Tag Archives: Nostalgia

02/17 Sunday Funday Quote


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Imagination is nostalgia for the past, the absent; it is the liquid solution in which art develops the snapshot of reality.

~ Cyril Connolly

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Hallmark Holiday Movie Clichés


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Christmas TV series and movies have been all around the networks lately.  With Christmas coming in less than a week, its only fitting that all of these classic titles be put on full blast.  Rudolph, Frosty, The Grinch, Jack Frost, and even Santa Claus have all been on everyone’s mind lately.

But there’s one special category of Christmas movies that many people love.  These films feature somewhat familiar actors and they’re story lines are almost cheesier than a porno.  I’m talking about… the Hallmark Holiday Movies.

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Every holiday season, Hallmark’s schedule is filled with Christmas movies.  These feel-good films feature soapy drama that quickly gets solved overtime.  In this crazy digital age that we live in, its always nice to cozy up to a good Hallmark Holiday movie.

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Personally, these Hallmark movies really aren’t for me.  I find them cheesy, mundane, and just plain unexciting.  These films provide me as much excitement as accounting.

Even still, I manage to find various clichés in many of these Hallmark Holiday films.  Many sets of movies contain the same element within each title.  Some were noticeable while others take a while to find out.

With that, here are the many clichés I discovered throughout the years:

Hallmark Holiday Movie Clichés

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  • The main character always has some high-level position in her career (CEO, publicist, director, etc.)
  • That same character travels from the big city over to some small town they grew up in their whole live

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  • While in town, they ALWAYS run into their friend/friends that haven’t seen in years
  • An old flame helps the main character find the true spirit of Christmas
  • Two characters fall in love very easily

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  • There’s always some 90s actor or actress that becomes the headline of various movies such as Candace Cameron Bure (Full House), Lacey Chabert (Party of Five), Alicia Witt (Cybill), and Lori Loughlin (Full House)

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  • Every main actor has that ‘best to take home to mom and dad’ type of vibe to him… AND he’s smokin’ hot!
  • Each small town comes with some far-fetched name such as Hollydale, North Dakota or Cookie Jar (SERIOUSLY… the main setting in the film Christmas Cookies is ACTUALLY called Cookie Jar!)
  • During the story, there is some family business failing due to shutting down or moving their location to another area

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  • The main title gives away the ENTIRE plot of the film. Flower Girl?  Girl that works in a flower shop.  A Grandfather for Christmas? A family LITERALLY gets a grandfather for Christmas!
  • The female character finds a new love interest in her small town she is in, sparking one of MANY vicious love triangles being played out in the story

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  • To add to that, the former flame is rich while the new one is Mr. Right. It’s basically becomes a heated battle rather quickly
  • Many times, the two characters will meet through a mishap from their pets
  • As sexy as these characters are, there is NO sex happening… ever. It’s all PG-rated romances here

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  • It ALWAYS snows on Christmas Day and everything gets solved in the end

And there you have it – a few of many clichés from the Hallmark Holiday films.  They are cheesy, trite, and provide a low level of action each time.  If PG-rated Christmas-themed romance is what you are looking for, the Hallmark channel has them all ready this month.

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Next time you have a day off of work, be sure to check out a Hallmark Holiday movie.  You’ll be sure to learn about a high-level executive who finds her new love life in her small town AND save her family’s business from going under; all this while being tangled in her complex love triangle with a new flame, only to find out the TRUE meaning of Christmas in the end.

Peter Billingsly Christmas Movie Criss-Cross


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Elf is the most popular films airing on televisions this Christmas season.  This classic Christmas fantasy comedy film stars Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf, an elf who learns in life that he is human.  Buddy travels to New York City to meet his biological father Walter Hobbs (James Caan).  While in New York, Buddy gets himself into all sorts of silly hijinks.  Other notable actors in the film include Zooey Deschanel, Bob Newhart, Peter Dinklage, Andy Ritcher, Kyle Gass, and Jon Favreau (who also directed the movie as well!).

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I’ll have to admit that I have seen scenes of this film multiple times already and I can definitely say it’s a classic.  But after a while, there was one notable element that shocked me about the film.  It has to do with a minor character called Ming Ming.

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            After watching the beginning a few times, I noticed the actor portraying Ming Ming looked vaguely familiar to me.  I took to the IMDB website to conduct my research and what I found was absolutely shocking.

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Get ready for this folks – the actor Peter Billingsly, who plays Ming Ming (Buddy’s apprentice), was Ralph Parker in A Christmas Story!

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Ah, yes – A Christmas Story.  The movie where Ralph wanted a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle for Christmas.  All the adults scolded him, explaining that he would shoot his eye out with the BB gun.  It’s another treasured Christmas film that was released back in November 18th, 1983.  Decades later and A Christmas Story is still played 24 hours on Christmas Day.

With that, it seems we have ourselves… a Christmas movie criss-cross!

