John Lennon: “Imagine”

What a peaceful, uplifting song about love and unity, bringing us all together to celebrate what—

Imagine there’s no heaven.

Whoa.  Alienating a whole demographic right off the bat.

Are you sure that’s how you want to start this?

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Christmas Songs

It’s a peculiar phenomenon.  No other holiday or time of year has received as much attention from the music industry in this part of the world.  That could be a direct result of Christmas being the most commercialized and most profitable holiday in the country, but as to the quality of the songs themselves, they don’t deserve any blanket generalizations.  Some are annoying, some are okay, and some are quite nice, although why they seem so heavily stuck in the mid-twentieth century is a question for someone else.

However, in seeking to stir up winter merriment, some of them become unintentionally laughable or unpleasant.  In no particular order, here are a few Christmas lyrics that are more troubling than uplifting, to put you in that good ol’ critical thinking and melancholy disillusionment kind of mood for the holidays. Continue reading

The Truman Show (1998) – PG, Comedic Drama

Director:  Peter Weir

Writer:  Andrew Niccol

Starring:  Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney

Anyone can relate to the experience of questioning reality and the sincerity of others.  Pioneering the idea of reality television before such a thing existed, this speculative film tells the story of Truman Burbank, a man whose life is broadcast on live television twenty-four hours a day, all without his knowledge. Continue reading

Galaxy Quest (1999) – PG, Sci-Fi Comedy

Director:  Dean Parisot

Writers:  David Howard, Robert Gordon

Starring:  Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman

What would happen if aliens sought the help of actors from a popular television show, thinking they were actual heroes?  It’s anyone’s guess, but let’s hope the events would unfold like they do in this brilliant affectionate parody.  Continue reading

Hidalgo (2004) – PG-13, Historical Adventure

Director:  Joe Johnston

Writer:  John Fusco

Starring:  Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif, Zuleikha Robinson

What’s worse than a bad movie?  A pretentious bad movie with a broken Aesop.  Horse movies do have a tendency to be bad in the first place, but there’s no excuse for this.  Continue reading

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) – G, Historical Drama

Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

Writers: Victor Hugo, Tab Murphy

Starring: Tom Hulce, Demi Moore, Tony Jay

There’s one scene in this movie that you need to see: the villain’s magnificent musical number.  Other than that, although it has its highlights and a decent story, this is a movie you can pass up. Continue reading

Edward Scissorhands (1990) – PG-13, Fantasy

Director: Tim Burton      

Writers: Tim Burton, Caroline Thompson

Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall

Worth a watch.

Although its premise is simple, this film is difficult to categorize the traditional way.  The general consensus appears to be that it’s fantasy, and while it is permeated with a tone reminiscent of that genre, it lacks many of its common accoutrements.  Continue reading