Pop Culture Odds and Ends

It is time once again for your bi-weekly round up of pop culture stories that you may have missed. I like to think of these roundups as pop culture cheat sheets for people. If you see a story that you think should be included, please feel free to pass it along to me on the blog’s Facebook page (like me!), Twitter (follow me!) or in the comments. I’m always interested in reader feedback. And a special welcome to all my new blog followers – thanks for reading!

Let’s get some of the sad stuff out of the way first:

Now on to the more sublime:

  • Vin Diesel announced that Fast and Furious 7 will be released on July 11, 2014. The sixth installment of the franchise will open nationwide on May 24th of this year.
  • A new red-band trailer has been released for Netflix’s new original series Hemlock Grove. As this comes from director Eli Roth, it is most decidedly NSFW:


  • Speaking of Adam Scott (the actor, not the golfer):



  • Vulture also imagines Mad Men as a kid’s Saturday morning cartoon spinoff, Mad Men Kidz.

lil don


  • Apparently the Academy didn’t received the memo from the American people – the producers for this year’s abysmal Oscars ceremony will be back.
  • Tonight may be the last episode ever of Southland, which would be a real shame.
  • If you go to see Iron Man 3, stay through the credits (and if you want to know what happens now, click here *spoilers*)
  • The winner of random video of the week: Macaulay Culkin singing “Kokomo”:


  • A prequel to the film adaption of The Mortal Instruments is already being planned, despite the fact that The Mortal Instruments hasn’t even been released yet.
  • The fictional Veep and the real life VP met:



  • The casting for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy continues to intrigue me. The newest member of the cast is The Walking Dead’s Michael Rooker.
  • Watch Community and Mad Men‘s Alison Brie recreate some popular memes (her grumpy cat is pretty spot on):


  • Grantland looks at the career arc of friend of the blog, The Rock (I’m assuming, if he knew this blog existed)
  • Ryan Murphy has a deal with HBO. I can only imagine what he’ll do when not restricted by basic cable.
  • The Awl debates which song is worse: the Brad Paisley/LL Cool J song “Accidental Racist” or Ray J’s song “I Hit It First” about Kim Kardashian. I vote for the latter – though misguided, Paisley was at least trying to do something good. Ray J is just a jerk.
  • Oy. Amanda Bynes continues her quest to be the craziest of them all with this new video that she posted on YouTube:


  • Patrick Duffy is game for a Step-by-Step reunion.
  • I am a grown-up, so I didn’t watch the MTV Movie Awards, but if you are curious who won or what people wore I have you covered.
  • Funny or Die has released their Steve Jobs movie, iSteve (starring Justin Long).
  • Jon Hamm was on Seseme Street, apparently in attempt to see if he could make me love him more:


  • See Jaime Foxx as Electro on the set of The Amazing Spiderman 2. Or is it The Amazing Spiderman: Ghost Protocol?
  • Snoop is a busy guy – he also collaborated with Miley Cyrus


  • Interesting – the same kid who played a young Don Draper on Mad Men also played a young Michael Bluth on Arrested Development and a young Ice Truck Killer on Dexter.
  • Steve Carrel made an appearance on last night’s Deadliest Catch’s new pre-game show, The Bait.
  • New trailer for Man of Steel:


  • This Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle/Entourage parody is better than either of these shows separately:


  • NBC’s never ending quest to beat every good idea they have into the ground continues – a kids version of The Voice is allegedly in the works.
  • Here’s a Conan double shot. First up, Conan hosts a roundtable discussion with some of his former colleagues from The Simpsons’ writers’ room.

And now the mashups and super-cuts:

  • A super-cut of fake websites featured on TV shows:


  • Love this – the synopsis of every romantic comedy ever made. It’s funny because it’s true:


  • A supercut of Tyrion Lannister’s best lines on Game of Thrones (NSFW )


  • A homemade version of the final race from The Fast and the Furious:


  • And finally – an Anchorman/”Thrift Shop” mashup:


Have a wonderful Wednesday!

The 85th Annual Academy Awards

Whoo-boy. After that Oscar ceremony there certainly is a lot to discuss.

