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    • Cold War 2.0 Incoming
      Right, with the ban on Huawei using chips made with American manufacturing equipment (one of America’s last few places of absolute advantage); the bans of TikTok, Tencent and WeChat; the attempt to convince other countries to not use Huawei 5G; the arrest of the Huawei founder’s daughter for doing business with Iran along with the […]
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The Best Christmas Movie

Last night, I went to see the Polar Express on the giant screen at the Carnegie Science Center on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

Imagine walking into the center to be confronted with hundreds of kids, most under the age of 10, dressed in their jammies and dragging their parents with them. I had no little kid to take (but next year, I might take my preteen cousins). Anyway, I expected the showing to be filled with whining and crying and kids who can’t hold their pee making everyone in the aisle get up to let them by to go to the potty and then up again when they got back to their seat. 🙄

So you can imagine my shocked surprise when the opposite occurred. I heard nary a peep from any child in that theater. No whining, no screaming at inappropriate times. And if your kids have bladder control problems, take them to the Polar Express where they will learn instantly how to hold it for two solid hours.

They sat transfixed, full of wonder and delight. I know that Polar Express is known for its “uncanny valley” effect. All I can say is it’s better on a huge screen with 3D glasses where you can soar and dive with a bird down steep waterfalls, or on top of the train on a racing roller coaster track. The final scene at the North Pole with the tumbling, jitter bugging elves around a sky high Christmas tree will leave you giddy with anticipation of Santa’s arrival.

It is the best Christmas movie ever, or so says I. I dares ya to try to change my mind.

Anyway, if you have a chance to see it in your city, get your jammies and slippers on and run to the early evening showing.

*No actual flying reindeer were hurt during the making of this film.


Here’s the hot chocolate scene from Polar Express. I can almost smell the cocoa…

20 Responses

  1. I liked “Miracle on 34th Street,” and “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” (not a movie, but worthy of mention). But that is a rave review from you on this one. Actually, I might prefer going to a movie where there are a bunch of kids, rather than the adults who keep audibly explaining the movie to each other as it goes along, and who seem to think that they are in their living room. Oh, and let’s not get into the cell phones going off, no matter how clearly the management explains before the film or play to turn them off. A week or so ago, I went to see something during the day, maybe “The Irishman,” and there was a woman who not only had her phone go off, but who answered it, starting talking, and then walked the length of the aisle while talking. Right before the end, too. Just oblivious.

    • Did you have an aisle seat? You should have stuck your foot out and tripped her.

      • Smiling at the image. But she walked up the other aisle. Actually, if I had tripped her, I would have ended up charged with sexual battery, like the runner who gave a woman a slap on the rear end. I’m not approving of the behavior,, but sexual battery?? Where there is money and instant sympathy fame to be gained, everybody is a potential litigant. Maybe the theatre woman was just hoping to be tripped!

        • P.S. I am guessing that you like mystery novels and movies, as I do? If so, do not see “Knives Out,” which astoundingly gets something like 93% favorable ratings, and yet is no better than a middling episode of a TV series like “Death in Paradise” or “Brokenwood.” The writer and director.,who I was surprised to see did “Brick,” which actually was fairly good, some years ago, is a big fan of ‘The Last of Sheila,” which is perhaps my all-time favorite mystery movie. The comparison between “Sheila” and this movie is…well, not at all favorable to “Knives Out.” I even liked the arch “Gosford Park” better, and I didn’t like that much. I hope I’m not spoiling it for anyone, but one could just go with all the positive reviews, and ignore mine. 🙂

        • Anyway, you’re too much of a gentleman.

          • Thank you, Sue. I guess that’s a good thing! Happy Holidays. We can very much hope that this new year will be a more pleasant and gratifying one.

  2. You have my sympathy, William.

    • Now I too want to see “Polar Express”. But “It’s a Wonderful Life” will always be my favorite. I love Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra, the play of darkness and light in the hero. I’ll always remember the December my Love wordlessly popped that movie into the VCR to soothe my aching soul following a miscarriage, darkness and light. It helped. A couple of years ago, we spent a romantic few December days in small-town Toccoa. One night we walked from our Bed & Breakfast to the historic Ritz theatre in town where “Prancer” was showing for $1 a ticket. We sat among friendly locals and other visitors. It felt like stepping back 80 years but to a better place. The theatre crowd was racially diverse with all ages represented. The well-behaved children made it festive. They were excited and engaged. The movie was so-so but sweet. It’s now wrapped up in one of my favorite holiday travel memories.

  3. The best Christmas movie ever made was “The Lion in Winter”, or as we refer to it at Chez Propertius, “Christmas with the Plantagenets”.


    “Eternal peace” indeed – what could capture the spirit of the season better?

  4. Off topic: Ever been to Fucking, Austria? 😆


  5. Excellent explanation/interpretation? of the term “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Not that anyone in the GOP or who supports trump gives a rat’s fart.


    Re Christmas movies. I got nuthin, not feeling the holidays at all, call me Scrooge.

  6. I have been saying all years that all I wanted for Christmas is for the Democrats to impeach Trump. I AM GETTING MY WISH!

    Next Christmas will be even better.

    • Sure, dinosaur.

      Pay no attention to the oncoming asteroid. 😛

      Crawl back under your bridge, Niles. I think I see some billy goats coming.

    • Tell me, Niles, what is your vision for the future of our Disunited States of America? What exactly do you want?

