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Holiday Challenge 2012


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#41 of 193 JohnS

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Posted December 01 2012 - 11:37 AM

Regarding the uncut Charlie Brown Christmas, this is what I've looked up. The soup can scene is new to me since all the times I've seen the was when it aired on CBS. Original uncut telecast version featured sponsor plugs within the context of the film. During the main title sequence we see Snoopy tossing both Charlie Brown and Linus during the opening "Christmas Time Is Here" song. Charlie crashes into a tree as the main title credits are seen (as we have all been familiar with over the years). However, all current prints do not show us what happens to Linus...in the uncut version, Linus crashes into a Coca-Cola sign (indicating the show's sponsor). Also, after the final credits (while the Peanuts gang sing "Hark The Herald Angels Sing"), there is a subtitle that says "Merry Christmas from your local Coca-Cola bottler". Due to subsequent FCC laws precluding sponsor plugs in the context of children's programs, these two elements have been edited out of all current prints (even in the so-called "uncut" versions shown over the past three years on CBS, as well as all home video releases from Paramount and Warner Bros.). For some reason there is one scene after the 'tasting of the snowflakes' that has been cut out of all subsequent CBS airings but is retained for the home video release. The scene shows Linus using his blanket as a whip to knock a soup can off of a fence. Lucy then turns to him and says, "You think you're so smart with that blanket! What're you gonna do with it when you grow up?". "Maybe, I'll make it into a sports coat!" Linus replies.

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#42 of 193 PatW

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Posted December 01 2012 - 11:37 AM

John, Congrats on the new addition. Christmas with the Kranks (2004) :star::star: Not a fan of this movie. Kind of mean spirited and not something that I like watching at this time. Still there was a couple of really enjoyable scenes, for example when the neighbours across the street were given the cruise ship holiday. That was heartwarming. I liked the umbrella Santa being Santa at the end but mostly this movie was just meh and for the most part populated with unlikable characters.

#43 of 193 BobO'Link

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Posted December 01 2012 - 12:26 PM

Here are a couple of links that might help track down all those holiday episodes... List of United States Christmas television episodes - There is a link to "specials" at the bottom of the page. List of Thanksgiving television specials - which is TV episodes and "specials". I've heard Target stores have the Holiday Inn Three Disc Collector's Set for $7.99. It's a *very* good upgrade from the old Going My Way/Holiday Inn double feature DVD. Disk 1 is the B/W film and extras, Disk 2 is the colorized version, and Disk 3 is a CD of music from the film. The colorization is done very well (almost good enough to make you forget about the B/W original). I don't know if it is a weekly sale special or something that'll be there for several weeks so YMMV.

#44 of 193 JohnS

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Posted December 01 2012 - 02:40 PM

I updated the Calendar list with ABC family stuff until Dec 7th (I'll add more later) Some stuff worth checking out since they run all the claymation stuff. I watched The Office #310-311 "A Benihana Christmas" Angela and Pam have dueling office Christmas parties. Michael gets dumped by his girlfriend and Andy, Dwight and Jim take him to Benihana's to cheer him up. Michael brings home a girl from Benighanas to the office Christmas party. A better episode than Season 2. Better jokes and more office interaction between everyone. Jim pulling pranks on Dwight at Benihanas and also Jim and Pam pulling a CIA prank on Dwight are all great stuff. Michael also doing a very rough photoshop work on his girlfriends X-family photo is just too funny.

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#45 of 193 PatW

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Posted December 02 2012 - 02:40 AM

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) :star::star::star::star::star: Not too much to say about this one. It's an annual Christmas viewing and just about perfect in every way. I've enjoyed most everything that Jimmy Stewart has done but this movie is probably my favourite of his. Nothing Like the Holidays (2008) :star::star::half: A Puerto Rican version of a Christmas get together I guess. This one is cliché ridden and lacking plot with too many filler scenes but it still was fun in parts.

