British company John Lewis & Partners is proving that sometimes Christmas cheer can come with a healthy dose of happy tears. The retailer selected Elton John to star in its new holiday commercial, and when you give it a watch, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.
The commercial begins with a modern-day John sitting at a piano. As he plays, the audience is taken through a series of flashbacks highlighting major moments in his career — from playing in bars to performing in huge venues. And, of course, there’s the moment when he was given his very first piano as a Christmas gift.
See it all unfold in this video from the John Lewis & Partners YouTube channel. Oh, and keep the tissues handy:
The advertisement comes full circle when you realize the piano John was gifted as a boy is the same one he’s playing at the very beginning of the commercial. It’s a tear-jerker, for sure, and it does an excellent job of driving home the main point: Some gifts are more than just a gift.
In case you were wondering, the famous musician himself was touched by the commercial’s portrayal of his life, too.
“It was incredibly moving to see such treasured memories reimagined on the screen. No matter what happens in your life, those moments from your childhood mold you, and stay with you forever,” John said in a statement on the John Lewis & Partners website.
This isn’t the first time John Lewis & Partners has absolutely nailed it with a commercial, either. Remember the “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover that was circling the internet a few months ago? Yep, that was done by this company, too.
To jog your memory, here’s the John Lewis & Partners rendition of Queen’s hit song from YouTube:
In this ad, the goal was to prove that collaborating as a group can often lead to “something magical.”
“We wanted to show that really interesting things can happen when people feel part of something and they work together to create something magical,” Paul Knott, the creative director for communications agency adam&eveDDB said of the project in a behind-the-scenes interview.
Thoughtful videos like these remind you that the season is all about coming together to create some magical memories.
Fans of the 1997 blockbuster film “Titanic” consider the ill-fated relationship between Jack and Rose one of the all-time best on-screen romances. One man even went so far as to let the film inspire his surprise proposal to his girlfriend, and it turned out beautifully.
When Jeremy Brown asked the love of his life, Mori Madrid, to marry him, he had her wear a maroon gown similar to the one Kate Winslet, who plays Rose, wore in the movie. He wore a replica of Leonardo DiCaprio’s (Jack’s) tuxedo from the movie. Brown then blindfolded Madrid and brought her to the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
At the bottom of the grand staircase, an exact replica of the ship’s original staircase, Brown got down on one knee and asked Madrid to marry him while “My Heart Will Go On,” the film’s hit theme song by Celine Dion, played in the background.
Watch the whole romantic scene play out in the video below, posted to the museum’s Facebook page:
The video now has more than 1.6 million views. While she’s still wearing a blindfold, Madrid is visibly nervous as Christina Collins, the museum’s event and wedding planner, guides her. She says she has no idea what to expect. When Collins removes the blindfold and hands Madrid a note, she opens it and reads it aloud: “Meet me at the clock. Make it count,” which is a line from the movie.
After she accepts his proposal, they share a kiss as the museum’s staff cheers and claps. In addition to an engagement ring, Brown also gives his new fiance a replica of the Heart of the Ocean necklace Rose wears in the movie.
“Titanic” is one of the Houston couple’s favorite movies, so Brown knew his surprise would resonate with Madrid. He told her they were on their way to a ball, so Madrid did not know he was about to ask her to marry him.
“It was almost like being in the movie yourself,” Madrid told Fox 17 of the elaborate proposal. “It was just amazing. It just made me feel like the movie. It was so beautiful and unique, this was so above!”
Although the museum has hosted proposals before, the one Brown staged is one for the books.
“We do normal proposals, but those are just, as you tour the museum, you get to the grand staircase and as they are walking up, they propose,” Collins told Yahoo Lifestyle. “But Jeremy wanted to make it an event.”
We’d say he nailed it! Congratulations to the happy couple!
The evolution of the Super Bowl halftime show would truly stun most people.
For about the first 25 years the big game was played, the halftime performance was a silly, inconsequential show typically performed by marching bands and dance groups with cheesy themes like “A Salute to the Big Band Era.” Then, in the early 1990s, the shows became something that some fans looked forward to more than the football game itself.
But not all Super Bowl halftime shows have been created equally. We’ve ranked the 30 most recent performances from worst to best. Take a look to find out where your favorite halftime show stands among the rest.
Winter Magic — Super Bowl XXVI (1992)
This painfully ’90s show features the most lackluster singing and dancing of any Super Bowl in the past 30 years. It’s all so cheesy and the costumes look like something a high school show choir would wear. The rap song inspired by Frosty the Snowman, called “Frosty,” may be the low point in halftime history.
The show eventually becomes a tribute to the 1992 Winter Olympics, featuring Dorothy Hamill and Brian Boitano figure skating on giant ice-covered snowflakes, as well as a pointless cameo appearance from members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. The show closes with a lip-synched performance by Gloria Estefan — you know, a singer who is most identified with the winter wonderland that is Miami.
New Kids On The Block — Super Bowl XXV (1991)
There’s almost too much to explain with this wacky performance. Sponsored by Walt Disney World, this halftime extravaganza was billed as the first “all-kids Super Bowl halftime show.” It starts uncomfortably with a chorus of little girls in cheerleading outfits and Minnie Mouse singing, “You’ve gotta be a football hero to get along with the beautiful girls.” Not exactly advancing gender equality.
At some point, the show switches to a tribute to the troops when a blond-haired angel of a boy in a little football uniform takes center stage to sing “Wind Beneath My Wings” while footage of American soldiers in the Gulf War is shown. Oh, and did I mention President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush also make a videotaped appearance? Eventually, New Kids On the Block close out this manic halftime show with a couple of their hits.
The Black Eyed Peas — Super Bowl XLV (2011)
The Super Bowl’s return to current artists after years of classic rockers was, unfortunately, a terrible show. The Black Eyed Peas sounded dreadful from start to finish and Fergie’s take on “Sweet Child O’ Mine” with Slash on guitar made you wish someone had called Axl Rose.
Usher’s dance moves during his guest spot stole the show and make you wonder why he’s never done the show on his own. The best part of this entire lame performance were the green, light-up outfits worn by the people dancing around the stage.
Patti Labelle & Tony Bennett — Super Bowl XXIX (1995)
Where to start with this one? Disney took over producing duties for 1995 and turned the halftime show into an advertisement for its new Indiana Jones attraction at Disneyland. The show is a tribute to the iconic character and even featured a mini “plot” where cheesy versions of Indy and Marion Ravenwood have to steal the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Along the way, Patti Labelle and Tony Bennett perform, leading to a closing sing-along number of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from Disney’s “The Lion King.” The whole thing is a terribly cheesy hype-machine for Disney. The only reason it’s not lower is because Labelle slays it with her vocals at the end — even if they were pre-recorded.
Justin Timberlake — Super Bowl LII (2018)
The third time Justin Timberlake has been involved in a Super Bowl halftime show was also the weakest by far. Following Lady Gaga is no enviable task, and this low-energy set didn’t live up to the challenge.
He played the hits and did a good job getting the crowd involved but it all just felt underwhelming and like Timberlake was trying way too hard. His inclusion of footage from Prince’s legendary halftime performance drew mixed reviews, especially in The Purple One’s home state of Minnesota.
Salute To New Orleans And ‘Peanuts’ — Super Bowl XXIV (1990)
This bizarre mashup of themes simultaneously honored both New Orleans and the 40th anniversary of Charlie Brown. An animated Woodstock randomly appears several times dancing over the live action, which mostly consists of a chorus of people singing and dancing to traditional NOLA tunes.
“Mr. New Orleans” Pete Fountain closes things down by playing “When the Saints Go Marching In” on clarinet while standing atop a massive riverboat that spans about 35 yards. All the while, terrifying “Peanuts” character costumes dance around the field.
