Med City Movie Guy: Armchair-shop 'till you drop with these DVDs

The Christmas shopping season has encroached on our Thanksgiving celebration, so we might as well embrace the frenzy like these films have.

Paul Blart, Mall Cop.

The tryptophan hasn't kicked in yet, so you're reading this (thank you very much). In the background, relatives who've traveled for hours to be with each other are dredging-up grudges from decades past. Like, you know, the thing, with the guy, from that place; it's all vague, of course, except the part about it being your cousin's fault, that part they remember vividly.

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without family quarrels but when voices are raised and you hear the unmistakable sound of a scoop of Stove Top Stuffing hit the wall you wonder if you shouldn't go in and mediate.

Just then, it occurs to you there is something else for which to be thankful: that stores are open to give respite. Is that, and not door-busting bargains, the real draw?

Who knows, but like it or not, the Christmas shopping season has encroached on our Thanksgiving celebration so we might as well embrace the frenzy like these films have.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)


"Die Hard" meets Mr. Bulky when 'King of Queens' star Kevin James plays a portly mall cop who answers the question: exactly what does the Apache Mall security detail do besides rousting teenagers out of those massage chairs in front of Things Remembered? When he's not patrolling the corridors on a zippy little Segway scooter that he maneuvers with Baryshnikov-like grace and skill, taking his constabulary duties perhaps a little too seriously, Blart is saving both customers and merchants from a hoard of cyberrobbers who prey on the mall's busiest day, Black Friday. "Yippee-Ki-Yay, Hickory Farms!"

Jingle All the Way (1996)

Arnold Schwarzenegger goes Commando on the Mall of America looking for an all-but-terminated "Turboman" action toy for his son in this family comedy that co-stars Sinbad. All the boy really wants is his workaholic father's attention, but this one captures the lunacy of the quest for that hard-to-find gift that too often obscures the true meaning of the season.

Mallrats (1995)

Speaking of Minnesota malls, director Kevin Smith ("Clerks") filmed this slacker comedy at the Eden Prairie Center Mall. Admittedly less about shopping than the subculture that commandeers mall public spaces, it features Ben Affleck in one of his earlier and more slimy roles.

Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)

Isla Fisher ("The Great Gatsby") loves shopping but when she maxes-out her "magic cards," she's forced to take a job at a magazine for thrifty people. Based on the popular book series from Sophie Kinsella.

The Gift of the Magi (1952)


The last of five stories in the anthology "O. Henry's Full House." Introduced by Pulitzer- and Nobel-Prize winner John Steinbeck, it is a poignant and timeless tale of what should be, but rarely is, the essence of our shopping dilemma. A young couple, each with only one asset dear to them — she, her wonderful hair; he, his pocket watch — struggle to find a means to demonstrate their love. Unbeknownst to the other, she sells her hair to buy him a fob for the watch he pawned to buy her combs.

Visit the Center Stage blog for more movie chat to be thankful for.

Chris Miksanek is a Rochester freelance writer. Follow him on the Center Stage blog at .

Jingle All The Way.

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