Live Action Rudolph!

Rudolph Live

We all know the story of Rudolph by now and we’ve all experienced the classic claymation Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer that has become a staple of Christmas. You don’t need me to tell you how legendary it truly is. So let’s not rehash what we all know: Santa is a bit of a dick in this.

So instead, I decided it would be fun to follow in the footsteps of Disney’s The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King and recast Rudolph with REAL ACTORS!

Trust me! This’ll be fun!

One ground rule: Any actor from any era can be chosen. So it doesn’t need to be actors from 2017.

RUDOLPH – Michael Cera circa Superbad days. His stuttering innocence would be exactly what Rudolph needs!

CLARICE – Jodie Foster from her Disney era in the 1970s. Mostly because I’d like one of the characters to say “Clareeeeece” like Hannibal Lecter.

SAM THE SNOWMAN – James Corden would be perfect! Burl Ives sang the songs in this role and only Corden would do an updated version justice. Don’t believe me? Watch this!

SANTA – John Goodman. He has the range to be both a jolly old elf AND a dick.

MRS. CLAUS – Roseanne Barr…because…c’mon? Who doesn’t want these two back together for a one-off situation?

KIRBY THE DENTIST ELF – Johnny Galecki was MADE for this role. He could even use his Leonard character from the Big Bang Theory! Tell me this wouldn’t work???

The Santa Simulation

DONNER (RUDOLPH’S DAD) – J.K. Simmons. Simmons has this innate ability to play cocky jerks but with a spin of likeability. Plus, I’d love for him to tell his reindeer wife “No. This is Man’s Work!” when she asks if she can help look for Rudolph. Compare him in Spiderman vs Donner in Rudolph.

THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN – BRAAAAAAAUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNN!!!!! (massive WWE wrestler if you don’t watch)


YUKON CORNELIUS – Jeff Bridges. We’ve seen him play an old weathered cowboy, Rooster Cogburn, in True Grit. We’ve seen him play an old weathered ghost hunter in R.I.P.D. Of course he can play an old weathered prospector, Yukon Cornelius!

I think with a cast like that…I’d watch that! How about you???

rudolph live 2




Home Alone…ya filthy animal!


Home Alone top

There’s no way I’d pass up a chance of seeing a holiday classic in an actual theatre! Actually, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen Home Alone in the movies.

I drug my daughter with me to appease my craving and she turned out to be looking forward to it too. She said that she’s seen Home Alone tons of times on TV but never in the theatre. So we were doing this together for the first time.

And much to my surprise the theatre was PACKED! We found two seats near the middle.

I’ll say this. Home Alone is good generally on TV. It’s a fun romp of a little kid protecting his home from some especially brain-challenged robbers. But it seemed to have an extra little something in the theatre. It felt like a big event again.

It made me wonder if MacCaulay Culkin ever watches himself in this movie. (Not likely) And that he gets a decent royalty cheque every year (which he is probably thankful for).

Also, I imagined that behind the scenes Joe Pesci was dropping F-bombs like he was in some gangster flick. There’s probably outtakes with him swearing on set after he gets his head burned or something. Well…there so happens to be the next best thing: a Joe Pesci Christmas song…NOT SUITABLE FOR KIDS! Thanks Internetz! I love living in the future!

The movie got us fully into the Christmas mood and we put up the Christmas Tree right after!

For the 0.0001% of the population who’ve never seen the movie…or doesn’t want to watch the movie again this year, here’s an amazing song by the Schomoyo guys about Home Alone. It’s actually pretty incredible!

The Muppets Take Christmas

muppet family

The Muppet Family Christmas has been a staple of the Holidays since I was a young ‘un when it came out back in 1987. I recall seeing with my sister in front of my parents giant tube TV. I remember being amazed that my 3 most influential shows in my life (up to that point) crossed over into one magical hour long Christmas Special. We have the Muppets. We have the Sesame Street gang. And we have the Fraggles. I was captivated.

Then because I didn’t live an internet age where everything is accessible at any time, this incredible episode lived only in my childhood memory. I believe I stumbled on it from time to time since then until I hit high school but then I never saw it again…until the internet.

I decided to watch it with my daughter to see if she’d experience the same whimsy as I did as she was near the age I was when I first saw it.

She didn’t grow up with the Muppets as I did but she was aware of them (thanks mostly to her seeing Season 1 on an old DVD and the recent movies). She loved the show right  from the get-go! And you should’ve seen her face when the first person to open that door was Doc and Rufus from the Fraggles. She looked at me and said “They’re from the Fraggles!”…that’s when I knew I had her. Or rather…this Christmas special had her.

She wanted to know who else was coming. I told her I wouldn’t say because the surprise was the funnest part. So many surprised where coming.