Madonna — Super Bowl XLVI (2012)
Madonna’s long-overdue halftime performance proved that she could handle that stage alone — even though some lame guests were called in to help. Sure, her dance moves looked a little slow and she was obviously lip-synching, but the hits were still awesome and the performance was visually impressive.
Guest spots from M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj gave it an air of women’s empowerment, but seeing LMFAO and Cee Lo Green sharing in Madonna’s big moment is just laughable today. Her performance of “Like a Prayer,” backed by a stadium full of cell phone lights, was a strong finale.
Disney Millennium Celebration — Super Bowl XXXIV (2000)
Disney once again used ABC’s Super Bowl year to promote its intellectual property and theme parks. This time, performers included Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Toni Braxton and Enrique Iglesias, making for a better show than their other halftime ads.
This show features many references to the new millennium, reminding anyone who was around back then how much time and energy we spent thinking about that before 9/11. The vocal performances here are all very strong even though the singers don’t do any dancing themselves. This one was all very serious and inspirational.
Motown Salute — Super Bowl XXXII (1998)
Arguably the greatest collection of musical icons to ever appear in a single Super Bowl halftime show happened with 1998’s Motown 40th anniversary celebration. The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, Boyz II Men and Martha Reeves each got time to do some Motown hits.
The production values were very basic and the fact that the game was played on the West Coast meant the performance was held in broad daylight, which always takes away from the mood. Sadly, Motown aside, there just isn’t much that was truly memorable about this one.
Diana Ross — Super Bowl XXX (1996)
For the Super Bowl’s 30th anniversary, the halftime show was given to someone who hadn’t had a Top 10 hit in 12 years. With that said, Diana Ross is a legendary performer for a reason and the medley of hits she did would make any Motown fan crank up the TV.
Ross looked great, seemed to be having a good time and ripped through 10 stone-cold classics while also making a few wardrobe changes. But the best part of the performance comes at the end, when a helicopter swoops in, lands at midfield and Ross jumps in and flies out of the stadium to end her performance!
The Blues Brothers — Super Bowl XXXI (1997)
If The Blues Brothers had done halftime at the Super Bowl in 1980, it could have probably topped this list, but the “Blues Brothers 2000” lineup just didn’t have the same might. Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman don’t do much but Jim Belushi gave it his best, even if he had no clue how to sell lip-synching.
Paul Schaffer, James Brown and ZZ Top eventually join the performance, which culminates with everyone singing “Gimme Some Lovin’” while scantily clad women dance and bikers cruise around the stage on Harleys! The whole thing probably would’ve been better if they’d just let ZZ Top rip it up for 12 minutes.
Stevie Wonder & Gloria Estefan — Super Bowl XXXIII (1999)
Tons of energy in this one. This show was billed as a celebration of soul, salsa and swing, which are three styles of music way too rich and distinctive to jam into one 12-minute medley. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (remember them?) opened the show while a ton of couples did some swing dancing on the field, which was admittedly pretty cool.
From there, Stevie Wonder ripped through some of his greatest hits, making you wonder why he didn’t just do the show himself. Finally, Gloria Estefan kept the energy high and did a few of her songs before teaming with Stevie. I give this one extra credit for all the singers clearly performing their vocals live, which was virtually unheard of at the Super Bowl at this point.
No Doubt & Shania Twain — Super Bowl XXXVII (2003)
Another bizarre lineup of performers, this one also including Sting, gets knocked down for Shania Twain’s entire performance sounding pre-recorded, including the band. She only did two songs before No Doubt took over and Gwen Stefani proved why she has so many fans.
No Doubt immediately took the energy way up and they sounded great, performing while goth cheerleaders bounced around on stage with black pom poms. Finally, Sting joined them for The Police’s classic “Message in a Bottle” and most people had completely forgotten that Shania was part of the show at all.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers — Super Bowl XLII (2008)
One of the more understated halftime shows of recent history, Tom Petty’s 2008 performance pleased the crowd with four hits everyone knew by heart. Petty’s low-energy performing style was a stark contrast to Prince and The Rolling Stones, who had preceded him, but he and the Heartbreakers sounded great. If you wanted a halftime show you could sing along with while drinking your beer, this one was a dream.
Chubby Checker — Super Bowl XXII (1988)
This one is cheesy as can be but I’ll be damned if it isn’t fun. The performance was dubbed “Something Grand” and they weren’t lying. It featured 88 grand pianos on the field with pianists of all colors and ages playing boogie-woogie piano to open things up. Then, they are joined by a massive outfit of brass and woodwinds called the “Super Bowl Super Band.”
Throw in 44 leg-kicking members of The Rockettes and a crowd of big-haired women dressed as cheerleaders before Chubby Checker blows the lid off the joint in a silver sequined top at midfield singing “The Super Bowl Twist.” It’s a marvel and a halftime show that’s totally underrated.
The Rolling Stones — Super Bowl XL (2006)
In the mid-2000s wave of classic-rock halftime shows, the Stones showed why they could still sell out stadiums across the world that late into their career. Performing on a stage shaped like their iconic mouth logo, Mick Jagger pranced across the stage like it was 1966.
The band only performed three songs, opting to perform them entirely, rather than going for the medley treatment. This show rocked but the inclusion of 2005’s “Rough Justice,” and the audience’s silent reaction when Jagger announced it, hurt the replay value today.
Country Artists — Super Bowl XXVIII (1994)
The year after Michael Jackson forever changed the halftime show, the game was held in Atlanta and an all-star ’90s country jam was put together. The energy of this show is high from the start, with Clint Black and Tanya Tucker kicking things off with a pair of great songs.
Eventually, Travis Tritt and The Judds round out the show and the crowd goes wild. The fact that the game was in a dome this year helped make the performance look more like an actual concert. When it comes to country music, you either love it or hate it — and if you love it, this show was fantastic. Oddly, it’s the only time country has been the sole music offered at the halftime show.
Coldplay — Super Bowl 50 (2016)
Coldplay brought back a couple of the greatest halftime performers ever to help with their show at Super Bowl 50. This feel-good show managed to jam eight tunes and three top performers into 13 minutes, without a moment of downtime.
Coldplay did some of their most beloved tracks but were immediately upstaged by Bruno Mars and Beyoncé, who came onstage for “Uptown Funk” and “Formation,” each dressed in all-black outfits. Honestly, when Coldplay returned to the stage, the crowd had to be a little disappointed.
Paul McCartney — Super Bowl XXXIX (2005)
After the FCC went crazy over the “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004’s halftime show, classic rockers handled the next six performances. Paul McCartney was first and he did not disappoint in a show definitely aimed at older fans.
Macca and his tight touring band ripped through four fan favorites, including three Beatles numbers. The live audience was hyped the whole time, the stage looked awesome, the band sounded great and McCartney looked like he was having a blast. You can’t ask for much more from a halftime show.
Katy Perry — Super Bowl XLIX (2015)
There’s arguably never been a more visually stunning halftime performance than Katy Perry’s. She kicked it off riding a massive metal lion, performed on a state-of-the-art digital stage, wore multiple outfits and managed to throw a colorful beach party in Arizona. Perry also sounded great, kept the crowd hyped and did her greatest hits. Plus, this performance marked the return of Missy Elliott, who managed to upstage Perry on her own night! This one was a pure feast for the eyes and a ton of fun.
Michael Jackson — Super Bowl XXVII (1993)
Without question, this was the most influential halftime performance ever done. This was what turned the show into a must-see event headlined by a major star. The crowd goes nuts for every move Michael Jackson makes, especially when he launches into “Billie Jean.” The only knock against it is that Jackson’s set list is pretty weak. There’s no “Thriller,” no “Beat It” and no “Bad.” But this performance is still more electric than most others that followed it and forever changed the way the show was produced.
