Posted in Televison

PINKY & THE BRAIN

Subtle, silly, witty, snort-your-beverage-of-choice-up-your-nose-genius.

The theme song will be in my head forever. Although I was never quite sure which one was the genius and which one was insane. Each night they tried to take over the world and failed, but kept trying. Quite a lesson in perseverance.

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This sadly only ran for 65 episodes (and I have them all!!!), but it will run through our hearts and brains forever, leaving tiny little paw prints that leave tiny little ouchies…
This isn’t a show of half measures, people either love it or hate it or possibly just miss out on its brilliance altogether.

anima5My fav lines were always when Brain (voiced by the astonishing Maurice LaMarche) would say, “Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?”

Pinky (voiced by the talented Rob Paulsen) would usually have some bizarre answer like:

“I think so, Brain, but…but burlap chafes me so.” or

“I think so, Brain, but this time, you put the trousers on the chimp.” or

“I think so Brain, but pants with horizontal stripes make me look chubby.” or

“I think so, but what if the chicken won’t wear the nylons?”  Or

“I think so, Brain, but if they called them ‘Sad Meals’, kids wouldn’t buy them.” or

“Well, I think so, hiccup, but Kevin Costner with an English accent?”

“I think so, Brain, but me and Pippi Longstocking… I mean, what would the children look like?” or

“Well, I think so, Brain, but if Jimmy cracks corn, and nobody cares, why does he keep doing it?”

And it’s all funnier in his Cockney accent and throw in a:  narf, zort, poit, and a troz and you’ve got yourself a lot of laughs.

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Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

MEAN GIRLS

christmas260Snapping jaws…clutching claws…putrid, dank, evil swirling all around you as you struggle for your very survival. Bodies shuffling around, intent on their prey, with no hope of escape…sounds like the zombie apocalypse, but really just high school.

Ok, this Tina Fey classic is prone to amplification and hyperbole, but it is a difficult time for some teens. For others, it’s unbearable.
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This movie is a funny look at how quickly things can escalate and spiral out of control.

The Christmas/Winter Talent Show was sadly hilarious.

Almost difficult to watch knowing how much Lindsay Lohan went from being a promising actress to a tabloid joke.

All in all, little silly, but had some good points.christmas263

Posted in Books, Christmas, Family, Holidays, Movies, Music, Parenting, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

War on Christmas

chrisstmas10There’s a War on Christmas? Using terms like Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings suggest that Christmas is being attacked? Wow, I didn’t know Christmas was that insecure or vulnerable. Kind of makes a mockery out of the soldiers who fight in real wars.

I love Christmas. Especially what used to be the spirit of Christmas. People caring about others. Although that seems to have dimmed over the years. Now it’s about rushing and shopping and whining and complaining and First World Problems

Stores use terms like Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to allegedly be inclusive. It’s really to extend the shopping period. The sustained commercialism has made for sustained greetings. To sell more.
Christmas decorations in malls, city streets, etc. up before Halloween, before Remembrance Day.
They blast Christmas music into stores for months.
Santa Claus parades block the streets.
More cars congest the streets and highways.
Christmas movies swarming the airwaves for 2-3 months per year.

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Others started using Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings to reflect the Christian holiday wasn’t the only religious or non-religious celebration this time of year. Wait, we wouldn’t want to include others in a time of giving.

What about people who don’t celebrate Christmas? Or those who don’t want it extended? Can you imagine Christmas if you weren’t Christian? Or maybe didn’t like Christmas? Or don’t have family and friends to celebrate with?
You can’t go to a store to get a pair of socks without crowds; blaring Christmas songs; people running around like it’s the zombie apocalypse (that might be more fun); low or no stock; and very harried store personnel.

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I suppose some believe the ‘Christ’ part of Christmas is being attacked. Times have changed, people seem to worship their cell phones more than Christ. And I doubt all the scandals that have rocked the various religions have helped.

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Does someone saying Happy Holidays offend you? Does it offend Christ? If you have a strong faith in something, don’t you believe despite the odds?
If you receive a Christmas card that says Season’s Greetings does it make the fact that someone bought a card, wrote in it, addressed it, sent it to you via snail mail mean less?

