A Thankful Movie Heart

“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.” Roman Philosopher Seneca
In honor of movies during our cinematically gratifying season, why not take a minute following the turkey hangovers and just prior to the tree trimming to reflect on all the yuletide tales we have to be thankful for…
…Or in the interest of space and for the sake of short attention spans,

The Top Ten Holiday Movies I am Most Thankful for:
“It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) Are they really making a sequel of this Jimmy Stewart-I-wish-I’d-never-been-born classic? Shameful…
“Christmas in Connecticut” (1945). Yes, I love retro. Besides, it’s just cute. Check it out.
“Miracle on 34th Street” (1947) Made me a merry miracle believer (or at least a hopeful holiday shopper).
“The Apartment” (1960) Okay, it was about philandering husbands, not particularly “Christmassy,” but essentially its purpose was to bring good guy Jack Lemmon and misguided Shirley MacLaine together. Mission accomplished.
“A Christmas Story” (1983) Since little Ralphie wore glasses; I wasn’t too concerned with him shooting his eye out (but I was morbidly curious about what would happen when he got his hands on that coveted BB gun).
“Scrooged” (1988) Humor with heart; comedy with conscience.
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989) See reason above, oh, and the squirrel-in-Christmas-tree scene.
“Christmas with the Kranks” (1994) Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis at (I think) their crankiest best. Plus the overzealous Christmas-loving neighbors were a riot (although I wouldn’t want to live near any of them).
“The Santa Claus” (1998) A new Santa Claus thanks to a written clause. One more reason to read that all-important fine print.
“Polar Express” (2004) Soothing and satisfying like hot chocolate and Santa-shaped cookies at the end of a long, holiday-shopping day. Plus it was just the coolest train ride!
However you’re traveling (and whatever beverage you choose); hope your holidays are as entertaining as our collection of feel-good films!

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Rest and Cinematic Revelry

Poet William Wordsworth once simply stated, “Rest and be thankful.” Poetic words this day before giving thanks, as our movie theaters premier stories Hollywood studio executives can only hope will inspire thankfulness. Our spirits will be far from “Frozen” during these warmhearted holidays, as animation in all its ice-covered wonder promises to charm children and the child within while sending our “Free Birds” on an extended vacation (I hear the southern region known as eventual DVD release is both liberating and lovely). An otherwise gloomy “Thor: (feels inspired to leave) The Dark World” when presented with such brilliant cinematic light. Even the vengeance-seeking “Old Boy” is feeling young at heart when exposed to such carefree, colorful characters. Of course, the aging lad can pick up lots of tips on growing old profitably, as well as traveling in flashy style, thanks to the gang taking that never-ending “Last Vegas” vacation, who provide some not-so-good advice acquired during their supposed twilight years. The sun is far from setting on the always-grateful crew participating in the “Hunger Games: (who are) Catching Fire” of the blockbuster, record-breaking variety. Also winning the fiery box-office battle is “The Best Man (who is ready for the best) Holiday” following his well-received reunion. The “Delivery Man” is dancing to the beat of his own drummer while anticipating an upcoming visit from Santa Claus that is sure to challenge his delivery methods as well as his family values.
Interested in aging, animation or arson-fueled annihilation? Have a hunger movie-style popcorn alone can’t satisfy? A leisurely outing to the local multiplex this long, holiday weekend promises to please even the “Grinches” among us.
What movie-loving heart wouldn’t be grateful?

Heroes Hankering for Heat Satisfy Moviegoers

Has that all-encompassing hunger for hot entertainment reached you? If you answered yes, you can count yourself one of the satiated many who contributed to shattered records this sizzling weekend at the movies, where the “Hunger Games: (were) Catching Fire” that clearly could not be contained, sending the satisfying sequel soaring to the #1 spot while achieving the best November debut ever at the box office with $161 million domestically. “Thor: (found friends within) The Dark World” comforting as he vacated his lofty throne and headed to the dark but still-profitable town known as the #2 spot with $14.1 million. “The Best Man Holiday” is best viewed from the holiday-loving land of #3, where $12.5 million made for a nice, early Christmas present. Those with an appetite for cool comedy were not left out in the (fiery) cold, as humor came home to the #4 locale, transported by none other than the father-to-all “Delivery Man,” where $8.21 million was promptly waiting, no postage (or paternity test) due. Those feisty “Free Birds” found the space hovering over the #5 region quite liberating as $5.3 million was added to their freedom fund.
Hail to all of our conquering heroes, who satisfied moviegoers hungry for heat and humor, filling our movie theaters with families and fun. Records show, our stars happily delivered THE best holiday goods!
From seaside days to starry nights, our cinematic celebration has never been hotter as the coolest characters promise moments made even more brilliant on the blistering big screen…

