Well, it’s that time of year again!

Well, it’s that time of year again!

     Now I’m not really a Christmas guy. I’m not religious and I’m not all together festive but there are movies and Christmas specials that I traditionally always watch this time of year, along with some occasional new editions and random flights of nostalgia that have accumulated over time and that got me thinking. Why not share my holiday programming with all of you.

     So what follows is a list of what I feel are 25 Christmas classics in the order and days that you should watch them to have the merriest of Christmases. Some of these may seem odd to you but do yourself a favor and take your hand of the wheel cuz VictorMoranLive is programming your Christmas. God help us… everyone.


 Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (1970)

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We start off our 25 days of programming with this classic stop-go animation origin story of Kris Kringle who grows up to be the man known as Santa Claus. For double the fun, watch this with a child and half way through explain the painstaking process of making something like this to watch their little minds explode as they watch the rest of it in complete and total awe.

 


 It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

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Yes, nothing says Christmas like watching Jimmy Stewart contemplate killing himself ONLY to be stopped by an angel in training named Clarence who spends the rest of the movie showing him how much worse life would be if he had never been born. Now in real life you’d probably see a happier version of your parents and a strew of mentally healthier exes BUT in the movie does a really good job of selling the sap and in the holiday season, the sap is welcomed. Also look out for a charming scene between Donna Reed and Stewart that I think still plays today.

 


 Batman Returns (1992)

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Deformed penguin babies, politics, sexy cat themed BDSM, a plot to kill all the first born in the city and fucking Batman.  Now if that doesn’t feel like the perfect Christmas movie then I feel sorry for you. You hear me? I feel SORRY for you. There’s fucking penguins with rocket launchers strapped to their god damn backs! You know what, I’m done selling this to you, either your picking up what I’m throwing down or you’re an idiot. Oh, also, you learn a fun fact about mistletoe that’s easy to remember… because it rhymes. I MEAN COME ON! 

 


 Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

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This heart warming story about a couple that have lost their way and much like It’s A Wonderful Life leads them down a surreal path that inevitably makes them realize the love and strength of their relationship. It’s beautifully shot, scored and ends with one of the most perfect closing lines in the history of cinema. Also its a Kubrick film so you know it’s better than whatever piece of shit Tyler Perry Christmas movie your dumb bitch aunt wants to watch.

 


 Die Hard (1988)

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Look, we all know the story of John McClane and how he saved Christmas FROM TERRORISTS and yet we all have that one friend that insists on saying it isn’t a Christmas movie and I’m here to say fuck that guy. Fuck them up the ass with Hans Gruber’s dick. Clearly this so called “friend” of yours is complete and utter twat and you shouldn’t even allow yourself to be associated with a douche-bag of such proportions. You’re too good for that asshole. Now let’s watch a 1980’s coke-head get his fucking head blown off. Ahhh, Christmas.

 


 Trading Places (1983)

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Who can argue with a theme as wonderfully festive as wagering against human life? Nobody, that’s who. This movie has everything you want from a Christmas movie. Hookers, wall street, a drunken Santa Claus, horribly outdated 80’s slang AND Jamie Lee Curtis’ boobs. I don’t think there is much more I can say to reiterate the fact that this is classic holiday viewing.

 


 The Ref (1994)

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Alright, 7 days in and we hit some controversy. Now I know we all hate Kevin Spacey now and I in no way condone his shit behavior but god damn this is one of my annuals. For years now I’ve been watching Judy Davis as the ultimate bored house wife just fucking KILL IT in this movie. So get passed the bullshit and enjoy this Christmas hostage situation. At the very least you can take pleasure in the fact that Dennis Leary ties up Kevin Spacey and treats him like shit for the majority of the movie, though its possible he’s kinda into that shit. Moving on!

 


 Home Alone (1990)

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Ok, it’s Home Alone. Do I really have to talk you into watching Home Alone? What kind of piece of shit is gonna argue that home alone shouldn’t be watched during Christmas? Hell I’m an atheist that doesn’t even celebrate the holiday and even I want AND DO watch Home Alone this time of year. It just ins’t Christmas until I watch Joe Pecsi and Daniel Stern get outsmarted by an unsupervised child using nothing but household items and his wits. I guess I’m just old fashioned that way. Not to mention John Candy’s couple of scenes just make me happy.

 


 Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

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Who doesn’t know this classic tale of a deformed reindeer that is mocked and tormented by everyone around him only to eventually be accepted after Santa realizes, “Hey, I could use a circus freak like you as a headlight.” Sure it’s twisted and has no place in the holiday season but the animation is fantastic and  character design is cuter than a unicorn fart. Give it a chance. You know you want to.

 


 S01E10 – Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo (1997)

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Where would Christmas be without those adorable boys from South Park Colorado? Nowhere that’s where. Only the Genius minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone could make a sentient piece of shit a mainstay of the holiday and so it has been since this episode aired back in  1997. The story is heartfelt, the songs are catchy and there’s no way you wont be saying “Howdy Ho!’ for days after watching it.

 


 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

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A murder mystery, a fast talking dame and a detective named Gay Perry. Throw in a little RDJ stammering and you got yourself a Christmas movie so nice they named the damn thing TWICE! Seriously, this is possibly one of the most quotable movies on this list and if you can’t appreciate a holiday Hollywood noir story then what are you doing with your fucking life. I can’t help you. I just cant.

 


 Grumpy Old Men (1993)

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Now I don’t know about you but my Christmas season isn’t over until I see old people trying to get laid. Call me a hopeless romantic, I don’t care, it’s just how my heart feels. Not to mention Anne Margret looks WAY to good for her age. I don’t know what baby Nazi blood she was drinking but she can get it. But from who? WATCH THE MOVIE TO FIND OUT!

 


 All I Want For Christmas (1991)

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Look, I know what you’re gonna say. “Isn’t this movie kind of just The Parent Trap but without twins and during Christmas?” Uh, yeah. But are you really gonna say no to movie that teaches you diner lingo such as “Marrying the ketchup” and has Leslie Nielsen as SANTA?!? I didn’t think so. Now shut your mouth and strap yourself in cuz your are in for some HORRIBLE 90’s fashion and a substantial acting role by Kevin Nealon. You’re welcome.

 


 Santa Claus The Movie (1985)

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If you haven’t seen Santa Claus the movie… well, I wouldn’t be surprised. Not many people are aware of this Dudley Moore vehicle where he plays an elf that’s trying his hardest to be notices by Santa only to be taken advantage of and tricked into putting ole saint Nick out of business by non other than John FUCKING Lithgow as a slimy 80’s yuppie driven by his greed for the all mighty dollar. Guys, I can’t stress enough how much you NEED to watch this movie. Trust me. You’ll thank me after.

 


 How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

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On day 15 we downshift to this holiday standard for no other reason than the sweet sound of Burl Ives and let’s face it by this day you are ready to punch the next person that wishes you a merry Christmas in the face. So to calm your inner curmudgeon down watch Cindy Lou and the rest of the citizens of Whoville make the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes in the ONLY good version of this Dr. Seuss fairy tale.

 


 A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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Naturally, once you get over the annoyance and the anger you may find yourself a little depressed and asking yourself, “What’s Christmas all about?” Lucky for you there is a little bald boy that NOBODY likes that finds himself thinking the exact same thing. What can I say, I’m a sucker for this special. I watch it every year but mainly for the sad piano score and dancing tips. Can’t nobody break it down like a limited animated crowd of Peanuts characters.

 


 A Very Murray Christmas (2015)

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After 2 days of old standards we switch over to a NEW standard. Filled with guest stars and phenomenal musical numbers such as “Santa Claus Wants Some Loving” Bill Murray does not disappoint in his Netflix Christmas special. It came out two years ago and it become a fine addition to my annual viewing list. If you haven’t watched this yet, you are in for a treat and if you HAVE watched it then you’re just excited to watch it again. WE LOVE YOU BILL!

 


 Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)

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What’s this? Did Home Alone 2 actually make the program? You’re damn straight it did and for SEVERAL reasons. 1. Pesci and Stern came back , 2. Tim Curry as an added bonus and 3. this movie has the greatest title in the history of cinema and history. Think about it, everything you need to know about the movie is in the title? “Oh, they made a second Home Alone? I wonder what it could be about. OH, apparently this time around he is lost in New York.” Perfect fucking title! John Hughes should be given a postmortem award for it. I’m SO not joking right now.

