Christmas Special Review- It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown

Unlike its predecessor, and like many sequels, this sequel doesn’t quite work and fails to live up to the standard set by the original.

There is a lack of focus in the story-telling and a lack of foreword progress in the narrative. The tale starts with Charlie inexplicably hocking wares related to the holiday, trying to exploit the commercialism of the season. This goes a bit beyond him reverting to his former self into a wholly uncharted territory of regression to another character type.

Part of the reason this film lacks some focus is because it’s later in the history of the Peanuts and new characters have been introduced. Characters that are a presence in the strip and split focus here. A lot of the time is spent with Patty and Marcy, and thus, Charlie takes a backseat and quits being a salesman unannounced and due to his utter failure at it.
 
There is no real climax to this story either. Things that would’ve lead up to it aren’t seen but discussed and then there’s an ending. No real denouement either, no crescendo, just an abrupt stop.

The humor and observations do stop this film from being downright awful and raise it to a level of unfortunate awkwardness.

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2008 BAM Awards

As those who are my friends on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter know, in December I am gearing up for my annual film awards (The BAM Awards), and that only partially explains my recent reposting of all past winners.

Since these are picks made by one person, the nominating process is even more important. Aside from the the past years, the full slate of nominees from all years past was not public knowledge.

This is because essentially the first time I did them, in 1996, I created them by myself for myself. At the time, I knew a lot less about how these decisions are made, campaigning, the year-end barrage of contenders and the like, such that the releasing of the Academy Award nominees was even more frustrating. Rather than just bemoan it I decided to create an award slate based on what I had seen.

Back then I was ticket stub pack rat, at the time it was the only way to track anything. So I created the list, picked winners and printed it out. The fact that I stuck with hard copies and no back-up created issues, however, it was just for me at the time.

I called them the BAM Awards because I needed a name. I suppose I came up with Bernardo Academy of Movies because I was being reactionary to The Academy. How one man by himself can be an Academy I didn’t fully consider. I thought it was kind of a silly name even at the time so eventually it just became BAM.

Slowly, the awards widened: soon I emailed a select group of friends (that created eventual storage issues), a few years ago when I was on the Site That Must Not Be Named I decided to really take it public. I didn’t think about it ahead of time, it just occurred to me roundabout late November of ’09 that I could.

The publication was an exciting and unnerving process regardless of how many or how few people would actually care to see them. While there are a two categories (which I now and again consider ending, and have skipped on occasion) which are negative, it is a positive emotion that brings me to these announcements. I want to at the end of this period of time share what I thought an why, and all winner announcements come with some explanation, and I do belabor them and struggle with them.

So it is heartening that last year, for the first time, the actual honorees, be they nominees or winners, on occasion acknowledged it. Now that may seem like a self-aggrandizing statement, but what I liked was knowing the news reached them and other people and they were pleased to hear it. The design of these awards are to cement what performances, works and films most affected me, I make no bones about that, and sharing that felt like a gamble, but it’s been rewarding for that and many other reason.

Of course, if you see a film missing from any year you may inquire, and there is room for intelligent discourse, but the above statements are true: trolling or disrespectful comments aimed at who was chosen won’t be tolerated. Your own awards are just a blog post away.

I apologize for even needing to insert that statement but I did have cause to make similar points last year. Anyway, with how much I enjoyed last year’s and how much I’m looking forward to this year’s awards, I thought it’d be a good idea to put all I have out there in a “reverse” countdown.

So here goes…

2008

OK same disclaimer as always. BAM stands for Bernardo Academy of Movies, the name stinks but I was fifteen when I made it up and I won’t be changing it now. These awards are also based on my opinion alone and cannot be swayed only debated. Conversely if I did not see something that could be why it’s not nominated. You may also see some ’07 titles that I was unable to see until early ’08.

Winners and my rant re: 2008 will come in a day or two.

Winners are both BOTH and pictured.

Best Picture (Top 10)

Let the Right One In (2008, Magnet Releasing)

Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in)
Mother of Tears (La Terza Madre)
Australia
La Vie en Rose (La Mome)
Son of Rambow
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le scaphandre et le papillon)
Tropic Thunder
Juno
The Substitute (Vikaren)
The Spiderwick Chronicles

Best Director

Thomas Alfredson

Thomas Alfredson Let The Right One In
Garth Jennings Son of Rambow
Baz Luhrmann Australia
Julian Schnabel The Diving Bell & The Butterfly
Ben Stiller Tropic Thunder

Best Actor

Milk (2008, Focus Features)

Mathieu Almaric The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Javier Bardem Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Steve Carell Get Smart
Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man
Sean Penn Milk

Best Actress

La Vie en Rose (2007, Picturehouse)

Asia Argento Mother of Tears
Marion Cotillard La Vie en Rose
Rebecca Hall Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Nicole Kidman Australia
Ellen Page Juno

