Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 24: Christmas Eve Smorgasbord

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Merry Christmas Eve to everyone out there! Tomorrow is the magical day known as Christmas. I should go to sleep right now just so I can get up in the morning to unwrap presents. I’m currently watching It’s A Wonderful Life on NBC. A classic film that I watch every year on Christmas Eve. I figured I’d take the time today to just talk about everything I’ve seen today that had to do with Christmas. I didn’t finish or pay attention to a lot of these films, but I’ll make note of them just because I can.

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

I caught a little bit of this one. It’s based on a song of the same name. It reminds me of that scene in Santa’s Slay where Goldberg laughs about the grandpa being run over by a reindeer. I have nothing else to say. I just wanted to make a Santa’s Slay reference.

Scooby Doo Christmas

I love Scooby Doo. The good people at Hanna Barbera never let me down when watching Scooby Doo as a kid. I didn’t catch much of this special. I recall a big snow monster, but that’s about it. I wouldn’t mind watching it some day to get all the information on it.

Batman Begins

….has nothing to do with Christmas. Syfy chose the wrong Batman movie. They should have went with Batman Returns.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

….also has nothing to do with Christmas. Did the Syfy channel not get the memo about it being Christmas Eve?

The Best of the Joy of Painting

Bob Ross painted a nice picture and he played with squirrels. It had nothing to do with Christmas, but I never turn down watching Bob Ross.

A Fairly Odd Christmas

I’m still not used to seeing The Fairly OddParents in Live Action. I didn’t follow the plot very much, but it’s neat seeing the cartoon characters in live action. It seems more faithful to the television show than some of the actual crap cartoon adaptations I’ve seen come out. (Dragonball Evolution)

It’s a SpongeBob Christmas

Only caught bits and pieces of this too. Christmas Eve is a busy time. I don’t always get to watch everything. It was cool that it was in stopmotion though like the old Rankin Bass specials. I’m definitely going to try and watch this one day.

The Santa Clause

I watched the most of this one. It’s a classic movie starring Tim Allen who accidentally kills Santa. He puts on his suit and that makes him the big guy. He doesn’t want to accept being Santa Claus at first, but he eventually comes around after dealing with his ex wife and Judge Reinhold. His son is the one who truly inspires him to take the role of Santa Claus. It’s a classic Christmas film that I try to watch every year.

The Santa Clause 2

Not as good as the original, but I watched a little bit of it. It’s A Wonderful Life takes priority over it. I only watched Santa make the clone version of himself to take his job while he finds his wife. I don’t try to watch this one every year, but I’ll give it a glance. I’ve still never seen the 3rd one.

I’m going to finish watching It’s A Wonderful Life now. I might do a review of that tomorrow or something else. I’m leaning towards something else. We already know it’s a classic. Not much more to say about it. Merry Christmas Eve!

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Halloween Havoc 2013 Day 30: The Invisible Man

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One day left until Halloween. I figured today would be another good day to watch a class Universal monster film. This time I went with The Invisible Man. It stars Claude Rains who was also in The Wolf Man as well as Gloria Stuart. She played the old lady in Titanic. She’s not quite as old here. Her father is played by Henry Travers who most people remember as Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life. Today is a spoiler filled review so no running commentary. Let’s get right to it.

The Plot

Jack Griffin has made himself invisible. He stays at an inn to work on his experiment some more to become visible again. Jack is covered with bandages and has dark goggles on so we can’t tell he’s invisible. The people working at the inn become annoyed with Jack since he’s kind of a jerk. Jack starts to abuse the people working there a little bit so they get the police. This leads to one of the best scenes of the film where Jack reveals he’s an invisible. I love the cop named Jaffers. “He’s invisible.” He says it so nonchalantly. Jack escapes to Dr. Kemp’s place. He tells him of his plans to kill world leaders and stuff. According to Dr. Cranley (Henry Travers) a drug he used in his formula has altered his mind in a negative way. The perils of science. Dr. Kemp agrees to help Jack for a little bit, but he doesn’t like having him there. Dr. Cranley’s daughter (Gloria Stuart) is the romantic interest of Jack. It’s hard to see their relationship in this film though (pun intended). The police are hunting for Jack. I just realized that Gloria Stuart must have something for guys named Jack. Many attempts are made at Jack, but the police are pretty incompetent. Use your guns! Fools! Jack threatens to kill Dr. Kemp, so the police try to plan a trap for them. It doesn’t go well and Dr. Kemp is send down a hill in a car. Jack makes the mistake of sleeping in a barn where an old guy finds him. The cops surround the barn and light it on fire. It was snowing outside so they could see his tracks. They finally shoot him! He dies in the hospital telling Rose Dawson that he’ll never let go. Actually, he says he shouldn’t have tampered too much with science. He dies and becomes visible again. We finally get to see Claude Rains’ face!

Characters

This film actually has a lot of fun characters. Claude Rains is awesome as Jack, the Invisible Man. He has a high energy level, and all his little speeches are outstanding. He has a perfect voice for the part. I already mentioned that I liked Jaffers. Dr. Kemp and Dr. Cranley play their parts well. It was neat to see Henry Travers play something besides Clarence. There’s a really annoying woman that worked in the inn. Every time something happened she would scream. It’s so fucking annoying that it’s hilarious. What’s her problem haha. The Invisible Man should have killed her. He actually gets a pretty good body count during this film. I think they said he killed a hundred in a train crash.

Special Effects

They are amazing. This is 1933. Talkie films had just started only a few years before. The fact they could pull off so many great effects in 1933 is just mindboggling. I could be underestimating their talents. I often wondered throughout the film how they pulled off making him invisible. I know some scenes required wires and matte processes, but it’s cool to think about. I’m sure it’s a lot easier today with computers. Back then they had it rough, but they did it well.

Final Thoughts

This is an outstanding film. One of the best in the Universal catalog. Claude Rains performance really heightens the experience. I’m glad they didn’t go with Boris Karloff for this film. I love Karloff, but I don’t think he would have brought the energy that Rains did. I highly suggest checking out The Invisible Man. It’s on Netflix, so you people should watch it if you have that. Go buy the DVD or you have to as well. It’s worth it.