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31 days of festive-ass flicks, day 27: die hard

Day 27 of 31 Days of Festive-Ass Flicks [CALENDAR] was Die Hard which I had NEVER BEFORE SEEN! Shock! Gasp! Horror!

I didn’t want to watch Die Hard. Not at all. I had gone almost 27 years without ever watching it and I was pretty okay with going the rest of my life without it. But my girlfriend was like, “Dude, it’s good” and “Dude, it’s a holiday tradition” and “Dude, ALAN RICKMAN.” And so finally I caved, like I do to most things, so she would shuuuuuut up about it already.

And we watched it! And there was lots of explosions! And it was pretty funny! And Alan Rickman is so hot and so great. And Bruce Willis was SUCH a babe. And it was good! And I will probably watch it again. So I am glad I finally gave in!

I don’t have a lot of notes because, uhhhhhhh, to be honest I spent a lot of it staring at the new Facebook timeline and deleting awkward vague status updates from 2k5 and 2k6. BAD JUJU. And also responding to really old comments to mock the people that originally left them. THAT WAS FUN. So:

– LISTEN TO REGINALD VELJOHNSON, PAUL GLEASON
– Dude, this is an enormous waste of bullets and glass.
– This is the LONGEST “Tell ’em this if I die” message in HISTORY. Like, Bruce Willis, can you write that down on a scrap of paper and send it down as a paper airplane?! Reginald VelJohnson can’t remember all this shit. HE IS NOT A COURT REPORTER, SHUT UP ALREADY.
– John McClane can outrun ANY BULLET.
– ARGYLE IS THE BEST FOREVER ILU ARGYLE ILUSVM
– HUGGING! MANLY HEARTFELT HUGGING!

And that’s it. Also, Mrs. McClane’s real last name is Bedelia. I can’t get over that shit. STILL.

31 days of festive-ass flicks, day 26: eight crazy nights

Movie number 26 of 31 Days of Festive-Ass Flicks [CALENDAR] was Eight Crazy Nights which I have seen a million times and is great and terrible and always reminds me of one of my best friends.

I have no notes on this one. It’s sort of an… either you can tolerate/like Adam Sandler movies or you can’t kind of thing. And I can. I love Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy and this one falls right in there. Douchebag with a heart gets redeemed. Douchebag is Adam Sandler. Adam Sandler is annoying-ish. And in this one there are songs! Pretty good ones, honestly. I sing “that’s a technical fooooooul” more than probably necessary in anyone’s life.

There is lots of heinous/problematic stuff including racism, transphobia, homophobia, fat-shaming, ableism, and a really irritating Asian stereotype! Voiced by Rob Schneider! Because OF COURSE. Protip, moviemakers: if you want an animated character to be Asian, HIRE AN ASIAN ACTOR. Apply to other ethnicities/races/demographics ad infinitum. I’m just grateful I have the language and the knowledge to recognize this shit. Because, seriously, can you imagine sitting through something and being totally ignorant to all of the hateful shit you’re absorbing? Ignorance is bliss, right? Damn.

Anyway, I love the deer and Whitey and Eleanor:

And Benjamin and I love that has a joyful ending and that, even after a “butthole relapse” Davey turns his shit around. It’s a heartwarming holiday movie about Hanukkah, okay? There aren’t a lot of those.

I like that there are fat characters, even if they are generally being mocked. I love the fat showgirls!

But most of all, I LOVE that when this image came up on screen, my girlfriend said, “If I hadn’t met you, that would’ve been me and my brother.”

I laughed so hard I had to pause and go to the bathroom to pee. Beautiful.

Anyway, I really enjoy watching this movie, but I am basically the only person that does, I think. It has terrible reviews and the only person I know who actually likes it too is my BFF Bryce with whom I have viewed it multiple times. Watch at your own risk, basically, is what I’m saying.

Also, I loved this:

SO CUTE.

31 days of festive-ass flicks, day 25: nutcracker - the motion picture

Movie number 25 of the 31 Days of Festive-Ass Flicks [CALENDAR] was Nutcracker: The Motion Picture and dear god ballet is so boring this barely kept me conscious. Also, I accidentally watched it out of order, but am posting it in the correct place DEAL WITH IT.

