Top 5 Christmas Movies of All Time!
by Vik Azeem
It's thats special time of the year where we all like to sip egg nog, hang up stockings, and watch Hans Gruber fly off the top of a building in slow motion! That can only mean Christmas!
Now let me preface by saying that I don't celebrate Christmas. Well, not in the traditional gifts under a tree type of a way. As a child I had to watch all my friends get such gifts as Karate Fighters, Sock-em Boppers, and Wrestlemania the Arcade Game. I on other hand got....a day off from school. And I'm not complaining about that. It was on those days off that I would have an annual- but- not -quite- traditional marathon of (in Arnold voice) Fantastic Christmas Movies! I thought I would give some recommendations of the best of the best, and by that I don't mean a terrible 80's fighting movie starring Eric Roberts!
5. Jingle All the Way:
Arnold voice: "Get to Thhhhhhhhheeee Toyyyyy Stoorreeeee." Any time Arnold is in a comedy I rejoice. First Twins, now this? Absolutely fantastic. We won't talk about the ill-fated Batman and Robin (yes that was a comedy). Does anybody know what the hell happened to Sinbad? He starred in a movie where he was a part of the secret service, and then it's like the Illuminati made his career disappear! No in all seriousness, he's fantastic in this movie, absolutely fantastic. Alright no more using the word fantastic. This one has stood the test of time. Turbo Man is the toy every kid wants, Tickle Me Elmos be damned! And it never hurts to have Phil Hartman in a supporting role. There is a new sequel out starring Larry the Cable Guy. I don't think that one will appear on next years list.
4. Die Hard:
"Welcome to the party pal." Ah yes, the ancient debate returns. Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Well, John Mclain is at a Christmas party when it gets taken hostage by a band of goons who at first seem to be serving a political purpose but are actually in it for the money (predictable, but done well). There is at least one Christmas tree, one Christmas jingle, and a holly-jolly female lead named Holly. And damn if it doesn't come on television every Christmas. (Note: Always watch real version, not chopped down heavily edited TV version). Hey, if all those celebrities are getting honorary doctorates, why can't Die Hard be honored as a Christmas classic? What is great about the movie is that when things look dicey for our hero, its Carl Winslow from Family Matters to the rescue! Imagine yourself in some serious trouble, who else would you want more than Officer Winslow? I don't know if in the history of movies such appropriate casting been done. Bravo to the casting director! Die Hard is an adrenaline rush: like a very long Mountain Dew commercial! When the closing credits hit, the only question left is "WHERE ARE MY DETONATORS?"
3. Home Alone:
Let's take a moment and give a round of applause for the one and only John Hughes. The creator of The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and of course Home Alone! I need to send a letter to Fox because these goons used to play Home Alone every Thanksgiving instead of Christmas. What a bunch of maroons! Although I personally associate it with Thanksgiving, it clearly is a Christmas movie and a great one at that. Mccauley Culken is as sly as ever, although I prefer him in The Good Son when he terrorizes Elijah Wood. He shows an acting range here that would NEVER display itself in any of his adult performances (yes, he still acts). Sly enough to fend off two dastardly criminals from robbing his house, but not sly enough to keep his parents from taking all of his money (low blow, I admit), Mccauley legimately carries this movie on his back. To watch Joe Pesci in Goodfellas and then see his turn here, now that is ACTING. It has a very wholesome message of the importance of family and to a lesser degree being careful what you wish for. Beyond all else, the final half an hour are as fun as it gets in movies.
2. The Santa Clause:
Although I didn't celebrate Christmas, I did as a kid think that Santa Clause was real. Actually, my parents told me that he was a real guy who one year, while delivering gifts actually crashed into the roof of a house and died. Now, that I believed this is not surprising considering I always thought A.D meant After Dinosaurs. This movie has Santa Clause dying at the beginning, but it's for the greater good (so Tim Allen can take over). Who doesn't like Tim Allen? Home Improvement, Galaxy Quest, Joe Somebody (wait ignore that last one). I applaud this movie for having Tim Allen's character forced with no options for Christmas dinner, eat at Denny's and not IHOP. One more for the good guys! So this is the most traditional of all the Christmas movies, and it really captures the spirit of Christmas. You have Santa Clause, elves, reindeer, and...Judge Reinhold. I want to hum the Beverly Hills Cop theme to myself but I will refrain. I have not seen any of the sequels but my boss just told me that part three is great (part three is historically the worst in 80% of all trilogies but I'm always right half the time).
The most underappreciated and unheralded movie perhaps in history. Bill Murray is at his sarcastic best (if you are a fan of Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters, this would complete the trilogy of characters who are scum on paper but are made likable by Bill Murray). There are so many good things about this movie. From the dark comedy, to a surprisingly effective love story, and finally a musical number at the end that would melt the coldest man's heart the movie is terrific. It's about it never being late to turn things around and do the right thing. Admittedly, the movie starts out very dark. It lightens up and by the time you get to Benicio Del Toro as the Ghost of Christmas Past you are locked in! Charles Dickens would be proud. Ebeneezer would be angry, because he always is! If you put me on an island with one Christmas movie, I would first question the randomness of that scenario, but upon accepting my ridiculous fate I would request a copy of Scrooged!
A Christmas Story:
I see a lot of hate mail coming my way for not including this. If I take off my nostalgia goggles and judge objectively, this is a decent movie that has taken on Christmas Lore and became ingrained in tradition because TBS plays it 24 hours a day on December 25th. I see it as a good, even great, but not better than the above 5. So put your bebe guns (Read bebe not as in Bebes kids) because you'll shoot your eye out with that thing and no I didn't forget about A Christmas Story.
One of the best movies and one of the worst movies ever. Bill Goldberg plays a killer Santa Clause who goes around and slays his victims in the most tongue in cheek ways imaginable. Pure cheesy goodness, and a good way to change the mood from family fun to jaded adult campfest!