What Are Christmas Movies That Are Worth Watching?

Nightmare Before Christmas

It just wouldn’t feel like the Christmas season without TBS running “A Christmas Story” 24/7 leading up to the big day. The Bumpkiss hounds are running through the house eating roast turkey, Ralphy is wishing for his Red Rider BB Gun, the leg lamp is shining in the window and a blanket of white snow has quieted the neighborhood bullies, if only for Christmas Day. This is just one of many nostalgic movies that light up our hearts this holiday season.

Christmas classics seem to reign supreme for the baby boomer generation. The black-and-white nostalgia of “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) captures the innocence and the good will of a nation struggling to regain a sense of optimism following World War II. James Stewart and Donna Reed give compelling performances in a heart-wrenching tale of a suicidal man’s realization that he meant so much to so many people. Another old Christmas season classic from the same era is “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947), which was remade in 1994. A department store Santa finds himself in court when he professes to be the real deal, which captures the heart of a six-year-old skeptic. Lastly, White Christmas (1954), starring Bing Crosby, where dance, romance and hard economic times take center stage.

Strangely enough, there are dark Christmas stories ranging from spooky and creepy to downright disgusting. Slightly older kids will still be able to handle “Gremlins,” a cautionary tale about what can happen when you don’t listen to your parents. Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” is a great stop-animation-type film blending Halloween land and Christmas land into one off-beat classic. “Scrooged” is an intriguing Bill Murray take on the classic Charles Dickens tale that’ll appeal to the teenagers who are in that awkward “I hate everything” stage. For the campy horror fans, there’s “Christmas Evil” (1980), “Don’t Open Till Christmas” (1984) and, of course, the “Silent Night, Deadly Night” series (there are five, spanning from 1984 to 1990!) “Silent Night, Bloody Night” (1973) and “Silent Night, Evil Night” (1974) are classic slashers.

There are also a number of goofball movies to entertain the whole family at Christmas. “The Santa Clause” (1994) with Tim Allen as the inadvertent Santa is known for its wide-appealing humor and beautiful scenery. Will Ferrell’s “Elf” (2003) has a child-like innocence to it that will have everyone in the family guffawing as “Buddy” realizes he lives like a North Pole elf but is, in fact, a human from New York City. “Ernest Saves Christmas” (1988) is truly a “holiday comedy like no other,” with the main character confronting job layoffs, Alzheimers, prison, insanity and greed; yet manages to do so in a goofy, chuckle-worthy way. “Jingle All the Way” (1996) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, is about a dad who goes through extremes to get the “toy of the season” for his son; it’s by no means the best Arnold flick, but the kids will love it.

New American Idol Season Is Exciting

To be completely honest I’m one of those people who has a really hard time getting into Idol. I remember when it first started and I was so surprised by the show thinking that it would be a flop. By season 2 I realized I was completely wrong. The show continues to not only survive but thrive, and shows following the same model come out like Americas Got Talent. I lament the good old days of shows like Saved By The Bell.

American Idol is now into it’s 7th season and it grows larger every year. Just about every age demographic likes American Idol, which makes it an advertisers dream playground to push their products on teens and the people who buy them stuff.Sadly I may be breaking my general prohibition on the show. My girlfriend is an addict and generally once I watch 4 or 5 shows I get hooked on something.

The best part is the early shows when people perform and make themselves look foolish. I don’t even believe that the really bad people are even legitimate, they just want to get 15 minuets in the spotlight. There are a few really talented people on this season including Michael Castro and Von Smith.

I can admit that it’s great that there are many talented people who get found because they are on the show, but the whole reasoning behind it is kind of tainted in my mind. Many many talented artists out there work hard everyday to get the big one and have no hope of ever getting a contract, but these “idols” seem to have it served on a silver spoon.  With a few exceptions, most of the winners turn out to be a one hit wonder. I think this may be my year to come around to the phenomena that is American Idol, and if not I know I will love people making themselves look stupid early in the season.

Who is the BBC’s Stig?

The cover on the BBC's Stig's identity has been blown. It is reported that the Stig is a married man with three kids and apparently drives a boring car. This is just the latest rumor in a strong of apparent revelations about the identity of the mystery character who is only ever seen on screen in a driving helmet. In 2003, the Sunday Mirror claimed that they had uncovered the identity of the Top Gear driver, Stig as former Formula one driver, Perry McCarthy. Perry McCarthy failed to confirm the rumor at the time only saying that he knew who the stig was and nothing. Yet, although he cleared himself of any knowledge of who the stig is, it is reported that he has been replaced by the current mystery driver who everyone is dying to meet.