I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t do better with my predictions; I wound up 19/24 for the night, which seemed pretty decent until I did the math and realized that was 79%, or a C+. If I got a B+ in school I was unhappy, so a C+ doesn’t make me happy at all. However, the only category that I can really fault myself for getting wrong was best supporting actor. I wanted to pick Christoph Waltz, but I thought the Academy would be more likely to go with Tommy Lee Jones, so I went with him instead. Ang Lee was never even a consideration in my mind for Best Director; if you had given me 20 Oscar ballots, I don’t know that I would have picked him on any of them. Same goes for the Oscar win for the live action short Curfew. It never even crossed my mind to pick it. And I still think it is bollocks that Les Miserables beat The Hobbit in the hair and make-up category. I mean, look at all the work that went into creating all those creatures in The Hobbit. I’m pretty sure all they did in Les Miserable was rub some dirt on pretty people and shave Anne Hathaway’s head, which actually made their job easier. Whatever.

Now, the big story today is not really the winners and losers of the awards, but how Seth MacFarlane did as a host. While I didn’t think he was very good, I don’t think he was as terrible as most people seem to think. Perhaps that is partially because my bar for Oscar hosts is tremendously low and was lowered further when I heard that MacFarlane got the job. I am a fan of many of MacFarlane’s products – I enjoy The Family Guy and thought Ted was very funny – but I was very skeptical that his brand of humor was going to work well with the Oscar crowd and viewing audience. The Academy Awards are all about Hollywood congratulating themselves and MacFarlane is all about going after sacred cows.  I actually thought that he started out OK – the opening monologue wan’t spectacular, but I did laugh a few times.  Hell – even Tommy Lee Jones laughed, which is a minor miracle. Many people didn’t like MacFarlane’s song about actresses that have gone topless, but I thought that it was worth it simply for this Jennifer Lawrence reaction:


Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.

My main issue with MacFarlane wasn’t the subjects of his jokes, though I thought that they were ill suited for the audience, but the execution. I subscribe to the theory that no subject is necessarily off limits in comedy. However, the more sensitive the topic of the joke, the more well-crafted that the joke needs to be. If you are going to venture into certain comedic waters, you had better have one hell of a joke prepared; it’s a narrow window of what will work and most comedians are unable to stick the landing. MacFarlane is an example of that – he just wasn’t funny, which I think is a much bigger sin than cracking wise about taboo subjects. His jokes were just lazy. Macfarlane’s humor tends to benefit from quantity rather than quality; he usually throws a lot of jokes at you and hopes that enough land that you forget the many that miss. That doesn’t work with a show like the Oscars. Of course, the fault doesn’t reside only with him, but with the entire writing staff for the broadcast. He may be the man that delivered the jokes, but he certainly didn’t write them all. Someone had to OK all that before it went on the air.

I also would have respected MacFarlane more if he committed to the material. If you are going to make the jokes he made last night, you need to own it. Instead, he would try to distance himself various times in the broadcast; the opening bit about him tanking the ceremony was all about lowering expectations and periodically throughout the night he would make comments before or after a joke to try and minimize the damage inflicted.

That being said, MacFarlane was far from the only issue with the Oscar telecast. And I do have to give him credit – he MUST have known it was not going well, but he kept trying. James Franco had already checked out one hour into his co-hosting duties. Standing in front of a room of people when you realize your material is just not working is one of the worst feelings in the world.

The scripted banter of awards shows is always pretty abysmal, but this year I think it was at an all-time low. When the affable Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy can’t sell a bit, you know you are in trouble.  The cast of the Avengers appeared to have absolutely no charisma and doubling down on MacFarlane humor with an appearance by Ted and Mark Wahlberg was too much of a bad thing. It was all very awkward and weird. I’m also convinced that there was a big pile of blow backstage and that most of the people presenting had a bump or two (Renee Zellweger clearly was under the influence of something). For what was supposed to be Hollywood’s most glamorous night, an awful lot of people looked like they had been sleeping under a bridge right before the ceremony. Is brushing your hair no longer chic in LA?

Some other thoughts that I jotted down during the epically long telecast:

  • The more I see of Kristin Chenoweth, the less I like this woman. One too many people have told her that she is cute as a button and she’s clearly drank the Kool-Aid. We get it – you are short. Get a new bit. I don’t normally watch the red carpet show and based on what I saw last night, I won’t watch it again. Dear Lord – this entire exchange with Bradley Cooper made me throw up a little:

And for the record, she took her shoes off during an interview and had absolutely NO trouble getting them back on.  That was all for Bradley’s benefit.

