Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Top 10 Favorite Movie Moments


Moments ... some of the movies we re-watch the most are based entirely on moments. The scenes that make us respect the art of film making, the emotional moments that make us “feel”, and the excitement that transforms a film into an experience. Being a big movie guy, I can think of hundreds, maybe even thousands of memorable moments that always bring me back to the films I enjoy. Heck, even a bad movie can have its select moments that stick with me. This is a list of my own personal favorite movie moments that I can just never forget, and just love to experience time and time again.

   
“I Knew it ... he’s the One” from “The Matrix” (1999) 


I always looked at this film as the grand finally of the 90’s, and its aged fairly well with me. Of course “The Matrix” pioneered new ground breaking visual effects and unforgettable action scenes, but the stand out moment for me is when the films lead hero Neo discovers who he is, excepts what he’s become, and how his allies finally see him in a new perspective. Now this happens twice in the film, and for me, it’s the first scene just after Neo rescues his companions from the helicopter crash that really hits all the right notes. The shots, the angles, the music ... just everything building up to this characters epiphany is sensational. It’s a moment where I really felt myself cheering for the hero, and it’s always really satisfying to see a characters journey come to a satisfying close. I also love how after the dust settles in this moment, Neo’s mentor subtly reminds him about the difference between “learning the path ... and walking the path.” It’s just a great little scene that masterfully combined wisdom with adrenaline fueled action.    
  

“The Show Must Go On” from “Moulin Rouge” (2001)


When it comes to musicals, “Moulin Rouge” is one of the biggest, operatic musicals I’ve ever seen, with grand scale song numbers, and sensational visuals. The big stand out song for me is “The Show Must Go On”, which is obviously another big spectacle that’s beautifully shot, beautifully edited, and sung wonderfully, but there’s just enough substance at the center of this song that thrills me. At this moment in the musical, the female lead is forced to make a very difficult decision that will hurt someone she loves, but it needs to be done in order to prevent something even worse from happening. There’s something about the struggle of moving forward, and facing difficult situations that’s captured fairly well in this song, which is actually kind of inspiring. Also, I just love the way the music builds, and builds in song. It actually starts on a very somber note, and while it accelerates in melody, it still keeps that same tone hovering overhead. It’s powerful, it’s beautiful, it’s a big visual spectacle, and it’s personally my favorite song number I ever seen in a movie.  
  

“Closing Statement” from “To Kill A Mockingbird” (1962) 


This is one of those perfect films that’s just built on great characters, excellent weighting and several stand out moments. For me, the highlight that just gives me chills is when the character Atticus Finch delivers a big closing speech during a court case. When a colored man is on trial for crimes he didn’t commit, a racially in-sensitive town demands his head. However, the soft spoken Atticus Finch (who’s played brilliantly by Gregory Peck) comes to his defense and delivers one heck of an elegant speech to the court revolving around race, prejudice and the very definition of justice. While this isn’t exactly a “motivational” speech and more like a plea for innocence, this monologue is still very inspiring, powerful, and I always think of it as the definitive mic drop of speeches. It’s a moment where I felt the weight and power of every word spoken. It was well acted, well paced and will make you stand up in his support.


“Battling their Fate/ Darth Vader see’s the Light” from “Star Wars 6: Return of the Jedi” (1983) 


For me, this is the moment that just elevated “Star Wars” into one of my favorite franchises and “Return of the Jedi” as my favorite in the whole series. It’s this final three way confrontation between Luke Skywalker, The Emperor and Darth Vader that just hits all the right notes. It goes much deeper than a hero defeating a typical villain, this is Luke Skywalker battling his fate and concurring his own demons while also trying to save his father from himself. There’s also lots of visual symbolism that just adds to the quality of the scene. I love that image of Luke when he’s hiding, and half of his face is in shadows, while the other half is in the light, illustrating how he’s at the cross roads of destiny and needs to determine which path to take. The final light saber dual is very subtle and easily the best of the series because it trades over the top fighting choreography for a more human approach. There’s a hauntingly somber musical score that brings this conflict to life on a grand scale. Then the final scene in which Darth Vader sacrifices himself to save his son is one of my favorite moments in motion picture history. With zero dialog and no facial expressions you can just feel the turmoil going on in this character as he makes his choice to willingly give his life in order to save his son, and it just ends this series on such a perfect high note.