The term, War on Christmas was popularized by a FOX News host, that should tell you something. Politicians, pundits, celebrities, charities all exploit Christmas to further their agendas just as many corporations, stores, charities, churches, etc exploit it to make money. John Gibson was simply regurgitating the whining with his book, The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse than You Thought.

Yet Christmas is bigger than ever. Santa is still selling Coke. Jesus is still praised at midnight masses. The War On Christmas is failing. Commercialism is still going strong.

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If you want Christ in Christmas, he’s there.
If you want the Grinch in Christmas, he’s there. If you want to just enjoy the season…enjoy it.

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Looks like we’re stuck with Christmas three months a year and for me, it’s a bit much, but it doesn’t steal away my love of Christmas…but it does keep me away from shopping.

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Posted in Christmas, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

GREMLINS

christmas123When you think of Christmas movies, Gremlins probably doesn’t spring to mind. Yet this 1984 horror comedy is a Christmas movie.
Despite the fact that Gizmo was cute and the movie had massive marketing of toys, video games, etc. this is not a cuddly Christmas movie; not for children or those disturbed by violence and graphic scenes.

GREMLINS bits and pieces:

Howie Mandel did the voice of Gizmo, the Mogwai.

Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) 1943 book, The Gremlins influenced the director, Joe Dante.

During World War II, aircraft mechanical failures were jokingly blamed on gremlins or small creatures.

A WWII era Bugs Bunny cartoon had Bugs harassed and battling a gremlin on an airplane.

In Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, a 1963 William Shatner Twilight Zone episode he sees a gremlin on the wing of the plane trying to destroy it. There’s…something…on…the…wing!!!twilightzone6John Lithgow re-enacted it in Twilight Zone: The Movie then he and Shatner referenced the scenes when they were together as Father and Son on 3rd Rock From The Sun.

In The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror IV, Terror at 5 1/2 Feet, a gremlin attacks the school bus…

Look at the set for Kingston Falls closely, it’s the same one they used as Hill Valley in the Back to the Future movies.

There was never supposed to be a Mogwai named StripeGizmo was to turned into Stripe, but Gizmo was so cute they’d keep him around for the whole film.christmas117Gremlins and Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom were so violent the ratings were changed, on the suggestion of Steven Spielberg, and the PG-13 rating was created.

Howie Mandel learned to say “Bright light!” in several languages so he could dub the movie in various countries and do appearances and promos.

When Billy is walking by the movie marquee we see the titles A Boy’s Life which was the original title for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Watch the Skies which was the working title for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Spielberg loves to put this stuff for movie buffs.

Steven Spielberg did a rare cameo as the man with the broken leg riding recumbent bicycle. His suitcase says SS Enterprises.

Merry Christmas and remember, if you get a Mogwai as a gift:
1. Never expose it to bright light;
2. Never get it wet;
3. Never, ever feed it after midnight.christmas120

Posted in Christmas, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

A CHRISTMAS STORY

christmas7730 years since we first heard Ralphie‘s teacher, Mom, Santa, basically everyone tell Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) he was going to shoot his eye out with the Red Ryder BB Gun he so desperately wanted for Christmas

30 years since Flick got his tongue frozen to the flagpole…christmas104

30 years since the neighbour dog ate the Parkers’ Christmas turkey so they went out for Chinese food…

30 years since The Battle of the Lamp when Ralphie’s parents fight over the lamp shaped like a woman’s leg wearing a fishnet stocking that Mr. Parker (The Old Man) had won that came in box marked Fragile or “Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian”.christmas106

What is it about this movie that people love?

Because it portrays a simpler time?

It’s authenticity, haven’t we all had or heard conversations just like in this movie?

Waiting in line to see Santa?

Evading or fighting bullies?

Wanting something soooooooo badly?

Or the flat tire scene?

Flick with his tongue on the flagpole cause, well, he was triple dog dared to do it?

The heroic narration of the film with classical music to punctuate the epicness?

The pink bunny PJs which make Ralphie believe his Aunt Clara thinks he’s perpetually 4 years old and apparently, a girl? Or is it all of this and more?

Whatever it is, it works. Still funny after 30 years.christmas78Mrs. Parker: Randy, will you eat? There are starving people in China!
Randy: [groans and shoves spoon into his mouth]

My Mom, also Mrs. Parker used to tell us to eat our vegetables because children were starving in Africa…I was more than willing to send them my peas.

