Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Worst Films: #6: Elf (2003)

We’re back with another of Ponty’s picks for the worst films of all time.  As always, Ponty delivers an interesting choice, this time for #6:  the Christmas film Elf (2003).

Elf is one of those movies I’ve never seen in its entirety, but I know about all-too-well.  It seems that every girl I’ve ever met loves this movie, but not just with some yuletide enthusiasm; they act like it’s the greatest Christmas film ever made.

I don’t know why that is.  Is it because women are incredibly social creatures, and bandwagon about everything remotely popular?  Is it because of the story about a son meeting his deadbeat dad and falling in love with a hipster?  Or is it just harmlessly funny, the kind of non-edgy humor women tend to prefer?

Whatever the reason, it makes me dislike the movie more, perhaps channeling the contrarian curmudgeon inside of me.

Needless to say, I’m with Ponty 100% on this one.

With that, here is Ponty’s review of 2003’s Elf:

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Lazy Sunday CXLV: Christmas Cheer

Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Today it’s all about church and after-Christmas sales.

Technically, we’re still in the glorious Christmas season.  That whole “twelve days of Christmas” isn’t just to flesh out a tedious novelty song; Christians used to (and many still do) celebrate Christmas for twelve days, marking the major events of Christ’s young life.  Really, Christmas ends on Epiphany, on 6 January.  It commemorates the Wise Men’s’ visit to the Christ Child, which represents Christ’s manifestation to the Gentiles.

Granted, I probably won’t be writing about Christmas on 6 January 2022 (we’ll see!), but I’m not opposed to squeezing in some more Christmas fun.

To that end, here are some three recent Christmas classics:

Merry Christmas!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Merry Christmas!

Here it is—Christmas Day 2021!  Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas.

It’s been a big year for yours portly, and I’ll be doing a full year-in-review recap soon.

For today, however, I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and share the Christmas Story from Luke 2:1-20.  I still remember my late paternal grandfather reading this passage to us every Christmas when we were children.

Before that, I have one other Christmas Day reading recommendation:  contributor and commenter 39 Pontiac Dream published an excellent piece at The Conservative Woman this week entitled “Have yourself a Cheesy Channel 5 Christmas.”  It’s all about the saccharine-sweet, predictable, but oddly satisfying Christmas movies that Hallmark puts out ever year.  Ponty does a great job of explaining why these picture-perfect, impossibly kindhearted films are so endearing (in part because they are picture-perfect and impossibly kindhearted).

With that, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  Here is the Word of God (c/o BibleGateway.com; translation is NKJV):

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed [a]wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a [b]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And [c]behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a [d]manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill[e] toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made [f]widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Luke 2:5 NU omits wife

  2. Luke 2:7 feed trough

  3. Luke 2:9 NU omits behold

  4. Luke 2:12 feed trough

  5. Luke 2:14 NU toward men of goodwill

  6. Luke 2:17 NU omits widely

SubscribeStar Saturday: Christmas Concert 2021 Review

After two weeks, I’ve finally written a post-concert review for my school’s 2021 Christmas Concert.  I didn’t intend for it to premiere on Christmas Day, but there you go!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Two weeks ago, on 10 December 2021, my music students at the high school had their big Christmas concert. This was the first live Christmas concert since 2019, and only the second live concert since The Age of The Virus shut everything down.

This concert was important for another reason: it was a bit of a redemption from the infamous “Corporate Christmas” concert of December 2019. That concert was marred with technical problems, over-programming (the Drama teacher at the time insisted on adding Christmas skits to what is an already-bloated event), and scheduling issues.

So, the hidden agenda for the 2021 Christmas concert was to wash clean the bad taste of the 2019 concert. Fortunately, I’d say we succeeded.

To read more of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Flashback Friday^2: Christmas and its Symbols

Okay, okay—it’s not Christmas.  But, hey, close enough, right?

There will be an actual Christmas post tomorrow morning, though it’s going to be very short.  But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to turn “Flashback Friday” into “Flashback Friday^2,” angering mathematicians and calendar enthusiasts everywhere.

The original post in this “series,” “Christmas and its Symbols,” contains some excellent Christmas wisdom.  So often we hear Christmas denounced as a secretly “pagan” holiday because we hang wreaths, put up trees, and dangle mistletoe.  But as one meme I’ve seen recently put it (to paraphrase), “Yes, I love to display the trophies of my vanquished foes.”

Christianity sure did kick—and continues to kick—some butt.  We could probably do with some more warrior-monks running around with maces and clubs.

For this weekend and beyond, though, Jesus—as He always does—will do.

With that, here is “Flashback Friday: Christmas and its Symbols“:

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Retro Tuesday: Christmas Break Begins!

Yesterday marked the true “beginning of my glorious, two-week Christmas break.”  It’s been a busy break so far, with a very productive Town Council work session last night, and a meeting with our new Mayor-Elect this morning.  I’m also meeting with a parent later in the day to sign some paperwork for a program for her daughter.

That’s a breakneck pace compared to past Christmas breaks, but it’s nothing too daunting.  I’m looking forward to some time with my parents, brothers, sister-in-laws, niece, and nephews soon, not to mention other family members.

It’s a lazy time of year for the blog, too:  not much is happening in the news, and everyone is settling in for a long winter’s nap.  I will have a guest contribution from 39 Pontiac Dreamer tomorrow—a review of a video game series—and some other goodies after Christmas.  Otherwise, look for a lot of re-runs from yours portly this week.

That said, the topic of this post from last Christmas Break—the need for some time off at Christmas for everyone, not just those of us in the cushy education racket—is still relevant.  Granted, some workers have decided to take the entire year off, it seems, enjoying generous federal unemployment and other kickbacks from The Age of The Virus, rather than return to their honest, albeit grueling, jobs.  Maybe let’s shoot for something a bit more balanced, yeah?

Still, work, while ennobling and healthy, can easily become overtaxing and detrimental.  There are diminishing returns, too:  after too many hours and too much effort, both mental and physical, we all start to get sloppy.  Some folks are built with the drive and energy to go nonstop, but I suspect most of us appreciate having a little downtime here and there.

With that, here is 21 December 2021’s “Christmas Break Begins!“:

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Lazy Sunday CXLIV: More Christmas Carols

Christmas is just six days away!  It’s hard to believe, but here we are yet again.

It’s been a great season for Christmas carols, which I’ve enjoyed playing—with gusto.  I’ve gotten “Joy to the World” down to a science, it seems.  I’ve also been whipping out some of the more obscure gems.

Merry Christmas!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Post-Concert Analysis is Coming

Yesterday’s Christmas concert went well, and I’m relieved to have it done.  I’m blessed to work with some super talented kids, and they are very dedicated to our Music Program.

I’ll be writing up a full analysis of it, as well as a gig I played with my buddy John last night, for SubscribeStar subscribers.  I should have the posted sometime Sunday afternoon.

For now, though, I am celebrating Christmas with my girlfriend.  We got each other some LEGO sets, so we’ve been building those this afternoon while watching TV and generally chilling out.

See you soon!

—TPP

Supporting Friends Friday: Frederick Ingram’s Christmas Groove

Today is the day of the big Christmas concert at school, and despite some moments of despair earlier in the week, I am feeling cautiously optimistic about the whole thing.  The kids are going to do a wonderful job, I am sure; I’m more worried about getting all of the tech stuff done in time, but it will happen, one way or another.

That said, it’s going to be a short Supporting Friends Friday this week—at least for me.  You, dear reader, get to listen to six minutes and twenty-four seconds of an excellent new Christmas track from my good buddy Frederick Ingram.

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