The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Alien Vs. Predator (2004)

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The enemy of my enemy… is my friend

So some of you might be wondering, why am I reviewing Alien Vs. Predator before reviewing Alien (1979), Predator (1987), Aliens (1989), Predator 2 (1990), Alien3 (1992), or Alien: Resurrection (1997).

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Well there are two reasons why: 1) I just saw it last week so it is fresh in my mind; and 2) This was the first movie I saw in either franchise. Although I kind of knew what Alien was about as I had seen Spaceballs.

So Alien Vs. Predator, was an idea that began in back in the ’80s after the films came out. It was then shown in comics, video games, etc. Eventually a script was written, but no studio wanted to make it, so it sat on the back burner for ten years.

It eventually was accepted and is the higest grossing film in either franchise to date. It is absolutely riddled with references to both films, so if you are a fan you will enjoy.

So let’s get started!

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So it is the year 2004, a Predator ship is nearing the Earth, and some scientists detect a mysterious heat bloom beneath the ice on the island Bouvetoya, near Antartica.

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What is it with aliens/monstrous creatures and Antarctica? We have Aliens Vs. Predator, The Thing from Another World, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, etc. I guess some like the cold, although The Blob didn’t. Sorry, moving on.

Billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland (those who are Alien fans should recognize why I bolded that), decides he wants to claim it for himself. He sends out his top man to recruit the best from all over the world.

Alexa “Lex” Woods is the best field guide for Antarctica. They offer her a large sum to come to a meeeting and hear Weyland’s proposal.

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Sebastian de Rosa, is a struggling archeologist in Mexico. He is just about out of money, and the bank won’t supply anymore; when just like in Jurassic Park Weyland’s man comes with an amazing offer.

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I love this man. He is smart, sexy, Italian, and oh…there’s only one word to describe how I feel. Swoonworthy!

swoon dreamy

Anyways, these two and a collection of paleontologists, linguistic experts, drillers, and mercenaries all gather together. Weyland shows the prospective team the discovery, a pyramid that is a blend of three different cultures. He proposes that they all go try and discover what this phenomenon is.

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: Where exactly on the ice is this?

Charles Bishop Weyland: Bouvetøya Island. But it’s not on the ice. It’s 2,000 feet below it.

All will be rewarded handsomely.

AWESOME!!!

AWESOME!!!

Lex is the only one that disagrees, stating that they aren’t ready to make the journey in, they need more time to train the crew. Weyland refuses, saying they need to go now before anyone else moves in.

Lex says she won’t be a part and goes to leave. Weyland agrees to let her go, saying they will go with their number 2 guy.

Good-bye

Good-bye

When Lex hears who it is, she refuses to go. While she doesn’t want to stay and help a group she thinks is doomed for failure, she’d rather go and help them survive.

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So the team moves out. While they are getting there, the Predator ship has entered the Earth’s orbit. They make a shaft from the surface to the pyramid below.

From the film Stargate.

From the film Stargate.

When the team reach the island they discover that on the surface is an old whaling station. A hundred years ago, in 1904, the whole crew disappeared. It is still an unsolved mystery.

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When the team gets ready to drill a cavity to reach the pyramid. The discover one has already been dug for them.

What?

What?

And when the drillers start examining it, they discover that the area was cut with no tools that exist on Earth.

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They decide to head down to the pyramid anyways, with a few near mishaps along the way.

When they get inside the pyramid, they start examining the walls and the rooms. They discover that this civilization must be older than anything they have ever known in history. And one of the rooms, appears to be some mind of sacrificial chamber.

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Noooooooooo!!!!! Don’t go in!

However as this is a film and the characters can’t hear me, they of course go in and start looking around. There they find remains with a large hole on the left side of their chest.

Adele Rousseau: What happened here?

Thomas: It’s common in ritual sacrifice to take the heart of the victim.

Adele Rousseau: That’s nice. But that’s not where your heart is. [pauseBesides it looks like the bones were bent straight out. [Thomas stares at RousseauSomething broke out of this body.

Now this bothered me the first time I saw it, and it bothers me still. THE ALIENS SHOULD NOT BE COMING OUT OF THE CHEST!!!! THEY SHOUD BE COMING OUT OF THE STOMACH!!!!

MeanGirls I know right!

They screwed up one of the best scenes. It is way creepier seeing this:

Anyways, back to the film.

So unbeknownst to them, on the surface, the three predators have takes out the rest of the team. Below them, their presence has begun the preparations for “the game” and awakened the Queen Alien Queen. It is a creepy scene. I couldn’t find a video, but trust me, it is super creepy!