The Who — Super Bowl XLIV (2010)
Despite Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend being in their mid-60s when they played the Super Bowl, no halftime show has ever rocked harder. The band sounded incredible and the stage, loaded with laser-lighting and fog effects, was rock at its most overblown.
The fact that this halftime show aired on CBS and three of the songs performed were used as theme songs for the network’s various “CSI” shows may be suspect but it doesn’t take away from the power of the performance. Just try not to bang your head during “Baba O’Riley”!
Aerosmith & ‘N Sync — Super Bowl XXXV (2001)
When MTV produced the 2001 halftime show, the network came through with a star-studded, crowd-pleasing show that definitely keeps your attention from start to finish. ’N Sync opened it up and got the crowd pumped with “Bye, Bye, Bye” before Aerosmith slowed things down with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” From there, the two acts went back and forth doing then-recent hits.
The inclusion of Britney Spears, Nelly and Mary J. Blige on “Walk This Way” make this one of the most stacked shows ever done. There was nothing self-serious in this last Super Bowl halftime show of the pre-9/11 world, which is exactly how it should’ve been.
Janet Jackson & P. Diddy — Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004)
The most infamous halftime show ever performed kicked off with Jessica Simpson yelling at the crowd and finished with the nipple seen ‘round the world. Before Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” this one was actually a very good halftime show, even if almost the whole thing sounded pre-recorded.
All of Jackson’s performances were great and the inclusion of Nelly and P. Diddy marked the first — and arguably only — time hip-hop was truly incorporated into the show. Kid Rock was also pretty great, slipping a few risque lyrics past the censors and keeping the energy sky high. With or without the nudity, this was a pretty great halftime show.
Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band — Super Bowl XLIII (2009)
If any American band was born to play a halftime show, it was the E Streeters. From the start, Springsteen commands the entire global audience, telling the viewers to “step back from the guacamole dip” and “turn the television all the way up!” After that, they turned a Tampa football stadium into a New Jersey seaside bar.
The four-song set was nonstop energy and the band sounded incredible as ever. The live crowd could be heard singing along to every lyric of “Born to Run,” and the fact that E Street Band members Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici would be dead within four years makes it a lasting time capsule for fans.
Lady Gaga — Super Bowl LI (2017)
Opening with a powerhouse performance of “God Bless America” before being lowered from the top of the stadium on wires is the type of move only Lady Gaga could have pulled off. The dynamic performer then proceeded to rip through six career-spanning hits without a single guest artist joining her on stage.
She sounded amazing, she looked fantastic and she proved that she knows how to keep a crowd entertained. Gaga absolutely slayed her shot at the halftime show, proving why she’s one of the most beloved entertainers of her generation.
Bruno Mars — Super Bowl XLVIII (2014)
About the only person on Earth who could follow Beyoncé’s 2013 halftime performance was Bruno Mars. He showed his unmatched energy and started the performance playing a legit drum solo before jumping right into “Locked Out of Heaven.” The sound was booming and his whole band looked like a million bucks in matching gold jackets and black ties.
The inclusion of the Red Hot Chili Peppers sounds like a terrible idea on paper, but it actually proved to be a great collaboration. The energy was jacked up from start to finish and Mars sounded flawless. This one belongs right near the top of the list.
Prince — Super Bowl XLI (2007)
Prince’s halftime performance has taken on mythical status, and for good reason. He stood on a massive stage shaped like his infamous name symbol and absolutely owned the night, keeping the energy sky-high and shredding on his guitar. He looked like he was born to play this stage.
It could be argued he leaned too heavily on other artists’ songs, with half of the songs in his performance being covers. However, his closing performance of “Purple Rain,” in the middle of the rain that was falling on the stage, is as legendary as anything that’s ever happened at a Super Bowl — during the game or at halftime.
Beyonce — Super Bowl XLVII (2013)
From the pyro-filled intro that featured a Vince Lombardi speech playing over Beyoncé being shown on a platform in silhouette, it was clear this was going to be an epic performance. Bey’s electric dance moves, her powerhouse live vocals and her female guitarist who had sparks shooting out of her instrument were just some of the things that made this one of the all-time greats.
The energy was cranked to the hilt from the open and the reunion of Destiny’s Child made fans lose it even more. Beyoncé owned the stage better than anyone since Prince and the moment when she blows a kiss to the camera after “Crazy in Love” is one of the Super Bowl’s best moments. A combination of spectacle, surprise and pure performing muscle, you can make a strong case that Beyoncé had the greatest halftime performance ever — but we rank one a bit higher.
U2 — Super Bowl XXXVI (2002)
Halftime simply never got better than this. For the first Super Bowl halftime performance after 9/11, U2 was chosen and it turned out to be a perfect call. The atmosphere and direction of the performance looks more like an actual concert than a halftime show and the band elected to do just three songs, each loaded with passion: “Beautiful Day,” “MLK” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.”
During the performance, a massive screen behind the band showed the names of everyone who had died in the attacks, making for arguably the most touching moment in Super Bowl history. If you don’t get chills during the intro to “Where the Streets Have No Name,” you might want to check your pulse. This was an incredible tribute and a powerhouse performance when we all needed it most. There’s never been a better halftime performance than U2’s.
When the time of year is right, the weather is just chilly enough and you are lucky to have a few days off work, there’s nothing better than watching a good Christmas movie. And there are so many to choose from: Countless movies over the years, of all genres — from feel-good musicals to gory slasher flicks — have used the holiday season as their backdrop.
Many of them are forgettable and loaded with cheap sentiment, but there are a few that would probably even put a smile on Ebenezer Scrooge’s face. Here are our picks for the Christmas movies that everyone should see at least once.
‘A Christmas Story’ (1983)
For recent generations, “A Christmas Story” has arguably replaced “It’s a Wonderful Life” as the most beloved movie of the holiday season. The blue-collar family it follows is unforgettable, the moments it recounts are almost universally relatable, and lines like “You’ll shoot your eye out” have become quotes we love to repeat.
For the uninitiated, “A Christmas Story” tells the tale of one memorable Christmas from the point of view of Ralphie Parker, a boy who wants nothing more than a Red Ryder BB gun under the tree, and the myriad embarrassing moments he goes through with his endearing family. There’s a reason both TBS and TNT show the film on a loop for 24 hours every Christmas.
‘A Christmas Tale’ (2008)
Provided you don’t mind reading subtitles, this French holiday dramedy is a great Christmas flick for people who consider themselves movie snobs. “A Christmas Tale” is about a large dysfunctional family who gets together at Christmas and learns some difficult news.
You’ll probably recognize a few of the actors from American movies and, unlike any other title on this list, “A Christmas Tale” was screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. It is the best-reviewed Christmas movie in all of Metacritic’s history, edging out fan favorites “A Christmas Story” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
‘The Apartment’ (1960)
The only movie on this list to win best picture at the Oscars, “The Apartment” isn’t sappy by any measure but shows how the holidays can bring lonely people together and warm their spirits. Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine star, and the great Billy Wilder applies his witty, realistic touch to the script and direction.
This is a serious movie that juggles some serious aspects of the human condition — all against the melancholy backdrop of the holidays in 1960s New York. It’s sort of like a long Christmas episode of “Mad Men” 50 years ahead of its time. The Independent called it the greatest Christmas film ever made.
‘Arthur Christmas’ (2011)
The newest movie on our list is this animated film with an A-list British cast. It follows Santa’s son, Arthur, who takes it upon himself to deliver a present to one little girl who got missed on Christmas night. James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Bill Nighy are just a few of the great actors in the cast.
“Arthur Christmas” has been described as gorgeously drawn, heartwarming and funny for all ages, meaning parents won’t need extra-strength eggnog to get through it. Rotten Tomatoes named it the best feature-length animated Christmas movie ever made.
