CHECK OUT THE HOLIDAY TV FILMS WITH RICHARD LUTZ AND HIS ARMY OF CRACK REVIEWERS
A correspondent to this website writes in to comment on our ‘quirky’ reportage.
Sounds like a suspicious foreigner, maybe a Canadian, a New Yorker or someone from Bloxwich.
How wrong he is. This site is downright weird.
As is my Christmas edition of Screengrab, the weekly tv movie review that was thankfully killed off by public demand somewhere back in the autumn.
But today whether ‘quirky’ or downright weird, I offer up with the turkey and trifle the Yuletide Review. To the bunkers, everyone.
We begin on Christmas Eve with Lady and The Tramp (BBC1 17.05) . Anyone with kids should cuddle down and get with the two dogs (the perfect spaniel-ette and the roughtrade mutt) who fall in love and get through the bad things in canine life to become perfect doggie- parents…. kind of a West Side Story cum Romeo and Juliet with fur.
This film, now an amazing 67 years old, is a Disney cartoon classic and will raise a tear and enthrall the little ones gormed out on high class CGI and Hobbits. Plus it was co-directed by the whackily named Clyde Geronimi.
One other to take in: Silent Running ( Film 4, 11.00)- a great dark comedy about Bruce Dern as he rebels against the system in deep space. It’s directed by Douglas Trumbull who comes with inpeccable credentials: he was special effects boss for 2001 Space Odyssey, Close Encounters, the first Star Trek film and the eye popping Bladerunner.
Three to enjoy amid the dental floss and wrapping paper: Toy Story (ITV1, 13.25) is one of the first so called modern animations (a fancy word for a cartoon) to be underpinned by a sophisticated smart script. Pixar studio makes it a class act and Tom Hanks’ cowboy is an immediate icon of the likeable underdog who gets his gal. Tim Allen voices the hunky hero astronaut Buzz Lightfoot (‘To the shopping mall..and beyond.’)
For those that like it a bit more tuneful, check out Singin’ In The Rain (BBC2 13.35). Gene, Debbie, Dennis, tapdance their way to your hearts (it says here in the 60 year old press release) and and you get to see Gino splash his way to history.
Things get a bit darker later in the day if you want to avoid shiney floor tv. Humphrey Bogart gets all mooney over Ingrid Bergman in downtown Casablanca (More4 17.55), Supposedly, John Huston, the director thought the finished product was B Movie bollocks. But the world thought differently as did Bogart’s bank manager.
Boxing Day (which to all fur-inners like Americans is the day after Christmas)
Hitchcock and du Maurier hook up with Rebecca ( BBC2 22.30). Moody, literate and with Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson. What with Hitchcock-mania theses days, it is worth a peek.
More Gene Kelly with An American in Paris (BBC2, 14.30) Leslie Caron and he twirl and romance around the aforesaid French backwater provincial town and he gets to wear those stripey shirts and show off his fancy feet a bit more.
A bit earlier there’s The Railway Children ( ITV1, 9.25) with an ingenue Jenny Agutter running around in Edwardian clothes in a great melodrama about children and loss. Tears in your eyes guaranteed.
And finally, the usual cheeky sign off (it’s in the contract). Stay on to ITV3 for 12 hours straight of Carry On films. They begin at 11.00 am and offer hours upon hours of …well, Carry On humour. Frankie Howerd is there among the dross so it’s worth it.