It is well known that the holidays can cause or exacerbate feelings of sadness, loneliness or depression in certain people. And it isn’t just confined to the unfortunates watching A Family Circus Christmas either. The holiday blues also has the Family Circus itself awaiting Christmas on a knife’s edge, perched precariously between the illusion of the tranquil domestic bliss depicted in the creaky, unfunny decades old comic strip and the building pressure of the repressed mental illness much of the family exhibits during this, one of its three animated forays into the holiday special genre. Continue reading
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A cop gets trapped in a large building battling a gang of thieves all by himself! And his wife is one of their hostages! And it’s freaking Christmas time! Wait – don’t stop me! Because another entry in the cinema’s best genre of film, the Die Hard genre, is always welcome!
Christmas Rush (also known by the generic action title Breakaway which just screams “cable TV movie no one will ever remember 5 minutes after it airs on TBS”) wisely lifts everything that made the original Die Hard not only the greasiest movie ever made, but frankly one of the crowning achievements of 50,000 years of human civilization, and adds the few cool things that somehow didn’t make it into it – a little religion and go karts! And a forklift! And a kid needing a bone marrow transplant! And most fantastically of all, an insurance company handing out a $200,000 check as a reward for Dean Cain helping to destroy their mall! Continue reading
It’s Christmas Eve in America. The streets are filled with the usual hustle and bustle of a lieutenant colonel on the run from his own government. Churches are having their holiday decorating (nothing like waiting to the last minute) interrupted by Internal Security Force agents. Holiday travelers are being harassed at the airports by new regulations restricting their ability to fly across country. Even Santa himself is getting manhandled by jackbooted thugs during a roundup of folks who oppose the president’s agenda! Continue reading
They destroyed his home! They burned his parents alive! Even almost all the farm animals were also killed! Now Aaron, accompanied only by his most trusted friends, a camel, donkey and sheep (hey they were the only survivors of the big farm fire!) with the only connection to his past life being the prized drum given to him by his parents, wanders the desert pounding the skins while his barnyard bros dance, having forsaken humanity forever! Continue reading
Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his portrayal of the real deal Santa Claus that for some reason has escaped an old folks home and decided to wreak his holiday brand of havoc on the capitalist pigs at Macy’s, as well as firing up a little girl’s imagination which has been stymied by her divorced workaholic and very sensible mother. He’s also got no use for drunken Santa imposters, pop psychiatry, and doesn’t mind going to trial to prove he is the one and only Santa! Continue reading
Three friends have their Christmas Eve dinner plans canceled so they do what anyone would do under the circumstances – devise a wacky Candid Camera-style stunt by tossing wallets with ten dollar bills and each one of their business cards into the street! Then they wait to see if anyone has the old Christmas spirit in them and returns the wallet with the cash. And anyone who does will be invited to dinner! Continue reading
In ancient times it never paid to get down too much when misfortune hit you. Sure, it might seem like God is taking a divine dump on you if you’re an orphaned shepherd boy who gets hit by lightning and catches a case of the blindness. But if you were patient and didn’t rage too much at the unfairness of it all, usually God would show back up later with a curative dose of miracle, especially at Christmas, as if to say, “see how freaking awesome Christmas is!” Continue reading
If you wonder how a Christmas cartoon about a donkey giving the Virgin Mary a ride to Bethlehem could have ever been shown on network TV, you have to recall what the TV landscape was like in 1977.
Most people only the three networks and PBS, no cable TV and no home video. When a Christmas special came on (if you remember the spinning CBS Special logo and its music, you know what I’m talking about), you were damn glad to be finally getting a break from your parents’ idiotic programs like Carter Country or The Shields and Yarnell Show. Even if it was about some farm animal you never heard of saving a religious Christmas instead of the normal North Pole Christmas, you sat and watched in rapt attention despite having no idea what was up with all the talk about a savior and Roman soldiers! Continue reading
Who knew Raggedy Ann was such a technophobe? Even before she can hear Alexander Graham Wolf explain what the purpose of his Gloopstik was, she was catching the vapors over the very notion that a large red machine simply existed! It sure made you wonder at Comet’s wisdom in selecting her to be part of the special ops team tasked with degrading and destroying Wolf’s command and control in the North Pole! Continue reading
Is it really possible for a Christmas special not to be the dumbest in the world when everything happens because a sea captain forgets to pack the ship’s Christmas tree for the long holiday voyage? Or that the captain detours his ship to a small island because he saw a tree he liked and orders the obviously learning disabled cabin boy ashore to dig the thing up? Or that said cabin boy continues to dig up the tree even after he sees that the island is full of leprechauns! Continue reading