Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

On this July the Fourth


and

First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petitition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas Morning!


Merry Christmas, every buddy.

I hope you're spending today as you like, whether it's in the company of friends, family or feet up and watching a Godzilla marathon while no one bothers you. 

May the day be a peaceful one.  May the close of the year be the best of days.  Let's all strive to be better people in the coming year. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas Watch: Love Actually (2003)



People, sometimes a movie is so not aimed at you, all you can do is accept that fact, sit back, and just try to figure it out from an anthropological context.

I'm not going to try to claim Love Actually (2003) is a bad movie, but I will say that it is a movie that I didn't understand.  Credit where it's due - 14 years on, it's a bonafide modern holiday favorite with a fanbase large enough that for a decade after the film's release, studios kept trying to replicate what worked here for New Years, Valentine's Day, and maybe Mother's Day (I don't know.  I wasn't paying attention.).  And my good pal, SimonUK, talks about this movie quite a bit.  He frikkin' loves this movie.  He is, of course, English, and I think the cultural cues I was missing make much more sense to him.  Apparently the race to see who has the #1 Christmas song in England every year is a real thing (which, I know... weird).

Even I knew that this was a movie about a lot of people falling in love, facing the challenges of love, and defining love as something other than romantic or sexual.  What this means is that over the course of what I think was a 90-minute movie, about ten different stories played out as loosely tied vignettes.  Some of them better than others.  Some of them sweet and simple and some making me raise my hand and waiting to be called upon as I had so many questions.

Of the movie's run-time, I enjoyed the back 1/3rd of the movie, but found the first third grating and the middle third baffling and sometimes tedious.  I will say, the movie really did stick the landing in a way that nothing prior had suggested was coming.  I went from not-cracking-a-smile and checking my phone to actively engaged and actual laughing out loud.  I'm not sure I've ever had this experience before with a movie, where nothing changed about how I felt about what I was seeing previously by what I was now seeing - but I felt the quality of the movie quadrupled in just a scene or two and roughly maintained that level through to the end.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's Just not Christmas Until Audrey Totter is Looking Right Into the Lens

Through not-so-mysterious means, the 1947 film Lady in the Lake has become a perennial holiday favorite for me.  Philip Marlowe detecting, Christmas time and Audrey Totter sorta looking you in the face.


This is the movie directed by (and kinda starring) Robert Montgomery as Marlowe and shot almost entirely from his POV.  Pretty amazing work for the era and size of cameras in 1947.  The book is darker and more grisly than the movie, and not set at Christmas, if memory serves.  The plot is complicated by the fact the movie never visits the key location from the book, keeping everything in the city and refusing much in the way of exterior shooting.

But, hey, Audrey Totter is terrific.  And they actually make Christmas kind of key to the adaptation, so that's fun.



Sunday, November 26, 2017

(TL;DR) The Whitest Christmas of All: Hallmark Christmas Movies

Hollywood is Weird


I am 90% positive I've previously mentioned my fascination with basic-cable Christmas movies.  I'm not talking about the endless rerunning of Elf, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, or other films that had a theatrical life before finding a permanent second life as seasonal programming somewhere on the basic-cable dial.  I'm talking about the made-for-TV 2 hour films that appear on The Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Lifetime and the Up Network, running in an endless loop, 24-hours-per day, starting this year a few days before Halloween.

Look, I'm not against Christmas.  But, as Jamie wisely pointed out to me, if you're starting your Christmas movies October 20-something, that makes Christmas last fully 1/6th of the year, and that's insane.  And, it bulldozes two fairly major holidays inbetween.

What's fascinating is that this model must be wildly profitable for Hallmark and the other networks for Hallmark to start running these channels as 24-hours-per day holiday movies so early.  These movies have their own little pocket of stars, the top of the heap features former Full House co-star Candice Cameron Bure and former Party of Five sib Lacey Chabert.  Others flirt with the stardom.  Alicia Witt's in a few of these, Lori Loughlin (also Full House), and you'll see a few other actors pulling double or triple duty as stars, but you can guarantee at least one or two new movies per year from Chabert and CCB.