The Twelfth Day of Christmas: A Christmas Carol

December 25, 2011

Of the many film versions of a Christmas Carol, the version starring Alastair Sim is easily the best. (Watch the whole film here)* His mixture of humor and pathos, along with classical acting chops, makes his the best Scrooge of all the film versions. When I read A Christmas Carol, I see Alastair Sim. When I see Alastair Sim in other movies, I think “what is Ebeneezer Scrooge doing in this film?” His is the definitive version, the standard against which all others are measured, and all others are found lacking.

I just saw the 1938 version with Reginald Owen. It was good, but he was not as natural playing Scrooge as Sim was.  There was too much ‘acting’ going on for me to get lost in the movie. I have the same complaint with the version that starred Patrick Stewart a few years ago.  I like Patrick Stewart, but his portrayal of Scrooge is just a showcase for his acting skills, almost as if he figures there is no way he will ever be allowed to play King Lear on American television, so he might as well stretch out with the role of Scrooge.

How long before Kenneth Branagh does a version? Ewan MacGregor is too young and too Scottish, and Hugh Grant is too much of whoopsie to pull it off, but Branagh could do it, and do it well.  Gary Oldman would just scare the kiddies shitless, so he is out as Scrooge, although he could play Marley’s Ghost in the Branagh version. Add Alan Rickman as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Brian Blessed  as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Hugo Weaving as the Ghost of Christmas Future (He did just fine hiding his face in V for Vendetta, so he could do this Ghost) Alan Cummings as Bob Cratchit, with as special appearance by  Stephen Hawking as Tiny Tim, and we have ourselves one hell of a film. This needs to happen.


Best of 2010: The 68th Annual Tiltie Awards

December 27, 2010

As the end of the year approaches, it is time for the 2010 Tiltie Awards, the most prestigious awards to be found anyplace on these here intertubes.  We (‘we’ is a lie, it is only me, sitting on the couch in my underwear, when I can find underwear that is, so yeah, sometimes I am naked) have been giving these Golden Can Opener Statues (no such statues exist) since the 1940s (another lie). While a Tiltie is not as prestigious as an Oscar (no kidding!), it is a shitload more valuable than a Grammy (this is true), which nobody cares about or, God help us, an Emmy, which is totally  worthless (very fucking true) Those of you who sent adequate bribes have been handsomely rewarded.  You stingy bastards get nothing. Ready, Set, Go!

Read the rest of this entry »


Southern Star Blonde Bombshell

December 22, 2010

I am more of a brunette guy.  Both of my exes had dark hair, and  most of the women

The Blonde Bombshell of all Blonde Bombshells

I have dated had dark hair also.  That may just be my personal preference, or it might be that Blonde Bombshells are just way out of my league. Maybe I should start dating blondes, that might change my luck.

I am sure there is some primal explanation as to why men are attracted to blondes, some evolutionary reason explaining why blondes are more attractive to drunk guys at closing time.  As a simple beer blogger, such explanations are beyond my rudimentary thinking.  I cannot explain why, I just know it is so.

Not all Blondes are Bombshells.  The stereotypical ‘ditzy blonde’ is never a Bombshell.  To be a Bombshell requires more than just a blonde hair and a nice figure.  Bombshells are intelligent, often highly so, and their emotional intelligence is fine tuned.  Most of the ‘Baywatch’ blondes are not Bombshells.  They almost all have that vacuous look in their eyes that makes the prettiest girl unattractive. Read the rest of this entry »


Movie Review: The Road

November 30, 2010

Following in the tradition of the Bing Crosby-Bob Hope “On The Road to…” films, and similar in both plot and structure as, and likely inspired by, Dumb & DumberThe Road is a lighthearted romp about a boy and his father travelling together across the country which is sure to delight the entire family.  Viggo Mortensen brings a tender comic sensibility in his portrayal of ‘Papa’ and Kodi Smit-McPhee as ‘the Boy’ is carefree and joyous as the pair get into some madcap hijinks.  Crotchety old Robert Duvall brings a few laughs in his portrayal of an itinerant wanderer the two meet while out on the Road and Guy Pearce has a small role but still brings the funny.  Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, the film takes that book’s raucous comic stylings to an entirely new level.

Pop some popcorn and gather the whole family around the television, because this film is destined to become a family classic like The Wizard of Oz and is a treat that both young and old should see, 8.5/10.


Capsule Movie Reviews: Hollywoodland & District 9

February 14, 2010

Hollywoodland (2006) –  Adrian Brody plays PI Louis Simo who is hired to investigate the shooting death of Superman actor George Reeves by Reeves’ mother.  The death was originally ruled a suicide by LAPD, but Simo finds anomalies in the crime scene and shady motives in Reeves’ circle of associates to raise the possibility of murder. The film is anchored by Brody’s performance.  I usually find Ben Affleck to be wooden at best, but he turns in a decent performance as George Reeves.  Diane Lane is excellent as always.  Not a great movie by any standard, but it is enjoyable enough.

District 9 (2009) – An alien ship arrives over Johannesburg.  The aliens are all ill, and are eventually removed from the ship and packed into shantytowns.  Government Agent Wikus Van Der Merwe, played by Sharlto Copley, is head of the government effort to move the aliens from the shantytown to a homeland outside the city.  Wikus is exposed to alien biotechnology, which slowly turns him into an alien.  The first half of the movie is filmed in a mock documentary style.  Imagine Christopher Guest directing an adaptation of a Robert Heinlein novel.  The second half of the movie is a straightforward shoot ’em up.  The final scene, where the Wikus/Alien makes a rose out of a tin can as a gift for his human wife, is mawkish and overly sentimental.  Being a mawkish and overly sentimental bastard, my eyes misted up.  District 9 is one of the better movies I have seen in the past year and is well worth checking out.


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