#46 of 193 Michael Elliott

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Posted December 02 2012 - 08:47 AM

A Christmas Family Tragedy (2006) :star::star::star: (Netflix rental) Very low-budget but entertaining look at the 1929 tragedy in North Carolina where farmer Charlie Lawson snapped on Christmas Day murdering his wife, their six children and then himself. Decades later the town people look back on that tragic day as they talk about the myths and rumors and we also get to hear from his family members as well as those who were on the scene and attended the funerals. I had never heard of this case but apparently it has a rather big following from crime buffs. The documentary was made on an obvious very small budget and this is easily seen through some of the poor visuals and audio. I'd also say that it's clear that the director wasn't overly familiar with telling a story but I'm not going to bash him because for the most part he's done a decent enough of a job telling the story. At 75-minutes the documentary kept me interested throughout and there are also some rather creepy moments when people talk about running into the children's ghosts. The entire story is just tragic and especially the final days leading to the murders. There are several theories given on why it happened but as with so many crimes, the truth will never be known. If you're looking for a professional documentary then this here isn't that. However, the film is good enough in giving you the story and it's certainly fascinating hearing from those connected to the events. A Very Brady Christmas (1988) :star::star: (ABCFamily) Instead of going on a vacation to Greece, Carol and Mike Brady (Florence Henderson, Robert Reed) decide to instead invite the six kids and their families to a Christmas dinner. What the parents don't fully know is that all six are facing certain issues that will come out over the holiday. A VERY BRADY Christmas is a pretty silly and pretty stupid little picture but fans of the original TV show should still find it entertaining. I remember watching the show as a kid and enjoying it even though it certainly didn't represent any sort of real life that I knew. This film once again offers up the basic idea of the series, which is that everyone faces a problem but at the end the father will give a speech that makes everyone see things the correct way. I think the biggest thing working against the movie is that they just have so much to do in such little time and this makes for some pacing issues. We basically see Mike and Carol. We then are introduced to the six kids and their problems. Everyone comes together and one by one the problems are solved. There's certainly nothing ground-breaking here but it was still a fun way to get the original cast members to return (with the exception of Cindy) and fans should enjoy seeing them together. Both Henderson and Reed haven't missed a beat in their parts and the kids all do fine as well. Ann B. Davis, on the other hand, is pretty annoying here but this is certainly the fault of the screenplay more than anything else. A VERY BRADY Christmas isn't good enough to watch on a regular basis but it's still got enough bad charm that makes it worth watching just to see the cast members back in action.

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Posted December 02 2012 - 10:27 AM

Week #1 (Starting Black Friday)


Friday: "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947, blu-ray)

Saturday: "Babes in Toyland" (1934, Laurel and Hardy, black and white version, dvd)

                "A Christmas Carol" (1938, MGM, black and white version, dvd)

                "Silent Night" (MGM short with Judy Garland)

                "Jackie Cooper's Christmas Party" (MGM short)

                "Peace on Earth" (MGM cartoon short)


Sunday: "Holiday Inn" (black and white version, dvd)

Monday: "Christmas in Connecticut" (black and white version, dvd)

Tuesday:"The Bells of St. Mary's" (black and white version, dvd)

Wednesday:"The Bishop's Wife" (black and white version, dvd)

Thursday: "Scrooge" (1935, black and white verision, short version, dvd)



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Posted December 02 2012 - 10:30 AM

John, I've also heard that Snoopy's dog bowl was originally white. I have the Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas book and the animators state that they made a few small changes or fixes in 1966.



