I know im a bit early to be writing this but its because i love christmas sooooooo much even more now that i have my baby boy!!!!
Its my favourite time of the year i love everything about it right down to the tv!!!!! i love christmas since i was little i used to get excited when the tree went up and the lights and decorations went on the tree and my mum used to buy some chocolate for the tree!!!! its the most exciting ti me of year now more cos i have my son ryan and i love his little face coz he doesnt really understand much even when iv sat him on father christmas knee!!!!
So christmas day comes on once a year so i make the most of it spending it with my family and watching the telly!!!!!! and eating loads!!!!!!! and mainly after eating watching a really good christmas film but theirs too many that you can choose from if you have sky? or you can watch on dvd. because i have a 1yr old son he gets to pick what he wants to watch first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its funny that you only watch these dvds and films during the festive holidays.....
so anyway i will out line my favorite films
*Home Alone 1&2--- I think the 2 robbers on this are soooo funny especially Marv!!!!!!!!!
The Santa Clause 1,2&3- Tim allen is funny the first was is the best but i still love all 3
Santa Claus the Movie- Classic always gets me in the christmas spirit
*Elf- Buddy the elf love him
* Muppets Christmas Carol- just love this......
* Jack Frost- it is a Sad one but its still a very good film indeed!!!!!!!
* miracle on 34th street- i love this its one of favourites
Omg the list could go on and on forever their is too many too choose from so heres more
* The Holiday- jack black, jude law
* The nightmare before christmas
*I'll Be Home For Christmas
*National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
*Jingle All The Way
*Shrek the Halls
*The Polar Express
*a very merry muppets christmas
* All i want for christmas.............................
Hope you all have a good christmas even though its 4 months away.....................
To celebrate being top of the dooyoo movie crowns in December, here is my festive pick of the films and TV coming up this merry holiday. One of the best Christmas movies has already been and gone, 'Elf' (if you can stomach Will Ferrell talking very loudly for two hours), and so too late for that one. But there are one or two gems hidden amongst the repeats for you to enjoy.
The premier of 'Cars' and The Chronicles of Narnia will make you snug in the afternoon on BBC1 for a solid start to the holiday. I have seen neither but somehow it seems ok for adults to watch kid's films at Christmas so these somewhat tempting. The network premier of 'Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian' is ideal to get the ball rolling on BBC1 early evening as the ice tightens its grip on this green and pleasant land. ITV have nothing new to offer but Channel Four have dumped the excellent martial arts adventure Hero on at 1am, well worth taping for the lads. Channel Five have one of those three hour shows of top 50 Christmas TV moments if you don't fancy a film. ITV have a poor schedule and the only possible is Holiday, a treacly sweet rom-com the girls will love and their other half will have to live up to.
Do's - Q.I Christmas Special
Don'ts - My Family Christmas Special.
The animations of 'Madagascar' and 'Shrek the Third' sandwich Christmas dinner on BBC 1 for the kids to open their presents to whilst its repeats all the way on BBC2 for mum and dad. Channel Four have the funny version of Bill Murray in the brilliant Scrooged at 1pm to counter it. Channel Five are showing the excellent Stranger than Fiction (Will Ferrell being more serious) at 6pm to clash with Christmas Dr Who and so well worth taping, and top and tail that with their top 50 Christmas adverts till midnight. That means you can avoid the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special.
BBC1 take this seasonal opportunity to re-launch the Little Britain's boy's with a new sitcom (10pm) called 'Come Fly with Me' and it looks very funny. The little bald one has struggled to get over his husbands death and so let's hope this gets him back on track. Starksy & Hutch with the excellent comic due of Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller follows soon after, way better than The Dukes of Hazard remake of a stinker!.. Wilson will also be on ITV at the same time with 'You, Me and Dupree', again in that sickly sweet rom-com category women love to curl up to under the tinsel.
Do's - Dr Who Christmas Special
Don'ts - Come Dine with Me Celebrity Christmas Special
****BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY****
Films, well you have a penguin double-bill in the afternoon on ITV, March of the Penguins at 3pm, followed by Happy Feet. Its very middle-aged men for the Monday evening schedule with Oz Clarke and Hugh Dennis touring Britain and getting drunk on real ale under the tenuous excuse of 'Britain's Best Pubs', whilst it's the same again for Rory McGrath, Dara O'Brien and Griff Rhys Jones jump out of the boat and wander around Scotland getting pi**ed. I think its poor form for the BBC to try and steel ITV's thunder over their surprise big hit of Downtown Abbey with the return of Upstairs Downstairs (9pm BBC1) and so one to avoid. The late film on BBC1 continues that theme with 'Wild Hogs' (City Slickers on bikes), so time for an early night girls and the chance for the guys to start worrying about the coming credit card bill! If you're not sleepy then the sumptuous Hero is on at 12:50am on C4.
Do's - The Incredibles!
Don'ts - Radio 4 bores Oz and Hugh Dennis
****BANK HOLIDAY TUESDAY****
The big films here have to Blades of Glory with Will Ferrell at 11:10pm, his best movie so far, and I Am Legend for the prime time ITV1 9pm slot, two good movies. The outrageously sexy Felicity Kendall at 62 earns a documentary about The Good Life on BBC2 for her exploits on 'Strictly' and Miranda Hart gets to host a satirical review of the year on BBC2 to help plug her not so good second series of Miranda.
Do's - Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights (outrageous but very funny!)
Don'ts - Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights (offensive but very funny!)
Wednesday December 29th
Celebrity Mastermind rages on all Christmas week and always fun to see how thick or smart famous people are whilst Matt Lucas continues his rehab with a one hour documentary special on his quest to be in the musical Les Miserables. Straight after we have the life and times of Rolf Harris, another impressive BBC octogenarian, but maybe a suggestion his health is not all that. The tedious Only Fools and Horses hybrid, 'Rock & Chips 'gets another outing a year on for the primetime BBC1 slot whilst film wise there's nothing but repeats. The BBC is also continuing with the tedious Only Fools hybrid called Rock n Chips.
Do's - Match of the Day
Don'ts - Rock n Chips
Film wise Bridge to Terabithia starts BBC 1 of at 11:20am and the best of the day's movies. The enjoyable Rob Brydon Show earns a Christmas special on BBC2 for the evening, as does the always fun Shooting Stars. My favourite American comedian Rich Hall follows Mock the Week with a one hour show recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo. Film wise it's again disappointing repeats all the way. C4 continue to indulge themselves with posh totty Kirsty Alsop, the slightly chubby one telling us how to get by at Christmas when money is tight as she battles on with her three nannies, two personal cooks and butler.
Do's - Lemony Snickets and the series of Unfortunate Events
Don'ts - The Goodies (incredibly dated and unfunny repeats)
****NEW YEARS EVE****
Elizabeth: The Golden Age is the big premier for ITV 1 at 9pm with the always brilliant Cate Blanchett, whilst the incredibly irritating parrot voiced Jools Holland takes us through to New Year on his piano. Just like Heaven with sickly sweet Mark Ruffalo is perfect for the girls.
Do's - C4's Comedy Gala
Don'ts - Mars Attacks
****NEW YEARS DAY****
Wall-E is the big film on BBC1 for the afternoon viewing and a must see. In fact BBC own the daylight hours on Saturday as they follow that up with the long awaited fourth film in the Indian Jones trilogy. ITV also have the enjoyable Forgetting Sarah Marshall on the 9pm slot for a dose of slacker adult comedy, New Years Day the best day of the holidays by far for new movies.
ITV recall Primeval for a surprise new series whilst the BBC put up a variety hour up against it with The Magicians, a 'Strictly' for magicians, matching well known one sup with celebrities. C4, looking particularly weak over the festive season, go with Father Ted Night for three hours. Channel Five have a teeth itching four hours of CSI!
Dos - Eric and Ernie (BBC 9PM)
Don'ts - Harry bloody Potter!
My Top 10 Christmas movies!
It's a Wonderful Life
Scrooge - C4 1pm Christmas Day
Miracle on 34th Street (ITV 12:55pm Christmas Eve)
Santa Claus 2 (BBC2 11:30pm).
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (ITV 4:10pm)
A Christmas Carol
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
The Christmas movie is a big tradition in the USA. We get them over here, but they are often American films for that very same reason. Nevertheless, I grew up amid the excitement of new films being released on the cinema and plenty of old greats being shown over the holiday period. However, as I grew up I became more cynical about it all. There is an overwhelming side to Christmas that is enough to put you off the whole idea altogether. It is more than commercialism; rather it is a desire to be unashamedly tacky, sickly sweet, incredibly drunk and sanctimonious. People, particularly families, often become aggressive in their desires to "be together" or "enjoy themselves". Therefore, it wasn't long before I started to realize that most Christmas films, like most Christmas songs, are pretty awful. "Elf" has to be one of the most over-rated family films of all time and my high hopes were severely dashed with "Bad Santa". Most Christmas films are shown through the narrow eyes of North Americana and feel a desire to self-righteously show us "the true meaning of Christmas" via Santa Claus and miracles.
Below are my choices for the best feature films made with a Christmas theme. What constitutes a Christmas film you may ask? It is certainly a question I put to people when I name some of my choices. It seems to me that many people are either overly conservative or liberal in their selections. The conservative lot seem to regard only films that have Christmas in the title or feature Santa Claus or bang on about the holiday spirit to be the only movies to make the definition. Others refer to the huge expanse of films that are traditionally shown over the Christmas period on TV. I cannot remember a Christmas of my childhood that didn't pass without "Superman", "The Great Escape", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" or "Star Wars" being shown on TV. So I take the middle line with my sometimes alternative and sometimes mainstream selection of Christmas movies.
"Gremlins" is the perfect anti-Christmas picture. I am shocked by the common reaction to most people I say Gremlins is one of my all-time favourite Christmas films. Most people don't seem to consider it a Christmas movie. This is despite the fact it is set over the whole Christmas period, never stops referencing Christmas, has well-known Christmas songs on its soundtrack, has most scenes featuring snow or Christmas decorations and the whole story is based around the theme of the irresponsible giving of pets as Christmas novelties. "Gremlins" is savage in its comedy, sending up the consumerism and the excuses people use to go wild over the festive period. The Scrooge character, Mrs Deagal, gets no chance of redemption at the hands of these evil little green monsters that fire her straight out of her window after messing with her electric stair lift. The film is also laced with the bitter side of Christmas via Phoebe Cates's Kate character who reminds us that the suicide rate goes up over this time of year and reveals a dark story of how she discovered there was no Santa Claus.
Coming from a very old circus family I was raised on films like "The Greatest Showman" and "The Greatest Show on Earth". However, for me, "Trapeze" tops them all. There was a time when the country I was born in didn't snub its nose at the live entertainment tradition it created, the circus. Many families looked forward to either going to see a spectacular Christmas show in one of the UK's biggest venues or to watch the Chipperfield's or Billy Smart's TV show on Christmas Day. The final act of Burt Lancaster (who began his career as an accomplished circus acrobat) and Tony Curtis's brilliant story of a love triangle, friendship and personal achievement under the big top is set in the historic Cirque d'hivre circus building at Christmas. The show still run by the famous French circus family Bouglione still has people who were involved with this classic movie, including the man who doubled for Curtis during his most incredible feats on the flying trapeze.
Young Sherlock Holmes
Again, the title doesn't immediately evoke thoughts of Christmas, but it works so well as a winter holiday movie for the family. From the opening titles with its chirpy upbeat score following the shocking death of the film's first victim via Jim Henson puppetry into the wonderful narration of Michael Hordern (perhaps one of the best voiceovers in cinematic and television history), the film just seems to hit all the right places for some Christmas escapist fun for all ages. Sherlock Holmes is synonymous with the Victorian era, perhaps the historical time most associated with Christmas. Young Sherlock Holmes is certainly a departure from the usual Sherlock Holmes affair, being an imaginative "What if Sherlock Holmes met Dr Watson at School?" story rather than an attempt to adapt any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work. Nevertheless, it provides all the usual fun and frolics of an Amblin film (the production company that brought you Gremlins) and a Chris Columbus (first two cosy Harry Potters) script.
The Muppet's Christmas Carol
Sadly Jim Henson had passed away by the time this film was produced but it did his memory proud. This is perhaps the best Muppet movie made and also one of the best adaptations of Charles Dickens's famous story. Of course, despite a peculiar creepiness that I have always felt was present with the Muppets, this picture largely diminishes the sense of ominous threat that was present in all adaptations prior to this one. However, it more than makes up for it with an excellent performance by Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge, some brilliant songs and the general wacky genius that makes the Muppets so enjoyable to watch.
