Seeing as how I did not write a November movie blog, as some months just seem to slip by, I combined it with December. A couple new-to-me movies and a couple Christmas golden oldies.
Here is a movie I only saw in clip form. For some reason it has escaped my radar for the past 15 years. "Army of Darkness" directed by Sam Raimi, producer of one of my favorite tv shows, "Legend of the Seeker", and director of "Spider-Man" #2 and #3 and upcoming #4. Bruce Campbell stars as Ash, a discount store employee who gets transported to medieval times by evil forces plopped down into the middle of a dispute and thought to be with the opposing side. After surviving being tossed into a pit where no man usually returns, he is declared to be a man prophecied about by some elders to bring back the Necronomicon, a book of the dead, which can also help get him back to his own time. He is told to recite specific words upon retrieving the book so that nothing bad happens, but he screws it up and unleashes an army of skeletons who chase after him wanting the book back and soon afterwards an epic battle ensues. The writers have slipped in some references to other films or tv shows, most notably the magic phrase which comes from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and some Three Stooges bits and a Xena war cry thrown in. This is the third film of the "Evil Dead" series of movies. Not one to take too seriously, though it is very cleverly done and has a simple to follow plot, and it’s dark yet quite humorous.
Another new-to-me flick was a surprise. I normally hate, hate, HATE any movie with Will Ferrell. This man’s acting, or lack thereof, annoys me in large doses. He is more suited to sketch comedies in my opinion. His 2003 movie "Elf" was actually mildly enjoyable. Ferrell plays a human who was adopted as an orphaned baby by one of Santa’s elves at the North Pole. Fast forward about 30 years, we find this now grown man, named Buddy, trying his best to still fit into elf society and is not having too much luck. Depressed about not fitting in and wondering about who he really is, his adopted father tells Buddy that his real father is still alive but never knew he had a son. Buddy travels to New York City to seek him out all the while experiencing culture shock. It’s a cute Christmas movie with plenty of laughs.
First, there is the classic 1951 British film "Scrooge", also known as "A Chirstmas Carol" with actor Alastair Sim in the title role. Based upon the Charles Dickens novel "A Christmas Carol" written in the 1800s about a miserly old man who is just so miserable that he thinks everyone else around him should be just as miserable and the poor should just crawl up in a corner and die. On Christmas Eve, he gets a visit from his long dead business partner Jacob Marley telling him to basically wise up or have a terrible afterlife. He warns of a visit by the three spirits of Christmas who show Ebenezer Scrooge the error of his ways. Upon waking after the visit from Christmas Yet To Be, Scrooge is a changed man ripe with Christmas spirit. This film is easily one of my favorite holiday movies and a favorite amongst the many different versions of Dickens’s story. The 1984 version with George C. Scott in the title role, and of course Disney’s "Mickey’s Christmas Carol" are also two good versions, the latter being a bit more kid-friendly of course.
Another show I have a soft spot for is "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" from 1966 based on the book of the same name by childrens book author, Dr. Seuss. Another story of a mean old fart realising the true meaning of Christmas. The Grinch on Mt. Crumpett hated the Whos of Whoville, mainly because they always seemed so happy and cheerful and were always singing. These joyful little people loved the Christmas holiday the best of all holidays, therefore the Grinch decides to "steal Christmas" by taking away all the Christmas trappings of presents, decorations, and food. After all this nasty work, the Whos of Whoville wake up and gather in the town square and sing, causing the Grinch to realize Christmas is much more than material goods and makes amends by returning all the stuff he took.
And even though they aren’t technically movies but tv show episodes, any of the Doctor Who Christmas shows are always great adventure stories set around the holiday season.