Thursday, December 1, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Namely, the sounds of reindeer hooves, dreidel spins, and of course, impalements via antlers. After all, it's officially December!

And there's plenty to be eggnogcited about (that didn't work, did it). Because as a browse of my tags proves I've seen *almost* every Christmas-themed horror film yet to be made, the Doll's House is getting a kinder, more TV-G rating over here (in subject matter only) as the month will vary between genre films and, well, gooey love stories or puppy tails produced for such luminary networks as Ion, Hallmark, Lifetime, or the ABC Family Channel. Basically, any movie starring C-list actresses while they're killing baby weight time on maternity leave or lesser Baldwins trying to make enough cash to buy richer brother Alec an acceptable Christmas gift. Or at least, I HOPE that's why Daniel accepted a role in the abominable (and soon to be reviewed) Christmas With a Capital C. That's the kind of crazy crap I only accept from Stephen.

Also on tap this month: ME!

If you're in the New York area next Saturday night, how about heading uptown to a lovely little restaurant oozing in good beer and more importantantly, seasonal comedy? I'll be playing Andy Richter to the Podcast Podcast's Fozziebare as he hosts the second Late Night Chat Room at Inwood's India Road Cafe (details on the Facebook page here). The topic of the night? What else could it be but bad Christmas movies of course! Also in the liquored studio will be the fellas from the We Hate Movies Podcast, so swipe your MetroCard and head on up for a night of  good deeds (bringing cans to donate is encouraged), laughter (we'll be funny), and my argument for why the below-clipped film is a true yuletide classic:

Featuring my all-time favorite performance by a pair of eyebrows in cinema.


  1. I am SO looking forward to your review of Christmas with a Capitol C. Try watching that one back to back with The Christmas Box if you really want to gnash your teeth.
    OTOH, I can suggest two holiday movies on Netflix that you would probably enjoy - Christmas Story (Not the Red Ryder BB gun one) and Midnight Clear. I gave them both great reviews recently on my blog. Midnight Clear even has a Baldwin, and he's a lot more appealing than the one in "Capitol C". Christmas Story is Finnish and dubbed in English, but if you can get past that, it's terrific.

  2. I'll look out for those! Is Christmas Story the one with Catherine Deneuve? And who knew the Baldwins were such holiday whores?!

  3. This is the Christmas Story you want:

    It's Finnish. Netflix only offers the English dubbed version. :( But it's still excellent. Just give it about 10-15 minutes till you stop noticing the lip synching over the story, and get out of the clumsy beginning. I reviewed it here, and included some good screen caps of the gorgeous scenery and look of the thing:

    Midnight Clear is an amazingly anti-sugary Christmas movie. It's a low budget indie film, and my wife and I loved it so much we bought the DVD. Stephen Baldwin is way better in it than his bro in CwiCC, playing an alcoholic loser who is fired on Christmas Eve and spends the film gradually going further and further downhill. Be warned that this one probably will produce some sniffles if you stick with it to the end. Here's the Netflix link:

    And here is my review of it:

    Stephen Baldwin does a killer acting job in Midnight Clear. It's amazing to see he can actually play a realistic character, after seeing him in so many Syfy-type movies.

  4. Thank you kindly! I'll be reading and watching soon.

    Stephen Baldwin always annoyed me, especially after the crazy born again thing. Still, I guess he gets one get-out-of-jail-free card for The Usual Suspects, so I'll give it a whirl. Your review definitely makes it sound interesting.

    And those screenshots are gorgeous for A Christmas Story. Consider me sold.

  5. Huh, I didn't know Stephen Baldwin was a born again, but I guess it makes sense since it was a Christian film. That's what I found so startling about it, that it was a religious movie by religious writers and I didn't hate it. I've been having an interesting email conversation with the director, who really liked my review for some reason, and he is particularly happy that I thought it was a good humanist holiday movie also. I'll be curious to hear what you think of it.

    Christmas Story leaves my wife in tears at the end. Be warned.

  6. I'm definitely watching both this month. I'm now really looking forward to Midnight Clear, especially if it can help replace the sour taste I've been swallowing since watching Christmas With a C (review coming soon). I'm not a religious person (agnostic bordering on atheist would probably be the best description) and so movies like Left Behind and Christmas With a C just offend me due to their judgmental nature, which then makes me wonder if it's my own bias against Christian cinema. But I think there's a genuine difference between these kinds of smugly righteous films and movies that maybe explore or celebrate versus preaching. Of course I'm stumped for examples right now, but maybe Midnight Clear will serve that purpose!

  7. Yeah, I'm much the same. I guess what I liked about Midnight Clear is that while it has some religious content, it's presented in the context of, "These people happen to be religious and are able to find some healing within their religion" rather than, "Everybody should be this way and if you're not, you're wrong." Another TERRIFIC religious-themed (yet non-annoying) Christmas film is "Come to the Stable". That is totally worth watching - Probably one of my Top 5 Christmas films, maybe Top 3. It's out of print and unavailable on DVD or Netflix, but the whole thing is up on Youtube starting here:

    It also floats around the various torrent networks. I'm not sure why it's been forgotten, but it's good - Funny and twisty and cheering. One of the few holiday movies where I didn't want to stab any of the characters.

  8. Never heard of Come to the Stable, but I'll check it out soon.I just did a quick Google and found that people are begging for it on the TCM forums which seems like a natural fit. Maybe one day...

  9. I'd never heard of "Stable" before seeing a Netflix documentary on Christmas movies through the years. It's sad that it's been forgotten. You can buy a DVD of it here:

    It hasn't been in official print since a VHS version in the 80's, though, and is currently public domain. It is better, much funnier, and less saccharine than its plot description makes it sound.

  10. Surprised it doesn't pop up more often if it's public domain. Usually some networks or DVD sets will milk those for all they're worth!