2. Words like “physicality,” and “organic” are used WAY too much.
3. Robert Deniro is a great actor but shouldn’t do commentary (Analyze This).
4. Some commentators get caught up in watching the movie and forget they are supposed to comment.
5. When the commentator prepares something ahead of time, it sounds stiff and stale. Don’t read off a paper.
6. The exterior is on location in New York City. The interior is a set in Los Angeles. (this can be used for upstairs, downstairs too).
7. “Anchorman” has the best commentary of any movie.
8. People with thick accents annoy me when I’m trying to zone out to sleep.
9. Sometimes the commentary really is better than the movie.
25 days ’til Christmas, 25 facts about your favorite Christmas movies. Makes sense to me! (Wait, there are only 17 days ’til Christmas? Shoot. I’ve got some shopping to do.) Anyway, enjoy these elf-sized tidbits about some of the movies you’ll catch on TV in the next couple weeks.
1. It just goes to show you: don’t shouldn’t mess with the Ghost of Christmas Present. During the scene where Carol Kane grabs Bill Murray’s lip, she really latched on and accidentally tore it so badly that they had to stop filming for a few days so Bill could heal and his injuries wouldn’t be so obvious on camera.
2. All of Bill Murray’s actor brothers are in the movie – that would be Brian Doyle-Murray, Joel Murray and John Murray.
3. That’s Paul Shaffer leading the street carolers Bill Murray insults. The other carolers are Miles Davis (yep, that Miles Davis), famous saxophone player David Sanborn and Grammy-winning jazz guitarist Larry Carlton. It’s a pretty illustrious group of carolers to be heckling, really.
It’s a Wonderful Life
4. The movie received the “honor” of getting its own FBI file in 1947, when an analyst submitted the idea that the film was an obvious attempt to discredit bankers, a “common trick used by Communists.”
5. Among other people, the notoriously cynical Dorothy Parker contributed some rewrites to the script. Maybe she had a soft spot for Christmas (or maybe the money was just that good).
6. Does George look strangely sweaty to you when he and Clarence are on the bridge? That’s because it was 90 degrees out the day that scene was filmed. But I think it works –- I always assumed he looked damp because of the snow and because he was in the middle of his nervous breakdown.
Babes in Toyland
7. The movie that is now a cult classic was, as many cult classics are, a colossal flop at the box office when it debuted.
8. A bunch of the pieces from the movie – Mary’s garden, the shoe house, the pumpkin house and the trees – were an attraction at Disneyland’s Opera House for about a year following the release of the movie.
9. Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color went behind the scenes for the movie’s wrap party… except since the whole wrap party was scripted and choreographed, it wasn’t really “behind the scenes,” exactly. Annette Funicello co-hosted it with Walt and it featured performances by many cast members.
Miracle on 34th Street
10. The scenes of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are actually taken from the 1946 parade. The movie is credited with bringing the traditional parade to the national spotlight, and Macy’s employees were given half a day off so they could see the first showing of the movie. In fact…
11. Most people didn’t realize that Edmund Gwenn, Santa Claus in the movie, also played Santa Claus during the real 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He even played to the crowd from the marquee of Macy’s when the parade ended to open the “official” Christmas shopping season.
12. Kris Kringle tries to prove that he’s quite mentally competent by reciting various bits of knowledge, including that Daniel D. Tompkins was John Quincy Adams’ Vice President. Except… he wasn’t. John C. Calhoun was Adams’ Veep; Tompkins served under James Monroe.
A Christmas Story
13. For anyone keeping count, Ralphie says he wants the Red Ryder BB Gun 28 times throughout the course of the movie.
14. Jack Nicholson was very interested in playing Ralphie’s dad. But casting (and paying) Jack would have been too expensive. Director Bob Clark has said Darrin McGavin was the perfect choice.
15. Mythbusters tested whether it was possible to get your tongue truly stuck on a piece of cold metal. Guess what? It is. So don’t triple dog dare your best friend to try it.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
16. The Capra family must have Christmas in their genes. The assistant director of Christmas Vacation, Frank Capra III, is the grandson of the legendary Frank Capra, who directed It’s a Wonderful Life. The part where Clark “fixes” the newel post by sawing it off with a chainsaw is an homage to It’s a Wonderful Life – the newel post at the Bailey’s house was also loose. Also, Russ is watching It’s a Wonderful Life on TV when his grandparents arrive.
17. I can always relate to the scene where the two grandpas are asleep in the armchairs while the Christmas parade is on TV in the background. This always happens at our Thanksgivings and Christmases – grandpas, dads, uncles. What makes the scene even funnier is that the actors who played the grandpas were supposedly both really asleep.
18. According to some reports, when the movie was first discussed back in 1993, Jim Carrey was going to play the lead.
19. Gimbels Department Store was a real department store and competitor of Macy’s until it closed in 1987. It was also featured in Miracle on 34th Street. The Gimbels exterior in the movie is actually the 34th Street Macy’s in Manhattan with a bit of digital alteration.
20. Ming Ming the elf from the beginning of the movie is Peter Billingsley, the actor who played Ralphie in A Christmas Story. That’s him in the picture. Billingsley and director Jon Favreau (along with actor Vince Vaughn) are good friends.
