Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ten New Christmas Movie Recommendations

Back in 2008 I recommended these ten Christmas-related movies:
Bad Santa, Batman Returns, Christmas Evil, Dead End, Die Hard, Eyes Wide Shut, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Trading Places

It’s taken a while but I finally have ten more:
1.      Black Christmas: An interesting if slow paced thriller of a madman stalking women in a sorority house. Not quite the slasher predessor that some claim it to be, it’s still an interesting step in that direction, and arguably its tameness makes it scarier
2.      A Christmas Carol (1951): I’m not normally into the more sentimental Christmas stories, but Dickens’ story is darker than most and Alastair Sim gives his best known performance playing a miserly businessman who’s visited by three ghosts
3.      Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: this live action version of the story isn’t quite as good as the animated special, but it’s still a respectable adaptation of the story of a moody creature who finds his heart; plus at least come versions of the DVD come with a really neat snow globe
4.      Die Hard 2: Die Harder: Okay this isn’t a great movie, but it’s still a cut above the usual Christmas pablum. The hero must save his family from a plane that is being held hostage by a madman who likes to work out in the nude
5.      He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special: Characters from the He-Man and She-Ra toy lines battle Skeletor once again, but this time the spirit of Christmas gets involved in the action. Did Jesus visit Eternia in some distant point in the past? This is a particularly good year to watch the special, as Lou Scheimer, who voiced Orko and other characters recently passed away
6.      National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: the best of the Vacation movies; misadventures during a family Christmas
7.      The Office Christmas Special: The status quo of an office place is shaken up during Christmas. As this special concludes the British version of The Office, it’s best watched after seeing the earlier episodes
8.      Santa’s Slay: Santa, finally released from the terms of a lost wager that forced him to do good deeds, goes on a killing spree; Robert Culp seems to have fun playing Santa’s arch-nemesis
9.      The Star Wars Holiday Special: Never released on video but easy to find online, shortly after the original movie (i.e. the fourth) Han Solo and Chewbacca attempt to get to Chewbacca’s home for Life Day (the stand-in for Christmas). Lots of bizarre stuff, with Chewbacca’s family and Art Carney being the TV movie’s main focus
10.   A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas: A movie you have to be in the right mood for, but an okay dumb jokes type Christmas misadventure with the leads trying to fix their friendship while dealing with other Christmas matters

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