Satisfying the Hunger for Entertainment

“The Hunger Games: (are) Catching Fire” this weekend, as the long-awaited sequel is certain to soar at movie theaters far and wide, breaking records and taking all kinds of holiday heat. We can expect “Thor: (within) The Dark World” to continue to fight the good fight, as the battle for box office success is getting hotter. Our OTHER movie men are turning up the heat, too, with “The Best Man (enjoying the) Holiday” in true cinematic fashion. Fashionable in his own way, the“Delivery Man” is learning the importance of family no matter what the season. Still traveling through that all-important comedy circuit, albeit from a glitzier stage, is the gang profitable benefiting from their “Last Vegas” trip. Will moviegoers’ journey through Panem leave them out of luck? If “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” to a sentimental, holiday- seeking crowd, can he change his unpleasant ways and become a good member of movie society? What about our favorite “Free Birds?” With Thanksgiving just days away, is there room still left for them on the movie menu (if not the dinner table?)
Darkness and danger, fire and free birds, holidays and heroes; what’s not to be thankful for this pre-Thanksgiving weekend?
From seaside days to starry nights, moviegoers hungry for hot entertainment can enjoy an early, yuletide gift at their local movie theaters…

Hungry for Hot Entertainment?

Moviegoers craving action, adventure and to-the-death-duels will find fulfillment this weekend as “The Hunger Games: (are) Catching Fire” at our local movie theaters, sending “Thor: (inside his) Dark World” packing his bags currently planted at the #1 spot at the domestic box office (no worries, I hear the view from the #2 place is pretty nice). Certain to occupy a lower, less scenic spot, but providing the comedy are aforementioned tales can’t deliver is “The Delivery Man,” who promises to liberate movie lovers from death battles and dark nights. “The Best Man Holiday”(s) are sure to provide the gift of laughter and love the delivery guy can’t carry alone. On a less family-friendly note, “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” carrying on while traveling humorously through the dark, inflicting his bad behavior on unsuspecting folks. As studio executives crank up the heat on heroic entertainment, will the troupe taking that “Last Vegas” trip be taking their last tour of the box office? Is the end near for senior citizen shenanigans? Finally, will our “Free Birds” ever be satisfied?
Happily, there is no end to satisfying entertainment, as sequels are soaring during the dark of night (and “limelight” of day). Comedy is sure to be a crowd pleaser this weekend before Thanksgiving, making movie lovers famished for quality films most thankful…

Holiday Crashes but doesn’t Conquer the Dark World

“Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The dark held a profitable spot within the lives of our big-time characters at our weather-proofed movie theaters this weekend, as “Thor: (found solace and success within) The Dark World,” ultimately finding heroes and humanity waiting once again at the #1 spot at the domestic box office with $38.5 million. Following a 14-year absence, things were looking anything but dark and dreary for “The Best Man (whose) Holiday” reunion/sequel held the 2nd best spot with $30.6 million. The “Last Vegas” trip to that glamorous arena known as #3 continued to inspire comedy and corruption among the aged and the agile with $8.9 million. Our family-friendly “Free Birds” traveled back in time to enjoy their freedom as well as the non-poultry fare from the historic #4 land with $8.3 million. Ever the gentleman, “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” paling around with his not-so-bad competition at the #5 spot with $7.7 million.
Thanksgiving and Christmas were spotlighted this weekend, with Marvel mania still flying high through the dark of night and the bright light emanating from the big screen. The age limit was raised once again as the humorists shook hands with the heroes.
From seaside days to starry nights, may your celebratory movie days be rain-free and entertainment full…

Expecting the Greatest Weekend

The box office shed some awe-inspiring light on “Thor: (within) The Dark World” last weekend, as the Marvel hero in magnificent sequel wonder wandered all the way to that lighthearted, coveted top spot. Will our hero du jour once again win the box-office war? How long will audiences participate in the “Ender’s Game?” Long enough to end alien invasions continuously invading our screens? What if “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” on his best behavior during his “Last Vegas” trip with Hollywood’s aging elite? How bad could that be? Perhaps on their do-good rampage they can “Free Birds” from a hungry, colorless world where famished moviegoers consider them the main course.
Happily, the course to supreme entertainment appears smooth this weekend, as all of our well-weathered warriors prepare to make room on the big screen for some worthy competition. Casting aside morality and movie manners is “The Book Thief,” who intends to steal story ideas as well as audience attention. Well-mannered “The Best Man (is ready for the best) Holiday” at our celebratory movie theaters with “Great Expectations” for a rousing rendition of Charles Dickens’ classic novel featured during (he hopes) THE greatest weekend at the movies.
From seaside days to starry nights, may your weekend possess stolen movie moments and exceed all entertainment expectations…