Posted in Uncategorized

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER

ImageThis used to be on once a Christmas season when I was a child, like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty The Snowman, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Now it’s on many times a season, of course the season is now almost 3 months long. Also available on DVD, download, streamed, etc.

But there was something special in knowing it was only on one night a year. My parents would be on their way out to a Christmas party, in fancy clothes and smelling so good as they leaned down to kiss my brother and me good night. In theory we were supposed to be asleep when they got home. We had pizza made from the box mix, after all, it was a special occasion. We had pop which was rare threat. We made popcorn in the air popper with its special butter tray. My crazy cat would run and sit on the back on my Dad’s chair and beg for some of the melted butter. The fire was crackling. Or other nights with the same scene except my parents were home and we’d be laughing, joking around, watching the Christmas specials, it was fun because they only came on once a year. I wonder if our abundance or even overabundance has made things less special in some ways. christmas60

Rudolph, Santa’s 9th reindeer was a simple story of accepting others for their differences, embracing diversity. Rudolph was bullied for his differences until they realized different doesn’t mean bad. They added a few characters to this stop animation classic, adding to 1939 poem written by Robert L. May. And of course, The Island of Misfit Toys which was 2001 sorta sequel.

I hope Christmas can still have special moments for young and young at heart…christmas62

Posted in Chocolate, Christmas, Movies

Elf

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Happy Birthday Buddy! Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since Elf  first charmed us on the big screen and has been in our homes and hearts since.

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Buddy (Will Ferrell) is everything good about Christmas and people.
He believes.
He loves unconditionally.
He makes a rocking horse out of a TV unit.
He adds maple syrup to spaghetti.

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He puts the star on the Christmas tree in a very special, Chevy Chase-like way.
He goes up an escalator like no one else.
He uses Etch-A-Sketch in miraculous ways.
He sees magic and joy everywhere.
He doesn’t judge.
He loves life and he enjoys every minute.
And the best part?
He gives his gift of joy and love for all to share.

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Fun notes about Elf:

Remember Peter Billingsley who played Ralphie in A Christmas Story?  He makes a delightful cameo in Elf as Ming Ming (the Elf who tries to help Buddy be a productive toy maker at The North Pole).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/12/02/elf/Yup, that really is Zooey Deschanel singing in Elf. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (not my fav Christmas song, it’s actually kind of creepy) is sung by Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/12/02/elf/Elf uses a method of filming called forced perspective to make Buddy the Elf (a human raised by Elves) look so much larger than the other elves, including Papa Elf played by the awesome Bob Newhart.Peter Dinklage, who plays arrogant and cranky children’s book author Miles Finch now appears as Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones. Check him out in The Station Agent, he’s fantastic, as always.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/12/02/elf/Elf was filmed in New York City and British Columbia, Canada.

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Ray Harryhausen was the voice of the Polar Bear Cub. Harryhausen was a genius visual effects creator, and a writer and producer best known for his stop-motion model animation (Mysterious Island, Jason and the Argonauts, First Men in the Moon, One Million Years B.C., Clash of the Titans, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, It Came from Beneath the Sea, etc.). Sadly, Mr. Harryhausen passed in May 2013. Remember the restaurant in Monsters Inc.? Harryhausen’s, a nod to a legend.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/12/02/elf/Will Ferrell doesn’t do his own 12 second belch (yes, and it turns out when we’re talking about belching, 12 seconds is a looooong time) in the pop burp scene. But it’s a real belch, done by the brilliant and talented Canadian voice actor, Maurice LaMarche. Maurice LaMarche is the man of a million voices, my fav, the voice of the Brain from Pinky and Brain and Animaniacs (Are you pondering what I’m pondering?). Also, he played Wakko Warner which completely explains the belching. He was the voice of Sylar on Heroes, later played by Zachary Quinto. Other works include: The Little Mermaid, The Simpsons, Futurama, Batman: The Animated Series, Ed Wood, Disney’s House of Mouse, and so much more.https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/12/02/elf/

 If you haven’t seen this movie because you think it’s silly, or childish, or you can’t stand Will Ferrell…well, sure it might be all those things and more, but give it a chance – it’s also funny, like, laugh out loud hurt your sides funny, charming, poignant, addictive, with a ton of great messages. And it’s really a case of, you’ve got to see it to believe it.https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/12/02/elf/