Scrooge - A Christmas Carol (1951)
This is the standard that all adaptations of "A Christmas Carol" were and still are judged. Despite being a flop at the cinema in the US it quickly became a TV favourite in the 1960s. It is as much a tradition in many households as Christmas trees and decorations. Alistair Sim made the role of Ebenezer Scrooge his own, so much so that a good number of actors who took on the role afterwards seem to be inadvertently imitating him. This was later reinforced when Sim leant his distinctive voice to the character of Scrooge again in the 1971 Oscar winning animated adaptation. Michael Hordern also reprised his role of Jacob Marley/Marley's Ghost. Hordern seems to regularly crop up in many of my Christmas choices. Here he is as intimidating as any villainous sidekick when playing the living Marley and darkly oppressive when he plays the spectral harbinger of doom. The film changes only a little of Dickens's story, but it is a welcome addition, helping to better explain how Scrooge and Marley emerged through greed and cold-hearted opportunism. There is also a believable performance by George Cole as the young Scrooge. He doesn't physically resemble Sim much, but his interpretation of the character is spot on.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
It's amazing to think that this stop-motion animated film was originally released over Halloween. Now the Christmas angle just seems to have eclipsed the whole concept that the main characters come from Halloween Town. This was the film that Disney apparently wanted Tim Burton to make and even financed his pet project "Ed Wood" into the deal. It is full of great songs and really establishes the Burton look of child-like Gothic. However, not nearly enough credit is given to the film's actual director, Henry Selick. It is arguable that although Burton wrote and produced the picture, the stylization of it is as much Selick's. For proof of this see "James and the Giant Peach" and 2009's darkly wondrous "Coraline". "The Nightmare Before Christmas" still seems edgy and there is easily enough on offer to satisfy the adults in the family as well as the children.
Several of the Rocky films (Rocky, Rocky IV, Rocky V and Rocky Balboa) are based around the Christmas period and heavily reference it. I don't know if it is a Philadelphia thing or Stallone was playing with the idea of miracles, but it works. Rocky IV, the campiest and most financially successful of the whole series, even stages the final scene, Rocky's match, on Christmas Day in snowy Russia. However, the first film, which is stands alone as a true cinematic classic, delivers exactly the right type of Christmas tale Americans audiences love. The final scene and match in this instance happens on New Year's Day, and the fact that Rocky doesn't win makes it all the more poetic.
Christmas is a time for fairy tales. Disney knows this and so do the traditional British pantomimes. So how about an adult rendition of the Prince and the Pauper? Set over the Christmas period, the film is layered with enough examples of Dickensian themes: gaps between the classes and the juxtaposition of 1980s greed (it was made in 1983) with "salt of the earth" compassion. Actors/comedians Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy not to mention director, John Landis, are at the top of their game in this picture. There is also memorable supporting performances put in by Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche as the villainous US aristocrats, Mortimer and Randolph Duke and Denholm Elliott is wonderful as the ever-loyal Coleman. However, the star of the show is undeniably Jamie Lee Curtis. I have worked with Ms Curtis on the film "Fierce Creatures" and there is little getting away from her larger than life personality, which makes most of her performances memorable. Before this picture she seemingly typecast as a scream queen. Here she played the best "tart with a heart" caricature ever seen on the silver screen. The humour comes thick and fast without descending into semi-spoof territory and the film's ending is fulfilling in a 1980s sort of way without becoming too cheesy.
Life of Brian
This is one of the best comedies ever written and will make that list for sure. Hell, if they can put "Jesus Christ Superstar" on over a festive season, when it is technically more of an Easter musical, I can have the pinnacle of Monty Python's greatness. The film begins with the birth of Christ and his next door neighbour, Brian. Okay, we all know that 25th December date was stolen from other pre-Christian religious festivities, so this is the only film that remarks on the nativity without featuring the celebration that now surrounds it. If most films that centre on the life of Jesus focus on spirituality then this is a wonderful counterbalance that sends up humanity as a whole and revels in all its ageless mortal flaws.
This film seeps class. It is considered by many to be one of the funniest comedies ever made, it won John Gielgud, in one of his most memorable roles, an Oscar for best supporting actor and it features a collaborative theme song that is a mainstay on many easy listening radio channels. Like "Trading Places" it deals with the 1980s US aristocracy and contrasts it with the working classes. Much of the story is set over the Christmas period and Arthur's perpetual drunkenness helps to remind us of another less savoury tradition of the holiday period.
Christmas is my favourite time of year..it always has been. When I was a little girl, I would eagerly await my Mum announcing that the tree was coming out to be decorated. Shops absolutely mobbed and enticing adverts on the television. Awaiting for that first snowdrop to fall and if it fell on Christmas Eve..all the more magical.
So Christmas day comes but once a year and after the hustle and bustle of unwrapping those gifts and stuffing ourselves silly with a 3course meal, my Granny would put the Queens speach on (hated that part)! Once Granny and Mum dozed off on the sofa, I would scan the 5 channels we had for the perfect film. A Christmas film.
Nowadays, there are too many channels to hop between. It makes circling all the best films in the TV guide too difficult as they are always on around the same time! The TV shows the classics but I much prefer my own collection and I don't just have to wait til Christmas..I can watch my films on DVD..all year round! This annoys hubby but I don't care. I regularly seek out new films for my growing collection.
I now have a child of my own and we sometimes take a break from Thomas or Iggle Piggle and cosy up for a nice festive film. Why? The majority of Christmas films cheer me up and we can relax and have a giggle. Certain films make me cry so I tend to watch them alone. In the run up to Christmas, once my tree is up in my new home (just a few weeks time), festive candles will be lit, soft carols will be played and my DVD collection shall be brought from the depths of the cupboard so we can watch all of them again.
Here are my favourites which I am sure you will recognise.
*Home Alone 4 - Although I love all 4 of the HA films, the final one tops it for me. Kevin is no longer played by Macauley Culkin but Mike Weinberg. This film is hilarious as Kevin stays at his fathers mansion and is left home with the butler. He plays tricks when he discovers his old friend Marv, trying to rob the house. Watch for a giggle!
*The Santa Clause - I love all 3 of these films. The first one is quite surreal with Tim Allen bumping off Santa and having to replace him The second takes a turn with Santa needing to find a Missus and the 3rd is totally class with the amazing cast. I adore Tim Allen and he plays Santa well. The supporting cast are familiar to me and the sets and effects are superb. I have the complete boxset.
*Christmas with the Kranks - another Tim Allen but this time teaming up with Jamie Lee Curtis. This is mainly a funny film but with added seriousness. Some of the scenes like the tanning salon and Frosty are top class. The couple decide to skip Christmas but when their daughter announces her return, the pace picks up to arrange the party! There is a sad moment near the end that never fails to get me welling up.
*Black Christmas - steering away from the funny films to a thriller. I personally haven't had the opportunity to watch many horror or thriller Christmas films but this one is in my collection after seeing it at the cinema. I have the re-release from 2006. The films tells off a killer who returns to his home on Christmas Eve. This is now a Sorority House..will the girls see Christmas? Totally freaky and ultimately gruesome but I love it!
*12 Days of Christmas Eve - I first watched this on the film channel years ago and couldn't locate a copy on DVD. It has only been released on region2 last month so I snapped it up on Amazon for a bargain price. This is quite a serious film with funny parts slotted in randomly. Calvin is a succesful businessman who hasn't made the most of his family or life. He dies and is sent back to relive Christmas Eve. He keeps dying until he sorts his life out..will he make it to Christmas Day? This is a wonderful film and very like Groundhog Day where things keep repeating. So glad I got it on DVD.
