Christmas movies showing at Milwaukee theaters (many at a discount, too)

Sometimes, the movies showing during the holiday season actually are about the holidays. In addition to Yule-themed Hollywood offerings ("A Bad Moms Christmas," "Daddy's Home 2," "The Man Who Invented Christmas"), an array of holiday chestnuts — along with a few forgotten gifts — are showing in Milwaukee-area theaters in December.  RELATED: Holiday TV guide 2017: What's on from Thanksgiving through New Year's RELATED: Holiday movie guide: What's coming to theaters for the rest of 2017 Here's a list, worthy of checking twice. Marcus Theatres is showing "retro" Holiday Classics from Dec. 1  through Dec. 14 in multiple locations, including the Hillside, Majestic, Menomonee Falls, North Shore, Ridge and South Shore cinemas, and the new Bistroplex at Southridge Mall. Tickets are $5. Showtimes and ticket info: Dec. 1-7: "It's a Wonderful Life,""Elf" and "The Polar Express" Dec. 8-14: "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation,""A Christmas Story" and "White Christmas" The Rivoli Theatre's holiday-season tradition — a marathon of Christmas-y fare — returns starting Dec. 8 with 16 straight days of movies and TV shows on the big screen at the Cedarburg discount movie house, W62-N567 Washington Ave. Admission is $3.50. Info:    Dec. 8: 7 p.m., "A Christmas Story" Dec. 9: 1 p.m., "Samantha: American Girl Holiday"; 3:30 p.m., "The Polar Express"; 7 p.m., "White Christmas"Dec. 10: 1 p.m., "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"; 3:30 p.m., "Elf"; 7 p.m., "It’s a Wonderful Life" Dec. 11: 7 p.m., "A Christmas Story" Dec. 12: 7 p.m., "National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation" Dec. 13: 7 p.m., "Holiday Inn"Dec. 14: 7 p.m., "The Bells of St. Mary’s" Dec. 15: 7 p.m., "White Christmas" Dec. 16: 1 p.m., "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Continue Reading

Holiday TV guide: Movies, cartoons, music and ‘Christmas Story’ marathons

If some people have their way, our schedule for the next month is clear.There's no time for sledding or sleighing or roasting chestnuts at an open fire; we'll be watching TV.It will be Christmas movies, Christmas cartoons, Christmas music. It will start Thanksgiving morning with a parade, end Dec. 25 with a “Christmas Story” marathon. We may need extra TV sets.Yes, this trend started long ago. The classic specials for the Grinch, Charlie Brown and Rudolph are 51, 52 and 53 years old.But it hit overdrive when The Family Channel created “25 Days of Christmas” in 1996. That channel kept changing identities – Fox Family, then ABC Family, now Freeform – but the idea stayed and was widely copied and expanded.More: Turn your Christmas TV movie binge-watching into a bingo game More:  5 things to binge-watch this Thanksgiving weekend More:  Things to do in Cincy this weekend: Nov. 24-26We've included everything new that's been scheduled so far – there will be more, plus changes – and the perennials that people might consider can't-miss. But that's just the start, with lots of other reruns, plus Christmas episodes of regular series. You'd better cancel those sledding/sleighing/roasting plans. Parades- “Hollywood Christmas Parade,” 8-10 p.m. Dec. 15, CW. “A Christmas Story”- The Broadway musical will be done live, from 7-11 p.m. Dec. 17 on Fox.- A week later, TBS has its annual marathon of the delightful 1983 movie. That starts at 8 p.m. Dec. 24 and repeats every two hours, until 8 p.m. Dec. 25. New cartoon- “Trolls Holiday,” 7 p.m. Dec. 24, NBC. It's a musical with Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and Zooey Deschanel. The cartoon classics- “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” 8 p.m. Dec. 25, NBC. It's a 30-minute masterpiece.- “Frosty the Snowman,” 9 p.m. Dec. 9, CBS. Its non-classic sequel is at 9 p.m.- “A Charlie Brown Continue Reading

