Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the news filled world of superhero’s in Film and TV.
In 2004, some crafty computer animation and very talented voice acting gave us one of the most visually exciting Christmas movies that kids could watch, too. It is called The Polar Express.
I don’t know why, but I always get excited when a movie takes place in Michigan. The Polar Express takes place in Grand Rapids, MI. Well… the beginning does, anyway. This movie tells the story of a young lad who is losing his Christmas spirit. He is at that in-between age where he is thinking that Santa Claus is not real. A train pulls up in front of his house and waits for him to come down. He is invited to go with this group of kids to the North Pole. The conductor (Tom Hanks) says that they are all going to see Santa Claus.
If there is a favorite Christmas movie for me I have to go with Christmas Vacation, but right behind it (We’re talking milimeters here) is my second favorite holiday flick starring Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey: The Ref.
The story revolves around the Chasseur family. Let me get this out-of-the-way right now. It’s pronounced ‘Shass-Oor’ and as you must know, it’s an 18th century French Huguenot name. But I digress, the Chasseur family is a pretty well off family with a lovely home… from the outside. Look in and there’s quite a bit more going on. Spouses Lloyd and Caroline are in the middle of some terrible marital strife and their son Jesse is a delinquent who enjoys black mailing his commander at military school for money in his off time. So what do they need to bring their family closer during the holidays on Christmas Eve? Gus, the cat burglar played by none other than Denis Leary. Leary essentially makes the movie with his fast talking, foul-mouthed way with people. This guy is a comedic genius but it doesn’t even sound like he’s trying half the time. He’s just pissed and complains and that’s that.
So where does Gus come into play? Well, he and his part Murray are in the process of thieving from one of the richest guys in town when something goes wrong… the guy has an almost road runner like trap set up for thieves which includes spraying cat piss in their face and dropping them down a chute to the basement where waits a very hungry Doberman. With the little community essentially closed off by police in an effort to capture Gus, he does the only thing he can do and that is take Lloyd and Caroline hostage.
This may have been the biggest mistake of his life given the fact that the couple cannot agree on anything and argue constantly. Not to mention they are having relatives over for Christmas Eve dinner, including the bitchiest bitch of mothers, a simpleton brother in-law and nearly as bitchy sister in-law. So the hostage party continues with Gus in the guise of their doctor… Dr. Wong. (Played by Law and Order/Oz alum B.D. Wong at the movie’s start.)
The movie is funny as hell, but actually reflects some real life drama that people have with their in-laws in the real world we live in. I’ve seen some bitchy mother in-laws who should immediately go to hell, let me tell ya. It also makes one wonder if it would work to force people to sit down and talk things out. Just don’t get any thoughts this Christmas season of sitting your family down at gunpoint to discuss their issues. I give the movie 5 out of 5 Christmas Trees.
Perfect movie with all of the right actors, comedy and drama added in. Plus Denis Leary lays out a Santa in one punch worthy of Ryu from Street Fighter. Check it out below:
For more COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS – Click it Here!
Also Check out our COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN…
Evil Dead was a movie that changed how I viewed movies. No longer was I bound by strict genre categories and high budget sensibilities. Evil Dead and its sequels proved that a horror movie can be funny, and a love story can be dramatic and filled with action all without a huge budget.
The trilogy is a pop culture phenom with a highly dedicated fanbase, and if you haven’t seen it, you’ve heard it quoted at some point in your life. When news dropped that it would be receiving a sequel/remake, fans were understandably concerned. Sure, we all wanted to see Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell return to the series that catapulted them to stardom (at least in my eyes), but only if done in the right way.
One of the last films completed under the old MGM leadership (the other being Red Dawn, and both starring Thor) the release of this movie had been delayed several times, originally slated for wide release on February 5, 2010 – it has now been announced that it will come out April (Friday) the 13th, 2012. And let me just say – it’s about fricking time.