, Interstellar and one of my all time favorite movies;
And another of my all time favorite movies obtains it’s soundtrack from Trevor Jones.
Then there is Michael Kamen (yes of S&M, Symphony and Metallica), Who has done so many soundtracks Wikipedia breaks it down by year.
And finally Michael Giachinno. I didn’t know this until I started research for this blog, he is credited for 31 soundtracks starting in 1977.
And for more music head over toÂ Western Hero on Saturdays for “Saturday Sessions”
Christmas 2014 is almost upon us. Nothing like settling down and watching some Christmas movies. Sure there are the classics like It”s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. But here are some from the last 30 years or so.
Yes Die Hard. It and Die Hard 2 is set during Christmas.
Only one thing in the world could”ve dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.
Some men are Baptists, others Catholics. My father was an Oldsmobile man.
Type in the address in Google Maps for the Christmas Story house and then go to Street View. 3159 W 11th St, Cleveland, OH
Then walk inside
Here”s a little gem, Unaccompanied Minors.
Here is one of my favorites.
And finally there is Rare Exports. Different.
This is just a few of the offbeat ones. There are plenty more. What”s some of yours?
Last Friday the website Techdirt posted a story about how Chris Dodd ex senator and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America issued treats to politicians who had taken money from Hollywood, but refused to pass SOPA/PIPA. His sin is that he talked about what everybody knew. If you receive money from donators then you are expected to return favorable legislation in return. Chris Dodd went on Fox News threatening politicians who receive MPAA donations. Dodd said: “Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,” This sparked an outrage a petition went up at the White House’s We The People site. It asks for a federal investigation of Dodd and the MPAA to see if they were “bribing” public officials. When I went to sign it had over 25,000 signatures on it. He is barred from becoming a lobbyist until 2013 but it seems like he’s acting as one now. It seems you can’t find a reliable crooked politician anywhere these days PoliticoTechdirtTell the White House You’re Mad as Hell
Monday I received an Email from Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix. He announced that Netflix was going to split into two separate companies. Netflix being the streaming company and Qwikster being the DVD company. While he says the price will be the same, there will be two separate bills. And this includes two separate websites. Good god man, leave it alone. What about the needs of the customer? That’s what is missing here. Two separate lists? Many, many films that are not available to stream have to be on your DVD list. I don’t want to have two separate lists on distinct sites to update and cross-reference. Streaming and DVD service may be two different services for Netflix but for the customer, they are largely one in the same — access to films. If I can stream it, great, but if not, send me the DVD. Until all the films are available to stream , this doesn’t make sense. The new pricing structure was dumb, this is dumber. At last count on the Netflix blog there are about 25,000 negative posts. Maybe Netflix will see how they pissed off/on their customers and do a 180. I don’t need a DVD company or a streaming company. I need a movie company. With so much of the internet and companies touting integration this move seems like Netflix is taking a giant step backwards. This is like if Amazon removed the 1-click buying button.
I guess I could talk about Obama’s boring, pointless speech today like every other blogger is. I feel that much like Robert Mitchum’s death was over shadowed by Princess Di’s death, Current political events is towering above the 45th birthday of Star Trek. On September 8, 1966 NBC aired the first episode. The show’s creator Gene Roddenberry pitched the show as a Wagon Train to the Stars. But more importantly he secretly used the show to address social events of the day. He tackled war, interracial dealing, to the moral questions technology raised. Despite two fan based letter writing campaigns, the show was canceled after it’s third season.
After cancellation, Paramount studio sent the show into reruns in the fall of 1969, and by the late 1970s had been sold in over 150 domestic and 60 international markets. The reruns helped the show to develop a cult following greater than its popularity during its original run. In 1987 the show Star Trek: The Next Generation aired. It was set 100 years in the future and introduced a new cast, a newer Starship Enterprise, and a whole new set of aliens. I at first, being an old fuddy duddy, didn’t like it. But after the first season I came to like it just as good if not better than the original one. This was followed by Start Trek: deep space Nine (pretty good). Star Trek: Voyager (meh). And Star Trek: Enterprise (let it die already). There where also eleven feature films in the original Star Trek franchise.
In May 2009 producer J.J. Abrams and Paramount released the reboot titled Star Trek. It introduced the original characters in a universe that implores the viewer to forget all other versions and accept the show as a new beginning. The film has earned considerable critical and financial success, grossing in inflation-adjusted dollars the most box office sales of any other Star Trek film. It also won the first Academy award for the Star trek franchise, for makeup. Paramount is planning to release a sequel to the reboot on June 29, 2012. Seek Out New Civilizations