The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

Avengers Gets an A+

"The Avengers" are finally here.
Photo: Marvel Studios/Paramount/Disney

After many years of toying with us, Marvel Studios is premiering its’ long awaited “Avengers” movie. Starting back with the very first “Iron Man” flick, the studio has used an ongoing gimmick of teasers about Nick Fury gathering up a bunch of super heroes to create a super group called The Avengers. This is there first picture together, but instead of acting heroically, the super crew battles each other and their own egos before they can battle the actual aliens that threaten to destroy the earth.

“The Avengers” comes with a lot of star power including:
  • Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
  • Chris Evans as Captain America
  • Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk (or pre-hulk)
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor
  • Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow
  • Jeremy Renner as Hawk Eye
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

Surprisingly, the 142 minute film flies by with plenty of tension, action and humor. Though rated PG-13, there is very little if any blood and the violence isn’t anything worse than your children see on Saturday morning TV. Sure, the story is silly, but silly in a good way. You can’t help but feel like a kid again watching this thing. The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad – there is no confusion which one is which. The story makers provide a lot of comedy relief, showing that they didn’t take this story too seriously. Even after tons of destruction is done to New York City, it isn’t overplayed.
It’s the perfect popcorn summer time movie  that came early.

All the characters are spot on and enjoyable, but I found myself favoring Evan’s Captain America the most. If you recall, he was frozen after the World War Two and defrosted last year, and this guys is the perfect example of a true American. He appears to have the most integrity of the team and has the best line of the whole film. When told that he shouldn’t get involved between Thor and his brother because they are practically gods, he replies, “Ma'am, there's only one God, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't look like that.”

This is Ruffalo’s first attempt of playing the Hulk, or pre-Hulk, as “the Hulk” is computer generated. He not only does a great job, but he’s better than the two actors who played the part before him. Tony Stark spends a good deal trying to rile up Dr. Bruce Banner to see if the green guy appears.
“The Avengers” is out in 3D and it does feature some nice effects, but don’t wait until it comes out on DVD. This is one film that you’ll want to catch in the theater.

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