My Photoshop skills are not what I’d like them to be. Still, I offer this work of art as my Christmas gift to ya’ll. Feel free to print it out, give copies to loved ones, etc. Just spread the love. So anyway, I noticed that lately we’ve been slacking around here. I apologize. Y’know, holidays, and whatnot. I do know that Evan is putting the finishing touches on the latest episode of the podcast, and we have all sorts of awesomeness planned for January (the picture above provides a clue). So don’t go away just yet — none of us are quite ready to join the mass graveyard of neglected blogs.

Anyway…releases. This week’s a big one, mainly because of Christmas. Hollywood assumes you won’t want to do anything besides go to a movie this Thursday, and they’re probably right. But, despite the release date, none of these are particularly “Christmassy.” You’d think some would be, since there are still another eleven days of Christmas after the 25th and all, but nope. Luckily, though, you all have me to tell you which movie is the most Christmassy. Enjoy!


Tenuous Connection to Christmas: There’s an old jolly dude in it. Nixonwas jolly, right?

Family Film? Well, hmmm…kids do need to learn their history. Then again, they also need to learn punctuation.

Snarky Comment: It’s a good thing that Ron Howard got this out this year, so he can still feel smug about it.

Recommended if you’re impressed by political activism 30 years after the fact.


Tenuous Connection to Christmas: A group of German soldiers conspire to assassinate Hitler, presumably to bring about “peace on earth.”

Family Film? Probably not. I’m detecting a distinct lack of “goodwill toward men.” Or at least “goodwill toward men whose names are Adolph Hitler.”

Snarky Comment: Usually, movies set during World War II win Oscars every time someone at the Academy sneezes, but this one probably won’t, since it’s a “thriller,” not a “drama.” On the bright side, that also means it might not be “boring.”

Recommended if you wished James Bond had made a cameo in Schindler’s List

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Tenuous Connection to Christmas: It’s about a guy who lives life backwards, so the plot has a lot of nostalgia built right in.

Family Film? Sounds like a fairytale to me, but its PG-13 rating isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. (Then again, the kiddies do love that F. Scott Fitzgerald.)

Snarky Comment: It seems like everyone on the Internets is jumping up and down and squealing over this movie but me — I’m not sure what I’m missing. (Evan’s seen it, and he assures me it’s worth the excitement. Take that for what it’s worth.)

Recommended if you liked The Fountain, Pan’s Labyrinth or The Great Gatsby


Tenuous Connection to Christmas: It’s about Catholics…those people invented Christmas, right? Unless Christmas was invented by Orthodox Christians? Whatever, they both stole the whole thing from Roman pagans anyway.

Family Film? Only if you’re trying to teach your kids how to avoid getting raped by priests.

Snarky Comment: You know it’s Oscar season when you get a bunch of halfheartedly iconoclastic religious dramas with one-word titles that consist solely of abstract nouns. Oh, and you also know that your bid for controversy is weak when the latest X-files movie already beat you to the punch.

Recommended if you liked Priest, or wished that The Trouble with Angels had taken some darker turns

Bedtime Stories

Tenuous Connection to Christmas: The children are nestled all snug in their beds.

Family Film? Well folks, could that “Walt Disney” logotype be any bigger?

Snarky Comment: It’s so nice that those two bastions of banality, Disney and Adam Sandler, have finally found each other.

Recommended if you liked Big Daddy; Definitely, Maybe; or Enchanted

The Spirit

Tenuous Connection to Christmas: Not sure yet. There’s apparently a spirit, but I can’t figure out whether he’s the Spirit of Christmas Past, Present, or Yet to Come (or possibly some auxillary spirit, like maybe the Spirit of Giving or the Spirit of Generosity).

Family Film? Yeah, sure, and you can call me Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

Snarky Comment: I guess I still don’t understand why we suddenly need to adapt every comic book ever written into a film…you’ll have to ask a geeky fanboy to explain it to you.

Recommended if you liked Sin City, Punisher: War Zone, or some other unnecessary comic book adaptation

Marley & Me

Tenuous Connection to Christmas: Only the entire marketing campaign. Look at that poster: a red bow, and a tagline that reads “This Christmas, Heel the Love”? Real subtle, guys.

Family Film? It’s a dog movie, which always means two things: 1. Excessive cuteness, and 2. The dog dies. (Always.) So, yeah, sure, if your kids are ready to learn about the Reaper.

Snarky Comment: I think I saw the trailer for this, like, ten times before I even remembered the title (the whole thing is just the dog running on the beach to the theme for Chariots of Fire). If the movie’s even half that bland, count me out.

Recommended if you haven’t yet seen enough dog movies to last you a lifetime (there must be someone like that out there).

Gran Torino

Tenuous Connection to Christmas: Clint Eastwood beats up a bunch of Asian kids. If you can connect that back to Christmas, more power to you.

Family Film? Pssh. Are you kidding? PG fare doesn’t win Oscars!

Snarky Comment: I sure hope it’s better than Changeling, but Evan tells me otherwise.

Recommended if you want to see Dirty Harry go nuts one last time before…well, you know.

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