June 9, 2019
For the second time in less than a month a bad idea for a Christmas movie has been announced. Paramount has declared that Kevin Hart will produce and likely star in a remake of 1988’s dark comedic disaster called Scrooged, which originally starred Bill Murray.
Scrooged is just one of many inexplicable takes on Dicken’s A Christmas Carol that ultimately underwhelmed both at the box office and with traditional Christmas audiences.
Murray’s manic performance in what can only be called a joyless take on Christmas remains one of the most bizarre depictions ever of Ebenezer Scrooge.
Unlike A Christmas Story, Scrooged remains an enigma with Christmas audiences, though Paramount now insists it is a “cult classic”.
The film pulled in $60 million at the box office, not even cracking the top ten for that year.
In fact, another film from the same year, Die Hard, argued both then and now about whether it is a Christmas film at all, pulled in more than $80 million. Just a year later Christmas Vacation was made and it grossed $72 million. Why aren’t they trying to remake those two films?
Films of greater Christmas fame such as Home Alone went on to make $285 million and The Santa Clause pulled in $145 million. Scrooged does not even make the top ten.
Scrooged has likewise failed to impress in home media sales and in television replay.
So why then is anyone even considering a remake?
In 2013 Hollywood announced a potential remake of It’s a Wonderful Life, long considered even outside of Christmas circles as one of the best movies ever made. The outcry against a remake was so great the project was shelved.
It might be time to cry out again, folks.
Why can’t Hollywood get Christmas right? In the past decade we have had to endure such lousy offerings such as A Bad Mom’s Christmas, The Man Who Invented Christmas, Office Christmas Party and The Night Before.
Hollywood’s take on Christmas has been simply dreadful.
By Black River Santa
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was born on this day in 1840, in Votkinsk, in the Russian Empire. Though he never played Santa Claus, the score he wrote for the two-act ballet, “The Nutcracker,” adapted from E.T.A. Hoffman’s story, "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," is part of our collective Christmas soundtrack, and attending a stage performance is an annual family tradition for many during the holiday season. I know this has to be a @Drosselmeyer favorite!
By Michael Rielly
Children prefer simple objects over toys because they’re “not limited” to being a single thing
For kids, versatility might be the way to go — as far as toys are concerned, anyway.
May 2, 2019
by Alexandru Micu
I have it on reasonable authority that kids are very likely to ignore a particular toy and make a starry-eyed beeline for the box it came in. I haven’t got any of my own, so I can’t attest to the accuracy of that, but I do have a cat — so I can relate to how confusing such an experience might be.
But fret not, parents around the world, for science comes to the rescue. A new study from the University of Alabama reports that children, particularly those at preschool age, are probably attracted to generic objects because they make for more versatile toys.
“The inclusion of generic objects like sticks and boxes may allow children to extend their play because the generic objects can be used as multiple things,” said lead author Dr. Sherwood Burns-Nader, UA assistant professor of human development and family studies.
“Pretend play such as object substitution has so many benefits, such as increased socialization and problem solving.”
A cardboard box can become virtually anything in the mind of a child, the researchers say. In contrast, a spaceship or unicorn toy — despite being much more visually appealing — is doomed to remain a spaceship or unicorn for as long as you play with it. And therein lies the reason why children, especially younger ones, would generally prefer to play with the box.
Children often substitute one object for another during play. A stick can become a sword, a rifle, or a pen. But such substitutions aren’t made lightly — the object has to have a passable resemblance to the one it’s being substituted for. As such, an object’s features such as shape or markings can disqualify it completely for a certain play-task.