Five for Friday: My 5 Favorite Christmas Movies

It’s that time of year again.  My house has so many lights that Clark himself would be jealous;  everything smells of evergreen; and the my playlists normally dedicated to rock start to give way to a bit of holiday cheesiness.  Everything about Christmas is wonderful, but without a doubt, one of the very best things about the holiday season is Christmas movies.  Here are my top five that must be watched each December.

 

The 5 Best Christmas Films of All Time (according to me)

Number 5:  National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

This one is near and dear to my heart,  because I can totally relate to Clark on the light obsession.  It’s never enough.  Ever.  Each year I just keep buying more and more lights.  I’ve been eyeballing the house that went all out for Halloween each time I drive through the neighborhood.  I told Matt, “Don’t think I won’t just keep running out to Home Depot every time they put more up.”  I’m throwing down the gauntlet people.  They WILL NOT outdo us!

Christmas-Vacation-Clark-Griswold-Lights

Number 4:  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

My favorite of the Christmas Classics.  I love his little squeeky nose.  I love Hermey.  I love Yukon Cornelius.  Hell, I even love the Abominable Snow Man.  This one takes me right back to being a kiddo.

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Number 3:  A Christmas Story (1983)

You know why Ted Turner plays this thing for 24 hours straight?  Because we’ll watch it for all 24 hours.  I just turn on the TV and let it cycle over and over.  Somehow I always see to walk in on the part where the dogs are stealing the turkey.

You really can’t pick one best scene from this festive gem.  Don’t even try.

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Number 2:  Home Alone (1990)

Keep the change, ya filthy animal!  This one ranks number one on my Mom’s list.  She’s obsessed with this little prankster.  I tend to cry at least every other showing because of the old man and his grand daughter.  Old people and animals, they get me every time.

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Another connection to this film,  I’ve had far too many people to count say to me, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like the Mom from Home Alone?”  Yes, yes they have.  Maybe I should do a list of the 5 “hey you look like’s” I’ve gotten over the years.  I always fail to see the connection.

Are you ready for #1?!  What could it be?  Surely it is something on everyone’s top 3, right?  An obvious classic?

 

Number 1:  Gremlins (1984)

Yeah, I see that your jaw just dropped and some of you are shaking your heads.  But this is my #1 folks!  Matt will argue for the rest of our lives that this isn’t a Christmas movie, but I say, hell yes it is!

Does it take place at Christmas?  Yep.

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Are Christmas and Christmas related accessories apparent throughout the movie? Uh-huh.

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Is there Christmas music?  Sure is.

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This is also on my list of top 80s flicks.  I’ve blogged about it before in 5 Things 80s Movies Taught Me About Life.

Christmas. Have a nice flight Mrs. Deagle.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Scrooged (1988)

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970)

 

What are your faves?

 

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

 

 

 

 

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The Original Catfish

Here’s the final of my reposts from my old writing home, Lefty Pop.  So long Lefty Pop.  I bid you one final adieu! 

Ahh Catfish, I just can’t quit you.  I feel the need to place myself in the ultimate voyeur seat (my couch) and watch weekly as person after person is shocked that people pretend to be someone other than themselves on the the internet.   It’s like watching a wreck in slow motion, you know it’s going to end badly and it’s going to be painful to watch, but you just can’t look away.

Catfish airs weekly on MTV and is the brainchild of Nev Schulman.  Nev originally presented his first story of catfishing (he was the victim) in his hit documentary of the same title.  Each week we get a chance to peer in the lives of a “couple” existing almost entirely via text messages and IM.  Sometimes there is an occasional phone call (gasp, what primitive technology), but very seldom is there any face-to-face, real time correspondence (via Skype or Facetime).  So, inevitably what you end up with is one authentic person and one catfish.  Catfish recently made it into the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and is defined as:  a person who sets up a false social networking profile for deceptive purposes.

But the concept of catfishing has been around a lot longer than Facebook, Twitter, or even Myspace.  The Bible is full of deception, especially the female variety.  Shakespeare was using the power of deception back in the 1500s (see Much Ado About Nothing). And modern cinema loves this story line.  Check out some of my favorite fictional characters who started relationships hiding behind a facade.

