JOY TO THE WORLD: Ah Hell Let’s Just Watch A Movie
As we wind up for Christmas, it is one of the few times a year that we gather around the TV and force family members to watch holiday themed movies. So we thought that we would give you the guide to the best to watch with the whole family, and those which are best viewed after the kids and grandparents are in bed. Here is our Christmas movie countdown for the family and for the adults.
For the Family:
5 – White Christmas
This is really the one that started it all. Fun for the whole family, especially for the musical lovers. With a cast of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney; it is tough to go wrong with this holiday favorite. True, there are some fifties jokes and references that you might have to explain to kids, but then you can just have them sing along to every song and it won’t matter. All kidding aside, White Christmas is pretty much the standard for all Christmas movies, and it still stands the test of time.
4 – A Christmas Story
This may seem low on the list, but since it has begun to run for 24 hours on Christmas Day, the luster of the jokes are not as sharp as they used to. However, this should be used instead of a fake fire on your TV during the holiday. Thanks to TNT, this has become a part of everyone’s Christmas experience along with egg nog and family bickering. In addition, the best jokes never get old from “NOT A FINGER” to “Fraaa-geeley! Must be Italian.” this movie can never get old.
3 – A Christmas Carol
It seems every five years or so a remake comes out with some twist or all-star cast, so we cannot recommend which one is the best since there are over twenty versions. Whether is be performed by Muppets, Shakespearean Actors, or Mr. Bean; this story is a staple of the holiday season. Dickens’ model holds true to always provide an entertaining story of redemption and the holiday spirit. And lets face it, it is not the Christmas season until you hear, “God Bless Us Everyone.”
2 – Elf
The only recent recommendation on this list, but this contains everything that we have come to love in a family Christmas movie. There are jokes for kids and ones for adults. There is a story of redemption, and a story of acceptance. James Caan sings, and Bob Newhart is a tiny elf. A talking Norwal, and a surly Santa. All of this with Will Ferrell at his comedic height, makes for an original Christmas movie that seems to be inventive for Hollywood even outside the holiday season. If you don’t agree then you are a cotton-headed ninny-muggins.
1 – It’s A Wonderful Life
As if this wouldn’t make out list. This movie is great because it could fall on any day of the year, but it takes on a greater meaning that George Bailey finds out what his life is worth during the Christmas season. This movie is so ingrained in our sub-conscious that it has become the American Christmas Carol, and represents the American ideal greater than Dickens ever could. While it has been imitated several times from film to TV, there is no replacing the original. The fact that it is Jimmy Stewart‘s and Donna Reed‘s most recognizable parts over everything else they have done, shows how widely popular this film has become over the years.
So now that you have seen every hokey holiday film known to man, it is time to kick back and enjoy yourself. Here are our top five R rated, or close to it, movies.
5 – Scrooged
What could be better than a Christmas movie with Bill Murray. One where he is the part of Scrooge. While we admit that many of the jokes are dated, Murray turns in a great performance along with Carol Kane. Not to mention an appearance by David Johansen (apparently taking a break from his alter ego Buster Poindexter). Scrooged provides all of the highlights of A Christmas Carol with a wittiness of someone who is reacting honestly.
4 – The Ref
This forgotten gem is a classic for those with dysfunctional families. While the plot is implausible, the family fighting is priceless. From annoying in laws to the dominerring matriarch, this film shows that resolution can be achieved through fighting. Denis Leary was at his acerbic height, and was supported beautifully by Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis. Who all were still awaiting their big film roles, and were still willing to work on an independent film. In addition, it was one of the stronger showings from the late Ted Demme.
3 - Bad Santa
This has to be one of the oddest movies on the list, but it still remains a classic Christmas movie. Billy Bob Thorton pulls off some decent comedic acting with a kid. His frustrated rants are comic gold. Which is what makes the dynamic of the movie so funny. Different from most movies, Thorton treats the kid as an dumber adult not as a child, but the fact that it is a clueless kid makes the relationship so comedic. And in what other movie do you see the gift of a wooden pickle.
2 – Die Hard
Oh yes, this is a Christmas movie. And there is no better way to release stress than to watch Bruce Willis pull glass out of his feet while talking to the dad of Family Matters. While the premise of the Die Hard series is becoming an old one, this was and still is one hell of an action movie. In a way the film does show the Christmas tradition; a family coming together, and a man saving Christmas for a bunch of people to ensure joy for the holiday. Sure it is a stretch, but really think about and yippee ki yay.
1 – Christmas Vacation
This is the best Christmas movie since Bing Crosby tapped danced with Danny f’in Kaye. Leave it to the Griswolds to show us the true meaning of family. From office christmas presents to the Jelly of the month club, this never fails to generate laughs. There is Cousin Eddie, the boxed cat, and the Squirrel! Vacation shows us that no matter how horrible the holidays can be, it is best to laugh and manically drink egg nog. Just try not to get locked in the attic or over cook the turkey. Happy Holidays, and have fun.