Everett Collection No one would have suspected when A Christmas Story hit theaters 30 years ago that it would become a holiday staple today. The movie, about an imaginative boy who just wanted a BB gun and his crazy family, opened to tepid box office returns and harsh reviews. Yet today it’s a holiday classic, with TBS playing the film on a 24-hour continuous loop Christmas Day for the last 10 years.
Why is A Christmas Story so infinitely watchable? Why is it impossible to turn away from the movie’s charms, even though you’ve seen it a million times before? Below is a list of the top five reasons we can (and probably will) watch A Christmas Story all day again this year:
5. The Leg LampThanks to A Christmas Story, the household lamp has gotten a sexy upgrade. The sexy leg lamp, complete with stockings, becomes a bone of contention in Ralphie's house. Dad finds it a fine work of art to display, while mom just wants to pack it back in it’s “fra-gi-le” box. Now this sexy leg lamp is an accessory you can buy for your own home to start arguments with your own family.
4. The Triple Dog DareThe most deadly of all dares, the triple dog dare can get even the most reasonable kid to take on crazy challenges. Thanks to A Christmas Story we all know it’s a bad idea to lick a frozen pole. Life lessons!
3. “Oh Fudge!”Except he didn’t say fudge. When Ralphie tries to help his father change a flat tire, he says the mother of all curse words. A Christmas Story takes us back to a simpler time, when dropping the F-bomb seemed like the end of the world.
2. The Bunny SuitAnyone who has ever gotten an embarrassing Christmas present and had to pretend to like it can relate to Ralphie’s dilemma. Given the most hideous pink bunny suit known to man, Ralphie is forced to don the pajamas, complete with a floppy-eared hood.
1. “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid”The ultimate lesson we learned from A Christmas Story was that, no matter how much you might want a BB gun, the odds are pretty high you’ll eventually shoot your eye out. The movie is worth watching on a 24 hour loop just for the scene where Ralphie goes to a mall Santa to request his ideal Christmas gift. Instead of holiday cheer, he has his dreams squashed and gets a foot in his face. Ho-ho-ho!
What are some reasons you could watch A Christmas Story all day? What are your favorite moments from the movie? Share in the comments!
The 2013 fall season features the premiere of two major spin-offs. The Originals brings the first family of vampires from The Vampire Diaries to New Orleans. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland follows Alice as she battles Jafar (from Aladdin) to rescue her genie quasi-boyfriend. No offense guys, but neither series is ready to spin-off.
All in the Family spawned two major spin-offs, The Jeffersons and Maude. Frasier was a spin-off from Cheers and kept Camille Kelsey Grammer rolling in dollars. But not all series can launch a spin-off or risk losing major characters.
Here are a few major spin-offs that were a little premature:
Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Rebecca (Claire Holt) were a great in-flux of new blood into The Vampire Diaries. They have great salty lines and offer an evil alternative to the squeaky clean vampires. There also is room for them in the series with Kat Graham and Michael Trevino appearing in less of the show. There was never enough character development for them so a spin-off could does make some sense. However, pairing them with flat model types and constantly relying on flashbacks isn’t as endearing as it is on The Vampire Diaries. Also, Phoebe Tonkin is wasted as a baby incubator when she was the best part of her first American series, The Secret Circle.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Once Upon a Time is a fluke. The edgy comic book series Fables is much better at bringing fairy tale characters into the “real world.” Using the whitewashed Disney versions of the popular stories makes each episode feels like gross product placement for the Disney house of horrors vault. The saving grace is likable actors like the lovable Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Carlyle, and the deliciously evil Lana Parrilla. However, Wonderland is just a cheap, shameless sequel that only cannibalizes the few possible storylines for later seasons of the original. Naveen Andrews dressed in an elaborate leather costume is laughable. Poor Emma Rigby as The Red Queen seems like a porn star on the wrong set. It’s also a total waste of actors like John Lithgow and rock legend Iggy Pop.
By the last season of Friends, each character feels like an outlandish stereotype. Except of course Jennifer Aniston who was playing A-list actress Jennifer Aniston. Joey (Matt LeBlanc) was so stupid and unaware that he didn’t seem functional enough to drive a Matchbox car, let alone carry a series. The spin-off finds him in Los Angeles with his sister (Drea de Matteo) and working on being an actor. It wasn’t horrible but there wasn’t enough juice in the character to keep the show alive.
