Christmas is the end of the week and I'd like to take a few moments out to do some quick updates and give some links before everyone is swamped with wrapping and other fun stuff.
First up for those of you not reading Bully's comics blog, I need to point out that he's posting old Christmas commericals under the heading Christmas Commercial Countdown. Everyday it's a new commercial until Christmas. The whole run to date cane be found here. Go watch them then come back here.
Reg, one of our fine correspondents has posted his Very Pelican Club Christmas which is full of wonderful holiday treats.
One of my all Time favorite Christmas films was reviewed way back at the start. It's called the Holly and the Ivy and is best described as a Christmas film for those who hate Christmas films.
For those who are interested in the Spiderman Broadway show the latest story is that the show's opening is being pushed back again into February. I don't know if that is going to help. Honestly I while I though the show wasn't all that good but I thought that radical changes could save it (removing the entire second act for example). However now I think they've shot themselves in the foot thanks to the postponement. From the questions I was getting around the watercooler at work, I think they've made it seem like the show is in dire circumstances (it is) and really not very good. Anyone I know who had a wait and see attitude have no interest now and feel that unless the word of mouth and official reviews are sterling they are going to pass.
I don't want to beat up too badly on Julie Taymor who directed Spiderman, but I had the misfortune of seeing her film adaption of The Tempest over the weekend. Well actually I saw about 45 minutes before I left because I was laughing too hard. In her favor the cast is good (though no one seems to be in the same movie) and some it looks great. On the other hand it looks to be the work of someone who never made a movie in their life. To my mind it appears she used bad music videos and really arty Euro-thrillers from the early 1980's as a visual reference. The easiest way to describe the film is as the worst Shakespeare adaptation of probably the last 15 or 20 years. While one can hold out hope for the turnaround of Spiderman the musical, The Tempest is beyond saving. I have to question how this got to be the centerpiece of this years New York Film Festival. Did they take it sight unseen or did some one see it and genuinely like it?
Speaking of liking things...
I've begun work on my Best and Worst lists of films I saw this year. They will be brief since I've discovered that I've written up all of the best fiklms for this blog. As for the worst films, well, frankly they are so bad that the less said the better. (for now The Tempest did not make the list)
Mysteries of Lisbon has won the Louis Delluc Prize in France. While I was not a big fan of the film when I saw it October at the New York Film Festival, I did like it.
Does context matter when you see a movie? IFC online examines it here.
I've corrected a glaring omission and I've put up a link to the reviews at 10,000 Bullets in the sidebar. Its a wondrful site that will tell you whats what with your exploitation, foreign and not mainstream movies on DVD. Its one of the best and can only hope that they forgive me for leaving them out of the great movie writing list.
By now you've heard they've found 17 0f the 19 minutes that Stanley Kubrick cut from 2001 after it was playing at the Cinarama in New York. A brief piece can be found here.
Want to make your own Muppet? FAO Schwarz can help. I found it thanks to a sweet article linked at IMDB about how a man used them to propose to his long time girlfriend. See that piece here.