Pinned: Announcing Brian’s 6th Annual Exploratory Christmas Endeavor!

Greetings, friends, and happy holidays. I’m starting a little early this year to compensate for the days in which I goof up and fail to stick to the plan. But as you may know, every year at Christmastime, I try to watch some piece of Christmas media everyday in the lead-up to Christmas.

Part of why I do this is because of a genuine affection for Christmas, and a desire not to miss any of the classics I love to catch year after year. Some of my genuine, must-watch favorites include It’s a Wonderful Life, Almost Christmas, Tokyo Godfathers, Christmas Vacation, and yes, if you must know, A Christmas Story. These are my list-toppers, but I’ve been curating a list of every Christmas film I’ve seen, in order from most- to least likely viewing for me during the holiday season, and you’re invited to look it over on my Letterboxd profile.

The links in the above paragraph go to podcast blog write-ups I’ve done on the films, and I’d love it if you gave them a once-over. Interestingly, I’ve never written about A Christmas Story because, I suppose, I’ve genuinely forgotten to watch it now for several years running. I consumed a very thoughtful Folding Ideas essay about how A Christmas Story sort of incepts another generation’s nostalgia into our heads, and how, apart from that, it doesn’t have much to offer as a film. I’ve considered it, but think that it still speaks to some wider truths about Christmastime for an American family, for better or worse. Perhaps this will be the year I do write about it.

At any rate, I’ve also compiled a Letterboxd list of the films I will try to get to this year. As of the time of this writing (around noon on Black Friday 2021), the list is primarily what was left-over from last year, so I’ll have to spend some time looking it over and getting it in order. You can follow this blog for the reviews, or follow me on Letterboxd, since sooner or later, I hope to get the reviews of that platform and this one in parity. You can also keep up with the growing Christmas films list, and let me know in the comments of these blog entries, the Letterboxd lists, or the Letterboxd reviews whether you agree, or think I’ve got my head way up my own chimney.

Thanks as always for your time and attention. Please stay safe and warm this holiday season, and I hope you find a hundred things to celebrate and be thankful for. Try to keep things humble and not be swept up in (or complicate, with your orders) the supply chain issues threatening to show international capitalism for the precarious, fragile scam it actually is. Let’s all pinky promise to sit by a window when the snow is coming down, hot beverage in-hand, and just enjoy some silence and peace at the end of this very difficult year. Let’s give something to someone we love, or a stranger, or an overlooked coworker, that might make their day a little brighter. Drop off a card to the one-person-show restaurant worker down the street who always remembers your name and favorite order. Shovel someone else’s snow or deliver something to a friend so they can spend a little more time off their feet.

Be good this holiday season. The holiday season is the model we should really follow all year long.



Brian’s Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’21: A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale

You know what? This (as movies like this go) could have been a lot worse. As a Christmas movie (the standards for which are very low, you’ll no doubt recall) this is entirely adequate. But they really missed their golden opportunity to call it a Christmas Tail. That’s something they can never get┬áback.

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Brian’s Annual Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’21: 8-Bit Christmas

A pile of people form the shape of a Christmas tree.

From my Letterboxd account:

I think the greatest backslide in popular culture may be the internet age ushering in the arrival of “things you recognize” as a marketable, profitable subject for creative content. Few things gross me out, deep down into the pits of my soul and body, like being pandered to by some cynical company who thought (not without cause), “we can show these hogs a bunch of references to their glory days and they’ll open their wallets and shake out all the cash until there’s nothing left.”

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Encanto | Disney Movies

I went into this movie entirely blind. I didn’t even know it existed until a week or so ago, and I hadn’t seen a trailer or read a blurb about it. I did know that the critics are largely for it, though.

As the opening exposition was dumped, I had a little conversation with myself:

“This is a lot. This is a lot of really weird stuff. This setup is completely bizarre and convoluted,” said one part of me.

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Brian’s Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’21: A Christmas Hero

A Christmas Hero is fascinating. Every indicator seems to point toward a docent at the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum who’s suddenly come into some money and also has vague but strong feelings about planes and veterans, wanting to make a movie that doubles as a goodhearted holiday pick-me-up and some good advertising for the museum.

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GBU Season 4, Episode 3: Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions': Official Poster Teases the New Rooms  We'll Be Entering This Summer - Bloody Disgusting

Quick note: I mixed up Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas with Fireproof starring Kirk Cameron.

We saw a bad movie on purpose!

This show was long overdue. I’ve done some reckoning with myself about how I am living my life, and have decided to make more time for things which fulfill me creatively, including and especially the podcast. So I hope to declare an end to the drought of content.

My mother makes her first-ever cameo on this show. We try a new segment on for size, called Brian, Why? And, we explore Adam’s ever-evolving sexual journey!

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GBU Season 4, Episode 2: Mortal Kombat (2021)

Mortal Kombat (2021) - IMDb
Stream here, or listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or your podcatcher of choice!

GBU’s back, baby, with a movie that was new last month!

We tried to get this recorded when the film was still fairly fresh, but we couldn’t make it work over the internet (what else is new?) so first-time guest and never-time podcast listener Rob pitched the idea of recording in person, since we’re all vaccinated now.

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