The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 23 "Trading Places"

number 23.png

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 23: “Trading Places”

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, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22

Happy Festivus!

At this most joyous, and odious, of celebrations let’s celebrate those we look down upon. If we are in the gutter, those in the high rises who manipulate the economy for their gain are the ones that need to hear our grievances. If we are in the top tax bracket, those at the bottom are no match for the hired help we can procure and best our economic enemies in the feet of strengths. But what if this Festivus means something a little bit more? What if this Festivus, the rich and the poor trade places? Would we learn anything and come together as one humanity on this planet we call Earth?

In June of 1983, the John Landis directed comedy “Trading Places” hit theaters. The movie was a smash hit. Dan Aykroyd was far removed from his days on Saturday Night Live and was already considered a top movie star in the comedy genre. Eddie Murphy was still new to the movie game, but was a breakout star from the beginning, and “Trading Places” solidified Murphy’s superstardom. With Jamie Lee Curtis, Denholm Elliot, Don Ameche, and Ralph Bellemy, “Trading Places” was a film that could not fail. Critics and audiences of 1983 loved it, and thirty-five years later it is one of the most quotable, and beloved movies of the last two generations.

The plot of “Trading Places” shares a lot with the ideas of Festivus, a fake holiday made popular over a decade later. The dehumanizing nature of wealth and materialism, “Trading Places” has it. The whole movie is a big airing of grievances on the ideas of wealth and poverty. With all the slapstick in the back half of “Trading Places”, the feats of strength is more than covered. The aluminum pole may be missing, but we do get a dirty, drug out, gun toting Santa Clause. All seems fairly in line with the spirit of Festivus.

We are lucky to have the tradition, and angst, of Festivus to break up the joy, and stress, of the holiday season. Many of us may see Festivus as a recent gift to the Christmastime canon, but movies like “Trading Places” show us that Hollywood has embraced the philosophy of Frank Costanza. Take this December 23rd off from the same old movies we watch every weekend before Christmas. We do not need the false lesson of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life”, we need the cynicism, scheming, and R rated shenanigans of movies like “Trading Places. It is a film after all that is made for the rest of us.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. After you watch “Trading Places”, go back and remember that we got the holiday of Festivus all because of a bagel shop strike.

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

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 21 "Edward Scissorhands"

number 21.png

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 21: “Edward Scissorhands”

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, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20

When most of us think of winter we think of snow. The Coca Cola company, Normal Rockwell paintings, and every other piece of western pop culture in between likes to show crisp snow on a cold Christmas evening. It does not matter that a good part of the United States will not see snow on Christmas, or all winter, the image of snow and the holidays is burned into our cultural psyche. If every other part of the holiday season has a legend associated with it’s creation, why not have a legend about where the snowfall comes from?

In December of 1990 director Tim Burton released the movie “Edward Scissorhands”. The story of a kind, not quite finished, man child and his interactions with the modern world was a big hit with critics and the audience. The film has gone on to become one of the most beloved films of the last thirty years. It made a star of Johnny Depp, solidified Winona Ryder as the it girl of the early 1990’s, and was the last major film role for Hollywood legend Vincent Price. The cast also included once and future Oscar winner Diane Wiest, future Oscar winner Alan Arkin, and an unusually buff, and menacing, Anthony Michael Hall. After the success of “Batman”, Tim Burton was given the keys to Hollywood’s best talent, and “Edward Scissorhands” was the legendary end result.

The weirdness of “Edward Scissorhands” was notable, but it was the tenderness of the story that made the movie legendary. Depp gets special recognition for his performance, but the entire cast was hitting homeruns in the movie. The scene of Vincent Price dying in his unfinished creations arms is heartbreaking. The wild topiary, dog grooming, and hairstyle creations of Edward’s are forever iconic. But the true magic of “Edward Scissorhands” comes in the moment when Ryder is dancing in the “snow” coming off of the ice sculpture Edward is creating. The music by Danny Elfman, Ryder’s look, and dance of wonderment, in the “snow”, and Burton’s flowing camera makes the scene a piece of cinematic magic. Ryder and Burton capture the joy of experiencing a quiet snowfall on a peaceful winter evening like no had before or since. In a movie filled with incredible imagery, this scene wins the gold medal.