 

The Truth About Cats and Dogs (1996)

The not so conventionally beautiful, yet quite smart, Abby (Janeane Garofalo) convinces the very pretty, but not bright, Noelle (Uma Thurman) to pretend to be her to win the affections of a guy.  Love triangle and high-jinx ensue.  As is the case with most 90s rom-coms, a happy ending full of quirk and nonsense is inevitable.  In this case, a dog shows up at Abby’s work with a bag containing roller skates which she dons and is then taken via dog leash on a ride through the park to her soul mate.

 

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There’s Something About Mary (1998)

Ted embarrasses himself during a prom pick-up when his junk gets stuck in his zipper and misses out on the girl of his dreams, Mary.  Years later he decides she’s the one that got away and goes after her.  Too bad she has a host of other not so honest suitors.  There’s the PI Ted hired, Healy, who lies, cheats, stalks, and even drugs a dog to be close to Mary.  Then there is the British, disabled Tucker who turns out to be an able-bodied American pizza delivery boy.  And finally there is Dom who exposes Ted’s whole involvement in the messy plot, but then turns out to be Mary’s weirdo ex Woogie who “got weird on her” back in high school and stole all her shoes.  Faced with all these wonderful choices in suitors, Mary chooses Ted.  Shocker, happy ending.

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Babe (1995)

“That pig thinks it’s a dog.”  Ultimately Babe the pig’s dog-like skills and sheep herding performances keep him out of the frying pan as he forges a relationship with the farmer.  So, again, happy ending.

 

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And who are your favorite pop culture catfish?

Karate Kid and Its Life Lessons Turn 30

Here’s a post that originally appeared on Lefty Pop back in June.  Given the life lessons to be learned from 80s gems such as Karate Kid, I thought it prudent to post it here as well.  So read on and remember, “You’re the best around.  Nothing’s ever gonna keep you down.”

In a continuing effort to shove me into old age, time insists on marching on.  Everyday some relic of my childhood hits a milestone and I’m forced to think, “Holy shit, I guess that was X years ago.”  Today’s ‘aha moment’ of aging is brought to me courtesy of LaRusso and Miyage.  That’s right, Karate Kid just turned 30.

Released in 1984, Karate Kid was a commercial success.  It even earned Noriyuki “Pat’ Morita an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.  It spawned a franchise that resulted in two sequels; unfortunately leading to a spin-off (The Next Karate Kid, 1994, with Hillary Swank) and then an unoriginal reboot (The Karate Kid, 2010, with Jaden “I’m only famous cause of my dad” Smith).  But the most important impact it made wasn’t at the box office, it was in the living rooms of 80s kids across the country.  While Daniel-san was learning karate, we were learning some important life lessons.

Sometimes assholes learn their lessons and change.

Johnny and his Cobra Kai chums really made Daniel’s experience as the new kid on the block a living hell. I mean, Daniel did kind of put the moves on his ex-girlfriend, but kicking his ass in front of the entire dojo and chasing him dressed as a skeleton seems a little harsh.  Johnny is a world-class bully.  But eventually, after receiving a crane kick to the chin, he admits defeat and declares ” “You’re all right, LaRusso! Good match!”  Even he wasn’t buying the no mercy bit at this point.

Manual labor builds character.

Having obligated him to a karate tournament against Cobra Kai in two months, Daniel assumes Mr. Miyagi is going to instantly jump into teaching him all of his awesome karate secrets.  Nope.  Apparently the secret to kicking-ass is doing all of Miyagi’s chores.  Wax-on, wax-off.  Wax-on, wax-off.  Bam, muscle memory!  While I don’t buy that Daniel’s YMCA level skills were instantly transformed by his Miyagi slavedom, the message of hard-work preceding success is a great lesson.

Do or do not.  There is no try.

Technically, Yoda taught us this lesson.  But Miyagi echoes it.  You must commit to something to be great. “Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later [squish gesture] get squish just like grape.”

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

“Get him a body bag! Yeah!”   It’s always embarrassing to lose after talking smack.  You look like an idiot Tommy.

Never let fear keep you from trying.

Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from trying.  “It’s okay to lose to an opponent.  It’s never okay to lose to fear.”

Never, ever give up.

During the tournament finals, Johnny is delivering a major beating upon Daniel.  It seems that all hope is lost.  Clearly he is outmatched.  When we hear sensei scream, “Sweep the leg!”, we hang our heads confident that LaRusso has failed.  But we’d forgotten about the crane.  Daniel musters his last bit of strength, somehow hypnotizes Johnny in his attempts to balance, and delivers a tournament ending, Cobra Kai face kick.  After witnessing this moment, I proceeded to don my USA Gold Medal replica (found in a box of Wheates) and perform karate moves all over the house.  He did it!  He won!

A theme song can make everything better.

Oh, the 80s and their theme songs.  You can’t present a montage without one.  And Karate Kid had one of the best….around.  Thanks Joe Esposito.

Five for Friday: Top 5 Movie Kisses

Pssst, lean in a bit closer.  I have something to tell you.  That’s it, right there.  Muahhhh!  Yes, I’m feeling a bit romantic folks.  In case you’re one of the last people on the planet who I haven’t told 20 times, I’m getting married in 25 days!  In honor of this quite historical occasion, my blog posts have started taking a turn towards the romantic.  So expect a bit of the lovey dovey, the mushy, and the near vomit inducing for the next month.

Today I’m bringing back my fave ongoing blog post series, Five for Friday.  I won’t be posting a linking tool, but feel free to join in and then link back to me on your post.  Or just leave your five in the comments section.  Today I give you my five favorite kisses on the big screen.  So pucker up people, here we go!

 

#5:  Sixteen Candles  (1984)

Samantha and Jake.  Finally.  Though I like her better with Ducky. Wait, wrong movie.

 

#4:  The Goonies (1985)

“Does Brad have braces?  Why are you laughing?”

“Next time keep your eyes open.  It’s a whole different experience.”

 

#3:   Last of the Mohicans (1992)

This is my Notebook (though I do love a good Notebook cry sesh).  I remember watching this and thinking, “one day someone will kiss me like that”.  And this soundtrack.  My.  Goodness.  What a perfect backdrop for a perfect kiss.  It’s in my top five movie soundtracks of all time.

 

#2:  Back to the Future (1985)

Romantic and pretty darn important.  Strum that guitar Calvin Klein.

 

#1:  The Princess Bride  (1987)  x2

First there is Westley and Buttercup reunited.  Magic.

And then:

“Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.”

Maybe I should just say “As you wish” instead of “I do”.

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

My Girl (1991)

So stinking cute, but man is this movie sad.

Legends of the Fall  (1994)

Tristan may be my favorite Brad Pitt.  But this scene goes from amazing kiss to NSFW pretty quickly.

 

What are your favorite on screen kisses?

 

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Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to:  Devan DuBois – I Won’t Let You Down

Eating:  Eggplant parm

Drinking:  Blue Monster

Random thought:  Guy in the break room:  If I can hear you slurping your noodles from across the room, you really need to work on your manners.  Ugh, mouth noises.  Also, man in the QT this morning:   If you smell like BO at 8 am, the day’s only going to get progressively stinkier.  I sure hope your workmates don’t have my nose!  PSA- Chew with your mouth closed.  Wash yourself and your clothes.  The world thanks you.

 

Five for Friday: 5 Where Are They Nows That Should’ve Never Been Googled

While thinking of some seriously spooky stuff for this month’s blog posts, I stumbled upon a gem of a scary idea!  Yesterday my bloggy buddy Andrew over at A Blumes with a View (Go check him out.  Every post the dude writes is hilarious!) and I were talking about scarey movies.  That naturally led to a discussion about Edward Furlong.  If you don’t see the connection here, stop reading because we can’t be friends.

Well, it set my mind to wonder, “What ever happened to little Eddie Furlong?”

This:

eddie

“James Cameron is totally looking at me for his next film.”

Scarey shit, right?  After all, this guy used to grace my bedroom walls in the form of a Teen Beat poster.

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For those of you under 30, this is what we used to read before there were iPads, Pods, Macs, and Phones.

