Archive for December, 2008


Rated PG

Directed by David Frankel

Starring Owen Wilson, Jennifer Anniston, Alan Arkin, Eric Dane, Haley Bennett

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 4

Word of Warning: Dog lovers should bring tissue.


Most people read this book months, if not years ago.  I, however, had barely finished it when the movie adoption arrived in theaters last weekend, so unlike most, the “real” story was fresh in my mind.


Read the rest of this review HERE.


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I think a lot of Christmas movies are corny.  I avoid any “Made of Television – Hallmark” holiday movie. However, there are a few Christmas movies I watch every year, and some I don’t watch annually, but are still on my favorites list.


“A Christmas Story” (1983) – I’ve been watching this movie every Christmas for years now, and it’s easily my all-time favorite Christmas movie. Set in the 1940’s, it’s a story about obsession. Writer and narrator, the late Jean Shepherd once said he felt obsession often makes very good comedy and he was right. Ralphie is a 9-year-old with one Christmas wish – he wants nothing more than a Red Ryder BB gun and it is an all enveloping desire. His mother is dead set against the idea, fearing Ralphie will “shoot his eye out.” If you haven’t seen this movie, rent it today. If you’ve ever been a kid, I think you’ll enjoy this humorous look at childhood.


“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989) – This silly Chevy Chase flick is my husband’s favorite Christmas movie and every since we met he’s made me watch it during the holidays. Eventually my love/hate relationship with “Christmas Vacation” turned into mostly love. In this National Lampoon’s movie, the Griswold family is hosting Christmas and Clark’s desire for the perfect holiday with the family quickly develops into one crazy scene after another. With Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Nicholas Guest playing the Griswold’s yuppie neighbors, and the non-stop hilarious trainwreck that is Clark Griswold, this one is a much-watch at my house during the holidays.

By the way if anyone knows where to get egg nog glasses with reindeer antler handles, please let me know.


“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964) – This is a Christmas movie from my father’s childhood, therefore my brother and I sat  down with my parents every Christmas to watch “Rudolph.”  I don’t have much to say about this movie except that I love it.  And if you haven’t seen it, have you been living under a rock?


“Elf” (2003) – This movie has become a holiday tradition for my husband and I. Starring Will Ferrell as a human named Buddy who has been raised by elves at the North Pole, this movie is Ferrell at his very best. When Buddy decides to leave the North Pole to look for his real father, he is more than a little out of place in New York City. James Caan plays Buddy’s father and he is the perfect straightman to Ferrell’s outrageous comedic genius in this movie. According to Netflix this is the #1 rented Christmas movie this year, so apparently I’m not the only one with an “‘Elf”-fetish.    



“Joyeux Noel” (2005) – I recently watched this movie and it easily makes my list of favorite Christmas movies. The movie is based on true accounts of Christmas 1914, on the front-lines during World War I. Allied Scottish and French troops are spending Christmas in the trenches. Their German enemies are hunkered down in their trenches, approximately fifty yards away. This is the story of how guns and preconceived notions were put aside to celebrate a holiday held dear by those fighting on both sides of this gruesome war. It is heartwarming movie, but it isn’t sappy. In the end it’s a war movie, so be prepared, but it also a Christmas movie with all the right messages about what it means to celebrate the holiday.  

Honorable Mention


“Home Alone” (1990) – I do not watch this one every year, but I was a kid when it came to theaters so it represents a childhood holiday memory for me. To this day, whenever I hear “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree” I think of MacCaulay Culkin creating a fake party in his living room to make the robbers think adults were home. While not Oscar-worthy, this is a cute movie starring two of the funniest home burglars in history, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. While perhaps not  a film for adults, if you have children, they will love it. 

 I know I’ve missed some good Christmas movies, such as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and those are both great movies. However, I can’t blog on this topic all night and this list only represent my favorites. It’s not a list of movies I regard of as the Best Christmas Movies ever Made – that list would include “It’s a Wonderful Life.” 

If you have other favorites, please share them in the comment section

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Rated PG13

Directed by Scott Derrickson

Starring Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Jaden Christopher Smith

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 1

Word of Warning: Run, don’t walk away from the theater.


This movie represents a modern day twist on the original “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951). In the first version, an alien visits earth to warn the humans about their impending doom if they cannot abandon warfare (specifically, atomic power). His message is simple, if humans cannot stop their war faring ways, Earth will be destroyed.


Read the rest of this review HERE.

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Rated PG13

Directed by Baz Lurhmann

Starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, David Wenham, Bryan Brown, Jack Thompson

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 2.5

Word of Warning: This is a really long movie and it feels really long.


“Australia” is a big movie, about a big country, with a big history. It strives to be a love story, an historical drama, a war movie, an epic – unfortunately, these attempts at grandeur are the movie’s downfall.


Read on the rest of this review HERE.

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I recently had the opportunity to interview mystery writer, Troy Cook.

His first book, “47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers,” has been nominated for numerous awards and the film rights to the book were recently bought by FilmColony.

Cook’s second book, “The One Minute Assassin” is in bookstores now. 

His third book, “The Criminal Next Door,” is due out next summer. 

Read my entire article on Cook, HERE.

Visit his website at www.troycook.net.   

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 aaa1It’s finally here! 

In stores now – perhaps one of the best stocking stuffers ever – at least for my group of friends! 

Want a signed copy?  Meet author Michael Guerriero at the following book signings:

Saturday, Dec. 13th, from 4pm to 7pm, Centerra Mall (Barnes & Noble)
Sunday, Dec. 14th, from 1pm to 4pm, Foothills Mall (B. Daulton)
Saturday, Jan. 10th, from 2pm to 5pm, Fort Collins (Barnes & Noble)

Read more about Guerriero and his new book HERE.

Visit www.partyacrossamericabook.com for even more information.

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Read my review: HERE

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