The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 18 "A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 18: “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17

Last week for the Advent Calendar I wrote about the Netflix original “A Christmas Prince”. I teased that I would talk about the sequel soon, and that’s what I’m going to do today. After the “success” of the first movie a sequel was deemed “necessary” I suppose. I thought they wrapped everything up pretty well in the first movie, but, spoiler alert, it ended with a proposal. I guess Netflix decided they needed to continue this story. That is about the only good thing I can say about “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding”.

My biggest beef with the sequel is, they had fun goofing off in the first one and expected nothing. In this one, they tried too hard to make a bad movie. It was too aware of how ridiculous and goofy the first one was. They tried to make it just as silly, if not more so, than the first one. That’s a problem. That would be like Tommy Wiseau trying to make a sequel to “The Room” right now. He knows how bad it is, but he’s capitalizing in a different way. He’s doing his thing, and it works for him. With “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding”, they just made a bad holiday movie.

This one wasn’t nearly as fun. The chemistry between the 2 leads, they didn’t have much to begin with, was dead on arrival. The Queen, who asked to be invited to their next sledding expedition, got her wish, but it felt hollow. That whole sledding scene was unnecessary. The bad guy was down and out, looking “haggard”, but he turns out to be a good guy. He helps the leads this time around. The sister all of the sudden became tiresome and a genius computer hacker. The friends were pretty useless, even though they had much bigger roles. The people who work in the castle were just as single minded and boring as in the first. They didn’t need to be in this movie. The wedding planner, a new character, was a caricature of every single over the top party planner. He was insufferable. The main guy was barely in this movie. I hardly remember any scene he was in. I could easily say the same for the female lead. She drifted in and out without any real notice.

The most egregious thing, they recast the female lead’s dad, and gave him a much, much bigger role. He was the comic relief, and this actor took a big swing. He whiffed, and he whiffed big time. He was over the top, told corny jokes and was just too much. I found myself get angry when he showed up on screen, and I even started to dislike the character. In the first movie the dad was barely a side character. But the sequel decided he needed to be a main player. That was a mistake.

“A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding” was a sequel not needed. Most sequels aren’t needed. But, as I said, I think Netflix wanted to jump on the bandwagon and keep this story going. I just wish this one didn’t take itself serious. More so, I wish they just goofed off more and had more fun. I also think, due to the fact that a ton of people watched this, they’re going to make more. Don’t. They should have stopped at one. If you’re a person like me, and you need to watch everything in a movie universe, I guess you should watch this movie, but you won’t enjoy it. I know I didn’t. I’d much rather just watch “A Christmas Prince” instead.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 17 "American Psycho"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 17: “American Psycho”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16

The holiday season feels like a competition. We want to to one up our friends and family with better gifts. We want to impress our neighbors with superior outdoor decorations. We want to be the most stylish, and the most recognizable, at our office holiday parties. The competition of the holiday season is not only annoying, it is also dehumanizing. It is not a shock that some of us have fantasies about murder and mayhem on all of those around us when the competition hits a little to close to our own neurosis.

At the Sundance Film festival in 2000 writer director Mary Harron premiered her film adaptation of the novel “American Psycho”. The film was a hit and featured future Oscar winners Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon, and in a star making role, Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman. “American Psycho” revived interest in author Brett Easton Ellis’s work, and became one of the definitive films of the early 21st century.

Early in the film, Patrick Bateman is at a Christmas party with a fiance he does not love, work friends he loathes, and massive insecurity about his place in the world. Drugs and alcohol are no help. The banality of 1980’s pop music is helping him get by a little bit, but Bateman needs more. He needs to destroy what feeds his insecurity. At the Christmas party, Bateman convinces Jared Leto’s Paul Allen to have dinner. The dinner is a disaster, and the evening ends with Bateman murdering Allen with a shiny ax while the dulcet tones of Huey Lewis and the News tell us all that it is hip to be square.

The weeks following Christmas find Bateman destroying anyone he sees as artificial. The false commercialism of the holidays have broken the young Wall Street worker. In the end, Bateman’s own artificial nature saves him from any punishment. He is free to wreck havoc on the poor yuppies of Manhattan next Christmas time.

The commercialism of Christmas is dehumanizing. We do not want the latest, expensive, gift, but we must participate. We really do not care about the fashionable holiday getaway, but we still make sure to book the trip. The fanciest business card from one of our office mate drones, who cares? You better damn well believe though that we are going to one up Brad from marketing. If we can not do better this holiday season, we may just go insane. In our insanity it is important to remember that ATM’s do not eat cats.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Sometimes we go crazy during the holiday’s we discover something dark from Christmases past. The gang knows this all too well in “A Very Sunny Christmas”.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Elite College Players Should Sit Out their Meaningless Bowl Game

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College football bowl season kicked off this past Saturday. Some notable teams played, like Arizona State, Eastern Michigan and Utah State. The "bigger" games will start ramping up very soon. In 12 days we have the playoff semifinals and the first of the New Year's Six bowls kick off. What I want to talk about today is the players who are skipping the game to prepare for the NFL draft.

This really became a thing a few years back. I remember when Christian McCaffery did it while at Stanford. I remember Jabrill Peppers saying he was hurt 2 years ago at the Orange Bowl, but I believe he sat it out to preserve himself. Leonard Fournette did it while at LSU. The common thread for these players was the fact that the teams they were on did not play in the playoff, so why risk injury in what is a glorified exhibition game? When Peppers did it, I was frustrated because I knew he could have helped Michigan win. When McCaffery and Fournette did it, I didn't really care. Now it has become a common theme. Big time underclassmen who declare for the draft are starting to sit out non playoff bowl games more and more. And, while I said I was frustrated that Peppers did it, I understood why.

Now, I fully support these players who skip a meaningless bowl game to get ready for the NFL. These kids are getting ready to go into their professional careers, so why risk a fluky injury in a pointless game? Jake Butt, a former Michigan tight end, played in that very same Orange Bowl that Peppers sat out, and in the fourth quarter of that game he tore his ACL. Prior to the bowl game he was a 2-3 round pick easily. After the injury he dropped to the late fourth round, and he has only played in a few NFL games. He also tore his ACL again. Peppers, on the other hand, is a starter on the Browns. He plays safety, nickel and returns kicks from time to time. He has not suffered any bad injuries either. He made the correct decision. I know that Butt had to prove a bit more, Peppers was a sure fire first rounder, but still, had he sat out that game, he could have easily been a second round pick. And look at what McCaffery is doing in the NFL this season. Sure, his rookie year was a struggle, but now, he and Cam are the focal point of that Panthers offense. I know they have struggled of late, but McCaffery has been putting up great numbers this year. Fournette was a huge reason why the Jaguars were so solid last year, and it was because he was fresh and healthy as a rookie. He logged a ton of carries last year and was the focal point of their offense. All of this happened because he had the time to get prepared for his career. He didn't waste his time with pointless practices and a pointless game.

This year a bevy of top prospects are siting out their bowl games. Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Clemson will have all their guys, but that is because they are in the playoff. Houston though will be without Ed Oliver. ASU didn't have N'Keal Henry for their game. Michigan will be without Rashan Gary and possibly Devin Bush. West Virginia won't have their star QB Will Grier. Memphis will be without their all purpose stud running back. Same for Kentucky. There are some others that I can't think of off the top of my head, but I know the number of players sitting out is well into double figures.