 


 Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990)

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Before you even say it, YES I’m aware that Die Hard 2 is basically Die Hard in an airport and I don’t care. It’s fun, Holly and the douche bag reporter are back and John McClane ejects himself out of an EXPLODING AIRPLANE. If that doesn’t get you jacked to the tits with the Christmas spirit then NOTHING will and I hate to be the one to tell you this but you’re dead inside. All your innards are just black goo. It’s kind of gross. Nothing I’m saying right now has ANYTHING to do with the movie… but it does.

 


 The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)

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So did you ever watch the Bourne Identity movies and think to yourself, “Man, this would be cooler if it were a Christmas movie and Jason Bourne were a woman with Samuel L. Jackson as her sidekick.” ME TOO! Luckily there’s The Long Kiss Goodnight so we get to live that reality. It’s got clever dialogue and a bad ass protagonist MOWING motherfuckers down for the only thing she wants for Christmas… her daughter. Don’t  sleep on this movie cuz i promise you’ll regret it.

 


 Gremlins (1984)

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Alright, this is my favorite Christmas movie of ALL TIME. Seriously, I LOVE this movie. Christmas is not Christmas for me until I see a Gremlin come out of tree, attack a woman and inevitably get liquefied in a FUCKING BLENDER and THAT’S Christmas. If you’re one of these people that try to to say that this isn’t Christmas movie please DO NOT @ me on ANYTHING cuz you’re stupid and I don’t have time for you. I’m busy watching Gremlins and you’d be happier person if you were watching it too. Just saying.

 


 Scrooged (1988)

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You know how you make an INSTANT Christmas classic? You get a little Charles Dickens, you mix with a lot of Bill Murray, sprinkle in a little Bobcat Goldthwait with some AWESOME practical effects and BAM… you got Scrooged. I really shouldn’t have to say more than that sentence to you but I get the feeling you need more. Fine. What if I say Richard Donner directed it. Are you sold yet? Have you purchased the film already? Yeah? Now starts watching it.

 


 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

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There is NOTHING that reminds you how horrible the holidays can be like the Griswold family Christmas. Family, neighbors, the elderly AND animals. It’s basically watching a perfect shit storm for an hour and 37 minutes. It almost makes YOUR family not seem so crazy and that’s really all any of us want for Christmas. Also, we have a young Julia Louis-Dreyfus, more than a couple of heartfelt moments and Randy Quaid BACK as Cousin Eddie spouting out lines like, “The shitter’s full!” God damn I love this movie.

 


 The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

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It’s Christmas Eve, you’ve had a few drinks and a couple pulls off your friend’s pen and you are PRIMED for the unmitigated fiasco that IS the Star Wars Holiday Special. There are few words that can describe it and in fact I think the best way to understand what you’re about to see is to know what George Lucas once said about it, which was, “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would personally track down every copy of The Star Wars Holiday Special and smash it.” So now that you have an idea for what you’re in for lets head down to Kashyyyk and wait for Chewbacca.

 


 A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All (2008)

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CONGRATULATIONS! That’s right, it’s Christmas day and you’ve made it through the good, the bad, the great, the old and NOW it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy your FINAL bit of programming… A Colbert Christmas. Willy Nelson, John Legend, Elvis Costello, Toby Keith, Feist, John Stewart, a murderous bear, and George Wendt as Santa Claus himself, THIS my friends is TRULY the greatest gift of all.

 

 


 

     So that’s it. 25 days of Christmas programming. This is my gift to you and I hope you fuckers appreciate it. Remember that I too will be watching these movies and more than likely live-tweeting as I do, so feel free to follow me @VictorMoranLive and check on any given day to see what my thoughts were. 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!

 

#TheEndOfTheMovie: The C word

#TheEndOfTheMovie: The C word

We live in truly amazing times. Every day I am in complete and total awe at the evolution of the human race. We have made fantastic social and technologic strides as a species and I welcome our further advancements. I do not long for simpler times. I keep my headphones on when I Uber, I prefer my phone conversation through text, and know to differentiate the frequent activity of my social media presences under a banner user name. I get the point of branding. I say this so you understand that I am by no means one of these first generation millennials that feels the need to separate themselves from that dreaded classification by openly pontificating on the failing state of society visive the internet because of a some ridiculous nostalgic memory of how cool Gen X’ers seemed to us as kids. I tell you this so you know that my gripe (and don’t worry, I’m getting to it) is coming from objective place. The grievance I’m going to speak of is the use of the C word.