Turn your Christmas TV movie binge-watching into a bingo game

How many times have you been watching a made-for-TV Christmas movie and halfway through wondered: Wait, have I seen this already?You know, the one with the heroine trying to save her family-owned business from an evil corporate takeover right when her old flame makes a return to her small town?What we love about these movies — the predictability, the holiday wordplay, the happily-ever-after endings — can make them ripe for ridicule. And ripe for bingo cards.This year, add a little competition to your holiday plans. Use our bingo card generator to create as many random bingo cards as you want. Print out the cards or take screenshots, using a photo editor to check off spaces when you see familiar storylines, plot devices, and settings in the movie. Prizes are up to you, but we suggest winner gets to pick the next movie.And by the way, we aren't telling you to make this bingo card a drinking game, but we're not telling you not to either. RELATED: Holiday TV guide 2017: What's on from Thanksgiving through New Year's RELATED: The Countdown to Christmas begins with these new holiday movies from Hallmark, Lifetime   Continue Reading

Holiday TV guide: Where and when to catch Rudolph, the Grinch and 9 other favorites

When's Charlie Brown on? Where's the Grinch (the animated one, not Jim Carrey's)? Here's a quick guide to where and when you can see 11 perennial holiday TV favorites this season. See the complete listings for program details.  RELATED: Holiday TV guide 2017: What's on from Thanksgiving through New Year's "A Charlie Brown Christmas"ABC: 7 p.m. Nov. 30 "A Christmas Carol" (1938 version, with Reginald Owen as Scrooge)  TCM: 11:15 a.m. Dec. 16, 1 a.m. Dec. 24 "A Christmas Carol" (1951 version, with Alistair Sim as Scrooge) TCM: 7 p.m. Dec. 8 "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (1966 animated version) NBC: 7 p.m. Nov. 24, 7 p.m. Dec. 25 TBS: 6 p.m. Dec. 9 "Elf" FREE: 5:40 p.m. Nov. 23, 8:15 p.m. Dec. 1, 6 p.m. Dec. 2, 5:40 p.m. Dec. 4, 3:35 p.m. Dec. 5, 7:50 p.m. Dec. 6, 5:50 p.m. Dec. 7, 7:40 p.m. Dec. 10  "Holiday Inn" TCM: 8:30 a.m. Jan. 1"It's a Wonderful Life" NBC: 7 p.m. Dec. 24 "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947 version) AMC: 7 and 9:15 p.m. Dec. 16, 7 a.m. and 5 a.m. Dec. 23, 12:30 p.m. Dec. 24"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" AMC: 10:30 a.m. and 7:50 p.m. Nov. 23, 5:45 p.m. Nov. 28, 3:15 p.m. Nov. 29, 6:05 p.m. Dec. 1, 3:50 p.m. Dec. 2, 7:50 p.m. Dec. 4, 5:45 p.m. Dec. 5, 11 p.m. Dec. 6, 1:35 p.m. Dec. 7, 9:45 p.m. Dec. 9, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 10 "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" CBS: 7 p.m. Nov. 28, 7 p.m. Dec. 9 "White Christmas" AMC: 9:30 a.m. Dec. 17, 9:15 p.m. Dec. 21, 9:30 a.m. Dec. 23, 1:45 p.m. Dec. 24 Continue Reading

Readers sound off on housing for victims of Hurricane Sandy and Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving

Housing ideas from all quarters Brooklyn: With thousands suddenly homeless and winter fast approaching, FEMA and the city should create a modular home assembly line. This would quickly provide well-built, safe, warm homes for our storm-ravaged homeless and bring jobs to New York. We could also convert steel shipping containers into temporary living quarters that are strong and resilient. We could set up a trailer/shipping container community at Floyd Bennett Field. It’s close to the Queens and Brooklyn areas that have been devastated, and with a Q35 bus stop there, our neighbors could get to work, school or shopping. M. Taeler Staten Island: Wouldn’t it be nice if the banks that are holding on to foreclosed houses could work something out for the people who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy? There are plenty of these houses to go around, and the banks aren’t making any money letting them sit empty. Why not come up with a temporary plan to house all these people who have enough to worry about now? Linda Burke What are we, garbage? Brooklyn: Mayor Bloomberg personally thanked sanitation workers for their help on the hurricane cleanup. What about MTA workers who came in on their days off, worked around the clock for four to six days and then did 12-hour shifts for another three days? If it weren’t for us, New York would be in a much worse predicament. We do a thankless job but are vital to this city. The mayor needs to recognize the MTA workers for the job we do. Sean Hill Unlimited gall Ozone Park: So the MTA won’t reimburse those with monthly MetroCards who lost time due to not being able to travel to get to work for three days. Why am I not surprised? Amy Marino Doesn’t register Franklin Square, L.I.: I would like to thank the Malverne police officer, Badge No. 177, who pulled my husband over while directing traffic around downed wires Nov. 9 because of an expired registration (four days late). After Continue Reading