I cannot blame these kids. They are getting ready to go play a sport where the people in charge don't really care about you when you are past your prime. The NFL chews up and spits out players left and right. So why would these kids, playing in minor to non playoff bowl games risk any minimal future they may or may not have in the NFL? If they were to play in their bowl game they could end up with the same fate as Jake Butt. I don't think Rashan Gary or Ed Oliver or N'Keal Henry want, or should have to, risk that. Hell, and if the NFL doesn't care about them, the NCAA sure as hell doesn't care about these kids. To the higher ups in the NCAA, all these kids are are money makers for them. These kids don't see a dime for playing at their respective schools. When I was in Ann Arbor earlier this year for a game I saw a ton of people in number 3 Michigan jerseys. Gary didn't see a single dime of that money. It all went to the school. Sane thing for Houston games. I saw a ton of people in the crowd with number 10 jerseys. You think Ed Oliver saw a dime of that? No way. I respect these kids for doing this. You should preserve yourself so you are fully ready and healthy to play at the next level. This is a smart, forward thinking move. If you are not playing for a title, why risk the injury concern, especially if you are a sure fire first round pick? And for the kids that play in the bowl games, I do love it still. Some are seniors, and this is their last chance. Some will be getting time for the players that are sitting out, and this is their chance to shine. Younger players get a shot and more practice time.

The bowl games are made for a good amount of the college players, just not the first rounders not playing in the playoff. I fully support the decisions of these players, and will continue to. Would I like to see Gary suit up and play in the Peach Bowl? Absolutely. Do I hold ill will because he is sitting it out? No way. He is the doing the best thing for him and his family. NCAA football players are smart and they are doing the right thing in saving themselves for the pros when they have a shot to make it.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He was going to sit out the SeedSing.com bowl, but we promised him a few kickbacks if he played. Welcome back Ty.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 16 "Rent"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 16: “Rent”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15

Christmas marks a time for reflecting on the year behind us, and what is to come in the new year. Most people will say that New Years Eve is the time for reflection, but in reality we tend to spend New Years Eve drunk, and News Year Day trying to sleep it off. Christmas is spent with family and friends we do not see very often, and we regale each other with stories from the previous year. On our way out the door, we share our dreams and good luck for the next twelve months. Christmas is truly the psychological end of one’s year and the beginning of another.

In 2005 the long waited film adaptation of the hit musical “Rent” finally hit the theaters. The critics were split on the film, and it was not a big hit at the box office. Since the premier of the musical in 1996, to the release of the movie, most people recognized the music as top notch, but the story has now been recognized as fairly ridiculous. The fact that the villain is an old friend who “sold out” wants to collect rent, you know so the sellout landlord can stay in business and house people, is a pretty darn stupid. The artists want to live their “free” lifestyle, but adulthood has rules. The story of “Rent”, loosely based off of 19th century opera, is one that appeals more to baby boomer nostalgia and does not speak very well to the gen xers and millennials that have mostly been struggling to keep ends meet in their early adult lives. By the time the movie “Rent” premiered, the majority of the audience was not enamored with it’s unrealistic faux bohemian story.

Yet the music of “Rent” is still great. Individually, many of the songs talk of being together, having fun, and remembering those we have lost in the last year. The story starts on Christmas eve of one year, a time everyone gathers together, and it ends on Christmas eve a year later, a time for us all to forgive and be together once again. The friends use the hope of new year to dream, and use the memories of the year past to learn, and dream again. “Rent” may not understand basic economics, but it gets the reflection of Christmas time.

The time we mark between Christmases is exactly five hundred and twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes (not including leap years), enough time to mark a year of memories. Many of those minutes are filled with pleasant things, and many are filled with sadness, but we reflect on them all every Christmas. One of the greatest gifts we get every December 25th is the ability to take the good and bad and turn it into the hopes for the next five hundred and twenty five thousand, and six hundred minutes (not including leap years). We can use Christmas as the time for new dreams. After all there is no day but today.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. The holiday season a long, long time ago introduced one of the greatest characters in “Star Wars” history in one of the worst programs in “Star Wars” history.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 15 "The Christmas Shoes"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 15: “The Christmas Shoes”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14

Yes the movie I choose for day fifteen is a little film called “The Christmas Shoes”. First things first, I have never seen this movie, but I wanted you the audience to be aware of it’s existence. I put it on here for two reasons, the star and the song.

“The Christmas Shoes” premiered in 2002 and Rob Lowe, aka one Ty’s favorite actors, was the star. I do not know why. Rob Lowe has always seemed to make pretty good career choices. To star in a movie based off a terrible christian book and song, that seems noteworthy. Maybe Lowe, like us all, has his own guilty pleasures. Starring in this maudlin, convoluted, story is his I guess. God speed Rob.

The other reason I think you should all be aware of “The Christmas Shoes” is because of the epic take down Patton Oswalt does on the god awful song. (Here is a great animation with Oswalt’s epic piece.) It may not be a movie, but that under eight minute YouTube clip is probably more worth your time than the two hour made for tv movie.

My gift to you this season is to make you aware that Rob Lowe starred in a made for tv movie based on one of the worst Christmas songs ever. Now you know, and that is half the holiday battle.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Do you know what can be festive and tacky at the same time? Christmas lights. Thank goodness there is a joyous song about all the lights we see during the season.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 14 "Black Mirror: White Christmas"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 14: “Black Mirror: White Christmas”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13

For day 14 of our Advent Calendar of holiday movies, I am going to kind of cheat a little bit. Instead of a movie, I'm going to pick an episode of "Black Mirror". Now, before you call me out because it is an episode of a TV show, its run time is 73 minutes. To be considered a movie that you can release in theaters it needs to be 80 minutes or longer. Well, at just shy of 80 minutes, the episode of "White Christmas" from season 2 of "Black Mirror" is far, far superior to some 80 minute long movies that get put into theaters. I would have much rather watched this in a theater as opposed to some movies that got nation wide releases. Give me "White Christmas" over some garbage I've seen, movies like "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter", or "Kickin it Old School" or even a halfway decent movie like "Millions". "White Christmas" is better than all of these. Plus, most of us watched this on Netflix just like any other movie.

For those that may be thinking this is a happy go lucky, typical holiday/Christmas movie or show, it is not. "White Christmas" is very bleak. There is no happy ending or pleasing life lesson learned. And for those that may have not watched this episode yet, and are considering, or even currently watching, RD I'm talking directly to you(ed note: Watched it last night), I am going to spoil quite a bit of things. So proceed with caution.

What I enjoy, and why I now go back to it every holiday season, is how dire this episode is. It all starts with Jon Hamm cooking a Christmas meal in some remote cabin. He is then accompanied by another gentleman, Rafe Spall, joining him for a meal. It seems, at least at first, that they are just a couple buddies on a trip, but that is most certainly not the case. Hamm is a very talkative, almost annoyingly upbeat dude. He just talks and talks Spall's head off, and Spall just kind of grunts and makes odd noises in his direction. But, through all this talking, Hamm gets Spall's character to open up, to tell his story, and it is bleak. Meanwhile there is another story going on, involving Oona Chaplin, you may know her from "Game of Thrones" or "Taboo", and it is depressing too. This one also involves Hamm.

Jon Hamm is a type of salesman, and Chaplin plays a super busy, needs everything done her way business lady. In this "Black Mirror" universe an egg like home has been created, and busy people like Chaplin can spend their days in the egg, with everything planned out perfectly accordingly by a host. Hamm plays this host. At first this is a great thing for Chaplin. She loves the structure. But, it becomes more and more insane as time goes on. The problem with the egg, you are at the whim of your host. They control you. You are shrunk down to fit in the egg, and if the host, who is regular sized decides to leave, you are left all alone. Oh, and time flies by in the egg. A day is an equivalent of a year. There are points when we see Chaplin in total disarray, or just laying on the floor, just waiting for her host to come back and start her day. And Hamm uses this to his advantage. He toys with her. He gives her menial tasks. He basically ruins her life. She becomes depressed, then insane. It is heartbreaking to watch her go through what she goes through.

We then go back to the cabin. As Spall begins to open up to Hamm, we find out that maybe this isn't a couple of buddies on a camping trip. This cabin might not be a cabin after all. It may be a snow globe that is essentially a prison. As the 2 men open up to one another we find out that they both have done some shady stuff.

