Tuesday, November 30, 2010

25 Days of Christmas Entertainment - Introduction

It is that time again. The time where public masks are glued on faces and extravagant displays of gaudy hubris pollute the environment. The real high and lows of life rush into the minds of individuals to force a final decision. The sense of self-worth and comfort are judged by something covered in excessive paper. The presence of a self-delusional fat fool in red and white impacts the motives and psyche of people for only a short period of time and space.

I am of course of talking about the entertainment world's view of Christmas.

The reality of what Christmas truly means and what it does to people is unanswerable since it has spread into so many different cultures and is celebrated uniquely, with or without the religious strings involved. However, Christmas in the media, whether it is in films or television, always seems to follow the same routes and stories. After all, why do you think A Christmas Carol is so over-used? The holiday is used simply for cheap pops and gains in ratings and/or money. The scripts might display possible game-changers to the story structure and characterization of popular figures only to see everything go back to basics in the next installment. However, there are some that escape this Hollywood order and actually bring a true sense of joy, sentimentality, nostalgia, or are actually original for a change.

For twenty five days, I will be covering and reviewing twenty five works of Christmas entertainment. Seven films, twelve television specials, before ending with six entries that are very special to me and are watched routinely during this wonderful time of the year. I was going to do this as a video series similar to James Rolfe's fantastic Monster Madness, but I instead have to settle with some good old-fashion written critiques. As a warning and a reminder, all of these reviews are of my own opinion and I will be highlighting the pro and cons in every entry, including some of my own favorites. I do not want to be a bitter cynic, despite my misanthropic opening paragraph, but I do want to bring new ideas and views to works.

The schedule is such: First off is "Cynical Christmas Movie Week", seven feature-length films that either implement a black outlook to the holiday or makes the viewer scorn the producers and directors for their heinous products. I'll start with two favorites of mine before we venture into the abysses of easy money and sheer stupidity. Next up on the 8th is the "Christmas Wrapping Specials", five specials and episodes of popular children and animated television shows where viewers were treated to severe head-aches and the absolute worst of screenwriting. With the 13th, we finally enter a happier state of mind as I go over five animated specials from Nickelodeon shows that actually do some service to the holiday before looking at two examples of Warner Bros Animation. The 20th brings the last six as I write about a hodgepodge of Christmas entertainment, ranging from live-action to animation to static artwork, that are always merry to me.

TOMORROW'S ENTRY: A teaser trailer with a long acid-filled rant brings the sorrow-filled side of Christmas to my eyes and ears in a film where hell is other people.

My Tops of 2010 - November

We head into the last month of the year and, so far, this has been a great year in film for myself.

Best Films

1. Toy Story 3

2. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

3. Inception

4. The Kids Are All Right

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

6. The Social Network

7. The Town

8. The Secret of Kells

9. The Crazies

10. Kick-Ass

Worst Films

1. The Last Airbender

2. Survival of the Dead

3. Knight and Day

4. Bitch Slap

5. When In Rome

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street