CINEJABBER: Another year over and a new one just begun

Posted by · 9:41 am · December 25th, 2010

Catch up with the idea behind these weekend posts here.

Granted, Christmas isn’t universal, but is anyone making it to this page between the turkey and ham and mistletoe and Darlene Love?  If so, we thank you for squeezing IC into your holiday craziness (though we all know you’re just ducking the relatives for a few minutes).

I don’t have much to chew on for you, though I suppose 2008’s collective of my favorite Christmas films is always good fodder around this time of year.  I just watched “Jingle All the Way” again earlier this week.  Every time, I can only ask myself, “Why did I do that?”

BUT, if you haven’t delighted in this one, I suggest you Netflix Instant watch that sucker NOW.

Anyway, I’m in snow-covered Ohio with the future in-laws (and having grown up as an only child, seeing a tree with four kids’ worth of presents underneath is a unique sight to say the least).  I was stoked to be met with a White Christmas for, I think, the first time in my life.  And the drive up from North Carolina: GORGEOUS.

The Coens’ “True Grit” is likely to make a good chunk of money this weekend.  Good for them, good for Rudin, good for the genre.  I still want to see “TRON Legacy” again, though (sue me).  Just promise me you won’t contribute to the inevitable weekend-topping “Little Fockers” box office.  Okay?

For now, here’s the usual space.  You know the drill.  Open thread.  Happy Whatever You’re Doing Today Day.

[Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures]

→ 29 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Cinejabber

29 responses so far

  • 1 12-25-2010 at 10:17 am

    Andrej said...

    For Christmas, I got the usual and protocolary socks.

    But they also gave me a U2 concert ticket ☺ yeahyeahyeahyeah hello hello.

  • 2 12-25-2010 at 10:59 am

    MovieMan said...

    Thank you for warning against “Little Fockers.” Atrocious atrocity.

  • 3 12-25-2010 at 11:01 am

    Pope said...

    Jingle All the Way is still as funny as it was when it first came out to me :)

  • 4 12-25-2010 at 11:15 am

    SJG said...

    Watched Jingle All the Way with the fiancee this week. It’s pretty bad, but it’s worth watching for any scene with Sinbad or Phil Hartman, and also just to hear Schwarzenegger scream “Put da cookie DOWN!” (hands down best delivered line in Schwarzenegger’s career).

    Also, I had no idea until just today that the mom in A Christmas Story is Melinda Dillon! I always disliked her so much in Close Encounters that I didn’t realize she’s actually done a number of roles that I do enjoy… like Harry and the Hendersons. Crazy. The thing is, her best performances have always been in movies that aren’t that great (like Harry), or that I don’t like (Christmas Story), but the one movie I do like of hers and is objectively good (Close Encounters) is the one performance where I think she’s overrated.

  • 5 12-25-2010 at 11:49 am

    red_wine said...

    Finally caught Tron in IMAX 3D. It has the worst script of any blockbuster I have ever seen in a theater. But the visuals are something to behold, the 3D was superb but the most wonderful part was certainly the score which was so overwhelming in the mighty bursts of the full Dolby Sound system, it has slightly colored my experience and I almost think that I liked the film. If I ever watch the film again it will solely be to listen to the music in context.

  • 6 12-25-2010 at 12:07 pm

    Patryk said...

    SGJ: Catch Melinda Dillon in her other Oscar nominated performance, “Absence of Malice.” Understated and worthy.

  • 7 12-25-2010 at 12:32 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Yeah, I recommend seeing TRON: Legacy for all of it’s visuals, sound, score, Bridges, Wilde, & Sheen.

    Script? Putrid. But yeah, I’d still recommend it. Strange one.

  • 8 12-25-2010 at 1:13 pm

    Boobeddy Boo said...

    Got a number of DVDs for Christmas: Chungking Express, Happy Together, 2046, Magnolia, The Vengeance Trilogy, The Manchurian Candidate (Sinatra/Leigh/Lansbury version), All the President’s Men as well as the Toy Story Trilogy Blu-Ray box set!