‘Bad Santa’ (2003)
It’s certainly not for everyone, but “Bad Santa” is probably the best Christmas flick for people who like their comedies dark and loaded with f-bombs. It stars Billy Bob Thornton as a low-life thief who poses as a department-store Santa in order to rob stores from the inside.
The supporting cast is fantastic, including “Gilmore Girls” star Lauren Graham and late comedy heroes Bernie Mac and John Ritter. Thornton was basically born to play this role, and he puts every ounce of sleaze at his disposal into this performance.
‘Christmas in Connecticut’ (1945)
So many of the great American Christmas movies come from Hollywood’s Golden Age, including this zany comedy starring Barbara Stanwyck. She plays a popular newspaper food columnist who writes about her beautiful family and farmhouse in Connecticut while doling out delicious recipes — but in reality, she is a single woman who lives in New York and has the recipes given to her.
When her boss, who is unaware that her life isn’t really like what she writes about, suggests she host a Christmas dinner at her Connecticut home for a returning war hero, she has to figure out how to pull it off and not lose her job. A made-for-TV reboot was directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1992.
‘Die Hard’ (1988)
It’s long been debated whether or not “Die Hard” should be considered a Christmas movie but, in our opinion, it deserves to be mentioned alongside “White Christmas.” The story is essentially about a father trying to make it home to his estranged family for Christmas, and the villain just wants to ruin the holidays for everyone. Since it’s set in L.A., it’s not a snowy film, but the office Christmas party taking place inside the skyscraper that is taken over by German terrorists is loaded with festive imagery.
Entertainment Weekly even went so far as to say “Die Hard” is the perfect Christmas movie … though the story is a response to a poll in which a majority of voters said “Die Hard” is not a Christmas movie. We have a feeling we know how Bruce Willis’ character John McClane would respond to the debate: Yippee ki-yay! — followed by an expletive.
Dramas and action movies may be tough sells when the family gathers around the TV after Christmas dinner, but a silly comedy is just what Santa ordered. This recent classic gives Will Ferrell the rare chance to show how funny he is while playing a character who is really likable and sweet.
Ferrell plays Buddy, a human who was raised as one of Santa’s elves and spreads his unshakable holiday spirit among the bitter people of New York. It’s undoubtedly goofy but it will make even the grumpiest person laugh and feel good about Christmas. The all-star cast also includes Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Bob Newhart and Ed Asner as Santa Claus.
‘Holiday Inn’ (1942)
This is a beloved classic, so even if you’ve never seen “Holiday Inn,” you’ve definitely heard a couple of its musical numbers — probably a million times. Irving Berlin wrote the movie’s original songs, which include “White Christmas” and “Happy Holiday,” both sung by star Bing Crosby.
Crosby and Fred Astaire star as entertainers who vie for the affections of another performer (played by Marjorie Reynolds) while working at a New York club that is only open on holidays. It doesn’t all take place at Christmastime, but the fact that this film introduced the world to those two holiday standards earns it a place on this list.
‘Home Alone’ (1990)
Kevin McCallister is a hero to any latchkey kid — or anyone who doesn’t like robbers, for that matter. This ’90s classic follows that young boy, played perfectly by Macaulay Culkin, as he protects his house from two bumbling thieves after his family accidentally leaves him at home during an international Christmas trip.
“Home Alone” has tons of snow, awesome Christmas songs and lessons about the value of family. Plus, it was written by the immortal John Hughes and directed by the guy who did the first two Harry Potter movies. “Home Alone” still stands as the highest-grossing Christmas movie ever made.
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (1946)
In a write-up that declared “It’s a Wonderful Life” to be the greatest Christmas movie ever made, Rotten Tomatoes said it’s also “one of a handful of films worth an annual viewing.” Jimmy Stewart stars as George Bailey, a man on the brink of suicide on Christmas Eve before a guardian angel shows him the positive impact he’s had on the lives of people around him.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” is so connected with Christmas in America that it’s almost a cliche at this point. Before “A Christmas Story,” this was the film that everyone watched on TV every Christmas — and millions still do every year. It just doesn’t get much more heartwarming than this one.
‘Jingle All the Way’ (1996)
OK, so it may not be as acclaimed as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but 1996’s “Jingle All the Way” is definitely worth a watch, especially for anyone who has felt the pain of trying to track down a must-have Christmas toy. This over-the-top comedy stars Arnold Schwarzenegger at his most silly, playing a workaholic dad who is tasked with finding his son’s dream gift, which happens to be sold out everywhere.
Critics trashed “Jingle All the Way,” but it has some of Schwarzenegger’s most quotable lines (“I’m not a pervert!”), and its cast is loaded with comedic talent, including Martin Mull, Jim Belushi, Laraine Newman and Harvey Korman. The film is worth watching if only for the last performance by Phil Hartman that was released during his lifetime.
‘Joyeux Noel’ (2005)
This is another under-the-radar Christmas film for people who like foreign movies. This French flick tells the true story of a Christmas Eve truce that developed between soldiers on the front lines of World War I. You’ll probably recognize actors like Diane Kruger and Daniel Brühl from the high-profile projects they’ve done in America. If you are someone who loves war movies and historical stories, this one should be on your holiday viewing list.
‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ (2005)
A few years before he became immortal in “Iron Man,” Robert Downey Jr. gave one of his funniest performances ever in this dark comedy that’s also a great murder mystery set against the backdrop of the holidays. The dialogue is fast-paced, hilarious and R-rated, while the situations in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” just keep getting more twisted and bizarre as it goes.
This one is perfect for people who love hardboiled detective stories and quirky characters. It’s a deserving staple of lists of holiday films for adults, and Gizmodo called it “the Christmas movie you should be watching.”
‘Lethal Weapon’ (1987)
A year before “Die Hard” thrilled audiences with guns-blazing action set against an L.A. Christmas, “Lethal Weapon” did the same thing. This iconic buddy-cop film follows a pair of new LAPD partners who don’t see eye to eye but have to work together to shut down a heroin-smuggling ring.
It may not sound like your typical heartwarming Christmas fare — and it’s not — but to deny it a place among the all-time great holiday films is a crime. The chemistry between Mel Gibson and Danny Glover is palpable, and “Lethal Weapon” spends plenty of time showing how important family and friendship are at the holidays and even has a re-thought suicide attempt that resembles “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
‘Love Actually’ (2003)
This rom-com favorite arguably has more star power than any other movie on this list. A massive ensemble cast teams up to tell several intertwining stories of love that take place during Christmastime. Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman and Keira Knightley are just a handful of the incredible actors who play major roles in “Love Actually.”
Is it a bit sappy? No question — but sometimes that’s what you need as the snow is falling outside and you’re curled up on the couch in your warmest comfy clothes.
‘The Man Who Came to Dinner’ (1942)
There’s some debate as to whether “The Man Who Came to Dinner” should be counted as a Christmas movie, but we’re giving this 1942 comedy gem the benefit of the doubt. It follows a sharp-tongued New York radio personality who slips on ice outside an Ohio family’s home and takes over their lives while staying with them and healing during the holiday season.
“The Man Who Came to Dinner” is almost like the anti-“Elf,” following a cynical city dweller who becomes a fish out of water in a slow-paced, idyllic Midwestern family setting. Out Magazine called the movie a “seminal gay film” due to the lead performance of Monty Woolley. Bette Davis also co-stars.
‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ (1904)
One of Judy Garland’s most beloved performances came in this MGM musical, which follows a wealthy St. Louis family for a year in the early 1900s. To be fair, only about 25 minutes of “Meet Me in St. Louis” are actually set at Christmastime, but those minutes are so iconic that they earn the film a spot on this list. Among the classic songs that were debuted in this movie was “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which Garland, of course, crushes.
