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Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

REVIEW – Trading Places

January 1, 2017 Leave a comment
Trading PlacesDirected by: John Landis
Produced by: Aaron Russo
Written by: Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod
Edited by: Malcolm Campbell
Cinematography by: Robert Paynter
Music by: Elmer Bernstein
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, Paul Gleason, Kristin Holby, James Belushi, Tom Davis, Al Franken
Year: 1983

 

I’d always managed to forget this movie for the Christmas/New Year’s season in years past – it takes place predominately over the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Not this year, though, thanks to a friendly reminder to not do that. My family was pretty big on this movie when I was growing up. Sure, I had to cover my eyes quite a few times (it’s an R-rated ‘80s comedy, after all), but apart from that, even I found it pretty enjoyable as a kid. But I haven’t seen it in a few years, as evidenced by my constant forgetfulness of its existence, and as the years went on, and the cycle of trying to remember this film at an appropriate time, forgetting, and then holding off until an appropriate time continued, I began to wonder to myself – was it actually Coming to America that I liked better than the other? Well, I don’t really know the answer to that one, as I also have to watch Coming to America again for the first time in years. However, the time has at least finally come for me to get around to reviewing Trading Places at what is ostensibly an “appropriate time” of year. So… Read more…

REVIEW: Free Birds

November 26, 2014 Leave a comment
Free BirdsDirected by: Jimmy Hayward
Produced by: Scott Mosier
Screenplay by: Jimmy Hayward, Scott Mosier
Story by: David I. Stern, Scott Mosier
Edited by: Chris Cartagena
Music by: Dominic Lewis
Starring: Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, Dan Fogler, Colm Meaney, Keith David, George Takei
Year: 2013

 

I felt like I should do something for this Thanksgiving, but, to be honest, I have already pretty much exhausted my Thanksgiving movie options after Planes, Trains and Automobiles and, to an extent, Miracle on 34th Street (unless I wanted to review the remake, too…). Luckily, last year brought us a brand new Thanksgiving film to watch just before Turkey Day: Free Birds, a film that will have you shouting at the person who announces they’re about to put it on, “Play ‘Free Bird’!” because you’ll undoubtedly rather hear a great but very long Lynyrd Skynyrd song than see the movie that apparently didn’t even have the sense to license the song for the obvious reference I just made. (It instead plays a cover of CCR’s “Up Around the Bend” as played by Social Distortion over the credits. I guess it is a much more upbeat song, but I’m not too certain lyrical context really matters to a movie like this.) When I told people what I was reviewing out of desperation for another film, they strongly advised that I instead review the Charlie Brown TV special, which… yeah, that probably would’ve been more tolerable, but I felt like I should at least exhaust all theatrical film options, and at least this film was on Netflix streaming, so I wouldn’t have to take up a slot in my DVD queue, either. So, yeah, I watched Free Birds. … Here’s the review. Read more…

2013 IN REVIEW: The Films I Didn’t See (September – December)

January 25, 2014 1 comment

Inside Llewyn Davis - Oscar Isaac

Oscar season! This is when the studios want to release the best films of the year (or so they say). Why? Because they want the films to be fresh in the voters’ minds. Prestige films and the like. Indie dramas, historical period films, war films, controversial films… If it can make you cry, your heartbreak, your spirit lift with joy, make you see things from a new light, this is the season.

It’s also a good time for seasonal holiday films. You’ve got your horror films to cover Halloween, your Christmas films for Christmas, and this year we even got an animated Thanksgiving film (though I’m not certain that all you people looking forward to a big piece of juicy turkey are going to love it). Meanwhile, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa get left out, once again. For some reason, this season was also rife with Christian films, from Kirk Cameron, to Miley Cyrus analogs, to Christmas miracles, the industry that claims to represent my faith has got you covered in that area. Woo.

It’s not all your typical films, though. More and more, Hollywood is figuring out that you should spread your action films and your romantic comedies throughout the year, rather than bunching them all into the middle. Consequently, we got a few Sylvester Stallone-involved flicks this season, a sequel to Robert Rodriguez’s Machete, as well as the latest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: The Dark World.

Nevertheless, as with the first and second entries, I couldn’t see them all, so, as with the last time, here are the films that, as of this writing, I did not see from May– August 2013, in order of release, as noted on Wikipedia. Please note that, as in the past, I still reserve the right to watch any film that is listed here and then re-remark on the film in one of the upcoming articles on films I did see from 2013. So, yes, again, you might see some of these films again, and soon, since this is the last of the films that I haven’t seen from the year. Enjoy! Read more…

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Christmas Movie Month 2013 Is Here!