*I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause - a young boy sees Santa kissing his Mum, unaware that it is his Dad dressed up. He goes to war with all Santas pulling pranks and shouting mean things. This film is so funny with the pranks but serious as it shows a typical family who struggle for money at Christmas and have a child wanting everything they cannot afford which causes arguments. My son has damaged my copy and it so difficult to get hold of now which is a shame.
*Jack Frost - I never watched this til last year for some reason but I am glad I did. At the start it is sad as the boys father dies and then the mood is lightened by him resurrecting as a snowman! He can't tell anyone and secretly looks after the snowman getting him into lots of mischief. Although it doesn't start off funny, the bulk of this film is class and the acting is as believable as can get with a talking snowman.
*Bad Santa - Billy Bob Thornton shines as the crook impersonating Santa to rob a store. This takes a different look on Santa and is funny from start to end. It isn't one for young children as it does contain sex/language etc.
*Deck the Halls - neighbours fight over the best decorated house..this is non stop laughing and the competition between them is strong driving their families away. Danny de Vito is brilliant - serious but ultimately funny and the over the top decorated houses leave little to the imagination.
The best I have saved for last and that is Miracle on 34th Street. This is a stunning film and one which I treasure deeply as it conveys belief and all that is magical at Christmas. Santa takes a job at a high end department store in New York and ends up getting arrested following being provoked and set up. A mother and daughter who do not believe in Christmas, need to be convinced that he is the real deal in order to save him and those who believe.
This films makes me smile, laugh and cry. Ok, so I am a big girl and I would still wear a badge saying I believe if it was for the purpose of not losing that magic that Santa brings..innocent children should be given that magic and not have it taken from them by those who cannot appreciate it. A stunning film that will remain my favourite forever.
Although I have only state 10 films above, I have many more that I adore so will list them below!
*Die Hard - yes they are set at Christmas..well 2 of them are!
*The Family Stone
*I'll Be Home For Christmas
*National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
*The Polar Express
*Jingle All The Way
*Shrek the Halls
So whatever you are doing this festive season, sit down and pop on a film. There is one to suit everyone from baby to the elderly. And whatever you do..be safe and have a very Merry Christmas.
Love Laura xxx
Not a fan of over-sweet offerings, so these are a few brief lists including some of my opinions on Christmas films...
Five that won't rot your teeth too much (in no particular order):
1) Muppet Christmas Carol - as I've said elsewhere, I now have the 'We're Marley and Marley, wooooaaah!' tune inside my head...
2) Trading Places - I'd forgotten it was set at Christmas, so glad it can make the list!
3) Scrooged - it's hard to go wrong with Bill Murray (in the mullet years) being sour for most of the film...
4) Bad Santa - not a great film but has a nice bad attitude and Billy Bob Thornton makes it a right bad taste giggle.
5) Well I either can't count or can't think of five.
Four I've never watched but will be surprised if I get into 2009 without having seen them:
1) It's a Wonderful Life - it feels almost sinful to be a Wonderful Life virgin. My other half will be sitting me down in front of the TV to watch it at some point this month!
2) White Christmas - less ashamed of not having seen this one, but it's playing at my local cinema next week for nostalgia-hounds...
3) The Nightmare Before Christmas - how can a Burton fan like me have possibly missed out on this one (so far...)?
4) Gremlins - and me, a child of the 80's too!
The Christmas film I hate more than any other in the world (and in our DVD collection):
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - because apart from being generally rubbish, it's got Chevy f***ing Chase in it. Loathsome.
We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I would like to offer my apologies for this being a review on ONE christmas movie rather than Christmas movies in general. Unfortunately the page link did not work when I tried to submit a Product suggestion. Hope you enjoy reading regardless. Thank you and Merry Christmas! Today I bought the new Walt Disney DVD, 'Mickeys Magical Christmas, Snowed in at The House of Mouse' It cost £5.99 from Woolworths, which I thought was an absolute bargain. My two year old son loves mickey Mouse so I decided to treat him! The DVD case is illustrated with Mickey Mouse and a Dragon from Mulan. They are looking up at the window where Donald, Minnie, Ariel and Timon and Pumbaa are gazing at the present Mickey has brought! Snow is on the ground, stars are in the sky! Lovely! The reverse of the box shows Snow White, Mickey and Minnie with friends, decorating the Christmas Tree. Mickeys Magical Christmas introduces the viewer to Mickey Mouse and the majority of Walt Disneys animated characters from over the years, as they share a heart warming Christmas celebration and sing a special song, 'The Best Christmas of All' that captures the true spirit of what Chr
istmas is all about!! When a huge snowstorm leaves everyone stranded at Mickeys Christmas Eve party at the 'House of Mouse', Mickey brings out the cookies and cocoa whilst Minnie puts on some old home movies. Coincidentally, they just happen to be Christmas home movies! The magical memories put everyone, except Donald Duck, in the Christmas mood. The film lasts for 59 minutes and is a Universal Certificate, suitable for all, although it does recommend that younger children may need supervision on a first viewing. There are a couple of dark scenes but they only last a couple of minutes! (Ghost of Christmas Future, A Christmas Carol) The film is made up of 12 small features, such as Donald on Ice, Mickeys Wish. But they also include old favourites such as The Nutcracker, which is beautifully told and with the use of the original music, becomes an animated delight. Following The Nutcracker is The Mouse King. My favourite on the DVD and favourite Christmas Tale of all time is, A Christmas Carol. starring Donald Duck as Scrooge. This story is the main feature of the DVD and is simply wonderful! Inbetween each small feature you are taken back into the hall where all the characters are sat around tables, where you can hear animated ad-lib conversation. Truelly Wonderful! A particularly wonderful end to the film is a song sung by all the Disney characters. I think I saw pret ty much all the Disney characters I have ever known, except those from the Jungle Book! They all join together to sing a song of love and friendship. My particular favourite bit of the song is sung by Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh; 'Im thankful for the laughter and joy, and the high spirit that fills my heart to over flowing' AAaaahhh!!!!!!!! Their is also bonus footage on the DVD which includes 'Sing along Songs'. This Disney picture is as beautifully animated as you woul
