Category Archives: Holiday Review
Black Christmas is a 1974 horror movie that freaked out a whole bunch of people when it was released. This movie is considered a classic horror movie from the crazy days of 1970’s Hollywood. This was a time in movie making history when filmmakers took risks and had to do things by improvising. New ideas that we take for granted now were first tried during those crazy days. A lot of those ideas are on display in this one movie.
When it comes to the ultimate Christmas movie, for me it’s a toss-up between three great classics. With my colleagues covering National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story, I get the third film, It’s A Wonderful Life. Made in 1946, seven years before even my parent being born, this film is loved and adored in my heart.
Most people love the holiday season because of all the beautiful, decorative Christmas displays in the stores, the christmas lights, the chance that it WILL snow on Christmas, and the general feeling of giving and love. And there is no better example of this love for Christmas than the classic Christmas tale, A Christmas Story. Originally, this movie was not a huge success. But over the past 10 or so years, its has become almost a Christmas cult-classic movie.
Bad Santa was many things, but mostly it was John Ritter’s final film (taken way too soon). Not only that, but Bernie Mac dies in the film, only to die a few years later at the ripe age of 51, also well before his time. And now they want to make a sequel? Put Billy Bob and that little fella on alert, because Bad Santa kills. Read the rest of this entry
It should come as no surprise that Christmas Vacation employs nearly every Christmas-related cliché in order to make the audience titter: the patriarch stumbling and bumbling with the twinkling lights, a family trip into the biting cold to bring home a mighty Tannenbaum, and getting shafted by the head honcho when it comes time for that elusive holiday bonus. What is difficult to ascertain – since this movie has been entrenched in my memory for so long – is what clichés existed before Vacation exploited them and which became clichés because of it.
When deciding to do this review, I had trouble deciding whether to write about the original 1966 short of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Ron Howard’s 2000 version starring Jim Carrey. So I decided I will write about both the 26 minute short that majority of us grew up with and the live action version and somewhat compare the two.
It’s Christmas Eve, and as the rest of Tokyo is out enjoying the night, homeless friends Gin, Hana, and Miyuki are, quite literally, just trying to scrape by. While digging through a trash heap, they make a startling find: an abandoned newborn baby girl. Hana sees the child as a Christmas miracle and vows to be the mother that she herself never had. Gin and Miyuki want to turn her in to the police. After some debate, Hana finally agrees, on the sole condition that they first track down the baby’s parents to ask them why they abandoned the child, to see if a life shuttled back and forth in the foster care system really would be preferable to life with parents who would abandon their own child. And so begin the exciting, dramatic, sometimes sad, and frequently hilarious adventures of the Tokyo Godfathers.
For those playing the home game, this movie is definitely not for kids and not your typical Christmas movie. There are some seriously disturbing scenes in this. If you can track it down, it is worth a watch for horror fans and particularly slasher horror fans. I had to hunt for it since I had never seen it. You have been warned.
Die Hard is, without a doubt, a shining example of the 80’s action genre. Is it, or it’s sequel, Die Harder, a Christmas movie? Not strictly speaking, but they do take place on Christmas Eve, and Die Hard almost entirely at a Christmas party. And one of it’s most memorable lines says “ho ho ho.” So that’s something. Read the rest of this entry
Santa’s Slay is one of those movies that you hear of but quite don’t get around watching. Then when you actually do watch it, you kick yourself for not watching it sooner. It’s basically a comedy-horror Christmas movie that doesn’t take itself seriously and achieves laughs from start to finish intentionally and unintentionally.
Could you do a film like 2003’s Elf with anybody other than Will Ferrell? 35 years ago the role would’ve been tailor made for Steve Martin. 25 years ago, Robin Williams perhaps. Now a bit too old to play a role like Buddy the Elf, the role goes to Ferrell, the master of childlike bewilderment for adults. And I couldn’t be happier about it. Read the rest of this entry
Yes, Hanukkah Harry, there is a Hanukkah Movie. Although I do love December because every channel airs classic holiday movies, such as A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street, and It’s a Wonderful Life. But wait, what about Hanukkah movies? There really aren’t any besides Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights.
I’ll admit it’s been awhile since I watched Scrooged, especially in its entirety. Proof of that is the fact that my wife who I’ve been with for almost seven years has never seen it. I forgot how much I loved this film. It’s classic Bill Murray. I was only 10 when this came out and didn’t see it for the first time a few years later. Even then I loved it and watching it last night brought back all those same feelings was thrilled to see my wife enjoy it almost as much as I do.
Here at The Devil’s Advocates Movie Reviews, we decided to do a segment counting down to Christmas. Each month we do a spotlight featuring a certain actor or director, but this month we are changing things up for the holidays. Each day starting tomorrow a different movie will be posted related to the holiday. Some obvious, and some more obscure, but all having some connection to this time of the year being Christmas and Hanukkah. We will bring traditional, comedy, and even horror to this festive time. Join us each day leading up to the 25th and read a new review.
Thank you and happy holidays to all of you from all of us at The Devil’s Advocates Movie Reviews.