  • Speaking of Mr. Cooper – his mom seems a little nutty, but in a good way. And I give that woman huge props for wearing sneakers AND a pink boa. That is a combination you don’t normally see rocking the red carpet, but I bet she was the most comfortable person there.
  • Even more embarrassing was Jamie Foxx hitting on Kelly Rowland on the Red Carpet – in front of his daughter (who looked pretty horrified by the whole thing).

When did the Red Carpet become the celebrity equivalent of a bar during last call?

  • I don’t know if they thought that “Guess what is in the box” would be riveting television, but I was disappointed when it turned out to be ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. I would have been way more excited if it would have been a head, a la Seven.


  • We all knew that Channing Tatum and Daniel Radcliffe can dance, but Charlize Theron and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were a real surprise.
  • I actually thought the sock puppet re-enactment of Flight was pretty funny (quality of the video isn’t great).

I’d much rather watch that than watch Billy Crystal break out his Sammy Davis, Jr. impression.

  • I’ll admit that I got a little nervous when I was wrong with the first category out of the gate.
  • Loved that the guy who accepted the award for Brave was wearing a kilt, but his co-winner looked like she raided the costume department on the set of Lincoln.
Photo from The Daily Record

Photo from The Daily Record

  • I still think Wreck-It Ralph was better.
  • The cast of The Avengers should have come out in costume.
  • Using the theme from Jaws to play people off was clever, but they really should allot more time for the people who are actually winning a freaking Oscar to talk. There were a million places where the telecast could have been cut to allow the people who are hitting a career pinnacle their moment in the sun.
  • It was especially unfortunate that they played off the winner for best visual effects as he was drawing attention to the  fact the company that did the special effects is going bankrupt.
  • Actual debate that we had during the Oscars – was Alf ever an Oscar presenter? (In case you had any doubt, he was not).
  • Bond is awesome, but the 50th anniversary of the franchise already has gotten a lot of play. I don’t know that this Oscar tribute was necessary. Though Shirley Bassey was amazing in her performance of “Goldfinger. “
  • John Travolta’s pronunciation of Les Miserables was hilarious.
  • I love musicals as much as the next person, but the tribute was ridiculous. If they insisted on doing it, they should have selected some more iconic musicals. I liked Chicago, but it is considered to be one of the worst recent Best Picture winners. Plus Catherine Zeta-Jones was clearly lip syncing.
  • I don’t think Jennifer Hudson deserves an Oscar – she’s a great singer, but a terrible actress – but she blew the roof off the place.
  • There was much discussion at our Oscar Party as to how exactly they pulled off the appearance by Ted. Here’s the explanation.
  • For those who may not have gotten the reference to the post-Oscar orgy at Jack Nicholson’s house, director Roman Polanski notoriously raped a thirteen year old girl at Nicholson’s residence.
  • They really should make those envelopes with the winners easier to open. Far too many people were struggling.
From The Urban Daily

From The Urban Daily

  • WHY are people still asking Kristen Stewart to show up at awards shows? She is literally the worst. She is such a sourpuss and looks like she is there against her will. Twilight is over – let’s move on.
  • I can’t believe that Andy Griffith, Richard Dawson, Phyllis Diller and Larry Hagman didn’t make the Oscar In Memorium segment. And I was disappointed that they resumed the practice of allowing the audio of the audience applauding for the different people who have passed away, once again turning the segment into a bizarre popularity contest.
  • Adele needs to get an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony), pronto. We as a society should demand this. She’s the best, though the sound mixing seemed a bit off during her performance. She was getting drowned out in parts by the orchestra.
  • They should either have all the best songs performed or none of them. They shouldn’t pick and choose.
  • Remember when I said that Renee Zellweger had hit rock bottom when Lifetime passed on her pilot. Last night, we saw the real life personification of that. What a freaking train wreck. There is absolutely no way she was sober and she has clearly had too much Botox.

