Saturday, December 20, 2008


Holiday Movie Category: Heartfelt, Tear-jerking, Life-Affirming Nonsense


A Geordi La Forge X-mas weepy, banana chicken skates, dickhead little brothers, Gandalf Claus, elves with personality disorders, Blacky McGanja the Reindeer Wrangler, the healing power of figure skating, and Blizzard, the Vagina-Having Reindeer.

More details here.


10 Steps for a Touching Holiday Story:

1. Watch Princess Bride, take notes.

2. Cute little girl suffers a tragedy just before the holidays and she loses her X-mas spirit. In this case, cute little girl loses her little sledding pal when his family moves away.

3. Mom and Dad call on elder parent/grandparent/extended family member to dispense sagely advice to the kid because they are clueless. In this case, it’s Aunt Millie (Brenda Blethyn) fresh from Africa (?) with a holiday yarn to warm your cockles (if you have any).

4. Aunt tells story about another little girl who suffers similar tragedy during the holidays. In this case, the young girl is a talented ice skater who’s trained by a famous Olympian. Unfortunately, her Dad is laid-off and and the family must move to a new city.

5. Things gets worse for little girl in story but there’s hope. In this case, little girl goes to a new school and is shunned by snobby skating classmates. Fortunately, her talent is recognized by a kindly teacher.

6. Girl/audience gets bored, so Aunt Millie adds a fantasy subplot. In this case, the magical origin of Blizzard (voice of Whoopie Goldberg), one of Santa’s female reindeer born with the powers to fly like the wind, become invisible, and hear children’s prayers.

7. Human/animal character plot complication parallel. In this case, jealous classmate torments the little skater girl who loses her skates and prays to Santa (Christopher Plummer) for new ones. Blizzard is rejected by Santa’s head elf Archimedes (Kevin Pollack) because traditionally female reindeer are not allowed to pull the sleigh, despite her miraculous abilities.

8. Plot/subplot converges towards mystical resolution. Blizzard hears little girl’s pleas, breaks North Pole rules and brings her to Santa’s to give her a new pair of skates. Girl wins skating competition and gains self-confidence. Blizzard brought to trial.

9. Main plot resolution, subplot loose ends wrapped up. Little girl goes to North Pole and defends Blizzard who gets to haul Santa's fat ass every year. All ends well. Real-life girl and Aunt Millie sing around the X-mas tree and an obvious plot twist.

10. Author’s gooey message, profit.


El T will admit it. El T hasn’t been a great person. El T’s lied to family and friends. El T’s stolen from the government, my employer, and various movie studios. El T’s kicked a few pets around. El T refers to El T in the third person. El T probably won’t be going to masked movie geek Heaven. El T has come to terms with his personal vision of Hell: a dozen hot pokers roasting by a sneering demon's throne ready for visits up my hinder, two beds of red-hot nails betwixt El T will be sandwiched while Totie Fields and Nell Carter dance a jig on top to the echoes of my suffering; El T’s agonizing thousand-year disemboweling by Bozo the Clown with a mouth of flesh-honed daggers while he dangles an Italian sub, a morphine smoothy, and boobie mags teasingly above my head. It’s there and waiting. And the infernal woe will all be hosted by Whoopie Goldberg.

Despite that, she gave me the greatest gift this X-mas. She spared me the sight of her fugly mug in a slight, syrupy kid’s film. Overall, Blizzard is a fairly competent and well-executed kiddy holiday movie. Director LeVar Burton is a sentimentalist and sort of dull, but he is a capable TV movie maker. The story and script are predictable and syrupy, but it’s all supported by a fine cast. Plummer pulls off one of the best Ian McKellen-as-Gandalf impressions I’ve ever seen, and his Santa Claus is a highlight, forsaking the usual ho-ho-ho with a somber performance and replacing the red suit with white trim for more traditional garb, much like the original St. Nicholas. Blizzard is simple harmless hum-drum hooey, but it’s sure to entertain little kids and keep parents’ mild attention, so long as El T’s hellish narrator keeps her pukey face out of sight.

(Whoopie – JK! - call me!).

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