Content. Now I know that to you that word just slides out of your mouth like cum dribbling out of a first time blow job giver that doesn’t know that it’s rude to not swallow. To me the mere idea of the word makes me feel as gross as the second half of that last sentence made YOU feel when you read it. Seriously, it makes my skin crawl, but then again I’m the guy that audibly gagged in La La Land when a character said the words “They say I have a knack for world building”. Don’t believe me? Tweet @MyXXfly because she was next to me in the theater and couldn’t help but laugh at my involuntary display of disgust. Look, I’m not saying all of you should have the same visceral reaction to the word Content but you should at least care.

The problem with Content is that there’s no differentiating when it comes to it. It’s this umbrella label for any and EVERYTHING now. Movies and music? That’s Content. Social media posts? That’s Content too. A detailed article by a reputable news organization about a tragic world changing event…… somehow also Content. See, Content is part of the corporate lexicon. A language spoken by business men AND WOMEN whose sole purpose is to quantify objects, people, places, and things into easily predictable summations of monetary gains and that’s fine if it’s your job. Hell, someone has to make sure the lights stay on and the people get paid but now WE’RE all saying it. Listen, when you’re the head of company your brain is preconditioned to see things in dollar and cents I’ll give you a pass but you’re not. You’re an internet information junkie looking to binge watch, listen to, and read all the flashing pretty colors coming off one of your MANY screens like Neo in The Matrix and you NEED to understand that there is difference between all of it. If EVERYTHING is Content then everything is automatically given the same numerical number in the silly little value charts in your mind and NOTHING could be further from the truth. A movie is more important than a vlog. A Facebook post has WAY less value than a news article. A Buzzfeed quiz is… well, anything Buzzfeed does is essentially useless. Now I know that you’ve all been accustomed to think it’s all the same thing so I’ve worked up this nifty little pie chart to help you gauge the pecking order on the totem pole of importance as it were.

Lumping us all together by content is diminishing ALL our value. Someone went to school for six years to be journalist and now he’s on the same level as a blogger. Another guy spent all his life learning the intricacies of music and he’s lumped in by a guy on YouTube with a ukulele that only does covers of Duran Duran songs, it’s fucked in the head! But you know what’s even more fucked? This normalization of the word Content is bleeding into the people ACTUALLY MAKING it. Shit, if you thought I was being hard on you poor bastards just wait till I draw my attention to this piss poor excuse of journalists and artists, AND YES I SAID ARTISTS, that’s what you are. You’re artists, not CREATIVES which is another C word that’s pissing me off while we’re at it. Have we become so complacent with the social standing of the arts and journalism that we’re adopting corporate descriptors to sell something that at its core is an expression of thought and emotion? To describe OURSELVES?!? Are we so broken that we can’t muster up the nerve to call it art? And it’s not like we’re just saying it publicly to shill our work because I have been in rooms filled with nothing but people involved with the arts and they’re saying it amongst THEMSELVES. You hear that thumping? It’s the sound of Fellini and Hunter S. Thompson rolling in their graves and if I had my way I’d let their reanimated zombie bodies out to gnaw on your skulls till the creative bits are all gone because you’re embarrassing. Shame. SHAAAAAME!

I wish I could say sorry for being so aggressive but I’m not; I’m really not. When I was growing up being a journalist was some noble shit. Being an artist was the most punk rock thing you could decide to do. We were rebels and outliers, gypsies and thieves. We were a motley crew of off-kilter counterculture lunatics saying fuck you to the establishment and now we’re just willingly handing over the keys to the nut house to the guards. We’re surrendering our way of life for the sake of views and likes. That’s just sad. And before you call me hypocrite, I’m aware you’re reading this on a site where I advertise and sell my shit, the irony isn’t lost on me but you can click on every link and look through every page and I promise you that you will NEVER read or hear me call anything I make “Content”. I’ll call it a movie, a song, a vlog, an essay, a show… I call it ART because Content is a word used by cowards and con artists and maybe that’s the REAL problem here.

Look, you don’t have to agree with me and if you made it through this little rant of mine you deserve a fucking medal but you should at least LISTEN to what I’m saying because one day you’re gonna be at a party and you’ll hear on person ask another what they do for a living and instead hearing musician, writer, or filmmaker, you’re gonna hear that second person take a breath and say, “Content provider” and THAT is the day you’ll realize that art has died.