Jon Hamm tells his story first. He ran this business that helped guys pick up girls. It was a shady online thing. A dude gets killed kind of shady. Hamm’s wife finds out that he was doing this, and she left him and blocked him. In this world, "blocking" means that you cannot hear the person, and there voice is inaudible. It is tragic. 

With Spall, what he has done is much, much worse. One night during a dinner party, after it is over, Spall is cleaning and he happens upon a positive pregnancy test. He is thrilled and brings it to his girlfriend. She is not so thrilled. She tells him she doesn't want the baby, leaves him and blocks him as well. He is devastated. He then becomes obsessed with her and begins to follow her around. After some time he sees, through the blocking system that his ex girlfriend had the baby and is raising it with the help of her father. Again, Spall becomes despondent. His stalking becomes much, much worse. He even tries to communicate with the child, although he cannot see or understand it, and neither can the child with him. After 4 years, Spall finds out that his ex has died in a train wreck, and this lifts the block. He can now see is child. He then proceeds to the ex's father's cabin to see her. Here he finds out that the child is not his. She is of Asian decent, and Spall is a white guy. Again, devastation befalls him. He realizes his ex was cheating on him, and the whole abortion idea was just a way to rid him of her and the baby. When he sees the child again, he has a snow globe to give her as a present. But, he runs into the ex's father first, and while pushing and pleading to see the kid, he gets into a fight. He then proceeds to hit the ex's father with the snow globe, and the blow to the head kills him. Spall has committed murder, and he flees the scene, leaving the child alone in the cabin in the woods.

After spilling all this to Hamm, we realize that they are in a prison version of the ex's father's cabin. He is in the very prison where he committed his heinous act, and he is left there to live in this nightmare for the rest of his days. After getting Spall to confess to what he has done, it is revealed that Hamm is talking to him via a type of virtual reality helmet like the one in the first story about the egg. He then removes his face and the 2 other people in the room with him seemed pleased with what he done. He has basically agreed to a plea deal, and if he could get Spall to confess, he would be free from his charges, running that shady online hook up thing, and all the stuff he did to Chaplin working for another shady online company.

When freed, it is revealed that there is a catch. The 2 other gentleman working with him tell him he is free, but everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, in the world is blocked. He walks out of the room, into the city, and it is all amorphous blobs and static sounds. Sure, he can see it is Christmas because of the décor on the buildings, but every single person, he is blocked from. This is almost the most tragic thing. He will spend the rest of his days as a free man, but in a prison of no human interaction. It is a harrowing end to a harrowing episode.

I love this take on "A Christmas Carol" from "Black Mirror". At least that was what I took it as. There are three stories that all seem to have that past, present and future story line. But this one is super bleak. I highly recommend that people who may be a little sick of the saccharin holiday movies or shows, and want something a little different, to watch this episode. It is "Black Mirror", so you know it will be well told and properly acted, but it will also be sad and scary. It is a good change of pace. This episode is now something I revisit every year around the holidays, and it gets better every time. This is a stand out of a show that is filled with nothing but great episodes. It's a masterpiece.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. For another tale that looks happy, but is quite bleak, check out the Pogues sing “Fairytale of New York”.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 13 "The Christmas Prince"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 13: “The Christmas Prince”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12

For the Advent Calendar today I want to talk about the Netflix original movie, “The Christmas Prince”, don’t worry, I’ll do the sequel soon. Pretty much everyone knows at least one thing about this movie. It was widely regarded as one of the worst, not only holiday movies, but worst movies ever. This is what I heard all last year, so I decided to avoid it. My wife watched it, but she watches every holiday movie no matter what. She loves them.

This year I decided that I needed to see what all the fuss was about. I’ve seen some really bad movies in my lifetime, so after reading what I read about this movie I was expecting something horrid. Before tuning in my wife did tell me she didn’t think it was as terrible as people made it out to be. The fact she was making what I deemed at the time an excuse, I thought I was in for a real, real bad movie. And, while “A Christmas Prince” is pretty bad, it’s not as awful as it was made to be.

First off, it’s better than any Hallmark Christmas movie, and I find myself enjoying those. The production value alone puts it above any Hallmark movie. But, while the acting is rough and stale and boring, it’s fine for what it is. The people that acted in this movie, I only recognized the main girl because my wife used to watch “iZombie”, seemed to know what they were making, and they had fun doing it. I’m pretty sure they didn’t expect awards or recognition or rave reviews. I’m sure they just wanted to shoot a holiday movie during the holidays, and they wanted to enjoy themselves. And that’s just what they do. Sure the leads have no chemistry, but I’m not watching the movie for their chemistry, I’m watching it to enjoy myself, have a laugh and make some jokes. And the side actors were just fine. There’s total typecasting, we have the gay and African American best friends, the widowed queen who still wants to have fun, the sassy little sister, the uptight workers at the castle, the dad that just wants what is best for his daughter and the evil guy and evil ex girlfriend. But that’s fine. They were all doing their best. In fact, the little sister and the bad guy, I enjoyed them quite a bit.

The story is total nonsense, but again, that’s fine. I’m not watching for the story. What I appreciate about this movie most is, it knows what it is, and they rolled with it. They had fun. They provided my wife and I ample joke opportunities. We had a blast watching together. It wasn’t nearly as awful as i was made to believe.

If you choose to watch this movie, go into it with very, very low expectations, and I think you’ll find yourself liking it as much as I did. While it’s no “Scrooged” or “Lethal Weapon” or “A Christmas Carol”, “A Christmas Prince” is far, far better than other holiday options, like “Love Actually”. I’ll take “A Christmas Prince” 10 times out of 10 over “Love Actually”. The movie is fine and it knows what it is. That’s more than enough for a cheesy holiday movie.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Today is the greatest day in Ty’s life. It’s his birthday. Have a great one Ty.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 12 "Eyes Wide Shut"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 12: “Eyes Wide Shut”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11

The holiday season can be quite busy for married couples. Many times we need to visit our parents, and with a married couple that is at least two sets of parents. If the couple has children, there is a number of school activities that must be attended. Within their own lives, married couples have numerous work gatherings, and parties thrown by their friends. With the constant need to be somewhere, or doing something, a married couple rarely finds time for themselves. Oh, and sex together is almost definitely out of the question.

In the summer of 1999 Stanley Kubrick’s last film “Eyes Wide Shut” opened in theaters. The legendary director had passed away a few months prior to film’s release. The production of “Eyes Wide Shut” was at four hundred days, a record that has still not been broken. The movie was a moderate success and has gone on as a curiosity for some, and part of a film student’s curriculum for others.

The plot of “Eyes Wide Shut” is fairly simple, and nonsensical. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, the Hollywood power couple of 1999, starred in the film as a married couple. Kidman’s character tells Cruise about a fantasy she has about having sex with a Navy man they met last year. Cruise is not happy about his wife’s fantasy, so he decides to go out on the town and be a little naughty. He almost kisses a prostitute, gets embarrassed and threatened by a secret society at an orgy, and identifies the body of a woman his friend was having sex with earlier in the film. Along the way we meet old friends who play piano at the orgy, a costume shop owner who sells his daughter into prostitution, and old friends who have sex with junkies that assure Cruise that everything is a okay. In the end, while shopping, Kidman tells Cruise there is only on thing left for them to do. With that “Eyes Wide Shut” ends with a one word exclamation. And this all takes place around Christmas.

