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!)

'Spectre' Finishes Out Daniel Craig's Time as James Bond Nicely

Review of the James Bond film "Spectre."
(Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures)


I am sort of amazed how many Christians are fans of James Bond and his movies. I say this because while Bond is ultimately a “good guy,” he displays numerous values that conflict with a Christian lifestyle, namely his womanizer ways. Of course, today’s Agent 007 is not yesterday’s 007. Since Daniel Craig became bond, he doesn’t drink as much or have sex with as many women as previous Bonds have. He uses less gadgets and more parkour.

Spectre is Craig’s fourth and last stint as the spy, something that he is very happy to give up as he told numerous news outlets recently.  And in a way, it shows in this film. The story wraps up his time with the franchise nicely and as much as you might want him back for another, it would probably be a mistake to do so. This story’s Bond is as sharp as always, but he is a tired Bond and who can blame him? Saving the world is one hard job, but it is better than flipping burgers.

The last 007 movie, Skyfall, was to be Judi Dench’s last, but she shows up here albeit briefly via video tape. Her cryptic message to James sends him on personal mission to Mexico City during their Day of the Dead celebration who apparently do it up big time. After a “little” mishap in Mexico, Bond meets Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security in London. Max questions him and M (Ralph Fiennes) about whether the M16 program is relevant anymore or not. Regardless, Bond is grounded.

Of course, never to stay put, Bond finds a way to get to Rome to meet with the widow Lucia Sciarra, the wife of a big time criminal. He does this with the help of Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) of course. His adventures lead him to meet an old enemy, Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) and his daughter, Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) who may be the key in taking down the newly discovered criminal organization, Spectre led by Oberhauser (an excellent Christoph Waltz). Confused? You are not alone. As with most of the Bond film, Spectre has a plot that is at time difficult to follow with references to characters from previous films and adventures.

Spectre definitely fits in the James Bond universe and many will be thrilled with it. In my never-to-be-humble opinion, it is a good flick with some amazing photography and great action scenes, but it is not my favorite. As mentioned above, Bond seems really tired here, but he isn’t the only one. Nobody in the cast seems to have much fire under them. And while there is some great action, it is separated by some terribly dull down time and “talky” dialogue. Finally, the opening credits and the last 15 minutes or so, give a nod to some of the earlier and sillier Bond films that feel out of place here, but I have to admit, were fun to watch.

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