JUSTIN BIEBER IS RETIRING!!!! Or so he says….
In a recent interview with a Los Angeles radio host, Justin Bieber dropped the bombshell that he is quitting music. Earlier this week, on Christmas Eve, he reiterated the sentiment in a series of tweets, saying that he’s “officially retiring”. I’m sure there are millions of Beliebers crying underneath their Christmas trees, but I for one think this is the best Christmas present he could give the world! The question remains whether or not his retirement is legit. He could be pulling our legs, like he has done with other pranks before.
Here’s to hoping he’s telling the truth. I will admit that he’s got some catchy songs out there, and I know more than a few lyrics. But Usher’s little prodigy has turned into a world class d-bag. So good riddance Bye bye, Bieber. Deuces.
The Grey (2011) starring Liam Neeson is a survival thriller that takes place in the Alaskan Wild. It’s like Into the Wild with rabid, monstrously oversized wolves. The film follows the story of six oil riggers who survive a deadly plane crash in middle of nowhere, Alaska. They have to battle hunger, debilitating coldness, and oh yeah HUGE man-eating wolves. Neeson’s Ottway becomes the defacto leader of the group, since back at camp his job was to kill the wolves before they got to the workers. Outrageous fantasy aside (no, dear reader, there are no wolves that behave like this in reality), the movie isn’t half bad. Liam Neeson shows some grit, as always, and as the wolves pick the pack of men off one by one we get some killer action scenes. But there’s a lot of fleshing out that just isn’t done, and should have been, since the movie is just shy of 2 hours long. We know very little, if anything, about most of the six guys. We get glimpses of Ottway’s past, but they aren’t really important and don’t amount to much. Essentially, the film is all about the action, but beyond that it just isn’t very colorful (aren’t I punny).
I forgot to put up yesterday’s countdown, BUT today is technically the first day of Christmas, so it still works!
Elf (2003), starring Will Ferrell at his very best, is my all-time favorite Christmas movie. A new film that is destined to become a classic with the likes of White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf is pure magic. It is a combination of The Santa Clause and Rudolph with Ferrell at the hilarious helm. The film tells the story of Buddy the Elf, a human raised by elves after he sneaked into Santa’s sack at the orphanage when he was a baby. His elf father, played to perfection by Bob Newhart, breaks the news that he’s human and that his birth father, James Caan, lives in a magical place called New York City. The downside? He’s on the naughty list! Regardless, Buddy travels to NYC to meet his real dad and live with his own kind, to hilarious effect. Human customs are strange to him and on his first day in the city he gets attacked by a raccoon, spins around in a revolving door, gets hit by a car, eats the gum left underneath the subway railing, and experiences an escalator for the first time, among other things. After being escorted off the premises by security when he introduces himself to his father, he is mistaken for a toy elf at Grimbles, where he then begins to work. He befriends Jovie, played by Zooey Deschanel, and enters the life of his father and his family. Things are bumpy and hysterical as Buddy tries to find his way, but he really comes into his own when he’s called upon to save Christmas. This is the rare Will Ferrell film that’s fun for the WHOLE family.
I don’t know about you, but I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. I know the Midwest won’t be getting one, though, so I’m going to watch Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye do their thing in 1954’s holiday classic White Christmas instead. It’s almost as good, right?
The film is about two friends who, after the end of WWII, team up to form a successful song and dance duo. They meet a beautiful sister act and follow them to an inn in Vermont, which turns out to be run by their former commander, General Waverly. The gang join forces to put on an amazing show to help the General and his lodge at Christmastime, since without snow, no one wants to visit! Let the antics and romantic mix-ups ensue!
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), is probably one of the most well-known and beloved Christmas movies of all time. Who doesn’t know the song, at the very least? A classic stop motion film in the same vein as Frosty the Snowman, The Little Drummer Boy, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, among others, Rudolph is a step above the rest. The movie, in case you live under a rock, is about Rudolph, a freak reindeer with a glowing red nose. He’s picked on by all of the other reindeer at the North Pole, and even Santa himself ridicules his brilliant honker. Upset and feeling like the textbook disappointment, he and fellow outcasts Hermey, the elf who dreams of being a dentist instead of making toys, and Yukon Cornelius strike out on their own. They face a run-in with the Abominable Snowman and make it to the Island of Misfit Toys. The gang promises to get Santa to deliver the toys to children on Christmas, but when Rudolph gets back to the North Pole to confront Santa, he realizes a terrible storm is preventing Santa from delivering any toys that year. That is, until Santa sees Rudolph and gets a “bright” idea….
This story is a timeless underdog one, but I must admit I’m not sure how I feel about Santa being a douche at the onset of the film. Isn’t he supposed to be children’s hero? I mean seriously, what’s that teaching them?! But otherwise, I love it. It’s short and sweet and a completely necessary part of every Christmas.
The Santa Clause (1994) starring Tim Allen as the man in the red suit, is a family Christmas classic. Of course Allen is hilarious as always, but he also manages to be warm hearted and a right jolly old elf…eventually. The movie tells the story of Scott Calvin, a divorced dad who desperately wants his son to continue believing in Santa Clause. When Santa falls to his death off of his roof, however, he gets more than he bargained for by becoming the next Mr. Clause, much to his young son’s delight and his own utter disbelief. The film is about the magic of Christmas, and the power of belief. Also, check out David Krumholtz pre-Numbers as Bernard the Head Elf. Hilarious. And strangely attractive….Am I the only one who thinks so?
Was yesterday, I know. So sue me. I had a Christmas party to get to!
Joyeux Noel (2005) is an underrated and little known film about a true story that occured during WWI. Yes, I realize that does not sound like a Christmas story, but trust me, it is! Joyeux Noel is French for Merry Christmas. The film is subtitled 1/3 of the time, since it follows the lives of French, German, and Scottish soldiers who become united on Christmas Eve 1914. In a miraculous case of cease fire (that is making me tear up just THINKING about it), the soldiers from three very different cultures, and both sides of the war join together to learn about their fellow man and NOT commit murder on one of the most sacred of nights.
Starring Diane Kruger in her native German tongue, and several madly talented people you’ve never heard of but wish you had, this movie is one everyone should see. There are elements of action and war, as well as romance, humor, drama, and a whopping dose of humanity. And the best part is that it’s based on a true story! Seriously, put this on your list of movies to check out.