Open Thread for December 25, 2009

Ho-ho-hoverthinkingit! Merry Christmas to readers everywhere!

Ho-ho-hoverthinkingit! From all of us here at OTI-HQ, Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a perfect subject for overthinking—a global cultural phenomenon and economic powerhouse; a day of celebrations sacred and secular; hey, even a site of military occupation: I hear there’s a war on it.

Question: So what do you have planned for the day? Watching Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, or It’s a Wonderful Life on TV? Special music? Chinese food and a trip to the movie theater? What is your unique, pop-culture Christmas tradition?

We’re going to be taking a week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day to recharge the Overthinking It flux capacitor with stolen pop culture plutonium. But never fear—we’re doing what every media outlet does when the original programing goes on hiatus:


That’s right, we’re rehashing the of what we published in 2009. Stay tuned next week for “Best Of” compilations featuring our personal favorites, our most popular articles, and most importantly, the OTI Readers’ Choice. Nominate your favorite article of 2009 in the comments,  and come back next week to vote for the top choices.

Question: What’s the best thing we’ve published in the last year?

Answer these or any other questions. And let us know if you got some good loot! It’s YOUR… open thread!

7 Comments on “Open Thread for December 25, 2009”

  1. RiderIon #

    I’d like to wish everyone a happy Life Day.

    Christmas at my house is always the same. Open presents with my parents around 10. Relatives come over for dinner at 2 and stay until 7ish. Then I have the evening to myself to do whatever. I’m thinking of checking out Sherlock Holmes but we shall see.

    As for what I watch, Christmas Story will be on at some point in my house. It’s one of my father’s favorite movies of all time. I made The Colbert Christmas Special apart of my holiday canon and watched it this morning.


  2. Tim #

    We go to see a movie on Christmas day, and this is a tradition that has started only recently. My dad is terrible when it comes to “Christmas spirit,” and I don’t think we’ve ever watched one of the “typical” Christmas movies, aside from the animated ones. It was just a year ago that I finally watched “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

    It’s hard to say right now which article I’d call “best” but the ones I enjoyed reading the most were the one comparing “Up” to Paradise Lost, and “Why Strong Female Characters Are Bad For Women.” I’ll try to use some of the free time I don’t have to see if I can cast a stronger vote than that.


  3. Trevor #

    @Riderlon – It’s not Life Day without a horribly coked-up Carrie Fisher singing to Chewie and his hideous kinfolk.


  4. tony-with-an-i #

    There is no way I can tie this to Christmas (other than that my sister got an Inglourious Basterds DVD as a present) but here goes anyway.

    Overthinkers, have you seen this:

    That’s right, it’s the German trailer for Inglourious Basterds. At least to a non-German it is somewhat perverted to see Brad Pitt talking about killing Germans in a German voice that lacks all the cheese and playfulness in Pitt’s performance and is just intimidatingly German.

    (If there is a certain accent that the dubber is using that is amusing to German viewers, please inform me. I do know that Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t allowed to dub his own role in Terminator in German because his Austrian accent would’ve sounded like a farmer.)

    Also, I find it peculiar that the swastika in the movie’s logo is blurred, but in the very next shot there is Hitler shouting in front of a map with three swastikas on it and he is wearing one on his sleeve, none of them blurred. I guess this blurring/unblurring has to do with realities such as glorifying swastika in a logo vs. historical accuracy (which is a subject of it’s own right).

    Also still, how does the movies dubbing handle the constantly changing spoken languages? I know that Christoph Waltz and Diane Kruger speak their own dialogue in German as seen in this other trailer but what happens when Landau starts to talk French? Does he speak German in a French accent? And if he does, what does it mean on a meta-level?

    If there are any German Overthinkers, please answer. Also is it common nowadays in Germany to watch American movies subtitled instead of dubbed?


  5. Gab #

    tony-with-an-i, I am kind of flabbergasted by that. I’m as at a loss as you, though.

    Our family tradition for years, since we got our first Playstation game system, is to get at least one video game and play all the way through it on Christmas Day as soon as our fancy breakfast is over- with a pause for a big dinner. It’s usually a survival horror (the first was the original _Resident Evil_, we’ve also done additions to the _Silent Hill_ series, and I think one year was a _Dino Crisis_). This year’s was _Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles_ on the Wii- we’re at it again right now, actually (yay wireless)- to improve scores and such. ;p

    I think some of the best stuff from the last year came from the various themed weeks: _Karate Kid_, _Back to the Future_, and _Ghostbusters_ (were those all 2009?). And maybe I’m biased toward Fenzel’s long style and choice of material, but his DBZ series and his _Up_ piece really stick out in my mind.

    And just to see how many people I can irk: I really am not a fan of “A Christmas Story.” I’ve only seen the whole thing once all the way through, and I wasn’t really impressed.

    Sidenote about _Up_, btw:

    ******SPOILERS****** (just in case)

    We DID take the time from RE to watch this after dessert (I was the only one that had seen it before). While everyone else was sniffling and/or making sad, “Aaaw…” noises during the moment where Carl is sitting on Ellie’s coffin, my little brother piped up with more pep than the words may imply on the screen, “Oh, she’s dead!” Oh, the (brutal) honesty of little children (or older kids with the cognitive capabilities of littler ones, in my brother’s case). It actually helped to make that a little less painful to watch, though. I’ll smile whenever that scene comes up now, and I must say, I am thankful to the li’l dude for it.


  6. Johann #

    Dubbing movies in Germany is very common, only small independent “artsy” movie theaters show movies subtitled. Most famous Hollywood actors have a single German actor speaking in the dubbed version. So the voice of Brad Pitt in the Inglorious Basterds trailer is *the* German Brad Pitt voice, without any special accent. As I live in Switzerland now, where usually the original subtitled versions are shown (in large cinemas you can actually often choose between subtitled or dubbed version), I didn’t see the German version of Basterds. But I know from other “multi-language” movies, where things get messed up quite a bit. In a dubbed movie, if a character is talking in a language other than German, you will usually see subtitles.

    Regarding the swastika: You are right. In Germany, showing of Nazi symbols is forbidden, if it is not used in a means to portray history.


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