December 17, 2011

Christmas Bonus: Beware of Bears

Here’s another Christmas bonus for you all. Tonight Larry and I watched A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All, which he got from Netflix. Though it isn’t an official part of my 25 Days of Christmas, I invited Larry to write a guest post about it. Shockingly, he did. It’s a Christmas miracle! —DocSmartypants Read the rest of this entry »
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December 17, 2011

25 Days: Love Actually

Love Actually (2003) Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Every Actor in the UK

Love Actually has about a million plot threads going at once, but all you need to know really is that it follows the lives—romantic and otherwise—of a set of loosely related London-based characters in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Most of them live happily ever after, but some of them just live. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 16, 2011

25 Days: Vicar of Dibley

Vicar of Dibley Christmas Episode (2006/2007) Dawn French, Richard Armitage

There’s more than one Vicar of Dibley Christmas special, but for the purposes of the 25 Days I’m focusing on the 2006/2007 episodes “The Handsome Stranger” and “The Vicar in White.” It wasn’t until I started watching it that I remembered that this Vicar of Dibley two-parter is the least Christmas-themed of all the films and TV specials I am watching this year. In retrospect I guess I should have chosen one of the show’s other Christmas specials, but I don’t care—this one makes me happy. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 15, 2011

25 Days: The Shop Around the Corner

The Shop Around the Corner (1940) James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, Frank Morgan

One of the joys of The Shop Around the Corner is that it is a Christmas film that doesn’t seem like a Christmas film. So, unlike White Christmas or Miracle on 34th Street, it actually occurs to me to watch The Shop Around the Corner at other times of the year. Almost the whole movie is set around Christmastime, so when you are actually watching The Shop Around the Corner it seems like a holiday film, but the plot of this romantic comedy really could have been set in any season. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 14, 2011

25 Days: He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special

He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special (1985) a bunch of voice actors who should be ashamed of themselves

I’m not positive, but I think the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special may be the worst Christmas special ever. It’s so awful that in the year since Larry and I last saw it, we forgot almost the entire thing. The only explanation I can think of is that watching it the first time was so traumatic for the both of us that we designed, built, and used some sort of memory-wiping device to erase the event from our minds. I just wish that we’d left ourselves the plans for the device so we could do it again. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 13, 2011

25 Days: Nativity!

Nativity! (2009) Martin Freeman, Jason Watkins, Ashley Jensen, Marc Wootton, a bunch of British kids

Nativity! is, like Arthur Christmas, a movie I watched for the first time this year. It’s the story of Paul (Freeman), a primary school teacher who hates Christmas but gets roped into directing the school’s nativity play, despite having done a miserable job of it five years before. When a former-friend-now-rival who directs the lauded nativity play at a nearby posh school each year is needling him, Paul tells a small lie that quickly takes on a life of its own. The next thing Paul knows, the whole town thinks Hollywood is coming to see his play. Now he has to come up with a stellar production and find a way to get his ex-girlfriend (Jensen), who works in Hollywood, to come see it. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 12, 2011

25 Days: Gremlins

Gremlins (1984) Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton

You may not remember it as such, but Gremlins is a Christmas movie. Not a movie that briefly mentions Christmas, no, an actual Christmas movie. I know that aspect tends to get overshadowed by the whole killer-gremlins-on-a-rampage aspect, but the fact remains: Gremlins is a Christmas movie. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 10, 2011

25 Days: The Snowman

The Snowman (1982)

Based on the children’s book by English author Raymond Briggs, The Snowman has no dialogue, and yet it is the Christmas movie most likely to make me cry every year. Like the very best silent films, it achieves through music and facial expressions nuances of emotion that other films can’t do with a full script.

The plot is a simple one. A young boy builds a snowman. At midnight the snowman comes to life and the two of them explore the boy’s house before flying off together to attend a snowman party with Santa. Read the rest of this entry »

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