Even music man, Jamiroquai singer, Jay Kay has been suspect of being the mystery driver. An insider has claimed that the infamous singer Jay kay had confirmed that he played the role of the mystery driver on several occasions. Other wild claims state that The Stig’s home is a shrine to himself and his walls are covered in pictures of himself, with famous his famous suit and helmet on display in a glass cabinet. Additionally, an art gallery owner in Bristol printed a picture of the Stig without his helmet on and had to sign a confidential agreement stating that he would never tell anyone who the mystery driver is. However, it is reported that he has already told his friends and family and as everyone knows, word of mouth spreads faster than wild fire. I dont think that the real identity of the Top Gear Stig will ever be revealed as it really would just ruin the TV show.

After an interview with a BBC representitive, it was said that “no one will ever officially confirm his identity”.

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The Classiest Dame at the Globes: Sarandon does it with Pearls

Watch Susan Sarandon on the Red Carpet at the Golden Globes

After last year’s cancellation, The Golden Globes were back with a bang on Sunday night. Like always, there was as much interest in what the celebrities looked like on the red carpet as who won the awards. But in amongst the dazzling gowns and sparkling diamonds, perennial Hollywood icon Susan Sarandon caught my eye with her stylish and sophisticated long pearl necklace, made by New York boutique designer Fred Leighton.Susan clearly loved showing off her pricey pearls and even asked the designer if she could hold on to them.  I’m not surprised – it was a combination of the iconic sophistication of pearls with a modern, funky twist.

But does the fact that Susan Sarandon, aged 62, was one of the only A-listers adorned with pearls on the night mean we are going back to the stereotype of pearls only being worn by old dears?Hell no! Pearl jewellery has a timeless elegance and charm if you know how to wear it. The key to looking stylish with pearls is don’t settle for ubiquitous lesser stones!A word of caution – you need to be wary of the many low grade and poorly fashioned eBay pearls out there.  If you’re on a budget, go for natural freshwater pearls which can be beautiful.  But for the true celeb treatment you should spend that little extra on saltwater pearls, the choice of Susan Sarandon on Sunday night.

Take a look at our pick for the Top 5 celebrities who have made pearls the style icon that they are today. I’m sure you’ll agree, each of them are classy in their own way and yet very different characters.Proof, if proof was needed, that it should be pearls, not diamonds, that are a girl’s best friend?

5. Jacqueline Kennedy – America’s most beloved First Lady wore her jewellery with classic grace and elegance, and her triple strand pearl necklaces became an icon for women’s sophistication.
4. Liz Taylor – the epitome of all things glamorous and elegant in her day, Elizabeth Taylor gained royal status in the pearl kingdom by owning the world’s largest pearl necklace, La Peregrina, as worn by a whole range of European queens and princesses!
3. Sarah Jessica Parker – the Hollywood fashion icon made pearls the new hot celebrity trend by adorning an exquisite pearl necklace in 2008’s Sex and the City movie, and has been spotted with pearls on many a red carpet in recent years.
2. Diana, Princess of Wales – Who can think of Princess Di and NOT think of her signature pearl necklaces, brooches and pearl-encrusted outfits. 
1. Audrey Hepburn – Who can forget the classy black dress and simple pearl necklace in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? She is arguably THE style icon of the 20th century, and will forever be associated with pearls.

Lineup of Inaguration Won’t Include American Idol

2008 was a wonderful and horrible year for Jennifer Hudson, both at the same time.We already knew that of course. The release of her first album, Spotlight, seemed to be a sign that the American Idol contestant—and, not to forget, Oscar winner—is on a roll.  Then, her mother, brother and nephew were killed by her in-law in a murderous rampage, and everything suddenly looked bleak for the performer.She hasn’t been in the spotlight as much afterwards, rather preferring to grieve privately with family.

But there’s always the comeback, in the tradition of many who went through American Idol 8.  The show has seen many contestants come from what’s deemed as a very hopeless situation and bounce back to stardom.  Hudson, of course, is one of those stories, and there’s no doubt that she’ll do the same this year, right?