I don’t know if Richard Gere was calling her out on her behavior with this move, but it was pretty classic:

This led us to speculate that perhaps Zellweger is illiterate, though I’m more inclined to think that was simply a side effect of being high as a kite.

  • I’m kind of glad to discover that other people also do not love Anne Hathaway. I don’t begrudge her the Oscar win, but there is just something about her that irks me. I just can’t put my finger on it.
  • I understand that a lot of the nominated movies have been out for a few months, but the vast majority of people haven’t seen many of them yet. So it would behoove them to choose clips that don’t totally spoil the plots of the movies. Having seen almost all of them, I was shocked how many critical plot points were revealed. Not a good advertising strategy, Academy.
  • I was very happy for Quentin Tarantino. And his speech actually was pretty lucid and focused, which was a bit of a surprise.
  • Ang Lee may be the happiest person in show business. That dude is always smiling. I didn’t love Life of Pi, but he seems like such a nice man.
  • I am relieved that they eliminated the weird practice of having other actors say nice things about the nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress. I always found that very awkward and it wasted a lot of time.
  • Who knew Daniel Day-Lewis was funny?
  • It was really nice to see how happy Bradley Cooper was his co-star Jennifer Lawrence when she won for Best Actress. The poor girl fell on her way to accept the award, but Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper valiantly tried to help her. J-Law is an independent woman though – she picked herself right up and then cracked a joke about it. She’s the best.


  • Jack Nicholson is back! He hasn’t been at the Oscars in years.
  • Michelle Obama making an appearance (via satellite) was a big surprise. I didn’t hear much of what she said, because the person next to me was ranting how ridiculous it was that she was part of the ceremony since she has nothing to do with movies. This was the same person who argued Alf should be a presenter.
  • I wish that the First Lady had announced Argo had won by saying “Argo f*ck youself” or by doing the Dougie, like she did this week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:


  • I am an admitted Ben Affleck fan and Argo was my favorite movie of the year, so I may be biased, but I thought his was the best speech of the evening:


  • The song for the losers by Chenoweth and MacFarlane was not the best note on which to end the ceremony. It just seemed kind of mean spirited.
  • The Onion learned the lesson of what happens when an ill-conceived joke lands on Twitter (NSFW and uses a word that most people find abhorrent, so click at your own risk). I get what they were going for, but it was incredibly poorly done and offended many people. I just hope it didn’t ruin little Quvenzhane Wallis’ night; she was adorable (and was just cast in the new film adaption of Annie). UPDATE: The Onion issued an apology Monday morning.


All in all, this Oscar ceremony was a mess essentially from the word go. A lot of the blame will fall to MacFarlane, and rightfully so, but can’t shoulder it all. I strongly recommend that the Academy pick a host that is enthusiastic and happy to be there. Back up the Brinks truck to get Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to reprise the excellent job that they did with the Golden Globes. Or, and of course I am totally biased, I’d like to humbly suggest Jimmy Fallon for consideration. He can sing and play an instrument and already has the Michelle Obama seal of approval. And I’m pretty sure he would go out of his way to not offend anyone; he’d just be happy to be there. Whatever the Academy decides, it is clear that the entire show needs to be revamped and reconsidered. It’s a shame that a year that had such a strong slate of movies was honored with this poorly constructed and written award ceremony.

If you missed the telecast or simply want to relieve its insanity, the entire ceremony is streaming on Hulu.com. A complete list of the winners can be found here.

Django Unchained – A Review

Last night, many children across the land drifted off to sleep, dreaming of all the goodies bestowed upon them by Old Saint Nick. Parents sat down to relax after a long night of wrapping presents, only to see their hours of preparation and assembly rendered moot in a ten minute haze Christmas morning. Families enjoyed reuniting with loved ones, near and far, who came together for some eggnog, cookies and to participate in myriad traditions.

And in Albany, NY, Heather had visions of killing some slave owners.

Because despite the fact that I had a wonderful Christmas with my family, the present I was most looking forward to receiving was coming from a man that I had never met but had long admired. The long wait was over – Quentin Tarantino’s newest film was finally opening. While other people anticipated the arrival of Santa, I have spent the last few months counting down the days until Django Unchained would arrive. And even though it was Christmas, I had no doubt in my mind that I would find myself at an opening night screening.

