Christmas Weekend Viewing Roundup

Hello all, happy Monday! I hope a lot of you get today off as well as Christmas fell on a Sunday. Well, it’s been a nice, mellow Christmas weekend for me but boy did we watch quite a lot of movies!

The three new movies I saw this past week couldn’t be more different from each other… a silent film, an espionage thriller and a motion-capture adventure based on a beloved comic series. All of them are movies I’ve been waiting to see for a year or more!

Earlier in the week I got a pair of advanced screening tickets to see The Artist, thanks to my pal Ted. I’ve got the review done and ready to publish tomorrow, that’s the first film I gave a five out of five star this year. I highly recommend it if it’s playing near you, trust me you won’t be disappointed.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy lives up to the ‘smart thriller’ promise though if you don’t like a ‘quiet’ film where not a lot of things are happening, this might not be a movie for you. I watch it mostly for the top notch British ensemble cast and for that reason it did not disappoint. I should have the review up later in the week.

Now, The Adventures of Tintin is still pretty fresh in my mind as I had just seen it yesterday afternoon. As you know, I’m a huge fan of Hergé’s comics and I’ve been waiting for this movie for almost two years! The fact that I was at the Tintin panel at Comic-con made me even more excited for this, which is really quite a build-up leading up to finally seeing the movie. Well, I’ll write a full review for this also but for now I can tell you that I’m glad Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg did the comics justice! They are both fans of Hergé’s work and it shows.

Now, I also had time to watch a couple of Gregory Peck-related stuff for my Peck marathon… one is The Snows of Kilimanjaro, which was based on Ernest Hemingway’s short story. It’s the second collaboration of Gregory and his friend, the beautiful Ava Gardner.

I have to admit, that even though the story was engaging and the cast were great to watch, but the fake backdrop used in the studio-sets are quite distracting! Apparently the studios only sent the photographers to the actual locations but the actors all remained in the studio lot. What a pity considering the filming were supposed to take place in Africa (hence the title), Spain and France!

I also finished Gregory’s well-written biography by Gary Fishgall. It’s the first actor biography I ever care to read and it’s quite a page turner. It offers a pretty good history all the way to his childhood and his start on Broadway, as well as a plethora of trivia on his illustrious acting career and his numerous philanthropic efforts. Here was a man who had a big heart and admirable persona to go with that devastatingly handsome good looks. I also watched this warm and candid documentary done by his daughter Cecilia called A Conversation with Gregory Peck (part of the 2-disc of To Kill A Mockingbird), another fascinating glimpse into the life of a true Hollywood legend. You can watch the full doc on You Tube, here’s the first part if you’re interested:

l love that the opening sequence is done in the style of To Kill A Mockingbird, which understandably is the film he’s best remembered for. Oh how I wish I had been able to attend one of those Q&A sessions, but watching the doc allowed me to live vicariously through some of his fans.

So what did you happen to catch this weekend? Please share your own weekend viewing roundup in the comments.

29 thoughts on “Christmas Weekend Viewing Roundup

  1. Quite a good selection for Christmas viewing. Great to see that you gave such a high rating to The Artist. I’m a little worried whether I’ll like the quietness and complexity of Tinker, but will probably see it anyway.Still not sure whether I can get into Tintin though.

    1. Yeah I’m quite glad I got to watch some good movies this past week, things are arriving too slowly here in Minnesota! Tinker is not for everyone, but I’m glad I saw it. I should have my review up by later this week. Are you a fan of Tintin comics, if you’re not then I can see how people might not like it as much as I do.

  2. Glad to hear you had a great holiday!

    I saw Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on Christmas Eve … Review/reaction piece coming later this week. I am also saw Mansfield Park on Netflix. My reaction also coming up soon to site. Over Christmas I also caught bits of It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Story. I missed playing my annual Love Actually and Scrooge with Alistair Sim.

    Glad to see you liked The Artist. Hopefully it will generate a revival in silent cinema 🙂

    This week I am putting in a few hours for the 9-5 but primarily working from home. I am also planning on catching a couple of films. My write ups about them will be my first of the new year!

    1. Wow, such a dark film for Christmas viewing 🙂 I’m not sure I can handle that film. Oooh, I quite like Mansfield Park, yes it’s not too faithful to Austen adaptation but I like Frances O’Connor in that role. Glad you caught a bunch of those Christmas classics, Iba, I did watch The Bishop’s Wife last week also.

      I do hope more people will experiment w/ silent movies these days, but it takes great skills to do ’em well.

  3. Sounds like you had a great holiday weekend. Mine was also filled with glorious movie watching, and it looks like I might be setting a new personal record for films this month. We saw Hugo 3D and Shame in the theater — both were terrific — and watched quite a few DVDs over the weekend. I have been cracking down on my 50 movies project and only have three left to go this week. Now I just need to catch up on my writing…

    1. I look forward to your reviews of those, Eric. I had to force myself to write this weekend too, I’d rather just be watching movies… I guess that’s always the dilemma of a movie blogger 🙂

  4. I watched Pirates of the Carribean 4 though I wanted to Midnight in Paris the woody allen film but couldn’t get the link. I have had terrible indigestion from something I ate over the weekend and as I have no c-cards I couldn’t rent anything. I have still a few films to catch up on but I will have to go to an art- house kind of rental place as I won’t get that on Netflix.