“A Vision of Hope” from “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014)


This is yet another scene from an action packed comic book movie, but it feels like something that belongs in a bigger Oscar winning picture. Now “X-Men Days of Future Past” is one of those summer blockbusters that’s full of big action spectacles, a crazy plot involving time travel, alternate realities and is mostly built on entertainment. However, there’s one select moment that instantly stood out to me as one of the most powerful and beautiful things I’ve experienced in a super hero film. Just when our hero’s lose everything and our lead hero Professor X feels the weight and pain of the whole world on his shoulder, he’s granted a vision from his older self who begins to council him. This scene is just beautifully shot, and the performances from both actors are fantastic. Best of all is seeing this older man guide his younger self, and teach him why it’s important to bare pain, and how to grow in great strength through the most human of powers, which is none other than hope. Searching for hope during the darkest of times is a message that’s always stood out to me, and it’s captured beautifully in this moment. While the movie as a whole is a typical summer action romp done very well, I think this little scene alone is deserving of its own Oscar.  


“Evening Flight” from “How to Train Your Dragon” (2010) 


Only a year after “Avatar” hit theaters, I never thought another movie could provide a flight scene as spectacular as the one in that film, but then “How to Train Your Dragon” came out and completely knocked “Avatar” out of the park. This is an animated fantasy movie that revolves around a boy who’s teaching a pet dragon obedience, as well as learning how to fly him. Mid way through the film, we come to a scene when the boy masters his flying and shares it with another close friend. This is one of those cases where it’s all about the experience, and being submersed in a lot of atmosphere and visual beauty. When these characters go flying through the sky or through a cannon, you feel like your right there on the back of that dragon. The 3D flying sequences in this film are true spectacles, and the scenes themselves are just beautiful to look at. Not only is the cinematography breathtaking but the lighting is especially good, ranging from warm sun sets to cool nights full of glittering stars. Best of all, this is a moment where our two main human characters really connect to a monstrous animal that all the other characters have been terrified off. With such a warm connection made between the characters, it makes this flight feel all the more powerful, rather than just an impressive looking spectacle. “How to Train Your Dragon” is obviously one of my favorite movies of all time with lots of credible things to offer, and this flight scene alone might just be my favorite moment from any animated movie I’ve ever seen.  


“Discovering the Value of Human Life” from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) 


One of the stand out emotional moments for any film is when the hero makes a noble sacrifice by either giving up something personal or their own lives from something of great importance. There are lots of memorable ones, but the one that always sticks with me is the ending from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” when Arnold Schwarzenegger’s terminator gives his life for the good of man kind’s future. In the beginning, the T-800 had only one mission in life, and that was to mercilessly assassinate anyone that was a threat to his future. Then in this land mark sequel, he not only becomes a hero, he also goes on a journey observing the human condition and discovers the value of life. His sacrifice at the end is a very human decision, and not a part of his programming. Plus, his good bye to his comrades is just perfect, it’s not overly poetic or syrupy, all it needs is that one moments when the terminator looks at his closest human friend and quietly says “I know now why you cry ... and is something that I cannot do”. The music is subtle, yet effective, the closing line carries lots of substance without being preachy, and it just leaves me with chills. When the credits start rolling, I’m always left in a little trance, like ... wow, what a powerful little ending to a great movie. 
    

“Merry Christmas George Bailey” from “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) 


Okay, who doesn’t watch this movie every year during the holiday season? Even though this is a movie that has very little to do with the holiday, it’s the message about the beauty of life that’s just so powerful and keeps bringing us back every year. This is the story of one man’s life and how it affects the life of others, which is already just as heartwarming, as it is influential and thought provoking. However, the moment that always sticks with me is the ending, when our hero accepts his life and all the beauty that comes with it. I think the best part of this ending that just ties it all together is when Georges brother gives him a toast and claims that he’s “The Luckiest Guy on Earth”. This statement is aimed at a man who never went on to fame, fortune and just had a quiet life with a terrific family. It further highlights how beautiful the little things are which everyone else takes for granted. It’s a moment that I try to capture so often in real life, to be surrounded by family, loved ones and to just take that second to respect how precious the gift of life really is.