The thing is, I watched this movie because it reminds me of first grade. Because my first grade teacher asked us if anyone had a copy of any version of The Nutcracker and I was like, “I DO” except I was LYING which was a thing I did so people would like me and she was like, “Great! CAN YOU BRING IT IN TOMORROW?!” because it was the last day before Christmas break and she wanted us to have a video day. And I was like, “UH. SURE.” So when I got home, I told my parents and they took went and bought a copy so that I’d have something to show up with. GOOD PARENTS.

THE THING IS THO, this isn’t the right version.

THIS is:

Which I am grateful for not realizing until after the fact because that one seems even more boring than this one was because at least this one had some cool-ass sets and stuff. I only figured out that it wasn’t the right one when I googled the VHS box because I remembered the aqua back of that one so vividly.

ANYWAY, ballet is sooooooooo boring. I thought the Nutcracker was like a cool and interesting thing, but not so much. And I fell asleep at my desk twice while running this.

NOTES:
– INTENSE TOYMAKING
– Dude, don’t ever use a lathe in those sleeves, YOU WILL LOSE AN ARM.

– Contemplating the sleeping self?
– Ballerina skirts are so weird.
– Holy shit this movie is long.
– Ugh weird normal rat guy in suit.

– Wait, she’s a woman now because she killed the rat king with her glowing shoe?

– I AM A BEAUTIFUL ADULT LADY AND MY NUTCRACKER BF PREVIOUSLY STARRED IN PORN (DAT MUSTACHE)
– Oh man the sets in this are so pretty.

– A lot of the ballerina’s job is being held up in the air.

That’s how uninterested I was in this as I was watching it. SORRY NUTCRACKER I AM TOO UNCULTURED FOR YOU.

31 days of festive-ass flicks, day 24: trading places

YOU GUYS, tonight I actually managed to finish watching all of the movies for 31 Days of Festive-Ass Flicks [CALENDAR] and I have never felt so FREE. I don’t EVER have to watch a holiday movie again if I don’t want to! I AM DONE. Now I just have to write eight more posts. CRIES. Starting with this one.

Movie number 24 was Trading Places which, despite my love of 80s movies, I had managed to never see.

I really liked it. And I laughed a lot. And I cringed a lot. And I reignited my passion for Jamie Lee Curtis a lot. And it was funny and good and enjoyable and nicely set into a holiday tradition of dark humor and capitalist critique.

This is another one where I wrote a lot of notes, but where they don’t really say anything of value/interest. And where I haven’t formed any particular coherent/interesting observations to make. It’s basically a lot of me going OH WHAT YES I LOVE IT DAN AYKROYD FOREVER JAMIE LEE CURTIS EDDIE MURPHY COLEMAN THE BUTLER OH I LOVE THIS OH NO NOT BLACKFACE JIM BELUSHI OH THAT IS THE WORST PERSON IN GORILLA SUIT EVER AND THEN THE “REAL” GORILLA IS ALMOST WORSE WAIT NO BESTIALITY RAPE JOKES OH LORD THEM FACES

And, like, that’s not real interesting.

I liked that Eddie Murphy just like, takes to the job no problem. And I love him distrusting everything. And I love Jamie Lee Curtis taking Dan Aykroyd in like the beautiful perfect broken baby bird that he is. And I love them scheming and taking down those old fuckers and stuff.

Anyway, STUFF:

I LOVED the old-ass technology. Car phones! Green-on-black computers! Everything is so almost-current-but-so-many-years-behind in this. LOVE IT. The 80s were a good time to have money.

Love the flawless 80s decorating. Oversized plants and vases and black bathroom fixtures. And Eddie Murphy awkwardly bathing in them.

Super-erotic arrested Dan Aykroyd.

Eddie Murphy breaking the fourth wall and STARING HARD when they’re explaining bacon to him. Like, this got the hardest laugh out of me BY FAR. I rewound it like four times and laughed harder every time.

Dream couple?!

THAT STUPID HIDEOUS TERRIBLE GORILLA OH GOD

And last, my favorite. Eddie Murphy’s and Dan Aykroyd’s little SMILES when they’re in the train station with Coleman the Butler and Jamie Lee Curtis. Just. I died forever. THEM FACES 5EVER.