The idea of snow coming from a Gothic mansion because an unfinished man with scissors for hands is carving an ice sculpture in the image of his beloved he can never see again sounds pretty ridiculous when you put it down on paper. Tim Burton made it into magic. We may know the real reason why the snow falls on Christmas evening, but because of “Edward Scissorhands” we can look at simple snowfall and make it a moment of holiday joy.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. The holiday season is often a time of quiet reflection and hopeful renewal. Dolly Parton sings about these feelings with “Hard Candy Christmas”.

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

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 20 "The Night Before"

number 20.png

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 20: “The Night Before”

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, Day 18, Day 19

The holiday season is filled with parties. We have work parties, family parties, and parties at the bars and clubs in our neighborhoods. We have an idealized vision of the best party ever when we are younger, and we spent most of our days chasing that perfect party. In the midst of the chase, we grow older. We start to have more professional responsibilities, we may start a family, or we may need to just grow up. The perfect party is an illusion, growing up is reality.

In 2015 “The Night Before” premiered and was a very modest hit. The final “Hunger Games” movie opened against “The Night Before”, and the raunchy holiday film had no chance. In the few years since it’s premier, “The Night Before” has found a cult following for people looking for something funny, and a bit more modern in their holiday entertainment.

The story in “The Night Before” is relatable to anyone who used the holidays searching for the perfect party with their friends. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie play three friends who swore they are going to find the best Christmas Eve party in all of New York City. Year after year they get together, do some drugs, get drunk, and never find the mythical Nutcracker Ball. After a while Rogen and Mackie have professional and family responsibilities, and finding the perfect party is not at the top of their priority list. Gordon-Levitt however is still committed to the goal of going to the Nutcracker Ball. Hijinks ensue, truths are revealed, weed gets stolen, friends fight, weed gets stolen, Michael Shannon saves the day, and friends learn a valuable lesson. It is a tale older than Christmas itself.

The holiday parties of our twenties look very different than the parties of our thirties, and those look different than the parties of our forties, and on and on. What makes any of these get togethers perfect is that we have them with our friends.. We may fight, our drugs may get stolen, and we may need Santa’s son to save us, but we were together on that magical night before Christmas. That is the reason for the party season. .

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Being around friends for the holidays is great, but what is it like being alone? Let Bill Murray and the band Phoenix tell you all about being alone on Christmas Day.

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

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 19 "Die Hard"

number 19.png

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 19: “Die Hard”

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, Day 18

Today I’m going to answer a question many people seem to bring up more and more every year around this time. Is “Die Hard” a Christmas movie?

Yes, absolutely it is.

This is the movie of the day for our Advent Calendar of Holiday Movies. “Die Hard”, for all intents and purposes, is an action movie. I’m not denying that fact. But why can’t it be both? There’s plenty of movies we’ve talked about to date that aren’t exclusively Christmas or holiday movies. I talked about the “Black Mirror” episode, “White Christmas”. Sure it has Christmas stuff in the episode, and in the title, but that is more a horrifying look into our future. RD has talked about “Lethal Weapon”. That’s a straight up action movie. “Hebrew Hammer” is a comedy, satire and action movie above a Hanukkah movie. All these movies have other themes than just the holiday, even the Hallmark movies. So when people get all up in arms about “Die Hard”, I laugh.

“Die Hard” is an action movie like I said, but look at the time of year that everything takes place in. The company party is a holiday party. There’s Christmas trees, holly, ornaments, mistletoe, all kinds of stuff that scream Christmas. When John McClain ices that one bad guy, he dresses him in an ugly Christmas sweater, writes a Christmas message on said sweater and wraps him up in lights. Oh, he also has a Santa hat on as well. The very imagery of the movie screams Christmas. I mentioned all the decor, but it’s cold outside, there’s some snow (or ash, whatever) and, when I watch it, it just feels like it takes place in December. Also, McClain does everything he does in this movie to help his ex, and the people she works with. He is giving unto others. He just has a specific set of skills. It doesn’t matter when he needs to use them, and in “Die Hard”, he uses them at Christmas time. Even the bad guys know it’s the holidays. They have the sweaters, they tell the hostages they don’t care that they want to be with their loved ones, I’m sure they partook in some eggnog. I mean, if even the bad guys know it’s Christmas, how can it not be a Christmas movie?

