Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Christmas, more than any other holiday, is steeped in tradition and when those traditions aren’t observed, they seem to detract from the season. Though we may share some traditions on a national, cultural and religious level, I have my own personal traditions that make my Christmas a little more joyous. And like most traditions some originated in my childhood and here they are:

Thanksgiving - Nothing kicks off the holidays like eating ham, turkey, and roast beef in one sitting.


Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time - This tradition has some stipulations. I need to hear this awesomely-bad song by the former Beatle on the radio, all the way through.

Fruity Pebbles Commercial
- “Tis the season to be sharing, Fred.” It was always a delight to see Barney finally get some Fruity Pebbles. This commercial has been off the air for a while now and I had to make due with an old VHS (square DVD) copy I had. But thanks to YouTube, it is something we can all enjoy.

John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together - I need to listen to the best Christmas album ever recorded. As a kid, my family and I listened to the record (Big Black CD) so much that we wore it out and had to get another one.
NyQuil - When I was younger, I was so anxious on Christmas Eve that I couldn’t sleep. My mom would give me some NyQuil to knock me out. Even though I no longer have trouble getting to sleep on December 24th, I still take a shot of the green stuff.

Die Hard
- The best Christmas movie ever made. "Yippie-ki-yay and Merry Christmas!"

Friday, October 30, 2009

Second Annual Arby's Day (2009)

"America's Roast Beef? Yes, sir!" As long as it is October 29, that is. Last year on that date, my younger brother and I discovered that we crave Arby's about once a year. After we ate some, we immediately remembered why we only crave it once a year. And so, an annual tradition was born.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Princess and the Frog Trailer

I love animation. Most of my Blu-ray/DVD collection consists of it–Disney full-length features, PIXAR masterpieces, Warner Brothers’ hilarious shorts, the list goes on. The animated feature is the only medium that can constantly move me to tears (not SOBBING but there have been some waterworks). When Toy Story came out in 1995 and 3-D animation entered the scene, a lot of studios began dumping their animation programs and vowed to never do 2-D animation again. Disney has since realized their idiocy and is returning to its roots with their first traditionally animated feature since 2004.

I don’t know about you but that trailer produced mixed emotions. It has two very different moods. The beginning gives me chills. The music is dramatic setting the mood as the pencil slowly recreates the familiar characters and scenes from Disney’s short lived “Second Golden Age.” You watch that montage and feel “magical” then... They show footage from the movie and they lose me. Don’t get me wrong, the animation looks fantastic and it’s great to see 2-D characters brought to life but the scenes they show–that slap-sticky, gassy humor–simply reminds me of the crapfest that Disney has been chumming out for the last 15 years:

, 1995

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
, 1996

, 1997

, 1998

, 1999

Fantasia 2000
, 1999

, 2000

The Emperor's New Groove
, 2000

Atlantis: The Lost Empire
, 2001

Lilo & Stitch
, 2002

Treasure Planet
, 2002

Brother Bear
, 2003

Home on the Range
, 2004

Chicken Little
, 2005

Now they weren’t ALL bad, but they weren’t exactly up to snuff either. When you look at this list and add it to the list of the direct-to-DVD garbage they’ve put out (Cinderella IV: Getting a Key Made), it brings up some doubts that Disney can actually pull this off. Can they bring the “magic?” Sure, Disney has started to pull its head out since Lasseter took over but the trailer for The Princess and the Frog didn’t make me think, “Alright! Disney is back!” Right now, all I am thinking is, “I hope they are back and that these doubts can be attributed to whoever cut the trailer together. Maybe these are the only completed shots they had to work with.
Or it was a rush job Or Chunk got the police Or one of Willy's booby traps.”

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The word "film."

Over the last few years, more and more people think they know something about movies because they went to a class in college. To show off their knowledge and education, they have started to use the word “film” to talk about movies. Ironically, they use the word in the wrong context making them look stupid. Here is a how-to on where and when to use the word “film” and other movie terms.

There are many words you can use to refer to movies each with their own connotation. The most versatile word is “movie” it is a good multi-purpose word that can be used in most all conversation. When in doubt, use “movie.”

The word “film“ connotes quality and artistic integrity (or something french). Use this word when you are referring to something good. Examples of films include: The Godfather, Raiders of the Lost Ark, PSYCHO, etc. Do not use “film” to describe movies of questionable quality. Don’t Mess With the Zohan is not a film. The Love Guru is not a film. In fact, most everything featuring SNL alumni is not a film.

Use “feature film” or “feature” when you are referring to the length of the movie. It goes in the same vein as “short film” or “short.”

When you are talking about silent movies or when movies incorporated sound, use the words “silent“ and “talkie” respectively.

Now, this isn’t gospel. There are exceptions to every rule but remember these guidelines and save yourself some embarrassment.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Cash: The Best Gift Ever

It's like a gift card to everywhere.