    Happy Christmas one and all!

  • 9 12-25-2010 at 1:44 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Got Inception (Best Buy Exclusive), The Town, America Lost and Found: The BBS Story, Cronos, The Magician, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Howard’s End, and Restrepo on blu-ray, as well as True Grit (Charles Portis novel) and finally a new car to replace the one I’ve had for nearly 11 years (doesn’t sound like much but it’s not a model built for longevity and it’s falling apart). Santa knew I was good this year. Settling in for delicious food with family and a bit too much booze, then watching How to Train Your Dragon and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation tonight. Best Christmas in years, Happy Holidays everyone!

  • 10 12-25-2010 at 2:34 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Well, that sure sounds fun, Kevin. haha

    Random, but I got ‘Labyrinth’ on dvd and will be putting that into my player, tonight. :)

    Happy Holidays to all.

  • 11 12-25-2010 at 3:33 pm

    Lucas said...

    Bought me some seasons of The West Wing – I miss Aaron Sorkin’s work on the small screen. No one can do long chunks of dialogue like him.

  • 12 12-25-2010 at 3:49 pm

    Kyle said...

    Got a chance to revisit my yearly tradition of taking in Bad Santa with my father since I’m in town. It’s been a tough year for my family, but little pleasures like that give me just a little bit of hope for 2011.

    Now to watch Last Year At Marienbad with my brother…

  • 13 12-25-2010 at 3:54 pm

    john t. said...

    ” National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation ” will always be my number one favorite Christmas classic. That movie has so many memorable, laugh – out-loud scenes. Also, I have a soft spot for ” Planes, Trains , & Automobiles” – it is a Thanksgiving movie , but the frigid weather & snow reminds me of Christmas. I still feel this is John Hughes’ best scripted & directed movie. Damn, I miss the underrated John Candy !!

  • 14 12-25-2010 at 4:00 pm

    mrmfall said...

    Found a very handsome Absolute Edition of Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier under the tree this morning. Merry Christmas to all, and see True Grit!

  • 15 12-26-2010 at 4:23 am

    Loyal said...

    Watched The King’s Speech yesterday. The hype is real, the film is kinda great. Firth, Carter, and Rush are all top notch. The directing is elegant, as are all the technical components. It’s the perfect holiday film for the entire family, take your grandparents & your teenagers. As someone who had a bad stutter as a child & went through speech therapy, I can relate to King George VI. I’m now cured and actually work as a media spokesperson and motivational speaker.

    My only real issue with The King’s Speech is that Beethoven’s symphony 7, opus 91, movement 2 allegretto needs to be retired. You can’t use it over the final scene of the film, the titular King’s Speech, and expect to get away with it. I hate emotional manipulation via classical music.

  • 16 12-26-2010 at 5:40 am

    JJ1 said...

    Decided to skip ‘Labyrinth’ in mt dvd player, and go see ‘The King’s Speech’. Saw it with a half-full crowd who seemed to dig it.

    What can I say? This is absolutely my type of movie. I really, really enjoyed it. And I’m sure I’ll see it again during it’s theater run.

    I will say, however, that I don’t think it’s the Best Film of the year.

    I feel like the first 15-20 minutes were incredibly tedious. But it really picked up afterwards (plot, humor, performance, everything).

    By the end, I was definitely satisfied. I will say, too, that I was not as moved as I figure’d I’d be, given all the high praise.

    But the acting, writing, sets, costumes, mood … were all exquisite.

    I think my favorite performance was Geoffrey Rush’s, but Firth was obviously excellent. And I really liked HBC, too (I wonder if she can sneak-attack a win). I just feel like all of them were a tad – I don’t know, reigned in? Obviously, given the characters/era, I knew they wouldn’t be flamboyant. But … I don’t know. Something.

    Overall 8.5 or 9 out of 10. I’d be fine with a slew of nominations (pic, actor, s actor, sactress, writing, art d, costumes, etc). Firth deserves the win, I’d say. But other wins? Not quite sure. I was hoping for just a tad more.

