Dec 15, 2009

Films you need to see - Christmas Edition

The good WIGSF posted his list Holiday Viewing Guide for all to see and enjoy and it's a nice list indeed. The man had me review Bad Santa over a year ago and it's hard to believe it's been that long. Of course that film is part of his essential Christmas viewing.

Since I'm feeling so uncreative today, probably due to lack of sleep and mainlining Lysol, I bring you Wiwille's own list of favorite Christmas specials, movies, etc.

1. Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer - Kind of an obvious choice, but I'm a huge fan of this. An elf that wants to be a dentist, disabled toys that just want some love, Burl Ives singing, and an outcast reindeer that saves the day. What's not to like? Stop motion animation still holds a special place in my heart.

2. A Christmas Carol - While this story has been told a thousand times in various different mediums this has to be my favorite version. George C Scott makes an excellent Scrooge, but it's the supporting cast that really gives the film charm as well as the occasional fright. Originally made for television you can find this on DVD and I highly recommend it.

3. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - If you don't love this film you're a communist who spreads peach jam on your pancakes. That is all.

4. Scrooged - Even though it's partially responsible for making 'Put a Little Love in your Heart' a hit, this movie is filled with hilarity. Bill Murray and his deity like powers of comedy make this film a classic.

5. Mickey's Christmas Carol - Long before Duck Tales, Uncle Scrooge was a popular character in Disney comics, a series my father collected in his youth. They of course used him in this charming retelling of the Dickens' classic. For those of you who enjoy Disney animation you'll get a kick of their use of old, and sometimes obscure, characters from previous films, comics, and shorts.

6. The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause - One of the oddest of the Rankin-Bass specials, but the most interesting, this one tells the story of Santa's youth. Found as a baby and raised in a forest inhabited by pagan nature spirits he learns the nature of mankind as cruel and barbaric. The boy then swears an oath to bring laughter and a sense of humanity to people and becomes the jolly old man we know and love. The elder spirits tell this story as they debate on whether to give the mortal Santa the gift of eternal life. Kind of dark at times, but charming in others, this one is highly underrated.

7. Santa Clause The Movie - I'm kind of torn on including this, but I love the first act of this movie. The back story of how Santa came to be is indeed a charming one and surprisingly well shot and acted. The rest of the story is dull, but I still watch this for the first fifteen minutes.

8. Joyeux Noel - While this is an Oscar nominated film it has sadly remained obscure. It's the infamous and surprisingly true tale of a western front in WWI, when the Germans, French, and British forces called a temporary truce to celebrate Christmas together. While not a fast paced film its themes are timeless, acting is superb, and the music is delightful.

9. Love Actually - Okay I admit I'm a fan of some rom-coms. Deal with it. This one is one of my favorites though, with a stellar ensemble cast and script that, at its core, has a lot of heart. Funny and touching it's a good watch. While some stories work better than others it's still a great flick.

10. It's a Wonderful Life - Enough has been written regarding Frank Capra's classic.

Honorable mentions: Miracle on 34th Street (original), Babes in Toyland (original), A Christmas Story.

"There are an infinite number of Christmas specials, holiday movies and various other festive stuff for us to watch. Somebody really should filter out all the crap and provide a list of what really needs to be watched." - WIGSF


wigsf said...

Where's the video of the cats meowing Jingle Bells?

Miss Ash said...

I love Rudolph, Frosty & the Grinch but my all time favourite is of course Christmas Vacation.