Since we’re slowly approaching the winter festivities and holiday season, I thought it would be special and talk about forgotten or holiday themed movies that do get overlooked. The movie I have selected to review takes place during Christmas Eve and Day without any of the morals and holiday spirit, giving it the Die Hard spirit of movies.
The movie, Christmas Holiday, stars Deanna Durbin and Gene Kelly (who is actually playing the villain of the film). This movie was made in 1944 and is a movie that breaks the typecast of what both actors were usually known for. Kelly was known for being a spectacle dancer, singer and showman and Durbin was a musically gifted singer as well. This movie is a sad, dark drama with not much happiness to go around. That being said, is the movie good and does it give you the holiday feels? We’ll judge the movie based on plot, characters and the holiday spirit that the title offers us. Let’s hitch a ride and go on this journey as we explore Christmas Holiday.
The movie is a sad look at love and lies. The movie is about a young lieutenant on leave and gets stranded in New Orleans on his way to San Francisco due to thunder storm. He was going there because his fiance or woman who promised to marry him decided to marry someone else. While in New Orleans, he gets taken to a club where he meets a young woman named Jackie. Jackie seems like a distant or aloof woman who seems to be pining from days long gone. She confides into the lieutenant and she tells him the story of meeting her husband and what lead to her being alone in the club on Christmas. Gene Kelly plays the estranged husband of Jackie. Its a touching and sad story that shows how love sometimes isn’t enough and addiction sometimes can ruin anything and everything. The plot is simple but you get lost into the dialogue and you feel for the characters even when they do horrible acts toward their fellow townsmen.
The characters make the movie worth watching. Deanna Durbin plays a somber club singer down on her luck and comes off like she is experiencing loss and could be dead inside. Her dialogue is done very well without a filter, using her experience of loss and love to help the lieutenant that sometimes love isn’t enough and there has to be more. Gene Kelly, the villain in the movie, is charming as usual and shows us some glimpses of stern and even angry tone when he talks about murder and his gambling addiction. This is so different than what we’re usually used to with Gene Kelly.
This is the guy who would smile at the screen, do a soft shoe dance and sing a little jazzy diddy making such a spectacle. What we see in this movie is a down played actor with a more vindictive motive. I enjoyed the way Deanna and Gene play off each other. These are crafty and clever actors, who play off each other so well to the point where it almost looks like we’re watching a real life couple having conversations with each other, even if the main fault of Gene Kelly’s character, comes out of nowhere.
The holiday spirit is quite low by the time the audience joins the story. This whole story takes place during two days of Christmas Eve and Day and we learn about the tragic story of a woman not being with her husband and the faults of both of them either being naive or not having proper communications with each other. The story is quite sad and depressing without much hope for a happy resolution.
This movie could’ve taken place on any other day and it would still be treated the same. The only Christmas motif included the flashback when the lieutenant and Jackie went to Christmas Eve mass at the local church and Jackie breaks down and has a crying spell. Due to that event, we start learning about her past and the events. That is the only thing about Christmas that really stands out. Without that scene or if the scene was altered based on the holiday, we could still get the same events leading to the flashbacks. The fact that it was during Christmas doesn’t really offer anything special to the audience, except the possibility of more people being together celebrating and drinking and partying. This is a movie that could maybe make you feel grateful for everything you have because it could be worse and you could be like Gene.
Overall, this movie was good. It had some good dialogue, great acting by both lead characters, and a simple story just done very well. I was pleasantly surprised that Gene could play the serious villainous role and sort of wishes he could have taken more roles similar to his filmography. Deanna Durbin was acting very well and sung some nice blues style songs. I think this is a forgotten movie that should not be forgotten. I don’t know why people often don’t remember this film, maybe because it’s called Christmas Holiday. People were expecting more festivities and more feelings of the holiday to celebrate Christmas more and this movie is a sad and depressing look at a woman’s failed marriage. I think this is an underrated movie and should be treated better. Is it a Christmas movie? Well, that’s a tough call. Like Die Hard, that takes place during Christmas, this is similar. This is a movie that happens to take place during Christmas and does offer some church choir scenes, so I guess it does sort of make it a Christmas movie. Is it one for the whole family to enjoy? No, this isn’t that kind of movie. If you enjoy Gene Kelly as an actor, classic black and white film and some interesting dialogue, then this movie would be a good fit for you.
Finally, the Cinderella story of the Richmond Greyhounds has come to an end.
We are now in a new season for the team, and they have started off on the wrong
foot. The team is broken up and Ted has his work cut out for him. The team goes
through a slump, and Ted is now doubting his coaching ability. Ted’s personal life
has also gotten out of control, and he discovers his ex-wife Michelle has started a relationship with their therapist. The wonderkid, Nathan Shelley, the former manager of West Ham has had a change of heart and leaves his job to be with his one true love, the waitress from his favorite restaurant.
She convinces him to return to the Richmond team he started out in and it’s quite evident that
everyone wants him back and held no hard feelings. All of Lawrence’s series he has worked on with others have just that right balance of slice-of-life drama with a little bit of ridiculous comedy that reality dishes us, normal folks, every day.
This all comes to a head in the potential series finale where Ted announced to
Rebecca that he will be returning to the States to his family after his mother tells
him that his son misses him. This puts the Richmond owner into quite a state of denial; doing everything from offering Ted the position of being the highest-paid coach in the league to selling the team after he leaves. The team is also affected by this decision as they perform a number from the musical The Sound of Music that is a more than touching farewell to this family.
This bleeds into their playing as in the final title match the first half is met with
bumbling and possible injuries to their star player Jamie.
After an energizing pep talk and a circle back to the first motivator in the
beginning, a sign Ted made up that said “BELIEVE”, the team dominate the second
half and win with a rousing closing scene that is reminiscent of any 80’s party
movie. It’s a fitting end for this pandemic darling that emotionally carried us through. It is
a must-see series even if you don’t like soccer (football).
No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters
If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago.
It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced.
Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game.
From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.
Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.
The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.
What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?
And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Back to the movie.
Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.
Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.
The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023
Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).
Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm