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HOLIDAY MOVIES_these are good

December 15, 2010

NOTE:  This post was original published in December of 2009.  But so many of you enjoyed it then I thought it’d be worth posting again!

"Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..."

I know this is the week of James Cameron’s Avatar and I know you’re probably expecting me to shoot off a few more posts about it (and that crappy marketing campaign.) But I really think there is nothing more to say about that film… without actually seeing it. So, in honor of that other J.C. whose birthday most of us will be celebrating, one way or another, sometime next week, I’ve decided to compile a list of my favorite holiday movies. I don’t think there’s an order to these…

Die Hard. Just watched it last night… This classic stars Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman and – unquestionably — kicks ass. If you haven’t seen it… well, I don’t know why you’re reading this blog. And yes: it is a Christmas movie. The terrorist take over the building on Christmas Eve… and only two people can save the day: Jesus Christ himself (but I guess he’s off doing other things) or John McClane, a NYPD detective who just so happens to be visiting his estranged wife that very night, in that exact building. Awesomeness ensues. Contrary to what some people think (mainly a confused coworker of mine who once told me Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was a good movie – if you’re reading this, dude, you owe me the ten bucks I spent on that dvd) the movie has held up rather well over time. Sure it has the look and feel of mid-80s cinema… but is that so wrong? If you think about the film as a period piece, it’s completely acceptable.

Favorite scene: When McClane sends the dead-baddie down in the elevator with the note written on his chest: “Now I have a machine gun. Ho-Ho-Ho.” (see it here: . Why the little shit has the embed option disabled is beyond me… but I’m over it.) Though the scene where he throws the C-4 plastic explosive down the elevator shaft is pretty awesome as well.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This classic stars Chevy Chase and has to be the funniest, legitimate Christmas movie, at least that I can think of. The story is simple, the Griswolds celebrate Christmas, but the laughs are many. I actually haven’t seen this movie in years but I feel it probably holds up rather well. If the film has a downside its that it makes you miss Chevy Chase… what the hell happened to his career?!

Favorite Scene: When the SWAT team storms the house… all to the tune of Here Comes Santa Claus by Gene Autry. Haha. Love it.

Gremlins. Another non-traditional but totally Christmas-based classic. Steven Spielberg produced, Chris Columbus written, and Joe Dante directed, this film hits the spot. It’s comedy. It’s horror. It teaches kids how to responsibly own animals. If this film has a downside… it’s that I now hate each of the filmmakers listed above – Spielberg: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Columbus: Bicentennial Man; Dante: Gremlins 2 (he frustrates me to the most. I loved Innerspace!)

Favorite Scene: Phoebe Cates (the hot) explains how she found out there was no Santa Claus. The story is completely random, it rambles on, and it ends up having one of the best dark comedy punch lines ever. Brilliant.

Scrooged. This classic (in my mind at least) stars Bill Murray, is directed by Richard Donner (who also directed Lethal Weapon, another Christmas classic close to being on this list), and is a simple retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Hmm.  Seems as though the ‘80s were full of dark comedy Christmas movies, a genre that seems to have entirely disappeared. Anyway, in Scrooged you have classic Bill Murray, the biggest, most sarcastic ass of them all. What more do you need?

Favorite Scene: The part where Bill Murray… does something… funny…. Ah, hell. I don’t know. Here’s a clip from Elf instead:

So, what have I forgotten?  Let’s hear it…

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Hack Riven permalink
    December 17, 2009 1:09 am

    I’ll tell you what happened to Chevy Chase… he was in a TV movie called The Karate Dog. “The Karate Dog?” you jest …thinking I’m kidding. well, I’m not kidding. sadly, there really is a movie about a dog that is an expert in martial arts? what could possible be worse than that? how about the the fact that it was made in 2004; it is live action; the dog is on the LAPD; it is the only dog that can speak; stunts were performed with a dog suspended by wires …and the dog is voiced by Chevy Chase?

    factor in Nothing But Trouble and Memoirs of an Invisible Man…

    Bill Murray = legend.
    Chevy Chase = Clark Griswold.

  2. cklockwork permalink*
    December 17, 2009 2:00 am

    We actually have Karate Dog sitting on a shelf at work, unopened. It shall be watched soon…

    don’t forget The Chevy Chase show. ugh.

    this is some of the worst four minutes of television ever produced…

  3. Hack Riven permalink
    December 17, 2009 6:55 am

    WHY is there a copy of that on your studio shelf?

    tell you what you can do with it: White Elephant.

  4. cklockwork permalink*
    December 17, 2009 2:31 pm

    my coworker picked it up at the grocery store check out line. you didn’t think those movies were for kids did you? unfortunately i’m worried the dvd might of already hit the gift exchange here at work. any unopened dvds usually do. hmm… must find it…

  5. King Hulk Marco permalink
    December 17, 2010 8:57 am

    Good review young man.

    I am surprised you haven’t included the Muppets Christmas Carol.

    That film rocks!

  6. King Hulk Marco permalink
    December 18, 2010 12:57 am

    I am surprised!!!!!

    It is on every x-mas and is still very funny. I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy the antics of the muppets.

    Track it down when you can my friend.

  7. December 29, 2010 3:05 am

    A Christmas special was just that something you looked forward to in December and enjoyed the memory of until the next year. I waited all year to hear that beautifully vile description of The Grinch.

  8. December 30, 2010 12:58 am

    I love your site theme! What template did you use ?

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