Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Episode 51 - Wanted: Three Ghosts for One Night Job

"There goes Mr. Humbug. / There goes Mr. Grim. / If they gave a prize for bein' mean, / The winner would be him." Everyone knows it's not Christmas without Ebenezer Scrooge, so we're examining A Christmas Carol this December as we discuss the presentation of redemption in fiction.

Then, because nothing says "Christmas is coming!" like a run of big releases in the theater, (not Tiny) Tim and (not Saint) Nick discuss their favorite recent movies, including Interstellar, Mockingjay Part 1, Big Hero 6, and a lesser known Muppet Christmas special.

Have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and in the oft-repeated but always wonderful words of Tiny Tim, "God bless you, every one!"


Show Notes

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  1. Hey guys! I listened to this episode on Christmas Day while waiting for my family to wake up. It was a great way to start the day. ;)
    My favorite versions of “A Christmas Carol” are the Patrick Stewart version and the Muppets version. First, Mr. Stewart is one of my favorite actors (I’m a Trekker, a comic book reader, and a Shakespeare fan, what can I say?) I love how he plays Scrooge, especially at the end when he tells the boy to go buy the huge turkey. He hesitates to offer the buy money and then forces himself to offer more. It shows that his transformation was still in progress. I’ve never seen that in any other version. Plus, out of all the ones I’ve seen, that one was the closest to the book. As for the Muppets version, it’s definitely the most fun version I’ve seen. Plus, the music is great and it includes narration from the book. It’s the perfect fit for the Muppets: it’s a sentimental story that somehow manages to not be schmaltzy, just like them.
    I disagree that the redemption of Vader was bad and/or came out of nowhere. Luke, being a good son, wanted to believe there was good left in his apparently evil father. Then most of their conflict for the rest of the film was emotional not physical. There are moments of denial from Vader. He hesitates to do horrendous things to Luke because the latter kept treating him kindly and saying that he wasn’t irredeemable (that title belonged to Palpatine). It reawakened his love for Luke and his old self. Yes, the prequels add a bit more punch to it because viewers get to see his fall from grace, but on its own it still works. I disagree with everyone who says this redemption is one of the reasons “Return of the Jedi” is the weakest of the original trilogy. In fact, I’d say it ranks as one of the best “Star Wars” films.

  2. I may have seen the Patrick Stewart version long ago, but I don't remember it at all; the Muppets's version, of course, has been a long time favorite.
    As for Return of the Jedi, it's actually one of my favorites and I don't personally knock the redemption arc, but having heard some people mention it, I can see how a more critical eye might find it unconvincing. In any case, I do think the prequels help those with that POV.