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“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Environmental Verses”!

Hi, everyone!

Can you feel it in the air? It’s time for another holiday! April 22 is Earth Day!

So bring your listening device of choice outside as we jam to an ecosystem teeming with…

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Thoughts On: “The Man Who Invented Christmas”

Hi, everyone!

Whew, what a year I’ve been having! But more on that in a post I’ll put up just before the new year…

Anyway, without further ado, last Sunday, December 17, I saw a film that inspired me to pen another installment in my series on holiday/Christmas/winter movies and specials.

What film was so special that it woke me out of my writing reverie (in terms of this blog, anyway)?

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer:

No, Mr. Dickens, I wasn’t trying to read over your shoulder! Don’t mind me!

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)
Plot: Charles Dickens, after a rush of inspiration, tussles with writer’s block, deadlines, and personal struggles as he strives to crack his latest work… A Christmas Carol.

There have been nigh countless adaptations of A Christmas Carol, from film, to TV, to stage––– from verbatim, to musical, to modernized, to gender-flipped––– from live action, to animation, to The Muppets! If you like A Christmas Carol at all, you have your favorite version or versions. You have your favorite ghost, your favorite scenes, your favorite lines… this story touches the hearts and souls of so many. Some may say such nearly-universal appeal cheapens it: I say, it enriches it. How special to be able to take a singular story about one person’s extremely personal journey and make it accessible and even relatable to so many.

Full disclosure: I’ve loved A Christmas Carol and so many of its adaptations for as long as I can remember. In fact, my very first acting role was as The Ghost of Christmas Present (my favorite ghost in the story)! Even though I was twelve at the time, I still remember so many of my lines, and would love to be involved in another adaptation of the tale someday.

Since The Man Who Invented Christmas is still in theaters as of this writing, and I do highly recommend it, I’ll do my best to avoid any spoilers of surprise moments. However, everyone has different definitions of what counts as a “spoiler,” so I shall still include my traditional warning…

Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

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Christmas/Holiday Movies: “It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie”

Hi, everyone!

I had a pretty hectic Halloween season this year, so I wasn’t able to continue my series about Halloween movies. However, I know that my subsequent series on holiday/Christmas/winter movies (and specials) only had half the amount of entries… that is, only two. Yikes.

So, I’m going to rectify that this year, starting…

now!

For those of you who are new (or just don’t remember), this is how this series works…

This month, I’m going to watch (and, in some cases, re-watch) some movies that are perfect for the holiday/Christmas/winter season. These are not reviews, because I’ll only be writing about films I love and recommend. There’s no plan, method, or scientific algorithm to what movies I’m going to watch or how I’m going to structure these entries. I’m just going to have fun with it, and I hope you will, too!

First up, a TV movie that I believe is ridiculously underrated…

It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002)!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer:

It’s ALWAYS a merry Christmas with The Muppets!

It’s ALWAYS a merry Christmas with The Muppets!

It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002)
Plot: The Muppets are putting on a big Christmas show to save their theater, but when everything goes wrong and Kermit the Frog’s spirit seems broken, an angel comes to show him what the world––– and his friends––– would be like if he’d never been born.

I also have a very personal connection to this movie, which you’ll have to read on to find out about!

Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

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Thoughts On: “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday”

Before we get started, follow Pee-wee Herman’s adventures on his official website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and his new YouTube channel, and join his FREE Premium Diamond Platinum Fan Club!

I’ve written about Pee-wee Herman twice before. Both times, I predicted I’d end up writing about Pee-wee’s Big Holiday when it was released on Netflix.

… I’m psychic!

I was so excited for Pee-wee’s Big Holiday that I stayed up until 12:00 am PT––– 2:00 am my time––– to watch it the second it premiered!

This was how I looked just before 2:00 am on March 18.

This was how I looked just before 2:00 am on March 18.

Thank goodness I was on a different floor with the door closed… otherwise, my constant laughter would’ve woken everybody up!

All of the following images, videos, and GIFs belong to their respective owners!

Here’s the poster…

That’s about how high I jumped every time I heard news about “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.”

That’s about how high I jumped every time I heard news about “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.”

Here’s the trailer…

Pee-wee’s Big Holiday is written by Paul Reubens and Paul Rust, directed by John Lee, and produced by Judd Apatow. (You all know how much it means to me to see someone who’s both a writer and a performer!)

Let’s do this!

“Ha ha!”

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Christmas/Holiday Movies: “The Muppet Christmas Carol”

I had so much fun writing about Halloween movies, I decided to extend the series and write about films perfect for Christmas/the holiday season! Most will probably be about Christmas, but I’m leaving myself wiggle room for other holidays and general winter movies.

Remember, these are not reviews: I’m writing about films and TV specials that I love and recommend.

My favorite Christmas movies generally have a nice mix of humor, fun, wackiness, and heart––– and some good music doesn’t hurt, either.

This first film has all of that, and more. Warm up your voices, because it’s time for…

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)!

By the way, if you like the Muppets, make sure you check out The Muppets on ABC!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer:

I’m not sure why there’s music from Beetlejuice in the trailer, but it works.

I'm smiling already!

I’m smiling already!

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Plot: Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy, bitter businessman, despises Christmas and all forms of kindness and charity; but this Christmas, he just might get a chance to redeem himself…

Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

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Halloween Movies: “The Monster Squad”

This month, I’m going to watch (and, in some cases, re-watch) some movies that are perfect for the Halloween season. These are not reviews, because I’ll only be writing about films I love and recommend. There’s no plan, method, or scientific algorithm to what movies I’m going to watch or how I’m going to structure these entries. I’m just going to have fun with it, and I hope you will, too!

The one promise I’ll make is that I’ll only include spoilers after the jump.

