A South Korean disaster film directed by Kim Ji-hun who was inspired by the classic 1974 The Towering Inferno. The hook here is that the film takes place on Christmas Eve in the fictitious 108 story luxury Tower Sky and part of the holiday festivities is actually the catalyst for the disaster.
Disaster films follow a formula, at least the good ones do. It's how it executes that formula which makes it good or bad. The…
Hiya kids. Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don't buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free!
A great big giant Christmas Cheeseball directed by the man who penned the screenplays for other such films as Bridget Jones’s Diary, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill. Tired of seeing other people direct his cheese, Richard Curtis gives us his idea of a Christmas gift by making his directorial debut…
A manipulative film that tugs at your heart strings like a master puppeteer, but I loved it nonetheless. Based the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith it tells the true story of Philomena and her search for a son that was taken away from her 50 years earlier... by Catholic Nuns. Are you tearing up yet?
A character in the film actually puts it best. Martin Sixsmith's editor, played by Michelle Fairley…
Santa, you will never return to Earth, you belong to Mars now.
A film so ridiculously bad that it will have you checking the credits to see if Ed Wood had anything to do with it. Martians kidnap Santa Claus because Martian kids seem depressed... at least that's what I got out of the plot. The Martians are dressed in green with green helmets that have cheap tv antennas sticking out of them. They also have green makeup plastered…
Fuck you, that's my name.
A Christmas family favorite. The late Ted Demme, who directed Denis Leary's comedy special No Cure for Cancer, reunites with the chain smoker for this star vehicle. It's really appropriate since Leary's character, Gus, is basically a slightly tuned down version of his stand-up persona, but there is still plenty of "fucks" coming from Leary while he lights up yet another cigarette and basically looses his shit at every turn as nothing goes his…
What in the name of Mike?
And Robert Zemeckis' love affair with motion capture animation begins. I find this part of his career interesting because he basically stopped making live action films for over a decade while he made three unrelated motion capture animated films back to back. Ok two are Christmas movies, but I still consider them unrelated.
I didn't like the film much when I first saw it in 2004 but it's grown on me since…
Don't make me be a bad girl again!
Brian De Palma is hardly the first or only director to ape Alfred Hitchcock, but I dare say he might be the best at it. The thing is De Palma clearly recognizes what made Hitchcock one of the greatest directors of all time. Whether or not he's emulating him or ripping him off is debatable, he has the talent for whichever it is though.
It could also be argued that the…
Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honour, which is probably more than she ever did.
-Rufus T. Firefly
Comedic chaos in perhaps it's purest form in the hands of Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo. Tame by today's standards? I think it depends on how you look at it. I honestly think this film is still hilarious without taking into account the time it was made. There's just too much comedic insanity packed into it's 68 minutes not to be considered…
We have Santa Claus.
My search to find something different to watch this holiday season brought me upon Jalmari Helander's Rare Exports shorts and his feature film debut which serves as a prequel to the shorts themselves. The shorts were both done in the "faux documentary" style as one was a fake promotional video followed by a fake safety video.
This on the other hand is a straight up feature film, which is what led to my slight…
You're mission is to garantee a safe journey for the product, from beginning to end. Last season, you failed.
Jalmari Helander's followup to his short Rare Exports Inc. (click here to watch on YouTube). While the first one was a mock-publicity video for Rare Exports Inc., this follow up is a mock safety video that is meant "For Importers and Distributors Only". It's the exact same tone as the original short and manages to expand a great deal on…
The final product is a reason to celebrate.
A very amusing Finnish short put together by director/writer Jalmari Helander which lead to "sequel" short and then a feature film. It's disguised as a promotional video for Rare Exports Inc.. What are they exporting? If you've never heard of it, just watch it without reading up on it. You can watch it on YouTube here and it's sequel here. The feature film is currently streaming on NetFlix.
Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest.
-Linus Van Pelt
One of the rare holiday specials that reminds me specifically of how it felt to be a kid during Christmas time. There is so much that should work against it: the rough around the edges animation, the child voice acting, the jazz soundtrack and Linus quoting the King James Bible, but it all has a reverse effect. It makes it all more endearing and heartfelt instead.