‘Miracle on 34th Street’ (1947)
Another black-and-white favorite, 1947’s “Miracle on 34th Street” is the ultra-rare combination of Christmas story and courtroom drama. The movie follows a lawyer who sets out to prove a department-store Santa is actually the genuine article. The film was a big hit and even won three Oscars, which is rarified critical air for a Christmas movie. The courtroom scenes are full of holiday magic, and the performances of Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwenn and little Natalie Wood make it an immortal favorite.
‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ (1992)
Who doesn’t love the Muppets, Michael Caine and Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”? This underrated musical gem is a telling of the all-time classic holiday story that’s perfect for little ones — and adults whose hearts aren’t too iced over. Caine plays Ebenezer Scrooge and is one of the only human actors in the film, starring alongside Muppet icons like Kermit, Gonzo and Miss Piggy.
The original songs are equal parts funny and sweet. But you might want to have some tissues handy, because this one has some surprisingly touching moments with characters that you already love.
‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ (1989)
The 1980s truly were a great time for unconventional Christmas movies. This hilarious entry into the “Vacation” series follows the beleaguered father and husband Clark Griswold as he hosts a family Christmas that quickly gets out of hand. John Hughes wrote the script, which is loaded with memorable lines that anyone who’s seen the film more than once loves to quote non-stop every holiday season (“Sh—er was full!”). Chevy Chase might never have been funnier than when he opens that company Christmas “bonus” and stuns his entire family.
‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (1993)
Disney’s greatest contribution to the Christmas movie canon is this stunning, stop-motion animated musical. Set in an imaginative universe where every holiday has its own world, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” follows the residents of Halloween Town as they put their own spin on Christmas after Santa Claus is kidnapped from Christmas Town.
The original songs are lively and memorable, and the visuals are still gorgeous, in that Tim Burton goth-fantasy way. Jack Skellington is one of the all-time great Christmas heroes.
‘The Polar Express’ (2004)
This 2004 blockbuster was polarizing (pun intended) among critics, but was a big hit and continues to earn new fans. Tom Hanks stars in six different roles, including as the conductor of a mysterious train that claims to travel to the North Pole. It closely follows the 1985 book by “Jumanji” author Chris Van Allsburg and was directed by Robert Zemeckis, who was responsible for favorites like “Forrest Gump” and “Back to the Future.”
Some critics slammed it for featuring animation that looked a little too lifelike, but Roger Ebert praised it with his highest score, a four-star grade. This one is great for older kids who are starting to question their belief in Santa Clause.
‘Remember the Night’ (1940)
This is another film that proves the 1940s was the decade to beat when it comes to Christmas classics. “Remember the Night” is a romantic drama about a woman who is caught shoplifting just before Christmas and begins an unlikely romance with the prosecuting district attorney. Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray team up for the first of four films together and prove they have great chemistry. The premise is a little wacky, but the holiday spirit is warm with this one.
‘The Santa Clause’ (1994)
In 1994, Tim Allen was about as hot as a comedian could be, and he lent his star power to this live-action Disney film that became a Christmas hit and produced two sequels. “The Santa Clause” is about an overworked toy company executive who becomes Santa Claus after accidentally knocking the previous Santa off his roof. Allen’s character, Scott Calvin, is in denial about becoming Santa, even as he starts growing a big white beard that he can’t shave away and Santa’s infamous list of naughty and nice arrives at his house. The film was a massive box-office success, and it has plenty of broad laughs for kids and adults — and unabashed holiday spirit.
‘The Shop Around the Corner’ (1940)
The oldest movie on our list, this romantic comedy unfortunately gets forgotten as the “other” Jimmy Stewart Christmas movie. It’s about a pair of co-workers who don’t realize they are falling in love with one another as anonymous pen pals. You might know “The Shop Around the Corner” better as the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan movie “You’ve Got Mail,” but this original version boasts a rare 100-percent score at Rotten Tomatoes. The whole story builds to its romantic crescendo at Christmastime, making it delightful for holiday viewing.
‘Tokyo Godfathers’ (2003)
This animated film from Japan features a heartwarming, if unconventional, tale about three homeless people who find a newborn baby on Christmas Eve and try to find its parents. It’s been described as the type of animated feature that Disney wouldn’t dare tackle and has a 90 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, where it’s described as beautiful, substantive and moving. Anyone who loves anime and Christmas needs to check this one out.
‘Trading Places’ (1983)
There might not be a Christmas movie with more laughs than “Trading Places.” This ’80s classic stars Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd as the unwitting subjects of an experiment pulled by two wealthy brothers who want to know what will happen when they try to switch the lives of a homeless man and a successful stockbroker. The whole film is set at Christmastime, and its soundtrack is loaded with carols. This one is R-rated, so it might not be appropriate for the whole family after a day of gift opening, but it’s perfect for the grown-ups.
‘While You Were Sleeping’ (1995)
This feel-good ’90s rom-com is perfect for anyone who counts “Love Actually” among their favorite holiday films. “While You Were Sleeping” stars Sandra Bullock as a woman who pretends to be the fiancée of a comatose man whose life she saved — until she legitimately falls in love with his brother. The film is set in Chicago around Christmastime and will warm you up, thanks to the charms of Bullock and co-star Bill Pullman. It made more than $180 million at the global box office and earned Bullock a Golden Globe nomination.
‘White Christmas’ (1954)
Another Irving Berlin musical that features Bing Crosby belting out the Christmas classics, “White Christmas” is an enduring piece of holiday entertainment. This sentimental film follows Crosby and Danny Kaye as a pair of entertainers who fall in love with a sister act and team up to help save a New England inn during a snowy Christmas. If you like your Christmas movies old-fashioned, it doesn’t get much more classic than this one.
We all have about 30 shows sitting in our Netflix queue that we just haven’t found the time for yet.
Between “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Maniac” and “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” the streaming service threw a bunch of great new shows at us in 2018. And that’s not even counting the new episodes of favorites like “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black” and “Making a Murderer” that it released this year!
But even with all that new content, Netflix isn’t slowing down. We’ve rounded up the details we know so far about some of the new original shows Netflix will debut in 2019. The release dates haven’t yet been confirmed for most of these shows but they are all expected to premiere next year.
‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’
Premiere Date: Early 2019
One of Netflix’s blockbuster 2019 shows is this prequel to Jim Henson’s ’80s favorite “The Dark Crystal.” The Jim Henson Company is behind “Age of Resistance,” so you can bet it will likely stick to the tone and style of the original. The show will follow three young Gelflings who inspire an uprising in the world of “The Dark Crystal.”
‘The Umbrella Academy’
Premiere Date: Feb. 5
The popular, acclaimed series of graphic novels is the basis for this series of the same name, which stars Oscar nominee Ellen Page. “The Umbrella Academy” will follow a dysfunctional family of superheroes who’ve become estranged. Netflix still has the premiere date listed as some time in 2018, but outside reports say it won’t debut until 2019.
Premiere Date: 2019
All kids of the ’80s and ’90s will probably get a tear in their eye over this one. Netflix is bringing back Carmen Sandiego, the enigmatic character featured in several educational video games and TV game shows back in the day. “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez (pictured) will play Carmen and the new series will be animated and educational, telling Carmen Sandiego’s backstory.
Premiere Date: 2019
This new sitcom comes from stand-up comic Gabriel Iglesias (pictured), who will also star in the title role. He will play a high school teacher who tries to teach a group of gifted misfits. Iglesias had a regular role in ABC’s “Cristela” but this will be the first live-action show he has starred in himself.
‘Turn Up Charlie’
Premiere Date: 2019
Idris Elba, the reigning “Sexiest Man Alive,” will co-create and star in this comedy series. In it, Elba (pictured) plays a failed DJ who is trying to restart his career while also working as a nanny in charge of a wild little girl. Fun fact: Elba moonlights as a DJ in real life, which means he’ll get to show off his turntable skills.