    1. Oh no, that sounds terrible Stella. Hope you’re feeling better now girl. I’ve canceled my Netflix months ago so we’ve been watching stuff via Amazon On Demand, and there’s also a dvd rental box in my office.

  5. FUNK

    Didn’t get out to watch any Cinema flicks, just stayed home, did watch:
    “The Debt”, I like slow paced thrillers especially with Helen Mirren.
    “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame”, a pretty good popcorn flick set in 629AD China, wasn’t to bad, just seemed to Hollywoodish to me but it did have it’s moments.
    And finally and lastly the 6th game of the 2011 World Series…

    1. Hi Dave, glad you enjoyed The Debt. It’s really well-done and well-acted all around. I might rent that again one of these days. I’ve never even heard of that other film you mentioned, what year was that made?

  6. Ted S.

    The only film I saw over the weekend was The Hangover part 2, it’s the same movie as the first except it took place in Thailand instead of Vegas.

    Since I have a week off from work this week, I’m going to see The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo maybe tomorrow or Weds. I also may check out Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but I prefer watching those type of films at home than at a theater.

    1. Hey Ted, glad you enjoyed a nice break. I’ve never been into those Hangover movies, not sure I ever will. The ‘Dragon Tatttoo’ movie might be too dark for me as well. As for Tinker Tailor, I think I’d get more out of it if I watched it at home, I just couldn’t wait anymore 🙂

  7. Matt Stewart

    5/5 for the Artist? Good to hear! Unfortuantely I highly doubt it will ever play somewhere near me, so I must wait for the darned rentals…

    Good selections, can’t wait to read the Artist review!

    1. I was afraid it won’t play near me too, so when I got those advanced screening tickets I was dancing like mad! I hope it will play near you as it’s worth seeing on the big screen.

    1. Hi Sam, yeah I guess I’m playing catch up since I’ve got some time off. Hope you get to see those two on the big screen, especially The Artist.

  8. I have Tinker Tailor ready to watch on DVD this week. Glad you enjoyed it Ruth, I’m looking forward to writing my review and reading yours.

    …glad you had a relaxing Christmas. Christmas Day and Boxing Day we rarely watch any films so I’ve got lots to look forward to this week with The Guard, Tinker Tailer, Project Nim, The Skin I Live In and The Change-Up all ready and waiting to be watched.

    1. Hi Dan, so you have the Alec Guiness version of Tinker Tailor then? I’d think that’s still the superior version compared to the movie.

      Oooh I really want to see The Guard, I need to rent that soon.

  9. Glad you like Tintin 🙂
    I envy you….I think I have to wait for the DVD of Tinker Soldier Spy. No sign of it in the cinema 😦 I really want to see Benedict in bigscreen

    1. That’s too bad Nov, Benedict was really good in this, but then again he was great in Amazing Grace as well. You should check out that film someday, it’s lovely.

    1. It’s pretty complex Rich, my hubby and I had to read about the details of the plot afterwards as we missed some of the dialog. It’s a quiet film and more like a game of chess so to speak, I think I’ll get more out of it if there were subtitles.

  10. I will see The Artist and Tinker Tailor this week! I must! Easily my two most anticipated films for the rest of the year. I expect at least one of them to make my top 10 films of the year list.

  11. Hope you had a great Christmas weekend Ruth!

    These past few days I saw:

    – Attack the Block: Awesome alien invasion movie. I highly recommend it.
    – RED: That movie sucked. Bad.
    – Tintin: I liked the movie. Very entertaining and very much true to the spirit of the comic strips. I did feel the movie felt much longer than its 108 minute run time would suggest.
    – Harry Potter Marathon: I watched 1-6 but couldn’t finish because of a lack of time. I will finish with the two-part finale of The Deathly Hallows next weekend!

    1. I did Castor, hope you did too. Oooh, glad you saw Tintin and loved it. It did feel a bit long at times but overall it was massively enjoyable. That’s quite a feat to capture the spirit of the great comics.

      Ahah, so you’re still into HP huh? That’s great Cas, it really is a wonderful franchise, I’m glad I got into ’em even though much later than the rest, just like you 😀

  12. I thought I had commented on this one earlier, but I guess I didn’t. Allow me to do so now:

    Glad you got to see so many films over the weekend! It’s nice to be able to do that.

    I still haven’t gotten to see TTSS as it still is not in my area, but I did see Tintin…sorry to say it did nothing for me. Like Fogs said on his page, I felt that I should have been into it more than i was and I just couldn’t. It was only “blah” for me!

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