With visions of sugarplums dancing on our television screens in the weeks leading up to Christmas, let's take a look at which holiday favorites are being delivered to those of us who prefer our seasonal treats on the big screen!
The first, Gremlins shows at the Plaza on Sunday, December 16, at 3:15 p.m. While the show time suggests a family friendly foray to the cinema, let's not forget that this 1984 release is, in fact, a dystopian dissection of Reagan-era jingoism, consumerism, and excess. Notoriously, the film scared the living shit out of unsuspecting kids whose parents were tricked by a Trojan Horse marketing campaign that showcased the lovable cutie-pie Mogwai Gizmo. The cruel mayhem and post-midnight hooliganism of the Gremlins shocked many of the film's original attendees.
The movie proved so violent and gory, that, along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and a few others, it inspired the Motion Picture Association of America to implement the PG-13 rating. The film's most notorious accomplishment is the revelation of the ultimate Christmas spoiler, in a scene rivaled only by the Jingle Dale sequence in David Lynch's Wild at Heart as the creepiest holiday anecdote of all time:
On Monday, December 17, take the whole family to "Larry, Carols, and Mo," Fox Theatre's annual holiday extravaganza:
The show is free, but a ticket is required. (Presently advance tickets are sold out, but folks are advised to come night of show when returned tickets will be released to the public.) Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the carol sing-along starts at 7:00 p.m. accompanied by the Fox's organist Larry-Douglas Embry jamming on the Mighty Mo, hence the title, "Larry, Carols, and Mo."
In addition to the organ, "Mo" also alerts to the fact that there's "more". As in "...and wait, there's more: a movie."
In this case, the film is Ron Howard's misguided adaptation of Dr. Seuss' classic story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" Even buried beneath layers of furry green prosthetics, Jim Carrey green-eggs-and-ham it up with such an over-the-top performance as the Grinch that he chews right through the cotton candy scenery. Also - what's up with the making the Whos a bunch of loathsome douche bags?
Come for Larry, Mo, and the caroling. Stay for the snow. When the movie rolls, may family and I will be headed home to get the kids to bed at a decent hour. But before tucking them in, I'll treat them to genius Chuck Jones' animated television version featuring Boris Karloff:
Among the film's many delights:
A zealous homage to the Rankin/Bass stop-motion holiday specials:
Elf is arguably the best holiday movie since A Christmas Story, though Bad Santa's legion of defenders might want to make something of it.
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