“The Under Dog Rises” from “Rocky” (1976) 


This classic sports drama is the story of a small time Boxer who takes a shot at the heavy weight title. It’s a very simple story, even predictable, but it’s done so well, and is chalk full of terrific moments. The overall theme of the movie is rising up to the challenge, and building yourself up to accomplish the impossible. The moment that just sums that up in one unforgettable image is during the training montage when Rocky runs up the stairs of the Philadelphia art museum, turns to a rising sun and raises his hands up in triumph. Obviously it’s symbolic of his status, going from the top to the bottom, and every day you can see people in Philadelphia running up those same steps and raising their arms up in the air just to capture that same triumphant feeling that Rocky demonstrated to us. It’s one of those select moments that always springs into my subconscious whenever I accomplish something that seemed impossible. The song “Gonna Fly Now” is the perfect musical fit to go along with this moment, which could have easily been my favorite movie scene, had it not been for the next one.  

  
Before I reveal my #1 favorite, here are some Honorable Mentions –
·        
“Together again in Death” from “Titanic” (1997)
·         “What we Leave Behind” from “Star Trek Generations” (1994)
·         “Last Cry for Freedom” from “Braveheart” (1995)
·         “The Story of Her Life” from “When Marnie Was There” (2015)
·         “There’s No Place Like Home” from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
·         “Perseus finds His Destiny” from “Clash of the Titans” (1981) 




“Taking a Leap of Faith” from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989) 



The Indiana Jones movies have always been about big action spectacles and no shortage of high stake adventure. However, at the close of the trilogy, we are given one select moment that’s so simple, yet so profound that it’s always stood out to me as arguably my all time favorite movie moment. While Indian’s father is dying after getting shot by a villain, our hero ventures through the dangerous catacombs to find the Holy Grail which will save his father. As he approaches his destination, he finds himself at the edge of a bottomless cannon with no visible way of getting across. With time running short, Indiana makes a daring leap of faith, and through his actions finds an invisible bridge that takes him safely to the other side. Not only is this scene beautifully shot and acted, but it’s always stood out to me as something with moral subtext. First off all, I think a lot of people can relate to this on either a spiritual or personal level. We’ve all had those moments in life when we encounter these invisible roads where we don’t know what direction we should take. It’s at moments like this when we just need to take one big brave step forward, and solely based on our collected faith that in the end ... we’ll arrive at that destination which first seemed impossible to reach. It’s a scene that’s inspired me, challenged me, and it’s always been my favorite select movie moment.




               The End

Monday, December 21, 2015

Rise of the Guardians (2012, Movie Review)


       Back when I was a child, I remember watching a little Christmas special called “Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July”, which brought together several iconic holiday characters in one film. This included Santa Clause, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Jack Frost all coming together in one big holiday outing. Needless to say, it wasn’t a very good film, but that didn’t stop me from watching it several times as a kid. It was just that novelty of having so many classic holiday characters in one film that brought me back. In 2012, DreamWorks animation released an animated holiday adventure titled “Rise of the Guardians”, which had a similar set-up bringing together several iconic holiday characters in one film. I remember seeing the trailers and thinking the movie wouldn’t be that good, but it wouldn’t stop us from seeing it just for the novelty of seeing all these characters together in one big holiday adventure. However, after seeing the film, it seems that there might be just a little more to it than expected.   



       To be honest, the story is only so-so good, but in this average story are the cornels of some good material, a great cast of characters and no shortage of entertainment. Here’s the set-up, the evil Boogie Man nicknamed Pitch is endangering the children of the world by filling their minds with nightmares, doubts and when every child’s imaginative spark twinkles out, it will begin a new dark age. With the children in danger, a small team a fantasy/ holiday characters including Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and The Sandman all unite to stop him by bring imagination and hope to children all over the world. Caught in the middle is Jack Frost, who’s on a journey to become a guardian and learn the secrets of his human past before he took to role of “Mr. Frost”.



        As you’d expect from that synopsis, this film plays out more like “The Avengers”, rather than a traditional Christmas movie. It doesn’t have that same magic touch of other holiday films, and while the moral at the center of the film has value, it’s admittedly old and been done, but that’s not why were watching this. The reason where here is to go on a fun adventure with a cast of worthwhile characters, and I’m happy to say that this film has a great cast. Jack Frost is our star and while he’s probably the least fun character to watch, he’s also the one with the most substance. Without going into too much detail about his back-story, I’ll say that it was tragic, but also very meaningful as it played to the characters theme of overcoming obstacles by interjecting a degree of fun and wonder into the world. It’s all good, the characters overall journey is done very well, and Chris Pine dose a serviceable job in the role. The only real down side is that his design is very under whelming, especially when compared to the other characters. Basically, it’s just a teenager in a hoodie, not much else to it. 