She got giddy when Bert, Ernie and the Sesame Street crew showed up.

Sesame Street

We laughed when the Swedish Chef tried to cook Big Bird thinking he was a “gobla gobla”!

She was excited when Kermit and Robin wandered around Fraggle Rock and met up with Gobo, Wimbley, Mookie, Red, and Boober.

And her blank face when I told her the guy washing dishes at the end was Jim Henson who created ALL of them!…I laughed at that. She may appreciate that tid-bit later in life.

Muppet montage

I know the Muppets have done numerous Christmas specials since then but none (to me) have been as magical as this very first Muppet Family Christmas! It holds up excellently.

Muppet Christmas

Twenty-Four Holiday Movies in 24 Days

Jack Bauer


This year, I take no prisoners! This Year I’m going through the following 24 movies/specials on every night leading up to Christmas.

Since I’ll be watching these after work, these posts will show up somewhat late…and some may be short cuz…y’know…I ain’t Jack Bauer and I’ve got to sleep sometime! (Plus work!)

Here is the list (which will be pinned to the top of this page) of the movies and specials I’ll be going through and will be updated with a link to the review (in no particular order):

  1. Gremlins
  2. A Christmas Story
  3. Elf
  4. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
  5. Miracle on 34th Street
  6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas cartoon
  7. Polar Express
  8. Home Alone
  9. Die Hard
  10. Nightmare Before Christmas
  11. Charlie Brown Christmas
  12. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
  13. Muppet Christmas Carol
  14. It’s a Wonderful Life
  15. Muppets Family Christmas
  16. Mixed Nuts
  17. Christmas Office Party
  18. Christmas in South Park
  19. Star Wars Christmas Special
  20. Love Actually
  21. Scrooged
  22. Babes in Toyland
  23. Bad Santa
  24. The Night Before 



The Rankatron Holiday Special

Christmas Rank Up

24 Movies in 24 Days!

The Holiday Season is a time for family, friends, cookies, gifts, and (sometimes) copious amounts of spiked nutmeg.

It is ALSO a time for Christmas Holiday Specials!

The time frame after Remembrance Day (or around American Thanksgiving) until Boxing Day is always one of my favourite times of year when it comes to television or movies. It’s rife with incredible, fun, and cheesy Holiday movies that dictate this time of year. Each one harps (an angle pun!) about the benefits/challenges of being around loved ones during this time of year and the magic of Christmas and the Holidays.

During this time frame comfortably wedged between the freaky horror season of Halloween and the over-hyped Oscar season of January and February, I absolutely go gaga over Holiday Specials…but by December 25th, I’m typically tired of.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to embark on a mission to watch 24 straight Christmas/Holiday Specials for 24 straight days and do a mini review of each one. So between December 1st to Christmas Eve, yours truly will be doing his own Christmas Holiday Special of Rankatron awesomeness.

Are you ready of 24 days straight of Holiday Cheer? Me neither but lets all just pretend to get along for the Holidays, shall we? That’s what the spiked egg nog is for! 😉

Stay tuned right here for an updated list coming this week!

Who Likes Short Shorts? A Short review of Shorts 3 at the Atlantic Film Festival 2012

ImageThis review blog used to be a big hobby of mine. But life caught up with me and now I keep it just in case there’s something I feel like I need to share with the world. Something that more people should be aware of. So I’ve decided to dust off the old Rankatron for one night only to review the works of some filmmakers who’d normally go unheralded in the world.

I’m talking about movie shorts. This review is specifically about the eight shorts I saw tonight as part of “Shorts 3” at the Atlantic Film Festival 2012.

I bring to you eight short reviews for eight larger than life shorts that you should go out of your way to track down. They will not be ranked from best to worst. Rather they’re listed in order of appearance. All of these movies have their distinct charm and voice. (PS…click on their names for links to their websites)