I think where people get most tripped up is the fact that it isn’t blatant. All the movies we’ve mentioned so far, mostly, make note that it’s the holidays. “Die Hard” doesn’t, but I respect that. They wanted this movie to have more than just one theme. They were ahead of their time.

“Die Hard” is a movie I can watch pretty much anytime of year, but around this time I itch to watch it. I crave it. “Die Hard” is not only a great action movie, it is one of our best holiday movies ever. I’d feel guilty if we left it off our Advent Calendar. It definitely belongs. Yippie yi ki yeah m f’ers, and happy holidays. 

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. One Ty’s other favorite things to watch during the Christmas season is the great episode of “The Office” called Christmas Party.

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"

number 17.png

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.

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

number 16.png

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 13 "The Christmas Prince"

number 13.png

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"

number 12.png

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.

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

number 10.png

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.

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

number 8.png

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"

number 7.png

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.

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

number 6.png

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.

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 3 "Love Actually"

number 3.png

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 2: “Love Actually”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2

The holiday season is filled with a bunch of different characters. There is the old man who finally discovers the true meaning of Christmas. The little boy who makes a grand gesture and starts his ascent into manhood. The long married couple whose passion is gone and needs the holidays to reignite the flame. The creepy guy pining for his best friend’s girl. The hot, and easy, American girls looking to give a few British blokes a good time.And last but not least, the Prime Minister of Great Britain looking for a holiday office romance with a staffer.

In 2003 Richard Curtis, known to some as a writer for the television show “Black Adder”, unleashed the film “Love Actually” onto the world. The movie was a mega hit and has become a holiday staple since it’s release. The movie follows a bunch of different stories about varying stages of love, and it all takes place around Christmas time in Britain. The mood is downright magical. For anyone that has seen “Love Actually”, there is no denying the schmaltzy Christmas feel of the film.

A movie like “Love Actually” will always have it’s fans, but it also has quite a few detractors. Personal note - I saw “Love Actually” during it’s original run. I thought it was enjoyable enough, but I also thought it was forgettable. I was wrong. The anti-”Love Actually” crowd has drawn me in, but I have not seen the movie since 2003. That is my bad. If you want to bag on something, make sure you watch it so you have a little credibility. Plus, I still think Bill Nighy was awesome in the movie.

Speaking of Bill Nighy, the cast of “Love Actually” is one of the most impressive casts of any film made the last 50 years. It is the “Avengers: Infinity War” of classy British thespians, with a few yanks thrown in for good measure. Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Martin Freeman, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln, Keira Knightly, Hugh Grant, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman, Billy Bob Thorton, Rowan Atkinson, January Jones, Elisha Cuthbert, Shannon Elizabeth, Denise Richards, and even writer/director Richard Curtis gets a place in his cast. That is one hell of a cast for a movie that seems like it belongs on the Hallmark Channel during the Christmas season.

That is the most impressive thing about the staying power of “Love Actually”, it is the most Hallmark Christmas movie ever. People flock to watch cheesy movies during the holidays because we all want to believe that the season brings magic into our lives. ‘Love Actually” is the king of the Christmasy schmalty films that seem dumb on paper, but make us feel like Scrooge on the morning of December 25th after he has his pleasant psychotic break due to hallucinations. “ Love Actually” is probably the most Christmasy movie ever made that does not involve mutated reindeer, Grinches, or Santa’s. “Love Actually” gets what we want to see on our screens for Christmas.

Good, bad, cheesy, heartwarming. None of this matters. “Love Actually” can claim all of those adjectives, but it will still be loved by many this holiday season. Movies like “Love Actually” are meant to force the happiness and warmness of the holiday season onto our darkened souls. Say what you want, but “Love Actually” does really believe that Christmas is all around, no matter how ridiculous it may look and sound.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Hanukkah is different year to year. Need some more Christmas cheese, with a much less impressive cast? Go check out the classic “Saved By the Bell” two part story Home for Christmas.

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

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 2 "The Hebrew Hammer"

number 2.png

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 2: “The Hebrew Hammer”

Opened Doors: Day 1

Christmas dominates the holiday season like a cultural and shopping Death Star. There are other holidays celebrated, some of them culturally important, but Christmas does not give way to these so called “other” celebrations. Many of our late year holidays have religious and cultural importance, but one should not look at Christmas as a day of celebration for religious reasons. Christmas is the monolith that looms over every other festive day, or days, during the season. That is just the way it is.

