Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Movies! For Everyone! (Some for 17 Year Olds and Up!)

With Christmas being right around the corner, I figured I'd have a go at the old blog and do a list of some of my all-time favorite Christmas movies. And everyone that knows me knows that I love movies. A lot. (Probably too much.) And one of the things that I look forward to most with the Christmas season is the ability to be able to watch all of those dandy Christmas films that everyone loves, but can only be watched for about 30 days each year! This blog post is going to be about Christmas spirit, but mostly Christmas movies. Because everyone loves a good Christmas movie, and everyone loves Christmas. Even people who say they don't like Christmas love the holiday. They're just in denial... anyways, let's get on with the list. Here's how it will work; I'll list some of my favorite Christmas movies, and then I'll tell you why I like them... good?

Let's a goooooooooooooooooooo!


I still remember seeing Elf in theaters for the first time. It has never failed to bring a dumb smile onto my fat face. The best part about Elf, is that it's a Christmas film... that stars SNL actor, Will Ferrell. What could go wrong? The movie at first glance looks like a disaster of film-making, but has actually turned out to become one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time. And it's not even ten years old! But what is it about Elf that makes it such a classic?

In my lousy opinion, I think Elf has grown to be such a main-stay in Christmas classics because of how it addresses the subject of how our society doesn't have much of that "classic Christmas spirit" anymore. Sure, we put up Christmas trees and go caroling, and bake gingerbread men, and blah, blah, blah... we all know that this isn't what Christmas is really about. (It's about Jesus!) And to me it's starting feels like each year less and less people actually appreciate the holiday for what it's supposed to be about. (Or maybe I'm just growing up.) And although Elf doesn't necessarily address the "true meaning" of Christmas it does strongly bring out the point of how our society has taken a down turn and turned the beloved holiday into a consumerist's true love.

That's why the movie is popular amongst the general public... it has to be that OR Elf is popular simply because it's funny. Incorporating other Christmas classics into it's story telling, (Mainly Rudolph: The Red Nose Reindeer) it's become a sort of nostalgic adventure that everyone in the family can, and does enjoy. I've watched it at least four times this holiday, and I'm expecting to watch it at least once more before this Sunday. But I probably won't get around to it because I'm far too lazy.

A Christmas Story

I want to make it clear that I find this movie to be obnoxious. But for some reason, I love it. I've seen this movie more times than I care to count, but it always brings that feeling to me that the Christmas season has officially started. Maybe I like it because it's about a young boy that reminds me of myself when I was a wee little lad. No, I never did desire to have obtained a Red Ryder BB gun into my possession when I was a child; but I think every child goes through that dismal experience of coveting a specific present for Christmas and then losing sleep on Christmas Eve over whether or not they'll get the desired gift. (Hopefully they do.)

But like Elf, this movie is on this list mainly because it just makes me smile. With a clever script and a plot that's so ordinary it stands out, and more memorable moments than going to the zoo with a bunch of male strippers, A Christmas Story is required viewing for pretty much everyone. It's not hard to find to watch either. It's pretty much constantly played on almost every channel during the Christmas season. Admittedly, I haven't watched this one yet, but that shall be remedied within the next 24 hours. (Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)


One of my all-time favorite directors, John Hughes, produces two of the best Christmas movies ever made. And I know that everyone here has seen these two films probably more times than they'd like to admit. There are so many reasons why the original two Home Alone movies are so popular and are watched countless times each year. But the biggest is probably from the fun that we have while watching the young wit and charm of child-star actor, Macaulay Culkin.

But Home Alone is a beloved movie mostly because it makes people laugh. And why does it make people laugh? Because stupid people getting beaten up has been and will always be funny! And it's just made even more funny by the fact that two grown idiotic bandits are getting their skulls bashed in by a child in his own house.

But there are other things about the two original Home Alone films that I love. The biggest being the small side-stories both films feature regarding the characters that Kevin fears. Both films feature a small sub-plot that has Culkin helping full-grown adults find redemption and hope in their lives. It's a heart-warming moment in both films, but I just die of laughter whenever I watch the film because Macaulay Culkin was only ten when the films came out, and probably had no idea what he was talking about. It's quite amusing watching a ten year old give advice that an experienced shrink would normally be giving.

They're both great films full of great laughs. And they have the exact same plot... and same jokes... and same... everything. They're the same film. These two films are the exact same film, all of the first films jokes are in the second one. The sequel even mocks itself at one point for being a clone. Normally, this would bother me... but this is a rare occasion where the movie-maker dudes made it work. And that makes me smile.

:) <--- Evidence.