It is hard to find time to be alone, and intimate, with one’s partner during the holidays. We all have much to do, in a very little time. We have school / church pageants. The shopping can take up morning, noon, and night. We might also find ourselves having to deal with the aftermath of an angry society of orgy havers. No matter how busy we are, couples should find the time to be together. To misquote Nicole Kidman at the end of ‘Eyes Wide Shut”, there is only one thing left for couples to do this holiday season and that is to cuddle.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Looking for a good Christmas tune that has some sadness behind it? Check out Tina S write about “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Kirk Cousins is Robbing the Vikings

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This offseason the Minnesota Vikings gave Kirk Cousins a 4 year, 84 million dollar contract fully guaranteed. I was skeptical of the contract simply because it was fully guaranteed. They are indebted to him every single penny of that 84 million dollars no matter what. He gets it all.

This was an insane deal. I even stated, after they signed him, that he hadn't done anything that warranted that type of money. Sure, he was putting up big stats, throwing a good amount of touchdowns and for 4,000 plus yards, but it was all hollow. He was doing against lesser competition. He was doing it in garbage time. He was doing it when the team had nothing really to play for. This is a guy who replaced Robert Griffin after he got hurt. Sure Griffin hasn't been good since, but at the time, he was on his way to being a real good pro and then he got hurt. Then Jay Gruden came in and essentially pushed Griffin out in favor of Cousins. Then Washington kept franchising him year after year. He kept putting up the stats, but again, the team never did anything of note.

This past offseason Cousins was free to go and the Vikings snatched him up. He was supposed to be the answer. This team made the NFC title game last year with Case Keenum, so Cousins was looked at as an upgrade. They had the defense, they supposedly had the running game, they have quality receivers, all they needed was the QB, and the Vikings thought that Cousins was the answer.

Well, after this past Monday Night game, against the Seahawks, the Vikings sit at 6-6-1. I don't think that is really what this team envisioned when they gave Cousins 84 million dollars guaranteed. They currently sit in the 6 spot in the playoffs, but this team had Super Bowl aspirations after singing Cousins. I picked them to be in the NFC title game. A lot of people did in fact. Some prominent writers had them in the Super Bowl. Some even had them winning it all. And all of it was due to the Cousins signing.

Those predictions don't look so hot right now. Cousins is proving to be the mediocre QB that a lot of people suspected he would be when he was a third round pick a few years back. He was drafted to be a backup. He was maybe going to start one day, but it would be on a middling team with no aspirations, basically what he was already doing in Washington. But nope, the pundits decided he was the guy to put the Vikings over the top.

After that Monday night game, I would have absolutely no hope for the next 4 years if I were a Vikings fan. Just look at his number against good teams, playoff teams. He holds an embarrassing record of 4-24 against teams with a record over .500. He is 0-7 in Monday night games. But most importantly, he is 0-1 in playoff games. Why is that the most important you ask? Well, for a guy getting 84 million guaranteed dollars for 4 years, he has been to 1 playoff game, which he lost fairly easily, in his entire career. That is not franchise QB stuff. That is not even Joe Flacco or Mark Sanchez or even Matt Hasselbeck stuff. Flacco has won a Super Bowl. Sanchez and Hasselbeck have been to conference title games. Hell, even Hasselbeck went to a Super Bowl. Even Blake Bortles has been to, and won more playoff games than Cousins. All these guys are awful QB's, but they have been so much further in important games than Cousins can even dream of right now. Cousins has been to, and won as many playoff games as Robert Griffin, the guy he replaced.

I'm at the point where I am even more certain that Cousins is overrated. He may put up numbers, but they don't matter. He is like the Kevin Love of the NFL, but even Love has a ring. I don't think Cousins will ever get that. He may get back in the playoffs again this year, maybe, but how likely will a win be? Not likely.

Cousins is robbing the Vikings, and he will continue to for the next 3 years. He is overrated and not very good. YOU LIKE THAT! If I were a Vikings fan, I would not think so.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Ty’s views of Cousins being overrated are not new. The QB came from Michigan State, the most overrated of Big Ten football powers.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 11 "Scrooged"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 11: “Scrooged”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10

For day 11 of our Advent Calendar of holiday movies, I want to talk about one of my favorites, "Scrooged". To me, this is the best telling of the famous holiday story.

For those that may not know, "Scrooged" is an "updated" version of Dickens famous "A Christmas Carol". But, in "Scrooged" we get the absolutely wonderful, in one of his best roles, Bill Murray in the main role. He is a TV exec, and all he cares about is money and his show. He could care less if people have to work on the holiday because to him, it is all abut the bottom line. When the lady in his life, the excellent Karen Allen, has had enough, she leaves him. This sends him into a tailspin where, he doesn't care who he hurts, and how badly he hurts them. He is on a mission to make everyone else feel as miserable as he does. And while it sounds like Murray is mean, and he is, he plays the role so funny that is almost hard to root against him. When I watch it, I kind of feel a bit for him. He is a miserable person, and his best way to cope with bad news is to make the people around him just as miserable. He even makes his cheery assistant, the great Alfre Woodard, angry enough to yell at him and be mean to him. By the way, Woodard, at the time, was an unknown to me, and she is so awesome in this movie. In fact, I have compared every role I have seen her in since this movie, and this is her best performance for me.

Anyway, after a night of yelling at everyone, and some heavy drinking, we get the "Christmas Carol" treatment. Murray is met by three ghosts throughout the night that show him what his life would have been like had he picked certain paths. He meets up with David Johansen early in the movie, some of you may know him as the lead singer of New York Dolls, or as Buster Poindexter, and he is the Ghost of Christmas Past. These scenes, while important, are kind of sad. We see why Murray acts the way he does. But, we also see that he could have not been this way had he made some different choices as a kid. We also see how different he could have been if the adults in his life where a bit more present. As I said, it is kind of sad, but Murray and Johansen make it funnier than it should be. They make it good. Johansen is great in this role too. I didn't know he could act until I watched him in "Scrooged". He was awesome.

Besides Murray, Carol Kane, as the Ghost of Christmas Past, is tremendous. She is so perfectly cast in this role. She has that sweet voice, sweet to me, and dresses so Disney-ish and seemingly nice. But she is anything but nice. Anytime Murray mouths off to her, she hits him with her wand, and she hits him hard. This gag is used a bunch and it works every single time. When she is not hitting him, she is showing him how the future will work if he continues to act like he currently is. No one wants to be around him. Allen wants nothing to do with him. His former co workers are much happier when he isn't around anymore. It is a real slap in the face, or whack with a wand if you will, to Murray.

The “Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is the same old black hooded grim reaper looking thing, but this one is full of tv’s. It is quite surreal.

After seeing all this, just like in every other "Christmas Carol" movie or book, Murray cleans up his act. But the way he does it in "Scrooged" is so much hipper, funnier and cooler than in any other version. Murray continues to act like a jerk, but it is all a façade. He is truly changing his ways. He is messing with people, but he has truly turned a leaf. He gives things to the home that Allen volunteers in. He gives Woodard the day off, but not before giving her a raise and a hug. He convinces Bobcat Goldthwait, who is so good in this movie, to not hurt anyone after all. He even stands up to people who continue to act like he does after he sees these three ghosts.

"Scrooged" is one of the best holiday movies. As I said at the top, I consider it the best version of this famous story. Murray totally drives this movie, but the supporting actors, mainly Carol Kane, do just as much heavy lifting. I watch this movie every year when I wrap presents, and I have grown to like it more and more every year. "Scrooged" is a classic, and it is one of Murray's best. In fact I think I want to go watch it right now. See ya.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. For a new take on the Santa Clause tale, check out the incredible “Twilight Zone” Episode “Night of the Meek”.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 10 "Lethal Weapon"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 10: “Lethal Weapon”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9

The Holiday season is not easy for everyone. While everyone else is festive and happy, we may have some personal pain that eggnog and candy canes cannot wash away. We may be mourning the loss of a loved one, or concerned about the unknown whereabouts of a grown child who has lost their way. The prospect of a new partner to work with may make us feel stressed. Even worse the new partner may be battling some personal demons that makes them reckless during the holidays. Sometimes we are just to old to deal with any of this during Christmas, or any time of the year.

