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There will always be a special place in my heart for Jeremiah Chechik’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. In my adult life, I have made it a Christmas eve tradition to rival any sappy joy-filled movie you may watch with your family. Whether I’m hundreds of miles from home or right next to close friends and family, this movie reminds me of the best Christmas years of my own life. Large family gatherings, plenty of food and yes, plenty of Auxillary Nuclear power-required mishaps. There is no Christmas like a Griswold Family Christmas. And to celebrate this love, our weekly Scenes We Love entry takes a look at one of Clark Griswold’s most iconic and explosive moments. Setting the Scene: It’s been a hard fought year for Clark, played by Chevy Chase, the “last great family man” who spends his days creating preservatives to keep your cereal fresh and crunchy, all »
- Neil Miller
Jess Barratt selects her ten essential Christmas films...
Here are my top 10 festive treats to get you through the Christmas hangovers. Expect snow, sparkle and choir-lead soundtracks...
10. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Although this is not typically considered a true Christmas film it does however have rather Christmassy themes and a beautiful festive score written by the talented Danny Elfman. The latter half of this eerie Tim Burton film is entirely set at Christmas time and includes the unforgettable scene where Winona Ryder’s character dances in the snow falling from Edward’s ice sculpture. With fantastic comedic performances by an incredible cast, Edward Scissorhands is sure to get you edging towards the eggnog.
9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid doing what they do best in this wacky 80s comedy. With some questionable SFX and strange impromptu group singing, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the perfect nostalgic Christmas feature. »
Baby, it's cold outside. So what better way to warm your toes (and your heart) than by curling up with a Christmas movie? But choose wisely, dear reader. Christmas movies can be a minefield of shmaltz. Allow us to present you with our not-quite-definitive list of the best and worst of the genre.
The best ...
It's A Wonderful Life, 1946
It may be an obvious choice and we may nod in half-hearted agreement with the New York Times' original description of the movie as "sentimental" and "facile" but despite that, Capra's ending still makes me weep.
Best moment: "That's a lie Harry Bailey went to war…' A despairing Jimmy Stewart realizes just what he's lost
See also: Miracle »
- Sarah Hughes
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is one of those festive films perfectly fit for a holiday movie marathon. The Griswold family comes together to celebrate Christmas, but patriarch Clark (Chevy Chase) has a run of bad luck he just can't seem to beat. Despite all the dry humor and gross gags, Christmas Vacation always manages to touch our hearts with its sweet Yuletide spirit. If you love the Griswold clan as much as we do, be sure to add your favorite quotes from the flick after you check out a few of ours. "Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?" - Clark "Burn some dust here. Eat my rubber." - Clark "Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah." - Clark »
Filed under: Movie News, Holiday Movies
Since its release on Dec. 1, 1989, 'Christmas Vacation' has become a holiday staple -- and not just because Mavis Staples sang the now-classic title track. (Try the veal?) Starring Chevy Chase (before he was the anchor on 'Community'), Randy Quaid (before he ran away from the Star Whackers), Beverly D'Angelo (before 'Entourage') and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (before 'Seinfeld'), the film earned $71 million at the box office and -- unofficially -- received a lifetime holiday season pass from TBS. What was it like when 'Christmas Vacation' was being filmed? Thankfully, Entertainment Tonight has posted video of a long-lost set visit to 'Vacation,' which finds Chase mugging, Quaid holding onto reality with a supple grip, and D'Angelo looking as adorable as you remember. (Sorry, Ari Gold.) No talking head shots of the now-deceased William Hickey (he »
- Christopher Rosen
Granny saying the Pledge of Allegiance as Christmas dinner grace has to be one of the funniest moments in movies ever. Well, at least it was the first time -- once the surprise is past, it’s not quite so hilarious anymore. The general level of just barely contained family animosity and bad will is what makes this a classic, especially combined with poor Chevy Chase’s determination to make Christmas fun fun fun! at the same time. It’s a bitter takedown of the forced merriment of the holiday season. (I reviewed the film here. It’s an early effort -- be kind.) »
- MaryAnn Johanson
It's the week of the 25th anniversary of John Landis' Three Amigos with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short starring as the titular heroes. The film is a veritable who's who of the comedy world with Martin and Lorne Michaels on script duties and Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz in supporting roles. The project took many twisty turns as it developed, with various title changes, a revolving cast, and cuts that trimmed more than just running time — the edits excised a few well-known stars completely. Fran Drescher was one name deleted during the cuts. She would have played a "shallow movie star." Screamy Sam Kinison also had an extended cameo as a "cannibal mountain man." Initially, Steve Martin...
