Winter begins this weekend and Christmas is now less than a week away!
I hope you and yours have a very merry holiday — whatever you celebrate this time of the year.
If you’re not caught up on “The Following” or “The Walking Dead”, this blog DOES, I repeat, DOES contain spoilers.
“RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE”
If you’re tired of the holiday classics this season and the Lifetime movies just don’t do it for you, check out this Finnish Christmas movie that was my fifth favorite movie in 2011.
This horror/fantasy/thriller will have you looking at Santa is a whole different light! Now, when I say “horror”, I don’t mean silly slasher movie.
Sadly, “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” was only released in 21 American theaters and it made a whopping $236-thousand domestically! However, its foreign box office pushed it up to $4 million.
Sony has scrapped its release of the $44 million budgeted, James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy, “The Interview” after cyber threats to moviegoers.
I have to say that I’m disappointed in this decision and I hope that the movie is quickly released to DVD or VOD (video on demand). Yet, Sony adds that it has “no further release plans” for the movie at this time.
It seems that I’m not alone in the scary precedent Sony is setting regarding internet threats.
Actress Mia Farrow tweeted, “Sony is a disgrace. Sickening.” And, here are some others:
In the movie, Rogen and Franco’s characters are asked by the United States government to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Here is the “red band trailer” that just cracks me up.
In case you’re not familiar with “red band trailer”, it means that it’s NOT SUITABLE FOR KIDS and NSFW! As with any truly “R-rated” video on YouTube, you might not be able to view this video without verification that you are 18 years old!!!
Again, this trailer is truly adult in nature and may be too abrasive to some.
I loved the duo’s last big screen collaboration, “This Is The End”, which was my fifth favorite movie of last year.
I just wonder if they had made the North Korean leader a fictional character if things would have gone down differently?
JEB BUSH IS CLOSER TO BEING THE FIRST!
While it’s not official just yet, in my “Random Friday Thoughts” on November 7, 2014, I predicted that Jeb Bush would be the first candidate to declare his run for the 2016 presidency.
Earlier this week, he said he will “actively explore” a run for the Republican nomination for President.
I’m sticking to my forecast that the 2016 presidential election will come down to former first lady and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the former Florida Governor Bush.
And, just like the 1992 election, I think that Hillary will be back in the White House. Only this time, she’ll be the President of the United States and former President Bill Clinton will become the country’s “First Gentleman”!
“THE FOLLOWING” RETURNS
The third season of the psychological thriller, “The Following”, returns to Fox on March 2, 2015.
Sadly, my favorite character, Emma, won’t be returning since she was killed off toward the end of the second season!
It’ll be interesting to see how unstable Luke (Sam Underwood) will handle and avenge the death of his twin brother, Mark, and his mother, Lily.
And, who was in the truck that picked him up as the season ended?
NEW REBA MUSIC COMING VERY SOON!
In just a little over two weeks, Reba McEntire will be making her return to country radio.
On January 6, 2015, her new song, “Going Out Like That”, an “upbeat”, sassy song is being released.
It’s the first single from her upcoming 2015 album.
Reba’s last album, “All The Women I Am”, was released more than four years ago and it was my third favorite album of 2010.
It featured her last #1 hit on country radio, “Turn Up The Radio”.
“THE WALKING DEAD” SPINOFF
While I await the return for the second half of season five of “The Walking Dead” and see how the group handles Beth’s death at the end of the shocking mid-season finale, more details are surfacing about the spinoff to the hit AMC series.
Forget the east coast and Atlanta, the new pilot will take place in Los Angeles.
Can you just imagine “walkers” taking over Sunset Boulevard, the Malibu beaches, the deserts, and the Hollywood Hills?
ANY “LOVE ACTUALLY” FANS THAT WATCH “THE WALKING DEAD”?
This weekend, I plan on watching “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” and “Love Actually” again just in time for the holidays.
If “Love Actually” is one of your Christmas favorites and you love “The Walking Dead”, you might find this parody entertaining.
If you recall, a much younger Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes in “The Walking Dead”) played Mark in “Love Actually”.
