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Christmas Movie Month 2017

December 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Hello again, everyone. It seems as though we all know what time of the year it is again, doesn’t it? Yes, it’s Christmastime – that time of year when we all get together and exchange gifts and eat and say we love each other all that fun stuff. It’s also a time when we tend to watch Christmas movies, usually all the same ones, too, because – let’s be honest – most of those other movies suuuuuck.

Personally, I’ve already pretty much covered my favorites, so with this being the seventh Christmas season I’m covering since starting this blog, I’m going to have to really stretch myself as I spend the next few weeks reviewing nothing but Christmas-appropriate (and perhaps other current holiday season-appropriate?) movies… Well, probably with the exception of a certain big franchise movie that’s coming out during the season. With the way that those films are now coming out, though, you can pretty much guarantee that’s going to be how it is for the next couple years. But who knows? Maybe I’ll finally get around to that certain, related holiday special everyone always talks about?

And so, with December upon us, I hope you, my hypothetical reader, enjoy my season-appropriate reviews. And if you don’t, well then you can look back at these previous reviews of some holiday classics and not-so-classics?


Arthur Christmas

Bad Santa (Director’s Cut)

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

The Bishop’s Wife

A Christmas Carol (Disney, 2009) Part 1Part 2

A Christmas Story

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights

Elf

The Family Stone

Four Christmases

Happy Christmas

Home Alone

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Home Alone 3

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

I’ll Be Home for Christmas (1998)

It’s a Wonderful Life

Jingle All the Way

Joyeux Noël

Krampus

Love Actually

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

Meet Me in St. Louis

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

The Muppet Christmas Carol * Part 1Part 2

The Nativity Story

New Year’s Eve

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Polar Express

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Rise of the Guardians

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

The Santa Clause

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

Scrooged * Part 1Part 2

This Christmas

Tokyo Godfathers

Trading Places

White Christmas

 

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REVIEW: The Passion of the Christ

March 24, 2016 Leave a comment
Passion of the Christ, TheDirected by: Mel Gibson
Produced by: Bruce Davey, Mel Gibson, Stephen McEveety, Enzo Sisti
Screenplay by: Mel Gibson, Benedict Fitzgerald, William Fulco (translation)
Edited by: John Wright
Cinematography by: Caleb Deschanel
Music by: John Debney
Starring: Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Monica Bellucci, Hristo Zhivkov, Francesco De Vito, Luca Lionello, Hristo Shopov, Rosalinda Celentano, Claudia Gerini, Fabio Sartor, Luca De Dominicis, Mattia Sbragia, Chokri Ben Zagden, Toni Bertorelli, Jarreth Merz, Sergio Rubini, Sabrina Impacciatore
Year: 2004

 

It’s been 12 years since Mel Gibson’s adaptation of the gospels’ account of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, which would go on to divide audiences over its theology, brutal violence, and even accusations of racism (which were later vindicated when the director’s own demons made their very public appearance soon after the film’s release). Each Easter since I’ve started this blog, I have thought about doing a review of this film, and each time I held back because I simply was not in the mood, nor did I think I had the stamina, to endure this film again. This year, I don’t really know what’s changed – perhaps it’s the political climate and the fact that so many people are willing to marry their faith to their political stances, and I’m feeling particularly opinionated, perhaps it’s the Tyler Perry modern day musical retelling on TV, or perhaps it’s simply to get this annual inner debate in my head over with already – but, yeah, I decided that now was time to review one of the most famous and infamous Christian-targeting films of all time. Read more…

2014 IN REVIEW: Everything in Between That I’ve Seen

February 7, 2015 1 comment

Under the Skin - Eye

Finally, we come to the films that I actually did see! As with the films I didn’t see, these films will come at you in three parts: the films that were just somewhere in the middle in terms of quality, the films I greatly disliked, and the films I really enjoyed.

I use those qualitative terms just to avoid confusion over what I’m ranking here. The films in this section range from generally bad to generally quite good, but never elevating to excellence or making me fall in love with them or making me hate them with a passion. That being said, I didn’t expect to like some of the films here as much as I ended up liking them, and, of course, I was letdown by others I actually was kind of looking forward to.