This Christmas gives the gift of oodles of television marathons

Now that the presents have been opened, good tidings have been brought and you're stuffed to the gills with holiday cheer, it's time to kick back and relax and enjoy one of the many Christmas Day TV marathons. And, as the networks do each year, Christmas is a great day to catch up on favorite series - and movies - in what is the TV equivalent of little stocking stuffers crammed into your cable box. The grand tradition of TBS' 24-hour "A Christmas Story" marathon is back this holiday season. The programming block kicked off at 8 Thursday night and will continue until 8 Friday. TBS is not alone in the movie repeat treat, either. AMC and Spike join the action this year, with their own Christmas movie marathons. Beginning at 6:30 a.m., AMC will air the seasonal classic, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" over and over ... and over, until Saturday and, at 9 a.m., Spike unleashes Billy Bob Thornton on his worst behavior in "Bad Santa," which will also repeat until Saturday. But, wait, there's more. FX is presenting a "Night at the Museum Christmas Day Marathon," from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. It's not exactly a Christmas movie, per se, but there is snow in it (and a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton). Lastly, in the movies department, "Dirty Dancing," starring the late Patrick Swayze, will repeat throughout the day on TV Guide Network, starting at noon. As for the TV on your TV, A&E kicks off a 16-episode run of "Criminal Minds" at 8 a.m. Also at that hour, History launches a 12-episode marathon of "UFO Files," a documentary series about close encounters. At 8:30 a.m., SyFy's "Stargate Universe," about an exploration team on the spaceship Destiny, travels a distant corner of the universe for 10 episodes. "Mythbusters" gets in the holiday spirit with a whopping 18 episodes, starting at 9 a.m. on the Discovery Channel. The show gets underway by trying to get to the bottom of Santa's flying reindeer, how to keep the needles on your tree and how much Continue Reading

Holiday TV Guide: What to watch this year

LOS ANGELES — It's that most wonderful time of the TV year when we are visited again by the welcome ghosts of classic holiday programs past — hello again, Frosty the Snowman and even mean old Grinch!But there are newcomers as well, with Mariah Carey, Bill Murray and an "Empire" variety special among them. Isn't it greedy to ask Santa for anything more?Among the program highlights (all times EST; check local listings for encore airings):— "Frosty the Snowman," 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, CBS. The adventures of the snowman (voiced by Jackie Vernon) with the magical top hat and jolly soul, which first aired in 1969, as narrated by Jimmy Durante.— "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, CBS. The 1964 special in which Rudolph and buddies Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius and the Misfit Toys rescue Christmas, with narrator Burl Ives' dulcet tones an added bonus.— "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, NBC. The Dr. Seuss tale of a hostile hermit who threatens Whoville's joy is narrated by Boris Karloff, who also voices the dastardly Grinch in the 1966 program.— "The Little Drummer Boy," 12 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, ABC Family. Young Aaron, who can't afford to buy a present for baby Jesus, discovers that nothing is better than the gift of music.— "A Christmas Detour," 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, Hallmark Channel. Candace Cameron Bure and Paul Greene star as two New York City-bound travelers rerouted to a Buffalo airport hotel and into unexpected territory.— "It's a Wonderful Life," 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, NBC. Filmmaker Frank Capra's holiday fable starring James Stewart and Donna Reed has been reminding audiences about what's important in life since 1946.— "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors," 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, NBC. Alyvia Alyn Lind plays the country music legend as a child in a story inspired by Parton's family life in 1950s Tennessee. Jennifer Nettles, Gerald McRaney and Ricky Continue Reading