   
      By contrast, look at the tooth fairy ... what an awesome design! It’s probably the most unique looking variation of the tooth fairy I’ve ever seen, and the character herself is brimming with personality. This films version of the Sandman is also wonderful. He’s very cute as he can’t speak but has his own special way of communicating to his allies. Hugh Jackman supplies the voice of the Easter Bunny, and he’s awesome. The big star who steals the show is Sana Clause who’s voiced very well by Alec Baldwin. Despite being an unconventional Santa with a Russian accent, personality and sword fighting skills, he actually feels like a classy Santa, and is a tone of fun to watch. This guy is just bursting with excitement, and his upbeat energy is just contagious. I will say that his elf helpers are uninspired rip-offs of the popular minion characters from the "Despicable Me" films, but they thankfully aren't in the film long. All together, this cast makes for a great team. I love the way they work off each other, I love their distinct personalities, and the things they do together are a tone of fun. There’s a scene when they all have to help the Tooth Fairy collect teeth around the world, which becomes a fun competition between friends.



      There’s also a lot more dark and creepy imagery in this film then what you’d normally see in a Christmas film, but I honestly don’t think the movie ever went too dark or too scary. It’s at just the right level where it will excite kids, without ruining the experience. The villain Pitch is a serviceable foe but nothing that special. The design is really good, and voice actor Jude Law is terrific in the role, but that’s about it. The character himself just feels like jumble of other popular villains rolled into one. He’s not bad, and is perfectly functional, plus his encounters with our hero’s do lead to some exciting action scenes. On that note, the action is really cool. From beginning to end, the film is a wild rollercoaster ride, the pace is great and our hero’s have a nice variety of fighting styles. I’ll admit, it’s odd to see such beloved holiday characters like Santa and the Easter Bunny with weapons, but it somehow works in this film. The characters still keep their holiday status in check , and they have just enough subtle moments when there not fighting.   



      The animation is top-notch, very detailed, very colorful, and just as the characters have unique designs, their distinct holiday worlds are also very imaginative and awesome to look at. I remember seeing “The Nightmare Before Christmas” back in 1994 and being fascinated by the different Halloween and Christmas worlds, but I also wanted to see what other holiday kingdoms might look like. “Rise of the Guardians” gives us an inside look at other holiday worlds, each with a distinct look, feel and lots of imagination. Seriously, you could watch this movie on mute and be perfectly satisfied. Unfortunately the message of the film isn’t quite as strong. Basically, the moral revolves around believing in the things that can't be seen or explained, which not only has been done, but done more effectively in other holiday films “Miracle on 34th Street”, and “The Polar Express”. Then again, the movie is first and for most about entertainment, so the message is mostly an ad-on, and it still works just fine.   


                  
      So ... is “Rise of the Guardians” something I’d watch every holiday season? Probably not, but then again, I have watched it a couple times, and it’s still an entertaining experience. It’s fast paced, it looks amazing, and more than anything, the films iconic holiday characters are all very charismatic and a real joy to watch. It doesn’t quiet reach the heights of other Christmas classics that I watch every year, and while this film is very different by comparison, it’s a worthwhile experience, and a fun offset to what we normally see around this time of year. Personally, I think it’s one of the better films to come from the DreamWorks company, and a great example of just how imaginative and exciting there films can get.


                                           I give “Rise of the Guardians” 3 ½ stars out of 5.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My Top 10 Least Favorite Christmas specials


    In the past I’ve listed my favorite Christmas specials of all time, but there’s a Ying to every Yang, so why not look at some of the Christmas specials that I personally can’t stand. Now I’m not saying this is a list of the absolute worst Christmas specials of all time, I can’t do that properly sense I’ve never seen “Santa Clause Conquers the Martians”, or “The Nutcracker 3D”, and I’m sure there are a lot of other really bad ones out there that I just haven’t seen. I’ve never even watched a Christmas horror movie once in my life (nor do I want to), so don’t expect “Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2” to be on this countdown. I’m not even saying that everyone should hate these specials that I’ve selected, not at all, these are just the ones that I personally can’t stand. Some of the select specials on my list are commonly enjoyed, even loved by many viewers, and anyone is in their right to like them. These are just the ones that I do my best to avoid during the holiday season, the ones that I just can’t stomach, and here they are, my personal top 10 least favorite Christmas specials I’ve ever seen.