d expect from Walt Disney. It is suitable for all ages. My two year old sat glued from start to finish!! Thanks for reading Kerry xx
It’s a pretty strong line up for the big film end of the year feast. Heres ten new films to terrestrial TV that are really quite good over the holiday you might like seeing. They’re in chronological order so no letters. Observe that none are on ITV which im sure is significant. 1) GOODWILL HUNTING………9-25pm-11-25pm December BBC 2 SATURDAY 22nd. Matt Damon and Ben Afflick co wrote this brilliant tale of super smart working class boy makes good. Damon is the one holding back in the brain power department who is stimulated by teacher Robin Williams whilst working as a janitor at the local university. The sexy corkscrew curled Minnie Driver is the preppy but bright student who takes a shine to his hidden intellect and blue collar angst…Cracking feel good drama well worth recording………..9/10. 2) TWELVE MONKEYS………… 9pm-11-05pm BBC 2 SUNDAY 23rd December. Bruce Willis turns up in this futuristic surreal time travel thriller where the balding dim convict is entrusted in saving the world. Brad Pitt also turns up as a nut from the asylum Willis is extracted from for his journey of retribution by the authorities in the 23rd century. Pitts character seems to know more than he should as Bruce and his limited talent are propelled back to the nineteen nineties to solve the mystery. Its very complex and twists intelligently so not for WWF fans……..8/10. 3) RONIN……………. 10-30pm-12-25pm BCC 1 SUNDAY 23rd December. The star of this taught moody crime thriller is not Robert De`niro but the stunning and perhaps the best ever car chases in film history. The dramatic getaway around the streets of the French capitol after a bungled robbery will leave you spell bound. Princess Diana never saw Paris quicker. It’s about a group of criminal mercenaries who come together for a big job on behalf of an Irish girl. But theres q
uickly double crosses and twists as the heist goes badly wrong. Great action flick with a clever script and x certificate feel……...7/10. 4) LIVE FLESH………12-35am-2-20am Channel 4 Monday 24th December. Naughty but romantic adult Spanish sub titles film by Spain’s top director. Two guys battle for the affections of a dusky Latin babe who likes a bit of rough and a bit of sophistication for her spiritual and sexual needs. Theres sharp script and some great put downs in this two hours of the very best of Iberian cinema…Theres a South Park on straight after the credits to!….….7/10. 5) TOY STORY……….4-40pm-5-55pm BBC 1 Christmas Day. Ok it’s a cartoon but its said it’s the best animation for detail and facial expression ever made. A cast of celebrity voice overs and cartoon action is a treat to the eye as your mind wows (In 1995) to the smart graphics. Its based on a a kids toy called Woody who is intimidated by the TV adverts of the next big thing children’s toy in Buzz Lightyear.As soon as the hi tech toy is introduced into his owners toy box all hell breaks lose. Great for kids, adults, professional football players……………….7/10. 6) ANTZ……………….5-15pm-6-35pm BBC 1 Boxing Day (that’s the 26th for professional football players!). Another cracking animation that in truth is aimed more at adults than its child demographics. Tons more famous voice overs let rip with cheeky comment and intelligent quips that go way over the heads of the bemused kids and of course professional footballers. The violent nature of the cartoon makes it less compatible for what you assumed was its target audience (bar the footballers of course). Woody Allen’s ant character, Z, is particular good with the clear story line and state of the arts graphics even better. Woody
Allen’s paranoid ant seeks the love of the Queen ants’ daughter Princess Bala.But the colony is also under threat from invading bugs. Great fun for all the family…………….8/10. 7) SLIDING DOORS……………10-55pm-12-30pm BBC1 Christmas Day. This is an unashamed heartstring pulling romantic comedy perfect for the slot. Plane Jane Gwynth Paltrow plays two parallel stories of fete as she takes two different timelines from one simple pivotal decision. John Hannah is not everyone’s idea of a leading man so it will only really appeal to the romantics and dreamers amongst you. Chick Flick for the girls whilst the boys play with their toys and you program your new MP3 mobiles…….7/10. 8) WAG THE DOG………………10-50pm-12-25pm BBC 2 Thursday 27th December. Great interpretation of Larry Beinharts brilliant book about a film director who is summoned to The Whitehouse to fake a war, primary to fend of criticism of the Presidents domestic policy (Sound familiar!). Dustin Hoffman is the one given the chance by political hired fixer, De`niro to produce this unique project and is at first looking forward to it. But the incumbent American President and his team of spin-doctors and advisors don’t want to many kept in the loop in case it gets revealed to the press. The problems start for Hoffman and his film crews when the covert politically sensitive project becomes apparent to them. Very clever and near the truth to what Clinton almost pulled off, and im not talking about his plonker ladies………….8/10. 9) THE TRUEMAN SHOW……….9pm-10-35pm BBC1 Sunday 30 December. Jim Carey is restrained a little from his usual whacky self as he plays a guy bought up in a totally artificial world inside a giant dome for a TV experimental reality show. Everyone in his world are actors a
nd everything he sees are scenery or staged. But a guy who was born here knows nothing of the real world so knows no different. But as he nears his 30th birthday he suddenly becomes suspicious of everything for some reason (He’s not very bright, typical reality show contestant), and questions his very existence with the inevitable ending. It’s a metaphorical film about a guy taking responsibility for his life and becoming a man. It’s very bold and very enjoyable in a true blockbuster style. Pssssssss, don’t tell Channel Four about it! (Big Brother 3!)…………8/10. 10) SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE……………This is not everyone’s cup of tea but it’s a change from the usual Christmas costume fair. It’s written by Tom Stoppard so it’s a little dated in delivery and jokes. But theres some good actors in there to help struggling William Shakespeare get over his writer’s block. Joseph Fiennes is the top nib with American actors Affleck and co to justify the American money and market. Emaciated Paltrow is the love interest to raise Wills Fountain pen and moisten her Quill as his muse. It’s a solid piece of film making with enough laughs to help the last turkey sandwich down your last intestine to the toilet……….7/10.
