Monday, December 23, 2013

The Holiday (Press) Play List

I hope you all will be enjoying time spent with your families, eating decadent meals, and taking long naps in front of the fire.  My family usually does a game night Christmas Day but occasionally we will make it a movie night instead.

I have my own holy trinity of Christmas movies that I MUST WATCH every Christmas.  This always includes Batman Returns, Die Hard and A Christmas Story.

Blue eyes...

More blue eyes...

Blue eyes--I'm sensing a type emerge here
Batman Returns is my jam.  It was the first superhero movie I ever saw in the theater, the summer before I turned 10.  This is my Star Wars.  This is the movie I'll always defend until my last breath, as creepy and really unsuitable for children, as it is.  I love it and nothing will change my mind.

The other two are self-explanatory and end up on the "Top 10 Christmas Movies" lists all the time.  Along with Elf, It's a Beautiful Life, and Christmas Vacation.

So I wanted to provide you, dear readers, with other Christmas movie options that aren't typically included on most lists.  Movies that maybe more adult, or a little bit odd.  Here they are in no particular order.

#5. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang 

Yes they kiss,  only once, but they also shoot stuff real good!!  

It's hard to remember a time when people would go "oh yeah, Robert Downey Jr.  Whatever happened to him?"  When he was most likely found at the bottom of a bottle, pill or otherwise.  Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes only existing as the unlikeliest of possibilities, if he didn't ruin himself first.  This movie set him on his feet again, and he hit the ground running, as only the best of comebacks can.  This is your classic hard-boiled noir story set during the holiday season in LA.  Michelle Moynahan and Val Kilmer join RDJ as the best trio since Harry-Ron-Hermione, only they shoot stuff, cuss, and teach you about the finer points of grammar.

#4.    Joyeux Noel
This looks like Saving Private Ryan but know, snow.
This is a heart-warming film set during World War I among the French, Scottish, and Germans troops that worked to call a truce midst all the fighting for Christmas Day.  I wouldn't call it a family film since there is still some violence and little sexy time between the lead and the love interest but it evokes the true spirit of the holiday.  It's a refreshing story outside of all the family dramas that Christmas movies primarily center around.  Plus it has Diane Krueger and this time she does not run across Hans Landa.

#3. The Saint

Mmmmm.....old school Val Kilmer.....excuse me one sec, brb!
I'm including The Saint here because I vaguely recall some Christmasy scenes, but it takes place in Russia and features many shots of the falling snow and Elizabeth Shue continuously bathed by the light of a crackling fire.  It's fun, thrilling and quite romantic.  Half of the fun comes from the different accents and various disguises Val Kilmer's Simon Templar dons.  It's quite like a Bond film with a healthy sense of humor, set during a white winter.  I would recommend this to the 13 and over crowd.

#2. The Ice Harvest
Trust me, this is a Christmas movie.  The poster is just obsessed about ice, for some reason.

This film is much like #5, a modern-day noir film set during Christmas.  This time the setting is Wichita Falls, Kansas and plays more like a black comedy than a buddy cop film.  John Cusack makes for amusing amoral antihero and Connie Nielsen is the very picture of a sexy femme fatale.  As slick and dangerous as black ice, this is definitely one for after the kiddos are put to bed.  

#1.  Viewer's Choice - Chronicles of Narnia or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Animated Version
For Aslaaaaaaaaaannnnnn!  Sorry had to do it...

This is probably the freakiest animated movie you will ever see.
There is no other movie in which Santa hands four children bad-ass weapons.  Boom.  Done.  The only reason you need to watch Chronicles and why it is number one.  Santa hands the Pevensie children weapons to fight in a goddam battle and battle evil forces.  Sometimes I do wish this was the real reason for the season.

The animated version I included because it totally creeped me out as a child.  Seriously, the voice actress playing the White Witch has a voice so unctuous, it has no right to be included in a children's film. Check it out for your self at the 6:05 minute mark.

What the hell, amirite?

So enjoy my top picks.  Let me know your favorite Christmas movie recommendations, I will totally, maybe...eventually check them out.



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