#49 of 193 Radioman970

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Posted December 03 2012 - 12:02 AM

Finally got around to a Christmas movie. Home Alone. "Kevin" just warms your heart when he flashes that smile. Really enjoyed seeing this again. Spider on face remains my favorite part. Excellent fem-scream there. :D
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#50 of 193 JohnS

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Posted December 03 2012 - 01:43 PM

I watched the incredibly awful Home Alone 5: Holiday Heist I'm not saying I was expecting this to be a good movie, but it was such a bad film. They even did three homages to remind you that you're watching a Home Alone film, but I felt like they were just copying the film, cause they didn't know what else to write. This included Finn shaving and putting on after shave and not screaming, sledding down the stairs and slightly mentioning the famous Kevin scream with hands on his face. Debi Mazarin, Malcolm McDowell and Eddie Steeples were just embarrassing to watch function in this movie. Even Edward Asner seemed confused in this movie even though that's what his character is suppose to come off as. I forgot the mention of the art museum, but it seemed like they were setting up some sort of sequel near the end. Saved By the Bell #324 & 325 "Home For Christmas" The gang are on Christmas break from school. Which means no Mr. Belding. Kelly, Slater and Jessie get jobs at the mall. Zach meets a new girl while getting ready to put on a play at the mall. Zach's new girl turns out to be homeless. The gang helps her dad out when he collapses at the mall. Much like any Saved by the Bell episodes, it's corny, a little stupid, but still to this day is still fun to watch. This episode may have more meaning today than it did at the timed it aired, since there are more homeless situations that people can relate to. But when you have Zach trying to bed the homeless girl, it makes you wonder his true intentions. I still like watching this every year.

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#51 of 193 Guest__*

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Posted December 03 2012 - 06:17 PM

Week #2


Friday: "White Christmas" (blu-ray)

Saturday: "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (dvd)

Sunday: "A Christmas Carol" (1984, George C. Scott, dvd)

Monday: "A Chipmunk Christmas," "A Very Merry Cricket," "A Pink Christmas," "Ziggy's Gift," "Cricket on the Hearth," "The Stingiest Man in Town," and "Happy Holidays with Frank and Bing."



#52 of 193 Mark-P

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Posted December 03 2012 - 08:40 PM

Eric, Don't you get burnt out watching so many different versions of a Christmas Carol all in a row? I usually watch one version each year. One year it will be Alastair Sim, another year George C. Scott, and yet another year it will be Albert Finney. I couldn't imagine watching them all together! :D

#53 of 193 Radioman970

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Posted December 03 2012 - 11:04 PM

A Christmas Carol is my mother's favorite, book and films. She watches those YEAR ROUND! :P Got another from my stack watched. Slooooow going.. Anyway, it's A Passion of the Christ. Most have seen this once. This is my second viewing, first on a blu ray I picked up Black Friday years back for 5 bucks. Just now pulling the plastic off. The film looks pretty good on blu. Wonderful costumes, locations, make up work. But as I was watching, particularly those horrible scenes of torture, I was thinking how much more I'd like to be watching Monty Python's Life of Brian. But the story being told here is a good one, if a bit incomplete (Sunday School was a long time ago). If the level of violence put on Jesus and others of the time is accurate here then it really pains your heart for those people. Particularly Jesus himself. Moments like these change the world.
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#54 of 193 Radioman970

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Posted December 04 2012 - 04:05 AM

All in the Family. "Bogus Bills" It's Christmas, so the usuals come out... this time someone is passing bad 10 dollar bills at Archie's Place. I liked the ending. And the scene with Arch and Stephanie at the bar was well done. "Can I have a beer?" I think they were writing pretty good for the little girl character by now. This episode reminds me I have to buy Archie Bunker's Place Season 1 soon. I sure hope Shout! will take on the rest of the show. My collection is incomplete without ABP complete series.
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#55 of 193 John Stell

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Posted December 04 2012 - 04:10 AM

Thanks for the congrats everyone.  Now to do some catch-up!



008) 11/26/2012 National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) Posted ImagePosted Image1/2


Chevy Chase is back as Clark Griswold who hopes his Christmas bonus will help his family have a merry Christmas.  Fat chance.  Occasionally funny film wants to mix genuine sentiment with the guffaws.  But Chase is such an insincere actor that such an attempt is futile.


009) 11/26/2012 Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972) Posted ImagePosted Image1/2


When a lawyer arrives in a small town to secure the sale of a deserted home, skeletons in the closet start to rattle.  Low-budget thriller has an eerie atmosphere and a you-gotta-be-kidding-me plot that help make this fairly successful.  Maybe someday a nicely rendered DVD release of this would make the film more appreciated.