Bwahahaha ! 'Tis I, the evil beggar ! I look down upon the land, and see all you dooyooers full of festive spirit, laughing and decorating your Christmas trees. Well, take heed ! For here is a list of Christmas evil, with tales of santy claus gone bad, of yuletide slaughter, which will make you gag on your eggnog and choke on your mince pies ! But seriously...I just figured that since all the given Christmas classic are so well known, and since all this saccharine makes me feel right sick, I might as well write a different kind of list. Here are catalogued a slightly more sinister breed of festive films, offering a more cynical or downright unpleasant antidote to all the sugary shenanigans we have come to expect. Though perhaps not films to watch with the relatives or while digesting Christmas dinner, you might like to consider adding a few of these babies to your holiday viewing schedule..... We'll start off gently, with simple weirdness, then through to gleeful cynicism, before diving headfirst into a sleigh ride of terror.... SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS (1964) This is probably the most hallucinogenic Christmas flick ever made. Truly unsettling, this has quite a reputation amongst fans of odd cinema. Directed by Nicholas Webster, this obscurity does occasionally turn up on cable TV, and can still be found in dusty bargain bins of video shops. The plot is crazy: Martians come to earth, kidnap santa plus a couple of completely hyperactive kids, and fly them back to mars, as they have no-one to give them presents. On the way back, one of the Martians tries to kill santa and the kids, but is thankfully stopped by the others. Once back on mars, santa saves the day by spreading peace and love amongst the aliens. Everybody wins ! The film is a complete trip, and a bad one at that. The martians wear skintight customers, weird headpieces, and best of all, are painted completely green. Some of them are re
ally quite scary in the way they threaten santa, and to be honest even today I am unnerved rather than charmed by their antics. Add to this the fact that they all have classic bad sci-fi names like 'Droppo' and 'Voldar' and you get the picture. Extra camp value is added by the fact that one of the aliens is played by a young Pia Zadora. The sets for this are way beyond cheap, which only serves to add to the insanity. There's even a bizarre musical number, with santa's name being spelled out like a madcap football chant. Honestly, this film has to be seen to be believed. And even then..... GREMLINS (1984) This is still one of my favourite films of all time, mischievous monsters and a healthy dose of Christmas cynicism. I'm sure that most people have seen this Joe Dante classic, but any film which so resoundly bites at 'Its a Wonderful Life' deserves special mention. The plot is classic, high concept B-movie: a young guy in small-town America receives a very strange Christmas present - a 'Mogwai' called 'Gizmo', a creature which comes with a very special set of rules. When the rules are broken, the cute little critter shoots out a bunch of offspring, which proceed to transform into a bunch of ugly monsters, hell bent on causing havoc. The setting for this film is inch perfect: a capra-esque, snowbound small American town where everyone knows everyone. It is this warm, safe backdrop, which makes the gremlins' rampage all the more satisfying. For these little devils, no Christmas tradition is sacred: santy claus is attacked, Christmas trees are used as weapons and the yuletide air is soon filled with screams. There are so many wonderful scenes in this film, but one that always stands in my mind is where the town's mean old lady, Mrs. Deagle opens her door, all ready to chase off carol singers, but is instead faced with a bunch of gremlins, all done u
p head to toe in festive gear, howling and screeching their songs. Beyond the mayhem, the film does make a serious statement about the commercial nature of Christmas. The gremlins themselves are like hyper-active children, stuffing themselves with candy, and grabbing all the gifts they can, before smashing them. The cast is great too, with the likes of Dick Miller, Don Steele and Corey Feldman turning up for the fans. SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984) A true exploitation seasonal slaughter fest ! This film gathered a fair bit of controversy on its original release, and is actually still banned in a few parts of the world. Its a sleazy, bloody, surprisingly well made film about a killer santa claus, which actually makes an attempt to get into the mind of the central maniac. This is a film which strives to solve the riddle: 'If santy Claus gives presents to the nice children, then what does he give to the naughty ones ? ' The answer of course is DEATH !!!!! The film starts in 1971, when young Billy sees his parents brutally murdered by a criminal wearing a santa suit. He is sent to an orphanage, where he is badly treated by the mother superior, and has further 'issues' with santa claus. Skip forward to the present day, with Billy working in a local toy store. As fate would have it, he is asked to don the red and white and become the shop's santy claus. On Christmas eve, Billy snaps, grabs his axe and goes after the naughty. This is a nasty little film, tense and gory. Billy claims a fair few victims, and the slaughter scenes are pretty strong, so be warned. The main reason I like this film is the air of gleeful insanity. Given the dearth of kindly folk in this film, it's hard not to root for our killer santa, as he axes people whilst bellowing 'Naughty !'. And in terms of anti-Christmas films, this one pretty much covers all the bases. CHRISTMAS
EVIL (1980) Also known as 'Don't Open til Christmas', or even better, as 'Terror in Toyland', this is a film much in the same vein as the above entry. Again, we have another festive killer who simply finds the pressure of the season too much. Played more for laughs than 'Silent Night', this still has plenty of great moments for all those who choose to put bear traps at the bottom of their chimneys come Christmas eve. The story starts innocently enough, with a young boy who loves Christmas. Unfortunately, he discovers that Santa Claus is not real, a fact which has a profound effect on his shaky psyche. In later life, he becomes a toy maker, obsessed with producing only the finest gifts, and making the children happy over the festive period. Despite his best efforts, he is met with ridicule and scorn by the adults, setting him off on a bloody Christmas killing spree. Its hard not to like this demented film. There are a good few killings for the horror fans out there, most of which are surprisingly unpleasant. This is made all the more distasteful by the fact that the director (Lewis Jackson) appears to be urging us to root for the killer. To be honest, this is pretty much z-grade stuff, with dreadful acting and a real bargain basement atmosphere. However, for me this only added to the film's appeal as an hilarious, tacky stab at the heart of Christmas. And who can forget the classic tag line from the video box: 'He'll Sleigh you !' BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974) This is a genuinely good, pre-'Halloween' slasher film, which sadly seems to have been overlooked by many genre fans. Its influence on Carpenter's classic is clear, with several aspects blatantly lifted from this early suspense masterpiece. The film is set in a girls' sorority house over the holiday season. Several girls have stayed behind for Christmas, and are preparing for the festivities.
Unfortunately for them, they have been targeted by a psycho, who taunts them over the phone before killing them one by one. Whilst the two films detailed above are great fun due to their amiable insanity, 'Black Christmas' is very well made, and is actually quite shocking in places. There is very little gore in the film, bit enough tension to turn any turkey filled stomach. Bob Clark's direction is very tight, and there are some unsettling scenes, such as the phone calls in particular. John Carpenter was clearly inspired by the use of first person perspective in this film, and the heavy breathing techniques will be instantly recognisable to genre fans. On top of it all, the ending is a real screamer...... Overall, these are great films for the late hours of Christmas day, when everyone else is tucked up soundly in bed. Wrap yourself up warm by the dying embers of the fire, and stick on one of these. Be warned, though....sleigh bells in the snow may never sound the same again....bwahahahaha ! Merry Christmas !
I Love Christmas. Honest. But it is bahumbug to the advertisements for Christmas being shown the end of October. I cannot really cannot stand this. Argos and Woolworths are the biggest culprits of this. I just think that it would be nice to be able to celebrate first Halloween, and then Guy Fawkes night first before all these advertisements. It is not solely that it starts to get the children excited 10 weeks before Christmas and then more and more excited every week from then on but the fact that you watch it and realise that if you are like me, you have done absolutely nothing towards Christmas yet and you hit the panic button. Yes I do panic then. It is silly as there is plenty of time but it is all geared up to make you spend at the beginning and go on spending right up to Christmas Eve. So far I have seen trimmings, cards, food, postage dates, tree and everything for Christmas yet not once have I heard anything at all about the Christian side of it. Not a squeek and after all that is what it is about. No I dont want to be scrooge or the black cloud but it would be nice if Christmas was not mentioned or thought of till at least 5 November.