December 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Christmas Eve dinner

So, I kinda skipped last week, since it was both Thanksgiving (speaking of which, you should’ve really watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles), as well as my mom’s birthday, and I figured that was a good time to take a break (and stock up on lots of cheap movies from Black Friday, etc). November updates were pretty sparse, for sure, but that’s soon about to end, now that it’s December, ’cause Christmastime is here!

As always, I’ll be reviewing strictly Christmas movies up until December 25th (with exception to maybe a couple theatrical releases and maybe a Hanukkah movie, too, though that’s all doubtful, beyond one promise I made earlier this year that I fully intend on keeping, despite how much it’ll pain me to keep).

To recap, here’s a list of previous Christmas and Christmas-appropriate movies I’ve reviewed in the past:

And, for good measure, just ’cause it’s one day of the year rather than a whole season, let’s not forget about New Year’s, as well, as I reviewed the dreadful New Year’s Eve, too.

It’s my favorite time of the year, and the cold weather, of course, provides the perfect excuse to stay inside and watch a few movies, even here in Arizona (as if I needed one), so I hope you enjoy the movies just as much as the holidays!

For now, as always, I leave you with a Christmas-appropriate video. I haven’t watched this myself, and it’s likely to get removed from YouTube at some point, but until then, enjoy Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas. (It’s currently available for streaming on Netflix, too, so consider that a viable option if you have it!)

Special Review: “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947) – A Gradual Epiphany

November 27, 2012 4 comments
Directed by: George Seaton
Produced by: William Perlberg
Written by: George Seaton (screenplay)
Cinematography by: Lloyd Ahem, Charles G. Clarke
Editing by: Robert L. Simpson
Music by: Cyril Mockridge
Starring: Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood, Edmund Gwenn, Porter Hall, Gene Lockhart
Year: 1947

 

I have never believed in Santa Claus. My parents were pretty much of the same opinion regarding Santa as Maureen O’Hara’s character, Doris Walker, is in this film: Why lie? My younger sister, too, never believed, though it was more through my own efforts to “ruin” things for her as the older brother than any discouragement on my parents’ part. (I also ruined the Easter Bunny and Toothfairy for her, which makes her interest in the film Rise of the Guardians somewhat ironic, if not a result of some deep-seated resentment for having never believed in fairy tales — though I may be over-analyzing here.) So we basically grew up only understanding these figures as mythical characters, understanding that many other kids believed in these myths and that we shouldn’t ruin it for them, but never comprehending exactly how someone could. Read more…

Review: “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”

November 29, 2011 6 comments

Director: John Hughes
Produced by: John Hughes
Written by: John Hughes
Starring: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins
Music by: Ira Newborn
Year: 1987

After bringing the world four renowned teenage-centric films, John Hughes, director, producer, and writer, changed course and aimed for the adult crowd with this rare Thanksgiving holiday movie.

Uniting Saturday Night Live alum Steve Martin and SCTV‘s (a.k.a., Canadian SNL) John Candy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles has joined the ranks of The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in becoming another of Hughes’ all time ’80s classics and has become such a staple of  the Thanksgiving holiday that I’m certain you’ve passed by it on some marathon airing on cable TV and possibly didn’t even know it! And if you didn’t know of it, then that’s a mild crime, as the film deserves that status. Read more…

Thanksgiving Week Hiatus

November 22, 2011 2 comments

Hello everyone! Because I will have limited access to both time and internet this week, and because I’ll pretty much be on vacation, I am pretty much not going to be able to update very much until next week. However, I may make a few small updates here and there.

In the meantime, I recommend that you guys watch a little John Hughes film known as Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It’s a lovely family comedy starring Steve Martin and John Candy as two guys who keep crossing paths as they try to get home to their families on Thanksgiving. Heartwarming and touching, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll have a lot to talk to your kids about by the end about the importance of kindness. The scene at the counter with the woman on the phone is sure to stir you and touch you emotionally by Steve Martin’s performance.

… … Alright fine, so it’s not exactly family fare. But it is hilarious. I suppose you could watch Miracle on 34th Street for the millionth time, you bores, but you’ll be missing out!

The kids already sit at the kids table for dinner, so why can’t they have a kids TV too while the adults watch a more entertaining, actually-about-Thanksgiving movie? Your choice, I suppose. If you can tolerate language, you actually will find a surprisingly touching and hilarious film in the standard John Hughes form. I promise! And I wasn’t kidding about the performance in the counter scene. I know a lot of people are against swearing, but somehow this scene brings it up to an art form. Trust me, it’s much better in context!

Coincidentally, I found an English and German version of the scene in one video! It’s not Dutch, but you’ll have to pardon his French. Ha! Translate this language for the kids, Santa!

 

 

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I’ll be seeing you next week, likely five pounds heavier.

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