Tuesday, January 4, 2011

December 2010 Recap

Well obviously I didn't do anything as far as advancing my progress in the "1001" project in December, but I did manage to take in a few Christmas movies, so I figured I'd share a few thoughts with you regarding those.

NON-1001 Movies - As Seen in December 2010
1. Home Alone (1990 - Chris Columbus) 8/10 - I hadn't seen this one in years, but when I watched it Christmas was on the horizon and I always remembered this one as a really fun Christmas movie, that the networks used to traditionally play on Thanksgiving night. My memory served me correctly, as this one held up really well. There's just something fun about seeing that scary little mobster (Joe Pesci) get tossed around by a "kinde-gartner". Daniel Stern is great too and the whole premise, while elementary, is still very quality stuff.

2. Bad Santa (2003 - Terry Zwigoff) 8/10 - While I wouldn't recommend watching this one TOO CLOSE to Christmas, as the insane amount of cursing is enough to totally crush one's Christmas spirit, "Bad Santa" is still a really good, different kind of Christmas flick. I actually watched this one with my wife, who had a slight issue with the amount of cursing that was on display here. I argued that the cursing and the vulgarities actually provide for a bigger and better payoff, as in the end we see Willy (Billy Bob Thornton) take on a Grinch like quality, as his heart seems to grow and for possibly the first time in his life, he truly cares about someone.

3. The Family Stone (2005 - Thomas Bezucha) 7.5/10 - After watching this one I took a virtual stroll over to the IMDB message boards and was surprised to find that this is a pretty hated film. I'm really not sure why, as this film provided me with all of those things we look for in movies: laughs, drama and likable characters. This film just had heart, man. I haven't cried during a movie in a good while, but this one had me almost there. And who doesn't love Craig T. Nelson, I mean, come on.

4. Four Christmases (2008 - Seth Gorden) 2/10 - My God what a trainwreck this movie was. My wife is a big Reese Witherspoon fan and I tend to find Vince Vaughn a pretty funny guy (even though I almost always HATE the movies he's in), so we gave this one a shot and in the end, it was a shot we wanted back. Vince Vaughn managed to bring a little bit of funny, but it surely wasn't enough to save this floundering tripe.

5. ELF (2003 - Jon Favreau) 6.5/10 - Eventhough it wasn't the best Christmas movie I watched this past season, I think "Elf" will still eventually get that "Christmas Classic" recognition, as it's mild and harmless and something that I'm sure kids for years will come to love. Will Ferrell manages to put his acid tongue on a leash and give us some really funny stuff while still managing to be wholesome. Throw in James Caan, Bob Newhart and the very sexy Mary Steenburgen and you've got a classic and with Johnny Favs' at the helm it all gets wrapped up into a nice little cinematic bow.

6. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989 - Jeremiah S. Chechik) 5.5/10 - While this one didn't get the most stellar of ratings from me, I still have to recommend it as a great movie, but it's really only great around Christmas. The movie itself is lackluster and while providing a few laughs, just seems cheap in some way. However, this was a favorite of mine growing up as a kid and I remember watching it every single Christmas and laughing my grade school ass off. So if you haven't seen it, see it, but wait until Christmas and if you have seen it then I'm sure a lot of you share the same opinion as me: Great Christmas movie, mediocre movie.

Well that about wraps 'er up for me. Hope everyone out there had a safe and Happy New Year. I'm sure sometime in the near future you'll hear word of me cracking open the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" book and getting back to blogging about it, but until then, take care.

January 4, 2011 12:19pm