    • Hi Niles! Welcome back! Did you hear Collins defending him last week? Poor Trump. Can never catch a break. Democrats have been gunning for him since day one. He’s under siege! And what did he do? Nothing except hold military aid to Ukraine in exchange for them saying “how high?” When he says “jump!” BTW, how is it we are doing Putin’s foreign policy for him?
      I imagine Putin’s phone calls to Trump go something like this: “Hhow are you, Donald? Hhey, I’ve heard from my sources that those jerks at NATO heve been telking behind your beck. They’re plenning a Christmas party and say they won’t invite you. Can you belive it? Don’t worry, Donald, I’ve got your beck. We will show them a thing or two about parties, won’t we? Now, here’s the deal: you help me in Syria and I’ll meke sure you get oil for Exxon. No, no, don’t thenk me. I just want to meke sure Nancy gets her claws out of your beck. Dostvidanya, Donald!
      {{hangs up phone}}

      Big bad, Donald. Can’t fight his own battles. He gets his congressional minions to make him look like a total loser so some die hard voters will feel sorry for him.

      You know, Niles, if I were you, I wouldn’t be so cocky. Next year in PA, we’ll be voting by mail starting in the primaries. Yes, that’s right, even the non-voter will get her ballot and will have almost no excuse to not vote against him. There will be a lot fewer non-voters. And here in PA, the minute you get your license, you get to register to vote! Think of that Niles! So many Bernie supporters. IKR?? I can’t stand him either.
      So, Warren it is.

      Anyway, Niles, I wouldn’t worry about the articles of impeachment going to the senate. There’s a good chance that they’ll stay in the House and accumulate more evidence because you KNOW, that Donald just can’t help himself. He’s got to be doing something and just thinks he’ll never be caught.

      Mebbe, mebbe not.

      But he might be the first president who ran for re-election while he was impeached. So… there’s that.

    • The really scary thing is that, with the planet dying, and climate change calamities imminent, the Trump people do not even care. They appear to live for the pathetic little “victories” which Trump pretends to share with them, the way the guy running the shell game at the carnival tries to make it look like the marks are winning. Trump does not care one single bit about any of his MAGAs, except that he wants their votes.

      How hard is it to see that Trump is a person without an ounce of compassion or empathy in his body? His son goes out at night and kills endangered species sheep with a high-powered rifle. His son is sick and perverted, just like his father. This is the most evil family which has ever been seen in politics, and yet the incessant brainwashing propaganda emanating from the Far Right chambers, convinced millions that Hillary is the evil person, when all evidence shows that she is nice, a wonderful mother, and cares deeply about children and the fate of the world. She goes on Howard Stern ,and people are amazed that “she sounds so cool, so much fun to listen to.” The right wing media substituted a horrendously distorted version of Hillary to the masses. Most of them remain brainwashed, will never realize what they were duped into doing to this country,and cannot wait to vote for Trump again, so that more children can be tortured, more of the natural environment destroyed, more billions can go into Trump’s pockets. The very thing the Right always claimed to be terrified of, was a totalitarian government. And yet they are eagerly voting for it. This is either incredible hypocrisy, or more likely, abysmal stupidity.

  7. Media is unbelievable. Most of the people on TV do not appear to understand the difference between impeachment and removal. The polls ask, “Should Trump be impeached and removed?” There are some people who cannot stand Trump, but who might think that removal is too drastic. Even so, i n the Fox poll, 50% favor IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL! Media says, “Well people are very much divided, hearings did not do anything.” They point to a couple of other polls which have the removal at about 45%. To me, that is quite a high number, and we have not even had the trial yet.

    Five minutes of Andrea Mitchell is more than enough. Today, she said, “Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Hillary Clinton went on the day before the election, far too late to change the result there.” Yes, she actually said that. Hillary presumably lost Michigan by 10,000 votes. There literally were ballot boxes which were later found broken. Michigan started a recount after the election, and the Republican governor and AG stopped it. She almost surely won Michigan. Aside from that, a margin of 10,000 out of a few million votes cast certainly does not imply “far too late.” Mitchell actually gets awards, but she is so utterly biased against Hillary, and so uninterested in ever changing that, as to make her comments a disgrace to journalism. She doesn’t like Trump at all, but she is going to make sure that it is Hillary’s fault. She spent the entire campaign talking about the emails. What emails ? The ones that a three year investigation found were nothing at all? The ones that Mitchell thought were the most important thing to discuss day after day, hour after hour?

  8. My favorite for some time now, but especially in this grim season:


  9. So many good lines in that movie, but some of my favorites:

    Charline “Charly” Elizabeth Baltimore: Easy, sport. I got myself out of Beirut once, I think I can get out of New Jersey.
    Mitch Henessey: Yeah, well don’t be so sure. Others have tried and failed. The entire population, in fact.

    Thug: Good evening lady. How about some company? Charline “Charly” Elizabeth Baltimore: No thanks, I’m saving myself ’til I get raped.

    [Samantha notices the gun in Mitch’s pocket] Samantha Caine: It makes a bulge, people can see!
    Mitch Henessey: Do ya want me to stick it in my pants and shoot my damn d**k off?
    Samantha Caine: Now you’re a sharpshooter?

  10. Early, “Long Kiss Goodnight” is on Netflix and I have never seen it. Will watch Christmas Day, many thanks for the recommendation!

    P.S.: That’s my kind of dialogue!

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