Premiere Date: 2019
This sci-fi/horror series will follow a teenage boy as he roams post-apocalyptic California alongside a group of misfits. The series sounds like a mix of high school drama and “Mad Max.” Its first season will include 10 episodes and the series boasts a large cast of characters to make up its wasteland. “Under the Dome” actor Colin Ford (pictured) will star.
Premiere Date: 2019
“Orange is the New Black” star Natasha Lyonne (pictured) will headline this interesting dramedy that sounds a bit like “Groundhog Day” or “Happy Death Day.” Lyonne plays a woman who gets caught in a time loop, repeatedly going to the same party and dying every night, only to wake up the next morning unharmed. Amy Poehler co-created the series with Lyonne.
‘Go! Go! Cory Carson’
Premiere Date: 2019
This children’s program is based on the Go! Go! Smart Wheels toy line from VTech (pictured). It’s an animated series that will follow a kid car as he grows up. The show is being executive produced by a pair of producers behind Pixar favorites “WALL-E” and “Finding Dory.”
Premiere Date: 2019
Nature documentary lovers (present company included) will want to add this one to their Netflix queue when it debuts in 2019. This new series, which took four years to shoot, offers an eight-part look at Earth’s remaining wilderness areas and the animals who dwell in them. Expect gorgeous video, which will be presented in Ultra HD 4K, if you have the setup for it.
‘Rilakkuma and Kaoru’
Premiere Date: 2019
This new anime series, which is aimed at adults, has an intriguing premise to get you hooked. It follows a girl whose new roommate is a charming bear with a zipper on its back who just wants to spend each day being lazy. The series is based on the bear character Rilakkuma, which is a popular character that can be seen on products around Japan.
Premiere Date: 2019
This new series sounds intense and perfect for people who like crime dramas. “Nowhere Man” is about a death row inmate who plans to break out of prison after learning that his son has been kidnapped. It sounds like it has a little bit of everything, including gangster plots, deep friendships, intrigue and action.
Premiere Date: 2019
Fantasy fans and lovers of monster stories will want to circle this series. “October Faction” is about the family of a famous monster hunter, which includes a witch and warlock. The show is based on the comic book of the same title and the pilot was written by an executive producer of “Sleepy Hollow.” “Bones” actor Tamara Taylor (pictured) will star in the ensemble cast.
‘Rhythm + Flow’
Premiere Date: 2019
Netflix is jumping into the ubiquitous music-competition genre with this new series, which will focus on hip-hop artists who are looking for their big break. The show is being produced by John Legend and the judging panel is top notch, consisting of Cardi B. and Chance the Rapper (both pictured), as well as T.I.
Premiere Date: 2019
Ricky Gervais is creating and starring in this new comedy series. It’s about a widower who decides, instead of taking his own life in his grief, to punish the world by behaving exactly how he wants to, with no regard for the thoughts of others. “After Life” has a cast that includes Ashley Jensen, who co-starred with Gervais in the classic “Extras,” and David Bradley, best known for his work in the Harry Potter films and “Game of Thrones.”
Premiere Date: 2019
Another new Netflix series that features A-list talent is “What/If.” Oscar winner Renée Zellweger (pictured) stars and “Forrest Gump” director Robert Zemeckis will serve as executive producer. This thriller’s first season will follow a pair of broke newlyweds who accept an offer from a mysterious woman that will make them rich but leave them morally bankrupt. According to Netflix, each season of “What/If” will take on a different morality tale.
Premiere Date: 2019
The incredible Uma Thurman will star in this supernatural drama that has a unique setup. The show is about a woman who receives a life-saving heart transplant and then becomes obsessed with knowing the details of the donor’s mysterious death. Thurman (pictured) will play the donor’s mother.
‘Dead To Me’
Premiere Date: 2019
This dark comedy will follow the friendship between an uptight widow and a free-spirited woman who has a shocking secret. The series comes from a former writer of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and creator of “One Big Happy.” It is set to star Christina Applegate (pictured) and counts Will Ferrell as an executive producer.
Premiere Date: 2019
This reality competition show sounds like something for fans of “Fear Factor” or bizarre Japanese game shows. The series presents contestants with frightening and uncomfortable events and asks them not to flinch. If they flinch, “they’ll suffer painful consequences,” according to Netflix’s write-up. So far, no celebrities involved with the project or promotional art have been released.
Premiere Date: 2019
People who love “Top Gear” and other automotive shows will want to check out this new series. “Hyperdrive” sees daring drivers racing through a massive road course filled with obstacles. The contestants will be drivers from around the world. No word on if The Stig will be eligible to compete!
Premiere Date: 2019
This new drama comes from India and is based on a book of the same title by author Prayaag Akbar (pictured). The plot follows a woman who is searching for the daughter she lost contact with during a 16-year jail sentence. “Leila” is set in the near future and is being described by Netflix as an “inventive, boundary-breaking story.”
Premiere Date: 2019
This new Netflix original is about a single mom whose son has superpowers, which she must help him hide while she investigates how he got them. The series was created by comics writer Dennis Liu, who based it on a short film he produced in 2015, which racked up more than 300,000 YouTube views. The show’s impressive cast includes Michael B. Jordan (pictured) and Jason Ritter.
‘No Good Nick’
Premiere Date: 2019
This series is aimed at preteens, according to Netflix. “No Good Nick” is about a 13-year-old girl named Nicole (the “Nick” from the title) who is a street-smart con artist. She shows up one day on the doorstep of a family she claims she’s related to. The leads in the series will be Melissa Joan Hart (pictured) and Sean Astin, who will play the married couple that takes Nick in.
‘My Husband’s Penis Won’t Fit’
Premiere Date: 2019
There aren’t many details out there about this new series, aside from the title — but color me intrigued! Netflix says the plot for this comedy is based on a true story. It’s about a “physically incompatible couple” who try to make their marriage work despite needing to be celibate. We don’t know who is connected to this series yet.
Premiere Date: 2019
This new cartoon is aimed at kids ages 8 to 12. It is about a girl named Reggie who wants to be a kid forever and finds herself in a fantasy world where she never has to grow up. It sounds kind of like a fresh new spin on Peter Pan.
Premiere Date: 2019
You have to admit, that’s a catchy title! This animated series for preschool-age kids is about a free-range 6-year-old boy who’s best friends with a giant trash truck. The series seems to be big on imagination and is being executive produced by the team behind Kobe Bryant’s Oscar-winning animated short “Dear Basketball,” including director Glen Keane (pictured below with Bryant).
Premiere Date: 2019
This Spanish series, also known as “Hache,” will focus on a woman who gets launched into the business of heroin trafficking in Barcelona. It stars Adriana Ugarte (pictured) in the central role. The show will be set in the 1960s, so expect a “Mad Men” vibe. The thriller comes from creator Verónica Fernández and its first season will consist of eight episodes.
‘Bard of Blood’
Premiere Date: 2019
This series, based on a 2015 Indian novel of the same title, is slated to debut some time in 2019 on Netflix. The book is a spy story that follows a former Indian intelligence agent who is called back to service after his ex-boss is murdered. The show is expected to be multilingual and is slated to be written by Bilal Siddiqi (pictured below, at right), who also wrote the book. Netflix says the show’s title is subject to change.
‘History Of A Crime’
Premiere Date: 2019
This Spanish-language true-crime series, also known as “Historia de un Crimen,” will spend each season looking at a different notorious crime. The first season, set to debut in 2019, will examine the 1994 murder of Mexican presidential candidate Luis Colosio, who was killed during his campaign. The season will have eight episodes.
Premiere Date: Jan. 25
This South Korean period piece is set in the nation’s medieval days and blends political intrigue, fantasy and zombies! The series follows a prince who sets out to save his people from a strange plague that turns its victims into the undead. The first season will consist of six episodes.
‘Mighty Little Bheem’
Premiere Date: 2019
Another new children’s animated series, “Mighty Little Bheem” is based on the popular Chhota Bheem franchise for preschool kids (the character is pictured below). The series, which is being produced in India, is described as “non-verbal” and full of slapstick comedy and adventure. The book series the show is based upon has been described as perfect for kids ages 4 to 6 and is said to be educational.
It’s so great to see these two back together again!
Great Scott! Marty McFly and Doctor Emmet Brown are together again! And this time, it’s for an amazing cause.
Actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd reunited on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the star-studded charity event, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure,” in New York City. The fundraiser brought together celebrities from music, film and television to raise money on behalf of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research.
While many stars showed up to help Fox’s important cause, it didn’t take a mad scientist to detect the magic on hand when Fox and Lloyd caught up with one another.
Fox attended the event with his wife, actress Tracy Pollan, and the 80-year-old Lloyd brought along his wife, Lisa, to support his long-time friend and former film co-star.
It may feel like only yesterday when this dynamic duo hit the screen for the first time in “Back to the Future,” but it’s actually been 28 years since the time travelers took their time-bending adventure!
The annual event, which reunited the “Back to the Future” stars, also gave Fox the opportunity to rock out on guitar, just like the “good old days” back in 1955 at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. Fox jammed with rocker Joan Jett during the fundraiser.
Ah, kitchen gadgets. They look sleek and cool. Plus, they save us time, sweat and tears as we labor long hours in the kitchen, right? Well, maybe not so fast. “Good Eats” host and cooking connoisseur Alton Brown has come out strongly against most of these modern culinary marvels. In fact, he told “Food and Wine” exactly what he thinks about the latest, greatest gizmos for gourmets.
“Ninety-nine percent of things that people buy in the kitchen, they don’t need,” Brown said in the interview. “The kitchen is the room most full of useless crap.”
Oh, say it ain’t so, Alton! Even the incredible Instant Pot, which has taken the kitchen world by storm? Brown said while the trendy multi-function cooker does what it promises, he wonders why it’s necessary.
“I’ve got a pressure cooker and these other tools that I know how to use,” he said in the interview. “Why am I going to learn how to use another thing?”
Instead of the latest gadget, the popular food show host recommends spending our kitchen dollars on higher quality essentials every cook should have: a pair of top-notch knives and a few good pots and pans. And, for those people who raise their eyebrows at spending hundreds on a knife, Brown has a challenge. Instead of blowing a bunch of money on a collection of cheaper gadgets, simply save up for the good stuff.
“It’s funny, we’ll say, ‘Well, I don’t have $400 to spend on a knife,’” he said. “Well, yeah, but you bought six blenders in the last year and all these other ridiculous tools that don’t do anything for you. We tend to go for the quick fix in the kitchen, which I don’t believe in.”
Here’s something else Brown believes in: remaking his successful “Good Eats” television series. Brown is in the process of rebooting the entire series with new episodes. But, fans may need to wait until the host tweaks some of the classic episodes first.
He told Food and Wine about making changes for 13 of his original episodes for the reboot, “Good Eats: Reloaded.”
“Let’s face it, some of those shows are 18 years old, and I look at some of them now and I’m like, Oh crap, I really wish I had done this instead of this,” he confessed. “I’m going back and making those repairs.”
The BBC and Netflix are teaming up to re-create a classic. Based on Richard Adams’ novel, “Watership Down,” a new TV series will tell the tale of displaced bunnies searching for a new home.
According to The Guardian, “Watership Down” wasn’t necessarily intended to be a political commentary when Adams wrote it, though the story is filled with takeaways about morality, a sense of belonging and more that could be applicable to the current political landscape.
The show will be an animated miniseries and will feature a stellar voice cast, including James McAvoy, John Boyega, Rosamund Pike, Gemma Arterton and others. It’s been adapted for the screen by Tom Bidwell in a way that the BBC describes as “innovative.”
“Set in the idyllic rural landscape of southern England, this tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of rabbits on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stout-hearted pair of brothers, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, towards a promised land and a more perfect society.”
Sounds pleasant enough, but the novel has been adapted to film previously — and if this new animated series is anything like the 1978 movie, it will certainly be a far cry from an adorable tale about bunnies.
On a more upbeat note, Sam Smith has been tapped to record the theme song for the BBC and Netflix version, so if the idea of watching bunnies didn’t have you on board to binge this series, the chance to hear a new song by Smith just might.
Smith wrote on Twitter that he was thrilled to join something so “powerful and timeless.”
“So excited and honoured to be a part of the new adaptation of ‘Watership Down,’” he tweeted. “This story is so powerful and timeless and it’s been thrilling to work on a song for it. I hope everyone loves it as much as I do.”
So excited and honoured to be a part of the new adaptation of Watership Down, showing on @BBCOne this Christmas and internationally on @netflix. This story is so powerful and timeless and it’s been thrilling to work on a song for it. I hope everyone loves it as much as I do x
Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney are at it again! Fans remember this iconic duo from the first time they appeared on-screen together in the 1997 hit “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” but now they’re sharing the screen again in a different way.
Julia Roberts stars in Amazon Prime’s “Homecoming,” a series about a caseworker who’s working to help soldiers adjust to civilian life. Mulroney plays Anthony, Roberts’ boyfriend in the show. This is a much different feel than their rom-com days together, as the show is more serious in nature — and they actually wind up together.
This is the third time the actors have worked together. After “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” they also both appeared in “August: Osage County.” But, Mulroney pointed out that this was the first time they’ve acted alone in scenes together again since their late 1990s film.
According to the actor, it felt good to share a scene with the iconic Roberts once again.
“Well, we’ve just had such an incredible run together,” Mulroney told CinemaBlend. “And, you know, it’s not even that often that I work with any actor three times, so to work with her in this way is phenomenal. But, it has been since 1996 or so that I’ve sat down and had an eight minute scene with her. You know, in ‘August: Osage County’ I was in the ensemble, but I didn’t have, directly, scenes — at least not alone — with her. So, this was, literally, like coming home, where I knew I was in the hands of a great actor, [with] great material and a great director.”
Roberts echoed Mulroney’s sentiments, noting that she and Mulroney have been longtime friends, so it was a pleasure to work with him again.
“He’s my pal,” Roberts told Entertainment Tonight. “It’s been such a long time we’ve been together, this is our third thing together, and … it’s one of the reasons why being in the business so long is so fruitful, when you can return to relationships.”
Given how well they get along and how much both of them seem to love working together, it’s only natural that the idea of a sequel would come up during their interviews. And Mulroney says he’d definitely be open to it.
“I know, I know, ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding.’ [Fans] want to see that happen,” Mulroney said in an interview on “The Talk.” “Well, the question is much chronicled. You’ll notice that the answers are hard to come by. I’m certainly not in the decision-making process,” he said.
However, he followed up with, “I’ve been clear from the beginning. I’ve been clear from 1997 that I’m ready for a sequel. So, I’m on record!” Mulroney said in the interview, which you can watch here:
Roberts seems to have entertained the idea, too. When asked about which of her characters she’d like to follow-up with in a film, she noted that she’d love to check in on how her “My Best Friend’s Wedding” character was doing nowadays.
“I guess I think maybe it’s just because we’re talking about Dermot [Mulroney], but Rupert [Everett, who played Roberts’ friend in the film] was so funny in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding.’ I guess Kimmy [played by Cameron Diaz] and Michael [played by Mulroney] are married and they probably have kids. And then there’s me and Rupert,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
There’s no official word on a sequel yet, but here’s to hoping! In the meantime, you can catch the pair on-screen together again in “Homecoming,” which is available for streaming now.
