Happy 2016, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome back to the flagship of the Steve's Blog line. Hope you had a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Good Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice, or a Wonderful Whatever. Our next pulse-pounding pulse will present my peerless predictions for the year to come, but first, how did you enjoy your holiday?
After I left you by naming Smiling Stan Lee, the nicest guy in comics, the nicest newsmaker of 2015 and ISIS the naughtiest, (and foisting a review of Judy Collins' excellent Metropolitan Museum concert upon an unsuspecting, but grateful, I hope,) populace I received a lot of great books for the holidays (and many of them will be reviewed in Steve's Book Blog within the coming weeks) and saw three of the new holiday movies that were NOT set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. (I WILL get to that one while it's still new, trust me.)
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP Jason Lee returns as Alvin, Simon, and Theodore's manager David Seville and informs the boys that he's been seeing a cute doctor (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) and that they (he and the doc) are flying to Miami and he's taking a ring with him. Don't put a ring on this one, stick with either DVD's of the original 60's cartoon or DVD's of the 80's reboot. (SPOILER ALERT: In a sappy effort to keep the franchise relevant, Dave adopts the boys.)
CREED To get ready for my upcoming trip to Philadelphia (for America's Big Two-Four-Oh on July 4th, natch.), I saw this absorbing drama continuing the adventures of a Philly institution, Rocky Balboa, played by the one and only Sylvester Stallone. In this knockout, Rock befriends the son of his friend and one-time opponent, Apollo Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan (no relation to His Airness, although he wears Emjay's logo on his hoodie), and accompanies him to Liverpool as they face their greatest possible challenge, and no, no surviving Beatles were harmed in the making of this motion picture! Phylicia Rashad also delivers a heavyweight performance as young (Adonis) Creed's mom. Look for cameos from ESPN's PTI guys Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. (Lovin' you, boys, but don't quit your day jobs!)
DADDY'S HOME Any man can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a dad. Without giving any of the story away, that's the moral of this heartwarming, hilarious, and just a LITTLE raunchy dramedy starring Will Ferrell as a step-dad to two kids who barely tolerate him and Mark Wahlberg as their natural dad. Linda Cardellini does a great job as the mom/referee in this duel of the dads, and Hamilton Burress also turns in a great comic performance as an Angie's List handyman who gets caught up in this intra-family feud. Will Ferrell stays classy in this one!
Join us next time for our peerless predictions, and DO stop by Steve Country for the acceptance speeches for the Stevie Awards and some other great stuff.
Happy New Year!