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The Twelve Days of Christmas Classics is on! Starting with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” EW is putting the best versions of the most-covered Christmas songs up to a daily vote to compile the ultimate holiday playlist. If your favorite singer isn’t in the list below, you better not pout: Each artist will only appear once throughout the next 12 days. Listen to our top six, vote for your favorite, and let us know why you made your pick in the comments below.
The 1944 movie musical Meet Me in St. Louis »
- Katie Atkinson
Today's episode sort of breezed by and while it isn't long we cover a lot of ground including some early thoughts on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, plenty more Oscar talk, scheduling the next Box Office Draft, new DVDs and Blu-rays, games and a Christmas edition of Watch This or Watch That. Hope you enjoy. A quick reminder of our upcoming Holiday Schedule where we will be taking a break from December 16-26, returning on December 27. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail »
- Brad Brevet
Christmas is a time for feel-good movies. It’s a Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and the usual Hallmark Hall of Fame drivel that hits the airwaves every December. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the mainstream Christmas classics as much as the next guy. But at night, when my family is all snug in their beds, that’s when I drag out my sick and twisted Christmas collection…
Black Christmas, Christmas Evil, Silent Night Deadly Night, Don’t Open Till Christmas, those are the films I like to cuddle up to with a spiked eggnog. What is my favorite? That’s a difficult question. I love them all for different reasons, but if I had to pick one, I would have to pick a recent import from Finland called Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. A modern mashup of The Thing and the Krampus mythology, it is »
- Kevin Klemm
It's holiday season at SNL, which means that Lorne Michaels has stocked the lineup with reliable charmers like Paul Rudd, hosting for the third time. In his monologue, the Anchorman 2 actor joked about always being overshadowed by his musical guest, which was Beyonce the first time, Paul McCartney the second, and One Direction this time around. In fact, Rudd has gotten great comedic mileage out of these musicians; the sketch in which he played Beyonce's "Single Ladies" choreographer was a classic, and he did a memorable monologue about »
With Christmas fast approaching, it won’t be long before you find yourself sitting down to watch one of the many, many versions of A Christmas Carol, and maybe having a very seasonal argument about which version is best. Through the seemingly endless success of his yuletide story, written quickly to pay for his own Christmas shopping, Charles Dickens has become indelibly associated with our Christmas celebrations. But, of course, there’s a great deal more to him than that.
Following my countdown of the ten best screen adaptations of Shakespeare, today I’m going to be going through the hundreds of Dickens adaptations, giving you a Top 10 to enjoy both during this festive season and all year round. There are a great deal more TV entries on this list than on my Shakespeare countdown, but that’s more a reflection of Dickens’ episodic storytelling than of a paucity of good film adaptations. »
- Daniel Mumby
Chicago – What is the remedy for the holiday blues? How about a dose of “Liza with a ‘Z’!” The sparkling and funny “We Three Lizas” is back for the holiday season from About Face Theatre of Chicago, just in time for the lights and tinsel. Danielle Plisz, Mark David Kaplan and Bethany Thomas play the three title Liza Minellis, with a deft direction by Scott Ferguson.
Play Rating: 4.0/5.0
Premiering last holiday season, and back by popular demand, the musical play has a merry and bright crafting at the new Stage 773 in Chicago. This is a twist on “A Christmas Carol,” involving New York fashion and trends, with a dose of past, present and heavenly Liza Minnelli. All three Lizas add the pizazz, but it is the amazing Danielle Plisz – as young Liza – that heightens her every scene with an impression that is so amazing, you’ll believe that Ms. M »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Dan Gerrity, a veteran of the Los Angeles stage who appeared on many TV shows during his three-decade career, died Nov. 20 of a heart attack in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 59. At the time of his death, Gerrity was the news director at public radio station Ksfr-fm in Santa Fe, where he wrote and produced newscasts, read the news and interviewed politicians and civic leaders. He also served on the board of the Santa Fe Playhouse and was in the midst of directing an upcoming production of A Christmas Carol. A native of Red Bank,
- Mike Barnes
Well, it’s the First of December and the Christmas Season is well and truly and legitimately upon us. As I’ve noted before, I really do love this time of year and I love Christmas stories, none more than A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens and turned into umpty-bum versions in the movies, on television, and on the stage.
I appeared in a stage version at Chicago’s Goodman Theater for many years. The Goodman was and I think still is the biggest professional theater in the Chicago area but every year it hit a hole in its schedule around Christmastime. They took note that the famed Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Mn, performed A Christmas Carol. Starting in 1977, the Goodman decided to also produce a stage version of Dicken’s classic. They asked a veteran of the Guthrie production, Tony Mockus Sr., to direct their show.
