In the world of
Coffee Break Reviews: Holiday Edition
-by Andrew Goletz and Erich Schoeneweiss
‘Tis the season to review holiday movies! There hasn’t
been a really good holiday movie in years. What happened to the classics like
‘Miracle on 34th Street’, ‘White Christmas’, and ‘It’s a
Wonderful Life’? It’s not like they’re on this list, but that’s not the
point. The biggest holiday movie a studio has been released in years was ‘The
Grinch’ (which isn’t even worth reviewing) but I don’t think there has
even been a good attempt at creating a quality holiday movie.
So in honor of the memories of holiday movies past, we’ve
decided to list our Top Five Holiday Movies of all time. Let’s get started.
5. Jingle All the Way. Oh, screw off. Sure the
characterization was paper-thin and just about every formulaic cliché was
thrown into the mix, but it had a wonderful concept. The idea is classic. A
father waits until the last moment to try and get the ‘hottest toy of the
season’, Turbo Man, for his son. Of course, there are none to be found and dad
must spend the rest of the movie battling crowds, closed toy stores, other
aggressive parents and a huge stock of Turbo Man’s faithful sidekick that no
one wants. Who can’t related to this type of holiday madness, where
commercialism outweighs the true meaning of the holidays?
(Erich: Andrew chose this movie for one reason only…it was the first
film the Star Wars: Special Edition trailer was shown on). That was a bonus,
yes, but it wasn’t the only reason this is a fun holiday film. Don’t forget,
you had everyone in the family scouring Walmart locations looking for your very
own Turbo Man.
Erich: Die Hard: “Ho Ho Ho…Now I have a machine
gun too” The perfect shoot’em
up action adventure movie for Christmas…and one of Willis’ best flicks to
date. The edited for television
version of Die Hard II with Bruce Willis’ overdub done by a very deep throated
dude ranks at 5.5.
4. Home for the Holidays. When families get
together for the holidays, especially after having not seen each other in
awhile, disasters are created. A solid mix of drama, comedy with a holiday heart
in the middle, ‘Home for the Holiday’ is a can’t miss for any
dysfunctional holiday creation. (Erich: This is what married life does to a
man…takes away any testicular fortitude he might have once had.)
When Harry Met Sally:
OK, not necessarily a holiday movie; however, the key moments in this film seem
to take place around the holidays. Harry
and Sally buying a tree in the snow together (a quintessential New York scene),
the awkwardness around them at midnight on New Year’s eve when everyone is
kissing, Harry missing her the next year at Christmas, and finally Harry
sprinting through the streets to find her and confess how much he truly loves
her on New Year’s eve. I love to
watch this film during the holidays, and I usually break the soundtrack out a
few times as well.
(Andrew: First he has to make room in the CD changer by rearranging the Rosie
Christmas, and N’Sync Holiday tunes)
3. Plains, Trains and Automobiles. A
traveling man needs to get home to his family in time for the holidays and meets
a friendly (to the point of being annoying) guy who’s looking to do the same.
This is the all time classic road trip buddy movie with one of the most
emotional endings in holiday films. (Erich: Good choice; however, this is
more a Thanksgiving movie) Read the column title, E, no one ever said this
was the top 5 Christmas movies. It’s the top five ‘Holiday’ movies.
Aah, getting a Mogwai for Christmas. This
puts the Joe Dante classic at number three on my list.
Gremlins ransacking the kitchen while Billy’s mom is baking gingerbread
men, Gremlins hiding in the tree, and a bar full of merry Gremlins getting
loaded (best scene ever!). Murder,
mayhem, and looting…perfect to scare away that holiday season stress.
2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation:
After going to Wallyworld and Europe for previous ‘Vacations’, the family
decides to stay home this year and have the family visit. We get to meet the
extended family for the first time (with the exception of Quaid’s character).
‘Christmas Vacation’ takes dysfunction to a new level and provides more
laughs than all of the other Vacation movies combined, from the super sliding
disk to Clark wanting his boss brought to him with a big red bow tied around
him, the movie never slows down.
(Erich: This is where Andrew and I begin to agree on
things. I can’t think of a better
use for The Bingster’s Melikalinaka (Spelling?) than the hot chick swimming
fantasy. This is my favorite Chevy
Chase film. There are loads of
funny stuff in this one, and a superb supporting cast headlined by Randy Quaid.)
1. A Christmas Story: Forget the sacrilegious sequel they made like, ten years
later. ‘A Christmas Story’ is not only the best holiday movie ever, but
it’s one of my favorite films of all time. Ralphie wants nothing more than a
Red Ryder rifle for Christmas, to get his Little Orphan Annie secret decoder and
avoid the wrath of neighborhood bully, Scott Farcas (so help me God, yellow
eyes). A true classic. (Erich: TNT running 24 hours of this movie is
justification enough for cable. Screw
that stupid It’s A Wonderful Life. Ralphie
would kick George Bailey’s wimpy ass any day.
Story is loaded with some of the most classic Christmas lines of all
“You’ll shoot your eye out!”
“I triple dog dare you”
Every year I look forward to Christmas so I can watch this
film another seventeen times.)
Happy Holidays everyone (and ‘The Grinch’ will never, ever, appear on this list).
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