In March of 1987 the iconic film ‘Lethal Weapon” was released in the United States. It went on to become a smash hit, spawn multiple sequels, and even get the reboot treatment with a television series. It was the first film from influential writer Shane Black. Legendary director Richard Donner came in to direct. It secured Mel Gibson as a movie superstar. “Lethal Weapon” was destined for great success.

Where there is debate about “Lethal Weapon” is if the first film is actually a holiday film. It takes place around Christmas, but the themes of “Lethal Weapon” is what makes it a violent, darkly comic holiday treat. The story of Riggs being lost in his grief, and being taken over by his depression, we see and read stories about that every December. The growth of a friendship between two very different souls is not that different than spirit of the season bringing joy. In the end of the movie Riggs gives Murtaugh a hollow point bullet, the one Riggs was going to use to kill himself, and says Merry Christmas. Also for good measure, Darlene Love plays Danny Glover’s wife in the movie. If the appearance of the person who sang David Letterman’s favorite Christmas tune doesn’t scream holidays, I do not know what does.

It is hard to forget about the pain that surrounds people during the holiday season. We become more charitable and forgiving in December because of the holiday spirit. We want to help those who need the help. “Lethal Weapon” has these themes in the DNA of a classic plot. If you need reminding of the magic of the holidays, and you need a great action flick with one of the greatest Gary Busey characters ever, gather the family to watch “Lethal Weapon” while you usher in this season of celebration. You will not be sorry.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. For another updated take on a classic Christmas story, check out the Doctor Who episode that makes their own revisions to Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Thom Yorke in Concert is not Radiohead, and it Still Rules

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Saturday night I saw one of the most interesting and entertaining live shows I've ever witnessed. Me, my buddy and 2 of my brothers saw Thom Yorke on his Modern Boxes tour.

It was incredible. I even liked the opener, which is out of the norm for me. The guy who opened, I unfortunately do not remember his name, was a very solid cellist. He played his cello really well, and he did some interesting things with it. The way he used the amplifier and pedal board he had was pretty cool. He played some rock songs, some classical stuff and did quite a bit of looping. It was cool. I found myself nearly entranced by his performance. Even when he started to play some recordings of children and people talking, and then proceeded to play cello over it, I found it very neat. I liked this guy. Then it was Thom Yorke's turn.

Going into this show I did not know what to expect. Yes, I had previously listened to the record he put out prior to this tour, and I have listened to his other solo stuff, but I had never seen him solo. I have seen Radiohead on multiple occasions, but they played Radiohead songs. I knew what I was going to see when I went to those shows. I was prepared to be surprised, in a good way, by this show though. I am a Radiohead fan. I, as I have said, listened to all of his solo stuff, so I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy it. In listening to his Modern Boxes stuff I did expect a layer of electronic music. Yorke seems to be leaning towards that style with his solo stuff, in a good way. I'm not a huge electronic music fan, unless it is done right. Yorke does it right.

So, when he came on stage, I was very, very excited. He and his 2 other musicians got right into it. Yorke said hi, and they immediately jumped into their set. Yorke moves and dances and sings and does his thing on stage no matter what. Another one of his band mates was playing all different kinds of instruments and he was as in to the set as Yorke seemed. Then there was the third guy. He stood in one spot the whole time and was seemingly typing on a keyboard. I'm sure he had something to do with the entire show, but he didn't move at all, until the end when he waved to the crowd.

That being said, I really, really liked what I heard from Yorke and his band. They played some wild, jumpy, bouncy and overall cool music. It was all very, very different from what I expected. But, I loved it. Even when he did some of his older solo stuff, like "Black Swan", it was a totally different arrangement from his first recording of the song. And I loved it. His new original stuff is also very, very good. It is the upper echelon of electronic music. Yorke is a total pro, and it showed on Saturday night. I like some electronic bands, like Ratatat, but Yorke is so, so much better than the stuff they do. The songs were unique and different and fun and I even felt a bit if a hip hop vibe here and there. It was so cool.

Also, the show going on behind the band, on the 4 separate screens they had, was one of the coolest things I have seen in my lifetime. It was all shapes that would change into other shapes. He also had this cool screen that was totally white, then a black ink drawings started to fill in all the white space. It then turned into a full on crazy color palette. I'm also not big into strobe light type stuff, but I found myself completely engaged and enraptured by what was going on behind the band. It was so cool. There were times I could not take my eyes off what was going on on those 4 screens.

Finally, the double encore was great. Yorke and his band came back out after about an 80 minute set and played three more songs for the first encore. Yorke did a solo version of "Reckoner", and it was so cool to hear it in a totally different way. A song that is so drum heavy was played brilliantly, minus the drums, by Yorke and his computer and mixing board. When he came back for the second encore, he played one song, and it was the most normal one of the show, but it was a perfect ending. He played one of his new songs from the movie "Suspiria", for which he wrote and arranged all the music. It was a pretty, beautiful and scary song that Yorke, even while messing up at one point, even saying "whoops", played excellently.

This show was amazing. I am so, so glad that I got to see it live. I'm so glad that I got to experience with some very important people to me. This was a great night. It was a night I won't soon forget. This show was amazing, and it was one of the better shows I've ever been to. What a night. A special thanks to my wife who bought the tickets as an early birthday gift. She really knocked it out of the park. 

If you are a Radiohead fan, go see this show. You will love it.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He does not care for electronica, unless it is good. Let that be a lesson, if your genre of music is not widely accepted, make it good.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 9 "Mister Scrooge to See You"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 9: “Mister Scrooge to See You”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8

Every new holiday season brings along new memories. There are many traditions we follow, but sometimes the classic way of doing things gets changed a little bit. Sometimes we have changed our traditions so much that they look very different from what our ancestors would do in their heyday. In order to get back to what is important, we need to remember why our celebrations became such an important part of our lives. Sometimes a reluctant, and confused, time traveler from the past needs to be that reminder.

“Mister Scrooge to See You” was unceremoniously released to the world in November of 2013. The film had no television premier, it did not play in theaters, but the new movie from .a small religious studio was made and released. It is currently one of the holiday offerings for Amazon Prime members. Folks, this is a real movie.

Let’s start with the plot of “Mister Scrooge to See You”. The story starts one year after Ebenezer Scrooge had his awakening by the ghost of Jacob Marley and three spirits. Good old Scrooge is busting with the Christmas spirit and has decided to make his clerk, Bob Cratchit, a true partner in Scrooge’s firm. The old name of Scrooge and Marley is going to be replaced with Scrooge and Cratchit. Good old Ebenezer is truly a changed man. He is so full of the Christmas spirit that the Ghost of Jacob Marley sends Scrooge into the future. Wisconsin 2013 to be precise.

Once in his new surroundings, a mildly confused Scrooge starts to get his bearings. He meets a nice lady who owns a diner and learns that his company Scrooge and Cratchit is now based in this Wisconsin town. To make matters more intriguing, the head of the firm is one Timothy Cratchit the VI, and he is a really old pre holiday cheer Scrooge type. It is up to the old / new Scrooge to make not as tiny Tim Cratchit the VI see the errors of his way. In the end holiday joy is once again restored.

“Mister Scrooge to See You” is not a good movie. From a production standpoint it is quite terrible. The effects are really, really bad. The script needed a few rewrites to tighten it up. Most of the plot makes no damn sense, and the religious themes thrown in do not help to keep the logic of the film on track. Nearly ever actor in the movie is more suited for a local community theater, except for David Rupprecht, the man who plays Scrooge. Ruprecht is not great, but he is competent. He is the only one of the cast with any significant acting experience, highlighted by his time as host of the game show “Supermarket Sweep”. Outside of that, this movie is terrible, but it doesn’t have to be.