Now, while Lincoln is beautiful and flawless, sexy Charlie Farrell in the parody could definitely pass a double!
I just bought Renee Fleming’s “Christmas in New York” album and it’s quite delightful and very charming.
For those of you that may not know her, Renee is world-renowed American opera singer, a soprano.
Beginning on New Year’s Eve, Renee will appear with Kelli O’Hara at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in a revival of the operetta, “The Merry Widow”, which was first performed in 1905. Renee performed this role in 2010 in Germany.
NEW YORK CITY
Christmas is a magical time for many reasons and one place I’d love to visit around Christmastime is New York City. In my fifty years, I’ve never visited the “Big Apple”.
If I was there now or over the next few weeks, I’d love to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, check out my first opera with Renee Fleming at the Metropolitan Opera, get lost in the Christmas spirit with the iconic Mariah Carey’s holiday show at the Beacon Theater, and be blown away by Michael C. Hall (“Dexter” and “Six Feet Under”) on Broadway in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”.
In the absence of my favorite new network show this season, “How To Get Away With Murder”, which returns to ABC on January 29, 2015, I’ve had a chance to catch up on two other great shows on CBS.
Tea Leoni, who is nominated for a People’s Choice Award for her role as Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, is incredible. And, Tim Daly, who plays her husband, is incredibly handsome in his late-50s.
The show is very intelligent and thought-provoking. It also makes me miss my favorite real life Secretary of States, Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright.
The show is doing rather well in the ratings and should easily be renewed.
Other than the awesome Leoni, my other two favorite characters are Nadine Tolliver (Bebe Neuwirth), Elizabeth’s Chief of Staff, and Blake Moran (Erich Bergen), Elizabeth’s quirky and sexy personal assistant.
However, the other new show I’m enjoying, is not looking too promising for getting a second season if you trust the website, zap2it.
“Stalker” is a very creepy and sadistic thriller starring Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott.
Other than Maggie Q’s Lieutenant Beth Davis character, my other favorite is Janice (Mariana Klaveno), who’s on Beth’s Threat Assessment Unit team. Klaveno also played Lorena, Bill’s maker on the hit HBO series, “True Blood”.
Sadly, there is no return date scheduled for the most under appreciated, least watched, best written and acted series, “Hannibal”, on NBC.
Come on, schedule the return! There was so much blood shed in the season two finale with four main characters lying there dying! Who will survive?
Obviously, Hannibal and Dr. Bedelia du Maurier as they jetted off to Italy!
“AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW”
I have to say that the fourth season of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” has been my least favorite season, so far. (We have “Coven”, season three, but haven’t gotten around to watching it.)
I’m not alone since the ratings this season have dropped almost 50% since the October 8th premiere.
However, I’m not giving up on it because two of the last episodes, “Blood Bath” and “Tupperware Party Massacre”, were very entertaining and intense.
While the mid-season finale focusing on Pepper and showing us a connection between the seasons was touching, my favorite character was missing — psychotic man-boy Dandy Mott.
Actor Finn Wittrock is incredible and mesmerizing. And, it doesn’t hurt that in recent episodes we were treated to several full posterior naked shots of him and others in his tighty whities!
Okay, Dandy does have a thing for blood!
While “The Interview” has been pulled from theater release on Christmas Day, there are still a couple of movies that I want to see during the holiday season.
One is the Angelina Jolie-directed true story, “Unbroken”.
“THE IMITATION GAME”
And, the other is another true life story also centering around World War 2, “The Imitation Game”, with Oscar-buzz front-runner Benedict Cumberbatch.
THAT’S IT FOR NOW…
for my “Random Friday Thoughts”.
Up next, my favorite (and least favorites) movies and songs of 2014 and my favorite albums of 2014.
I want to leave you with a beautiful version of “Blue Christmas” from my idol, Reba McEntire, with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli from his 2009 album, “My Christmas”, which was the top-selling holiday album of that year.
Have a great weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts. Let me know what you agree or disagree with or what your random thoughts are.