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So back in the sacrificial room, Sebastian has discovered what appears to be a sarcophagus with a calendar lock, set for October 10, 1904.

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He studies it and notices that ten, and multiples of it, seem to be significant to this culture, whatever this culture is. He then moves the date to October 10, 2004; the current date.

Stop stop it now!

Don’t you know better than to touch/mess with things. Like in The Mummy (1999), you never know what might happen.

Some things should just be left alone. But no, these are scientists and they never know when to back off, setting off the spring lock and revealing guns.

Whattheheck

What is an ancient civilization doing with such advanced weapons we don’t even have today? How did they get them? Where did they get them? It just doesn’t make sense.

[the team finds the Predators’ shoulder cannons]

Graeme Miller: Any idea what these are?

Sebastian de Rosa: No, you?

Graeme Miller: No.

Maxwell Stafford: It’s a good thing we brought the experts.

Graeme Miller: Well, yeah, it is a good thing, cos’ this is like finding Moses’ DVD collection.

And then as Lex convinces them it is time to move topside and regroup, they stupidly take the guns, beginning the “game.” Now part of the game is that every so often the pryamid shifts, making one difficult playing ground for either team.

If that was me? I’d start shooting everywhere, killing as much as possible.

For reals, they would all be dead.

For reals, they would all be dead.

So the teams are separated and all are trying to find an exit, but soon they will realize that will be near impossible.

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As Lex’s party makes their way to the exit, they are attacked by the Predators, of which have to switch gears when the aliens start showing themselves.

Yeah two Predators end up getting killed. Too bad they didn’t have their guns.

Soon everyone is being killed or taken to be impregnated by the aliens until they are properly formed. This actually reminds me a lot of the tarantula wasp, who lays its eggs in the spider. When the eggs hatch they eat the spider, then creating a cocoon in the spider body, coming out when it is fully matured. After all that’s what happens here, except no eating. The alien baby goes into the human, emerging only when fully pupated.

ew! Gross Yuck

The only ones left are Weyland (who is slowing them down as he is on his deathbed with his bad heart), Lex, and sexy Sebastian. Lex wants to lighten Weyland’s load, discarding the gun he took from the sacrificial chamber. When he refuses, wanting something from the death and destruction, she switches the heavy weapon to her pack instead. They are then interrupted by Sebastian, who has figured out that the pyramid also goes off the decimal system, and that every ten minutes the pyramid shifts.

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Weyland asks to be left behind, to buy them some time from the predator hunting them. Lex and Sebastian don’t like it, but agree and head off to another area trying to escape. Weyland is killed when he attacks the remaining Predator, but Sebastian and Lex make it out. Oh, this scene always stresses me out.

So luckily, they ended up in the room full of the hieroglyphics that tell us the backstory of why these extraterrestrials have come to our planet.

Yes, the whole thing was a trap. They made that heat signal to attract somebody, as this was the only way to begin the hunt as they need the humans for hosts.

After hearing the story, Lex figures out what they must do to survive, is to give the weapon back to the Predator.

Sebastian de Rosa: When that door opens, we’re dead.

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: Not if we set things right.

Sebastian de Rosa: What do you mean?

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: This pyramid, it’s like a prison. We took the guards’ guns, and now the prisoners are running free. To restore order, the guards need their guns.

Sebastian de Rosa: During a big game hunt, the animals being hunted don’t arm the hunters!

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: They’re not hunting us. We’re in the middle of a war. It’s time to pick a side.

Sebastian de Rosa: We are on our side!

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: We have to consider the possibility that we might not make it out of here.

Sebastian de Rosa: The enemy of my enemy… is my friend.

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: [pyramid starts to reconfigure] Let’s go find our friend.

So after the pyramid opens, the two go looking for a Predator, but run into an alien. They run away, but reach a collapsed bridge. Taking an Indiana Jones  leap of faith, they jump across the chasm. Sebastian lands rights, while Lex on loose stones and starts falling.

Spoke too soon

Sebastian helps pull her up, until he is taken by an alien.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

WHY!!! WHY!!! WHY SEBASTIAN?????????

Why

He was an awesome character. He was intelligent, funny, kind, has common sense, and hot. Poor Sebastian. RIP handsome.

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Back to the review.  So Lex is running away, and runs right into the Predator. He is about to kill her, when she stops him and gives him back the weapon. Before the Predator can do anything else, and alien attacks them.

Having proven her worth, Lex and the Predator head out to finish up.

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The two head back to the sacrificial chamber, which we should really call the birthing room. There Lex finds all her team members, including Sebastian, all of which have been impregnated.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

NOT SEBASTIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So the Predator scans the room, and sees that the eggs are all going to try and hatch. He activates his bomb, to destroy everything. Then he and Lex run to the lift, planning to get out of there and to the surface, as quickly as possible. They are followed by the Queen, but make it up the surface. The whole pyramid goes Kablooey!

Jaws Backstage Universal tour

But it turns out that the Queen wasn’t destroyed in the blast! She comes topside and knocks the Predator out, chasing after Lex to destroy her too.

You know for a huge environmentalist, Lex just threw a whole bunch of trash into the ocean. She could seriously damage the ecosystem. And I don’t know if that was the best idea as we don’t if the aliens are unable to survive underwater. Maybe they can. I couldn’t find any info on that. Anyways…

So after all the fighting is completed, the Predator ship returns to pick up its champions. They take their fallen warrior inside and are about to kill Lex, when the see the sign the Predator carved into her face. She is a warrior, equal to them.

They leave and in the ship, the crew get a surprise.

Now this was a part I didn’t like either. All the other people when impregnated, had the alien jump out rather quickly. I mean Sebastian got his after the Predator was supposedly infected, and his came out way before. And I looked it up, so don’t say it is because they were in a different species, its supposed to happen for everyone two hours after impregnation. This was just a cheap twist in order to ensure a sequel. And I hate it when filmmakers do that.

I don't like it 11

But on the whole I loved this movie. The story was a great homage to both films, with its own flavor and not giving the vibe of being a remake. The characters were great, and pretty intelligent, making only one big mistake (removing the weapons). The main character, Lex, was a strong character like Ripley: powerful, and in control; but a realistic way, being scared and frightened but using that fear to fight. Great movie.

As for the sequel? We’ll just have to save that for another post.

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?: The Twilight Zone (1961)

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For more aliens, go to It’s Mrs. Archer. She’s On a Rampage!: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

For more expeditions gone wrong, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket: The Mummy (1932)

 

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25 Films of Christmas

So last year I tried to do 12 Posts of Christmas, unfortunately that didn’t work out as I got sick and involved in Christmas-y activities. However, this year I decided to do some thing in the vein of the Chinese New Year and Saint Patrick’s Day posts. Instead of posting everyday, a countdown of 25 of my fav Christmas Films. Now these aren’t my top 25, but I randomly picked them and then rearranged them in the order of how I love them.

Holly

25) Love, Actually (2003)

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This has a complex storyline as the film has multiple paths. There is Billy Mack, aging rock star trying to get back in the limelight, redoing Christmas songs.  Mark is secretly in love with his best friend’s girl Juliet but says nothing to honor his friend. Jamie flees to France after his last girlfriend cheats on him with his brother, there  he falls in love with his Portuguese housekeeper. Harry, the direcctor of a design studio, contemplates having an affair with his assistant Mia. David has just become Prime Minister and develops feelings for a girl who works for him, Natalie. Daniel has just lost his wife and is raising his stepson.  Sarah has feelings for Karl but her mentally ill brother, Michael, seems to throw a wrench in her plans. Colin is tired of striking out with English women and journeys to America. John and Judy are body doubles for actors who meet at work.

Why it’s Great: It has Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Martin Freeman , etc; need I say more? The Colin Firth storyline is really good, in fact keep an eye open for it’s reappearance this Feb.

Holly

24) Twas’ the Night Before Christmas (1974)

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Santa isn’t coming this year as he has received an hurtful letter. A mouse and the clockmaker try and figure out what is wrong and fix it. The mouse’s son is the one that caused the issue and they are trying to get him to say he is sorry so that all can have Christmas.

Why it’s Great: They used to show this every year on the 25 Days of Christmas on abcFamily. It’s a great spin on a classic tale.

Holly

23) Catch Me If You Can (2002)

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Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the film based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. Frank is a conman who pretends to be a teacher, pilot, doctor, and lawyer all before his 21st birthday. He steals millions of dollars in forged checks. Tom Hanks is the FBI Agent, Carl, that tracks him through the years, finally  catching up with him.

Why it’s Great: While this isn’t your typical Christmas film, Christmas plays a significant part as it is the time that the two intersect throughout the years in the film. DiCaprio and Hanks are amazing in this film as they are such subperb actors. It’s a great thing to watch.

Holly

22) Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)

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This film takes place in the midst of Beauty and the BeastThe Beast hates Christmas, because in this version that’s when the Enchantress came and turned him into a Beast. Belle is trying to bring back Christmas to the castle and help heal the Beast’s soul, but has to contend with an evil organ played by Tim Curry. For more Beauty and the Beast posts go here.

Why it’s Great: While the song “As Long As There’s Christmas” is no “Be Our Guest” or “Tale as Old as Time“, it is extremely adorable. Plus Tim Curry as the villian? You just know its going to be awesome. 😀

Holly

22) Frosty the Snowman (1969)

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Short film based on the song about the magic hat that brings a snowman to life and his adventures with the town’s kids.

Why it’s Great: Its Frosty! How can you not love him?

Holly

21) Babes in Toyland (1986)

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Drew Barrymore is a young girl who is not quite in the Christmas’ spirit. There is a huge storm and she gets into an accident waking up in Toyland. Mary Contrary (who looks just like her sis in ‘real life’) is being forced to marry the evil Barnaby Barnacle. She really loves Jack Be Nimble (played by Keanu Reeves and looks like her sis’ bf in ‘real life’.) Barrymore tries to stop the wedding and Barnaby’s atempt to conquer Toyland. They have to find the toymaker and get his help in saving the land.

Why it’s Great: This Wizard of Oz-esque film is adorable as it brings all the nursery rhymes you learned as a child to life.

Holly

20) Edward Scissorhands (1990)

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A young creation, Edward Scissorhands, is discovered by an Avon saleslady, Peg. His creator was going to give him actual hands, but was not able to finish Edward before he died. The Avon saleslady takes him home to her place and has him join the family. Edward falls for the daughter Kim, played by Winona Ryder. Edward quickly becomes liked by all as he uses his scissors to create lawn art and cute hairstyles. After he is caught burglarizing a house, for Kim and her jerk boyfriend, he finds himself ostracized. In the end Edward is able to find love, his place, create more art, and make it snow.

Why it’s Great: First of all it has Vincent Price, in fact this was his last film before he died. It also is a super cute story, even though it has its sad moments. The last section of the film deals with Christmas, as Peg and her family throw a huge Christmas party that no one comes to as they are shunning the fam. I love Winona Ryder’s white dress in this film, I really want one for myself. It’s also really cute at the end when Edward makes the ice sculptures, and snow.

Holly

19) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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Our second Tim Burton film on our list. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, and the most popular guy in Halloweentown is disatisfied with his life. He journeys out of town and discovers doors to other holiday towns. When he goes into Christmasland he decides that he will take over Christmas and improve it. Of course nothing turns out quite as he plans.

Why it’s Great: Its an amazing film, the music, characters, etc. Of course best lines, “why does nothing turn out as I plan“. My favorites are “What’s This?” and “Sally’s Song“.

Holly

18) While You Were Sleeping (1995)

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Sandra Bullock works at a toll booth and everyday she watches the distinguished (and my opinion ugly) Peter Gallagher and has developed a crush on him. One day he is attacked and injured and she saves his life. At the hospital she is mistaken for his fiancé and soon brought into the family. She falls in love with them, along with Gallagher’s brother, played by Bill Pullman. Gallagher wakes up to find himself massively confused, and Bullock finds herself engaged to the wrong brother. Everything works out on the end as all is righted.

Why it’s Great: Well first of all it has Bill Pullman :D. Secondly it is a hilarious film, just like all of Bullock’s comedys. I mean the amnesia scene is to die for. The proposal scene with Bill Pullman is so an adorable and romantic!

Holly

17) The Holiday (2006)

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Two women who have  suffered horrible breakups switch homes for the Christmas holiday. Iris, Kate Winslet, in England goes to California, and befriends an elderly neighbor and falls in love with a Hollywood movie theme writer (played by Jack Black). Amanda, Cameron Diaz, in California, moves to England and falls for Iris’ brother, Jude Law, widower with two kids.

Why it’s Great: Its an absolutely adorable idea and the couples match up are perfect. Of course the most points go to the sexy dad, Jude Law. 😀

Holly

16) Nestor: The Long- Eared Donkey  (1977)

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Nestor is a donkey born with extremely long ears. In the vein of Dumbo, Nestor is constantly picked on and bullied for being so different. An angel encourages him that he was born that way for a reason and has a special purpose in life. Eventually, Nestor finds himself being the donkey that Mary rides in to Bethlehem, protecting her and the unborn Baby Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is such a cute movie!!!

Holly

15) The Little Drummer Boy (1968)

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This film is based on the song, “Carol of the Drum” or “The Little Drummer Boy“. A little boy and his animals end up becoming slaves to a circus, being treated cruelly by all. He escapes and one of his animals is injured. He meets up with the Three Magi’s caravan and goes with them to see Baby Jesus. His animal is healed and he plays his drum as thank you to Jesus.

Why it’s Great: It is one of the most adorable classic cartoons that they used to show every year on abcFam.

Holly

14) Jack Frost (1979)

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Jack Frost has fallen for a human girl and makes a deal that will allow him be human. He is until Spring to win her over and must also gain a horse and bag of gold in order to remain human. Being a human is harder than he thought as he has no idea the social niceties and has to contend with Kubla Khan, the evil dictator.

Why it’s Great: Jack is amazing, much better than the gold knight the girl end sup with ;(. Makes you knida wish he was real. This cartoon also has great musical numbers as “Jack Frost” and “Just What I Always Wanted“. I also loves Kubla Khan’s little dummy that he talks to.

Holly

13) The Godfather (1972)

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Such an awesome film! The Godfather is a story about the Italian mafia in the 1940s. This specific sect is overseen by Don Corleone. He has three sons; Alfredo (played by John Cazale), Santino (James Caan), and Michael (Al Pacino); and one daughter, Connie (Talia Shire). Santino is next in line to be godfather, skipping over his brother Fredo. Unlike his siblings, Michael wants nothing to do with his father’s  business, instead wanting to live a “legal” life. When Don Corleone is shot by a rival, it changes everyone’s plans as they are all spiraled down a new path.

Why it’s Great: Two words, The Godfather. There is no way to describe how amazing this film is, well actually You’ve Got Mail does a pretty good job.  You just have to check it out for yourself. This film isn’t a Christmas movie really, but does have a Christmas scene, so it counts. It’s funny, but even though this doesn’t have Thanksgiving, we usually watch it then in my family.

Holly

12) The Nativity Story (2006)

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A retelling of the birth of Christ from Mary and Joseph’s point of view. It shows the struggle that Joseph goes through, contemplating what to do about pregnant Mary. Then the two have to travel far and long to Bethlehem.

Why it’s Great: They tried to keep the story as historical accurate as possible and do such a great job. It really tries to bring the biblical text to life and get you to empathize with the two and the situations they are going through.

Holly

11) The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1988)

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A mini-series based on C.S. Lewis’ beloved books. Four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, enter a wardrobe and a magical world. The four find themselves caught in a battle between the evil White Witch and the Godly Lion, Aslan.

Why it’s Great: C.S. Lewis’ great book = Great movie. Enough said! While Christmas isn’t the biggest part of the plot, the group do run into Father Christmas who gives them gifts they need to win the fight against the White Witch. Peter gets a sword and shield, Susan a bow and horn that will always bring help, and Lucy a dagger and a healing substance to help the wounded. While this movie was remade by Disney, it doesn’t hold a candle to this mini-series, as the series while not having the great special effects, is almost exactly the book.

Holly

10) White Christmas (1954)

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Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are WWII veterans who became a song and dance duo. The two meet up with a pair of singing sisters and both head off to the same ski lodge. There they discover their old general is the owner, and may lose the place from lack of buisness and snow. The two come up with an idea to house a show there with the sisters. Bing Crosby starts a romance but the two break it off due to some misunderstandings. In the end they are all reunited and have a great number honoring the General and singing the title, White Christmas.

Why it’s Great: First of all Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye! Secondly this has some truly great musical numbers; such as “Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army“, “Sisters“, along with the title song. It’s a silly and zany film, you’ll love it.

Holly

8) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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The Peanut gang try to figure out the true meaning of Christmas amid all the insanities of the holiday.

Why it’s Great: It’s Peanuts! Snoopy is adorable as ever and Linus gives a great true meaning of Christmas speech.

Holly

9) A Garfield Christmas (1987)

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Garfield and the gang head out to the Arbuckle farm for some old fashioned country Christmas

Why it’s Great: Its from the good Garfield cartoons I grew up watching as a kid. That hilarious fat cat always makes the season brighter. Go here to watch.

Holly

7) A Christmas Story (1983)

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Adult Ralphie narrates the time when his nine-year-old self desired a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas and all the trouble he went through to try and get it. Throughout the time leading up to Christmas, he, his family, and friends are involved in all kinds of crazy antics. The father wins a female leg lamp, Ralphie’s friend Flick gets his tongue stuck to a pole, his brother won’t eat unless pretending to be a pig, Ralphie gets a pink-footed bunny pajamas, etc. It all leads up to one crazy Christmas.