- Alison Nastasi
This month on TCM, a Christmas special featuring some of your favorite people, including Our Fearless Leader.
Take heed, holiday hellions. Throughout the rest of December, TCM (our favorite channel) will be airing an hour-long look at Christmas movies. The special includes a lot of personal and behind-the-scenes stories from a variety fo Hollywood luminaries, including our very own Joe Dante. (Also, Chevy Chase!) Graphical Genius Charlie heartily recommends catching this next time it airs.
A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas (2011) is a tinsel-filled journey through the most iconic holiday films of all time, including perennial favorites It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) and Miracle on 34th Street (1947). The special will look at variations within the genre, such as holiday romances, family movies and even thrillers. A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas will feature behind-the-scenes stories and personal Hollywood Christmas memories from the likes of Chevy Chase, »
Last year Brad listed his list of Top Ten Christmas Movies and in 2007 David listed the ten films he considered the Top Ten Deranged Christmas Flicks. Well, I had to throw my hat in the ring with a completely different list... a list for the holiday softies. So light the fire, warm the coco and grab a blanket... What follows is my list of the twelve best Christmas/Holiday movies to warm your heart. When you compare the twelve films that follow to the two lists I just mentioned, three of them can be found on Brad's top ten and two on David's list of Deranged Christmas Flicks, but perhaps the most interesting fact of them all is that all three lists share the exact same film in the #1 slot. Weird... right? So browse through these three pages where I say a few words about each film, offer up some clips and trailers and, »
- Bill Cody
Joel McHale has defended the ratings for his NBC comedy Community. The sitcom - which also stars Chevy Chase and Donald Glover - was recently put on hiatus, with the midseason finale attracting 3.6m viewers. "Our ratings jump when you see the TiVo numbers, but the problem is that our audience is very young, and nobody views television [live] anymore," McHale told Entertainment Weekly. "They watch online. [But] there is no way to monetize that yet, other than iTunes." The actor, who plays smooth-talking lawyer Jeff Winger, added: "Our catch-22 is that we know we have a lot of fans, because they're all over (more) »
- By Morgan Jeffery
Three Amigos exists in a strange comedy purgatory. It flopped horribly at the box office despite being directed by John Landis and starring the ever popular comedians Chevy Chase, Martin Short, and Steve Martin. It’s beloved by a number of people, but not in such a way that the film could ever be considered a cult classic. Yet it survives, fondly for most people, as one of those comedies most will gladly revisit, even if at times it wavers from being funny to wholly absurd (the singing bush, anyone?). You’d think its cast would make Three Amigos an enduring classic, but it really requires just the right sense of humor that’s willing to wait a bit longer than usual between belly laughs and listen for the well-written verbal jokes that come and go so quickly that they’re easy to miss outright. It might not have your »
- Lex Walker
If you’re a Community fan, you probably already know that show was unceremoniously yanked from NBC’s midseason lineup. I know, I know — and they were this close to regionals! Still, the harsh realities of our bleak, Community-less existence should be peppered with hope for a better tomorrow — the grim peacock hasn’t swung the ax just yet.
Ever optimists, the members of Greendale’s hottest study group (sans Chevy Chase and Donald Glover) gathered at the SAG Foundation Actors Center in Los Angeles last Sunday to give advice and tell behind-the-scenes tales to fellow actors, discussing everything »
- Shaunna Murphy
We scour the interwebs for the coolest movie news and more so you don't have to ...
"Hunger Games" nail polish? Hollywood Crush brings word of Lionsgate and China Glaze joining forces to bring us a "Colors From the Capitol" series of nail enamels.
Latino Review confirms that Coke Zero and Paramount have accepted the mission of streaming the Rio premiere of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" on Dec. 14.
Has another "Dark Knight Rises" spoiler been leaked? IndieWire brings word of the possible true identity of a seemingly innocuous supporting character.
