SamHenry’s Picks for Cheap Saturday Night Flicks 12/11/2010

Posted on December 11, 2010

Love Johnny Depp as Sam does?  Well, when the snow falls, it’s time to give Edward Scissor Hands another viewing.  After all, it is a fable of how snow began to fall. It has all of the ingredients of a classic fairy story but with an ominous edge only Depp director/producer Tim Burton (Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland) can give a so-called comedy.  This 1990 collaboration has been followed by many since 1990.

An insightful, well-written view of the film appeared in the New York Times (available here) which I strongly suggest you read.  Here is the critic’s spot-on assessment of the playwright’s central thesis:

[It is] a tale of misunderstood gentleness and stifled creativity, of civilization’s power to corrupt innocence, of a heedless beauty and a kindhearted beast. The film, if scratched with something much less sharp than Edward’s fingers, reveals proudly adolescent lessons for us all.

NOTE:  Know your child before you allow him/her to sit down with you to discover Edward’s true character.

A film the whole family can undoubtedly (consult review below first) sit down to watch would be Prancer.  This is a favorite Christmas film around here. The NY Times gave it a mediocre review but your pal Sam, here, doesn’t follow the pack and doesn’t always pay attention to critics.  Some of the best “B” movies are now classics. It appeared in the top 10 Christmas movies at this website where the heroine is described as carrying Christmas in her – so true.  Here is the plot:

The heroine is Jessie (Rebecca Harrell), an 8-year-old whose mother has recently died. Her gruff and secretly loving father (Sam Elliott) is afraid of losing his apple farm, and is willing to send Jessie to live with her aunt so she can have a better life. He describes his daughter as the kind of kid who sings Christmas carols all year long, though mercifully Ms. Harrell never seems like a Pollyanna. She is a perky, natural little girl desperately in need of love and attention. When a wounded reindeer appears in the woods, she is convinced he is the real Prancer and is determined to return him to Santa by Christmas Eve.  [from the NY Times review]

Have a  young person who has some self-esteem issues or is bullied?  Here is a wonderful,even  magical movie for the family to enjoy together: The Boy Who Could Fly, 1986.  Rated PG

THE title character in ”The Boy Who Could Fly” is a boy who can’t do anything else, an autistic teen-ager who has been traumatized by his parents’ death in a plane crash. His way of coping with this tragedy is to simulate flight on the roof of his house, a habit that is at first quite disconcerting for the new family next door. A widow (Bonnie Bedelia) and her two school-age children, they have moved there in the wake of their own calamity. The film shows how 14-year-old Milly (Lucy Deakins), still getting over the loss of her father, approaches Eric (Jay Underwood) with a sweetness and compassion unlike anything he has ever known. [Read the entire NY Times review here]

Make sure your children understand that you don’t sit on roofs, in open windows or drop off of buildings.  This is a movie!  It is well worth the watch.  It did become a TV series.

An update on Jay Underwood (THE boy who could fly).  He became a pastor and is starring in the 2010 Christian film No Greater Love.