A Wish For Wings That Work (1991, Skip Jones)

First time I’ve watched this since its highly anticipated TV premiere. It’s like Rudolph but with Opus – he helps Santa with a problem and is rewarded with a fly-around by the ducks that used to laugh and call him names. Highlight is when Opus is injected into a scene from Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon after an ad break.

Opus was Michael Bell (Duke in G.I. Joe), neighborhood pig and ducks were Joe Alaskey (Plucky in Tiny Toons, Bugs and Daffy in Looney Tunes: Back in Action), and uncredited appearances by Robin Williams (botching a NZ accent) and Dustin Hoffman (goofing on Tootsie). Director Skip Jones was a Don Bluth animator.

Breathed was not happy with the final result, and I can see his point. Still the only appearance of Bloom County characters on TV – technically Outland characters at this point – though Breathed’s Mars Need Moms book was adapted as a crappy-looking flop feature film, and his story Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big was adapted into a short the author called “an unmitigated technical disaster – unfinished and unwatchable.”

Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Live (2015, Jody Shapiro)

A weird hour-long mash-up of scenes from Rossellini’s Green Porno live tour, behind-the-scenes tour footage, coverage of the book tour, the original short films, and related stuff, like following a scientist to observe mating seals. “It is essential that what I say is scientifically correct. Otherwise I’m a nut – and who needs another nut?” I didn’t realize she’s done two other series called Seduce Me and Mammas, and an hourlong documentary called Animals Distract Me. Jody Shapiro also shoots and produces Guy Maddin films.

A Very Murray Christmas (2015, Sofia Coppola)

In which a bunch of our favorite actors who cannot sing very well, and a handful of actual singers, congregate in Coppola’s underlit Lost In Translation hotel to act sad, goof around and gradually cheer up. The band Phoenix was the best part, with Chris Rock’s off-time backing vocals a close second.

Chris Isaak Christmas (2004)

Watched in hotel while getting ready for the family Christmas. A million times more festive than the Bill Murray one, with more upbeat music.

Charlie Brooker’s 2015 Wipe

Funny look at a depressing year. Good bit on the media’s changing attitudes on the humanity of refugees, and Brooker finally got to address his spooky Black Mirror PM pig-sex prediction on the air. Stanhope got cut for being too controversial… hope his segment turns up sometime.

Shaun The Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas (2015, Jay Grace)

Like the movie, but shorter, and with troublemaking nihilist llamas which are even worse than the pigs.

Good combo of the Before Sunrise slow-romance and the maturing-artist drama, a nice surprise from Rock after two Grown Ups and three Madagascars. Between the Chaplin references, the wonderful Cinderella ending and the overall walky, chatty New York vibe, it feels like he’s got a sense of movie history, is trying to craft something more timeless than the usual hard-mugging studio comedy. The movie doesn’t aim for laughs in every scene, casting Rosario Dawson instead of a comedian as Rock’s foil and spending much of the plot on struggles with alcoholism (although while in jail after a drunken relapse, Rock gets serenaded by DMX, singing Chaplin’s “Smile”). Rock’s fiancee (Gabrielle Union of Bring It On, Bad Boys 2) is prepping their wedding for a Bravo series, but Rock doesn’t waste time mocking reality TV, even with both Tracy and Angie “Queen of” Jordan in his supporting cast. Dawson’s character seems to have plenty of time to hang out even though she juggles a kid, a series of relationships, alcoholics anonymous, and at least three writing personas (sex columns for Cosmo, pseudonym film reviews, plus the feature interview she’s supposedly writing on Rock). JB Smoove is cool as Rock’s friend/handler and Cedric the Entertainer is hilarious as a hedonist promoter in a low-point flashback sequence.