But hey, at the end of the day that’s just MY view on the matter and that’s probably not worth much anyone but what I DO know holds some serious value is that I made it through an entire rant called The C Word without ever saying Cunt.

….Well almost.

 

written by Victor Moran

edited by Danielle Ruiz

#TheEndOfTheMovie

#TheEndOfTheMovie

I have spent my entire life wanting to make movies and arguing with those who said I couldn’t. I even made a couple along the way. But recently I found myself engulfed in a situation that made me not wanna make movies anymore. Which is an amazing feat considering my parents couldn’t accomplish that in 30 years and they’re Cuban. Who knew that two years of hapless preproduction and the tectonic shift of an entire industry was all it would take.

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Making movies was always my lighthouse. No matter what horrible things were going on in my life, no matter relationship status or living situation, the desire to make movies was there. It was my rock, my sanity and suddenly five months ago my sanity was gone. After making a feature length film three years before, spending a year writing a new script and another year in preproduction of that script the project was suddenly at an uncomfortable standstill and the only words of solace that I was being told by production was, “This is the way it works.” As time moved on and the project kept getting pushed back and pushed back, I found myself swimming in a stew of “presale distribution” discussions and being swayed towards holding off for hopes of smaller but still “name actors” in particular roles for the sole purpose of getting said distribution and the budget had increased to the point of unrealistic. Especially considering the project was basically meant to be an R rated, super punk-rock, fuck off finger in the air to the romantic comedy genre. That was the spirit it was written in and this business vibe was starting water down the core. So needless to say I inevitably became ok with the project getting pushed back YET AGAIN to the point of being postponed indefinitely.

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Now as all this crap was going on with me, the “movie business” was going off the rails. Every day the industry feeds were mind boggling. Disney was buying everything, every other studio was desperately trying to get in the shared universe game, Warner Brothers even announced that they weren’t going to make any original movies for the next five years before shutting down their independent branch. What’s known as the “middle budget drama” was slowly not being made anymore. The easy way to bitch about this is to say that Hollywood is ruining movies and blah blah blah but as I sat there licking my fresh wounds I realized that it’s not their fault. The “Hollywood machine” is a business, what matters to them is asses in seats and the reality is that the general audience isn’t interested in watching those movies in a theater. More and more people are actually watching small independent movies and thanks to the internet and Netflix they’re easier to find and because of that fact the audience has grown accustom to watching these movies at home. On their iPads, computers and phones, the independent film viewing experience has become this insanely intimate thing to the audience and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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Now I’m not gonna lie, as someone who grew up wanting to make movies in the DIY Sundance glory days of El Mariachi the realization that the kind of movie that I’m interested in making is not the one that gets a theatrical release anymore kind of killed me a little. I mean this was like watching the end of the movie as I knew it and it wasn’t even a profound mercy killing, it was more a shotgun blast to the face. For Christ sake Martin Scorsese can’t get more than a limited release and that’s the fucking guy that made Goodfellas. If he could barely get The Wolf of Wall Street made (and yes, that actually took years of begging for money and is now in a scandal over where the money actually came from) what were the odds that good ole Mr. Hollywood was gonna answer the phone for me. So why bother to try and make movies at all? I know this sounds grim but I promise it ends happy and it’s about to get there, I swear.

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After looking at all the data and taking my latest “filmmaking experience” into account, I decided that I didn’t want any part of it. I still wanted to create but I didn’t want to play a game where I kill myself making a small personal movie to then be offered to make Jurassic World or Black Panther. I know that sounds like an insane jump but that’s literally what’s happening to writers and directors at festivals now. So I decided that I would make a site. It would be my way to reject the system while simultaneously welcoming an audience and by being my own distributor I could make whatever I want without it being corrupted by the worry of trying to sell it before it’s even made. The “way it works” wouldn’t apply to me anymore and why stop at movies? Why not a comic strip? I could make a TV show and do live events. Books, music, I could just rant like a lunatic and post it up. Kind of like I’m doing now.

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When all was said and done, the end of the movie (as I knew it) killed a very specific childhood dream of mine but it gave birth to a much greater reality where I can speak directly to you, the audience, without any interference and promise that my blood, sweat and tears will be in everything on this site. That commerce will only come into play LONG after creation and if all this sounds like your particular cup of tea then you will be met here with open arms……

…Welcome to VictorMoranLive.com.