What makes “Mister Scrooge to See You” worth a look is that the story is not a bad idea. Again the script makes no sense, why would a big financial firm relocate from London to a small Wisconsin town, but the core idea of a time travelling Scrooge coming to bring the Christmas spirit to a Cratchit, that is a solid original idea. Take the religious themes that are clumsily shoehorned in, get a good script doctor and some competent character actors, bring Hallmark in, and “Mister Scrooge to See You” could become a holiday cult hit. It has the potential.

There is nothing wrong with us trying to find something new that reflects the traditions of our past. The important thing is to keep the spirit of the tradition alive. If you have two hours to kill, “Mister Scrooge to See You” is an option. It will not replace your favorite classic holiday film, and you may be upset or confused after you watch the low, low budget movie, but you will see something that very few other holiday movie lovers have seen. You may find a new tradition of telling everyone else about this curious little film. I know I have.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Many other famous pop culture figures have been put into their own head scratching Christmas stories. Look no further than the Mario Brothers battling Koopa Clause.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 8 "He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 8: “He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7

There are times when we may find ourselves in a place that does not have the same traditions and customs that our homes celebrate. We may go to a new part of the world that our western way of life has not been the primary influence. First thing to know, do not be rude. We can introduce our customs and traditions, but we must respect the ways of the indigenous people’s. We may learn some new traditions to bring home, and we may impart part of our way of life to make a positive impact on their day to day dealings. These lessons of understanding and sharing are not just important to Earth, but to all the planets we may accidentally visit that are spread out among the universe.

On December 25th 1985, the “He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special” aired once on American televisions, and was then released as a VHS so families could enjoy the movie every holiday season. The story centered around two Earth kids who were accidentally transported to the planet Eternia and they just want to get home for Christmas. The wizard Orko initially accompanies the kids, and he learns all about this holiday called Christmas. Orko is on board with this great day, and he wants all his Eternia friends to get in on the action.

Since this a He-Man She-Ra joint venture, the audience is treated with the double dose of villainy that is Skeletor and Hordak. The two bad guys want to please their great evil master by bringing the earth kids to him (or to it, Horde-Prime may have a masculine voice but is just a big colorful cloud, I do not think cloud’s have genders. I could be wrong.). Unfortunately Hordak and Skeletor do not like each other, and refuse to work together. Through some sort of shenanigans, Skeletor ends up with the two earth kids in his custody and he is going to bring them to Horde Prime.

The moments with Skeletor and the earth children is what makes the “He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special” an instant classic. The kids teach Skeletor all about Christmas, and the evil ghoul seems all in. He asks if their are fights and exploding presents, the kids say no there are only nice things that people want at Christmas time. The problem is that Skeletor likes fights and exploding presents, oh and he is definitely not nice. See the magnificent scene for yourself.

Thanks to a well timed attack from a snow beast, and a dog that keeps licking Skeletor’s fleshless face, the once evil scourge of Eternia seems to be infected by the Christmas spirit. He saves the kids from the snow beast, saves them later on from Hordak and Horde Prime, and doesn’t beat the hell out of He-Man and She-Ra when they have a laugh at Skeletor’s Scrooge like change of heart. The Earth tradition of Christmas saved everyone on Eternia the inconvenience of a Skeletor scheme on this one day of the year. God bless us everyone.

The best of our traditions that get passed down generation to generation usually have great kindness at their heart. Eternia may not have had Christmas before a couple of Earth kids got caught up with the careless Orko, but the ideas of generosity, togetherness, and being nice had a great effect on the planet’s number one Grinch. For good measure the earth kids also got to take home a tradition from Eternia. Man at Arms gifted them some run of mill rocket belts. Befriend Skeletor and get a couple of rocket belts, it is going to be hard to top that Christmas.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. If the earth is destroyed in a nuclear war, will Christmas still exist? Weird Al Yankovic seems to think it will.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 7 "Gremlins"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 7: “Gremlins”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6

The greatest tradition of the holiday season is the giving, and the receiving, of gifts. It is also somewhat a tradition of trying to find the perfect gift for someone, and usually coming up short. Sometimes what we think is perfect just doesn’t work for the person receiving the gift. Then there are the times when the gift we give is far too powerful, and dangerous, in the hands of anyone who may receive this perfect present.

In the summer of 1984, the movie “Gremlins” opened in American theaters on the same day as “Ghostbusters”. A week earlier saw the release of “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock”, and a week before that opened “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. One week after “Gremlins was introduced, movie goers also had the film “The Karate Kid” to whet their appetites. Within a few weeks some of the most iconic movies of our time were released onto the public.

“Gremlins” seemed like the odd man out of these summer blockbusters. “Ghostbusters” had an all star cast, “The Search for Spock” had the built in fandom and great success from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan“, “The Temple of Doom” was Spielberg and Harrison Ford, and “The Karate Kid” is one of the greatest love stories of our time. Where in the hell did a movie about cute creatures, who become monsters, fit in.

The horror comedy about mythical monsters tearing apart a picturesque town during the Christmas season did quite well for it self at the box office in 1984. “Gremlins” went on to become the fourth highest grossing film at the box office, and it has become a legendary film for anyone born in the late seventies to early eighties. It also, along with “The Temple of Doom” helped create the PG-13 rating.

What makes “Gremlins” timeless is it’s simple story layered with something new. The picturesque community with fresh snow, the new and exciting presents, and the coming together as family and friends screams Christmas. “Gremlins” took those holiday themes and put a monster movie on top of it. We keep coming back to “Gremlins” because no one had ever successfully put a darkly comic, violent, monster flick into a holiday movie. Come to think about it, no one has really been successful with that formula since “Gremlins”. Plus, you will never think of Santa the same after Kate, played by Phoebe Cates, tells the tale of her worst Christmas ever.

The lesson we learn in “Gremlins” should be with us every holiday season. We will go crazy trying to find that one perfect gift for someone special in our life. The person who gets the gift may appreciate it, but they may also not understand it. If that happens, your town may experience a holiday calamity, and the spawn of that perfect gift may end up in the food processor or microwave. Even worse, you could end up the victim of that perfect present. Also, do not dress as Santa and climb down your own chimney.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Speaking of Santa, we should know that the Man in the Santa Suit sometimes has problems of his own.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Some Thoughts on Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James

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The other day I read a story wherein Kevin Durant said no super star wants to play with LeBron James because the atmosphere around him is “toxic”.

I have some thoughts on this.

First, I agree with KD. If I were a star player, who’s best attribute was as a scorer especially, I would not want to be a teammate of his. If I were a specialist it might be fine. But, a star player, no way. Also, if I were a legit point guard I would not want to be on his team. He needs the ball in his hands most of the time, especially in crunch time, and I’d hate that. I’d also not like to be a young up and comer playing on his team. I’d also not want to coach a team where he is the focal point. As the scorer, yes LeBron would put me in a good position to score, but only when he wants me too.

Take a guy like Damien Lillard. He’s an excellent scorer who can create his own shot. If he were to go play with LeBron I think he’d turn into a smaller version of Kevin Love. He would be relegated to standing in a corner and wait for whenever LeBron wanted him to shoot to get the ball. He would get angry very quick.

With the legit point guard, say a John Wall, or even a Steph Curry, again, he’d barely touch the ball. A player like Wall becomes disengaged when he isn’t creating. He sulks and sluffs off when not handling the ball. He needs to feel and dribble the ball. That keeps him focused. Steph is a bit better off the ball, he is more of a 2 guard, but when he has the ball in his hands, he’s a wizard. He’s an excellent ball handler and he can dazzle to get an open shot. Pair him with LeBron, and that’s gone. If you need another example, look no further than Kyrie Irving. He begged, after 3 seasons playing with LeBron, to be traded. He was frustrated and despised playing with LeBron.