It should not be that way. Today marks the the first day of Hanukkah, one of those “other” celebrations. Hanukkah has been celebrated far long than Christmas, but it gets a far second place finish in the holiday season. One reason may be that Hanukkah is not even one of the most important holidays in the Jewish faith, Christmas is equal to Easter for most Christians. The real reason that Hanukkah is an afterthought is that most people in the western world, Jewish and Gentile alike, just give up on the big eight night celebration and just let the dark shadow of Christmas take over the season.

In 2003 the film “The Hebrew Hammer” had an extremely limited release in Australia and later the United States. The story is about an (uncircumcised) private dick named Mordechai Jefferson Carver, played by Adam Goldberg, who is enlisted by the Jewish Justice League to stop an insane Santa, played by Andy Dick, from destroying Hanukkah. “The Hebrew Hammer” is described as a “jewsplotation movie” and it matches that description. It is filled with offensive language, it looks like it was made on the cheap, it is borderline racist, and it is funny as hell.

“The Hebrew Hammer” uses the idea of Christmas being some warlord trying to take out Hanukkah, and later Kwanzaa, as a way to make a movie about the greatness of these “other'“ celebrations. Holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are steeped in tradition and important to cultures that have a history filled with suffering, Christmas is a huge economic machine. The first ten minutes of “The Hebrew Hammer” will perfectly explain the monsters of society who have degraded Hanukkah as a not Christmas. In the end we learn that all holidays need to get along and let each other be who they want to be. That is one of the best lessons for us all during the festive season.

There are not many Hanukkah movies, and that is a shame. Many people will point to the animated Adam Sandler flick “Eight Crazy Nights” as the standard bearer for Hanukkah movies. That is a shame because “Eight Crazy Nights” is just not that good. Do you want to feel pride and righteous indignation this Hanukkah? Go watch “The Hebrew Hammer” and let Mordechai Jefferson Carver put you into the mood for the next eight nights. Just try not to put too much pressure on him.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Hanukkah is different year to year. Let Melee serenade you with their struggles on the question of “When is Hanukkah This Year?”

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

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 1 "A Christmas Story"

number 1.png

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 1: “A Christmas Story”

Today is the first day of Advent, and for many of us it is the official start of the Christmas/Holiday season. December 1st is the day when all the houses that will be decorated are decked out. The trees have been cut down, assembled, and dressed. The stores are crowded because the shopping is now in full gear. December 1st is the first day where the holidays hit you square in the face with everything they got.

“A Christmas Story” premiered right before Thanksgiving in 1983. It was a very modest success at the box office. The critics of the time did not care that much for the movie. It quietly left the theaters in early 1984, and everyone assumed it would be forgotten.

It was not forgotten. “A Christmas Story” is regarded by many as the greatest holiday film of all time. The reason the movie has lasted is because it tells an over the top, yet a relatable story of what goes on leading up to Christmas Day. The crazy father, the put upon mother, the goofy little brother, the insane bully, the disconnected Santa, the neighbors dogs, we can all find something in our past from “A Christmas Story”. That is why the movie is a staple of holiday watching on any day of December.

The most important part of the holidays is highlighted in “A Christmas Story”. The central plot revolves on a must have gift, that is what the holidays are truly about. “A Christmas Story” does not treat the commercialism as a negative part of the holidays, the movie embraces the magic of the one perfect gift. Our hero Ralphie lives the holiday season with joy and triumph. He curses like a man, he beats down the bully, but most importantly he never loses focus of the meaning of the season for him, the Red Rider BB Gun. “A Christmas Story” takes the looming specter of holiday commercialism, and it makes it fun and enduring. That is why we keep watching “A Christmas Story” every year since 1983.

Today we get ready to welcome the holiday season. It is going to come at us hard. It is going to be fast and fierce. Take a note from Ralphie this season and never lose site of why we all love Christmastime. The antics of family and others make the season memorable, but that perfect gift will make this Christmastime legendary.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Nothing gets RD more ready for the holiday season than a good seasonal tune, and nothing is better than “Linus and Lucy”.

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