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Peter Billingsly first starred in A Christmas Story, his first Christmas-themed film.  Twenty years later, Billingsly was Ming Ming in Elf.  This marks his second appearance in a Christmas movie.  Two Christmas movies, same actor.  Billingsly is the true star in this special Christmas movie crisscross.

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If you are just as shocked as I am, you are not alone.  I must’ve seen the opening scene dozens of times and never knew how I didn’t catch that special cameo.  Peter Billingsly appearing in another memorable Christmas film was amazing to find out.

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In the end, this special Christmas movie crisscross makes Elf and A Christmas Story even more memorable than ever.  Its great to know that Peter Billingsly was still in movies mere decades after being Ralph Parker.

We may have just discovered Peter Billingsly as Ming Ming the elf, but he will forever still be little Ralphy Parker – the kid that wanted a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle for Christmas.

Halloween – 40 Years Later


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October 25th, 1978 – Halloween was released in theaters nationwide.  It was Jamie Lee Curtis’s breakout role in Hollywood that would land her many roles for years to come.  Halloween is the horrific tale about the infamous serial killer Michael Myers.  Myers murdered his 17-year-old sister Judith when he was six years old, only to be sentenced and locked away for 15 years.

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On October 30th, 1978, Michael escaped from the sanitarium and steals Dr. Sam Loomis’s car in the process.  He returns back to his home in Haddonfield where he kills a mechanic for his uniform and steals the white mask, rope, and knives from a local hardware store.

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The next day, he starts stalking his next victim Laurie Strode.  Strode, as well as her friends around high school, become prey to Michael Myers throughout the film.  It’s a classic slasher horror film that would be remembered for decades.

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A few years later, Halloween II was released in 1981.  Halloween II was one of many sequels released for their audiences.  The list of Halloween films include:

  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch
  • Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
  • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
  • Halloween : The Curse of Michael Myers
  • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
  • Halloween: Resurrection
  • Halloween (2007)
  • Halloween II (2009)

Forty years and nine films later, we are in for a special treat this year.  This year so happens to be the 40th anniversary of the original release of the film.  To celebrate this special occasion, we are presented with a special installment of Halloween.

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That’s right horror fans – an eleventh installment of Halloween is coming this year!  Halloween will be released this Friday (October 19th), starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle as they reprise their roles as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers.  Nine years since the last Halloween film was released and the battle still reigns on.

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This intriguing franchise marketing miracle is an ode to one of the greatest horror film series of all time.  Halloween graced us with notable serial killer Michael Myers, who continues to be resurrected in every sequel.  No matter how many times they try to stop him, Myers goes on with his killing spree.  There is no character, no matter what decade or sequel they were in, that is able to withstand the monster that is Michael Myers (except for Laurie Strode!).

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After creeping us out for forty years, it’s only fitting that Michael Myers returns to the theaters.  Who knows how this next battle (or possibly last!) will play out in the next installment of Halloween.  Laurie Strode vs. Michael Myers – it all goes down this Friday on October 19th.

Hill/Stone TV/Movie Criss-Cross


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There’s been a lot of intriguing events happening on television these days.  Monk creator Andy Breckman released The Good Cop on Netflix and American Horror Story: Apocalypse has been full of entertaining surprises.  Another Netflix series, Maniac, also came with its own criss-cross of its own.

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For the record, this isn’t just any ordinary TV criss-cross.  Maniac just happens to come with a special criss-cross like no other.  Ladies and gentlemen – its time to introduce the very first… TV/Movie Criss-Cross.

The TV/Movie Criss-Cross – a criss-cross mixing elements of a TV series and movie together.  Criss-crosses usually come from TV series, but today’s instant stems from both TV and movie.  It’s an unusual event where big screen and silver screen collide under one form of media.

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Here is the first TV/Movie criss-cross – Maniac stars Jonah Hill as Owen Milgrim and Emma Stone as Annie Landsberg.  Eleven years ago, Hill and Stone both starred in the movie Superbad.  Jonah Hill starred as Seth, a high school senior who was looking to get with Jules (Emma Stone) at her party.  Hilarious shenanigans ensue as Seth travels with best friends Evan (Michael Cera) and Fogel (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) to Jules’ party.

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Flash-forward eleven years later andwe have both actors starring in Maniac.  Stone and Hill’s characters make for a terrific love story during the series.  This is the kind of romance that carries on over a decade after Superbad was released.  In a way, Maniac presents their story in a more sophisticated way.

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Their characters found love in Superbad and now that romance story lingers on in Maniac.  This is the unique TV/Movie criss-cross that will live on for years to come.  There is no telling what actors/actresses will appear together in the next TV series or movie.

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And there you have it – the first TV/Movie criss-cross of MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  Jonah Hill and Emma Stone had great starring roles in both Superbad and Maniac.  There is sure to be other unique criss-crosses where different medias mix with each other.  Silver screens mixing in with big screens and vice-versa.  It surely has been a while since a criss-cross has been mentioned within the blog, so this was a perfect instance to discuss.