When it comes to up and comers, look no further than his current teammate, Brandon Ingram. He was supposed to make the leap this year. He was supposed to become the perfect compliment. He was supposed to learn and excel next to LeBron. None of that has happened. He has struggled mightily. He seems frustrated and unhappy. He doesn’t seem to like his place on the court. He seems joyless when he plays basketball. Also, to a lesser extent, Lonzo Ball has become wildly inconsistent playing with LeBron so far this year. One night he will look great, the next, he disappears. How quick until this gets under LeBron’s skin? Also, imagine if a guy like Trae Young, Luka Doncic or Deandre Ayton were on the Lakers right now. I imagine Young would barely see the floor, Doncic wouldn’t get the time he deserves and Ayton would probably be sitting behind JaVale McGee right now. That would be awful.

As for Luke Walton, I just kind of feel bad for him. He, much like Ingram, doesn’t seem to be having fun. He was given a fun young core last year, and was supposed to have time to develop them. Now he has LeBron, and apparently LeBron is already running what he wants to do and telling the front office who to sign. The Lakers are winning now, but if that doesn’t last, like early in the season, Walton will instantly be on the hot seat.

As for where I take issue with this statement, it comes from the source. Let us not forget that KD left the Thunder one season after they had a 3-1 lead over the Warriors in the West Finals, and joined them. If anyone is a front runner, who needs to be paired with a super star so he doesn’t get called out, it’s KD. Also, this whole heel turn doesn’t fit with Durant. He’s not a bad guy. He’s not a villain. He’s not a scary player. Sure Durant said this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he joins LeBron himself this offseason when he becomes a free agent. He’s already joined a team of stars before, why wouldn’t he do it again?

I appreciate what KD said and I agree. Someone needs to call out LeBron from time to time. But if this statement came from a guy like James Harden or Anthony Davis or Paul George, I’d be much more on board. And, didn’t Kyrie already bring this to everyone’s attention when he demanded a trade 2 years ago? It seems like odd timing and the wrong source for a very viable statement.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 6 "Elf"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 6: “Elf”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

I wanted to give RD the day off and try my hand at the SeedSing Advent Calendar of Holiday Movies. Today I want to talk about one of, if not my, favorite holiday movies of all time, "Elf".

I have been a Will Ferrell fan for a long, long time. I loved him on "SNL", he was great in some not so good movies like "Night at the Roxbury" and "Superstar". He was awesome, and stole scenes in the first 2 "Austin Powers" movies. I loved him, and the movie, "The Ladies Man". He did great voice work on "The Oblongs". Who could forget him in movies like "Zoolander" and "Old School"? All of these movies happened prior to "Elf" though.

Before "Elf", Ferrell was becoming more widely known. But, "Elf" made truly a household name. He starred in a great, great movie that the entire family could watch. And let us not forget, he was the true, one and only star. This movie is filled with old and new stars. People like James Caan and Mary Steenburgen have smaller parts. Jon Favreau not only had a minor role as a doctor, but he also directed the movie. Bob Newhart played a fatherly Elf. Ed Asner was Santa. Zooey Deschanel played his co worker turned girlfriend, turned wife. Faizon Love and Peter Dinklage had small, but very, very memorable roles. Amy Sedaris was delightful as the secretary. Andy Richter and Kyle Gass were extremely funny. Artie Lange plays a very terrifying Santa. Even famed musician Leon Redbone plays a voice of a Snowman in the movie. But Ferrell shines above them all.

The movie has a fairly basic plot, but with a twist. In short it is about an orphaned kid going home to meet his dad. He runs into some problems along the way, but it all works out. The twist in this movie though, the orphaned kid is raised in the North Pole by a family of Christmas elves. And Will Ferrell is totally believable as Buddy, the orphaned elf. I fully buy into the fact that he really, truly believes that he is an elf. He definitely gives off the vibe that he was raised to make toys and deliver them to Santa to give to kids on Christmas. When he leaves the North Pole and goes to New York to meet his biological dad, James Caan, his joyous attitude turns everyone off, except the viewer. He is so giddy and happy and smiling and waving and talking all the time. But this is exactly how I would expect one of Santa's elves to act. And the food he eats, it is so gross, but again, believable. When he downs that entire 2 liter of Coke, it makes me howl with laughter every time, especially when he belches. His idea of a meal, spaghetti covered in pop tarts, candy canes, maple syrup and all kinds of other sugary substances, is so gross yet so funny.

At the heart of “Elf” is Buddy's Christmas cheer rubbing off on everyone he comes into contact with. His step mom, Steenburgen, buys in right away. She is fully on board. Their son, Mikey, is skeptical at first, but after the snowball fight, another great scene, he buys in. Obviously, his family in the North Pole is in from the start. Zooey Deschanel is very skeptical, but as time goes on she not only buys in, but grows to love him. The hardest person to crack is Caan. He is the typical workaholic dad, and he very much dislikes Buddy at first, but he eventually comes around. When he finally starts to sing at the end of the movie, so Santa can ride his sleigh, it is magical.

“Elf” has everything a holiday movie should have. It is warm, cozy, funny and has a great lesson behind it. But Ferrell as Buddy is the coup de grace. He is the main reason everyone should watch this movie. He is so good, and this is the role that, in my opinion, launched him into super stardom. He was great, and "Elf" is a great, great Christmas movie. Make sure to watch this one this holiday season.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Need to get way into the holiday season with some great television. Check out Darlene Love and David Letterman create their own Christmas tradition.

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SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 5 "Scrooge" (1970)

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 5: “Scrooge” (1970)

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4

The holiday season has it’s share of traditions. We have the almost universal traditions like trees, presents, and togetherness. Many families have a few personal traditions that are passed down generation to generation. Many of those traditions have to do with particular songs or stories that are important to a family or group of like minded individuals. As new generations take on the tradition, it sometimes gets modified to please the modern interests of the new caretakers.

Charles Dickens short story ‘A Christmas Carol” is one of those traditional stories that people have been enjoying during the holiday season for many generations. The tradition of the telling the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three Christmas ghosts has been told many different ways since it’s original publication. Many variations have been good, some bad, and some just downright strange.

1970’s “Scrooge” was the latest in a long line of “A Christmas Carol” film adaptations. The 1970 version was not even the first adaptation to use the name Scrooge as their title (we will discuss another one of these films later on). What set this “Scrooge” apart from the “A Christmas Carol” film adaptations of the past is that this theatrical version was a musical. Yes, the world finally got to see a singing and dancing Scrooge, Marley, the spirits, and of course a toe tapping Tiny Tim. Merry Christmas to all indeed.

“Scrooge” was a hit with a few of the critics in 1970. A 34 year old Albert Finney played the title character and was widely praised for his interpretation of the old miser. Finney won the 1971 Golden Globe for the role, and the film went on to be nominated for four Oscars. With that kind of critical success, one would think that “Scrooge” would have become a new holiday tradition in all homes that celebrate with a telling of “A Christmas Carol”.

The fact is that “Scrooge” is somewhat lost in a seas of far superior retellings of Dicken’s tale. The first song given to Scrooge is called “I Hate People”. Finney’s Scrooge is downright terrible human being that should not be redeemed. He is no miser, he is a narcissist. Once Scrooge does promise to be good, after he fears for no love in his death, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come sends the elderly Scrooge to hell. There is literally a sequence of Scrooge being set with chains, while Jacob Marley does the Devil’s books. It makes almost no sense whatsoever. Scrooge was already accepting Christmas in his heart. What was going to hell going to do to the old man? Scenes like this is what causes the 1970 musical film ‘Scrooge” to get lost in the new tradition shuffle.

The thing is though, “Scrooge” should get another chance. Yes the movie is different, but the music is not bad. Albert Finney may not bring the best interpretation of Ebenezer Scrooge to the screen, but it is definitely a different take. Plus, the look of the movie is incredible. The scene in hell looks something from the mind of a madman. It is definitely like nothing you have seen, or imagined, in any version of “A Christmas Carol”.