On kids’ TV this weekend

TODAY 8:30 a.m. Sonic X. Dr. Eggman's Egg Fort rises from the ashes of his base to wreak havoc on Sonic and the town. (5) Tom and Jerry Tales. Tom and Jerry fight under the Christmas tree; Spike tackles Tom and Jerry in the snow. (11) Class of 3000. The Westley children offer to do Sunny's chores. (TOON) 9:00 Viva Pinata. Wilson wants to be sent to a pinata party; Paulie and Fergy ask Ella Elephanilla to the Dance of Romance. (5) The Emperor's New School. Kuzco's wish that he never was emperor is granted. (7) 9:30 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward. The Turtles find out that Agent Bishop is alive in the year 2105. (5) The Replacements. The children replace the boring guide on an archeology field trip. (7) 10:00 Madeline. A tea party turns into a big production. (2) Legion of Super Heroes. The Legion must seek help from their foes when they cannot stop the Sun-Eater. (11) 10:30 Babar. The king's children tell him of a monster in the palace. (4) The Batman. The Riddler reveals his origins when he and Batman are dropped at the harbor. (11) 11:00 Trollz. The girls inadvertently release the evil Snarf from the Ancient World, and have no idea how to get him back. (2) Yu-Gi-Oh! Yugi's chances of winning the duel are getting worse. (5) The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. The twins investigate Arwin's invention and find themselves in another dimension. (7) SUNDAY 9:30 a.m. Liberty's Kids. Sarah reunites with her father in Ohio; James takes on an angry mob while reporting on inflation. (11) 10:30 Handy Manny. Light bulbs break; Squeeze pinches Manny's hand by mistake. (DIS) The Fairly OddParents. Timmy wishes he was doll-sized for an adventure with his Crimson Chin action figure; Timmy's parents suspect he's a shoplifter. (NICK) 11:00 Liberty's Kids. Sarah is shipwrecked when sailing to England and is saved by John Paul Jones. (11) Danny Phantom. Mayor Vlad releases a weather ghost when Amity Park is in the midst of a drought. Continue Reading

Guide to Southern California theme-park Halloween events

As Halloween approaches, it’s time to support the lurking class.Its members wait in the shadows, or around the next corner, or right behind you. Their only job is to separate you from your bejeesus, scaring it out of you.Some of the best lurkers are found at Southern California amusement parks where an army of flesh-hungry zombies or serial killers or twisted clowns (as if there were other kinds) await victims willing to pay the price to meet the proud members of the scare force.SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COVERAGE:  Your ultimate guide to Disneyland  | Your ultimate guide to Universal Studios Hollywood | San Diego travel guideFrom the wildest to the mildest, here’s a rundown of the shocks you’ll find in the dread of night, at least through October.The frights: Universal is the scream queen when it comes to Halloween-inspired terror. The park offers seven mazes, and one is permanent (“The Walking Dead”).Each relies on evils popularized in movies and TV, not surprising since Universal owns the franchises, meaning more cash to spend on special effects and less on licensing. In addition to walking with the undead, visitors can roam mazes featuring “The Exorcist,” “American Horror Story,” “Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield,” “Freddy vs. Jason,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Blood Brothers” and a very scary Christmas brought to you by “Krampus,” the anti-Santa.The sights: As you wander the park, beware of armed vigilantes who’ve stepped out of “The Purge: Election Year.” They’re seeking to cancel your vote — and your life signs.RELATED: Universal Studios Hollywood vs. Disneyland: 5 differences | Best and worst of Universal Studios Hollywood | Best, worst of Universal Studios tram tourThe heights: Universal has carved out a real blood-and-gore niche when it comes to Continue Reading

A big guide to summer movies

Summer is here, or almost. It arrives early in movie theaters, the way Christmas comes to a department store. In that vein, there will be plenty of nice gifts among the many offerings here, as well as some disappointments. (It's a numbers game, really — they can't all be good. Or bad.) Keep in mind, these are the big releases; smaller independent films will pop up here and there throughout the summer. And, as always, the schedule is tentative. Check local listings. Editor's note: We'll be keeping an eye on this list, so as movies open, we'll add links for reviews. Click titles for full reviews.  RELATED: Ready for another summer of superhero movies?“Captain America: Civil War” (PG-13): The summer movie season  kicks off in earnest. Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) disagree on whether the government should oversee the Avengers. Didn’t Superman and Batman just fight this out? And shouldn’t they just be out there, I don’t know, saving the world or something?“The Darkness” (PG-13): From the press release: “A family returns from a Grand Canyon vacation with a supernatural presence in tow.” Great. Just what Arizona needs: another public-relations embarrassment. At least this one doesn’t involve the Legislature.“Money Monster” (R): George Clooney plays a blowhard TV financial “expert,” with Julia Roberts. Jack O’Connell is the working-class fellow who lost all his money listening to Clooney’s advice. Now he’s mad as hell, not going to take it anymore. So he takes Clooney hostage — on air. Must be a sweeps month."Love & Friendship" (PG): Kate Beckinsale stars as Lady Susan Vernon, who schemes to find a husband for her daughter — and, while she's at it, herself.“The Angry Birds Movie” (PG): Origin story of the popular app game, which is to say we learn why the Continue Reading