If you don’t see the movie here and didn’t see it in the list of films I didn’t see, then you can almost certainly be guaranteed to find them on one of my next two lists, as this is just a portion of the 121 total films I ended up seeing from 2014 as of this writing, whether in theatres, on DVD/Blu-Ray, or through streaming. Read more…

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REVIEW: The Nativity Story

December 23, 2013 4 comments
The Nativity StoryDirected by: Catherine Hardwicke
Produced by: Toby Emmerich, Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Cale Boyter, Catherine Hardwicke, Mike Rich, Tim Van Rellim
Written by: Mike Rich
Edited by: Robert K. Lambert, Stuart Levy
Cinematography by: Elliot Davis
Music by: Mychael Danna
Starring: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Oscar Isaac, Stanley Townsend, Clarán Hinds, Shaun Toub
Year: 2006

 

“Jesus is the reason for the season.” That’s what you always hear this time of year, isn’t it? And yet it seems like it’s pretty hard to find many movies exclusively based on the story of the birth of Christ, as opposed to His entire life or crucifixion. The Nativity Story is undoubtedly one of the few that does focus on this one aspect. I had actually meant to review this film long ago, when I first started this blog, but the movie’s always been checked out indefinitely this time of year on Netflix and Blockbuster (back when they, you know, actually did the whole physical movie renting). This was the first year I actually managed to be proactive and get a copy, and so I guess it’s only appropriate that I actually make good on that and finally review the film, right? Read more…

Christmastime is here! Watch “Santa Clause Conquers the Martians”… MST3K Style!

December 1, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s officially after Thanksgiving and, therefore, it is officially time to start thinking about Christmas movies here at The Viewer’s Commentary! As with Scary Movie Month in October, I will be making my primary focus this December on Christmas movies! And, even though I’m not Jewish, I’ll even try to find a few good Hanukkah films, too! (And I’ll try to make sure that the only Hanukkah film I find isn’t just Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights, which is all I could really find at the local Blockbuster, I promise!)

I broke a few promises with my Scary Movie Month line up due to time issues and a detour thanks to the response to my review of Nightmare on Elm Street, but I’ll try not to do that this time around. There are far more diverse movies in this category than the horror category, and I’m certain that everyone will find something to enjoy this month, including myself! Some reviews to look forward to are National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express, ElfMeet Me in St. Louis, and, of course, the holiday classic… Die Hard!

Of course, I’ll try to make sure to throw in a few more surprises and classics, too! I’ll even try to throw in a few features here and there to keep you interested. My Top 10 Favorite Christmas Movies, anyone? I’m way more excited about this than I was Scary Movie Month, as Christmas is seriously my favorite holiday of the year. I’m like a freaking little kid when it comes to this holiday, and it’s not just the presents, either. (I get presents on Halloween, too, since it’s also my birthday, so I’m totally unbiased in that regard.) I love the sense of togetherness, family, and giving, and, of course, it’s also a time for us Christians to remember Christ’s birth, even though it totally wasn’t originally for that purpose, as we Christians just usurped a pagan holiday… but let’s not get into that now, eh?

In the meantime, as I make preparations to deliver my Christmas cheer, why don’t you celebrate Christmas the same way we kicked off Halloween by watching an embedded movie, right here on my site? This one’s a public domain classic! However, it’s all for unintentional reasons, as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is about as bad as it sounds! Like fruitcake, it’s probably best to serve it up with a heavy side of libations, here taking on the form of the comedic commentary of Joel Hodgson, Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and the rest of the gang from Mystery Science Theater 3000! Hurry, though! I don’t know how long this video — not posted by me! — will actually be up!

Santa isn't afraid because he doesn't really believe in aliens.

Part I

Part II

Part III

 

Part IV

Part V

UPDATE: Turns out, Eight Crazy Nights might actually be the only Hanukkah film out there! Seriously, do a search for “Hanukkah movies” and this very post on The Viewer’s Commentary is on the first page as of right now, and this post is only a couple hours old! What gives, Hollywood? There are so many Jews involved in the entertainment business, you’d think a few more than just one Hanukkah movie would exist, right? Oh well… Looks like I’m already breaking promises. Guess I’ll be getting coal this year.

10 Movies That Have Made Me Cry (…or at Least Tear Up): 5 – 1

November 11, 2011 6 comments

<< PART I – Entries 10 – 6

Here I continue to explore the final five of ten films that have made me cry… or at least tear up at certain points. While I cannot guarantee that they will make you cry, these have and definitely will continue to have the same effect on me that they did the first time around. And while this is not a definitive list, this half of the list does contain the one definitive film that will always get me choked up whenever I sit down to watch it, so read on through if you’re looking to see a grown man cry. That is, if you can see through your own tears, of course. Read more…

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