This holiday season will be filled with many of the same movies and programs we have watched for years. We watch them because we love the stories, and we appreciate the familiarity. A new tradition for us should be check out a lost version of our favorite holiday tales. Go give “Scrooge” a chance. You may find the joyous tunes, and surreal atmosphere of the movie, to fit right in with a tradition that needs updating.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Early December usually seems to drag on because we all just really wished it was Christmas today. Hey, there is a song about that.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Mike McCarthy Era is Finally Over in Green Bay

 Artist depiction of Ty watching Packers games the last few years

Artist depiction of Ty watching Packers games the last few years

The Packers finally ripped off the band aid and fired Mike McCarthy. This has been about 4 years coming.

The Packers have really failed to adapt to the modern NFL, and a lot of that has to do with McCarthy's coaching. He became even more predictable after the Packers won the Super Bowl. His offense couldn't adapt. He couldn't keep up with the changes to offense. He wouldn't help his star QB out with modern, efficient offense. He refused to change and he paid the ultimate price.

For those of you saying they should have waited the last 4 weeks to do this, why? We all knew this was coming. We all saw the writing on the wall earlier this year when they couldn't beat the Lions. Hell, us Packer fans all saw the writing on the wall the past 4 years with year after year of fumbled playoff appearances. This team should have been better. This team should have gone to more Super Bowl's. This team should have been lethal offensively. This team shouldn't have had to squeeze and sneak into the playoffs year after year. They should have dominated the North. They should have had the division, or at the very least, a wild card spot by week 11 or 12. But that didn't happen.

And before you say that I am a whiny baby, and I should be happy with the one ring and the year after year of playoff appearances, stop. I know that I root for a perennial playoff team. I know they won a Super Bowl. I know they have Aaron Rodgers. But, this team should have been up there with the Patriots, Steelers and, more recently, the Rams. They should have always been in the contender conversation. They shouldn't have had to just barely make the playoffs year after year after year. And most of that has to do with McCarthy.

Before I get into the meat of this though I do want to heap some of the blame on Aaron Rodgers. He has been pretty bad, for him, this season. He is inefficient, hurt and missing receivers more often than normal. He is not as sharp as he has seemed in the past. And it's not like he doesn't have weapons. Davante Adams is a top tier NFL wide out. Aaron Jones is a legit number one back. The O line is stout. Jimmy Graham, while not as dangerous as he once was, is still a red zone threat. Rodgers has weapons and he is under performing. Plain and simple.

Now back to McCarthy. As I said at the top, he just refused to change his ways. The Packers were predictable. He was beginning to lose the locker room and Rodgers. Rodgers would, according to a lot of reports, change plays at his choosing. He didn't listen to McCarthy. That shouldn't happen with a head coach and his star QB. Even worse though, McCarthy seemingly blamed everyone but himself. He let Dom Capers take the blame last season for the porous defense, which needs a massive amount of fixing, but that is another topic for another day. He blamed the front office for not giving him enough game breakers on offense. He blamed his position coaches for the random injuries and poor play of those players. It was never, ever his fault. Well, when you are a 14 point favorite, at home, against probably the second worst team in the NFL, you have no one to blame but yourself for what occurred. The team was anemic on offense. They couldn't move the ball on a team that has given up chunks and chunks of yards all year. They couldn't put the ball in the end zone. They couldn't play in the poor weather that has always worked to their advantage. They looked really, really bad, and I put a lot of that on McCarthy.

To fire him directly after the game, to his surprise as it was reported, was rough, but we all knew this was going to happen. We all saw it coming. It was a foregone conclusion. The time was now for the Packers to make a change. McCarthy had done all he could do, and everyone needed to move on.

As for who I think the Packers should go after as their new head coach, I am kind of torn. The names I have seen pop up most are Josh Mcdaniels, John Defillipo and Lincoln Riley. Of course Jim Harbaugh has come up and there is the interim coach, Joe Philbin, among others. I know the trend is to go towards an offensive minded coach, but after what Mcdaniels did to the Colts last year, I do not want him. Defillipo needs more time before he is the head coach of the Packers. Lincoln Riley is not ready for the pros. Jim Harbaugh, if he is to leave Michigan for this job, will have left Michigan without accomplishing much of anything. And Joe Philbin has already failed spectacularly as a head coach in Miami. I think, right now, even though he has said he isn't interested, I would try and go after Bruce Arians. He would immediately command the respect of the locker room and Aaron Rodgers. And, he is a great coach. If not Arians, I would go for Jim Harbaugh's brother, John Harbaugh. There is no guarantee that he will be let go, or leave Baltimore, but if he did, I feel like he would get the same respect as Arians. Those are my top 2 choices. I'm sure they will go after Mcdaniels, that is the betting favorite. But, I want Arians or John Harbaugh. Hell, at this point, I would even consider a former coach like Gary Kubiak. He would bring instant credibility.

The Mike McCarty era in Green Bay is over. Thank god. That is how I feel about all of this. And, I am sure that McCarthy will get another job and I wish him success. The time had come for a change.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. The Head Editor picked the Packers to win the NFC North this year. His punishment? His hometown Bengals will finally fire Marvin Lewis and make Mike McCarthy the coach for the next decade.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 4 "Batman Returns"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 4: “Batman Returns”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

The holiday season is filled with beautiful scenery and insane people. There is something magical about the look of fresh snow on late December night, but our boss at work may just kill us. The twinkle of the lights bring a feeling of festive joy, but we also know that some hideous looking forgotten son may arise from the sewer and try to take over the city. The sounds of children singing Christmas carols warms our heart, but a batman is out there having a sensual fight with a catwoman trying to keep the streets a bit more safe for the Christmas season. It is a weird time of the year.

In the summer of 1992 director Tim Burton and actor Michael Keaton delivered the promised sequel to their smash hit movie “Batman”. This time around Michelle Pfieffer and Danny DeVito joined Keaton’s Batman as Selina Kyle/ Catwoman and Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin respectively. Christopher Walken even joined the action as the villainous Max Schreck, a wild haired character created just for this film. The movie split some critics with many for and against the movie pointing to the surreal atmosphere Tim Burton brought to his vision of Gotham City. The snow was a blueish gray, the lights twinkled against the large impressive Gothic buildings, and the film takes place during the holiday season. ‘Batman Returns” would be the last Burton/Keaton outing for the Dark Knight. The weirdness of the this particular summer blockbuster was not acceptable by the major Hollywood studios of the early 1990’s.

What “Batman Returns” has in strangeness, it pays the audience back with a great story for the holidays. Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are insane, lonely, people. They find each other under a mistletoe in the midst of a struggle. The magic of the holidays takes over. Grotesque, and abandoned, Oswald Cobblepot comes back to a city who is willing to embrace the monster. The holiday spirit asks us to see the good in people. An army of penguins equipped with rocket launchers almost destroys a city, the first born son of every household is nearly kidnapped, but through the chaos and destruction Bruce Wayne and Alfred the Butler know to wish each other a Merry Christmas in the end. The holidays are too strong to let super villains, industrialists, and Catwomen bring it all crashing down. Batman knows this.

Every great holiday movie does not need to be steeped in the mythical figures of the North Pole, we can have a holiday lesson with the mythical figures of our comic books. Tim Burton saw the serene strangeness of the holidays, and he used to to tell a Christmas tale using the Batman. Chaos, quietness, destruction, and togetherness all have a place in every person’s holiday season. Embrace the gifts, and discard the negative. Batman and Catwoman learned this lesson in “Batman Returns”. Let us all bask in their victory.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Hanukkah is different year to year. Tragedy does not care for respecting the holidays, but people do. See one of the best Christmas stories ever told by one of the best television shows ever. Check out “Death Takes a Holiday from “M*A*S*H”.

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