Thursday, December 22, 2011


Tired of listening to that lisping Peanuts kid proselytize or watching a sweeter than sugar little girl crow about angels getting their wings? Then fill your cynical stocking with these five films; Christmas movies that aren't really Christmas movies for the unreformed Grinch in all of us.

Go (1999)

 Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr are closeted boyfriends, Sarah Polley is an amateur ecstasy dealer and a pre-Suri Katie Holmes is just some chick sitting in an apartment; all set against the backdrop of the holiday season. Directed by Doug Liman and written by John August, Go is comprised of three interconnected story lines and is definitely an underrated gem of the '90s. Watching Nathan Bexton trip out or Wolf and Mohr discuss the head they received should make anyone feel all warm and happy inside. Look for bridesmaid Melissa McCarthy as a ditsy roommate. Polley said she only took the role of Ronna because she adored the cutting dialogue in the opening scene (watch below.)

Go part 1

P2 (2007)

 If horror is what you're seeking this holiday, look no further than this fright fest from the trio that brought us the The Hills Have Eyes remake. Set in a parking garage on Xmas Eve, P2 stars Criminal Minds' Rachel Nichols as a business woman being pursued by an obsessive psychopath (Wes Bently, who builds on the creepy vibe he first embodied in American Beauty.) P2 was met with generally negative reviews, however it filled Roger Ebert with enough yuletide cheer to recommend it, writing: "Although the plot may seem like a formulaic slasher film, P2 is in fact a very well made, atmospheric thriller with gritty yet realistic characters." As an extra present under the tree, P2 features the most sinister use of Elvis' Blue Christmas ever (watch a live version below.)

Elvis Presley
Blue Christmas

Gremlins (1984)

 It would be easy to confuse the Gremlins with greedy kids on Christmas morning. Both start out cute then morph into monsters, yet while kids want to shred wrapping paper off gifts, the Gremlins want to shred you into Christmas confetti. Gremlins is festively filled with luscious greens and reds; in the form of scales and blood. Through the mogwais and gore the darkest scene comes from Phoebe Cates' father who, acting as Santa, slips down the chimney and breaks his neck; revealing to his daughter that Mr. Claus is a fabrication. Watch the cheesy, oh-so-obviously '80s trailer below.

Gremlins trailer

Less Than Zero (1987)

 Adapted from the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero is another '80s entry that is all about cheating, cocaine and Christmas cookies. Andrew McCarthy is Clay Easton, a privileged guy who returns to Beverly Hills for the holidays, only to learn that his girlfriend has moved on and his best friend is fading fast. Art imitates life as Robert Downey Jr. is perfectly cast as an addict turned rent boy who's intent on having a very "white" Christmas and James Spader plays, what else, an asshole. Look for Brad Pitt in a small role for which he was paid $38.

Less Than Zero trailer

Die Hard (1988)

 I hadn't seen the testosterone and tinsel fest that is Die Hard until a few months ago when my PVR was on the fritz and I was forced to rely on home video for entertainment. Balding bad ass Bruce Willis stars as police officer John McClane who is burdened with taking down a group of criminals when they take a corporate Christmas party hostage. Die Hard is easily the most revered entry on this Xmas movie list. Nominated for four Oscars, Die Hard is ranked at #106 on IMDb's top 250 movies poll. The Cleveland Show recently parodied Die Hard to hilarious effect (watch the trailer below.) Merry Christmas and yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.

The Cleveland Show, "Die Semi-Hard" trailer

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


 The Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video was first presented to Duran Duran's Hungry Like the Wolf in 1984. Since then the award has gone to videos of varying quality; from Paula Abdul dancing with an animated cat to last year's winner, Lady Gaga's Bad Romance. Other notable recipients include Michael and Janet Jackson's Scream, Korn's Freak On A Leash, the David Fincher directed video for Love Is Strong by The Rolling Stones and Johnny Cash's take on Nine Inch Nails (see my post on cover songs.) This year's nominated music videos range from the surreal (Memory Tapes) to the silly (Weird Al) to the surprising (Radiohead.) Watch each vid below and judge for yourself who should take home the golden gramophone.

Yes I Know
Memory Tapes
Directed by Eric Epstein

All Is Not Lost
Directed by Itamar Kubovy, Trish Sie & Damian Kulash Jr.

Lotus Flower
Directed by Garth Jennings

First of the Year (Equinox)
Directed by Tony Truand

Perform This Way
Weird Al Yankovic
Directed by Weird Al Yankovic

Rolling In the Deep
Directed by Sam Brown

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards will be held February 12 2012 in Los Angeles and will air on CBS. Check out all the nominees here.

Monday, December 5, 2011


 If you're like me and discovered Absolutely Fabulous as a Canadian teenager, then you forced your friends to sip terrible vodka martinis while taking in the over the top antics of Patsy and Eddie on The Comedy Network.

 Ok, that was probably just me but I know I'm not the only fab fan out there. As an early stocking stuffer a short clip of the upcoming Christmas special has been released (watch below.) The clip shows Eddie (series writer Jennifer Saunders) downing hand fulls of pills doled out by her spacey assistant Bubble (Jane Horrocks) and trading barbs with her long suffering mother (June Whitfield.)

 Absolutely Fabulous began as a sketch on Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French's show French & Saunders. The idea was expanded upon in 1992 with a season of six episodes. The last new episode aired in 2004 so there's an awful lot of catching up to do with Eddie, Patsy (Joanna Lumley) and Saffy (Julia Sawalha.)

 The first special airs Christmas Day on BBC, followed by another fabulous installment on January 1st. In addition a third special will air sometime around the 2012 London Olympics. Sources are hinting that a 20th anniversary season is also in the works.

 I've included the 2003 Christmas special Cold Turkey after the new clip. Enjoy sweetie darling.

2011 Christmas Special clip

Cold Turkey (2003 Christmas Special) part 1

Cold Turkey part 2

Cold Turkey part 3

Cold Turkey part 4