Kate Walsh is magic! She added such great energy to Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery-Shepherd. It seemed like a great idea to take her to the sun-soaked beaches of Los Angeles on a hunt for love. The series wasn’t a total fail but it did rob Grey’s Anatomy of one of its greatest characters. It also had trouble finding its sea legs and a format for the show that would work.
Richard Grieco added a lot more edge and man candy to 21 Jump Street. However, it was ill advisedly decided to give him a spin-off. After it tanked, there was an attempt to bring him back to the series but it tanked. Had he stayed on 21 Jump Street he may have been able to take over when Johnny Depp unceremoniously left in the third season.
Charmed Lives/Living Dolls
Successful syndication has proved Who’s the Boss? is a part of television history. Sadly, lightning was not able to strike twice…no matter how hard they tried. Fran Drescher and Donna Dixon were dueling models working with Angela (Judith Light). They were spun-off into an odd couple precursor to 2 Broke Girls. Angela also got a modeling job for Samanta’s friend Charlie (Leah Remini) gets recruited as a model for one of Angela’s contacts she moves in to a house full of models including Halle Berry. Despite this notable casting, neither series lasted very long.
It was a night of fun, cocktails and fashion at the W New York Downtown on Tuesday, June 26. Famed fashion designer and one-time Sex and the City guest star Isaac Mizrahi partied alongside long-time SATC stylist Patricia Field, a roomful of models and other social scene-setters.
Guests got cocktails from a 1960s-themed candy and cocktail bar (worthy of any Carrie Bradshaw Cosmos).
The night debuted the Downtown and Grand Classics "New York in Film" summer screening series, featuring that night's special showing of Bob Fosse's classic Sweet Charity.
An impressive 100 percent of the proceeds went to Mizrahi's chosen charity, The Good Shepherd, an organization that serves over 20,000 New Yorkers with focuses on youth development, education and family services. Sweet indeed.
The next screening will be presented by director/filmmaker Spike Lee on July 26 and 27.
Isaac Mizrahi, co-host Derek Blasberg and Patricia Field.
Leo became the censors' worst nightmare when she uttered to 'f' word during her acceptance speech a year ago and funnyman Crystal was dumbfounded when co-hosts Hathaway and Franco failed to mention it immediately afterwards.
The When Harry Met Sally star, who will return as the Academy Awards shepherd on Sunday (26Feb12), tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "They didn't say a word! That's when I knew maybe I should come back. It's fun to be out there when moments like that happen.
"You really have to want to be up there (onstage) and those who haven't you could tell they really didn't embrace it the way you have to."
Crystal, who received a standing ovation at the Oscars last year (11) when he stepped onstage to present a tribute to legendary entertainer and fellow Academy Awards host Bob Hope, agreed to lead the 2012 ceremony and telecast when Eddie Murphy dropped out as host late last year (11).
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Top Story: Madonna's Label Tagged Unprofitable
As part of an ongoing feud between Madonna and Warner Music Group, unsealed court documents revealed that the singer's record label, Maverick Records--which handles not only the Material Girl but Alanis Morissette and Michelle Branch as well--has lost $66 million since 1999, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Last month, Maverick sued Warner Music for $200 million, claiming breach of contract and fraud, but Warner retaliated by filing a preemptive claim asking a judge to find that the company had fulfilled its commitment to Maverick. The latest documents show that in order for Maverick to get out of its joint venture with Warner Music, which is up at the end of the year, Maverick will have to pay $92.5 million, in addition to the value of Warner's interest in the label. The price tag includes the $66 million in losses, a $20 million loan and $6.5 million in unrecouped fees, the trade paper reports.