21. Like so many other Christmas movies, Home Alone slips in a reference to another Christmas classic: while (most) of the family is in the hotel room in France, they’re shown watching It’s a Wonderful Life.
22. Macaulay Culkin still has physical evidence of Kevin McAllister – in the scene where Harry bites Kevin’s finger, Joe Pesci bit harder than he’d intended and left Mac with a scar.
23. Daniel Stern wasn’t crazy about having to film a scene with a tarantula on his face, but agreed to it in the condition that they do just one take. His scream had to be dubbed in later because a real scream would have scared the tarantula.
The Polar Express
24. When the conductor says “11344 Edbrooke” near the beginning of the film, he’s referring to director Robert Zemeckis’ actual childhood home in Chicago.
25. Polar Express author Chris Van Allsburg gets a reference to his hometown in, too – when Hero Boy looks at a picture of himself on Santa’s lap, you can see that it was taken at Herpolsheimer’s. That was a real department store in Allsburg’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is also where the movie premiere was held.
I went with high expectations and left wondering why that movie was even made.
A big part of the original series was the CITY which strangely, hardly made an appearance in this overly long, tedious flick.
Carrie was known for her risky style choices but in this movie it bordered on silly hit ridiculous a few times. Her full , long, poofy skirt and t-shirt combo for her visit to the spice market definitely made me raise an eyebrow. In her new role as a wife and she was sulky and unforgiving. How dare her husband suggest that they stay home? What kind of man wants to eat in his apartment? How dare he buy and install a TV so that they could watch romantic old movies. THE PIG!!
Carrie has moved on to home decorator, or so we are told, but the furniture looked uncomfortable and not all that cutting edge. Or was that just me? We get that they are not having children and frankly, that seems like a good idea. Far too much narcissism going on there.
The gay wedding scene was overdone and took advantage of stereotypes. What a cheap, easy way out. Nothing new or original.
Why couldn’t Carrie wait until she was home to reveal her stolen kiss? What man rewards his spoiled wife for kissing another man? If she got that big ring for a kiss I wonder what he would give her for doing the whole deal?
I could care less about Samantha’s “down under” and her references to her sex drive and menopause were overplayed. Her loud sex scene in the hotel was not authentic and added nothing.
Do these women own a pair of sweatpants? Even at the end of the movie, when Carrie finally realized it was ok to stay home and watch a movie, she was in a full gown.
Miranda was the only one who struck me as real. I did enjoy the scene with her getting Charlotte to admit she was struggling as a mom. She escapes any snarky responses from me. I was glad she quit her job and glad she had some fun.
Lastly, and the reason I was most offended, I don’t understand why this movie was set in the middle East. Are the writers aware that we are in the midst of TWO wars in middle Eastern countries? Isn’t that an ethical faux pax? I do not find it humorous to poke fun at another culture and faith. We, as Americans, claim to have such open minds but we can’t accept another culture just because it is different from ours? Are we only open-minded to those who strive to mimic us?
I loved the first movie. I wish they had stuck with the proven formula.
Have you seen any of the nominated movies?
I saw UP and CORALINE. I loved UP and would be thrilled if it actually won for best picture (not a chance) but CORALINE, nominated for Animated Feature Film and was one of the most disturbing pictures I’ve ever seen in my life. I hated it and wanted to walk out but I was with 3 other people.
For some reason, my ABC has no sound in my bedroom so I am unable to watch the Oscars. Yes, I can go kick my kid off of the Wii but I don’t want to watch the Oscars THAT BAD so I will just post some funny tweets as the show goes on.
radioguychris DAMN! Miley Cyrus has no business being anywhere near Hollywood & Highland tonight.
BorowitzReport Miley Cyrus looks like she stepped right out of a MySpace profile
PFTompkins I love Jon Cryer always.
NerdGirlBlogger Sweet, look at the old 80s stars!
radioguychris WOW. Loved that tribute to John Hughes.
MoRocca When are Ed Asner and Ernest Borgnine going to make a buddy flick?
PFTompkins Congratulations to Meshach Taylor and Kaye Ballard.
MoRocca That acceptance speech was apartheid all over again!
MoRoccaThat lady is the Oscars’ Kanye: Imma gonna let you finish but Beyonce had the best documentary short!
MMFlint What Monique meant by acad recog perform & not politics is that she refused to do all the silly oscar campaigning they want u to do & won!
DougBenson My tits? Oh, they’re here and here. -Charlize Theron
NerdGirlBlogger Loving Charlize’s tit dress. If I wasn’t wearing my pj’s, I’d be able to rip on it a little bit more.
@NancyLeeGrahn: I didnt hear a word charlize said. I couldt stop looking at the cinnabuns attached to her boobs
PFTompkins So glad Riff Raff is finally winning an Oscar.
DougBenson That guy who just won gave a short speech because he has to go try to kill Bruce Willis now. He also played the doctor in FUNNY PEOPLE.
@ew: Woody Harrelson just joked that his best acting was when Penelope Cruz announced Christoph Waltz as best supporting actor.
