There's nothing quite as annoying as wanting to see a movie with friends and having no idea what to pick. Trying to traverse the challenges of people's interests, what they've already seen, and what they like would like to see can make a once-fun idea become aggravating -- until you end up picking a film out of desperation, pleasing no one but the store that gets your coin. Hopefully this will help alleviate that turmoil. Welcome to the first installment of Friday Night Double Feature -- Cinematical's latest weekly series. Every week, you can stop by and check out two picks that would work well as a double feature -- teamed together because of theme, actors, directors, dance sequences, or any other common aspect.

This week, you're going to get a few features that have been around for a while. If you're like me, you're already getting sick of hearing the same exact Christmas songs in every store, all sap and no satire. For the most part, that's what this holiday season is -- a collection of feel-good, heart-warming media morsels. However, in the sheen of sugary sweetness, there are a few tart goodies that make the holidays just a little more interesting. First up is The Hebrew Hammer, the best Hanukkah movie to ever hit the screen, and after that, the 1980's Christmas classic, A Christmas Story. So read on, have fun, and be sure to comment about what you'd like to see, and what you think of the movies. Happy viewing!


The Hebrew Hammer



We're currently in the throes of Hannukah, so there's nothing better to slip into the DVD player than The Hebrew Hammer. Which is also partially due to the fact that there's barely any Hannukah media out there. After Adam Sandler took care of the music side of things, Adam Goldberg jumped on screen as Mordechai Jefferson Carver -- otherwise known as the Hebrew Hammer. The orthodox Jewish hero finds himself up against Santa Claus' evil son Damian, who has decided to get rid of Hannukah. With the help of Esther Bloomenbergensteinenthal, daughter of the leader of the Jewish Justice League, and Mohammed Ali Paula Abdul Rahim, head of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front, the Hebrew Hammer sets out to save the holiday and bring down Damian.

What else could you possibly want but some great laughs and B-movie, sploitation fun to balance the love and jollyness? For more reasons, check out the clips below:

Mazel tov!

All young Mordechai wants to do is spin his dreidel.

The Hebrew Hammer faces skinheads.


If you haven't already, also check out Patrick Walsh's interview with Hammer scribe Andrew Kesselman.

A Christmas Story



It's been 24 years since this film has come out, but it's just as fun today as it was back then. Bob Clark's classic follows Ralphie Parker, a young kid who wants a carbine action, two-hundred shot range Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, even though everyone else thinks that he'd shoot his eye out with it. Instead of just whining about his desire, Ralphie gets creative with bear fibs, essays, and a request to one scary Santa. Meanwhile, his dad is pretty psyched over a large package that contained a sexy, fishnet-legged lamp, and mom is preoccupied with her turkey. The movie has all the Christmas themes, but enough real-life and satirical snark to keep it all balanced.

If you'd like a wild party night, don't forget the drinking game.

And in the meantime, check out these links to get you in the mood:

The cast reunited to save the Parker house.

Siskel and Ebert review the movie.