#10 The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) 



       Kicking of my list of the worst Christmas specials I’ve personally ever seen is that classic entry in the “Star Wars” cannon that even Gorge Lucas is ashamed of. This special got such a pore reception after it aired back in 1978 that it’s never once re-aired on TV, and never even got a home video release of any form, it’s that bad. With a premise that revolves around Chewbacca’s loud, irritating and incredibly boring Wookiee family (who by the way never speak English or even have sub-titles provided), it makes this one of the dullest and hardest things to sit through. Throw in the fact that neither Christmas nor the films made up holiday are barley even focused on, which makes the whole project feel all the more pointless. There’s also no clear direction for this special as it jumps from one random thing like a Jefferson Starship music video to some painfully bad comedy with the late great Harvey Korman. To be fair, there are still some note-worthy highlights including a reunion of the original “Star Wars” cast, and the introduction to the fan favorite Bounty Hunter Boba Fett ... who is awesome by the way. Obviously, that’s still not enough to save this mess of a Christmas special, which already has nothing to do with the holiday season itself.       



#9 Pokémon: Holiday Hi-Jynx (1998) 



    Yeah, even Pokémon had a Christmas special, one so bad that it was actually banned from being aired on TV. Okay let me explain, it was actually banned do to the controversy surrounding the questionable design of one of the main creatures featured in the episode. That unfortunately didn’t stop this episode from being released on home video with a collection of winter themed episodes. Even without the controversy, this is just a plain silly episode, and yes, Pokémon is already a silly (if somewhat passable) children’s program. However, this one turned me off even when I was a little kid, and in the height of my child hood Pokémon craze. What can you expect from an episode revolving around the shows silly villains invading the North Pole to kidnap Santa and steel every child’s Christmas present. There’s also a sub-plot about how Santa Claus already can’t deliver the toys on Christmas night because he’s missing one of his boots ... which is pretty pathetic. No message, no holiday magic, it’s a just a dumb episode that’s packed with all the announces that honestly ... were already present in the show.   

   

#8 Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (2000) 



        The semi-popular Christmas song by Elmo Shropshire always seemed to fall into that category of “so bad, it’s great”, at least for me. The cartoon movie based on that song fell into that category of “so bad, it’s bad”, like really bad. I remember when this special first premiered on TV, and I was actually very excited to see it. What I got was one of the most boring, lifeless, and lazy holiday specials I’ve ever seen. They don’t even try to make this a funny tie in with the song, and the whole thing just feels like its on auto pilot. From the dull animation, to the uninspired characters, to the less then stealer script, to the annoyingly spontaneous song numbers ... there’s simply nothing worthwhile about this film. You know you’re watching a quality Christmas movie when it dedicates an entire three minuet song number to “fruit cake”.  


#7 Fred Claus (2007) 

      There’s admittedly a lot of talented people involved in this project, especially from Paul Giamatti who’s actually very respectable in the role of Santa Clause. Unfortunately, all their talents are wasted on this un-funny, contrived, downbeat, and shockingly over sentimental Christmas film. A story revolving around Santa’s human brother may have had some potential, but the film itself just comes off like an unfocused cluster of bad slapstick comedy mixed with syrupy melodrama.      



#6 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: We Wish you a Turtle Christmas (1994) 



       It’s bad enough that the Power Rangers had direct to video Christmas specials, and yes they were awful too, but they at least had the right look and music. This live action direct to video Ninja Turtle Christmas outing somehow sunk even lower, and despite only being 20 minutes long, it feels like hours have been wasted while viewing it. The special is in the style of a musical, and it’s chalk full of terrible songs, annoying puns, stupid jokes, scary animatronics that look like there falling apart, and if you have any nostalgia the Ninja Turtles at all, be sure to skip this one entirely, and just stick with the first live action movie from 1990.     



