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Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

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This shows up on several lists of Christmas movies, but I think that's a stretch. Several key scenes take place at Christmas, but they're all at the beginning and don't amount to more than fifteen or twenty minutes of the total run time. Most of the movie revolves around Valentine's Day. That said, there's enough holiday cheer to warrant some feedback from Mainlining, so here we are.
After a quick prologue taking place a year and a half beforehand, the movie opens with a Christmas dinner with Meg Ryan's character's family where she announces her engagement to Bill Pullman's character. The scene features some foreshadowing that her relationship won't work (just in case you missed the fact Tom Hanks is headlining). I'd add that all the foreshadowing revolves around shockingly superficial issues. We're talking things like food allergies and a dull story on how they met: there's nothing wrong with this guy, Ryan just doesn't find him &qu…

It's Here....

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If you're tired of waiting for the holiday's, we've got some good news: Christmas is already here. It's still small. It's still hiding in the shadows, biding its time while it grows. Sort of like in Alien, when the xenomorph skittered off after bursting through John Hurt's chest. Now it's out there somewhere. Waiting. Watching. Preparing to leap out and wish you a Merry Christmas.

But you don't have to wait. You can go see it for yourselves. Corporate stores everywhere have begun strategically setting holiday products in their aisles. And as the world's premier Yuletide website, we here at Mainlining Christmas felt it was our responsibility to document the occasion.

If we have one complaint it's that many of these stores were wasting valuable real estate on Halloween costumes. Halloween, as you well know, won't roll around until October 31st. Shouldn't they wait until the remaining back-to-school supplies have been unloaded then sell th…

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Wrath of the Krampus (2012)

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Do not make the same mistake we made: do not start with this episode.

I've always kind of liked Scooby-Doo as a concept and as an early attempt at animated horror/comedy. But I've never actually seen an approach that worked. The originals had some cool designs on some of the monsters, but the stories were never interesting.

Well, this is where that changes.

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated updates the concept and characters in a way that remains true to the show's original concept and history, while simultaneously offering extremely intelligent writing, complex character and relationship development, as well as multi-season plot arcs with satisfying payoffs along with way. I don't just mean "satisfying for a cartoon," either: this is the kind of in-depth, multi-dimensional story telling that's rare on live-action TV.

We, of course, stumbled across it because of the Christmas episode. Only it's not really a Christmas episode, at all. The hook is that K…

Prometheus (2012)

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If you're like most people who have seen Prometheus, you're likely wondering why I'm talking about it on a blog devoted to Christmas. Actually, if you're like most people who saw the movie, you're probably more interested in when you're going to get the two hours you wasted watching it back. Well, I can't help with the second question, but I can shed some light on the first:

I'm talking about Prometheus here because it's a Christmas movie. No, really. The crew of the ship wake from cryo-sleep a few days before Christmas. One of them sets up a Christmas tree. There's some subtle Christmas music in at least one scene. The sole survivor flies away on New Years Day.

Oh, and the movie is about Christmas.

That last statement is 100% true and at least twice as meaningless. This is because Prometheus is about a lot of things. It's about faith as it pertains to God and the concept of God as it doesn't pertain to faith. It's about sacrifice; …

The Brain Scoop: The Nondenominational Holiday Botanical Celebration (2013)

Christmas is past, but we're still working our way through a backlog of online holiday shorts. The Brain Scoop is a Youtube series hosted by Emily Graslie, the Field Museum of Natural History's "Chief Curiosity Correspondent," a custom-made title that makes a lot more sense after you watch a few episodes.

The series is sort of a science education show on speed. It delivers everything you loved about shows like Bill Nye, but doesn't dumb down the subject matter. The show feels like it's primarily aimed at adults who grew up watching PBS, though - for the most part - the subject matter's appropriate for kids, as well.

This episode focuses on various decorative Christmas plants, with a focus on toxicity levels and side effects. If that doesn't sound awesome to you, I don't know what you're doing on this blog.

Doctor Who: Time of the Doctor (2013)

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I found the final Matt Smith Doctor Who episode to be engaging, though it lacked a satisfying payoff. That is to say, it's a good example of his entire run. Fortunately, it was a Christmas special, so I can discuss it here.
Oh, and just so no one complains later, discussing it will include details. So then. Spoiler. Warning. Got it? Good.

They certainly went to great pains to establish this as Christmas-related. The doctor follows an unknown transmission to a planet besieged by all his enemies. Once he gets down, he finds a town named Christmas. They play with this quite a bit: there are no shortage of lines about how the Doctor is protecting or saving Christmas. This is in addition to a Christmas dinner playing out in Clara's apartment in the present.
In some ways, a Christmas special is the perfect time for a regeneration, at least from a symbolic standpoint. They play with this, as well: the days in Christmas are almost impossibly short.
In the town, he comes across a crac…

Super Santa in Jingle Bell Justice (1998)

I just came across this 7 minute short on Youtube. Stylistically, it feels a lot like Powerpuff Girls, with some great homages to the Adam West Batman and 60's spy shows. I particularly like the super-spy spin on Mrs. Claus, who isn't stuck at the North Pole this time.