Christmas Has Lost Its Sparkle…… I think myself that Christmas has lost the sparkle of years ago. I think it’s perhaps because kids get too much all year round anyway. Now way back in the olden days when Art1954 was just a boy Christmas was a time when you made out a small list of those things that you wanted all year but your parents didn’t have the money for them. I came from a working class family, brought up on a housing estate in Belfast and back in the sixties money was hard to come by. When we got a pair of shoes for school they had to do us all year. Many a time I remember putting a piece of cardboard in my shoe to keep the wet out on a rainy day…. Anyway a fav film has to be "Its a Wonderful Life" with James Stewart, real tear jerker and brings that Christmas spirit to any household. I have watched it quite a few times now and it still gets to me. The point I am making is that a child today has Christmas all year long, most of them have a television set in their room. Along with that they more than likely have the best stereo system along with their mobile phone just in case they need to phone their friends. A child’s bedroom these days is like an Aladdin’s cave. They don’t appreciate Christmas as much as myself and my sister did all those years ago. My second film I enjoy is Scrooged with Bill Murray, now this film I enjoy because I am a big Bill Murray fan. The film is a great remake of the old Scrooge theme and again it does get you into the festive mood.. I still enjoy Christmas myself but I find it’s more about money and gifts nowadays than the old thrill you used to get when all your family got together on Christmas Eve and had a few drinks and relived old Christmas’s gone by. Maybe I am just old fashioned but I think that Christmas has died and it will never be brought back to life the way it used to be. Fair en
ough a lot of people will still enjoy Christmas, especially people with young children who still see the fun in it. But what I am trying to point out is that although the younger children still enjoy it they will never ever feel the same joy as I did all those years ago. The reason of course being that to us this was one day were we received something special and by god we really looked forward to that day. I enjoy the break now at Christmas, I enjoyed watching my kids grow up and enjoying their gifts. Now I just enjoy it for the week of work and stuffing myself and over indulging in drinking..It’s a special time of year and to be honest I still love the feel of shopping on Christmas Eve. Fair enough the shops and the centre of town are packed but I have found a swift elbow always makes a bit of room, stuff the Christmas spirit… Anyway it was nice to see a few Christmas opinions floating about the site, I really enjoyed the ones by both Elvira and Leeanne. I am actually hoping that both Leeanne and her boyfriend come to our house for Christmas dinner, I have invited her but she’s playing hard to get…. Well that is me, I thank you all yet again for turning up, please continue to turn up, as ever your friend online………. Art……..01st November 2001………
I absolutly love christmas. I hear so many people complaining about it.. "oh no the shops are full of it already..." But me, I love it. I sit there writing out my cards in november and most years cannot wait to get the tree out so it appears in the living room by the end of november. I have always loved it. When I was little I used to get so excited. My mum would buy the pressies secretly and tell us father christmas brings them. I still believed in him until about 10. I would go out with my gran to buy a present for my mum with my pocket money, usually a tacky ornament or cheap perfume. She always cried when she opened it. I would always make a home made card too. Of course with help from Gran. Christmas eve was magical. I could smell the turkey cooking in the oven and used to watch the children's tv programes. We used to have a bath and my mum would always have anice new bar of zest soap. We never used it any other time of the year or it would sploil the smell of christmas. We opened our new pyjamas and would sit in front of the fire snuggled up in candle light until we could not wait any longer to go to bed. Before bed time we used to put a mince pie and drop of scotch out for santa and a carrot for rudolph, which of course was always gone in the morning. Up went the stockings and then to bed. (but not before sampling a bit of crispy bacon off the top of the bird.) All night we could smell the meat in the oven. My poor mum and dad then had to arrange all the pressent and never got to bed before three. By five my sister and I would be up asking if santa had been. We would be led down stairs with our eyes closed and the door would be flung open to show us a room full of gifts and balloons. We would sit as a family and exchange presents. I always got so much pleasure watching our parents open theirs from us. By mid day my grandparents would arrive and would have to sit and
listen to our long list of gifts santa had brought us. We all sat around the dinner table and pulled crackers, told jokes and played games. By tea time gran and grandad would be going home and we were getting ready for bed after watching all the christmas sitcom specials. I was always so sad at the end of the day, as I had waited all year for this special day and it is over so quickly. I have so many fond memories of childhood christmas's. When my Grandad parents died I was devestated, understandably. Now christmas's are so hard. The first few I still went to my Mum's house but they were not the same. The family had changed and There were gaps at the table. Last christmas I stayed at home as it was just too hard to try to carry on without them. It was the worse christmas ever for our family as we were not together. This year I have a different frame of mind. I will not allow christmas to be spoiled. I am different and am determine to change our traditions and make new ones. My daughter is two and this is her third christmas. It is the first christmas that she will begin to understand and enjoy the magic. I will create those memories for her. She will create her own christmas traditions and we, here parents want her to have fond childhood memories. We have had our turn, now it is up to us to see that she gets the same. I know I was a very lucky child to have such a fortunate upbringing. It was not because we had money because we didn't. One year we got a few wonderful gifts. We had love and each other and that to me is what christmas is about. So this year I am going to the family lunch and we will think of our grandparents and still have a wonderful christmas.
Why is it that it comes around so quickly, every year it seems to get earlier - CHRISTMAS "christmas is coming, and coming and coming". Whilst drinking my coffee this morning and grabbing five minutes peace before starting another day at work, I tuned into GMTV. I wish I hadn't bothered, there it was larger than life a fully lit up, over the top christmas house. Don't you just hate them. Its only the 31st October for gods sake. Imagine living next door to that, imagine paying the electricity bill. Year after year it seems the hype before christmas gets earlier and earlier. As you may have gathererd, No - you must be stupid then, I hate christmas, sorry but I do. I thinks its over-rated, over-priced and grossly over the top. Now you may think I am an old bah humbug and I admist that I am, but by the time it arrives I am sick to the back teeth of it. This year I am trying to push it to the back of my mind, more than normal. My father died earlier in the year and I can't imagine chrictmas without him. My mother is on a n avoidance campaign, which doesn't help the situation either. The only one that looked forward to christmas was my Dad and now he has gone there doesn't seem the point. My children 19, 18 and 11 think I am an old scrooge, and I admit I am. The tree doesn't go up until a couple of days before, I don't send christmas cards, only to immediate family and I don't display the cards I receive. I couldn't tell you when I started to dislike it so much, but my dislike grows year on year. I really don't think it helps that before you have had your summer holiday they are ramming it down your throat. My grandson will be experiencing his first christmas, so we have to make it special, although it will be marred with sadness. But roll on 2002, I say. I'm sure I am probably in the minority and you think I am a miserable old cow, but
I just don't see the point - do you?