Why it’s Great: This movie is extremely hilarious. Pretty much every scene I mentioned there and more. It is  is truly a classic piece. You gotta add it to your Christmas countdown. 😀

Holly

6) The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

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The Bishop is trying to get a new cathedral built along with all his other duities. Feeling stressed out, he calls out to God for help, and is answered by angel Dudley, Cary Grant. Dudley helps out, that is by spending all his time with the Bishop’s wife. Through this the Bishop is finally able to see what really matters in his life and the true meaning of Christmas.

Why it’s Great: Uh…Cary Grant! It also has such funny actics as when we see Grant’s angel powers. I mean I wish I had his tree decorating skills. This film also proves the old adage, “be careful what you wish for” is something that one should think on. 😀 For more thoughts on this film go here.

Holly

5) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

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The Grinch hates Christmas and decides to destroy and end the holiday, ruining the holiday for all the Whos. However, the Grinch finds out what the true spirit of christmas is, whether he wants to or not.

Why it’s Great: The Grinch was always my fav Dr. Seuss book. I just love the story so much! I remember that one year I ate a ton of a certain type of cereal and sent away for a special Grinch keychain. I lost it though in one of our moves.  This film is also awesome because it has the amazing Boris Karloff narrating, and has one of the all-time best songs, You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.

Holly

4) Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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A Macy’s department store Santa believes himself to be the “real” Santa Claus. His insistence lands him in jail and then in a huge court case to determine whether or not Santa is real

Why it’s Great: It’s an amazing film about faith, believing in the intangible, and the true meaning of Christmas.  Edmund Gwenn is a perfect Santa, Maureen O’Hara is lovely as always, and it stars a young Natalie Wood.  It has amazing scenes as Santa turns Macy’s into a store of goodwill, taking down the psychologist, and pretty much just being adorable. Best scene ever is the court scenes when they prove Santa’s real. 😀

Holly

3) Holiday Inn (1942)

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Bing Crosby plays a burnt out singer and moves to Connecticut to buy a country home and live a simple life. It soon becomes too much for him and he turns it into a hotel, open only on holidays. (Sounds like my type of place) Wannabe star Linda Mason starts to work for him and the two fall in love. Unfortunately, Crosby’s old partner and womanizer, played by Fred Astaire, comes back into the picture and tries to break up the two. It involves a lot of zany romance and comical moments.

Why it’s Great: The holiday songs are amazing; White Christmas, Happy Holidays, (Come to) Holiday Inn, Be Careful It’s My Heart, I Can’t Tell a Lie, etc. The wonderful partnership of Bing and Fred make this movie really great! 😀 A great watch. Now for some fun facts. This is the first time “White Christmas” was performed in a film.  The same set was used for the film White Christmas which also stars Bing. The hotel chain Holiday Inn got their name from this movie.

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2) The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

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Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan work together in a shop in Budapest and can’t stand each other. Unbeknownst to them they are actually the pen pals that they are falling in love with. Stewart realizes this and does everything he can to show Sullivan that he is the man she loves and the two end up happily ever after. It was later remade as You’ve Got Mail.

Why it’s Great: JIMMY STEWART! That pretty much says it all. I love this film so, so, so, much, there are no words to describe how great it is. So romantic! ❤

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1) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a troubled man. An angel, Clarence, is given the story of George’s life and sent down from heaven to help him. George has always dreamed of leaving his hometown and traveling the world. Unfortunately, no matter what he does he continues to be stuck there. He marries and helps the town in many ways, but doesn’t realize all the good he does. However, when a large sum of money goes missing and everything in his life seems to be going wrong he wishes he was never born at all. Clarence helps him by granting his wish and showing him how ugly Bedford Falls would be without him.

Why it’s Great: This is one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart films. There’s a reason why this film is played every year, besides the fact that it is JIMMY STEWART! It is a great movie that really shows you how even the smallest acts can make a difference in people’s life. If you’d like to read more of my thoughts on this film go here. This film always makes me think of my dad. He has done so much for people and can get frustrated as he doesn’t feel like his has accomplished much. “Clarence: Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

So Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a great day full of family, friends, and fun. 😀

On the 7th Day ‘Til Christmas: The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

On the 7th day ’til Christmas my blogger gave to me

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The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

I absolutely love this movie! After all it has Cary Grant! What could be a better Christmas present than that?

