Saturday, November 22, 2003
Holiday movies are a crapshoot. For every "Christmas Story" there are dozens of failures consigned to the coal bin of history. And it's time to make room on the pop-cultural trash pile for "National Lampoon's Thanksgiving Reunion" (7 p.m. Sunday, TBS). Only a masochist would watch this more than once.
Like many bad movies, "Lampoon" presents a clash of poorly drawn stereotypes. Judge Reinhold stars as Dr. Mitch Snider, an insecure Hollywood anesthesiologist.
Fueled by crude flatulence jokes and weighed down by Reinhold's pained facial expressions, this "Lampoon" comedy is nothing to be thankful for.
- Based on the beloved series of illustrated books by Kay Thompson, "Eloise at Christmastime" (7 p.m. today, ABC) features lovely sets, eye-popping production values, the can't-miss wonder of Gotham during the holidays, and Julie Andrews in the Mary Poppins-like role of a nanny with a cockney accent. What could go wrong?
Plenty. But I'll begin and end with Eloise (Sofia Vassilieva). She may be a precocious imp on the page, but on screen she's a terror on the nerves -- not to mention the eardrums.
Eloise's over-the-top character seems better suited to a musical comedy (a la "Annie"). It also might work in shorter doses, as a half-hour cartoon show for the TV-Y set, say. Maybe I've lost touch with my inner child, but I found this full-length movie more grating than great.
- A yuppie lawyer (Gary Sinise) returns to his rural Maine roots and finds an acquaintance (Joely Richardson) from his past in the 2003 holiday romance "Fallen Angel" (8 p.m. Sunday, CBS). A handsome film featuring a fine performance by Sinise, this tale of a December romance moves as slowly as molasses in January.
- Hugh Jackman stars in the "Great Performances" (6 p.m., PBS) presentation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical "Oklahoma!"
- A predator stalks a sci-fi convention on "Las Vegas" (7 p.m. NBC).
- Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (6 p.m., CBS): the business of porn; American POWs sue Iraq; Howard Hughes' medical charity; the "Jeopardy" phenomenon.
- The Peanuts gang talk turkey in the 1973 special "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (6 p.m., ABC), followed by "A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving" (6:30 p.m., ABC).
- The voices of Prime Minister Tony Blair, J.K. Rowling, Sir Ian McKellan, Jane Leeves and Evan Marriot guest-star on "The Simpsons" (7 p.m., Fox). A repeat episode (7:30 p.m.) follows.