I was »
- John Ostrander
The Eleventh Doctor
Portrayed by: Matt Smith
Companion(s): Amy Pond, Rory Williams, River Song, Clara Oswald
Tenure: 39 stories (44 episodes), from “The Eleventh Hour” (April, 2010) to “The Time of the Doctor” (Dec, 2013)
Signature look: The Eleventh Doctor’s look gets a few tweaks during his run. He starts with a tweed jacket, which later becomes a long purple (all together now) frock coat (the Doctor loves his frock coats), button-down shirt, bowtie (they’re cool), suspenders, lace-up boots, and, to go with his purple coat, a purple waistcoat and pocket watch with chain. And of course, if possible, he will accessorize with whatever distinctive headware is handy.
Catchphrase: The Eleventh Doctor has several catchphrases, particularly, “Geronimo”, “Come along, Pond”, and “I like <fill in the blank>s now. <Fill in the blank>s are cool.”
Personality: The Eleventh Doctor is whimsical and energetic, but also brooding and manipulative. His number one rule for his Companions is that the Doctor always lies, »
- Kate Kulzick
Doctor: Eleventh Doctor
Story: “A Christmas Carol” (Dec, 2010)
Background: Kazran Sardick was raised by an abusive father, Elliot, who was absolutely focused on profit. Kazran, like his father before him, controls the airspace of Sardicktown and has grown into a very Ebenezer Scrooge-like character when he first meets the Doctor, who needs his permission so the crashing ship Amy and Rory are on can safely land. The Doctor, presumably inspired by A Christmas Carol (he is a Dickens fanboy, after all), decides to give Kazran the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future treatment, rewriting much of his childhood, to turn him into the kind of man who will allow the ship to land.
Family/Friends: We meet Kazran’s physically and emotionally abusive father, but we don’t find out about any other family members, implying that Kazran grew up incredibly isolated. »
- Kate Kulzick
It's the last day of the countdown to the countdown -- the last day before 25 Days of Christmas officially starts on ABC Family on Sunday, Dec. 1.
The last day of the countdown to 25 Days features a special treat in the form of a "Harry Potter" movie marathon that culminates in the network television premiere of "Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 2."
So tune in for "Order of the Phoenix, "Half-Blood Prince" and "Deathly Hallows Part 1," before "Deathly Hallows Part 2" kicks off at 8 p.m. Et/Pt on ABC Family.
Then Sunday, 25 Days of Christmas starts off with a bang -- an all-day holiday movie marathon. Schedule below:
(7:00-8:30 Am Et/Pt) Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas
(8:30-10:00 Am »
It’s hard to find a movie for this time of year. I’m not talking about Christmas movies. Lord knows, Hollywood is lousy with Christmas movies. Instead, I’m talking about Thanksgiving movies. Usually Hollywood skips Turkey Day altogether and starts releasing Christmas movies in early November (including relatively recent releases like A Christmas Carol in 2009, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas in 2011, and The Best Man Holiday just this year). Still, there are a few Thanksgiving movies knocking around, and they’re not all as bad as Free Birds. One of the most loveable and endearing Thanksgiving movies is John Hughes’ 1987 comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The film follows businessman Neal Page (Steve Martin) trying to get home to Chicago from New York City two days before Thanksgiving. He stumbles into an unlikely travel buddy in Del Griffith (John Candy) and ends up on a three-day misadventure using almost every known form of ground transportation »
- Kevin Carr
With Christmas just around the corner, we have teamed up with Paramount to give away 3 bundles of festive movie titles, from classic, to cult and modern.
We have 3 copies of all-time classic White Christmas, as well as Bill Murray’s brilliant take on the Christmas Carol tale, Scrooged, and recent animation release Rise Of The Guardians to give away to 3 lucky WhatCulture readers.
No matter what you want from your favourite Christmas films, Paramount are catering to you, with something for everyone this Christmas.
To enter the competition, first like us on Facebook... Already a fan? You can skip this part.
