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
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…
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:
- Batman Returns (It’s set during Christmas, so it counts!)
- Disney’s A Christmas Carol
- A Christmas Story
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- Die Hard
- Home Alone / Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
- It’s a Wonderful Life
- Jingle All the Way
- Joyeux Noël
- Meet Me in St. Louis
- Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
- The Muppet Christmas Carol
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- The Polar Express
- Rise of the Guardians
- White Christmas
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!)
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
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…
Produced by: John Hughes
Written by: John Hughes
Starring: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins
Music by: Ira Newborn
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…
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.