At a point we thought that there was no way for it to come earlier.Back in 2008 there were reports in the New York Post that Jennifer was to perform the Star-Spangled Banner during the presidential inauguration of the President-Elect Barack Obama in Washington on January 20th, although she has not performed since the murders.C.The news was picked up quickly by other media and they pointed out that she would be a likley candidate to sing the national anthem as she’s from Chicago where Obama got his political start.  To boot, she is a big Obama supporter, the newspaper’s source said.

Very rapidly after the rumor came out a rep put out the rumor when they officially stated that Hudson won’t perform at the inauguration.  “There is no truth to this,” a representative simply told Access Hollywood, maintaining that Hudson’s return performance will be at an event in Los Angeles in February, paying tribute to musician Neil Diamond.

Even still, we can deduce that Jennifer will hopefully have a comeback this year after coming out of American Idol strong.  Disregarding the debate on whether Obama’s team is sensitive enough to consider the murders, or whether Hudson is black and all—at least a comeback is bound to happen.Then I guess thank God for resiliency. This season of the show starts on January 13th and features the addition of a new judge Kara DioGuardi.

Mini-Me has been selected for the new Big Brother

The 2ft 8in American Actor, who played Doctor Evil’s clone Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies is ready to enter the latest celebrity Big Brother home in the UK. Apparently, the pint sized star has already revealed his game plan by promising to sabotage fellow Big Brother house mates and picking his nose and putting it into other peoples food.

The other housemates for this year's Big Brother house include world known gangsta rapper, Coolio, Swedish celebrity, Ulrika Jonsson and model Lucy Pinder. Personally, I have never been a fan of celebrity Big Brother or just regular Big Brother for that matter. I just find the whole thing a little over rated. There is nothing more boring than watching Big Brother live as it literally is just watching people sleep and eat which is just a bit strange. Every year it is just the same as the last one. You watch people betray each-other and scramble for the top spot and then watch them sell their story to the highest newspaper bidder. It is almost like watching paint dry. Everyone knows what will happen and the chances are that the producers of the show have tried to pay someone to deliberately kick up a stink in order to aggravate the rest of the house mates. However there is always something there that gets the people watching it again and again and I suppose that is whats so fasinating about it.

There is no doubt that it will be fun to see 'Mini-Me' on our screens as he is quite a character. It has been a while since he has been in the public spot light. He will obviously be most known for his part in the Austin Powers movies which were extremely popular. It would be great to see the Austin Powers movies make a come back! So lets see if Mini-Me has any secret information!

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Say Yes to everything!

Jim Carrey's last comedy hit, 'Yes man' has gone straight to the top of the UK box office in its first weekend of release. The film is originally based on a popular book by an English writer named, Danny Wallace. The book is based on his own life and his radical decision to simply say 'Yes' to everything. The film took a whopping £2.3m over three days.

The top three best films of Christmas in the UK were also comprimised of Bedtime Stories from funny man Adam Sandler which managed to take £1.5m and Baz Luhrmann's epic, Australia took just over £1m. According to various critics from all over Hollywood, Australia was some what of a let down in terms of integrity. The idea was good however I do not believe that Nicole Kidman was up to the task as much as Hugh Jackman was. Personally, I think they are in two completley different leagues in terms of acting ability.

It is surprising how Jim Carey manages to always find some sort of niche for his projects. He surprises me as an actor who can apply himself into so many different roles. He is arguably one of the most versatile actors of this generation. When you compare films such as 'Eternal Sunshine for the spotless mind' and 'Ace Ventura' it really doesn't seem as though it is the same guy doing it and that is what makes him special. I have seen the 'Yes man' film and it is very funny indeed. Jim Carey plays an average man with an obsession of saying ‘no’ to people. After his friend takes him to a local rally about being positive, Jim Carey’s character is then compelled to say ‘Yes’ to every opportunity that comes up. It is a light hearted and funny film and I would recommend anyone to go and see it!

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Mamma mia brakes UK DVD records

The famous musical film, Mamma Mia! has broken on of the biggest records of all time in the UK. The film has become has become the UK's biggest selling DVD of all time according to official figures. It is the first disc to sell more than five million copies - placing it in one in four UK households which is just incredible to comprehend! The film was the number one DVD of 2008 with its closest rival ‘The Dark Knight’ making 1.5 million sales in total.

The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is the closest rival for all time DVD sales as it has sold a total of 4.seven million copies in total. It is followed by third and fourth by Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Other top ten all time sellers include, 'Casino Royale' staring Daniel Craig and Shrek 2 with Mike Myers which was the fastest selling animation during the last decade.

