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The lethargy inherent in being in between two of the biggest holidays of the year has made this week kind of a dead zone for movie news, but a couple of studios have still been throwing us bones by delivering extended previews of what they’ve got coming up in the next year. Just yesterday we were treated to the first four minutes of zombie comedy Warm Bodies, and today Warner Bros. is upping the ante by bringing us the first six minutes of their upcoming Maniac remake. Six minutes! That’s two more than yesterday. At this rate, tomorrow we may get to see the first eight minutes of something. And then, eventually, entire movies will get released without us having to pay for them at all. What a world. Maniac is a remake of a William Lustig film from the early 80s about a creep that murders women, and »
- Nathan Adams
What are the films you always tend to watch over the Christmas period? Here's one reader's selection – let us know yours
This week's Clip joint is by David Keeble, who you can follow on Twitter here and via his website here. Got an idea for a future Clip joint? Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No matter how old we get, most of us love to put on movies that make our Christmas feel that extra bit special. Here are five I will always watch, without fail:
Macaulay Culkin's performance as the young Kevin McCallister in Chris Columbus's film was a cracker. He was also helped by the hilarious performances of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as two bungling robbers. Sure, it's a somewhat stereotypical Christmas film to choose, but it undeniably has a lot of heart and a strong central message about the importance of family. »
- Guardian readers
Stacey Solomon loves watching 'Home Alone' over the festive period. The 23-year-old singer - who shot to fame when she finished third on 'The X Factor' in 2009 - has happy memories of watching the 1990 classic family film, which stars Macaulay Culkin, and has passed on the tradition to her two sons, Zachary, four, and seven-month-old Leighton. She said: ''I love watching Christmas films with the kids. 'Home Alone is one our favourites - it's a classic. I can remember watching it when I was a child, so it's really nice to share that experience with my children. ''It's the perfect chance »
We scour the interwebs for the coolest movie news and more so you don't have to ...
• They just gotta siiiiiiiinnnngggg! [Film.com]
• Here's someone who thinks "Django Unchained" is the best movie of the year, as much for its flaws as in spite of them. [FilmDrunk]
• Finally, a list of unconventional Christmas movies that includes "Die Hard 2" and not just "Die Hard." [The Week]
• Cosplay of the Day: "Corpse Bride." This gal's marriage material. [ScreenCrush]
• A gallery of how some celebrities spent the holidays. So much for "the weather outside is frightful." [The Frisky]
• Quentin Tarantino Music Moments: His best use of songs in movies. Oh, and TV — his "CSI" episode is in there, too. »
- Bryan Enk
Home Alone is a modern Christmas classic—but, as Lauren Hansen points out in The Week , it requires quite a suspension of disbelief. Could the "Wet Bandits," played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, really have taken an iron to the face, a blow torch to the head, and all the other injuries meted out to them by Macaulay Culkin's Kevin McCallister ... and remained standing? Hansen gets an actual doctor, Dr. Ryan St. Clair, to give his professional opinion: Stern smacked in the forehead with an iron : He probably would have had bones around his eyes fractured, and if not »
- Evann Gastaldo
Every December, it seems like there's nowhere to hide from the endless onslaught of holiday movies. With the holidays already in full swing, holiday movies are playing on TV and home entertainment centers everywhere. Even if one is trying to avoid holiday movies, the cast of Christmas Vacation is popping up in Old Navy ads during commercial breaks. Clearly, the time for a Holiday Character Cage Match has come.
There are plenty of characters that could have been used, of course, but, since the holidays seem to mostly belong to children, we thought it best to throw two of cinema's most beloved holiday movie kids into our cybernetic cage for an all-out, Mano-y-mano, take-no-prisoners, holiday brawl. While we all have our favorite holiday movies, it's time to put aside your sentimentality and vote for a champion: A Christmas Story's Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) vs. Home Alone's Kevin (Macaulay Culkin »
- Ryan Gowland
The holidays are wonderful, aren’t they? Sure there’s a lot to be cranky about. The mad dash to find gifts, the stress of traveling and coordinating family events, not to mention the inevitable religious arguments between people celebrating different occasions (or none at all). However, ultimately, when the dust settles, stores close down, and the world seems to pause in unison for just a minute, we get a chance to reflect and appreciate what matters most in our lives.
Christmas movies, as one facet of the holiday season, augment this experience by filling our heads with visions of sugarplums and our hearts with warm feelings. In fact, they often make us feel so good that we forget that the things these films teach us can actually be a little twisted.
