Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter toplines Universal Studios Hollywood's Holiday Festivities...Written by James Zahn
When I'm in Los Angeles, one of my favorite places to visit is Universal CityWalk and Universal Studios Hollywood. Since I often stay at the Sheraton Universal, it's just a short walk up the hill and a place that comes with a couple of constant reminders: 1) I need to take my entire family to L.A. soon (my wife and kids have never been to California), and 2) we have to visit Universal Studios. In fact, ever since I saw construction of Hogwarts begin a few years back, the wheels on a trip have been turning, particularly since my wife is a massive Harry Potter fan (she has the wands to prove it). Now comes news that really gives me the bug because it taps into my unusually-high love of Christmas. This year, "Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" is happening, but that's just one piece of what's promised to be "a wintry calendar of festive holiday experiences and an array of delectable treats that families and friends far and wide can enjoy" at Universal this coming season. Here's the rundown on what visitors can expect for 2017...
Modern film marketing has really ruined the element of surprise for the audience. It's important to remember that back in the 80s, you could just show a paw sticking out of gift box and that was the poster for GREMLINS - they didn't have to reveal the awesomeness of the creatures before audiences were in theater seats. Now, audiences are pretty much handed everything, and in the case of BETTER WATCH OUT, the film has a twist that is straight-up presented right there in all of the marketing. In fact, it's built around it, and as a moviegoer, it would've been much cooler to see the change unfold for the first time on-screen. Alas, a new trailer recently arrived for the new holiday film BETTER WATCH OUT (a holiday-comedy horror-hybrid) that's not only probably NSFW (unless you work somewhere cool), and definitely not for kids. It does look fun, though - almost a "Home Alone" for the days we live in. Check this out!
Each year, it seems that there's a "new" collection of Frank Sinatra holiday music, and for 2017 that tradition continues with ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS, a new compilation from Frank Sinatra Enterprises and Capitol/UMe. Ultimate Christmas features 20 festive and warm holiday classics from Sinatra's Capitol and Reprise catalogs. The new collection also honors the Sinatra Family's holiday traditions with Frank joined by his children, Nancy, Tina and Frank Jr., on three songs. Ultimate Christmas is available now for preorder in CD, digital, and 180-gram 2LP black vinyl editions, as well as a limited 2LP white vinyl edition exclusively offered for preorder on the Sinatra Store and UDiscover Music. The album arrives on October 6.
As I do every year, I just mentioned the 1957 release of Elvis Presley's Elvis' Christmas Album in an article in which I discuss how "Christmas Creep" is not a new thing, and thus isn't really a thing at all. That album was released 60 years ago - on October 15, 2017, and now, after countless collections and reissues, RCA Records and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will celebrate the 2017 holiday season with the release of Elvis Presley - Christmas with Elvis and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday, October 6.
A few days ago, the girls and I were over at The Home Depot - picking up our first round of fall flowers, and scoping out the new assortment of Halloween decor that THD has to offer. They've upped their game this year, and I could do some serious damage if set loose in there. Truth be told, Home Depot can be a dangerously-tempting place, and I'm still paying off our last project loan from when we gutted the bathrooms here at Rock Father HQ and rebuilt them from the bare studs. When it comes to the "Big Two" on the holiday front - Halloween & Christmas - I'm all over the decor, so it was a nice coincidence when The Home Depot sent us their new WindowFX Plus Projector for review.
As we fast-approach the holiday season, more news is rolling in on 2017's fresh batch of seasonal cheer, and one big piece is the debut of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You. Based on Mariah's 1994 song and the book that it inspired, All I Want for Christmas is You is an all-new animated feature that follows little Mariah as she chases her dream of having a puppy of her very own, making her ultimate wish for Christmas come true. The film comes home for the holidays on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and On Demand on November 14, 2017 from Universal 1440 Entertainment. Check out the first trailer below!
Back in June, the first trailer for STX Entertainment's A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS hit the scene, and now with just three months until the big day arrives, the second "red band" trailer has arrived. With the "red band" comes a warning - that means "Restricted," so please don't watch this one with the little ones in the room. If you must, there is a "clean" version available here, but what's the fun in that? Let's get naughty...
As of this writing, we're just about three months out from Christmas, and that means that the news is starting to roll in at a furious pace when it comes to a fresh dose of holiday cheer for 2017. If you happen to be the kind of "Scrooge" that will complain about it being "too early" to talk holiday entertainment, remember that this is not something new. What we have today is the first trailer for THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS, a new tale based on the true story of how author Charles Dickens (played by Dan Stevens of Disney's Beauty and the Beast) was inspired to pen one of the most famous holiday stories of all time, A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Check out the preview below, and look for the film to hit theaters on November 22.
I've mentioned Jim Henson’s EMMET OTTER’S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS many times in the past, if only because it's one of my all-time favorite holiday specials - one that I watched on HBO more times than I could count as a child. Now comes news that it's coming back to DVD on October 10 (pre-order via Amazon) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as a 40th Anniversary Edition, fully-remastered for a new generation.
2017 Call for Submissions: Holiday Wish Guide, 31 Days of Halloween, Rock Father Santa Holiday Giving Program...Written by James Zahn
UPDATED: Submissions for Holiday Wish Guide & 31 Days of Halloween are now CLOSED.
It's August as of this writing - the heart of Back-to-School season, but here at Rock Father™ HQ sights are currently set on Halloween and Christmas... or, the "Holiday Season" in general. Truth be told, behind-the-scenes at THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine, things run months in advance, much like the editorial calendar of print mags. I've actually been working on holiday content for months, and now comes the traditional open call for submissions. Opportunities for 31 Days of Halloween, Holiday Wish Guide™ and the Rock Father™ Santa Holiday Giving Program are now available.
The home stretch of the 2016 holiday season is upon us, and while there's been a solid collection of new release seasonal music released this year, we're not quite done yet. A late entry into the field comes from American Hi-Fi, who has served-up a punk-rock cover of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" featuring MxPx frontman Mike Herrera. Check it out...
I wasn't expecting my favorite new holiday song of 2016 to come from LACUNA COIL, but that just changed with the surprise release of "Naughty Christmas," a digital single (Amazon | iTunes) released by Century Media this morning. It's a cautionary tale about why kids should want to be good, with Santa delivering presents for those with good behavior, and Krampus coming for the naughty ones. My wife and I have a differing opinion on Krampus (she gets very annoyed at his mere mention - leading me to believe he may have come for her as a child), but I get excited. Perhaps it's my German roots, but I think that more children should know and respect the Krampus. Crank this one up!