To say that I am in the tank for Tarantino is an understatement; I am an avowed Tarantino disciple and his films are heavily represented in my favorite movies of all time. I love his snappy dialogue and innovative storytelling. It’s pretty hard for him to do anything wrong in my eyes. But even I was a little concerned about Django Unchained. My first reservation was that I had built this movie too much in my head and it would never live up to my expectation; months of following every casting change and production rumor may have made me a little too invested in the film. He had yet to really disappoint me – though I will admit that Death Proof isn’t one of my favorites – but that could just mean that he was overdue for a misstep. I don’t particularly like Jamie Foxx; I think he did a fine job as Ray Charles, but that performance seems more of an aberration. I haven’t been particularly impressed with anything he has done before and since. His performance in Ray was more about impersonation than anything else. I find Foxx the person kind of annoying and insufferable; he has a swagger that I’m not sure he has really earned. So a film with him in the lead wasn’t necessarily a slam dunk for me. I’m also not a huge fan of spaghetti westerns, which was the genre du jour for Django Unchained; this in and of itself wasn’t a huge issue, as I generally am not as enamored with the various film genres that he has played with over the years. I can’t say that I had even seen a grindhouse film before Death Proof/Planet Terror and I had only a basic knowledge of Kung Fu films before Kill Bill. Tarantino had incorporated elements of spaghetti westerns in some of his earlier movies, but with Django Unchained he was more fully embracing the motif. I was less worried about the subject matter per se, though any time a movie is about race there is the potential for controversy or misinterpretation if it isn’t handled just right. Director Spike Lee had announced that he wouldn’t be seeing the film because he felt it was “disrespectful” to his ancestors.

And while I don’t know that Django Unchained is going to ever go down as one of my favorite Tarantino movies – it’s going to be hard to ever displace Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs – but I did enjoy it immensely. It wasn’t always easy to watch, but I don’t think a movie about slavery should be. The acting was spectacular across the board and even with an almost three hour run time, I was constantly entertained. Perhaps not the most traditional way to spend my Christmas evening, but it was still a jolly good time.

Django Unchained is the spiritual sister to Tarantino’s last movie, Inglourious Basterds. Both are revenge fantasies where a mistreated group is able to exact vengeance on their enemies; In Basterds, a troop of Jewish soldiers were able to kill a bunch of Nazis and in Django Unchained it is a former slave (Foxx) that is able to seek retribution against slave owners. Django is able to get into the revenge business when he is purchased by a German bounty hunter Dr. Schultz (Christopher Waltz). Schultz needs Django to help him identify a trio of slave owners that he is currently pursuing; in exchange for Django’s assistance, Schultz will give him his freedom. The two form an unlikely friendship and Schultz agrees to help Django free his wife (Kerry Washington) from a particularly brutal plantation, run by Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio, playing against type).

Tarantino films are always pretty brutal; this is the guy, after all, that made his bones as a director with a film that includes this scene

and his films have only become more violent with time. But there were a few scenes in Django Unchained that I had a tough time sitting through, and I’m not shrinking violet when it comes to on-screen violence. I have seen more than one movie where a person cuts out their own tongue.  But at least twice I found myself very uncomfortable with what I was watching. I think that unlike the usual mayhem that appears in Tarantino movies, the brutality that I was watching was based in history. Slaves were treated like animals and often received inhuman punishments at the hands of their owners and overseers. Most films about this era tend to shy away from being this graphic; allusions are made to the violence, but it is rarely actually depicted. So even though there were scenes in Django Unchained that I struggled with, I am glad that they were there. I should have to struggle with them. Tarantino used them sparingly so you didn’t become desensitized to them. I think that they were an essential component to the film; if you want to truly identify with Django and his rage, you need to fully comprehend what he has witnessed and had to endure. These scenes are meant to be horrifying and they in no way are glamorous or gratuitous; if you find them to be so, that says more about you than the film.

Django Unchained does not shy away from the use of the n word. In total, it must be uttered over 100 times. That also took some getting used to for me; it’s a repugnant word that always makes me bristle, but it was historically accurate in its usage. Slave owners wouldn’t have hesitated to use it. It was unfortunately a common word in the lexicon of the 1850s. It’s harsh and hateful and it is meant to be.  I don’t think he could have made this film without it; paired with the violence, it sets the tone of the time period and is a reminder that no matter how much we think we understand how bad things were, we really have no idea. I had expected the word to be used a lot, but it still made me feel ill at ease. The violence and terminology don’t make Django Unchained the most accessible film, but if you can see past them it really is quite outstanding .