010) 11/27/2012 Home Alone (1990) Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


Eight year old Kevin is accidentally left behind when his family heads to Paris for Christmas.  Not only does the kid have to fend for himself, but also defend his home against the Wet Bandits.  Genuinely funny film has a terrific slapstick final act that feels like a live-action Road Runner cartoon.  Nice support from Catherine O'Hara, John Candy, and Roberts Blossom add to the fun.  Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are great as the inept burglars.


011) 11/27/2012 Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) Posted ImagePosted Image


Young boy witnesses his parents get murdered by a thug dressed as Santy Claus.  He's sent to a strict orphanage (along with his baby brother) where he's further traumatized by the ruling nun's views on naughty and nice.  When, as an able-bodied teen, he's forced to play Santa for the store for which he's working, he finally freaks out and goes on a rampage.  This controversial slasher pic spends a lot time setting the stage for probably the most sympathetic mad killer since Norman Bates.  But the acting is uneven and the film eventually runs out of steam.


012) 11/27/2012 Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987) Posted Image


Brother of the murderer from Part 1 recalls what led to his own killing spree.  Poorly produced sequel has about 40 or so minutes of the first film to serve as a recap which only serves to point out how relatively bad the new stuff is.  Eric Freeman is so over-the-top as the killer that he becomes quite annoying, and never garners the sympathy of the first film's killer.


013) 12/03/2012 Christmas in Connecticut (1945) Posted ImagePosted Image1/2


Barbara Stanwyck writes a column for a Good Housekeeping-type magazine where she comes across as the perfect cook and mother.  But she really lives alone in apartment and gets her cooking tips from a nearby restaurant owner.  When she's forced by her boss (Sydney Greenstreet) to prepare a Christmas meal for a wounded war hero, she has to scramble to keep her secret safe.  There are no surprises in the plot department here and the story is overly contrived.  But the laughs are there and the cast likable enough to make this a pleasant Christmas offering.


014) 12/03/2012 A Star in the Night (1945) Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


Oscar-winning short has J. Carrol Naish as Nick, the owner of a motor lodge who isn't too big on Christmas spirit.  And some of his customers don't help matters.  But when an expectant couple, named Jose and Maria, show up, Nick's holiday starts to change.  Beautifully told reworking of the Christmas story, with a little A Christmas Carol thrown in for good measure.  Naish is terrific in the lead.


015) 12/03/2012 Holiday Inn (1942) Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image1/2


Bing Crosby sings and Fred Astaire dances to classic Irving Berlin songs in this highly entertaining tale.  Crosby ends his relationship with his song-and-dance partner Astaire to live in Connecticut where he ultimately launches Holiday Inn, a club open only on holidays (of which there were 15 in 1942).  Complications ensue when Astaire shows up and tries to woo Crosby's new love interest.  The film that launched a hotel chain ten years later and gave the world the classic "White Christmas" is near-perfect holiday fare.


"...you would not understand...You do not...have...daughters."

#56 of 193 Guest__*

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Posted December 04 2012 - 09:21 AM

Mark, I usually spread them out over the short few weeks. They are all different enough that I don't really get burned out. However, I am giving "Scrooged" and Patrick Stewart's version the year off. I don't know if I'll watch the musical "Scrooge" this year either. It is one of the longer adaptations and can be tedious at times. I still need to add a couple of more versions to my collection! LOL. Watched Today (Tuesday) "The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold" (Rankin/Bass, dvd), "Opus and Bill in A Wish For Wings That Work" (dvd), "The Snowman" (dvd), "The Simpsons' Christmas Special" (dvd), "The Brady Bunch Season 1 'The Voice of Christmas.'" Up Tonight: "Shrek the Halls" "Yes, Virginia" (newer CBS animated adaptation) "Elf on the Shelf" (blu-ray)

#57 of 193 JohnS

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Posted December 04 2012 - 01:43 PM

I'm adding more Christmas programming to the calendar. AMC and ABC Family are both doing month long Christmas programming. I watched Castle #509 "Secret Santa" Castle and Beckett investigate a Santa that's been murdered after he is found falling from the sky I'm a Castle fan so I like every episode, but this isn't good enough to watch every Christmas.

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#58 of 193 PatW

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Posted December 04 2012 - 05:13 PM

04 Love Actually (2003) :star::star::star::star::half: One of my favs from my library and a perfect choice around this time of year. The movie has several characters all with interconnecting stories. My favourites, are of the young boy with a crush on a schoolmate with a fabulous voice, and a degenerate old rockandroller trying to make a comeback with a Christmas song. 05 Jingle All the Way (2003) :star::star::star: Not a big fan of this movie but my granddaughter was visiting and it did provide a few chuckles. I like Arnie in action movies, but comedies, not so much. 06 Castle: S5: E: Secret Santa :star::star::star::half: Nothing too special here but I did enjoy the episode.

#59 of 193 Michael Elliott

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Posted December 04 2012 - 05:44 PM

Silent Night (2012) :star::half: (Netflix rental) The long awaited remake of SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT has a small town coming under attack from a maniac in a Santa Claus outfit. The other problem is that there's a Santa costume contest going on so every man in town is wearing the outfit so it's up to a deputy (Jaime King) and sheriff (Malcolm McDowell) to crack the case. I will admit up front that I'm a major fan of the 1984 film and feel that it's never really gotten the credit it deserves. I will also admit that I was drooling at the mouth to see this remake, which of course turned out to be like so many current remakes and that's the fact that it basically just takes the original's concept and does something new with it. This film does steal a few classic scenes from the original (Grandpa, reindeer death) and even its notoriously bad sequel (Garbage Day) but in the end I found this film to be quite boring. The identity of the killer here is pretty much kept a secret until the very end but this mystery aspect is never really taken advantage of and it doesn't take long before you don't care who it is. It also doesn't help that the film doesn't seem to know what type of horror film it wants to be. Yes, it's a throwback to the 80s slasher but at the same time it just appears to neat and it lacks the guts and meanness of the original. I'd also add that the gore effects at times look very poor with the cheap CGI. Still, gore fans are going to want to check this out because it is quite graphic at times and there's certainly no lack of bloody gore. The performances are pretty much what you'd expect from a film like this, although King isn't too bad in her role and McDowell is willing to do whatever for the paycheck. SILENT NIGHT really drags at time, features some less than favorable pacing and in the end I think it's just another disappointing film for the genre in 2012.

#60 of 193 John Stell

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Posted December 05 2012 - 04:48 AM

016) 12/04/2012 A Christmas Carol (1938) Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


The classic story is given the MGM treatment in this good - not great - version.  At under 70 minutes it fees a bit rushed so that Scrooge's conversion isn't as believable as in other versions.  But the cast is good and the story so solid that it would take quite an inept bunch of people to botch any film version.


017) 12/04/2012 The Christmas Party (1931) Posted ImagePosted Image1/2


In this short Jackie Cooper holds a Christmas party for his teammates at MGM studios.  The guests are waited on by the likes of Marion Davies, Clark Gable, and Lionel Barrymore.  Jimmy Durante shows up dressed like Santa.  Cute.


018) 12/04/2012 Peace on Earth (1939) Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image1/2


Animated short has Grandpa Squirrel show up Christmas Eve to tell his grandchildren about how man's destruction came about.  The animation is beautiful and the message is as timely as ever.


019) 12/04/2012 Holiday Affair (1949) Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


Janet Leigh plays a war widow who is considering marrying a good friend for more practical reasons than romantic.  Enter Robert Mitchum as poor and recently-fired store clerk who may just be Mr. Right.  Deft blend of humor and drama which thankfully doesn't do any emotional deck stacking against "the other man."  Very nicely done.


"...you would not understand...You do not...have...daughters."




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