Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Film Fest!

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is Christmas movies. For your contemplation I am going to post some of my favorites. I promise that there is an update coming on all of the many wonderful things Maggie and I have been up to including Cracking Nuts, Aquabats, DJ Lance Rock, and our many other adventures.
Christmas In Connecticut
This is a 1945 classic comedy about a Martha Stewart (Barbara Stanwyck) of the 1940s. It is one my essentials that I do not currently have in my collection. It can be a little difficult to find as I experienced this past weekend, but it is sure worth the effort, or you could just make it easy on yourself and go to Amazon.Com.

Christmas Vacation

This is usually the first film I watch over the holiday season. I am a huge fan of Chevy Chase and think that his classic dry delivery and excellent timing lead to Christmas classic that reminds of how frustrating the holidays can be for all of us, but still reminding us that it could be worse, we could be the Griswolds.

The Ref

A Christmas Movie for those that hate Christmas. I do not hate Christmas in fact I was part of movement to celebrate it twice a month when I was in high school. This movie is about thief, played by Rescue Me's Dennis Leary, who takes a dysfunctional family hostage. Kevin Spacey has some fantastic lines, along with a great supporting cast (Christine Baranksky, and Judy Davis). This film is another one that you have to be in the right cynical mindset to enjoy, and leave the kiddies in their beds when you watch this yule-tide treat.

Its a Wonderful Life

What can I write about a film that not only works as a great Christmas message, one that we should carry with us all the year round. None of us know what impact we have on others, and how much we all depend on one another. This movie isn't as much about George Baily as it is about the rest of Bedford Falls, and our communities that each of us is vital. What would the town have been if there were no Donna Reed or George Baily Sr. or Mr. Potter(well not Mr. Potter)?

A Christmas Story

I still remember my Red Rider BB Gun Christmas, and I still have both of my eyes!

Holiday Inn

This is my Christmas Eve tradition. After dinner I watch Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby try to out sing, dance and woo Marjorie Reynolds the whole year round ending with Bing singing White Christmas for the very first time. I then head for Midnight Mass. This movie did every thing right, and for those of you who are fans of the film White Christmas I recommend Holiday Inn. I am not a huge fan of White Christmas. I feel that White Christmas did little more than add color and Danny Kaye to a maxed out version of Holiday Inn as an excuse to reuse Irving Berlin's classic song.

The Muppet's Christmas Carol

I am a huge Michael Caine fan! I also will argue till the bitter end that he was far and away the best Ebenezer Scrooge ever! He may not have been in the same serious style of Christmas Carol that George C. Scott was or even Albert Finney, but is spot on and the man is playing opposite of elaborate sock puppets! Give the man a Best Actor Oscar already. (Please note that Michael Caine is my second favorite British actor coming behind Peter O'Toole; who would also be an excellent Scrooge given the chance.)

Mickey's Christmas Carol

As good as Michael Caine was, Scrooge McDuck was literally born to play that role. Plus this may be the only Tiny Tim that doesn't annoy me, and then make me feel guilty for being annoyed.

West Wing: In Excelsis Deo

I know this isn't movie, and I really could list every West Wing Christmas episode (the one where Josh can't hear the music*sniff*). This one however takes the fruit cake for superb writing and making me feel the Christmas spirit. The story of Toby and the homeless soldier, and Mrs. Landingham missing her boys at the holidays(I am getting a little fuhklept thinking about amongst yourselves I will give you a topic a Mistletoe is neither a Missile or a toe...discuss.)

It's Charlie Brown Christmas

I have always loved this movie from the time I was a kid. I now really love the Vince Guaraldi west coast jazz soundtrack. This was a landmark animated feature. Before this time children were never used as actual voice actors in a cartoon. At that time rock and roll was used in most kids productions (picture School House Rock) that tended to turn off adults from watching cartoons. This production used a jazz piano as its main soundtrack, and from the very beginning drew in both children and adults alike, much of which is credited to its innovative soundtrack.

This is not a complete list there are many other films that I consider essential to the holidays Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, The Christmas Toy, that episode of MASH where Radar O'Reiley gets Winchester's toboggan hat sent to him from his mother; Winchester has given all that expensive stuff to the orphanage(fuhklept again), How the Grinch Stole Christmas(Boris Karloff is amazing) Elf, The Weird Claymation Ones, and many many others. If you have suggestions please let me know, and enjoy your egg nogg.


Jodie Smith said...

Well, you didn't list Die Hard and I am amazed by that! I suggest "The Bishop's Wife." It is my favorite Christmas movie: Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young. It is fabulous. I watched "Christmas in Connecticut" last night. It is available on Amazon for $13.99 now.
When you detail your recent adventures, do NOT leave out the "Tim Tam Slam."

Kari said...

I love the Ref! Probably because I love Dennis Leary and Kevin Spacey. My new favorite Christmas time movie is Love Actually. Can't have the little ones around because of one story line, but in my top 5 favorite movies. There are 4 of your movies that I have never seen, I think I need to check some of them out.

Colt and Maggie said...

Love Actually was the first movie Colt and I ever went to in the theater. It is such a fun movie to watch while you are falling in love. We love it!

Janey said...

I'm going to put those old ones on my to-buy list. I've always wanted to have a stash of Cmas movies to bring out only around the holidays. Thanks for the list. May I add another hilarious Christmas movie for you to see? "Mixed Nuts" Let me know if you ever see it.

Ashley said...

LOVE mixed nuts. My newest favorite (sorry, it's not a classic) is The Holiday with Cameron Diaz. And may I say that I LOVE White Christmas. I've always been a fan of Danny Kaye though.

Gaurav Joshi said...

I’m sana, a 21-year-old software engineer. I live in china , I write subtitles for TV. I like your blog its really awesome. Do visit one of my blog for watch movies online