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Podcast Mini Episode - The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review

Mainlining Christmas reviews the surreal new film, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

References/Background: Nutcracker Fantasy (Now Available on DVD) The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Transcript:
Erin: Welcome to the first ever mini-episode of the Mainlining Christmas Podcast. We just got back from watching The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, the new holiday-themed fantasy film from Disney.

Lindsay: For those of you who missed the advertisements, this is the live action sequel to the animated Disney Nutcracker movie from the 60’s that doesn’t… actually… exist.

Erin: It’s weird because it’s structured as a sequel in the exact same way Tim Burton’s live-action Alice in Wonderland was.

Lindsay: Like, the EXACT same way.

Erin: But Disney never actually adapted the original, unless you count those segments in Fantasia.

Lindsay: The makers of Four Realms certainly seemed to. There’s an extended homage to Disney’s Fantasia in the middle of the movie and a callback during the end credits.

Er…

Podcast Episode 3: Kevin's Shadow

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Just in time for Halloween, Mainlining Christmas explores one of Christmas's most infamous horror icons: Kevin McCallister.

Listen above, or on Soundcloud, Stitcher, iTunes, or almost any podcast app.
References:Home AloneHome Alone 2 The Good SonBetter Watch Out:DRYVRS Ep. 1 "Just Me In The House By Myself" starring Macaulay Culkin & Jack DishelScreen Junkies: Honest Action [i.e.: Marv and Harry body count]Washington Post review for Home Alone 11/16/1990 complains about violence, but doesn’t tie to Kevin directlyNYT review of Home Alone 11/16/1990 describes it as a “black comedy for children”Entertainment Weekly 07/25/2007 complains about violence in Home Alone 2Roger Ebert's review of Home Alone 22015 Mashable article arguing Kevin is a sociopath2015 Entertainment Weekly interview with Home Alone director, Chris Columbus. Includes reference to how frightening it was filming the stunts.Article from The Independent on The Good Son’s trek through development Hell…

Better Watch Out (2016)

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I found Better Watch Out on a list of well-reviewed Christmas movies posted by Rotten Tomatoes and added it to my Netflix queue. Turns out, it's well reviewed because it's a good (arguably great) horror flick. Unfortunately, the bulk of what makes it great are the movie's twists, which I really can't avoid discussing.

So. If you're a fan of horror - particularly the psychological variety - you might want to stop reading until you've had a chance to track this one down. In particular, if you love Christmas movies AND horror, seriously: STOP READING NOW.

Last warning, and this one's going at the end for a reason. If you're a fan of the Home Alone series who also enjoys horror movies, for the love of God, I hope you never made it to this sentence, because I just gave away way more than I wanted to.

For the rest of you, here's a synopsis. Ashley is a seventeen-year-old babysitter looking after Luke, a twelve (almost thirteen) year-old boy. After his pa…

Hallmark Channel's 2018 Christmas: A First Look Preview Special

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Back in late July, when only the obsessed started thinking about Christmas, Hallmark aired a program which is perhaps the purest expression of the holiday we’ve seen in some time. It is all anticipation and no substance, and it makes you feel somewhat unsatisfied and nauseated.

It is the Hallmark Channel's 2018 Christmas: A First Look Preview Special.

This is a half-hour program broken up into chunks with their own little intros and outros. It's very similar to the promotions that play in the theater before a movie, and I suspect these are intended to be broken up and used that way.

The host is here to introduce us to a selection of this year’s new Hallmark Christmas movies. She is wearing a Christmas red cold-shoulder dress with rhinestones around the holes and wondering where her career went so wrong.

The first movie they’re teasing is called Christmas Joy.

The premise, so far as we can tell: young woman comes to town to help sick aunt, takes over a cookie competition, fall…

Podcast Episode 2: The Alien Christmas Spectacular

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We're back! In the new episode, we explore how the holidays are celebrated among the stars, where no one can hear you sing Christmas carols.

Listen above, or on Soundcloud, Stitcher, iTunes, or almost any podcast app.

References:
Prometheus (2012) Alien: Covenant (2017) The Golden Bough"Dialogue: Sir Ridley Scott Explains 'Prometheus,' Explores Our Past, and Teases Future 'Alien' Stories"
Also mentioned:
Black ChristmasBrazilSanta Claus Conquers the MartiansChildren of MenChristmas on Mars
Transcript below

Lindsay: In the eight years we’ve been Mainlining Christmas, Erin and I have seen hundreds of movies. As you’d expect, many of them blend together.

Erin: The vast majority fall into a handful of buckets: comedies where someone rekindles their love of the holidays through family, self-aware noir action flicks juxtaposing the trappings of the season with violent shoot-outs, zany fantasies involving Santa, angels, or callbacks to classics… you get the idea.

It's April, and You Should Be Starting Your Christmas Shopping. Hold On - We're Serious

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First things first - if you don't have kids and don't have any reason to care about toys, then clicking on this was probably a waste of your time. Sorry.

For those of you who do have kids to shop for this year... at the very least, you should probably start planning ahead. Because Toys R Us, one of the country's largest toy sellers, is about to go belly up, and that's going to throw a mangled giraffe carcass into the gears of the toy industry.

I feel like that metaphor got away from me.

According to literally the first source I came across, Toys R Us peddles 15% to 20% of the country's toys, and not all of it will be picked up by other retailers. While other stores will probably increase their holiday orders due to the loss of their competitor, between 1.5% and 3% of the country's toy sales will likely just... not happen.

In this context, "not happen" means you'll drive around town looking for the official voice-changing Captain America Beard fro…

A Reminder on What Is and Is Not A Christmas Movie

On Christmas Eve, Jordan Peel claimed "Get Out" qualified as a Christmas movie. As the article I linked to points out, he clearly wasn't entirely serious, and I found his arguments entertaining. But since this isn't the only time this year I saw a movie somewhat haphazardly labeled a Christmas movie, I thought I'd take a minute and revisit the concept.

Here at Mainlining Christmas, we have rather extensive criteria for determining whether a movie qualifies, but that's not what I'm talking about today. I want to look at a more straightforward definition.
When people call movies like Get Out Christmas movies, what they really mean is that they're movies that can be watched at Christmas. But that's literally any movie.
I'd argue a better litmus test would be this: is the movie better watched at Christmas than at other times of the year? Or, to put it another way:
Is it worse when seen at times that aren't Christmas?
If there aren't elemen…