In case you missed out (which, you may very well have, since I have the balls to post these at like 2 AM with confidence), I’ve been recapping some of my favorite holiday films of all time. Starting with such classics as It’s A Wonderful LifeRare Exports: A Christmas TaleSanta’s Slay…well…at least one of them was a classic…

Anyway, with such holiday films as those on my must-watch list, I figured I’d continue to round out the Christmas cheer with some more of my recommendations. Feel free to add them to your instant queue/torrent list/VHS tape-burning marathon night.

HOLIDAY MOVIES I HAVE TO WATCH OR ELSE THE HOLIDAYS NEVER HAPPEN FOR ME, ROUND 2

A Christmas Story

Admit it. You wanted nothing more than to punch this kid in the testicles for hours on end.

Admit it. You wanted nothing more than to punch this kid in the testicles for hours on end.

It’s unfortunate that TBS plays this movie almost 24 hours a day for the entirety of December, because this is one of those cult classics that deserves the rarity of being viewed only once a year. The story of Ralphie overcoming bullies, a piss-poor education, and a father who undoubtedly hits him hard off-screen, is a story that ultimately speaks to many of us. We’ve all had a dream of getting that perfect Christmas gift, despite the risk of losing eyesight, and we’ve all had those moments of self-sacrificial family-pleasing, despite the fact that bunny pajamas for a child that size should mean it’s time for Granny to go to a home. All in all, it’s a touching tale that was ultimately ignored during its time, and deserves the respect and watchability it has to this day.

Gremlins

Gizmo won Most Goddamn Adorable Alien Award at the 1984 Oscars.

Gizmo won Most Goddamn Adorable Alien Award at the 1984 Oscars.

The first time I watched this one, I think I was a mixture of confused, then frightened, then confused, then relatively upset, and finally confused again. Now that I’m older and can appreciate it…I still get a little confused. Regardless, this has to be watched every year. An alien-like creature is captured and kept as a pet, with three rules to live by: don’t feed him after midnight, keep him away from water, and above all else, don’t make him into an animatronic shit machine (thanks, Furby). Most people ignore the fact that this all takes place during the holidays, but the scene where Gizmo is wearing a Santa hat is the cutest thing in the entire world. Really. It’s so adorable. Ignore the fact that it can spawn slimy, evil creatures from its back. If that’s a deal breaker, just watch Gremlins 2, and see Gizmo dressed as Rambo.

2 parts badass, 1 part mildly saddening.

2 parts badass, 1 part mildly saddening.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

This movie is the reason to believe in a Santa Claus. That, and extra presents. Mostly the extra presents.

This movie is the reason to believe in a Santa Claus. That, and extra presents. Mostly the extra presents.

Let’s take it all the way back to 1947, a beautiful time for film. We’ll glaze over the gender/race issues that terrorized the country for a moment, and just enjoy a classic tale of Supreme Court Vs. Santa Claus. Seriously, though, this is one of those movies that I watch all the time, because story takes the traditional tale of doubting a fable, and turns it into a unifying moment of belief in the unbelievable. Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle, which is a far differing role than his usual Hitchcock appearances, and he plays him with the exact lightness and kindness that the role calls for. It’s just an overall great classic film. The only way it could have been better is if John Payne was replaced by Gregory Peck. Even then, it could only be a mild improvement, because Payne’s performance is noteworthy in itself. Alright, I’m done gushing. Let’s move on to some ‘toons.

The Year Without a Santa Clause

Ever notice Heat Miser was significantly more of a douche than Snow Miser?

Ever notice Heat Miser was significantly more of a douche than Snow Miser?