Even if they do fill us with good cheer, appeal to our sense of nostalgia and family, and »
- Eric Ravenscraft
Martin Deer explains why Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie of all time...
Christmas. That wonderful time of year when we receive gifts, the hero loses to the evil villain and we realise just how much we hate our family and lose faith in ourselves and fellow man. Wait, no, that's wrong. Christmas is about the opposite of those things, and Christmas movies are there to tell wonderful festive tales which affirm these values. There are many Christmas films, but only one deserves to be classed as The Christmas film, the Rudolph of the pack - Die Hard!
"Die Hard you say? This is madness dear boy, blasphemy! It's about terrorists and is just another action movie, it has nothing to do with Christmas." Wrong, wrong and wrong my dear readers, oh so wrong - Die Hard is as Christmas as you can get.
So what sets Die Hard »
With Christmas upon us, we thought it'd be fitting to list our nine favorite characters from holiday flicks sure to put you and your family in a merry mood. Let's face it, there’s nothing better than sitting together with the gang and getting the heartstrings tugged, and the funny bones tickled, with a glass of eggnog by your side.
On a side note: We know our list is lacking in female characters — and those of color, for that matter. But don't blame us. Blame Hollywood!
Macaulay Culkin came into "Home Alone" as an unknown and emerged as the most in-demand child actor since Shirley Temple. Whom does Culkin have to thank? None other than John Hughes, the '80s comedy legend who wrote the script for this holiday classic, and who created the lovable and wisecracking Kevin, a kid who gets »
- Nigel Smith
Get a different angle on the holiday season, with these six flicks
Santa Claus (1959)
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Don't be fooled by the utilitarian title: Santa Claus is less a biopic of the jelly-bellied gift-giver than a warped Christmas fever dream in which he happens to play a supporting role. The film's real star is Lucifer, who – angered by society's unshakeable devotion to Saint Nick – sends forth a horned demon to turn the children of Earth against him. Santa, hard at work in his orbiting space castle (don't ask) is powerless to help as the campy incubus schemes to corrupt virtuous little boys and girls.
Holiday In Handcuffs (2007)
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Waitress Trudie takes a decidedly extreme course of action when faced with another Christmas without a boyfriend. Brandishing an antique shotgun, she kidnaps handsome stranger David and whisks him back »
- Charlie Lyne
As the calendar creeps quickly towards Christmas Day on the 25th of December, we’re counting down the days with a special advent calendar of festive films, revealing a set of rare images for each chosen film to surprise and delight film fans.
Under the mistletoe today is Chris Columbus and John Hughes classic Home Alone. If you were born in the eighties then there’s an extremely high probability that you view Home Alone as the quintessential Christmas movie. Hell, even if you weren’t there’s still every chance that it places high atop the list of all time greatest seasonal movie offerings on the market. And for good reason.
Easily one of the greatest Kids vs. Adults stories ever told, Home Alone is just one of those warm and fuzzy movies that I – and many others no doubt – strive to re-watch at least once every couple of »
- Stuart W. Bedford
Welcome to Holiday Favorites, a series in which Slackerwood contributors and our friends talk about the movies we watch during the holiday season, holiday-related or otherwise.
Our next holiday film pick comes from Stephen Jannise, the new film programmer for the Paramount and Stateside Theatres. His previous position was Film Program Director for Austin Film Festival. Stephen has chosen Chris Columbus' 1992 movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York:
I recognize this pick probably isn't going to win me any respect points with anyone, yet I find myself compelled to offer a few thoughts in defense of this two-hour commercial for the Talkboy tape recorder. Sure, the narrative lazily regurgitates the story from the original Home Alone film almost verbatim, plot point for plot point, which means that two seemingly well-put-together parents somehow forget to bring their own child on vacation for a second time. Plus, by this point, »
- Elizabeth Stoddard
Child stars in pop culture are like pet alligators. They're cute when young, but they often get flushed before they grow big.
VH1 counts down the top kid stars of the past two decades in the five-part special "100 Greatest Kid Stars," a nostalgic look back at the biggest names in TV, music and entertainment who burst onto the scene as kids. Hosted by Catherine Reitman -- daughter of "Ghostbusters" director Ivan Reitman and once a child actress herself -- the special includes old and new interviews and early performance footage from when the stars were kids.
The countdown begins Thursday, Nov. 29, and concludes Sunday, Dec. 2.
