Gearing up for Christmas? Counting down the days until New Years? Have you been lighting your Chanukah candles? (Walgreens has some really nice ones, by the way, if you’ve been slow on getting them). Finding yourself with you (and your kids) a lot of time off. Happily, many of you will be spending time with family. On the other hand, many of you will be spending time with family. So, if you’re trying to avoid spending time with the relatives, or if you’re sad because the relatives are far away and you won’t be with them, this year, why don’t you try getting a holiday themed movie from the library? Here are a few tips on getting a good one.
There are a lot, and I mean, a lot, of Christmas type specials and movies out there. A lot of them are great. And some of them are really not very good. And others are just downright bad. For example, while the classic cartoon, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is fantastic, the Jim Carrey live action version is not. Give me Boris Karloff reading Dr. Seuss over Jim Carrey being, well, Jim Carrey any day.
Watching the original Miracle on 34th Street is always a treat. Natalie Wood was an amazing child actor, and even I believed that Edmund Gwenn was Santa Claus. Stay far away from the 1994 remake, however. Even that cute little girl from Matilda can’t save it.
There are so many versions of A Christmas Carol and considering that the library is closed half day on Saturday, and all day Sunday and Monday, I really don’t have the work time to list them all. Definitely see the 1938 version featuring Reginald Owen as Scrooge and pretty much the entire Lockhart family. (Lassie fans will recognize a very young June Lockhart, aka Timmy’s mother, as one of the Cratchit children). 1951’s Scrooge is excellent and is considered by many to be the best film version of Dickens’s original story. And, I shouldn’t admit this in a public forum, but in spite of myself, I did enjoy Vanessa Williams in A Diva’s Christmas Carol. That could be the Ugly Betty fan in me, though. As for one to avoid, I hate to say that I was really disappointed with A Muppet Christmas Carol. The movie wasn’t bad, but the the Muppets had to play second fiddle to adults too much throughout the movie. (I love Michael Caine, but not when he’s stealing screen time from Kermit as Bob Cratchit). The best part of viewing this version is that we finally see what Kermit and Miss Piggy’s offspring would look like. (For the record, the boys are frogs and the girls are pigs.) Another one I would avoid is Mickey’s Christmas Carol, but that may be my bias because it scared me when I was a child. Also skip Disney’s A Christmas Carol with a Jim Carrey voiced Scrooge. (Notice a theme here regarding Jim Carrey and Christmas movies?)
posted by Laura
Read part two of this post.