But before we move onto the next movie, I think I should throw in a bit of BRANDON'S USELESS KNOWLEDGE!!!! For some reason, a lot of adult's took this film as an attack on the intelligence of adulthood. Why? Probably because they're on the naughty list. But among these people was major film-critic, Roger Ebert. These people are lame and have no sense of humor. It's no wonder they get coal in their dirty stockings.


Actually... this isn't much of a Christmas movie... but it has a sort of Christmas message... sort of. Moving onto the next film!

Jingle All The Way

This is another personal favorite of mine. I am fully aware that this movie probably has the least amount of Christmas spirit and cheer out of all of the other films on this list. But for some reason this movie just makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. Probably because it has the most excellent formula for film making.

Christmas Movie + Arnold Schwarzenegger = Epic Win

The fact that a Christmas movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was made makes me proud. This movie is so stupid it's almost embarrassing to watch.
But I think that I watch this movie more than any other Christmas movie on this list. I absolutely love it even though almost everyone I know despises it. There are so many great quotes, and it stars Arnold.

Seriously, where do you else go from there? Everything the guy says is hilarious!

The plot and characters are dull, the jokes are second-thought and lame and the villain is played by Sinbad. It's a horrible film, but I keep watching it. I'm actually watching it as I write this blog-post... On a positive note for the film, it does do a pretty accurate job at displaying the chaos that occurs while shopping on a "black friday." It's not a fun experience. But watching this movie is.

love actually

It saddens me that more people haven't seen or even heard of Love Actually. You wouldn't expect me to like a film like this one, since by the cover it just looks like another Christmas romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant. However, Love Actually has grown to become one of my all-time favorite movies. It's a heartwarming film that shows Christmas from the perspective of ten different people. And all of the characters are characters that you can actually care about and relate to. They all break away from the stereotypical romantic comedy characters, and actually have depth and emotion. Even the little kids are well written and acted out well. Filmmakers need to realize that if all romantic comedies were actually made like this one, then guys wouldn't mind taking their dates out to watch them.

The film also excels in it's story telling, offers a lot of variety telling some stories that are happy and heart-warming, while others take a greater turn for the tragic. But they all revolve around love and the spirit of Christmas, and are all wildly original. The acting is great, the story is great, and the soundtrack is gorgeous. The finale to the movie is brilliant, bringing all ten stories together into a fantastic and satisfying close. I would recommend this film to everyone, but it does carry an "R" rating. (Not for kids!)

But I do recommend the parents to watch this film. It's a great mature film that explores how love affects our relationships during the Christmas season. Excellent film... unfortunately, I cannot find my copy.
It's a Wonderful Life

The Christmas season never officially starts for me until after I've watched Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. The movie sends an excellent message about what good all men can accomplish through means of simple good deeds. It's one of the most inspiring films I've ever seen, and leads up to one of the most satisfying endings in all forms of storytelling.

Just as Roger Ebert said, It's a Wonderful Life is a rare film that gets better and better with age. It's a film that has so much depth you'll notice new things every time you watch it. It's a crime that this film didn't win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. But it's gone on to become one of the most loved films of all time, and with good reason. I'll continue watching this every year until I'm dead.

Just be sure to watch the superior black and white version. I personally, am not a fan of the colorized version. (Although it's fun to watch maybe once.)

There are literally millions of Christmas movies that I could list, but I'll just list some honorable mentionables that I did not include on this list.

The Muppet Family Christmas - I watch this every Christmas Eve with my mommy.

The Muppet Christmas Carol
- The best adaptation of this classic was done by The Muppets.

Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer - A classic. Super corny, and fun to watch. Gives me a headache.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas - THIS IS THE CARTOON. Not the awful Jim Carey version. (Gross.)

The Polar Express? - Sure, why not. I usually watch on TV, when nothing else is on.

It's A Wonderful Life -
This movie is so good, I put it on here twice. Yeah.

So, Christmas movies are really fun. We all love them. But what this holiday is really about, is Jesus. Even if you don't believe in him, by celebrating the holiday, you are paying tribute to him. And so, to everyone I would like to say Merry Christmas! And if you don't like Christmas, then happy Hanukkah! And if you don't like Hanukkah, then happy holidays... and if you don't like the holidays, then grow a heart you Grinch.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!


  1. I heartily agree with you! It's a Wonderful Life is the most amazing film. And I just recently introduced my kids to it this year--at ages seven and nine. And the Muppet Christmas Carol--Michael Caine is the best Scrooge ever, and Kermit is amazing as Bob Cratchit (Gonzo and Rizzo help just a little).

    But you did forget about Scrooged, with Bill Murray.

  2. The soundtrack of "love actually"? Never heard.

    But I have listened to the soundtracks by John Williams of "Home Alone" and "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York", starring Maculay Culkin, and of "The Nightmare Before Christmas"...