After witnessing Eddie’s tragic aging incident I got curious about some of my other crushes of yesteryear.  And I hate to tell you that for every Mark Paul Gossler and Jared Leto, there is Eddie waiting.

5 Where Are They Nows That Should’ve Never Been Googled

Number 5:  Kirk Cameron

kirk_cameron1

Show me that smile indeed!

This one is a bit of a cheat, because I didn’t need to Google him to find out what this whack job is doing now.  He’s being a whack job.  While he remains physically viable, his brain was obviously held hostage on the last episode of “Growing Pains” which leads me to believe some critter is inhabiting the once dreamy Mike Seaver’s body and making him spout off a bunch of ridiculousness.

Number 4: Scott Wolf

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“Bailey!  You’re drinking again Bailey!”

Ok, so Scott Wolf hasn’t really aged poorly at all.  The only reason he is on this list is because I find it ridiculous that he had a nose job.

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Also for this poor excuse for a beard.  No.

Number 3:  Cary Elwes

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“As you wish, Melissa.  As you wish.”

Here’s the problem, when you basically plant the seeds of what romance and love, twoo wuv, should be you’ve got a lot to live up to.  So unless the Dread Pirate Roberts turned out to look like, well, himself, forever, you’re going to be disappointed.

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Damn. 

Number 2:  Eric Nies

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Now you totally want to live in a house with a bunch of strangers to find out what happens when people stop being polite.

Eric Nies.  Wow, he was the man back in the day.  The Real World franchise was partially launched of the shirtless back of this guy.  He probably is still gorgeous right?

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I would change seats if this guy sat next to me on Marta.

And what could be more terrify, more heartbreaking, more WTFing than these guys?

Number 1:  Jeremy AND Jason London

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Party of Five, Dazed and Confused, The Man in the Moon…you guys were the 90s when it came to hunks.

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Thanks internet.

Well there you have it, five not so hot anymore hotties to get you through your Friday.  Who would have been on your list?

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Pearl Jam – Other Side

Random fact:  Dazed and Confused convinced me I should have bee a child of the 70s.

Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday: I Scored!

First of all let me say that waking up and seeing that all you Tuesday Mix Tapers have already posted is a bit stressful.  I feel like I’m missing the boat.  And I refuse to post Monday for Tuesday because I have to play by some rule and abide to some sense of order in the universe!  Argggghhh!  There, with that off my chest, we can move on to this week’s theme.  It’s very clear to me that I take music and musically inspired posts very seriously…too seriously.  Jen asked for:

Songs I May Have Never Heard if it Wasn’t For This Movie (or Musical) Soundtrack

Jesus.  If there is one thing harder than making a normal playlist and not including 4 bazillion songs, it is making a playlist based on soundtracks!  I LOVE soundtracks!  I LOVE movies!  I’ve already touched on many songs from soundtracks and so I won’t list any repeats (that should help keep the number down).  Check out my earlier post on one of the reasons I love Tarantino so much (hint, hint it’s the music):  If you don’t click this link and read this post, a baby unicorn will die.  And to make it even easier, I will keep this week’s list  (mostly) to scores.

I Scored (when I discovered these movie scores)

We start with a fave from childhood:

Avalon- Randy Newman- 1914

 

Gladiator- Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard- Earth

As with most of the songs I’m including this week, I had a very challenging time picking one.  Theses songs exist as part of a body of music, so breaking one track out seems almost wrong.  Go listen to the entire soundtrack!

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring- Howard Shore & Enya- May It Be 

Requiem for a Dream- Clint Mansell & Kronos Quartet- Requiem for a Dream

Ok, before we get to the song, can we take a moment to look at Jared Leto?

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How exactly is that that even as Harry Goldfarb, the strung out, heroine addicted, loser, he is still somehow appealing?  This man clearly has a bargain with the devil…or at the very least, he’s part demon.

Kids- Folk Implosion-Natural One

So this one became a pseudo hit.  But you should definitely check out the rest of the album.  It’s super odd and adds another layer to the movie.  Also, I think this movie should be required watching by all teens.  Talk about scared straight.