So the film starts off with Cary Grant going about the town helping out people, such as a blind man crossing the street. He observes the beautiful Julia Brougham, Loretta Young, eyeing a hat and runs into Professor Wutheridge (Monty Woolley). He pretends that the two are old friends and asks him how Julia and her husband, Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) are. The Professor tells them that Henry has no time for anyone these days. He is solely focused on getting money from the wealthy to build a cathedral.

We then switch to the Brougham house. Julia is waiting for Henry to finish his meetings so they can have dinner. Henry is tired and worn out trying to get his cathedral built. A wealthy member of his church, Mrs. Hamilton, will give him all he needs to create it, but only if it is how she wants it built, in memoriam to her late husband. The two are at an impasse as Henry is not willing to sacrifice his principals.

“Bishop Henry Brougham: Mrs Hamilton, this cathedral cannot be designed for the glory of an individual.  It has to be created for all the people.”

Mrs. Hamilton doesn’t approve of a speech as that and reminds Henry she has the power to destroy everything he is working for.

“Mrs. Hamilton: You will build that cathedral as I want it or you will not build it at all.”

After everyone leaves, Julia tells Henry how proud she is of him, but Henry is not pleased. He is just more disheartened than ever. Angry with Mrs. Hamilton, he promises to get that money, claiming there are many other rich people in this town. Julia tries to get him to focus on their family and marriage; trying to have him focus on what is truly important. But, Henry just won’t listen. Julia gives him a Roman coin that Professor Wutheridge gave her to give him; but Henry just angrily screams that it is worthless. Henry starts to realize how he is acting and attempts to make amends with Julia. He tries to make plans to go out with Julia the next day for lunch at the restaurant they always used to go to, Michels. Instead he ends up having to go to a luncheon for the church. Henry feels as if he is on the brink and beings to pray.

Suddenly Cary Grant appears in his office.

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And tells him he is an angel. Henry is shocked and at first doesn’t believe him, but Dudley, Cary Grant, assures him he is an angel and is just wearing his wings “on the inside”. Julia interrupts their discussion and Dudley introduces himself as Henry’s new assistant. Julia leaves, and Henry and Dudley resume. Dudley tells Henry to take him on faith, and just as he appeared, he disappears.

The next day the bishop is very worried as he can’t seem to get money out of anyone else. Dudley arrives to help, but Henry is not eager to give him any tasks as he is still unsure if Dudley is who he says he is. Julia comes to remind Henry about their date, but Henry has to break the news that he has a luncheon and other meetings. Dudley offers to go, but Henry doesn’t want to send him. Julia is angry at the broken promise, and takes their daughter Debby out; giving their housekeeper the day off. Henry asks Dudley what he will do, and Dudley says he is going to spend the day organizing the office. Henry leaves, and Dudley spends a total of 2 mins organizing; using all his angel powers to finish early. Dudley has decided that to help Henry see what is most important, he is going to make him jealous.

Julia and Debby are in the park, and Debby is sad that the other kids won’t let her join in their snowball fight. Dudley appears out of nowhere and offers to help her. He calls over the boy in charge, (little trivia fact: he’s the same kid who plays young George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life), and tells him that Debby will prove she is a contender. Dudley uses his angel powers to make her a great snowball thrower so that all the kids want to play with her.

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He invites Julia to go out for lunch with him, if she thought Michel‘s was a nice place. Julia says she would but that there is no one to watch Debbie as Mathilda is out for the day. Dudley uses his angel magic, and Matilda appears telling Julia she was able to finish all her errands and would be glad to take Debbie with her. With that issue solved the two go off to Michel‘s.

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Dudley orders her meal in French, reads her palm, and tells her she is beautiful; giving her the attention she has been starved of these past few years.  He also buys her the hat she has been drooling over.

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Meanwhile, Henry has come home early to have lunch with his wife, to find her out with Dudley. Henry starts to feel jealous at this and lonely.

While Dudley and Julia are out they run into the Professor.

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He invites them over for a drink to celebrate the Christmas spirit. The two go over and discuss the book the Professor is writing. The Professor tells them that the book he has been working on for the past 20 years is nonexistent. He hasn’t been able to write anything as he feels that anything he could has already been done. Dudley gives the Professor back his coin and tells him all about this secret history on the coin. Julius Caesar minted for Cleopatra that were destroyed by Julius’ wife. All except one. The Professor is now inspired to write and eager to start.