So, yeah, I liked it a lot and I will likely watch it many more times in my life.

And as always, gawd bless festive breasts.*

* I hope my appreciation of nudity in movies comes off with the lighthearted intention with which it is written. I think it’s pretty clear by now that I am a feminist and that I also love bodies of all kinds and that I am also SUPER pro-nudity. We exist in a culture that has and continues to systematically base a woman’s worth on her appearance and that shouldn’t be the case. No woman should ever be coerced, forced, shamed, or made to feel worthless because of her decision to show or not show her nude body in any place or media. I hope that Jamie Lee Curtis showed her wonderful breasts of her own choice and with the great gusto they deserve. I really love her character too and I hope that we’re nearing the day where she could’ve appeared in this without having to be a love interest.

31 days of festive-ass flicks, day 23: this christmas

Day 23 of the 31 Days of Festive-Ass Flicks [CALENDAR] was This Christmas which I have seen before and already loved a lot even though it contains that stupid, violent, abusive, misogynistic piece of shit Chris Brown. [Spoilers, probably.]

I don’t have a lot to say about this movie because I just like it. It’s just one of those movies that is on tv a lot and I sit through it and I laugh and I feel very pleased and warm when it’s over. I love movies about families and I love movies about “dysfunctional” families — aka families that are at least partially realistic/have issues/kind of resemble mine sometimes — even more because love through hardship is NOT EASY and it’s important. Loving in a happy family is easy, being a loving, happy family through strife is not.

I like the Whitfields. These are people I want to know, that I want to spend time with. The women are sassy and strong. Then men are conscientious and loyal. These are good people who have had hard times emotionally and come out happy and successful. They are people currently enduring strife with… grace?

Plus, damn, what a cast. I love basically all these people. Loretta Devine! Idris Elba! Lupe Ontiveros! Mekhi Phifer! Columbus Short! Regina King! Plus, the actors do a Soul Train line at the end as themselves and basically that’s worth the entire movie in delightfulness.

There are problematic aspects: lots of slut-shaming and Regina King violently attacks her husband for cheating on her (though I honest can’t blame her which is worth examining in and of itself). But it’s a solid movie.

This was the first movie that made me think about the idea of the Other Holiday. With Nothing Like the Holidays, The Preacher’s Wife, and A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, This Christmas makes four movies I’ve watched in this project with primary casts comprised of people of color. (I’m also watching Trading Places but it doesn’t really qualify in the same way.)

People of color don’t normally get to see themselves as a primary cast member period, let alone an entire cast. Like, that’s insane to me. INSANE. I keep trying to find the right ways to articulate this, but honestly, I’m just a white person with privilege trying to work this shit out. MOVIES ARE SO FUCKING WHITE. And I don’t get it. I just don’t. And I don’t understand how movies keep getting made with no characters of color. Or only secondary or tertiary characters of color. It’s such an idiotic thing to me that I honestly feel like I lose my mind trying to talk about it.

Movie companies still think we’re all racist. Movie companies are still treating white people as the default and people of color as the other. It’s INFURIATING. And we will never get to a place of actual, legitimate, valuable equality if we can’t even get past it in our media.

I wish I were smart enough to talk about this more clearly, but I just go into a rage blackout just thinking about it. And that’s coming from a place of extreme privilege. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to BE a person of color in this culture.

Another issue I wish I were smart enough to talk about is that all four of the movies I am talking about feature prominent incidents of gun violence. Four movies with people of color in leading roles, four movies featuring gun violence. Even taking Harold and Kumar off the table (for a variety of reasons, the first being that it isn’t grounded in reality in the same way that the other three are — even with the angel in The Preacher’s wife, haha) there are three holiday movies with young men of color using guns in threatening acts.

I don’t know how to talk about that or what it means, but I noticed it and I remembered it and I continue to think about it.

None of that helps me explain why I like This Christmas though. I like seeing representation! I like the story of the family at the heart of this movie. I like these characters! I love Ma’Dere and I love Joe and I love Kelli. I love the easy way they talk to each other and how authentic the dialogue feels between siblings. I love how smart and driven and loving and kind and devoted and scared and flawed and brave the various characters are, alone and in combination. And I always love a movie that comes down to the value of forgiveness and the joy and importance of being together as a family.