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Can you believe it’s been 15 years since the first ‚Pirates‘ film came out?
Jack Sparrow first came to life on the big screen in 2003, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” hit theaters. One-and-a-half decades later, there are reports that Disney has a reboot of the franchise in the works. Whether new “Pirates” films will include any of the original cast remains to be seen.
If this has you wondering where those stars now and how much they’ve changed, you’re in luck. Take a look back at the actors in the roles they played, and see what’s going on with them now.
Johnny Depp once said that, when preparing for the role of pirate Jack Sparrow, he took inspiration from the music world.
“I sort of thought that pirates would be the rock and roll stars of the 18th century, you know?” he told IGN. “Then, when you think of rock and roll stars, the greatest rock and roll star of all time, the coolest rock and roll star of all time, in my opinion, is Keith Richards. Hands down.”
No stranger to music, Depp has performed in several rock bands himself. As of 2015, he has played alongside Joe Perry and Alice Cooper in a group called the “Hollywood Vampires.” He has acted in many films as well, from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in 2005 to “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” in 2018.
Captain Hector Barbossa was a villainous marauder in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Portrayed by actor Geoffrey Rush, Barbossa became the first mate alongside Jack Sparrow aboard “The Black Pearl.” He also led a mutiny against Sparrow.
The Australian actor portrayed Barbossa in four more “Pirates” films. Rush also won a Tony for his role of Berenger I in “Exit the King” on Broadway in 2009 and was named Australian of the Year in 2012. In 2018, the actor found himself in a negative spotlight, accused of sexually harassing an actress. A defamation suit on his behalf soon followed.
Twenty-six-year-old Bloom played blacksmith Will Turner in “Pirates.” He first discovered that Rush was involved with the film.
“…Then I found out Johnny was doing it,” Bloom said. “I was like, where do I sign?”
She was just 18 when “Pirates of the Caribbean” first hit theaters. In fact, she was only 17 when she began portraying the adventurous daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann. Her mother had to travel with her while Knightley was on location.
Although she has been mistaken for a number of other actresses, such as Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz, Knightley has become a celebrity in her own right. Now in her 30s, her credits include films such as “Love Actually,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “Anna Karenina.” She also played the Sugar Plum Fairy in Disney’s 2018 film, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.”
The actor portrayed James Norrington, an officer of the British Royal Navy and the East India Trading Company who wanted Elizabeth Swann as his wife. His costume required many layers of clothing.
Davenport has stayed quite busy since “Pirates of the Caribbean.” He has starred in and directed films and television programs. However, even with dozens of acting credits, his young son is not impressed.
“The only thing I’ve got in reserve to impress him with is my Pirates Of The Caribbean Lego character,” Davenport told The Mirror.
The veteran actor portrayed Elizabeth’s father, Governor Swann. Although he has long been known for classical and musical theater, he opted to take on the role of the colonial governor.
The actor has now enjoyed nearly five decades of success in the industry. He has had parts in everything from James Bond films to “Game of Thrones.” In 2018, he starred opposite Glenn Close in “The Wife.”
Arenberg played Pintel, a member of the Black Pearl pirate crew. The actor kept a video diary while making the film. Not only did he require a great deal of makeup for his role, but he even let his fingernails grow out for six months.
Arenberg reprised his role in the two following “Pirates” films.
Not only was he a convincing pirate, but Arenberg has gone on to portray a number of interesting and unusual characters. The actor has played an alien on “Star Trek: Enterprise” and a dwarf on “Once Upon a Time.” He remembers his time filming “Pirates of the Caribbean” fondly, though.
“It’s so fun to be a pirate,” he told Fox Force Five News. “Just the whole being on the boat, in the water, having long hair, to fire cannons, I love sword-fighting, I love the action.”
Crook played Ragetti, the counterpart to Arenberg’s Pintel.
Fans might have wondered why Ragetti was not in the fifth “Pirates” film. He turned down the role, opting to create his own television series instead.
“When it comes down to it,” he told Radio Times, “it’s a choice between doing a character again that I first did 12 years ago — and it’s a little part in a big Hollywood movie — or doing my own passion project.”
O’Hare played devoted British Royal Navy officer Lieutenant Gillette. He was the first officer to Captain James Norrington. Gillette took part in the capture of Captain Jack Sparrow. O’Hare must have a face for playing characters from centuries ago because the actor also appeared on an episode of NBC’s two-season drama “Timeless” as none other than George Washington.
Since his “Pirates” days, O’Hare has been a busy man. The Irish actor has had roles in film and on television. He has also loaned his voice to numerous video games.
You may or may not recall that one of Saldana’s first major movie roles was in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Although her portrayal of female pirate Anamaria was her foot in the door, the experience left a bad taste in her mouth.
“The cast was great,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “I’m talking about the political stuff that went on behind closed doors. It was a lot of above-the-line versus below-the-line, extras versus actors, producers versus PAs. It was very elitist. I almost quit the business.”
Thankfully, Saldana stuck with acting, despite her experience on the set. Her talent has given the world Neytiri in “Avatar” and Gamora in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It seems sci-fi was right up her alley.
Singleton’s character Bo’sun was part of Captain Hector Barbossa’s crew. The pirate served as the Boatswain and First Mate. However, his loyalty had its limits. Singleton appeared in “Breaking Dawn” the following year.
Isaac C. Singleton Jr.
Even if you haven’t seen the actor lately, you may well have heard him. Singleton has had parts in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” as well as “Bones.” In addition, he is a prolific voice actor, with parts in myriad animated shows and movies, as well as in video games.
He was often referred to as Mr. Gibbs, Master Gibbs or just Gibbs. However, the character played by Kevin McNally (below, right) was actually named Joshamee Gibbs. Sparrow’s first mate, Gibbs was as devoted and skillful as he was inebriated.
The English actor has worked in film, stage, television and even radio. He began acting as a teen and has never looked back. His credits include “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera,” “Valkyrie” and the title role in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre production of “King Lear” in London.
Etienne’s role as Koehler in “Pirates of the Caribbean” may have been minor, but he was certainly memorable. Koehler was part of Barbossa’s crew. He and his pirate companion Twigg had no problem carrying out orders, even if those orders were to kill. Like the other actors who played bad-guy pirates in the film, Etienne looks much lovelier out of character.
The actor and director has had a hand in several films and television shows, including sci-fi series “Falling Skies.” The British-born actor of Dominican parents has called for more opportunities for black and mixed-race British actors in Hollywood.
“Acting should not just work for one class of kids,” he told The Guardian. “It should work for all kids.”
When she was only 8 years old, Dryzek landed a role on “Pirates of the Caribbean.” She played young Elizabeth Swann, who opened the film singing about the life of a pirate. She also met young Will Turner before all went awry.
Dryzek, who now goes by Lucy, recently shared her first head shot on Twitter — taken around the time of her “Pirates” role.
The actress is now all grown up. She did not outgrow acting, however. She has been the star of and has had supporting roles in numerous BBC television series. As seen on her Twitter feed, she’s also fond of changing her hair color — and seems to look stunning in every shade.
Branch’s character Giselle was a prostitute living on Shipwreck Island. After receiving a ring and a promise of marriage from Sparrow, she discovered the truth. Not only did he give the same ring and promise to her friend, but it was all a ruse to sell them both off to the highest bidder. Ouch!
Branch has found success as an actress and model. Not only does she hold dual citizenship (she’s an American born in London), but she is also fluent in two languages.
“When I got older and went to college I graduated with a double major in Chinese language and English,” she told The Morton Report. “My parents hoped I would choose a career that was slightly more stable and would allow me to use my Chinese language skills. There are so many things I love to do and that I might do simultaneously in the future, but acting has always been it for me.”