Archive for the ‘Lists’ category

Underrated Christmas Specials (Part II)

December 24, 2017

Three years ago, I put together a post spotlighting some underrated holiday specials. It was definitely a fun entry to put together. So let’s talk about a few more of these lesser known specials worth checking out this time of year (in alphabetical order).

 

11 Louds a Leapin’ (The Loud House)

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For our first entry, we’re going with last year’s Christmas special from Nickelodeon’s The Loud House, their biggest hit since the talking sponge. Although popular among cartoon fans, it’s likely not known by those of you who aren’t part of that community. But yes, The Loud House is  a good show and this is easily their best episode. It’s funny, well-animated, touching and has a great song with a nice if not cliched message.

 

Christmas (The Wonder Years)

Image result for the wonders years christmas

I adore this show. And this is just a great episode. It starts off as a pretty simple if not really funny story about a family who wants a color TV for Christmas. But it becomes so much more than that by the end. I won’t give it away but trust me when I say that it’s some  emotional stuff. This is a great example of a story that balances comedy and drama flawlessly. Definitely the best special on this list and well-worth seeking out.

 

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

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Pretty much everyone likes Sesame Street. And this 1978 Emmy-winning special gives you pretty much everything you’d like from something like this. There’s three different plots. The main one focuses on Big Bird and gives us a unique take on the whole “does Santa really exist?” story. Bert and Ernie do their own take on the classic “Gift of the Magi” story and it’s an enjoyable one. And finally, Cookie Monster gets an uproarious little plot about trying to write Santa a letter. The special isn’t without some problems. But it’s still worth spending an hour of your time watching on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF4XRQwzls8

 

The Most Adequate Christmas Ever (American Dad!)

Image result for american dad the most adequate christmas ever

Considering this is a Seth MacFarlane show, you might expect this to be a really dark, twisted Christmas episode. And don’t get me wrong, there’s some of that. But compared to a lot of his other specials, this is pretty tame. It’s about protagonist Stan Smith dying and trying to convince Jesus to give him another chance at redemption. A lot of people prefer their season 5 special ‘Rapture’s Delight,’ but this is the one for me. It’s one of the funniest episodes of the show and has some nice moments too. Check it out.

 

Night of the Meek (The Twilight Zone 1985)

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This one right here is a remake of the 1960 classic episode starring Art Carney (which I included in my previous list). And surprisingly, this is about as good in its own way. This episode keeps the basic plot and themes of the original. But it makes enough changes to give it its own purpose. One difference is that this one focuses more on the idea helping children during the holiday. And Richard Mulligan is great as the drunken yet kindhearted Santa Claus. Watch it here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXYWEswofc0&t=1564s

 

 

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5 Great Things to Watch on Netflix (that you may not have already seen)

August 6, 2014

So a little while back I read this article – http://www.buzzfeed.com/perpetua/netflix-is-disappointing. And it got me thinking, what are some of the great things that Netflix actually does offer? I came up with a few, so I thought I’d share. So without further adue, here are 5 great things on Netflix that you might not have already checked out.

**IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER**

1. Barton Fink

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The Coen brothers. John Turturro. John Goodman. Tony Shalhoub. How could you go wrong with a team like that?

http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/60000822?sod=search-autocomplete

2. A Bit of Fry and Laurie

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A surprisingly funny 80’s British sketch comedy starring popular British comic Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (best known for playing Dr. Gregory House on the popular medical drama House).

http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70153392?sod=search-autocomplete

3. Greenberg

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Yes, Ben Stiller can actually act. Who would’ve thunk it? And he really shows off his skills in the indie dramedy film from writer-director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale). Watch it.

http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70118401?trkid=2361637

4. The Trip

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If you enjoy simple, witty, comedies, then this is the film for you. See my full review here: https://johnjamesdamico.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/the-trip-movie-review/

http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70154139?sod=search-autocomplete

5. The Wonder Years

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The defining coming-of-age series. Funny, heartfelt, and genuine. I absolutely love watching this show.

http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70172454?sod=search-autocomplete

My Top 10 Movies of 2011

January 17, 2012

Just a disclaimer: this is an incomplete list. There are a number of films that I have yet to see this year but I didn’t want to put this off any longer. So without further ado, here are my picks for the best movies of 2011.

Honorable Mentions: Hobo with a Shotgun, Moneyball, Red State, Take Shelter, The Trip, Win Win

10. The Ides of March – Good ensemble but Ryan Gosling gives the best performance I’ve seen from any actor this year.

9. Source Code – Great, smart, sci-fi movie.

8. Cedar Rapids – Very underrated movie.

7. Beginners – Emotional, unique, and very well-acted. I hope writer/director Mike Mill gets at least one Oscar nomination.

6. Drive – Bloody, grim, dark, and awesome. A lot of people put this as their favorite of the year but I couldn’t do that. And another great performance from Gosling.

5. The Muppets – I didn’t grow up with the Muppets but I really loved this film. I don’t have a review of it by the way.

4. The Skin I Live In – One the best twist ending I’ve ever seen in a movie.

3. Super 8 – I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, but this year had some great ones and this is no exception.

2. Midnight in Paris – Owen Wilson gives his best performance and Woody Allen writes and directs it excellently.

1. The Artist – Smart, witty, funny, dramatic, and highly enjoyable. I never expected this to be my favorite of the year but it is.

So that’s my list. I hope you enjoyed reading it.

By: John D’Amico


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