#5 Scrooged (1988) 

       I know a lot of people like this film, and consider it a funny dark comedy with the always talented Bill Murray, but don’t count me among those people. For those of you not familiar with this film, it’s basically the strait forward story of “A Christmas Carol”, except its set in modern times, and with a nasty business man who already knows the story of Scrooge. Yeah ... it’s kind of hard to get invested in a character who already knows both the story, and what the life changing message is at the end. I also wasn’t too pleased with the films darkly comedic overtone, and boy can this film get annoying, especially in regards to the ghost of Christmas Presence. Personally, I’d recommend skipping this film and instead just stick to any one of the other excellent film adaption’s of the Charles Dickens classic.  



#4 A Christmas Story 2 (2012) 



     An uninspired direct to video sequel to one of the greatest Christmas movies ever made, what’s not to hate? Seriously, “A Christmas Story” is my favorite holiday movie of all time and watch every year. This sequel on the other hand (which no one even asked for) is better skipped and forgotten. Aside from shamefully recreating every joke from the original, making this a G rated teen comedy that’s noticeably laugh free, and lacking all the magic and charm of its predecessor ... no that’s enough reason to call this one of the most shameful Christmas movies ever made.   



#3 Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) 



    This special was part of the British comedy series called “Blackadder”. Now if someone is already a fan of this show, and enjoy dark comedy, chances are you’ll love this holiday special. Personally, I’m not of fan of the series, and this particular Christmas special just left a really bad taste in my mouth. Once again it’s a parody of “A Christmas Carol”, and to be fair the set up is a great idea ... at least on paper. Watching the darn thing is another story. This special is the story of Scrooge told in reverse, this time it’s the nicest guy in England who upon getting visited by the ghost of Christmas suddenly becomes the world’s biggest jerk that loves making people miserable. It’s cynical, it’s cruel, and most of all boring and down beat. It’s mostly a long clip show of scenes from other episodes, and like I said, if you’re already a fan of this series, and love its style of dark British comedy, you’ll probably get your times worth out of this. I for one would be much happier if I’d never even heard of it.   



#2 Bad Santa (2003) 



      Oh ... ear poisoning, that’s the best way to describe this film, it’s just ear poisoning, brain rotting, and relentlessly cynical garbage that has absolutely nothing of value and waists the beautiful gift of life to all who see it. And Yes, I know that’s the whole joke of the film, to be as offensive, rude, distasteful, and fowl mouthed as it could get, just to contrast with its holiday setting. I know there are a lot of people who find this films overly cynical nature and dark approach to be really funny, but it’s certainly not for me. I don’t think it’s funny, I can’t stand the characters, or the sexually offensive remarks, or the lack of Christmas spirit, or the ... well, I don’t need to list everything. If your one of the many Grinch’s that enjoy this film, you can have it ... just keep it away from me.    
   


Before I reveal my #1 least favorite, here are some Dishonorable Mentions ...

Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Night of the Living T-Shirt

The Christmas Tree” (1991) 

Jingle all the Way” (1996) 

The Nutcracker (1993)”

Shrek the Halls






#1 South Park‍ '​s "Woodland Critter Christmas" (2004) 



    Much like “Blackadder”, this is a special from a dark comedy series, and if your already a fan of its dark and controversial style of comedy, you’ll probably adore how morbid and off beat their holiday specials can get. I’m well aware that South Park is a beloved comedy series, and this particular episode is a big fan favorite. In fact, I’ve heard many people, even close friends of mine regarded it as one of the greatest Christmas specials they’ve ever seen. For me personally, when I think of a Christmas special that I hated with a passion, and stood out as one of the most unpleasant things I’ve ever viewed, I immediately think of South Park‍ '​s "Woodland Critter Christmas". Just like with “Bad Santa”, I understand that the whole joke is just how off beat and dark it can get in contrast to what we normally see in a Christmas special, and once again, it’s just not for me. However, this is much worse, and personally I think it just goes way too far with how sick, negative, insulting and unpleasant it’s comedy gets. There’s one particular joke revolving around abortion that really pushed my hot button. Things only get more distasteful from there as the special highlights the devil, orgy, cult sacrifices, mother killings, Satanism, and a violent gun wilding Santa. Like I said, I’m not a fan of South Park, or its comedy, but it’s not fare for me to call this the worst holiday special of all time, especially sense I already despise the show, and I know it has a large fan base. I can only speak for myself when I say that South Park‍ '​s "Woodland Critter Christmas" is the worst Christmas special that I personally have ever seen.    

           The End