Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite Holiday Movies

10. Jack Frost (1996). Not to be confused with the nancy-pants, heartwarming movie of the same name made several years later with Michael Keaton, this Jack Frost is the one where a serial killer being transported to his execution escapes the prison truck after a crash, only to be melted by chemicals that had spilled on the road and fused with snow to come back as a lethal snowman. Brutal murder, well-timed puns, and hilarity ensue. My family watches this every Christmas Eve.
9. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (1970). While this tale about Kris Kringle is not entirely accurate, it serves its purpose: to teach kids fear and respect Winter Warlocks.
8. Die Hard 2 (1990). This isn't technically a "holiday movie" in the traditional sense, but it does take place on Christmas Eve. I actually prefer the edited-for-TV version. "Yippie ki-yay, Mister Falcon." To be clear, there is no one with the surname Falcon in the movie, nor any male falcons (nor any birds of prey, for that matter).
7. Bad Santa (2003). I didn't expect much from this movie, but it turned out to be pretty damn funny. Billy Bob Thornton is such an asshole, and the little kid in the movie might be the most perfectly cast character of all-time. So innocent and lovable, which is the perfect contrast to Thornton's character.
6. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). Your classic underdog story of racism, perseverance, and, ultimately, acceptance. This was School Ties before there was a School Ties, albeit (and thankfully) without naked shower fights. And let's not forget Yukon Cornelius, which is potentially the coolest name ever for a stop-motion animation character (take that, Burgermeister Meisterburger!).
5. A Christmas Story (1983). Special thanks to out to TBS for doing their "24 Hours of A Christmas Story" every year. I still want that lamp. And a BB gun. I also asked for one every year as a child. Unlike Ralphie, I never got one. I haven't forgotten, mom and dad. You have been warned.
4. Elf (2003). The curly-haired man who played the lead role was very funny. I think he may have a bright future in Hollywood.
3. Better Off Dead (1985). Perhaps John Cusack's finest role (take that, High Fidelity!), it's not often thought of as a holiday movie, but it does involve Christmas and New Years. And pure snow. Do you know the street value of this mountain?
1 (tie). It's a Wonderful Life (1946). An absolute classic, complete with bell ringing, ear boxing, war heroes, alternate realities, crippled misers, and Zuzu's petals. I am probably one of the few people who is pissed off that they no longer play this on every channel over and over again on Christmas Eve. My favorite line, which I think should be prominently displayed in any bar, is delivered by Nick the bartender when George has never been born and visits what he knows to be Martini's (but is called Nick's in the alternate universe): "We serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don't need any characters around to give the joint 'atmosphere.' Is that clear, or do I have to slip you my left for a convincer?" It's funny because "slip you my left" was a common '40s euphemism for "brutally rape and murder you, not necessarily in that order." Jesus. Why is rape and murder the first place I always go? Probably because I never got a BB gun as a kid, so I didn't have any outlet for my vivid psychosexually violent thoughts and fantasies, which now haunt every waking and sleeping moment of my life. Thanks again, mom and dad.
1 (tie). Christmas Vacation (1989). Back in 1997, there was one room in my fraternity that had a showing of Christmas Vacation every night at 9 between Thanksgiving and winter break. People would stop by every night, and there were often repeat customers. You can't do that with just any movie. Christmas Vacation simply never gets old. Chevy Chase is one of the funniest people of all-time.

2 comments:

barry allen said...

how can you not include Denis Leary vehicle "The Ref"?

for shame.

Anonymous said...

And who can forget:

"Santa Claus is cumming in my ass"?