Saturday was the first of several Christmas parties/events we have during December. This one was Christy's work Christmas Party at Beef and Boards in Indianapolis.
A little bit of history: Several years ago (we think it was in 1999), we were driving to Christy's work Christmas Party which was at Beef and Boards that year as well. We were on our way, probably less than five miles from the theater, zooming around I-465, when the engine of our "good car" at the time (which two or three traffic accidents later, happens to be my "junker" now) suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, went dead -- as a doornail. I headed for the right shoulder, put it in neutral, tried to restart - nothing. We rolled to a stop near the Ditch Road (life's funny ain't it?) overpass, and considered our options. Now, let the record show that I, still to this day, do not carry
Fortunately, this year's trip went flawlessly with the possible exception of a bit of an ice storm that made the roads a bit slick for the trip home.
We were pleasantly surprised that a portion of the show was dedicated to a "Traditional Christmas" which featured a Nativity scene and several songs about Jesus. Wow, we've nearly come to expect that most, if not all, references to Christ will be removed from these types of programs, even down to the word, "Christmas." I've written to the theater to express my appreciation for this as well as the fine service, food and entertainment.
After church on Sunday, we went to the mall here in Anderson and had Hannah's picture taken with Santa Claus. To the left is a picture that they allowed me to take as long as we paid for the picture that they took as well.
Films Recently Watched:
A Manchurian Double-Feature:
The Manchurian Candidate (1962) dir. by John Frankenheimer
Check another off of the AFI's - 100 Years...100 Movies list for me. 62 seen, 38 to go.
The Manchurian Candidate (2004) dir. by Jonathan Demme
A few twists on the original film's plot. A couple of updates. A couple of good performances (namely by Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep), but nothing astounding here, in my opinion. I'll stick with the 1962 film.
A Tim Burton Triple-Feature combined with a Johhny Depp Double-Feature:
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) dir. by Henry Selick. Written and produced by Tim Burton.
This is one of my annual holiday films, and I love it every year!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) dir. by Tim Burton
Starring Johhny Depp.
I'm not sure what to think of this. I'm glad that Burton remade this story as it is quite "Burtonesque." But, for me, it doesn't have the magic that the Gene Wilder film has. Perhaps this will change upon repeated viewings.
Edward Scissorhands (1990) dir. by Tim Burton
Starring Johhny Depp.
Danny Elfman's original music score to this film is one of my absolute favorites. While watching it again for the first time in a long time, I remembered how well the music compliments the on-screen action and the story, characters, mood, etc. This is one film that would not be as good as it is without this Elfman score.
Millions (2004) dir. by Danny Boyle
The Polar Express (2004) dir. by Robert Zemekis
This is the movie that Hannah and I watched on our Friday Father-Daughter night. She got a little nervous during a couple of the perilous scenes, but as it turns out, she ended up watching it again the very next night with the babysitter.
I missed this in theaters when it released about this time last year. I got the DVD blind, hoping that I would enjoy it and I did. At least, it was better than other recent attempts at turning a short children's book into a feature-length film. I can definitely see this becoming part of the group of "modern classics" in the Christmas Holiday film vaults.
Do yourself a favor and read my friend, Ward's post about this film. He approaches it from the perspective of an artist/animator. Be sure to follow the link about the uncanny valley - fascinating stuff. Also, be sure to read his second post, where he shows how simple changes to the film's characters can make drastic changes it their apparent attitudes and emotions.