Christmas is a wonderful time. The most wonderful time of the year, some would say. You get together with family and exchange gifts and get mildly drunk. All of these are good things. But what happens after everyone’s eaten, when the drunkenness is beginning to turn into lethargy and the roast ham is taking a severe gastronomical toll? Well, the only thing to do is sit on the couch and watch a Christmas movie. There are the classics, of course. It’s a Wonderful Life has become the gold standard of Christmas classics. Then you’ve got the counter-programming classic, Die Hard. So what to put on? Well, let me recommend some titles:
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Don’t let all the originalist haters get you down. This is a version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol which features two of the best things humanity has ever produced: Michael Caine and Muppets. It’s also very funny and charming, and it even manages to be quite moving. Do I really need to say more?
Here’s another one you can watch with the kids and everyone will have a great time. It’s basically Die Hard in a house with a Culkin instead of Willis. In fact, it’s so much like a kids version of Die Hard that you can easily pair the two. Watch Home Alone and then send the kids to bed and enjoy some Hans Gruber. Home Alone is also much more of a Christmas movie, and it really gets across the spirit of the holiday.
Jingle All the Way
No, I am not fucking with you. Schwarzenegger. Sinbad! Turboman doll. Go watch it. Seriously. It’s awesomely ridiculous.
There have been plenty of imitators since Love Actually was released in 2003, but none have matched its wonderful range. It’s a comedy, it’s tragic, it’s romantic. It’s all of love wrapped into one beautifully sentimental Christmas film. It’s also got Bill Nighy as a drunk, aging rocker.
Okay, but what happens if you see the giant pile of dishes, balk at the responsibility and decide you need to get out of the house as fast as possible? What current releases can you go see? Well, I’ve got you covered there as well. Basically, there are two options:
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
The best action you’ll see in a film all year and a super slick plot to let things fly at a crazy pace. Brad Bird proves he’s a director to be reckoned with, Tom Cruise proves that he has the biggest balls on the planet, and IMAX proves that it’s way better than 3D. If what you want is a blast at the movies this Christmas, you really can’t do better than the latest Mission: Impossible film.
If ever there was a time to leave cynicism at the door, it’s Christmas. War Horse wears its heart on its sleeve and I’m so thankful for it. It’s an incredibly beautiful, brilliantly powerful film about the horrors or war and the triumph of hope. Spielberg has crafted an old fashioned story that can actually stand right alongside classic films from John Ford and Frank Borzage, rather than simply imitating them like certain other less “talky” films currently playing. I can’t recommend War Horse enough, but I do have to supply a warning: those without a heart need not enter.
There you have it, some great films to watch this Christmas. I hope you all have a great time and I’ll see you on the other side of the holiday.
As my good friends, Harry and Ron, would say,