19 December 2005
King Kong Merrily on HighMeg says: I'm encouraged to see that King Kong seems to have taken the box offices in various countries by storm, because it reaffirms the true meaning of Christmas - big monkeys.
Oh alright, not big monkeys. But there's a certain synergy to be seen between the festive season and larger-than-life (if less-than-believable) cinematic romps.
We've come to expect that the TV schedule over these dark winter weeks will be peppered with feature-length offerings aimed squarely at that family-having-overeaten-and-being-slightly-irritable-but-nevertheless-thinking-they-ought-to-spend-some-time-together audience. Old, new, half-cocked and badly-animated: with the plethora of channels now available to the modern viewer, there's room for all those classics to make their annual reappearance in the schedules, however lame and/or bad.
To keep you right on the button over the next couple of weeks, here's your handy cut-out-and-keep rundown to what you can expect from the various festive favourites, which has in no way whatsoever been rapidly dredged out without reference to accuracy or detail from my increasingly hazy memory. At all.
|Title||Featuring||Synopsis||Number of Mince Pies You Will Want To Hurl At The Telly|
|Bedknobs and Broomsticks||That woman from Murder! She wrote. Jessica something? And some children. And a bed.||Really couldn't tell you. The bed flies, though, I know that much (though admittedly just from seeing the cover of the video on a shelf).|
|The Sound of Music||Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, many children/nuns||Singing nun takes guitar and sorts out unruly children and their nasty father before escaping the nazis over the alps.|
|Mary Poppins||Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke||Singing nanny charms sad children with magic and friends with unconvincing accents. Japes ensue.|
|Jurassic Park (1, 2)||Richard Attenborough, that one who was in The Tall Guy and The Fly whose name I can't remember, ||Scientists clone dinosaurs from DNA found in prehistoric mosquito. Unlike Dolly the Sheep, the dinosaurs can walk and live longer than 20 minutes. They run wild on a small island and attack everything. Moral: science is bad.|
|Jason and the Argonauts||Various strapping young scantily-clad men||Loosely (very loosely) based on Greek myth, Jason and his, um, argonauts set out to find the Golden Fleece and have run-ins with a skeleton army, some unconvincing stop-frame animated monsters and a gigantic bronze statue. All very odd.|
|It's a Wonderful Life||James Stewart, many black-and-white people||Man about to commit suicide is persuaded otherwise by an angel who shows him what a difference he has made in his sleepy town. Aww.|
|Charlie & the Chocolate Factory||Impish child, Gene ||Small boy wins chocolottery and visits candy factory belonging to bonkers bloke. Other winners meet sticky ends, Charlie is triumphant. Songs feature.|
|Oliver!||Numerous Street Urchins||Singing his way through the life of a destitute victorian street-child, small boy steals things and asks for more. Doesn't get it.|
|Scrooged!||Bill Murray, possibly||Another tedious retelling of A Christmas Carol, only this time with punctuation.|
|Jack Frost||Michael thingy||Musician dies and is reincarnated as a rather petrifying snowman, to watch over his fatherless children. Worrying.|
|The Voyages of Sinbad||Swarthy men in towels and MC Hammer trousers||Unclear, but it involves technicolor.|
|Bugsy Malone||Small stars, including Jodie Foster and Scott Baio and MARK CURRY (YES! Really! The ginger one off Blue Peter!)||Provocatively-dressed urchins perform on stage until someone bursts in and spooges custardy substance all over them. There is singing. And dancing.|
|Chitty Chitty Bang Bang||Dick van Dkye, pretty lady, urchins, car||Crackpot inventor makes flying car. Unconvinving germans. Children kidnapped by internet pervert childcatcher. Songs. Etc.|
|Annie||Small Ginger||Abandoned and unloved, Lil'
|Home Alone||Macaulay Culkin (sp?)||Small boy is left alone at, er, home, because his family hate him. Baddies try to break in and steal things/harm him.Small boy rigs up elaborate traps to prevent this and, unfortunately, the baddies fail. He does not suffer Tony Martin's fate, more's the pity.|
|Bond (any)||Connery, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, the other one||Baddies, chase, naked women dancing in flames, flimsy paper-thin plot opener, chase scene, explosion, raised eyebrow, know-it-all double-entendre, bonking, casino, shaken-not-stirred, Bondjamesbond, gadget, femme fatale, fistfight, gadget deployed, bonking, chase scene, explosion (x2), ludicrously complicated baddie lair, daring escape, outfoxed baddie, smirk, implied bonking, titles, fin.|
|Indiana Jones (1, 2, 3)||Harrison ||Hunky archeology lecturer moonlights as adventure hero. Fights nazis. Finds archeological treasures. Gets girl.|
|Star Wars (4, 5, 6)||Mark Hammil, Carrie Fisher, Harrison ||Swashbuckling in space. Fabulous.|
|Wizard of Oz||Judy Garland, munchkins||Girl is whooshed via |
|Lord of the Rings (1, 2, 3)||Peter Jackson's chequebook, Orlando Bloom, New Zealand, actors with cheekbones, thousands of New Zealandish extras||Small big-footed furry men embark on a trip through dangerous territory, to do something with a ring, or some rings. There is swashbuckling. There are special effects. There is scenery.|
|Titanic||Leonardo di Caprio, Kate Winslett, an iceberg||Telling the story of an ill-fated maiden on the ill-fated maiden voyage of the Titanic. Actually, she comes off rather better than the boat, which sunk. Hope I haven't ruined the ending for you.|
|ET||Yoda, Drew Barrymore||Alien hides in a cupboard and makes friends with maladjusted children. The alien ends up with an advertising contract from BT, and the small girl ends up with a cocaine habit.|
|Star Wars (1, 2, 3)||Mr C, Mr G, and Mr I, and George Lucas's nagging sense of unfinished business||Let us not speak of these abbhorations again.|