Hot Ticket Movie Marathon
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”
With no new movies opening for review last week, we asked ‘MidWeek’ staffers to recommend their favorite holiday films, compiled by Nicole Kato
A “fra-gee-lay” leg lamp, a Red Ryder BB gun, a pink rabbit suit, the marauding Black Bart, a roast duck that’s smiling, a triple dog dare to lick a frozen pole and, of course, the famous warning, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” What’s not to love about the 1983 classic, A Christmas Story?
Although Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol has been done many times in many ways, the most joyful film version I’ve seen of it is the 1970 musical called Scrooge starring Albert Finney. The music stays with you for years afterward, from I Hate People to I Like Life to Thank you very much (not Lex Brodie!). Sir Alex Guinness plays the ghost of Scrooge’s partner, Jacob Marley. You can’t get any better than that.
As a little kid, I loved all the Rankin/Bass Animagic stop-motion puppet Christmas specials. I really enjoyed Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, with Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snow Monster (The Bumble). Today, as a father of two, I enjoy it even more as I watch my two kids side-eye the television from the safety of the hallway close to their rooms, as the Abominable Snow Monster makes his appearance and scares the crap out of them just as it did me when I was a boy.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of those Christmas movies that always makes me smile — the soundtrack by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, the iconic Charlie Brown Christmas tree, Snoopy’s mocking antics. My brother and I still laugh during the dance scenes till today!
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. My birthday is Halloween, and Oct. 31 always kicked off the best time of year for me. I also thought the Bogeyman’s (Oogie Boogie) theme song is hypnotically well written.
Honestly, I have too many. The Santa Clause because the hot chocolate they drink in that movie looks amazing. Jingle All The Way because it made me want my very own Turbo-Man. It’s A Wonderful Life — though if I’m being truthful, it has more to do with my crush on Jimmy Stewart. Miracle on 34th Street because there’s nothing quite as magical as Macy’s in New York in the 1940s.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian because who doesn’t love (and need) a saucy British satire sprinkled in among the season’s classic yet cavity-inducing films? Blessed be those cheesemakers.
Bad Santa is the perfect holiday film for those who hate Christmas songs and shopping malls, but love bologna sandwiches, foul-mouthed elves and a Mrs. Santa’s sister who is easy on the eyes.
My favorite Christmas movie is It’s A Wonderful Life. I saw it for the first time when I was about 10 and have watched it over and over again since then. It’s such a sweet movie, with a message that reminds us what’s really important during the holidays. But really, the main reason I like it so much is basically because of Jimmy Stewart.
My favorite Christmas film is Love Actually. It’s actually lovely — the perfect mix of Christmas make-believe and real-life truth in one charming film. Plus, who doesn’t love British accents?
I actually do not like Christmas movies, but I do enjoy Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas because I am childish, and also because I enjoy Disney characters re-enacting the plots of other stories and movies.
Home Alone. I am obsessed with Christmas. Home Alone definitely tops my huge stack of Christmas movies that I watch before and during Christmas. Just seeing Macaulay Culkin rockin’ around the Christmas tree, sliding down the stairs in a toboggan and setting up all his mischievous traps to get a piece of pizza makes me so happy and gets me in the spirit of Christmas every year. It’s a Christmas must-see.