Short Takes – December 2005

| December 1, 2005

Hello, invisible friends. Are you full of holiday spirit? Holiday spirits? Six of one half, dozen of another in my estimation. What are you possibly going to do with yourself during this dark month? Hey! Put down the bottle, pick up the remote control!
You know what’s good right now? That crazy Christmas stuff. There is so darn much of the stuff it is silly to list it all here, but let’s look at the highlights. Really there is no reason to change the channel from ABC Family, which has stepped up for 25 days of Christmas. Thanks, ABC Family! Specials from the classics to modern interpretations of how you should be celebrating the birth of Christ. The most startling, and there is more startling than there should be, is the newly premiering Chasing Christmas. This time the Scrooge-like tale of a curmudgeon coming around for the holidays is spearheaded by Tom Arnold. I wonder if the ghosts will get him to change his ways? I betcha! TNT is airing a Festivus marathon, for those of you who celebrate that, on December 22nd from 9-11pm ET. Because feats of strength are the reason for the season. TNT also offers Christmas in Washington (I thought it was every day there?) on December 14th. It is hosted by Dr. Phil, features a performance by Rascal Flats and I have nothing more to say about that…
The number one thing to watch in December 2005? Charlie Brown if you’re looking to feel good, but for a holiday break watch TBS’s Funniest Commercials Ever on December 28th. It’s unfortunate, but the commercials are looking, well, the least commercial at this time of year. Kevin Nealon hosts, and I enjoy.
What’s good in December? After being HUMILIATED by forcing Liz Phair’s last CD on people who had no reason to suspect I would be angry at them, I went back for another whipping, and it was not so bad. Somebody’s Miracle is like running into a friend who had a bad time but is on the way back to being the rocking chick she used to be. Welcome back, Liz. There are a lot of CD compilations that donate proceeds to worthy causes, why not gift those this year? The Special Olympics offers Una Noche de Paz Muy Especial this year, featuring artists like Jose Feliciano and Enrique Iglesias. This series has been going since 1987, and this particular version is sure to be a hit. Lagniappe: A Saddle Creek Benefit for Hurricane Katrina Relief will suit those who want their holiday dollar to go towards the Red Cross and their efforts along the Gulf Coast in a rockin’ fashion.
The easiest way to find the music someone enjoys while raising money for a cause? The Red Hot series available at and Amazon. Their AIDS fighting CDs span genres from African Pop to Cole Porter tribute, Latin, Dance, and Indie. Good stuff. Good cause. They should make more.
December is a mighty movie month. If you can tear yourself away from the Christmas classics, there’s something for you–Disney’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe puts Christ allegorically back into the season, but you can pretend that’s not happening if you like. Did anybody know when they were a kid? Finally, Memoirs of a Geisha (Columbia) will be gracing the screen. That book was swell, this has been well cast, and how could this not be great? If you’re an aspiring female film star who missed that film, you should know that James Cameron has put out a call for a female lead, applications due by December 19th. Contact Mali Finn if you think you’re the next Battle Angel. Mali Finn cast 8 Mile, and I, for one, think they did a great job with the guy who played Eminem. I’m from Detroit. He’s authentic. In other casting news, Mary J. Blige has been cast as Nina Simone in the MTV/Paramount film to be made about Simone’s life. I might be wrong, but I think I love that choice. I love it so much I might marry it.
What to see this month, what’s not to be missed? Well, judging from the numbers you already saw Harry Potter. I feel like I should get behind King Kong, but I feel more vested in Walk the Line (20th Century Fox). If you haven’t seen it yet, give those crazy kids a chance. They did a good job.
Until 2006, fellow entertainment lovers. Do you miss the thrill of Y2K like I do? Ever since that, New Year’s things have seemed sort of flat to me. Hopefully someone will come up with some great rumor right before the ball drops and we’ll all have something big to anticipate again. Until that time, I shall remain on the edge of my seat.

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