  1. My Baklava
     This short features an adorable little girl who objects to her parents order of homework before dessert rule in song. A great and funny short piece to kick off the night.
  2. Life and Freaky Time of Uncle Luke (<—Video Preview Here!)
     After this short was over, I felt like I just experienced as close to LSD as I ever will. From the mind of 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell, comes a warped story unlike anything you’d seen short of Mr. Show’s “Altered State of Drugachussetts” sketch. It’s a fun ride where you’re wondering where the whole thing is going until the very end. All music is from the discography of 2 Live Crew. It was actually a little nostalgic hearing them again. I grew up listening to this back in the day.
  3. BELIEVEtheDANCE (Trailer)
     I haven’t laughed so hard at a short since the first time I saw Picnicface’s The Button at last year’s AFF Shorts show. The main character reminds me so much of Zoolander that I was expecting him to do the dance version of Blue Steel. You MUST track this video down. Do it now. And BELIEVEtheDANCE trailer!
  4. Edmund Was a Donkey (<—TRAILER!)
     The National Film Board of Canada still can deliver the goods. This heartfelt and amazing story was the gem of “Shorts 3” for me. This animated short features our main character, Edmund, who discovers one day that he’s happier as a donkey instead of a regular person. And really, why wouldn’t you be? Gratuitous cartoon nudity that only the NFB can tastefully get away with are featured at points. Fair warning if you plan on having kids watch. But great characters.
  5. The Kook  (<—-Trailer)
     Where “Edmund Was a Donkey” was a gem, The Kook is the star of this night. Both are interchangeable as my favourite for different reasons. The Kook reminded me of a great episode of the Twilight Zone or the X-Files. Aliens, a Jonestown cult, and a quirky innocent woman who accidentally uncovers a conspiracy. It asks the question “What happens when a kook becomes a kook in her own cult?” You’ll find out.
  6. Aaron Burr Part 2
     One part historical drama, one part long lost Tarantino movie. Aaron Burr Part 2 takes the historical event of pistol duel between Burr and Alexander Hamilton and gives it a modern twist. It’s a fascinating take of the event. I’m curious to find out how much of it is true and how much was dramatized. (I’m guessing the part with the texting wasn’t accurate.)
  7. Sea Meadow
     I was expecting at least one of these I wouldn’t fully get. I mean I sort of understood that the woman was reliving her live at a seaside home after her death…but there’s a lot of weird shit in this one. Pardon my French. So I’ll say that it was interesting and maybe worth a second watch for me to figure out what I just saw.
  8. Thumb Snatchers From the Moon Cocoon
     This animated short centres around an indestructible cowboy defending the world from an alien invasion of Thumb Snatchers. This cowboy is so tough that he makes John Wayne look like Pee-Wee Herman. All I can say is that if the world was in jeopardy from alien invasion, I’d want Batman, Superman, the good Terminator and this cowboy on my side. Oh yeah…and he does remind you to never mess with Texas.


Oscars 2012!!!!!

You're NOT going to believe where I've been the past year!

So last year I’ve posted I was trying to knock through the top movies of all time. What I didn’t realize is that in doing so, I got sucked into this vortex of movie lore that was full of Hollywood trailer voice-overs and plot holes.

I tried to escape the vortex but the next thing I know I’m on the island above with no means of communication except this one device called the Crystal-phone. I tried tinkering with it but all I could get out of it was “You vook MAH-VELOUS!”

Then all of a sudden…a few weeks ago, the phone rang. The person on the other line simply said “He’s back.” I instantly know who He was…and I knew I had to get back.

Thankfully, I had a Star Trek site-to-site transport and with some 1970’s special effects, I’m back for “one-night-only” (stretching over several postings over a few weeks) Rankatron for the Oscars 2012.

So allow me to dust off the ol’ Rankatron and list of the Best Picture Nominees for 2012.

1. The Artist

This already seems to be the darling of Hollywood. A silent movie with wit, charm, dancing, and heart… so I’ve heard (or should it be “so I’ve seen”).

2. The Descendants

I’ll be honest that I never even heard of this movie before the Golden Globes. But I’ve got an excuse: I was on a deserted island the past 12 months.

3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

A few years ago I read this book. It was amazing. This movie has a lot to live up to. You better deliver, Hollywood! Tom Hanks is in it. So that’s a good start.

4. The Help

So between many of my female friends telling to either read the book or watch the movie, I will do one of these. But I may need “help” getting through it. HAHA. (For what it’s worth, the trailer looks good.)

5. Hugo

I’ll confirm I saw this over Christmas holidays. I won’t confirm what I thought of it until I write up the official review. In the meantime, watch this awesome trailer about an entertaining Scorsese movie with a kid, an automaton and Sasha Baron Cohen!

6. Midnight in Paris

This may be the hardest one for me to get through. What I know: it’s a Woody Allen movie. I’ve yet to find one of them entertaining. Maybe just not my taste. But maybe this one will be. I like Owen Wilson.

7. Moneyball

I’ve been wanting to watch this movie since last summer. It’s a sports movie about the circa 2002 Oakland A’s starring Brad Pitt. It’s a great story no matter if you like baseball or not. Let’s see how well the movie does with translating this true story.

8. The Tree of Life

Everything I’ve heard about this movie is that it’s unconventional, breath taking, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen…in a good way.  Also, this is the second Best Picture movie featuring Brad Pitt. Good year!

9. War Horse

No Oscar season would be complete without a Spielberg biopic. This one following a horse during a time of war. I would expect aliens at the end.