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The Next La La Land?

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Entries in Holidays (135)

Sunday
Dec182016

Christmas Classics: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

A few members of Team Experience will be sharing posts on their favorite Christmas movies. Here's Tim...

Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of a great classic: it was on December 18, 1966, that the world got its first look at the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas, adapted from the 1957 book by Dr. Seuss and directed by cartoon legend Chuck Jones. There are too many ways we could quantity the importance of this television special: as the last of Jones's masterpieces before he settled into Elder Statesman status, as the progenitor of a line of generally strong Seuss adaptations that didn't stop until the beginning of the 1980s, as the third in a line of deathless cartoon Christmas specials that premiered one per year from 1964 to 1966 (Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas are the others).

But since it's the holiday season, let's start with how this is one of the loveliest and most heartfelt stories of the True Meaning of Christmas ever filmed. That is, in no small part, because neither Seuss nor Jones were overt sentimentalists: the author had a slightly arch, caustic tone to his highly precise rhyming that's too self-aware to be saccharine, and Jones built his career on anarchic cartoon comedies, making no fewer than three films on the theme "how many ways can we shoot Daffy in the face?" And with that kind of attitude underpinning the proceedings, How the Grinch Stole Christmas ends up being a little bit saltier than most of the other canonical Christmas classics. Obviously, it gets to the expected place where we all learn important lessons and feel better and embrace tradition, but it works a little bit harder than usual to make sure that it's earned.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec142016

Christmas Classics: Little Women (1994)

A few members of Team Experience will be sharing posts on their favorite Christmas movies. Here's Lynn Lee 

You can have your Christmas Story or your It’s a Wonderful Life.  For me, my Christmas movie will always be Gillian Armstrong’s Little Women, which took its bow Christmas Day, 1994, and has kept a place in my heart ever since.  Even though it faithfully adapts a literary classic, the movie’s also a perfect encapsulation of the ’90s: besides Winona Ryder, for whom Little Women was something of a pet project, it also featured a very young Kirsten Dunst, fresh off her star-making turn in Interview With a Vampire, and Claire Danes, still in her Angela Chase days, making her big-screen debut, as well as a 20-year-old Christian Bale completing his transition from child to adult actor.

None of that, of course, meant anything to me when I first saw the film...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec072016

Judy by the Numbers: "The Judy Garland Christmas Show"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

Full disclosure: I am in the middle of finals hell, wherein I have to write roughly 45 pages and grade exactly 48 exams before I can finally collapse at home for the holidays. So this episode is an especially selfish choice on my part. Since it's been a rocky year, I thought the best choice would be to post the entire episode, so that we could come together over a warm Christmas computer and spend the holidays with Judy.

The ShowThe Judy Garland Show Episode 15
The Songwriters: Various, arrangement by Mel Torme
The Cast: Judy Garland, Mel Torme, Liza Minnelli, directed by Dean Whitmore

The Story: Call me a sap (and I am), but I cannot watch Judy Garland sing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" while she and her children watch fake snow fall out of a studio set window. In a season that seems to demand yearly special televised events, The Judy Garland Christmas Show ranks as one of the most special Like every episode of The Judy Garland Show, there are some nasty rumors that have risen to the level of legend: that Judy and Mel were fighting, which caused her to flub his name and two song lyrics, that Judy refused to rehearse, that she was high, etc. But somehow the backstage antipathy doesn't diminish the near-camp joy of Judy and co. sitting around a mid-century fireplace singing the songs that she made famous. Much of it has to do with her kids: as the Luft siblings and Liza make appearances, their improvised bits may be stagey, but their affection for their mother is real. Gaffes, bad jokes, and creepy Santa dancers notwithstanding, The Judy Garland Christmas Show remains a classic staple of holiday television.

Tuesday
Nov292016

What did you see over the holidays?

How did you spend Thanksgiving weekend? I watched Moana again with the honorary nieces, saw a preview of Things to Come (yet another Isabelle Huppert triumph) with cinephile friends and caught up with a screener or two. 

What did you see over the holiday weekend? The actual box office results are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct112016

Curio: Crocheted Movie Costumes

Curio: Celebrating the arts, crafts, quirks, and cosplay of fandom...

When I was a child my mom made all my costumes for Halloween and I have resisted store bought ever since, sometimes at great cost and stress to my Halloween-loving self. So what a creative mom this little tyke has. Stephanie Pokorno of Ohio crocheted this ET costume for her son freehanded and tried it on him as she went making the whole thing in a single weekend. More details here. Incredible. 

This crochet queen also shared a How to for making a Harley Quinn wig (though I shudder to think how many Harley Quinn's we'll see this October - we're betting it'll be the most ubiquitous costume of 2016) and dressed her other son in a crocheted poncho modelled after Clint Eastwood from The Good the Bad and the Ugly.

You can follow Stephanie's creations on Instagram or at her site Crochetverse. Do you know what you're going to be for Halloween yet? 


Tuesday
Jul052016

The Long Box Office Weekend: Finding Tarzan 

How was your holiday weekend? I took a rare break from blogging for a long 4th of July weekend with two friends I hadn't seen in far too long. We didn't hit the movies but for a couple of post meal watches on shared couches (The Intern & 10 Cloverfield Lane). But movies are always big business on this weekend, even without our help. It was a tough opening weekend for The BFG but both the new Tarzan and The Purge did well, Despite three major new films and a big expansion for a others like Swiss Army Man, cinemas were still under the sea. Finding Dory remains at #1 and will soon be the top grossing film of the whole year. Haven't all the fish been found by now?

TOP FIVE WIDE
1000+ screens. arrows indicate gaining or losing screens
โ–ซ๏ธ01 Finding Dory $50.1 (cum. $380.5) Review
๐Ÿ”บ02 The Legend of Tarzan $45.5 NEW Review
๐Ÿ”บ03 The Purge: Election Year $34.7 NEW
๐Ÿ”บ04 The BFG $22.2 NEW
๐Ÿ”บ05 Independence Day: Resurgence $20.2 (cum. $76.3)  Roland Emmerich

TOP FIVE LIMITED
Less than 1000 screens. Excluding previously wide. 
๐Ÿ”บ01 Swiss Army Man $1.7 (cum. $1.8) 636 screens 
๐Ÿ”บ02 Our Kind of Traitor $1.2 NEW 372 screens 
๐Ÿ”ป03
 Love & Friendship $512K (cum. $12.6) 185 screens ReviewPodcast  

๐Ÿ”ป04 The Lobster $425K (cum. $7.6) 151 screens ReviewishPodcast 
๐Ÿ”บ05
Maggie's Plan $400K (cum. $2.7)  Review

 

What did you see/do this weekend?

Monday
Jul042016

Happy Fourth of July !

Have fun & stay safe! (We'll be back briefly this afternoon and then back to regular frequent posting tomorrow.)