Christmas. Aaah....I love it! Although I've met and know a few souls who don't! What do I love about that time of year? Well, quite a lot, although there are parts of it I don't like! THINGS I LOVE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I love the run-up to Christmas. Although I know it starts around September time, but the month of December is always my favourite! Walking around town is always so nice. The lights and decorations are up, the tree is in place, and the Salvation Army are in the market place doing their business. Oh, I love the Salvation Army! They really give Christmas the feel good factor. Playing all the traditional carols, it's lovely to hear them playing! The shops and stores are all nicely decorated with tinsel, and the shop assistants are wearing their reindeer horns and other queer outfits. Christmas is SUPPOSED to be a happy and joyful time of year, with everybody loving each other, and being generous. I love television too. I love it any time of year, but especially over Christmas! There's usually some good films on, mostly repeats like Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But, Xmas wouldn't be Xmas without these films on, would it?! And of course, the day itself! This is the one day, (apart from New Year's Eve) where you can drink yourself silly and just act a complete and utter fool! And - eat yourself stupid! I always do that, don't you?! Get the turkey in the oven, and the sprouts on the boil, and enjoy! Opening my presents is my most favourite thing! And decorating my home! THINGS I HATE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chrismas has become so commercialized these days. Nowadays, I feel obligated to go out and spend loads of money on presents! Which is why I start it early! Stuff is so expensive. Toys and such like cost a bomb, and it's hard to find the money sometimes. As I said above, the Christmas season starts about September. Walk into any
supermarket, and you will find decorations and mince pies galore neatly stacked in their own isle. God, this is so annoying! There's no need to start that early! The Queen's Speech. Well, I don't really hate it, it's just I'm a tad fed-up of watching it now. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Well, there you have it! I've told you what I think about Christmas, and enjoy it when it gets here!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Better than your average ‘Christmas Movie’ Not normally being what you could call a ‘film buff’, I happened on this delightful, entertaining and *extremely funny* film quite by accident over the Christmas holidays. Shown on BBC 1, on Christmas morning (2000) I ‘stumbled’ over it by chance, during a lull in the festivities. (i.e.; - after preparing the sprout, but before the really ‘heavy’ work of the day) I have since found out that it was first shown last Christmas and has won umpteen awards. Ask me what this film is lacking and I would be stuck for an answer as it has now taken its place among my all time ‘top ten movies’. Thinks, - “I should doo a dooyoo opinion on that subject too.” m-m-m-m . . . Not wanting to give away too much of the story-line, the following will give you just a taste of the start of the movie - believe me, there’ soo much more to it than this, . . . The Story; Wanting to take his place on Santa’s sleigh team, Robbie the reindeer finds that he is simply not fit enough to take part in the “reindeer games”. There is a ‘story within a story’ too, as Robbie is smitten with ‘Vixen’ one of Santa’s regular reindeer. However, Vixen is simply that - a total Vixen, full of ‘girlie’ attributes that would make your average female reindeer sick. (take it from me, most ‘real’ women would rather ‘throw up’ than behave like Vixen) Adding to the interest are a plethora of other 'familiar' names. There’s Dancer and Prancer and a lovely female reindeer, - called “Donna” (get it? - ‘Donner’ ), and of course, Blitsen. (I wonder how many of Santa’s reindeer you can name, - g
o on - try it . . .) OK - so I’ve just answered my own question . . . but if you look at the date this opinion was inserted, you’ll understand . . . I’ve not recovered from 'the revelries' I'm not fully myself as yet) ;-) Now, to get back to the story, - the Reindeer Games are a vital part of the selection process for the new reindeer to pull Santa's sleigh. Robbie thinks, that if he wins the steeplechase and is chosen for the team, the love of his life, the reindeer he has ‘ a thing’ about, the lovely but dangerous, Vixen, will be his for ever. (due in part to the scheming Vixen’s finely masked suggestion that that would in fact be the case) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The voices of the main players will be familiar to all, with the ‘cast list’ reading like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the most popular members of ‘Equity’, the actors union. Ardal O’Hanlon, is magnificent, and another personal favourite Ade Edmunson appears as an 'over-the-hill' trainer that Robbie turns to in his hour of need. It’s ‘spot the familiar voice’ time too when Robbie gives in and tries to become one of Santa’s elves (he tries his hand on the assembly line - fails and is ‘demoted’ to ‘sweeper up’, but fails yet again) The film has Richard Goleszowski for a director and it is written by Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley and Richard Curtis, - he of Blackadder fame. (which, in my book is more than enough to put it in the ‘worth watching’ category) Made by Aardman Animations, who have at their forefront, the ex-Durham geography graduate and Academy Award winning director, David Sproxton Aardman Animations are the studio responsible for Wallace and Gromit, Creature Comforts, Conversat
ion Pieces, the Sledgehammer pop video, Rex the Runt and - one of my own all-time favourites, Morph. Of course, most of us will have heard of the latest addition to Aardman Animations list of winning productions - their first feature length film - Chicken Run. With a pedigree such as that, it should come as no surprise that this is a a delight of a movie. This hilarious adventure is one that the whole family can and will enjoy however, I could go on about this great wee movie for the best part of the rest of tonight and I would still have ‘missed some good bits’. The best thing you can do is buy the DVD or the video or wait till next Christmas. (I’m sure this film will take its place among the ‘Christmas regulars’, - I certainly hope so.) I understand that the DVD, which is now available, has the added bonus that 100% of BBC Worldwide’s net profits from its sale will be donated to 'Comic Relief'. As I said before, the entire movie is a delight and I can thoroughly recommend it everyone. GG
1. Gremlins - this brings out Santa's mean streak, because imposter santas get quite a rough deal at the hands of the anarchic gremlins. "What's that stuff all over him?" one clueless cop asks another, as a santa gets munched on by the fun loving greenies. Aside from that, a modern day Bedford Falls (a clip of It's A Wonderful Life is seen playing on TV) is gleefully trashed in Joe Dante's classic subversive comedy. 2. Portrait of Jennie - for those bored to death with the usual Christmas fare of It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and Scrooge, try this little-seen gem. Joseph Cotten plays a struggling artist who finds his muse in the ghost of a little girl. No reason at all why this is Christmassy - it just stuck in my mind as a festive movie. 3. Groundhog Day - not set at Christmas at all, but it does have a very Wonderful Life-ish feel to it. Bill Murray hones his arsehole persona to perfection as the sarcastic, self-centred weatherman, forced to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Hilarious from beginning to end... 4. Jason and the Argonauts - one of the category of films: Wizard of Oz, Great Escape, that were repeated so many times over the festive period that they became Christmassy by association. Always a good one to watch with a tin of Quality Street in your lap - Harryhausen's astounding stop motion creations jitter around the screen with awesome fury. The skeleton army is always cited as Harryhausen's finest moment; but in this, the giant bronze god Talos is far more scary. 5. Scrooged - Bill Murray (again) hones his arsehole persona to perfection (again) as the sarcastic, self-centred TV Producr, forced to be a nicer bloke due to three ghosts, like in some book I read once...! Very patchy, but makes a change from the far superior Alistair Sim version...