Showing posts from November 21, 2021

Holidate (2020)

Recently, I've noticed a change in the way I watch and think about movies. I'm fairly certain that several movies I've watched over the past month would have received a far less charitable review even a year ago, but now... I don't know. I think I've been growing as a person, and my perspective's shifted. When something doesn't work for me, I've become more likely to dig deeper for elements that were well constructed; I've become more interested in seeking out aspects of competent filmmaking than in ripping apart something I dislike, even if I think it's bad. Fortunately, I think sitting through this pile of shit cured me, because I'm feeling nothing but disgust right now. Kind of refreshing, if I'm being honest. Holidate is a romantic comedy about two people who meet in a mall while returning terrible Christmas presents and agree to become each others' "holidate" for the following year - in other words, they go out essentia

Love Hard (2021)

I want to start off by saying clearly and for the record: I hate this movie. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "But, Erin, you hate a lot of movies you watch here." Maybe. But this... this is different. I hate this deeply, completely, and profoundly. I hate that this movie employs uncomfortable circumstances constantly throughout its runtime. I hate that it utilizes the absolute most tired '80s tropes shamelessly (this thing features both an over-sexed grandma and a scene where the main character juggles multiple dates at the same time and venue). I hate that it integrates pop-culture debates about Die Hard, Love Actually, and Baby, It's Cold Outside so shallowly, it feels like the discussions were stolen verbatim from Twitter arguments. And I really hate that one of the romantic leads - and the story as a whole - are a hair's breadth away from being a manifesto for incels. But most of all I really, deeply, truly hate that this thing... is actu

Once More for the Cheap Seats: If a Movie's Set at Christmas, It's a Christmas Movie

I want to start this off by acknowledging I've been too quick in the past to dismiss arguments that Christmas movies should be defined by tone or subject, as opposed to setting alone. At times I somewhat uncharitably assumed these arguments were entirely without substance, when I should have dug deeper: there is a case to be made. I now want to immediately follow up that acknowledgment with an assertion that I'm still right, and the case to the contrary is wrong. It's just... it's more nuanced than I was giving it credit for. Mea culpa and all that. So, with that out of the way, let's rip open the bandage covering the bloody, infected wound that is the debate over the definition of "Christmas movie." The movie most wrapped in this is Die Hard, but... I'm sorry, that's just absurd. For reasons I've covered extensively in the past , Die Hard is about as festive as they come. It's not just a case of definitions clashing - the definitions most

Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)

For those keeping track, Home Sweet Home Alone is the fourth  official reboot of the series, as every installment after two has hit the reset button. For those of you who are new here, I should mention we're not big fans of the franchise. That doesn't exactly mean we consider the original bad - it's technically impressive, well shot and edited, and the score is fantastic. There are reasons it's lasted, and I respect it. Respecting a movie, obviously, isn't the same as liking it - none of the earlier Home Alone movies work for me. I wasn't sure what to expect when I heard Disney was going to update the property. A simple remake would have been a hard sell, and they already tried most of the other permutations. Movies 3 and 5 attempted variations on the same premise with new characters, and movie 4 was a loose continuation with a recast Kevin. Home Sweet Home Alone is closer to 3 and 5 - we've got a new lead and new thieves in a familiar situation. This is tec

Welcome Back. Again.

My, time flies. It feels like just yesterday we were taping our eyelids open and forcing ourselves to watch low-budget CG holiday specials and musicals that would make an angel vomit. And yet here we are again, ready to experience Christmas in all its infinite horror. Indeed, the holidays are upon us again, and as ever we are here to meet them. When we first started Mainlining Christmas, we were at the mercy of mail-order DVDs, our limited collection, and what we could find languishing in the clearance section of used book stores. But the eleven years Mainlining Christmas has been running has seen the explosion of streaming services, making it easier than ever for the yuletide aficionado to transport their imagination to a winter wonderland. Well, more often than not I suppose it's more like a sewage processing center located in a winter wonderland, but the point still holds. If you'd told me eleven years ago that we'd not only still have enough material to keep running thi