12.15.2008

Alternative Christmas Movies

I filled up the gas tank today and saw something I haven't seen in a decade. The person who had gassed up before me had purchased $5.00 worth of gas. That bought a little over a gallon a year ago. Today it paid for 2.7 gallons.

When was the last time you put a fiver in the tank? Tenth grade? Amazing...

On to other things. I like holiday movies. Always have. It's not the holidays if I can't hit the theaters once a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas for the late-season prestige picks. Jeanne and I saw The Day the Earth Stood Still last week, and we both kind of enjoyed it. It wasn't anything special visually (there were a few nice shots when Klaatu and Helen tried to hide in the New Jersey woods), and the leads didn't share much in the way of chemistry.

Incidentally, I'd like to see Jennifer Connolly go back to acting. She now pretty much traipses through every movie she's in, mouth slightly agape, making that "Damn-I'm-surprised-this-is-happening!" face over and over. She can do much more. If you haven't seen A Beautiful Mind, then take that sucker for a ride. Great movie.

The critical reception of Four Christmases was dismal and that scared me off. Too bad, because with that cast, a sharp satire on America's love of divorce had potential.

But I thought I'd list a couple of films that fall outside the realm of The Santa Clause, et al. Not every holiday film needs to bubble along with holiday cheer, and these ones offer a little naughty with their nice.

Die Hard: Man, this movie changed my life. I've maybe seen it a dozen times, but the first time was transcendent, and my love of the American action film was kindled. Bruce Willis plays NYPD Lt. John McCLane, hoping to reconcile with Holly, his estranged spouse in Los Angeles. Little does he know that the purely evil Hans Gruber has plans for the Nakitomi Plaza. McClane, shoeless and battered, punches back at the terrorists, single-handedly restoring order (but not before the body count shoots through the roof). Great holiday film.

Gremlins: Joe Dante's horror comedy about when good Christmas gifts go bad is lots of fun. Just sitting here typing these words evokes that creepy little music and visions of a swimming pool filled with monsters. Speaking of that creepy music,
take a listen.

Anybody see anything good lately?

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