Meanwhile back at home Henry is freaking out. His wife and Dudley are late. The help are all won over by Dudley and are preparing a special dessert and dinner for him. Henry is extremely angry with Dudley, but hasn’t quite figured out why.

The next day, Julie is very happy; and Henry noticing this change compliments her. Julia thanks him and reminds him about the St. Timothy choir performance. Henry promises to be there.

Downstairs Dudley is telling is telling Debby a story of about David. He also quotes her the 23rd Psalm. Henry watches them and becomes upset about how Dudley seems to be replacing him with his wife and children.

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Henry ends up having to meet with Mrs. Hamilton at the same time as the rehearsal, promising to get to there as soon as he can. Dudley asks to see Mrs. Hamilton, but doesn’t trust him and sends him with his wife instead.

When Henry sees Mrs. Hamilton he promises to fulfill all her demands, and tries to leave. Unbeknownst to him, Dudley used his angel powers to have him stuck in his chair. Butler Stevens and Mrs. Hamilton try to get him out, but can’t.

Over at St. Timothy’s, the reverend is disheartened that only two of the boys choir showed up to the rehearsal. Dudley tells the two to start singing. And soon, all the kids appear.

Henry ends up calling his housekeeper to bring him another pair of pants, as he is still stuck in the chair.

Dudley gets a cab and takes Julia and the cabdriver, Sylvester ice-skating. They all are magically able to do all kinds of flips and turns.

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When the two get home, Henry is extremely angry. He starts yelling at Dudley as soon as Julia has left the room.

Bishop Henry Brougham: You stopped me from joining you!

Dudley:  Julia had a very good time.

Bishop Henry Brougham: Well, I didn’t.

Dudley: If you’d sent me to Mrs Hamilton, I would have gone. You didn’t. So I represented you with your wife.”

Henry tells Dudley to leave as his work is competeled. He will have the Cathedral. Dudley tries to show him that there are more important things than a cathedral. There are people out there hurting and starving that could use the cathedral money for that instead. Henry fires him on the stop; praying he will leave. Dudley goes; but to Henry’s disappointment everyone in the house is in dismay that Dudley is gone.

The next day Julia and Henry go off to make all kinds of house calls, ending on Mrs. Hamilton. Right after they leave Dudley comes and magically decorates their Christmas tree.

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He also rewrites Henry’s sermon, having the typewriter magically take it down. He then proceeds to Mrs. Hamilton’s place.

He goes to Mrs. Hamilton’s and discovers a secret song composed with love from Allen, although her husband’s name was George. He plays the song on  the harp (of course), and Mrs. Hamilton comes down and starts talking to Dudley.

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She tells him that she was going to marry Allen, but became afraid because he had no money or job, Allen died shortly after. She married George, but never loved him. After George died, she felt guilty as he really loved her. Since then she’s been building monuments to him. Dudley convinces her to do something more meaningful.  When Henry and Julia come; Mrs. Hamilton tells them that she wants all her money to go to charity and to have Henry direct it.

He sends Julia home and goes over to see the Professor. He tells the Professor that Dudley is an angel and has stolen his wife and child. He doesn’t know what to do. The Professor convinces Henry that he has to fight for Julia. Henry is encouraged and takes off for home.

Dudley comes home and speaks to Julia. Julia becomes angry with what Dudley tells her, she doesn’t like how he seems to be hitting on her. She tells him to leave forever, and runs up the stairs. Henry threatens to beat up Dudley as he wants to fight for Julia. Dudley lets him know that his mission is complete and that he is leaving, when he goes no one will remember anything about Dudley.

“Bishop Henry Brougham: I don’t trust you, Dudley.

Dudley: You may, Henry. Because your prayer has been answered.

Bishop Henry Brougham: That’s not true. I was praying for a cathedral.

Dudley: No, Henry. You were praying for guidance. That has been given to you.”

Dudley leaves and Henry runs upstairs to be with his wife and child. He has finally remembered that spending time with family is the most important thing. Julia and Henry leave for the church so he can give his Christmas Eve sermon.

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Dudley stops by to listen for a bit before he takes off and returns to heaven.

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To start the 12 Posts of Christmas from the beginning, go to On the 12 Day ’til Christmas: The 12 Men of Christmas

For the previous post, go to On the 8th Day ’til Christmas: Holiday in Handcuffs

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For more on The Bishop’s Wife, go to the 25 Films of Christmas

For more on Cary Grant, go to Anything Can Happen: An Affair to Remember (1957)