Alright, here we go. Another classic to me (and countless others), but for different reasons. See, a lot of people view this movie as a unique story of sharing, togetherness, and all that crap. But there are so many movies out there like that, even before this came out. Here’s what makes it unique – evil, douchebaggy, temperature-sensitive characters. Holy hell, talk about out-of-fucking nowhere script-writing. Why is Santa associated with a man who is obviously Beelzebub, another man who acts like a creepy, frozen, touchy uncle, and a mother who is so apathetic on her extreme children? I’ll tell you why – because Santa is going through a major withdrawal, and needs Jingle Bells and Jangle Bells (…seriously…ha) to do all the heavy lifting for him. But it’s cool, because they can enlist the help of Ignatius Thistlewhistle (again…ha) and his immense gap tooth. Oh man. Yeah. Time to break back out the wine and tissues.

Elf

This movie made Will Ferrell's career. And pretty much took it away, too. RIP comedic Ferrell.

EVERYONE LOOK! HE’S IN A TINY CHAIR! IT’S HYSTERICAL! WILL FERRELL KNOWS COMEDY!

Of all the holiday movies ever created, Elf is the movie that has garnered the most split reactions between everyone I know. Half of the people that bring up Elf either follow it up with quotes on the entire movie with vigor, and the other half would rather watch the entire life cycle of a cicada. As for me, I enjoy it for what it is – a comedy featuring Will Ferrell acting like a child, and attempting to live a normal life in the big city. It’s like a holiday version of Jungle 2 Jungle. I’m okay with that. Is it my favorite holiday movie? Nope. Is it one that I’ll end up stopping on when switching through the channels? Usually. Do I blame it for the simultaneous rise and fall of comedic genius, Will Ferrell? Most definitely.

Die Hard

The most badass way to send a message? Put a Santa hat on a corpse and write a message in blood. And somehow still be a good guy.

The most badass way to send a message? Put a Santa hat on a corpse and write a message in blood. And somehow still be a good guy.

Yippee-kay-ay. A movie that has Bruce Willis literally jumping off a 40-story building into a window, where he proceeds to step on glass and, presumably, gross German bacteria? Sign me up. This is a holiday movie that can be watched year-round, just because the holiday theme is severely underplayed. That is, until you get to the scene where the dead thug in the elevator is wearing a Santa hat, and wearing a sweatshirt with blood writing, saying “Now I have a machine gun – Ho Ho Ho.” Bad. Ass. BADASS. Basically, Bruce Willis blows up the Nakatomi Plaza, to prevent Hans “Snape” Gruber from stealing a shit-ton of money with his crack team of Germans and token black guy. There’s a scene where a cocky bastard gets shot in the face for being a cocky bastard. Oh, and Alan Rickman’s American accent is worth looking past the super annoying limo driver.

Home Alone 2

WHY DOES KEVIN GET SO MANY GODDAMN SUNDAE CHOICES, IT'S NOT FAIR.

WHY DOES KEVIN GET SO MANY GODDAMN SUNDAE CHOICES, IT’S NOT FAIR.

I have a love-hate relationship with the Home Alone series. I love it, because I love seeing Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern in never-ending pain. Don’t ask me why, I just…enjoy it…probably because anyone who calls themselves the “Wet Bandits” deserves to be hit in the balls by a paint can. But I also hate it, because Macauley Culkin is such a snobby little shit, and I always secretly hoped that he got his ass whooped. In any case, Home Alone 2 has two of the most amazing scenes in any holiday movies. The first is when Kevin gets the hotel suite, and is exposed to the “sweetest” (pun frigging intended) room ever. Candy and cookies in the fridge, a big-ass sundae bar delivered RIGHT TO HIS BED? Yeah. I’ll take it. The second scene is when he walks through Duncan’s Toy Chest, and it’s a winter goddamn wonderland. It was everything I imagined Santa’s workshop to be, and it was glorious. I’ve yet to come across something even remotely similar to this level of awesome in a toy store. Then again, the only toy stores I really see nowadays are those Smart Toy stores…and those absolutely suck. I get it, learning’s important. But when you make your store the aesthetic equivalent of a Valium, you deserve low sales.

 

…TO BE CONTINUED…one more time, I guess…you know…make it a 3-parter….

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