Movie Released: October 1993 | DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010
Jack Skellington lives in Halloween Town. He stumbles on a glade with seven trees representing portals to the varied holiday towns and finds himself in Christmas Town. He loves the spirit of the holiday and sets out on a plan to become “Sandy Claus” by kidnapping Santa. Will rag dog Sally convince him that his plan is a bad one before he ruins Christmas?
Movie Released: Nov. 24, 2004 | DVD Release Date: Nov. 8, 2005
When Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) Krank’s daughter decides not to come home for Christmas, the couple decides to “skip Christmas” and go away on a luxury cruise. Objecting to the plan is nearly everyone they know including the vendors that look forward to their holiday orders. Will skipping Christmas be the best decision they’ve ever made or will a sudden change in plans send them into a panic spiral and will the very people they’ve spurned be willing to help them make their dreams come true? Based on the novel “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham.
Thanks again to the fabulous Rangewoman Inc for a wonderful guest review.
Movie Released: 1960 in b/w | DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008
The Little Shop of Horrors was produced in 1960 on $28,000 budget (according to my research the budget ranged between $24,000 and $30,000 — so your guess is as good as mine.) Directed by the legendary Roger Corman, this movie was produced within two days. Corman decided to use an earlier film setting that was due to be torn down in the next two days.
The movie is a horror-themed, black comedy B-movie that gained a cult following. The theme is said to be inspired by the novella Green Thoughts by John Collier and the science fiction short story The Reluctant Orchid by Arthur C. Clarke. In 1982, The Little Shop of Horrors was turned into an Off-Broadway, horror comedy rock musical and in 2003, it debuted as a Broadway production. If you don’t mind spoilers, continue reading.
Movie Released: 2009 | DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010
Vince (Stephen Graham) is recently divorced and on a downward spiral. Vince’s closest friends, Neil (Danny Dyer), Mikey (Noel Clarke), Graham (Emil Marwa), Matt (Lee Ingleby), Patrick (Keith-Lee Castle) and Banksy (Neil Maskell), take him on an out-of-town boys weekend to a remote town where Neil promises the women are plentiful, hot and easy. On first blush, Moodley looks like a town where everyone suddenly walked away but what lurks behind closed doors will take the best the men have to stay alive.
The Intergalactic Council of Superior Beings receives a communique from Earth. They, as is their custom, chose a random earthling to give the power to do absolutely anything. If the human uses the power for good, humanity is saved. If he or she uses the power for evil, humanity will be destroyed. Chosen is Neil Clarke, a secondary school teacher who is an aspiring writer. What will Neil do with the ability to do absolutely anything?
Movie Released: December 9, 2007 | DVD Release Date:October 7, 2008
Trudie (Melissa Joan Hart) is having a rough holiday season. She’s struggling financially and her boyfriend dumps her just before she heads home for the holidays. Feeling the pressure to please her parents (Timothy Bottoms and Markie Post), she kidnaps David (Mario Lopez) and convinces him to play along with her plan and pose as her boyfriend Nick. Can Trudie hold it together long enough to satisfy her parents?
Movie Released: December 1, 1989 | DVD Released: September 30, 2008
Clark Griswold has a dream of surprising his family with a backyard pool. The only impediment to making the dream a reality is that his bonus has yet to arrive. While they wait, Clark and crew enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with cherished family and surprise visitors.
Santa’s son is on a mission to eradicate Hanukah so The Hebrew Hammer teams up with the Kwanzaa Liberation Front to stop his evil plan.
There’s something really fun about a movie that doesn’t pretend to be anything but what it is – absolutely ridiculous. The stereotypes are plentiful and unapologetic and the jokes just awful but the result was a truly hilarious film. The take no prisoners style of comedy reminds me of the great Mel Brooks but The Hebrew Hammer has a unique flavor all its own.
Watching one of the opening scenes in which young Mordechai’s (Grant Rosenmeyer) dreidel is crushed by Santa Claus and then the jolly old elf gives the young Jew the finger, I wonder how the movie would go over released in the Facebook age. Everyone and their grandmother is on Facebook and every holiday you can set your clock by posts touting the War on Christmas. That the bad guy is named Damien Claus (not to mentioned played by Andy Dick) screams that one should leave their preconceptions at the door and just enjoy the wonderful and crazy stupidity for 90 minutes. Savvy watchers will maybe take something away from how crazy it is that Damien wants December for Christmas and to eradicate all other celebrations. It only makes sense for Mordechai to team up with the other religious organizations to hilarious result.
Mordechai’s love interest is played by the fabulous Judy Greer who, I think, is one of the best comedy actors today. She’s not always permitted to be pretty or the coquette in movies but she played it to advantage in The Hebrew Hammer. She’s a classic Jewish American Princess with a heavy dose of bravado and bad ass that this actor does well. I’ve been a fan of Adam Goldberg since the “Dazed and Confused” days. Goldberg has a good comedic timing and seems to have fun in the role which is fitting with a subject so stretching the bonds of taste. Nora Dunn and Rachel Dratch also have roles in the film.
In short, The Hebrew Hammer was a delightfully fun movie with a few cringe moments. Watched in the spirit in which its intended, The Hebrew Hammer is a classic addition to any holiday library.
The Hebrew Hammer is available as a DVD, Blu-ray and on Amazon Instant Video: