Welcome To My Brain

So I've been struggling to figure out just how to kick this thing off. And suddenly I found myself with a great post that started as a comment to a friend's FB question: What are your Top Five Christmas movies?

This is REALLY hard to narrow down so I did ten (and a bonus). My list includes some movies that people will NOT consider Christmas movies, but I think they are. (I provided some insight into my choices too.)

1. 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' - (Because it's got a heart as big as Christmas, the coolest & most misunderstood protagonist since Spencer Tracy's Captain T.G. Culpepper and because it's unrepentantly weird. And Tim Burton is a god.)

2. 'It's a Wonderful Life' - (I could write an entire book on this one. Hmm, maybe I will...)

3. 'Brazil' - (The anti-'It's a Wonderful Life.' As dark and bizarre as film making can get and yet strangely inspiring. Robert De Niro's Archibald "Harry" Tuttle is proof that even a tiny part can make a film.)

4. 'Edward Scissorhands' - (I really don't even know where to start with this one. It's the movie that made me change my entire opinion about Johnny Depp. It's the only movie I've EVER sat through twice in a row in the theater. It has a castle at the end of a cul-de-sac. It explains where snow comes from (at least in California or Florida or wherever it's supposed to be set). And the cast? Holy cow! Depp, Winona Ryder, Alan Arkin, Dianne Wiest, Kathy Baker, Conchata Ferrell, Anthony Michael Hall and my hero Vincent Price in his last film role.)

5. 'Christmas Vacation' - (Chevy Chase at his manic best: 'Refill your eggnogg? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?')

6. 'A Christmas Story' - (If I have to explain this one, you FAIL Christmas. No presents for you.)

7. 'Scrooged' - (Carol Kane: 'Oh look Frank! It's a TOASTER!' and Bill Murray - no further explanation required)

8. 'Gremlins' - (Again, unrepentantly weird and dark: 'And that's how I learned there was no Santa Claus.' AND it has the original Seymour Krelborn and Audrey: Dick Miller and Jackie Joseph)

9. 'The Lady In White' - (Fantastic, highly underappreciated film with a still-young Lukas Haas that contains everything from sheer terror to a heartwarming, ghostly reunion: 'I like you. You're weird.' Plus Len Cairou and Katherine Helmond )

10. 'Home for the Holidays' - (Yeah, yeah it's set at Thanksgiving - but still, Robert Downey Jr. and Cynthia Stevenson chewing scenery: 'Are you calling me a freak, you little perv?' 'No, I'm calling you a product of baboon lovin.' Plus Charles Durning and Anne Bancroft)

BONUS! 'A Wish for Wings That Work' - (Not technically a movie, but IMO, the absolute best animated holiday special ever. I think it was only shown ONCE on TV. I sought out the DVD. It has all the right ingredients in just the right amount, including a healthy dose of sarcasm & weirdness: 'An ALBATROSS! My puny little wings weren't good enough for her. She had to have an ALBATROSS!' Plus, how can you go wrong with Opus, Bill the Cat and a cross-dressing cockroach?)

Again, welcome to my new forum. We're going to laugh, get angry, learn about everything from obscure trivia to cooking - maybe even cry. If you don't agree with my opinion, I respect that. (In fact, I welcome it.) Please tell me so and why. But for Pete's sake, if you're going to do that, be a grownup about it and don't hide behind an oh-so-clever-screen name. I'm using my real name, so you should too. And be warned, this is my playground. I make the rules (which I PROMISE will be fair). But I will ban you from it if you're bully, a jerk or a cyber-stalker.



p.s. If you'd like to contribute things from your own little corner of the world, let me know. I'm thinking I'd love to have a bunch of regular guests - just like 'Pee Wee's Playhouse'!

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Dissenting opinions are always welcome and even encouraged because they help keep the author honest and can be a source of enlightenment. However, be advised that openly hostile and completely off topic comments or ad hominem attacks will be summarily dispatched to the Forbidden Zone.