The acting in Django Unchained is superb. Jamie Foxx won me over almost immediately. He is a suitable hero for this film; he has rage, but he also has a heart. He is driven by the love of his wife and though he has been given little reason to feel any empathy for the men who he and Schultz are chasing, killing one of the men in front of the man’s son gives him pause. He is not a monster, but he also doesn’t shy away from taking another person’s life. Waltz continues to appear to be born to work with Tarantino; he was phenomenal as a Nazi in Inglourious Basterds and his performance in Django Unchained proves that was no fluke. Waltz just has a way with Tarantino’s dialogue. It’s really a pleasure to watch and I hope that they continue to partner in the future. They bring out the best in each other. DiCaprio was outstanding as the amoral and cruel plantation owner Candie. While I have long been an admirer of DiCaprio’s work, I wasn’t 100% sure if he could pull off this role. He’s not usually the straight up bad guy. I needn’t have been concerned as DiCaprio turns in a fabulous performance. He is truly awful and he managed to disappear into the role once I adjusted to seeing him in this light. Samuel L. Jackson is a revelation as Candie’s loyal house slave. If anything, Jackson’s role is even more unexpected than DiCaprio’s. Jackson gets to utter his trademark “mother-er” on more than one occasion, but seeing him play a man who assists the slave owners in their brutality and cruelty was a shock.

Though there is no doubt that Django Unchained is a rough film, it is also very funny. Tarantino mixes the tones very well and the audience was laughing so hard at some points in the film that it was difficult to hear the next few lines. There are moments of silliness and some of the violence is so pulpy that it isn’t as hard to sit through. There is also some kind of vicarious thrill in seeing the bad guys get their deserved comeuppance. After making it through some of the harsher moments of the film, there is real catharsis in the resulting carnage. You wish that some of the characters could die multiple times for the sins that they have committed. Somehow death just doesn’t seem like punishment enough.

Some other thoughts:

  • I was really surprised at how many people were at the theater on Christmas night. I knew that this was a big release, but the cinema was packed for the 8 pm show. Mostly a male crowd, but one of the more racially diverse audiences that I’ve seen in a long time.
  • It’s always a pleasure when Walter Goggins shows up, even if he is playing a terrible person. He’s always good in whatever he’s in and I look forward to Justified returning for its fourth season in January so I can see him on a weekly basis.
  • Don Johnson also has a minor role as a plantation owner named Big Daddy; he may not be on screen that much, but he is really fantastic in his limited time. Tarantino has a knack for knowing how to use actors and Django Unchained is no exception.
  • I was unaware how long the film was before I got to the theater; when I looked online the run-time was listed as 2 hours and 15 minutes, but it clocks in much closer to 3 hours. That being said, it didn’t feel like three hours. The time flew by and I can’t think of much that should have been edited out of the film. There aren’t a lot of wasted moments in Django Unchained.
  • Look for Jonah Hill to turn up in a very unexpected place.
  • There is some beautiful cinematography throughout the film.
  • Tarantino has said that Django Unchained is the second installment in an unofficial thematic trilogy that started with Basterds. I am curious what the final chapter will feature; I’d be interested in seeing his conception of some suffragettes opening a can of whoop ass on the men who have oppressed them.

I really enjoyed Django Unchained and while it is ultimately a mash-up of a spaghetti western and a revenge film it still had some very interesting things to say and was filled with really fantastic acting. Tarantino continues his winning streak with this film. While it is occasionally difficult to watch, I think it needs to be in order to be effective. The film is in no way a downer; there are more than enough laughs to keep things light when needed and seeing people get what they have coming to them never felt so good. If you like Tarantino’s filmography, especially Inglourious Basterds, than I don’t think there is anything in Django Unchained that you can’t handle; if you don’t like his other movies you probably weren’t going to see this one anyway. You kind of either like Tarantino or you don’t. I was more than satisfied with Django Unchained, even if it was perhaps the most un-Christmassy movie ever released.