Moviefone lists 25 things you didn't know about the "Three Amigos, »
- Bryan Enk
Seasons greetings! This week’s pick is a comedy holiday classic from the successful National Lampoon’s Vacation series. Chevy Chase stars as Clark W. Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This third installment of the series follows the Griswolds and Clark’s quest for the best family Christmas. The film’s opening sequence follows the family into the [...] »
- Douglas Barnett
Filed under: Movie News, Best Movies Ever, Columns, This Week in Movies
In these days when silent-film homages are all the rage (see 'Hugo' and 'The Artist'), it's worth taking a look back at 'Three Amigos,' released exactly 25 years ago, on December 12, 1986. The thoroughly silly comedy centers on a trio of extravagantly-costumed silent-movie Western stars (Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short) who find themselves having to be heroes for real when they visit a Mexican town beset by bandits. A modest hit at the time, the movie has since become a cult favorite and surprisingly influential, with its plot echoing through such later movies as 'A Bug's Life,' 'Galaxy Quest,' and 'Rango.' Its spoofing of silent-film conventions must have seemed esoteric a quarter-century ago, but its total absurdity makes 'Three Amigos' timeless. Read on for the untold story of 'Three »
- Gary Susman
NBC fired over a mess of clips for tonight.s all-new Saturday Night Live with host Katy Perry and musical guest, Robin! Below, NBC sent us the latest promo for tonight.s episode as well as the top memorable moments with musician hosts over the years. Most Memorable Musician Moments Paul Simon 11/20/1976 Featuring cameos from musical guest George Harrison, SNL creator/exec producer Lorne Michaels and former cast member Chevy Chase, the Cold Open from Paul Simon's second time hosting is about as memorable as it can get. It even references the legendary SNL/Beatles bribe! So to get us started, from season 2, here's "Paul Simon's Monologue Worries." Deborah Harry 2/14/1981 Blondie lead singer, Debbie Harry (then going »
- April MacIntyre
Chuck is fast becoming a completely different kind of show than it ever was before and I love it. It’s not same subtle kind of change to the formula the series has been doing every year since it’s inception, but rather it’s something more purposeful and apparent. Within the span of one episode, Chuck and co. went from down-on-their-luck entrepreneurs to on-the-run fugitives while managing to kill whom we thought was this season’s bad guy. We are five episodes in to this farewell season and already the game has changed. Where we go from here is anyone’s guess, but it feels good to have such solid forward momentum.
Getting to specifics from “Chuck Versus the Hack Off”: the entirety of the episode, including both the spy and the Buy More storylines, are motivated by what’s going on in prison. »
- Brody Gibson
Last night tragically marked the final episode of Community before it went on hiatus. NBC pulled the show from its midseason schedule with no definite return date set. In the meantime our favourite study group as creates a PSA called “Save Greendale,” in which the gang makes a case for the social value of “The Greendale Experience”. The clip features series stars Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown, Chevy Chase, plus supporting characters Jim Rash (Dean Pelton) and Dino Stamatopoulos (Star-Burns). I’ve also posted some fabulous fan-made poster art found on tumblr. If anyone knows who designed these beauties, please let us know, so we can credit them and redirect to their site.
Via College Humor
 Community's hiatus starts now, but Greendale's coolest study group isn't about to go quietly. Also, people who've previously created things we like are creating other things we also hope to like. After the jump: The Community gang makes a "Save Greendale" PSA, crashes The Soup The WGA and PGA announce their award nominations J.J. Abrams and One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn sell a drama to The CW HBO is about to start production on The Viagra Diaries with Goldie Hawn Parks & Recreation co-creator Greg Daniels develops two animated projects for NBC This week tragically marks the last episode of Community before it goes on hiatus, but don't think for a second that the cast is just sitting around waiting for their fates to be decided. In a new fake PSA called "Save Greendale," our favorite study group entreats you to help out the series -- er, the school. »
- Angie Han
You may have heard that NBC pulled Community from its midseason schedule with no definite return date. This is sad news, but the timing worked out. It turns out that Greendale Community College, where the show is set, also has to shut down for a few months due to low attendance and a "tenacious grease fire." A new clip features series stars Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown, Chevy Chase, plus supporting characters Jim Rash (Dean Pelton) and Dino Stamatopoulos (Star-Burns) making the case for the social value of The Greendale Experience*, including the eventual extermination of raccoons and parking for local Muslims. Hit the jump to watch. Via College Humor: I am still operating under the assumption that Community will not be cancelled. So I am excited to see the first episode back to see how far they will extend this idea, »
- Brendan Bettinger
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