A Christmas Story Review: Christmas in July Blogathon 2016

Merry Christmas in July! We are just six months away from the actual Christmas day! I know several of you (especially Allie) have already been counting down the days.  To close out this years Christmas in July Blogathon, I am reviewing one of my all time favorite Christmas flicks: A Christmas Story.

A Christmas Story movie posterSynopsis
Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants a Red Rider carbine action 200-shot range model BB gun more than anything for Christmas. He tries to convince his mother, his teacher, and even Santa Claus that it would be a good present. However, each of them give him the same warning: “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

Among the many things to look forward to on Christmas Eve, one of my favorite is the 24 Hours of A Christmas Story on TBS. I don’t usually catch it all at once but within those 24 hours I will watch the entire movie in bits and pieces. Despite all the films that I call holiday “must watches,” A Christmas Story is my most consistent of holiday movie traditions.

Sometimes movies can get caught up in themselves, trying to tell too much or too many stories. A Christmas Story has several sub-plots. Despite this being Ralphie’s story, we learn about his entire family and they get just as fleshed out as he does. However, they never take away from Ralphie’s journey to get his Red Rider BB gun. That’s one of the key to its success. The film is simple and stays focused on the story it is trying to tell.

Like I said, everyone gets at least some sort of plot line. As a result, we get to see different aspects of everyone. It is so much fun to watch Ralphie’s family because each member has their own unique personality. The best is when they get to play off each other, particularly Ralphie’s parents.

Several of my favorite parts from the movie are Ralphie’s daydreams. We did it all the time when we were younger, maybe even still do today, so I think we can all relate. And the best part is that we get to see his imagination. The mind of a child views the world in a different lens and this film captures that perfectly.

A Christmas Story has so much going for it, but what makes this movie so enjoyable is that deep down, it transports the audience back to their childhood. Ralphie being a kid during the Christmas season, wanting and hoping for that one present that will make your holiday the best ever, is something that many adults can relate to. It not only captures what it means to be a kid during the holiday season, but the captured the ups and downs of being a child.

I thought A Christmas Story was GREAT :-D. It perfectly captures the Christmas spirit and being a kid, not just during the holiday season but every day of the year. There is a reason there is a whole 24 hours set aside just for this movie and it is not hard to see why.

Favorite Quote
Ralphie: [Drops the tire nuts into the snow] Oh, fudge.
Adult Ralphie: Only I didn’t say “fudge.” I said the word. The big one. The queen mother of dirty words. The f-dash-dash-dash word.


Cast & Crew
Bob Clark – Director / Screenplay
Jean Shepherd – Novel / Screenplay
Leigh Brown – Screenplay
Paul Zaza – Composer
Carl Zittrer – Composer

Peter Billingsley – Ralphie
Jean Shepherd – Ralphie as an Adult (voice)
Melinda Dillon – Mother Parker
Darren McGavin – The Old Man Parker
Ian Petrella – Randy
Scott Schwartz – Flick
RD Robb – Schwartz
Tedde Moore – Miss Shields
Zack Ward – Scut Farkus
Yano Anaya – Grover Dill
Jeff Gillen – Santa Claus

What’s that? Who did I invite to our Christmas party?  Well, I’m glad you asked, because it is none other than the lovely Emma Stone.

Emma Stone

And that’s it! The third annual Christmas in July Blogathon has come to a close. Thank you to everyone who joined in on the festivities.

If you missed any of the entries, the wrap-up with links to all the entries will be posted soon. Also later today, my Anniversary Week 3 celebration kicks off so stop back later to check that out.

See you soon!

Lightning Review: Couples Retreat

Couples Retreat movie posterSynopsis
When Jason and Cynthia (Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell) decide to go to a couples resort to strengthen their marriage, they invite their couple friends Dave and Ronnie (Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman), Joey and Lucy (Jon Favreau and Kristin Davis), and Shane and Trudy (Faizon Love and Kali Hawk).

I’m torn about how I feel about Couples Retreat. On the one hand, I laughed quite a bit and many of the gags were funny. Most of the cast all had several good moments throughout the film. The yoga scene was one of the funniest scenes of the entire movie, if not because of Carlos Ponce’s Salvadore. He absolutely nailed the part. But on the other hand, I didn’t particularly care for the story. There are the stereotypical couples you would expect from this kind of film: the cheating couple, the couple trying to save their relationship, the new couple, and the couple who thinks their relationship is working fine. There isn’t much to draw me towards the characters. Part of the problem for me is Dave and Ronnie’s relationship doesn’t feel like it has much growth compared to the other couples’. Also, I don’t like how Shane’s part of the story was resolved. I’m not sure if “clean” is the right word for it, but it wasn’t I was expecting. Despite a less than engaging story, I strangely found myself enjoying Couples Retreat, probably more than I should have.


Favorite Quote
Dave: Is his junk out?
Ronnie: Yup.
Dave: Is his junk literally out of his pants?
Lucy: Yup.
Dave: Now it’s a party.


Cast & Crew
Peter Billingsley – Director
Jon Favreau – Writer
Vince Vaughn – Writer
Dana Fox – Writer
A.R. Rahman – Composer

Vince Vaughn – Dave
Malin Akerman – Ronnie
Jason Bateman – Jason
Kristen Bell – Cynthia
Jon Favreau – Joey
Kristin Davis – Lucy
Faizon Love – Shane
Kali Hawk – Trudy
Peter Serafinowicz – Sctanley
Jean Reno – Marcel
Carlos Ponce – Salvadore
Tasha Smith – Jennifer
Temuera Morrison – Briggs
Jonna Walsh – Lacey
Gattlin Griffith – Robert
Colin Baiocchi – Kevin
Vernon Vaughn – Grandpa Jim