AIDS Scare Fuels Calif. Porn Film Probe
The recent HIV infection of two porn stars has prompted local health authorities to seek unprecedented inspections of California's multibillion-dollar adult film industry and press for mandatory condom use during sex scenes, officials told Reuters on Tuesday. A crackdown of this nature, however, will not necessarily lead to safer sex, industry representatives told Reuters. More than likely, it will drive away many of the adult film production houses that flourish in Southern California and employ some 6,000 people, including about 1,200 performers, and/or force them to go underground and away from mandatory HIV testing. "If there is a mandatory condom law put in place, these people will scatter and go underground and we will not be able to test them," Sharon Mitchell of the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare (AIM) Foundation told Reuters. "If you want to see an influx of disease that may affect the general population, then you put a mandatory condom law into effect…I've very concerned about government intervention in this respect."
Basinger Auctions Off Engagement Ring
Cha-ching! Actress Kim Basinger sold a 3.7-carat diamond engagement ring given to her by ex-husband Alec Baldwin to a Beverly Hills jewelry dealer for a hefty $59,750 at a benefit auction, Reuters reports. The Oscar-winning actress, a noted animal rights activist, auctioned the modern Tiffany & Co. ring and some other jewelry at Christie's to raise money for The Performing Animal Welfare Society.
Cannes Film Festival Announces Slate
The Coen brothers' comedy The Ladykillers will be among the 18 films competing for the Cannes Film Festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or, The Associated Press reports. Others on the list include the Thai film Tropical Malady, the animated Shrek 2 and The Motorcycle Diaries by Brazilian Walter Salles. Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 2 will be among films shown outside of competition, and Tarantino will preside over the jury at this year's festival, which runs May 12-23.
Ex-Pogues Singer Attacked in London Pub
Shane MacGowan, the former lead singer of Irish rockers the Pogues, suffered facial injuries Monday after being assaulted by two men at a London pub, Reuters reports. London's The Evening Standard reported that MacGowan suffered a fractured cheekbone after being kicked, punched and hit with a metal bar. Police told Reuters they were not aware of any motive for the attack.
Scandal Strikes USA Today
One of USA Today's senior editors, Karen Jurgensen, handed in her resignation Tuesday in the wake of an investigation in which a former star reporter allegedly fabricated portions of major international stories, Reuters reports. Foreign correspondent Jack Kelley, who resigned from the paper Jan. 6, was found to have made up substantial portions of eight major stories from around the world, lifted material from other publications, lied in speeches given for the paper and conspired to mislead the team of senior journalists investigating his work, USA Today said.
Disney Tries To Jump-Start Struggling Network
In an effort to boost ABC's dismal numbers, parent company Walt Disney Co. has replaced the network's primetime programming chiefs and reorganized the television operations, Reuters reports. ABC cable networks group president Anne Sweeney and ESPN sports cable network president George Bodenheimer were named to newly created positions as co-chairs of the media networks unit that includes ESPN, ABC and Disney's cable operations. Disney president Bob Iger hopes the promotions will help ABC rise in the ranks, since falling to No. 4 in 2000 when Who Wants to be a Millionaire failed.
Kwame Is Sitting Pretty
Even though he may not have been chosen by Donald Trump as his Apprentice, that hasn't stopped The Apprentice runner-up Kwame Jackson from getting a rush of offers, AP reports. In a phone interview with AP, Jackson said he is weighing offers from another famous billionaire, Mark Cuban, as well as the KFC fast-food chain. He's also starting his own company. "[The Apprentice] was basically a chance to have NBC pay for a 15-episode Kwame commercial in a business environment," Jackson said. The ambitious businessman is starting an entertainment company, Legacy Communications Group, to produce films, video games and live events with a focus on concert series.
Starship Song Tops Worst Songs List
Blender magazine has named Starship's '80s rock song "We Built This City" as the worst song ever, AP reports. The magazine's "50 Worst Songs Ever!" list were were selected for their melodies, others "are wretchedly performed" and "quite a few don't make sense whatsoever," the magazine said. The list, which appears in the May issue, includes songs by New Kids on the Block, Meat Loaf, The Doors, Lionel Richie, Hammer and The Beach Boys, among others.
Role Call: Sonnenfeld's Heartbreak
Director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black) is in negotiations to direct a remake of the 1972 comedy The Heartbreak Kid, which starred Charles Grodin and Cybill Shepherd, written by Neil Simon and directed by Elaine May. The story follows a man who hastily weds a local girl whom he thinks is perfect--until he falls in love with another girl during the honeymoon.