A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in the theater gearing up for Dumb and Dumber To and suffering through the coming attractions (sometimes I'm in the mood for previews, sometimes I'm not). Having read and watched much of the hype surrounding Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, I fixated on the trailer and thought, "I'd watch that." Then I heard Movie Voice-Over Guy announce that it was coming to us Dec. 25.
What? WTF? There's no arguing that Unbroken is a tale of inspiration, but it's also a tale of imprisonment, torture, starvation — not exactly the sorts of things we associate with a merry Christmas. Who in their right mind would want to sit in front of such heavy material on such a joyous day?
Here are a few other movies that probably should not have a Christmas Day release date.
Set for release with Unbroken, American Sniper is another movie we're not sure we'd watch on Christmas Day. It looks like a fantastic movie, and we've heard stories of how Bradley Cooper muscled up for his role as a U.S. Navy SEAL — so we're all over it (so to speak). But do we really want to watch a movie about Iraq and death on Christmas Day? There has to be a better way to honor our troops who are on foreign soil for the holidays. American Sniper definitely feels like more of a mid-January kind of movie.
Gambling rings, dysfunctional relationships, loan sharks? How is any of this at all Christmassy? If we want to engage in these themes on Christmas Day, we can just sit in our living rooms with our own dysfunctional families and open our credit card bills. Talk about a buzzkill. Where are all the rom-coms on Christmas Day, hmm? Where are the Love Actually-esque movies? Where are the movies that don't make us want to hurt ourselves on Christmas Day?
Hey, kids, let's tear you away from all your new fun stuff and go watch a dark, evil witch mess up the lives of all your beloved fairy tale characters! If your children are over the age of 10, they may not hate you for taking them to this movie on the one day they've been waiting all year for, but don't expect younger children to be so understanding.
The Wolf of Wall Street is an excellent movie and deserves its numerous accolades. But was this story of fraud and gauche excess really appropriate for a Christmas 2013 release date? OK, so there's probably a joke about the gauche excess of Christmas in there somewhere, but you get what we mean. Hookers and blow aren't really what the holidays are about (for most of us, anyway).
Like The Wolf of Wall Street, Django Unchained received much critical acclaim. That said, Quentin Tarantino isn't really known for his subtle approach to moviemaking. Django Unchained may have been a good choice a few days after Christmas, when you've had enough of the food and fam, but Christmas 2012 seems like an unlikely release date for a film that contains extreme brutality, racial epithets and a gruesome time in our country's history.
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