    So, ‘The Fighter’ exceeded my expectations. ‘True Grit’, they didn’t quite meet them. ‘The King’s Speech’, met them, barely.

  • 17 12-26-2010 at 9:45 am

    Andrej said...

    I just found out which locally unreleased films will be screened at a film festival here in Chile. They’ll be showing… The Damned United.

    If that’s not a trollface.jpg, I don’t know what it is. Of all THREE Tom Hooper movies, why couldn’t they bring The King’s Speech? It’s very disappointing to see that they also failed to get any movies that are in this current Oscar season. Not even “The Life of Fish” is there. :(

    Well, at least they’ll be showing Un Prophète.

  • 18 12-26-2010 at 10:02 am

    James D. said...

    I am kind of jealous that everyone had such a good Christmas, as I had to work most of the day. Extended family decided to roll up my Christmas and college graduation into one, so I received quite a bit of cash.

    It would be a Christmas miracle if I can find some information on the expansion of Somewhere. I figure I won’t get to see it until January, but I want news.

  • 19 12-26-2010 at 10:18 am

    Loyal said...

    I watched Somewhere last week James. I think it’s cool that Coppola has gotten around to remaking her earlier work.

    Minutia of being an actor
    Culture clash in a foreign country
    Extended stripper sequences
    Lots of lounging around at a hotel
    Relationship between older male and young female
    Cool soundtrack
    A phrase is said at the end that’s hard to hear

    It’s Lost in Translation 2.0!

  • 20 12-26-2010 at 10:45 am

    Loyal said...

    Oh and I forgot the Guitar Hero sequence which is just karaoke redux.

  • 21 12-26-2010 at 11:41 am

    JJ1 said...

    James D., I had to work yesterday 8am-4pm, but still made something of my holiday with food and going to a movie. Sorry you couldn’t capitalize. :( Hope the rest of your weekend/week goes well.

  • 22 12-26-2010 at 8:01 pm

    Bryan said...

    Someone agrees with you, Kris:

    I guess I have to see this movie now.

  • 23 12-27-2010 at 7:02 am

    Daveylow said...

    Glad to hear some praise here for The King’s Speech. I was getting tired of reading put-downs of the film. Sometimes when you have a good enough story you can just tell it in a straightforward way. In another year it might have won best picture. But I hope Colin Firth at least gets recognized.

  • 24 12-27-2010 at 7:06 am

    Daveylow said...

    Also wanted to add that I liked Somewhere. There was something very charming about its quiet mood. Loved the scenes with Fanning and Dorff.

  • 25 12-27-2010 at 9:47 am

    JJ1 said...

    For as much as I liked ‘The King’s Speech’, and I REALLY liked it … I can’t help but think that it was just a very well written character study with stellars sets/costumes and superb acting. It’s such a slight movie.

    I don’t think it was quite riveting/deep enough for BP accolades. That said, I laughed, I smiled, the crowd seemed to enjoy it at various points. And maybe that’ll be enough with Oscar voters.

  • 26 12-27-2010 at 11:40 am

    Paul M. said...

    Link to the first trailer of Joe Wright’s HANNA, starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, and Olivia Williams:

    VERY excited for this!

  • 27 12-27-2010 at 1:06 pm

    Speaking English said...

    No, you’re right. “The King’s Speech” is an alarmingly light affair. Three lovely performances, but a lack of vision and theme that leaves one wanting.

  • 28 12-27-2010 at 1:50 pm

    JJ1 said...


    I loved ‘The King’s Speech’. I knew it would be well-“everythinged” (acted, written, etc), and I know it’s a period piece about a King (no fireworks) … but wow, so light.

    I’m not complaining. Something can be light and fantastic. I’m just surprised.

  • 29 12-28-2010 at 8:21 am

    Kyle said...

    I think you and I must be of the same brain, as once again, I’m completely in agreement with you on your analysis of The King’s Speech.