Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

There are times when it makes sense to bury the lede, and times when it makes sense to just have out with the thing that needs to be said. So let me have out with it: the reason to see The Christmas Chronicles is Kurt Russell’s performance as Santa Claus. This cuts two ways. First, […]

Once upon a time, there was a famous person, who made a famous piece of art, but get this: the famous piece of art was inspired by the events he experienced in his life. In other words, my friends, we have here yet another “Shakespeare in Love about _____” movie, with the blank this particular […]

You’d be forgiven for assuming that Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo is materially about the kangaroo child of the title, the youngest and most innocent member of the Winnie the Pooh universe. It is not. Instead, it’s a straight-up A Christmas Carol riff set at Easter, with the role of Ebenezeer Scrooge being filled […]

Don’t let that donation to the Carry On Campaign fool you – Pat King is a terrible, terrible human being. Just look at what he’s making me watch. I kid, Pat’s one of my favorites, even if he is a total asshole. So here we are again, wondering what the hell is the deal with […]

It is largely a matter of chronology that my favorite of all adaptations of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol – and maybe my favorite Christmas movie of all time – should end up as the very last entry in my impromptu retrospective of some of the variant forms of this most well-traveled narrative. But I […]

Dedicated to the memory of Roy Edward Disney, 1930-2009.Thank you for all that you did for your uncle’s company, and how grateful I am that you lived to see the rebirth of traditional Disney animation. That there are a great many feature-length cinematic versions of A Christmas Carol is entirely true (and who can say […]

For any familiar story set in a very particular historical context, eventually some creative soul will hit on the idea of a contemporary update. It is thus probably inevitable that A Christmas Carol got moved into the modern day; this happened several times, in fact, considering both cinematic and television adaptations (I cannot say that […]

In adapting a text as well-worn as Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol to the screen, it’s not enough just to be faithful to the material and capture its essence; particularly when that task has been done so many times, sometimes quite well. It is occasionally the case that a producer will decide that the material […]

There have been literally dozens of adaptations of Charles Dickens’s 1843 novella A Christmas Carol for stage, screen, and television, making it rather shocking that one version in all that glut should be cited with some unanimity as the best of them all: that being Brian Desmond-Hurst’s 1951 film Scrooge, released in the United States […]

The biggest surprise by far to be found in Robert Zemeckis’s new adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is that it isn’t absolutely dreadful. Perfectly pointless, maybe, but not dreadful. At this point, there have been so many film adaptations of the 1843 novella that it’s nearly impossible to imagine what conceivable purpose another […]

You just gotta love the mentality of the Hollywood studios in the summer. For the big ticket presumptive blockbusters, they tend to assume that their desired adolescent male audience is entirely undiscriminating, and spit out one mediocre explosion-filled action adventures after another. And for counter-programming, they tend to have an equally low opinion of whatever […]