by Adam Riske
I’ve heard it been said that one of reasons people like movies is because they fill in experiences we are not subject to in our normal lives. I wholeheartedly agree with that, especially for myself in terms of Christmas movies (because I didn’t grow up with it so it feels like this special, forbidden thing). If you love Christmas movies, why do you love them?
Read Days 1-3 here
Read Days 4-10 here
Here’s what I watched this week:
Day 11: Deck the Halls
Deck the Halls is one of the “trilogy of bad” that I mentioned in a previous column when discussing Christmas with the Kranks. Mark 2014 as the year that I am just about out of irony, because I don’t think I am ever going to watch Deck the Halls again after this past viewing. I used to “enjoy” Deck the Halls in an ironic, hipster douchebag “so bad, it’s good” way, but now I just find it to be a soul-crushing experience. From what I’ve heard and read, everyone was miserable on the set of Deck the Halls, knowing that what they were making was truly from the bottom of the barrel. I couldn’t get that out of my head on this viewing, as it shows in relation to everyone’s enthusiasm for the project and just the overall quality. This is a movie that has zero respect for your intelligence. It can only be enjoyed by hipsters who have not yet become real adults or by children who have not seen enough good Christmas movies to know the difference yet. I will say though, as a lover of puns, the tagline on the poster for Deck the Halls made me chuckle.
Note: I also intended to watch Jingle All the Way this month (the last member of the “trilogy of bad”) but I am going to skip that one. Why not watch something I know to be good, or that has the chance of being good, instead? Oh wait, we did a commentary on Jingle All the Way last year. You should watch Jingle All the Way.
Day 12: Happy Christmas
Instead of reiterating what I’ve already said about the movie, let me share a story with you from this week because I saw Joe Swanberg! Twice! First when I watched Happy Christmas (Swanberg has a supporting part in the movie as well as writing and directing it) and a second time two days later at an early screening of Inherent Vice (which was fine but another step down for the once mighty Paul Thomas Anderson, I’m afraid to say..#IMissTheOldPTAnderson). I really wanted to go up to Swanberg and tell him that I really love his past two movies but I didn’t. I was too nervous and I didn’t want to bother him, although it might have been nice to pay a compliment and nothing more. Instead I stared at him a couple of times, checking in to see if I could tell what he thought of Inherent Vice (I couldn’t tell). What do you do when you see celebrities in person?
Note: Don’t you think, in the poster, that Anna Kendrick looks like she’s wearing a Jack Nicholson mask?
Day 13: Lethal Weapon
Richard Donner) is controlled and confident. This movie is so damn entertaining. Read Patrick’s Heavy Action column on Lethal Weapon, as it covers what I’m trying to say but even better. Outside of Die Hard, is this the best action movie of the 1980s?
Note: I have to say that the highlight of my Christmas movie watching month thus far is when I get to a day where I watch an action movie. Two things I love jammed together. How do you beat that?
Day 14: Miracle on 34th Street
Day 15: Gremlins
Joe Dante, but this isn’t one of my favorites of his. I like Gremlins 2 more. But hey, it’s ok. It has nice Christmas atmosphere after all.
Day 16: Scrooged
Day 17: The Santa Clause
Join me next week as I’ll discuss the best Christmas horror movie ever made, a movie that runs 24 hours a day every Christmas day and a Christmas movie from just last year that more people should have seen.
How is your holiday DVD shopping going? Pick up anything cool?