It includes such recent stars as Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Dakota Fanning as well as Candace Cameron, Michelle Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Paquin and Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who grew up on-screen during the '90s. It's also a nostalgic look back at the shows »
What’s the official mark of the beginning of the holiday season? Nope, it’s not the sound of “Jingle Bells” on the radio or the sight of wreaths and twinkle lights on storefronts, but holiday specials on the tube. From classic movies like It’s a Wonderful Life to Wednesday’s Saturday Night Live Christmas show, the programming options are endless. So whip out that eggnog-flavored popcorn (did we just invent that?) and enjoy the festivities.
Here are our picks for the 12 specials you won’t want to miss (check the schedule on the following pages for additional showtimes):
- Maane Khatchatourian
Even though Macaulay Culkin may have grown up, the Home Alone spirit remains alive and well with Christian Martyn, a 12-year-old Canadian actor who gets his turn roughing up some would-be burglars in ABC Family’s Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, premiering tonight at 8 as part of the network’s “Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas.” It’s the fifth flick in the popular franchise, which began in 1990 with what became the highest-grossing comedy of all time. Culkin returned as Kevin McAllister for the 1992 sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, before handing over the reins to Alex D. [...] »
- Stacey Harrison
A sequel may have different characters and actors, but thanks to the original movie, countless viewers know what to expect from anything with the title "Home Alone."
The John Hughes-written, Chris Columbus-directed 1990 comedy -- which famously made a star of Macaulay Culkin as a resourceful youngster outwitting thieves who invaded his family's home -- has yielded three follow-ups, two for theaters and the other for television. Now there's another: ABC Family debuts "Home Alone: The Holiday Heist" Sunday, Nov. 25, with the first "Home Alone" immediately preceding it.
In the new tale, instead of Culkin's Kevin, it's a just-relocated boy named Finn (played by Christian Martyn) who fends off crooks along with his sister (Jodelle Ferland) when what the siblings initially think are ghosts haunting their new home turn out to be burglars (Malcolm McDowell, Debi Mazar, Eddie Steeples). Seven-time Emmy winner Ed Asner also is in the cast, »
I've already talked about intentional thrills in Tuesday's Best Movie Ever? subject Halloween, so to celebrate All Hallow's Eve, we're inspecting the flipside: nine unintentionally scary movie moments. I couldn't handle these as a kid, and I still can't handle them now. They're scrumdiddylumptiously traumatizing!
1. Willy Wonka's climactic freakout in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Plenty of Willy Wonka moments qualify as frightening -- the perilous ferry ride, Violet Beauregarde's blueberry explosion, the austere presence of Slugworth -- but angry Gene Wilder is a scary thing. His freakout at the chocolate factory's sole survivor Charlie has been turned into an ever-present internet meme, but I still can't shake the chills of his screamy "You Lose! Good Day, sir!" Trivia note: Did you know that Gene Wilder was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1968 for The Producers but lost to The Subject Was Roses' Jack Albertson, who »
Responsible for pop-culture TV phenoms The Oc and Gossip Girl, writer Josh Schwartz knows a little something about dramatizing life as a teenager on screen. “The stories that I keep getting drawn back to are coming of age stories,” admits the 36-year-old. So it’s no surprise that his first big-screen outing would be the comedy Fun Size, opening today, about teen Wren (Victorious’s Victoria Justice) searching for her missing younger brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll) on Halloween night. Schwartz gave EW some of the comedy classics that inspired his directorial debut.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
“It’s a comedy with a teenage girl at its center, »
- Tim Stack
Mila Kunis won't let her love life get in the way of her career. The 29-year-old actress is currently dating Ashton Kutcher and was previously in a long term relationship with Macaulay Culkin but Hollywood veteran Britt Ekland believes Mila will always be successful because she is so mature. She told The Sun newspaper: 'Mila is fantastic. She is lovely, petite and wonderful. And she's a modern, smart young person. 'Her boyfriend Ashton Kutcher has a good career too but I think she has managed not to let her men dominate her life. 'A lot of young actresses have a hard time combining a reasonable love life with a career. 'I think she's a good role model. She was a »
Kids of the 90s may not know Devin Ratray by name, but they definitely know who he is. In 1990 and 1992 he played Buzz McCallister, older brother to Macaulay Culkin's Kevin McCallister in the blockbuster hits Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. And while that was his most memorable role, Ratray actually hasn't stopped acting since. In addition to taking small roles in movies like Surrogates and the upcoming R.I.P.D., he has also accumulated a good amount of television experience, making appearances on shows like all three versions of Law and Order, Supernatural, and, most recently, The Good Wife. And now Alexander Payne is giving him a shot in the director's next movie. Payne, who won an Academy Award earlier this year for his work on the script for his film The Descendants, has cast Ratray as the main villain in his next movie, Nebraska. »
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