Saturday, 25 December 2010

What to watch this Christmas (TODAY)

You know it’s Christmas when you see the Coca Cola advert on TV and you read the TV listings and see the movies they’re showing. As Christmas draws near here is a list of some of the movies which will help you dissolve back into the kid you use to be whilst also including some movies you wouldn’t think to be Christmas flicks but are technically either about of set during the Christmas holidays.

The First Movie I am going to mention has been a great movie to watch annually, and includes Macaulay Culkin when he wasn’t a drug addicted brat. Obviously I’m talking about Home Alone (1990), which is the story of a big family who all go on Christmas holiday together but unfortunately forget to bring their eight year old boy Kevin (Macaulay Culkin). Whilst the parents are away Kevin runs amuck watching violent movies harassing old snow shovelers and invading his older brothers privacy. Everything appears to be perfect until two thieves Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) attempt to steal Kevin’s fun which sends him on a mission to defend his home by any means possible. Filled with laughs which never get old this is a film everyone should see this year.

Now Christmas films can’t always be filled with fun and laughs sometimes you have to watch something with a lot of heart and joy and in this case; Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life (1941). For those who haven’t seen it the movie is about George Bailey (James Stewart) a frustrated businessman who is helped by an angel by showing what life would look like if he had never been born. Even though it isn’t filled with laughs this is a definite classic which has stood the test of time. Even if you think you haven’t seen it you have seen the story in one carnation or another because of the great story elements.

For those who are Tim Burton fans the next choice will come at no surprise, produced by the gothic master himself and directed by Henry Selick The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) is a brilliant movie especially in a time where CGI is seen as perfection and stop motion is dead. The story is about Jack Skeleton (Chris Sarandom & Danny Elfman), the King of Halloween who becomes bored with his monotonous life and goes in search of something new and stumbles across Christmas Town. With a mix of songs written by Elfman himself an great visuals this movie will always be played to both young and old and will be in an Tim Burton completesists collection.

Now for something completely different, even though at first you wouldn’t think it is considered a Christmas movie but he holiday isn’t complete without at least one viewing of Bruce Willis as John McClane as he saves LA from terrorists in the brilliant Die Hard (1988). Now this is a film filled with gags and gore as the hard boiled cop, John McClane infiltrates the Nakatomi Plaza building to save his estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) as terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) threaten the safety of all the hostages including Holly. Even though some of the sequels where terrible the original still stands for being a kick-ass all out battle between one cop and building full of terrorists.

The second to last movie I have picked to get people in the Christmas spirit is a movie so frightening no one wanted to feed their beloved pets after midnight. Before I sound as if I have lost the plot, I am talking about Joe Dante’s Gremlins (1984). A lot of people might mistake a film such as Gremlins for a horror with humour however this is all cast over the Christmas backdrop. Whilst looking for a present to give to his son Billy (Zach Galligan), inventor Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) stumbles across an old antique show in China Town and attempts to buy a small fury creature called a ‘Mogwai’ from a strange old Chinese man named the Grandfather (Keye Luke). After being refused it is only his grandson (John Louie) who manages to sneakily sell Randall the Mogwai. Once bought, Randy is given a set of rules about how to treat the cute animal, 1) never expose it to bright light, 2) never get the Mogwai wet and 3) never feed it after midnight. Obviously these rules fall on deaf ears and its up to Billy to finish what he started. Even though it has dark tones the movie is still classic and enjoyable for everyone this Christmas.

I saved the best for last with possibly one of if not the greatest Christmas movies which everyone will agree with. This movie would be Muppet’s Christmas Carol (1992) which once again mixes funny songs with great characters as the Muppets do their take on the classic story by Charles Dickens whilst bringing in great action talent such as Michael Cain to play the selfish Ebenezer Scrooge as he is haunted by three ghosts in order to change his soul in the after life. I imagine it will be broadcasted on television at one point or another this Christmas but if not people should dig out their copies on VHS and remember one of the most enjoyable movies which everyone loves.

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