And another on the soundtrack by Folk Implosion:

 

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford- Nick Cave & Warren Ellis- Song for Bob

Gets great at around 2:20.

 

And likely THE BEST movie score of all time:

Last of the Mohicans- Trevor Jones- The Kiss

This damn movie, I love it so much.  And I actually love the soundtrack as much as the story and acting,  if not more.  Oh Daniel Day!

 

And for my finish, ladies and gentlemen, do you know what OTHER movie soundtrack the incomparable Trevor Jones was a part of?

Come on, let me hear your guesses!

……….

………

………

 

I mean, it doesn’t get any better than this!

Labyrinth-Trevor Jones & David Bowie- As the World Falls Down

 

What is your favorite movie score?

 

Stay positive & love your life?

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to: Eddie Vedder – Rise  Had to sneak this in here somehow.  What an AMAZING soundtrack!

Eating:  Mushroom ravoli

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  I had a super crush on Jareth (Bowie).  I would have stayed in that damn Labyrinth.

 

 

 

Five for Friday (Friday the 13th Edition): Five Horror Films I Adore

Friday the 13th, it’s as good of an excuse as any to indulge in a good ‘ole horror flick.  Though, truth be told, I really don’t need an excuse.  Horror runs a close second to Fantasy as my favorite film genre.  Today’s Five for Friday list is dedicated to some of my favorite scary movies.  Before we get started, here’s a little disclaimer:  Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Halloween are not on this list.  We all know they’re awesome and that would make for a pretty boring list.  Most of these films suffer none of the acclaim or cult status that those films do.  No worries, the only distinction needed to show up on a Five for Friday post is relevance to me!  So grab your popcorn, lock the doors, check under the bed and in the shower, and enjoy:

Five Horror Films I Adore

(and a few honorable mentions)

Number 5:  Alice Sweet Alice 1976

This one stars a young Brooke Shields.  A young girl is murdered during her communion and her weirdo sister becomes the main suspect.  This one makes the list because it is the first movie I remember watching that scared the crap out of me.  It’s grainy, the soundtrack is creeptastic, and it stays true to the genre.

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Number 4:  Pumpkinhead 1989

Look at this creepy bastard.  How could you not be horrified?  In this movie some real douchey “city folk” come out to the country.  Naturally they have to stop for gas/car help/refresments/fill-in-the-blank.  The head asshat decides he needs to take his motorbike out for a spin and ends up running over the shop owner’s son who naturally goes to a witch to have Pumpkinhead resurrected to enact his revenge.  Laughs and fun ensue.

pumpkinhead-movie-poster Pumpkinhead

Number 3:  Children of the Corn 1984

What’s better than a child cult?  That’s right, nothing.  When some “city folk” are driving through the country (see a theme developing here) they hit a boy with their car and then spiral into a mess of a situation trying to find a police/place to fix their car/way out of town/fill-in-the-blank.  Meanwhile, some demonic force is getting ready to erupt all over the place.

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Number 2:  Candyman 1992

If you’d like a little revenge against racism sprinkled into your movie mix, this one’s for you.  A grad student decides to do a paper on the urban legend of Candyman who is supposedly responsible for many of the murders and disappearances happening over at the Cabrini Green housing project.  Spoiler alert, it’s not an urban legend.  This creepy mofo is real.

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Number 1:  Pet Semetary 1989

Pet Semetary tops my list hands down.  I’ve seen this movie so many times it’s ridiculous and it still scares me.  It appeals to that urge we all have to keep our loved ones with us forever, but as we’ll learn during this torturous unfolding of events, sometimes dead really is better.

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Honorable mentions-

Here are two rather recent films that I enjoyed immensely-

Funny Games 2008

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No real plot; just a couple of crazy trust fund kids having some fun.  I would have loved this based on Michael Pitt and Tim Roth’s inclusion alone.

Dead Silence 2007

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This movie doesn’t get a lot of respect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!  Come on, a ventriloquist dummy is an obvious scare!

What are your faves?  Let me know in a comment so I can share in the scare!

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to: Young the Giant – My Body

Random fact:  Rachel’s sister on Pet Semetary used to give me nightmares.

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