Category Archives: Christmas Specials
I love Christmas.
Since most of you in the WordPress community don’t know me personally, and have never seen me celebrate Christmas, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
I love Christmas.
I love decorating the tree, giving and receiving gifts, and enjoying the warm feeling the festivities of the season brings to my heart. And of course nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit like a good Christmas movie!
Dozens and dozens of movies have been made about Christmas over the years; some are timeless classics, and some are… well, some are just awful. They don’t make me want to deck the halls, they make me want to deck someone. I know that’s not in keeping with the Christmas spirit, but you brought this on yourself, awful Christmas movie.
Here are some Christmas movies I would like to kiss under the mistletoe with my fist.
Frosty Returns (1995)
Okay, Frosty Returns isn’t a feature length movie, but it is shown annually this time of year, and I hate it. Not only is it a charmless followup to the 1969 classic Frosty The Snowman, it’s played up as the sequel to that Rankin/Bass holiday favorite, when everyone knows Frosty’s Winter Wonderland (1976) is considered by most Christmas special aficionados to be the official sequel. And for some reason Jonathan Winters plays a man who is as big as a snowflake. Fa la la la la, la la la lame.
Every modern retelling of A Christmas Carol that is not Scrooged (1988)
We all know the story. A jerky miser is visited by spirits and learns the true meaning of Christmas. Over the years Hollywood has tried to remake A Christmas Carol with a modern twist, and they got it right once with Scrooge starring the incomparable Bill Murray. Then the TV networks made more remakes of the Dickens classic because cable channels need to fill up program space and they secretly hate us. I’ve noticed many of these remakes feature a female Scrooge:
A Carol Christmas (2003) A bitchy talk show host (Tori Spelling) is visited by spirits and learns the true meaning of Christmas.
A Divas Christmas Carol (2000) A bitchy pop star (Vanessa Williams)is visited by spirits and learns the true meaning of Christmas.
Ebbie (1995) A bitchy department store owner (Susan Lucci) is visited by spirits and learns the true meaning of Christmas.
None of these movies feature Bill Murray learning the true meaning of Christmas, so they suck. Granted, A Carol Christmas has the truly awesome William Shatner, so it doesn’t suck as much as the others. But it stars Tori Spelling. And we’re back to suck.
Santa Baby (2006) and Santa Baby 2 (2009)
I can think of two reasons why Jenny McCarthy became famous. And these movies are not them. Plus, these movies borrow their title from Santa Baby, a 1953 Christmas song that makes me very uncomfortable. I don’t want to talk about it.
Jack Frost (1998)
Many Christmas movies have a similar theme; through the magic of the holidays a ne’er do well learns what’s really important in life and reconnects with the ones he/she has wronged. Struggling musician Jack Frost (Michael Keaton) never has time for his wife and kid, then one snowy Christmas Eve he perishes in a car accident and is reincarnated as:
A FRIGHTENING ABOMINATION FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL ITSELF!
Seriously? A dead man’s spirit possessing a freakish CGI snowman? You know what else really gets me into the holiday spirit – reading aloud obituaries on Christmas morning as my loved ones are opening their presents! How depressing.
And speaking of depressing:
Aaaaaand, I’m done with this. If anyone needs me, I’ll be having a good long cry in the bathtub.
Merry Christmas from DVD Critics Corner!
I was in a bit of a funk this past weekend. The grey and dismal late January weather coupled with queasiness in the stomach (Note to self: never order the Surf & Turf at the Sunoco APlus market again!) left me in a state of ennui somewhere between a Smiths fan and that crying Packers chick I saw on Youtube.
After a few seconds of soul searching and punching up a brief list of my symptoms on Web MD, I figured out why I was so monumentally bummed – post holiday blues. I missed the brightly colored lights on the Douglas Fir, opening presents with family on Christmas morning, and ringing in the new year in the company of my closest and drunkest friends.
Perhaps watching a Christmas special would pick up my spirit up off the floor where it lay between the box of photos I’ve been meaning to scan into my computer and the unused kettle ball. So I checked my Netflix instant queue and found a special I forgot to watch in December:
He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special is a crossover episode featuring the casts of the He-Man and She-Ra series, a group of incredibly stupid people who still have not caught on to the fact that Adam and Adora make no freaking attempt whatsoever to hide that they are He-Man and She-Ra, respectively. Was Eternia low on masks or something? At least Superman was willing to give glasses a try when he was in Kent mode!
Anyway, as the story opens Eternia is gearing up for the big birthday extravaganza for Prince Adam and twin Sister Princess Adora, which coincidentally falls on Christmas Day. Freakishly annoying comic relief character Orko stows away on a spy ship Man-At-Arms launches into space. Skelator and his dopey minions try to intercept the ship, but are stopped by He-Man and She-Ra and She-Ra’s magic horse who sounds like a modern day Al Pacino. Orko tries to fly the spy ship but it crashes on Earth, which is apparently just a few subway stops from Eternia.
On Earth Orko meets Miquel and Alisha, whose parents think it’s perfectly fine to let them go out and look for a Christmas tree somewhere near the Arctic Circle. The kids tell Orko all about Christmas and how wonderful it is, and since the only holidays on Eternia involve worshiping the poofy Prince Adam, he gives up space magic and converts to Christianity on the spot.
He-Man and the other Mattel action figures devise a plan to set things right. She-Ra fights a huge water lizard and then some transforming robots (who are not enough like the Transformers to warrant a lawsuit from Hasbro) to secure a magic crystal which will power Man-At-Arms’ transport beam that will bring Orko and the ship back. The plan succeeds, and the transport beam retrieves the space craft and Orko – with Miguel and Alisha in tow! Rather than kill the little earthlings and move on with their lives, Adam and Adora decide to help them celebrate Christmas until the transport beam is recharged.
Meanwhile this evil green cloud Horde Prime, fearing this newly arrived “Christmas Spirit” will somehow destroy his power, orders Hordak and Skelator to capture the earth kids. But since Skelator and Hordak are the Bill and Ted of syndicated weekday cartoon villains, He-Man and She-Ra are soon onto their plot and with the help of some bizarre creatures called the Machines (a frightening mix of robot and Smurf, I shit you not) they thwart the bad guys plans and throw one heck of an Eternian Christmas Party!
Miguel and Alisha are beamed home to their parents who don’t seem to mind that their kids have been missing for several days. Adam, Adora, and all their pals continue to party down, enjoying the spirit of joy and goodwill they feel thanks to that awesome Earth holiday – Christmas!
Surprisingly, He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special relieved me of my case of the mopes; by reminding me of how much I despised the entire Masters of the Universe TV series and line of toys when I was a kid. And that long dormant hatred for He-Man and his pals will keep me warm for days, maybe weeks to come.
So I’m just aces now!
How have you been?