For this inaugural entry, I’m going to write about a movie I just saw for the first time––– well, all the way through, anyway…

The Monster Squad (1987)!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer…

I’ve known about The Monster Squad for a while, though I don’t know exactly how long. When you love the Universal Monsters as much as I do (and I’m sure many of you do), you read a lot about them and other films that reference or utilize them. I was bound to come across The Monster Squad at some point. And I did. I read about the plot, found out some trivia, and watched some clips. All signs pointed to this being a film I’d love.

So recently, I finally ordered the twentieth anniversary DVD online. I watched it with my family, who had never even heard of it until I told them about it. Luckily for all of us, my gut instinct turned out to be a bullseye: we loved every minute of it––– and if you love monster movies, you will, too!

Here’s the basic, spoiler-free rundown…

The Monster Squad (1987)
Plot: Some young friends obsessed with monsters suddenly find themselves face-to-face with the Universal Monsters and must stop Dracula’s plan before it’s too late.
Monsters: Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolfman, the Gillman, and the Mummy
Scare Factor: It may be scary to kids about five years old or younger, but it all depends on the kid. If this kid has already seen some monster movies, especially ones with the Universal Monsters, he or she will probably be fine. For everyone else, watch it and have fun!
Gore Factor: The gore’s pretty minimal.
Family-Friendly Factor: There’s some scattered swearing and some suggestive comments. Some people may find a couple of words offensive.

Look out! Behind you!

Look out! Behind you!

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

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Thoughts On: “Frozen”

Hi, everyone!

This is the first of what I hope to make a series of posts in which I write down and share my thoughts on various films. Some will be new releases you can experience in theaters, while others will be films you can check out on DVD. No matter which film I’m writing about, I will always take great care in regard to spoilers: if I feel compelled to write about one or more spoilers, I will mark them very clearly so you can choose to skip them and come back to read them later. (You’re welcome.)

I’m starting this series because I saw a film entitled, Frozen, and felt so strongly about it that I wanted to share it and my thoughts on it with anyone and everyone I could. This is why these posts are not intended to be “reviews” or summaries, as well as why I will neither be going out to see every single new release so I can post about it here, nor writing about every movie I do end up seeing. None of those prospects is why I started this series.

When the credits began rolling on Frozen when I saw it for the very first time, I had an overwhelming feeling (one of many, actually) that I just couldn’t shake, and didn’t want to, anyway: I have to tell everyone I can about this film. That feeling inspired not only this post, but this entire new series of posts, and I want to stay true to it.

All images belong to Walt Disney Pictures.

All images belong to Walt Disney Pictures.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to our inaugural “Thoughts On” post! The film: Frozen, from Walt Disney Animation Studios, originally released on Wednesday, November 27, 2013: Thanksgiving weekend. (You can check out Frozen‘s very “cool”––– pun intended––– official website here!) To start off, let’s get one thing straight…

Should I see “Frozen”?

“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Tax Tunes (2018)”!

Hi, everyone!

I’m sure some of you who will be jammin’ with us are up this early because you’re rushing to finish your taxes. Well, as you understandably try to avoid freaking out about finances, here’s some good news: you can always jam with us for free!

So let’s dive Scrooge McDuck-style into a jam session that’s rich with…

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“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “April Fools’ Follies (2018)”!

Hi, everyone!

I’m sure some of you are either preparing to pull pranks, bracing yourself for incoming pranks, or both. So while you strategically plant that whoopee cushion, jam with us for some inspiration… and maybe for some caution. Sometimes, pranks are fun, but don’t let the fooling go too far.

From fooling people, to being fooled, to fooling ourselves, to having foolish ideas, I can promise you one thing: jammin’ with us this week is not a fool’s errand, as we have a whole gag bag comically overflowing with…

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“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Spring Songs (2018)”!

Hi, everyone!

We’re officially in a new season, so it’s time to celebrate! Whether you’re out tending your garden, flying a kite, or nursing some allergies, tune into Jammin’ with Jamie as we jam to some…

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“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Villainous Verses (Part 1)”!

Hi, everyone!

This Jammin’ with Jamie jam session has been a long time coming… it’s been lurking in the shadows… biding its time… waiting for its moment… and now… at long last… its time has come.

Okay, enough with the excessive ellipses. Brace yourselves for what’s coming our way!

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“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Cold Weather Choruses”!

Hi, everyone!

This time of year is a weird time for weather. It’s technically still winter, and yet, people are looking ahead to spring. And if you’re in the Chicagoland area, it’s downright confusing. One day brings torrential rain, the next brings howling wind, and the next brings torrential snow.

The clingy cold weather may be irritating for some, but remember: warm weather is just around the corner! Until then, let’s do what we can to enjoy what’s left of winter with an avalanche of…

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“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Friendship Follies (2018)”!

Hi, everyone!

In another grand Jammin’ with Jamie tradition, since, last time, we acknowledged Valentine’s Day with a set of sidesplitting, sidesplitting serenades, this week, we’ll shift the focus to…

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“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Sidesplitting Serenades (2018)”!

Hi, everyone!

It’s time for one of Jammin’ with Jamie’s grand and beloved traditions! … If I love it, it counts as “beloved,” okay?

A certain divisive holiday is barreling down the calendar towards us… Valentine’s Day. Some people love it, some people loathe it, but either way, you can’t escape it. Regardless of your feelings for this holiday about, uh, feelings… you’ll love this week’s Jammin’ with Jamie, which is chock full of…

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“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Comeback Choruses”!

Hi, everyone!

It’s true! After a sudden and longer-than-anticipated hiatus, “I’m ba-ack!” Jammin’ with Jamie is returning to 89.3 WNUR FM on Satuday, February 3!

Without any further ado, let’s dive right into our first theme since our break! I can’t think of a much better way to celebrate a comeback with a cavalcade of…

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