A Christmas Story, the 1983 movie shot partly in Cleveland, has become one of the most beloved holiday movies of all time, especially for younger audiences who discovered the film during its many television replays. So we should be grateful that no one tried to make A Christmas Story 2.
Warner Home Entertainment has announced the Oct. 30 release of a new and completely unnecessary film, A Christmas Story 2, on DVD, Blu-ray, digital download and whatever other format they can get some ka-ching from.
According to Warner, “when 15-year-old Ralphie accidentally wrecks his dream car before even getting it off the lot, he and his friends Flick and Schwartz band together to raise the money to fix it by Christmas Eve — before the car dealer reports the incident to the police. They all get their (first!) jobs, but run into trouble at every turn. When things look most bleak, Ralphie finds the true meaning of Christmas with the help of his family and his friends.”
Then, of course, they fill their house with hookers to raise the money to fix the car. No, that would be Risky Business.
This new and completely unnecessary production is based on the works of Jean Shepherd, as the previous movie was, but written by Nat Mauldin, who was also a writer on the Eddie Murphy version of Dr. Dolittle and The Perfect Holiday. Bob Clark, who wrote the screenplay for and directed the original Christmas Story, died in 2007.
The cast includes Daniel Stern — also from the holiday-tied Home Alone — as the Old Man and Braeden LeMasters as Ralphie.
(The original Old Man, Darren McGavin, died in 2006. The first Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, is 41 years old.)
The new and completely unnecessary film is, by the way, not the first sequel to A Christmas Story. In 1993, Clark returned to Cleveland to shoot another film based on Shepherd’s work, with Charles Grodin as the Old Man and Kieran Culkin as Ralphie. Sometimes called It Runs in the Family, it is available on DVD as My Summer Story. Several TV productions over the years have also been based on Shepherd tales, including The Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters, The Star-Crossed Romance of Josephine Cosnowski, The Phantom of the Open Hearth and Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss.
Devo and Dogs. You may remember the stories about presidential contender Mitt Romney transporting the family dog Seamus on a long trip in a car-top carrier. Devo co-founder Gerald Casale certainly does, so Devo has a new song called Don’t Roof-Rack Me Bro! (Remember Seamus). It will be for sale as a digital download later in August and can now be heard on YouTube, the HeldenFiles blog and many other dog-or-Devo-loving sites.
In an interview on Rollingstone.com, Casale insisted he was not dogging Romney for anything other than his treatment of Seamus.
“This isn’t a red-state thing or Devo stumping for Obama,” he told the site. “But I think any animal lover that hears the story will learn so much about the character flaw of Romney. It’s just a deal-breaker about the man. My God, the world is a scary place with seven billion people. What you want in a leader is a guy with some humanity at his core. I just don’t feel that Mitt does.”
That said, Casale voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and will do so again even though “If anyone still thinks that the President of the United States of America runs things, they really live in the Wizard of Oz-land. My God, we’re a plutocracy. We’re owned and leveraged by global corporations.”
Maybe those Devo hats have gotten too tight.
Finger Food For Thought. Actress Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory, Blossom) was injured in a car accident Wednesday but, contrary to some early reports, will not be losing a finger.
Police told People.com that “Bialik, 36, was driving in L.A. when a car with three tourists from Chile turned into her vehicle at Hollywood Boulevard and caused the crash.” She did injure her left thumb but tweeted later that she was keeping all her digits.
EW.com. seeking a trend, reported that “this isn’t the first time a Big Bang actress had a scary brush with possibly losing an appendage. In 2010, Kaley Cuoco severely broke her left leg in a riding accident that nearly resulted in amputation and kept her off the show for several episodes.”
We All Make Mistakes. A writer for TheAtlantic.com recently went all Wolverines on the upcoming remake of Red Dawn, complaining about inaccuracies in a “positively nutbar” premise. While even the original Red Dawn can spark debate (including one in the office Thursday morning), big ideas are not what led to the comment noticed by Regret the Error. Instead, there was this:
“This post originally referred to Jennifer Grey as ‘Ferris Bueller’s sister.’ As commenters have pointed out, her role alongside (Patrick) Swayze in Dirty Dancing is clearly the more relevant. We regret putting Baby in a corner.”
Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including in the HeldenFiles Online, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Twitter and Facebook. You can contact him at 330-996-3582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.