NerdGirlBlogger I am so sick of Kristen Stewart’s sour puss.
@taylahburrows: Kristen Stewart actually looked like a girl, but she looked incredibly awkward walking in heels. Taylor Lautner looked awesome as usual.
Dominic_Addams Kristin Stewart what the hell is she doing she looks like she doesn’t want to be there!! If you don’t like to be famous get a real job!!!
@maceo87 Kristen Stewart could have cleared that resin out of her lungs backstage, no?
radioguychris Sandra Bullock needs to fire her makeup artist.
MoRocca Sandra Bullock looks like a vampire
MoRocca Demi Moore is doing the dead people montage?!?! Because she’ll look the same when she’s 120?
NerdGirlBlogger Must there be interpretive dancing?
PFTompkins I love the J. Crew Dancers!
MoRocca Loving the Hurt Locker voguing!
bazecraze Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bathroom Break dancers!
MMFlint Editors for Hurt Locker: “We did this with no focus groups or studio notes.” Imagine that, filmmakers allowed to make their own movie!
billmaher The only reason this fucking show is 9 hours long is so they can sell more commercials
MoRocca I like Jeff Bridges but he looks like he smells.
NerdGirlBlogger Is it me, or does it appear that Jeff Bridges beard stinks to high hell?
MoRocca And the winner for best Best Actor endorsement speech is Tim Robbins!
PFTompkins Now, who’s the older Bridges brother– Jeff or Todd?
MLBastian Listening to Jeff Bridges‘ speech, I am realizing he wasn’t really acting when he played The Dude. That was just him. Awesome.
MoRocca Oprah’s going to give EVERYONE an Oscar!!
helloross So glad Oprah looks pretty!!!
1600doctorb I think Oprah just endorsed skipping school.
NerdGirlBlogger F U Oprah!
PFTompkins Hey, everybody! MR. FUN IS HERE!!!!
NerdGirlBlogger I really thought Gabourey Sidibe was going to win it. So ready to puke right now.
billmaher Actors are just the bestest people in thw world! We are so lucky to be sharing the earth with them!! Fuck!!!
It’s no secret that I think Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the perfect man specimen. I still stand by that opinion. During an early locker room scene, I gasped. They covered up his body tattoos so it was pure ROCK. He is beautiful.
In this silly movie he plays a hockey player known as “The Tooth Fairy” because his hard hits tend to send teeth flying. He’s dating a woman (Ashley Judd) who has two children. The mother wants her kids to believe in dreams and wishes. Darryl tends to be cynical and actually steals the little girls tooth money to win a poker hand.
Julie Andrews plays the “head” fairy and she is perfect in this role. A shoutout to Tracy, played by Stephen Merchant. I never saw this guy before but he was terrific. Very tall, thin, weird looking and a wonderful face full of expression.
Billy Crystal’s one scene stole the show. My kid was elbowing me and theater goers were turning around to look at me laughing my ass off. I’ll see if I can describe the scene and do it justice.
Crystal’s character was giving the new Tooth Fairy all the “tools of the trade.” He gave him a tube if “shrinking goo” and started explaining that he likes to get real tiny and walk in ink. Then he walks all over his wife’s body and when she wakes up she has tiny little black footprints all over her body.
His delivery, which was probably improvised, had me laughing harder than I’ve laughed in a long time. It was as if NOBODY in the theater even knew who Billy Crystal was or why I was laughing. Oh well, I enjoyed that part the most, obviously.
The ending had tears rolling down my face. Yes, it’s a light and silly movie but I enjoyed every minute of it.
The other morning I was very bored and found this movie beginning on USA. I love Adam Sandler and I think I have a tiny crush on Kevin James but only because he resembles my boyfriend (+ or – a few pounds??).
I’m not really sure if this movie was offensive. I enjoyed it and many of the characters learned valuable lessons about judging people in a negative way just for who they happen to love. That’s a great message that too many Americans still need to learn.
The standout performance was Ving Rhames. This man never disappoints but he took things to a new level as the “tough guy/might be a murder” fireman that has been closeted for years and only comes out by the inspirational romance of Chuck and Larry.
I just watched the most adorable movie on Lifetime. “Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus” was very relevant to my life and my current romance. So much of what Crystal Bernard (Helen from “Wings”) said about Steve Guttenberg‘s Nick were the same excact words I would use to describe my boyfriend!!
Quick, fast romance. When you know it’s “the one,” — You KNOW.. Kind man who loves to make people happy. I smiled throughout this movie and was just waiting for Bernard’s Beth to “believe.”
OK, I confess, part of this movie got really creepy. Steve Guttenberg as Nick was a complete stranger to the single mother and she left her kid with him after he “volunteered” to babysit her 7 year old son. She knew his first name only and that he lived in a hotel. I don’t care HOW NICE a guy is, you don’t leave him alone with your kid when you JUST met him and don’t even know his NAME!!
Then again, this movie was a cute love story fantasy and it was as predictable as, oh, say the upcoming Barbara Walters interviews, but it was sweet and it made me happy. I plan to DVR the next showing so I can write down some of the beautiful words she sad describing her perfect man/santa.
And yes, my big cute boyfriend would make a great Santa!!