The latest landmark further underlines the immense popularity of Mamma Mia which is now the UK's official favorite film of all time. Yet it is not just the film which has done well, the soundtrack to the film also became the biggest selling compilation of 2008 as they shifted over one million copies in total. The film became the fastest selling DVD when it was released in the middle of November, 2008 and has continued to sell over the festive period like hot pancakes! I myself had bought a copy for my mother and it appears as though everyone in the United Kingdom had the same idea! I have not seen the film myself yet I have heard it is something not just for women but for everyone to enjoy which is good. Personally, I can't imagine Pierce Brosnan dancing around with in a dress with old women instead of being James Bond but that is neither here nor there. This movie is something nice for the whole family to enjoy and I would recommend it to everyone!

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Black Snake Moan Movie Review

A 2007 release, Black Snake Moan is a film the recreates the atmosphere of the Mississippi Blues Movement starting from an older novel and former song. The film reception was not at all fabulous among critics as some reproached it to have a messy plot, while others had overt critical attitudes over the sexualized violence that characterizes the film. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Chrisitna Ricci and Justin Timberlake, Black Snake Moan reveals lots of African American issues, exposes drug abuse, bitterness and sexual addiction cases. At the origin of the film lies a novel by George Eliot written in 1861, Silas Marner, while the soundtrack is some form of remake of the Blind Lemon Jefferson song popular in the late 20s.  auto insurance online quote

The actors performing in Black Snake Moan devoted such a great attention to this project that significant parts of their lives suffered changes according to the requests of the script: thus, Samuel L. Jackson had to study around six hours a day, for half a year to only learn to play blues guitar. Then, Christina Ricci also set an example of role commitment by having only food poor in nutrients and avoiding getting fully dressed just to get into the character’s skin better. A hot debate issued due to the misogynistic marketing of the film, which was labeled as pretty offensive to women.  auto insurance quote

All in all, when it comes to the reception of Black Snake Moan, the film was not by far the hit everyone expected. Yet, good critical appreciations were also formulated, but less intense than the aggression of the negative criticism. The main problem identified in the promotional campaign for the film advertising  was that it emphasized promiscuity and it tried to attract the attention of college boys audience instead of addressing wider public categories. Hence, Christina Ricci was one of the film actors who took a stand against this form of advertising, claiming it unpardonable and without precedent in her film career.

A better outcome resulted from the release of the Black Snake Moan soundtrack collection at the beginning of 2007. The songs feature several artists, with three tracks being performed by Samuel L. Jackson himself. The album includes a total of seventeen tracks covering both classic and modern blues; the compilation sold pretty well, as Blues fans were actually eager to get a new approach to their favorite music style. Critics also had a very positive attitude much better than the other critical appreciations passed on the film, Black Snake Moan.  car insurance quote

Good Home Theater Seating: Important Pieces

A home theater is a great room to have in the home. If you have kids, you can all hang out there and watch their favorite cartoon movies, and if not you can still hang out with all your family and friends and watch flicks. You get the same thrills and excitement as when you go to the movies, only without having to feel uncomfortable and not be able to talk. Specially if you are choosing one of the best home theater system for your home.

When you have your own home theater room in your house, you can just relax and whether you are sitting watching a romantic movie with your partner or have a whole group of people joining you, the fun will be endless.

Home Theater Seating: Furnishings

Now once you have the home theater room going, you are going to need to make sure that you have all the right home theater seating. There is even discount home theater seating available so you won’t ever have to worry about spending a fortune just to get the pieces that you need.

The first step for you here will be deciding just what home theater seating pieces you would like to include, as there are various pieces that you can choose from. The recliner is maybe the most important of all. Whether you just have one or two or several lined up together, this is the most relaxing, comfortable seating style for home theater seating.

Another important piece for home theater seating is the couch. Not all people like to have this in their home theater room, but it is great for cozying up on and just relaxing with the kids. Maybe you are not even watching a movie but instead Sunday morning cartoons and just being lazy and enjoying each other’s company, a couch will be really great.

No matter what pieces you decide on for your home theater seating, there is one basic rule that you should stick to, which applies to basically any other room in the home as well, and that is to make sure that the pieces all mesh well together. For instance if you decide to get the recliner in a leather, you should get all the other pieces in leather material as well.

With these few tips, you will be able to decorate your home theater room just the way you want to, and have a room in your home that you can always head to and know you can just sit back and relax.