2017 is almost over and it’s that time of the year after Thanksgiving where my tradition of watching my five favorite Christmas movies leading up to Christmas Day starts. I’m starting a bit late as normally I’d be watching some of these films on Thanksgiving or especially right after, often multiple times.There are some runner ups and sometimes I do happen to watch these around Christmas time, but they aren’t as dear to me. So, starting this list, I’ll just give a quick mention to those runner-ups.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Lethal Weapon, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Scrooged and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
That being said, they might not be the best Christmas movies, but they are definitely my favorite to watch. These are my top five in order that I tend to watch them winding down to Christmas Day.
Home Alone is at number 5 on my list and sometimes I wonder why I force myself to watch it. Definitely not the best of the John Hughes movies, but it has flaws in it that make me annoyed if I’m closely following the film. The film reminisces of a time when your parents would leave you home alone. As a little kid being in a similar situation, you’d start to get freaked out by things you normally wouldn’t pay attention to. The problem is the ridiculousness with which little Kevin despatches the desperate wet bandits. Every time I do watch it and pay attention I notice more and more flaws with the film. The main reason I tend to watch is nostalgia and the music. The soundtrack is amazing, which is why I tend to always play this in the background when I’m busy with something else. It mostly gets played for nostalgia sake. I was born in the early 80s near Chicago so for me, Home Alone was a perfect movie as a child.
Die Hard 2
Die Hard 2 is a sequel most don’t talk about and probably for good reason. It’s not even on the same level as Die Hard nor does it have memorable additions like Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Irons in Die Hard with A Vengeance. For me, Die Hard 2 remains the second-best film in the Die Hard series. The action, tone, story all feel closer to the first film. Even though it does seem to follow the first film there are still a lot of flaws. My reason for watching is my love for 80’s action films and the Die Hard franchise allows me to turn off the brain for a bit and enjoy an entertaining film.
Elf is probably one of the newer Christmas movies that is actually great. Say what you will about Will Ferrell and his potty mouth over the top comedy, but in this movie, he is restrained. Ferrell is forced to behave, yet his silly charisma makes it work. It also introduces how amazing Zooey Deschanel is at acting and singing. As it’s the first time I remember her in a more prominent role. That along with the originality, humor and heart, make Elf one of the best family movies to watch.
A Christmas Story
I can’t recall how often I’ve seen this movie. It is on par with Home Alone as being able to solely watch this for nostalgia sake. It’s engrained in me that I have to watch this or it’s not Christmas. The film is a classic piece of cinema that captures the essence of Christmas. It’s a great period holiday film that’s reminds me of a time before Black Friday and Boxing Day sales. Even though it spawned two sequels neither had the heart and feeling of nostalgia that A Christmas Story brings.
Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie and probably one of my favorite films of all time. Not only did it have Bruce Willis portraying John McClane, one of the most iconic action characters with bad ass one liners, but it has Alan Rickman in his first feature film as Hans Gruber. Hans Gruber would turn out to be a great villain for John McClane to create a great action film with thrilling scenes in a Christmas theme backdrop. The theme of terrorist taking over during the holiday would continue over into the sequel and other films would attempt this formula of one-man vs a group in an isolated area. It paved the way for further sequels and imitators, but none even come close to the first Die Hard film.
Hope you guys enjoy these movies as much as I do. Let me know what you think and tell me your favorite Christmas movies.