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Christmas finally begins - Unbeliever's Land — LiveJournal
...The continuing chronicles...
Christmas finally begins
Didn't make it to the CSS solstice potluck, dammit. Angela wasn't feeling well, and I just had Too Many Things To Do.

So I spent all day Saturday and Sunday morning working on my office (which STILL isn't COMPLETE -- but the vast piles of clutter have definitely suffered massive casualties, and the last few survivors are wishing they had "cut and run" a couple of weeks ago). And then, with Angela feeling much better Sunday afternoon, we Made Christmas in the living room.

The living room is now devoid of all Reed-office-junk, and the 7.5-foot fake tree has been painstakingly (and painfully) reassembled and decorated.

While we worked (i.e. Angela de-boxing ornaments and giving suggestions, while I hovered around the tree looking for any last remaining un-decorated branch tips), we watched The Polar Express on TV. This was the first time we'd seen it since seeing it in the theater...

The Polar Express is a very sweet movie, which you can't help but love. The story is heart-wrenching, the music is beautiful, the CG is absolutely top-notch (as compared to so many movies these days -- it seems that BAD CG has gotten cheap enough now that it's a favorite way of cranking out crappy movies without half trying). [*]

THAT SAID, however, I've gotta wear my Grinch hat and express my gripes.

1) Yes, it was cool the first time -- but the "watch our heroes ride *YET ANOTHER* wacky death-defying roller coaster" gag gets old, the fourth or fifth time in a 99-minute movie. Sheesh.

2) The "moral". *SIGH*. Don't get me started on "just believe", "never question", "never doubt", "it doesn't matter where the train is going, the important thing is to get on"... *SHUDDER*

I know, I know, magic of Christmas, warm fuzzies, keep the nice children's movie simple and bright and upbeat, don't bring the kiddies "down" with cynicism and intellectual rigor.

But really. "It doesn't matter where the train is going"? Didn't they tell the Jews something like that in Germany, once upon a time? And wouldn't Bush's life be SO much simpler if we all "just believed" along with him?

I guess if our culture were more skeptical the rest of the year, I could let go and enjoy the "just believe" fantasy a bit better around Christmastime. But when most of the problems in our society stem directly from covering our ears and shouting loudly anytime the facts threaten our happy little dream world, "just believe" sounds particularly vile.

The problem is NOT that we take too little on faith. It's that we take too much.

[*] Speaking of which, WHEN DID THEY REMAKE THE CLASSIC RANKIN-BASS CLAYMATION CHRISTMAS SPECIALS AS CRAPPY CGI?!?!? Angela and I nearly shat ourselves when we tripped over Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys, with CGI characters designed to look as close to the originals as possible, but all changed up with new characters and songs added! *GAG* *CHOKE* *GASP*

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Current Emotional State: accomplished accomplished

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amaebi From: amaebi Date: December 19th, 2006 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Now I'm totally scared of The Polar Express. I was a little timid of it earlier because of Tom Hanks, but now I'm just too scared to deal.
unbeliever64 From: unbeliever64 Date: December 19th, 2006 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't get me wrong -- it's a very sweet movie. I love it to pieces, and would even like to get it on DVD eventually. The "message" is really no different than a thousand other Christmas specials. Just believe in Santa, and all will be well, etc.

But the "believe" thing *IS* drummed in pretty hard. Like, with a jackhammer. :) The entire plot is about "believing". "Sometimes, the most real things are the things we can't see"; that sort of thing.

Tom Hanks makes you timid? Or just the hyper-real CGI version of Tom Hanks?

The hyper-real graphics ARE actually the freakiest thing in the movie (they are very similar to the graphics in Final Fantasy, if you ever saw that). If you ever DO see it, you might want to close your eyes during the many roller-coaster train sequences... :)

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