The state of computer graphics has really progressed, but the one thing that is too distracting for me is that the characters' eyes do not track a subject very well. When the characters turn their heads their eyes usually remain stationary, giving the impression of deadness. Polar Express was a little better only because some of the action figures were really real people with computer contacts on their bodies that directed the computer animation. Overall it was a good movie, but not one I would go out of my way to see.
"It's A Wonderful Life" has also fallen in my esteem, and each time I watch it I like it a little bit less. Why? One character...UNCLE BILLY!!! Who in their right mind would put such a dunce as Billy in charge of such large amounts of money? Just the fact that he has to tie strings around his fingers to remind himself of important tasks is enough to make me scream. George Bailey's father may have been too tolerant of his brother but George was just plain blind to Billy's incompetence. Family or not, he should have been reassigned to another job or just shown the door as gently as possible. I know this rant may place me in the company of Ebeneezer Scrooge but I don't care. Billy must go!
That old favorite "A Christmas Carole" is always a must see for me. The old Alistair Sim black and white version or the George C. Scott version are my choices. The absolute worst? Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carole, by FAR!
Always a "Must Miss" is "A Charlie Brown Christmas" I just can't handle pathos in a cartoon, much less one that's about Christmas. I never liked that kid with the big head who always let Lucy to push him around.
"The Santa Clause", with Tim Allen, is one of the better modern films. It preserves the wonder of the season in the eyes of children and reminds adult to not take themselves so seriously. The sequels are good too, but not as good as the first.
And number 1, numero uno, the best, da bomb, the ultimo pelicula in MY universe is "A Christmas Story"! I've watched this one so many times that it almost feels like it happened to me in MY past. Part of that has to do with the fact that I was raised in that part of the country, and part of the film was actually shot in my home town, Cleveland, and the rest has to do with residual memories of similar situations (getting my tongue stuck on a metal pole, dressing up so warmly that it was almost impossible to move, etc.). The neighborhood in the film is remarkably similar to the one that I grew up in, even though the film takes place in the 1940's after the war.
Every year there is one television station that shows this film repeatedly, all day long, time after time, so that the staff can spend the day at home, and if I happen to see it while channel surfing I will always stop for a while to visit and reminisce. Just like an old friend or a favorite pair of slippers. And if I had the money I'd buy that stupid lamp that you see down below, and just like in the movie thew Grouchmate would do anything to make it go away.