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Now available in stunning high definition, White Christmas is a treasury of Irving Berlin classics, among them ‘Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep’, ‘Sisters’, ‘Blue Skies’, and the beloved holiday song, »
- Simon Gallagher
‘The Thief and the Cobbler’: Original version of Richard Williams’ animated film has first public screening at the Academy The first public screening of the original version of Richard Williams’ The Thief and the Cobbler will be held at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 10, 2013. Williams will be in attendance to introduce the recently reconstructed original workprint from 1992. The Thief and the Cobbler will be accompanied by Richard Williams’s 1972 Oscar-winning animated short A Christmas Carol, adapted from Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella. Featuring animation by Ken Harris and Abe Levitow, among others, A Christmas Carol has, according to the Academy’s website, "a distinctive and dark tone" inspired by John Leech’s engraved illustrations of the Dickens’ tale. In conjunction with the screenings, the Academy’s public exhibition “Richard Williams: Master of Animation,” featuring film clips, »
- Andre Soares
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences celebrates animator Richard Williams with the first public screening of the original version of his film “The Thief and the Cobbler” on Tuesday, December 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Williams, who has worked on the now legendary feature throughout the past 25 years, will be on hand to introduce the newly reconstructed original work print from 1992.
Loosely influenced by Persian miniatures, the film has become a legend in the animation industry. Williams began this ambitious film in 1968, and over the next 25 years, collaborated on it with such animators as Ken Harris and Emery Hawkins from Warner Bros., as well as Art Babbitt from Disney and Grim Natwick, the creator of Betty Boop.
The film was originally self-financed by Williams, but after he received two Academy Awards® in 1988 for “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” Williams was »
- Michelle McCue
Lovers of It's a Wonderful Life will all have favourite lines from the 1946 feelgood movie that rivals Dickens's A Christmas Carol – with which it shares a plot – as the main course in seasonal schmaltz. I relish the moment when Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey, shown by his guardian angel how dismal his little town would have been without him, asks about the fate of his wife Mary. "She's just about to close up the library!" reveals angel Clarence Odbody. Cue a shot of Donna Reed, a tragic spinster in this grim alternative world, complete with librarian's bun, specs and tweeds. The horror, the horror! »
It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and we’re already devoting a second Scenes We Love list to a Christmas movie. Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of Scrooged, so how could we not? Did you know this modernization of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol had the fourth best opening of 1988? And of those four, it debuted in a significantly fewer amount of theaters, giving it the second-best per-screen average among them. It also opened on a Wednesday, like three of those films, and of those three it had the second-best five-day opening. People clearly loved this movie, right? Not quite, but they really wanted to see it. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay at or near the top for very long. By the big holiday weekend, it was in 9th place, behind stuff like Tequila Sunrise, The Naked Gun and Oliver and Company. But at least it was doing better than Ernest Saves Christmas. Scrooged »
- Christopher Campbell
It’s not often you get to describe an event as being fifty years in the making. even less so do you get to mean it. Three Doctors in three timelines converge to give them all a chance to change a terrible moment in their collective past.
The Day of the Doctor
Directed by Nick Hurran
The Doctor is in the present, in his most recent incarnation, picking up Clara, when he gets picked up himself, by Unit, to investigate a mystery at the National Museum. Meanwhile (well, I say meanwhile…) in his previous incarnation, he’s investigating a mystery in Elizabethan Britain, an attack by the Zygons that could lead all the way to the Queen herself. And in another part of the Universe entirely, The War Doctor is making a decision that will put the lives of countless innocents in his hands, a choice that »
- Vinnie Bartilucci
Written By: Steven Moffat
Directed By: Nick Hurran
The day is finally upon us. The Day Of The Doctor, the Anniversary Special which celebrates a half century of adventures on screen (as well as off) with a time travelling alien and his magic time and space machine. It’s a rare feat for a television show to reach fifty years old and still have all the power to thrill, enrapture and entertain audiences in the same way it has done since the very beginning. There’s the fear that such a celebratory episode would solely bathe in nostalgia, resulting in an episode that only the hard-core followers of the show will be able to truly appreciate. Making such an episode is a challenge worthy of the Doctor himself.
We needn’t have feared though. The Day Of The Doctor is the perfect example of how to do an excellent anniversary special. »
- Matt Dennis
Every age gets the version of Dickens's "A Christmas Carol" that it deserves, and the crass, tacky 1980s got "Scrooged," a loud, overstuffed, manic comedy version that turned Dickens crotchety miser into a slick, callous, vulgar young TV executive played by Bill Murray. The movie opened 25 years ago this week, on November 23, 1988.
The production's ironies -- hiring "Lethal Weapon" director Richard Donner to make a movie about how pandering and sensationalistic TV is, and spending $32 million (a lot of money for a Hollywood budget back then) on a lavish spectacle whose message to viewers is that they should be more charitable -- were apparently lost on everyone, including the audience, who made it one of the biggest hits of 1988 and have kept the film a holiday staple on TV and home video ever since.
A quarter century later, it's a lot easier to look at "Scrooged" out of context and »
- Gary Susman
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