Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Tis the season.

Ah, Christmas. That wonderful time of year. Full of too many people on the road, lots of lines at the stores, fighting people for presents, struggling to get that perfect gift for that perfect somebody, and of course: Christmas movies!!!

Let's look at my top five Christmas movies:

A Christmas Story, 1983, Rotten Tomatoes-89%: Red Ryder BB Guns, tongues stuck to poles, bunny pajamas, and leg lamps. These are all great aspects of the classic A Christmas Story. This is a great movie about a young boy who just wants his Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas, but keeps getting told, "You'll shoot your eye out." This movie follows his story as a kid and shows his life where a bunch of crap happens. This movie is great because of the everyday life-ness of it. It goes through a lot of situations that everyone can relate to: getting a crappy present on Christmas, being told you shouldn't play with a to because it's dangerous, getting soap in the mouth for saying a bad word, getting bullied, dinner plans not going as expected, etc... This is a movie for the ages. It has enough excitement and ridiculousness to be fun and enough realistic situations to be believable.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, 1989, RT-63%: This movie is classic Chevy Chase and National Lampoon. With classic scenes like rocketing down the snow hill on a greased up saucer sled, the cat getting fried after chewing through the Christmas lights, and the Griswold house overloading the power plant with all the lights Clark puts up, how can this movie not make the list? What better way to show the stress of Christmas than to have all the family come over for the holiday? Between the crazy uncle, the more than absent minded grandma, and the dozen other family members there is bound to be a lot of stressed involved. Christmas Vacation exaggerates familial stereotypes so the viewers can recognize and connect with the movie better.

Die Hard, 1988, RT-94%: Ah yes. The beginning of the "super-cop" subgenre of movies. Not really a Christmas movie per se, but it takes place on Christmas Eve and is a great movie. This is where New York police officer John McClane takes on a well organized small army of terrorists led by Hans Gruber. McClane and Gruber are played by Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman respectively with a great performance by both. This movie is a great action flick where Bruce Willis does a lot of ridiculous stunts and takes quite a beating in order to protect the several hostages taken. This movie is great, not just because it still holds up as an excellent action flick today, but it was the first awesome "lone cop kicks the crap out of a large group of terrorist" story line. Besides the awesome action sequences, there are a lot of great lines. Specifically: "Yippee Ki Yay Motherf**ker."

Home Alone (1 & 2), 1990, 1992, RT-54%: As far back as I can remember, these films have been on around Christmas time (probably because it came out in 1990, the year after I was born). As such, I have grown up with them. These are great movies that follow a kid who gets left at home in Chicago as his parents fly over to Paris for the holiday. There are a couple of robbers that are casing the neighborhood and we get a glimpse into what a fairly intelligent 8-year-old would do without the hassle of having parents around. The kid, Kevin, then has to fend off the two bandits from stealing stuff from his home. From this point on it turns into a three stooges kind of slap-stick humor. They fall down icy stairs, step on nails and broken ornaments. It's a great physical comedy for children to enjoy, and the adults can enjoy it too. The second one is the same premise, except he gets on the wrong airplane and flies to New York instead of Miami. Some traps are re-used and built upon and instead of him enjoying the house to himself, Kevin gets to sight see in the Big Apple. I chose these because they are friendly to all audiences, and even though they have essentially the same plot, they are different enough to both be endearing and enjoyable watches year after year. Granted they aren't the highest quality films (They definitely didn't win Best Picture or anything) but that gives it some draw as they are merely fun movies.

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946, RT-95%: This movie is a black and white tale of George Bailey who falls on hard times. He heads out to a bridge where he plans to jump off and kill himself. This is when the angel Clarence shows up. It's his mission to save George and make him see how important he is to people in his life so that he can get his wings. In order to do this, he shows George what the world would have been like had George never been born. He goes on a very enlightening and depressing journey to find his hope again. This is a classic heart-warming tale of love, and emphasizes the fact that small things tend to have massive effects to others.

Santa Clause, 1994, RT-80%: I know I know, I said five. This is the sixth. I threw in an extra one for all of those that don't count Die Hard. So here we go. What would happen if Santa Claus died while delivering presents to your house? Would he need a replacement? Who gets picked? This movie explores these questions and shows the technology and ridiculous budget that the North Pole has. Tim Allen plays a great character who flounders in his forced role of being Santa. Of course he doesn't want to be involved in it but his kid convinces him to do it. This movie is just an extraordinarily fun movie. There's no major theme to be learned here, besides the classic don't be a scrooge. Again just a fun movie, worth a watch.

Anyways, that's it for now. What movies did I miss? Post your favorites below!
So happy holidays to all!!

1 comment:

  1. I love all of these too, but my fave is ELF!!!!! I can't get enough of Buddy's simple yet complete Christmas joy! Merry Christmas to you!!