A Family Circus Christmas (1979)

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 “A Family Circus Christmas (1979)”

Christmas Rush (2002)

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 “Christmas Rush (2002)”

Shadow on the Land (1968)

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 “Shadow on the Land (1968)”

The Little Drummer Boy (1968)

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 “The Little Drummer Boy (1968)”

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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 “Miracle on 34th Street (1947)”

Beyond Tomorrow (1940)

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 “Beyond Tomorrow (1940)”

The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow (1975)

First Christmas DVD CoverIn 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 “The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow (1975)”