Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Day 1 of the Chris Mack Best Holiday Movie EVER Tournament was a slaughter. The Ref walked into a buzzsaw called Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and got its behind handed to it. There will be another match-up or two like that in this tournament, and that’s fine. Sometimes you just get run out of the gym by a better team.

What we may not see a lot of again in this tourney – at least not until we get to the Final Four – are generational battles. And that’s what we have here on Day Two, with Scrooged vs. The Santa Clause.
The Santa Clause is the classic example of the mid-90s “comedic blockbuster,” when Tim Allen was at his peak of primetime TV power and guys like he and Arnold Schwarzenegger could poop on a reel of film and gross $50 million (see Kindergarten Cop). Chances are if you were born in the mid-to-late 80s, you more than likely thought both The Santa Clause and Kindergarten Cop and Jingle All the Way were high comedy. We’re not judging here; terrible one-liners and low grade slapstick make all of us laugh when we’re 10 years old, and in some cases still do.

The arguments against it bring us back around to those great ‘Not Quite’ movies such as Lethal Weapon, the aforementioned Trading Places, and the yet to make its debut, Die Hard. In a different bracket, The Santa Clause may not even get to the dance. But it’s here now, based on two factors: It made a whole hell of a lot more money than Jingle All the Way and is a whole hell of a lot more mainstream than Mixed Nuts starring Steve Martin. When you turn on ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas,” The Santa Clause and its sequels are more ubiquitous than Jim Carrey’s Grinch. It’s like the Mike Davis years at Indiana: Just show up in your red uni, and you’ll probably get a dance card.  

Conversely, Scrooged is for Billl Murray what the Dave Lewis era was for the Detroit Red Wings. Never going to be truly appreciated for what they provided because of the enormous shadow looming over it. (Aside: Dave Lewis is the poor chump who got the Red Wings’ Head Coaching position after Scotty Bowman retired. Only he wasn’t a chump at all. He won 96 games in two seasons and a President’s Trophy. And then lost his job to a lockout.)

Murray’s first starring role following Ghostbusters is great because it doesn’t veer from a highly successful formula that had so many of us Gen X’ers idolizing Murray in our early adolescence: Bill Murray as an insensitive, sarcastic, egomaniac concerned with one thing: Himself. From trying to get laid at the general’s house in Stripes to trying to get laid in Sigourney Weaver’s apartment in Ghostbusters, to … well, I’ll be honest, I’m surprised he doesn’t try to bag Carol Kane’s “Ghost of Chirstmas Present” in Scrooged… to a narcissistic network television president, Murray is at his best when he has you convinced he just doesn’t give a shit. The only drawback to Scrooged is that you know the story, you know how it’s going to turn out, and there’s no great swerve job that forces you to do anything else but sit back and admire Murray for a couple of hours while tolerating Kane and Buster Poindexter and hoping Karen Allen will show up in one of those sweaters she wore in Animal House.

The polls are open, so get to Twitter and get your vote in NOW!


Post a Comment