Best Supporting Actor

Tropic Thunder (2008, DreamWorks)

Tom Cruise Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr. Charlie Bartlett
Robert Downey Jr. Tropic Thunder
Heath Ledger The Dark Knight
Will Poulter Son of Rambow

Best Supporting Actress

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008, The Weinstein Company)

Penelope Cruz Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Jennifer Garner Juno
Alison Pill Milk
Joan Plowright The Spiderwick Chronicles
Mary Steenburgen Step Brothers

Best Cinematography

Caleb Deschanel The Spiderwick Chronicles
Frederic Fasano Mother of Tears
Hoyte Van Hoytema Let the Right One In
Janusz Kaminski The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Tetsuo Nagata La Mome

Best Makeup

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Mother of Tears
Let the Right One In
Australia

Most Overrated Film

The Dark Knight
Twilight
Pineapple Express
Wall-E
The Incredible Hulk

Most Underrated Film

Son of Rambow (2007, Paramount Vantage)

The Spiderwick Chronicles
Son of Rambow
X-Files: I Want to Believe
Get Smart
The Love Guru

Worst Picture

The Happening (2008, 20th Century Fox)

The Happening
The Incredible Hulk
Mirrors
Prom Night
Twilight

Best Editing

Let the Right One In (2007, Magnet Releasing)

Thomas Alfredson and Daniel Jonsäter Let the Right One In
Walter Fasano Mother of Tears
Richard Marizy La Mome
Michael Kahn The Spiderwick Chronicles
Juliette Welfling The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Song

A Capella rendition of “Sweet Child O’Mine” in Step Brothers
“Boats and Hoes” Step Brothers
“The Boys are Back” High School Musical 3
“A Night to Remember” High School Musical 3
“Booty Sweat jingle” Tropic Thunder

Best Soundtrack

La Vie en Rose (2007)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Mother of Tears
High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Juno
La Vie En Rose

Best Sound Editing

The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008, Nickelodeon/Paramount)

The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
La Terza Madre
Indiana Jones and the Legend of the Crystal Skull
The Dark Knight

Best Visual Effects

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008, Disney)

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Substitute
Journey to the Center of the Earth
The Dark Knight

Best Cast

Let the Right One In (2007, Magnet Releasing)

Paprika Steen, Ulrich Thomasen, Johan Wandschneider, Nikolai Falkenberg-Klok, Emme Jule Justesen, Mollie Maria Gilmartin, Josephin Gents, etc. The Substitute
Lina Leandersson, Kare Hedebrant, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist, Peter Carlberg, Ika Nord and Martin Ram Let the Right One In
Amy Hall, Javier Bardem, Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey, Jr., Nick Nolte, Steve Coogan, Jay Baruchel, Danny R. McBride, Brandon T. Jackson, Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaghuey and Brandon Soo Hoo Tropic Thunder
Sean Penn, James Franco, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, Allison Pill, Joseph Cross and Diego Luna Milk

Best Performance by a Child Actor

Son of Rambow (2007, Paramount Vantage)

Kare Hedebrant Let the Right One In
Freddie Highmore The Spiderwick Chronicles
Lina Leandersson Let the Right One In
Will Poulter Son of Rambow
Brandon Walters Australia

Best Original Screenplay

Son of Rambow (2007, Paramount Vantage)

Woody Allen Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Dustin Lance Black Milk
Diablo Cody Juno
Garth Jennings Son of Rambow
Ben Stiller, Justin Thoreau and Ethan Cohen Tropic Thunder

Best Adapted Screenplay*

Johan Ajvide Lindqvist Let the Right One In
Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer and Bob Kane The Dark Knight
Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby Iron Man
Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely and C.S. Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Karey Kirkpatrick, David Berenbaum, John Sayles, Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black The Spiderwick Chronicles

Best Art Direction

The Substitute (2007, Ghosthouse International)

La Vie En Rose
Let the Right One In
The Strangers
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Substitute

NOMINATIONS
——————-

Let the Right One In– 10 Nominations
The Spiderwick Chronicles– 10 Nomination
Tropic Thunder– 7 Nominations
Mother of Tears– 6 Nominations
Son of Rambow– 6 Nominations
Vicky Cristina Barcelona– 6 Nominations
Australia– 5 Nominations
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly– 5 Nominations
Juno– 5 Nominations
The Dark Knight– 5 nominations
La Vie en Rose– 5 Nominations
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian– 4 nominations
The Substitute-4 Nominations
Milk– 4 nominations
Step Brothers– 3 nominations
High School Musical 3: The Senior Year– 3 Nominations
Iron Man– 2 nominations
Get Smart– 2 Nominations
Charlie Bartlett, Twilight, Wall-E, The Incredible Hulk, Pineapple Express, X-Files: I Want to Believe, The Love Guru, Mirrors, Prom Night, The Happening, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Strangers– 1 nomination