Christmas just would not be the same without it.
Ralphie (Peter Billingsly) is part of the all-American family in the 40′s trying to survive the Christmas season. It is also his quest to finally get from the big man himself what he’s been wanting and been warned about for so long…an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Hey, he said it best.
Come on now! You had to know that this was coming around sooner or later. This is basically the definitive classic film for Christmas and it only gets better with age, considering I remember always watching this way back when I was still hanging out in my Superman undies on the 24th of December.
The reason why this film works so well is because it’s so damn memorable. I mean almost every line of dialogue is something everyone all over the world still remember to quote and even the events that happen as well are memorable as hell too. Who doesn’t want to go to a Chinese place on Christmas? Who doesn’t want that leg-lamp? Also, who doesn’t want a damn BB-gun for Christmas? These are only a couple of things that are memorable, but they aren’t the only ones I can promise you that.
I think the best part about this flick is that it really hits some reality points, especially if you’re a kid because a lot of what goes on here and said here, is actually how a kid is. Ralphie is just like any kid during Christmas time: he wants presents, he tries his hardest to stay on the nice list, and he day-dreams all day about getting good grades in class and having the whole class lift him up over their heads. I always thought like that as a kid, and in other ways still do but it’s just easy to say that if you’re a kid now watching this, you will see a lot to relate to and realize that you are not alone in the way you act. Then again, I don’t think any little kids are reading this anyway.
I don’t know where all of the stars in this film went because everybody here is memorable and perfect for their roles. Peter Billingsley at least directed the terrible flop ‘Couples Retreat’; Darren McGavin kept on doing his own thang for awhile, even appearing as Billy’s dad in ‘Billy Madison’, but tragically died in 2006; and Melinda Dillon kept doing on doing whatever the hell it is that she was doing but the last time I saw her in anything was in ‘Magnolia’ and even then I had to look up who she was. Yes, three random-ass films like ‘Couples Retreat’, ‘Billy Madison’, and ‘Magnolia’ all share something in common.
The reason why this flick is just such a classic is because it just brings me on home some of the nostalgia that I love seeing in any film. This just reminds me of hanging around my house, drinking some egg nog and getting in the whole mood and spirit of Christmas which I always truly love. This is definitely a flick that will love on for as long as Christmas goes on for and I’m proud to call this one of my all-time favorite films no matter what.
Merry Christmas everyone!!!
Always check the attic.
Terror reigns inside a sorority house a few days before Christmas break as a series of menacing phone calls — and the discovery of a dead girl’s body — transform yuletide cheer into fear. Soon the killer is on the loose and the girls get more and more scared, but then the cops show up and it’s all business from there baby.
It is often disputed as to what film really started the trend in slasher flicks: either this one, or ‘Halloween’. It’s been up for debate for a long time but if I had to say who I think started it all was the latter, probably because it was actually good, or at least compared to this.
Where the problem with this film lies is the fact that it’s way too slow. It starts off with some tension being built but then it turns into this flick that shows about one kill every 30 minutes, which may seem like a dumb complaint but while there aren’t any killings going on, nothing else is really happening either.
No character here seems to actually be a real person other than a bunch of cliches such as the foul-mouthed girl, the smart girl, the always scared girl, and then there’s the house-maid who is all sweet and nice but then also a foul-mouthed drinker. She’s the only one who actually has any real personality here and I think that she was also the best performance as well. Let’s not also forget to mention that the bone-headed cops are here as well who seem like total dumb-asses in the way that they are actually handling this problem that these girls are having.
I can’t lie and say that there weren’t parts that entertained me because there actually were. I did feel some tension and suspense throughout a lot of the moments where you don’t know what’s going to happen next and I think that they were handled well because they didn’t really push much of the gore and blood factor like so many horror films do nowadays. I have to give Bob Clark (a guy who would go on to do ‘A Christmas Story’) some credit because he does try here with the small-budget he’s given, but really fails when it comes to actually making an interesting story get better.
There were also some other elements I didn’t understand like how this killer was able to do all of these crazy and wild voices on the phone even though it’s pretty obvious that these voices he couldn’t just make. I know a girl voice when I hear one and I can barely even do an impersonation of one so if this guy can do as good of a one as this film made it seem he could, then he should just stop killing teens and start doing some stand-up. Hey, look at Frank Caliendo. Also, what the hell was up with that whole abortion subtext? Actually the bigger question was did anybody even care? Hell knows I didn’t.
Another problem that comes into mind when I think of this film is that it hasn’t aged well probably because there are so many other copy-cats just like it. Everybody knows how these films all play out so why should this one be any different? Of course it’s one of the first and it has its cool moments where it shows the point-of-view from the killer, but there’s nothing here that makes me feel like I just saw a master-piece. It feels more like I just saw a film that was all big, controversial, and frightening way back in its day but is just total rubbish right now in a generation where we have basically seen anything and everything when it comes to horror flicks. I know this review may have me lose some fans but to be honest, I just could not enjoy myself all that much.
Consensus: Black Christmas has some tense moments, but is overall a dated horror flick with a cheesy screenplay, predictability, and characters that don’t seem real and don’t do anything, except for the house-maid. She’s actually cool.
It’s always being played on USA, you had to know this one was going to come.
When young Buddy falls into Santa’s gift sack on Christmas Eve and is inadvertently transported back to the North Pole, he’s raised as a toy-making elf by Santa’s helpers. After growing up to be a misfit who never quite fits in, the outsized elf (Will Ferrell) decides to go to Manhattan and find his real dad(James Caan).
I have probably seen this about 300 times. First time ever I actually went to the movies when this first came out and I really liked it, and as I got older nothing really changed I still liked every time the same way.
This film is not such a laugh out loud comedy as there are a lot of grins involved. Director and writer Jon Favreau really does handle this film with the comedy you wouldn’t expect from a Will Ferrell movie. It’s basically for all ages: kids, teenagers, adults, and maybe even some senior citizens.
Will Ferrell gives a very charming and hilarious performance here, as you would expect him just to be hamming it up the whole time, but I think this is the one film that really did start him to become comedy’s leading man in Hollywood today. James Caan is such an odd choice for this film considering all the other stuff he’s been in, but really does fit in with this film suprisingly.
The only thing that I have noticed that the problem with this film is that it does at points start to lag a bit in parts. Especially at the end where they start to discuss about Santa being all real, and this all felt a little to out of place, but in the end it really didn’t matter.
I can’t really say that this film is the most amazing piece of work ever, but it is one of the modern Christmas Classics. I have a feeling now in about 10-20 years people will be watching this film, the same way people watch A Christmas Story around this time. That’s just my assumption, but you never know it could happen.
Consensus: Elf has a timeless message with a charming performance from Ferrell that really does make this film shine even more, and become a modern Christmas Classic.