Pick your movie of the week: Forgotten Christmas Themes (Dec 10-16/17)

You may or may not have forgotten that these movies were either set at Christmas time and/or have a Christmas theme. Which one do you like best?

Gremlins (1984)

Lethal Weapon (1987)

Batman Returns (1992)

Tis the Timing of the Season


You can pick which part below applies to you: whether you like to decorate and listen to holiday tunes early in the year (say, after Halloween?), or whether you get annoyed by those who do so. Either way, I think we can work out a deal here. So, are you a Holiday Preemie or a Season Suspender?

Holiday Preemies (Celebrate early, and for as long as possible!)

Ok, my goal is to help you understand the Suspenders. They appear to be grumpy humbugs, but here is where they are coming from. They are aware, as you are, of how commercial Christmas has become. Hearing those age-old hymns and carols are very special to them—they really are!—but they associate the early playing of them to be just another way that stores get us to buy more stuff and for people to prove their Christmassy-ness. Think of it this way: neon lights never hurt anyone, right? You see them every day. You may even take a trip to Vegas and find the overcrowded display of flashing signs spectacular. But if you were to ingest this in large doses on a consistent basis, you might get a headache. You may even complain. They don’t want what is special to them to become a kind of obnoxious kid at the playground. And honestly, sometimes the Christmas posts on social media often come across as show-offy or even “in your face” to those who aren’t Preemies. And let’s be honest… is posting really your way of celebrating Christmas? Or are you trying to start something. Ah-ahhhhh… Be honest now!

The solution is really quite simple with regards to the tunes. Of course you can listen to Christmas music as early as you like. You can listen to it every day and twice on Sundays all year long if you want to. It’s a free country and all that stuff. But it’s probably best to enjoy it at home or in your ear buds, but maybe not making it a playlist in group circles—at least until December. Otherwise, this inevitably brings on a whine-fest between Preemies and Suspenders. As for decorating, just keep doing what you’re doing. Whether it’s your business or your home, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about timing. Put it up in April. Who cares?

Season Suspenders (Don’t jump the gun… Christmas will come…)

Ok, my goal is to help you understand Holiday Preemies. Though it can be annoying to see the “I celebrate mid-October, deal with it!” posts in social media, a lot of that comes from inner angst towards you, the Season Suspenders. Every time they want to celebrate and you object, they feel like you’re a wet blanket, and most times you are. To complain about their premature jollification is not going to make them rethink their life and change their ways. Au contraire, it just might lead to more posts. Holly-jollier posts. And saying that celebrating before Remembrance Day is disrespectful is just dirty pool.

If you wait until December 20th to put up a tree and listen to “O Tannenbaum,” go ahead. It’s your life bro. But any talk of this being the “right way to celebrate” will bring on (you guessed it) a whine fest between Preemies and Suspenders.

Christmas is too commercial? Well, even though we all may agree that it is, we would also be disappointed in getting nothing but hand-knit scarves and hand-drawn pictures for Christmas in an effort to avoid the commercialization. Come on now… admit it! Plus, the music is there to stay. Complaining about Christmas music being heard through the loudspeakers at Walmart in mid-November is right up there with complaining about cold weather. It ain’t gonna change. Press the mute button at home, put in earplugs at the department store.

There. Solved! We don’t have to discuss this anymore. We can all get along as well as Chuck and Wilson (though they did spat just a wee bit).

Congratulations Cast Away. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton as the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Best Actor: Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook in Hook.

Best Quote: To live…to live would be an awfully big adventure.” — Robin Williams as Peter Banning in Hook.

And if you’re interested at all—which isn’t likely—here is my latest “Top 10 Last 10” (ranking the last 10 movies I’ve seen)

10. Kids (1995) Not crazy about this one. I do not recommend it. 2 stars

9. The Meyerowitz Stories (2017) It’s on Netflix and has a star-studded cast. It was just ok for me. 2.5 stars

8. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) This is one of those movies I wanted to watch just to see what the fuss was about. I wasn’t crazy about the subject matter, but it was a pretty good movie. 3.5 stars

7. Coco (2017)  There was a good chunk in the middle where I was a bit bored, but overall a really good movie. 3.5 stars

6. Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton (2017) Man on the Moon is a movie on my top 100 list, so I was drawn to this movie from the start. It’s very interesting and I especially enjoyed the ending. If you watch it, you must watch the end credits for a little addition to the movie. 3.5 stars

5. The Birth of a Nation (2016) The best thing about this movie is taking back the title from the 1915 movie. If you want to know why I hate the 1915 movie—and I doubt you do—ask me sometime. 4 stars

4. The Basketball Diaries (1995) I always thought DiCaprio’s greatest performances were in Gilbert Grape and The Revenant, but now there’s a new kid in town to contend for that position. 4 stars

3. Thor: Ragnarok (2017) So fun. The best superhero movie I’ve seen in a long time. I’d even say I liked it more than The Avengers. Maybe. 4 stars

2. American Made (2017) Wow, I was really impressed with this one. As you might remember, I love biopics and this one is a near home run. 4 stars

1. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) This was a re-watch for me, and it has got to be one of the greatest comedies of all time. Every scene is good. And funny. Plus, I’m not sure there are any comedic actors better than Martin and Candy. 5 stars