Well, the weekend’s coming to a close. You know what that means. Those of us with jobs have to get those noses back to the grind, working diligently to bring those products and services people need. Or, if you’re like me, and unemployed, it means a never-ending marathon of amazing/shitty/shittily-amazing holiday movies, accompanied with a Hot Pocket and a lot of regret. Mostly for the Hot Pocket.

But, after a 45-minute trip to the toilet, it’s time to get back to those classic films that make the holidays just a little less full of shame.

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

A Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppets make any story instantly better. Except when they go to space. That one sucked. Everything see, solid.

The Muppets make any story instantly better. Except when they go to space. That one sucked. Everything else, solid.

This movie is a must. When I originally read A Christmas Carol, I thought to myself, “Dickens, you found the true source of trouble with the growing corporatocracy, and how we (as citizens of a darker time) can overcome it with love and friendship. But you’re missing an important element – you’re missing humans with their hands up puppets’ asses, singing songs to Michael Caine.” And just like that, Muppet Christmas Carol was born. Led by a homeless rat and an alien creature with a suggestive nose (heh, it looks like genitals), the epic story of Dickens’ hardened character unfolds. It really is a great take on the story, and makes it easily accessible to all types of audiences. My only problem was that the Ghost of Christmas Past is easily the most horrifying creature I’ve ever seen, and I always find myself wanting to fast forward to the Ghost of Fatass Present.

The Santa Clause

All I wanted for the next month after seeing this was the perfect frigging cup of hot chocolate. DAMN YOU, SWISS MISS. DAMN YOU TO HELL.

All I wanted for the next month after seeing this was the perfect frigging cup of hot chocolate. DAMN YOU, SWISS MISS. DAMN YOU TO HELL.

Tim Allen effectively kills Santa Clause, and then he magically becomes the bearded man himself. And children/elves are totally okay with that “king of the mountaintop” mentality. That’s the plot of this movie. It tells kids “Hey, if someone is important and beloved, and you want to be just like them…fuck it – BECOME THEM. Kill them and absorb their power.” Which sounds about right for a Disney flick. And I love every second of it. The Santa Clause is one of the best Christmas movies of the 90s. It’s a shame that they had to make sequels out of it, just to drain as much of the cash cow as possible. On the plus side, Tim Allen gets to put his Home Improvement grunts back to work. And those pajamas and that hot chocolate? Damn. I’ll kill Santa for them perks. Also, the casting director made a solid choice by having his head elf be Jewish. Speaking of the Chosen People…

Hebrew Hammer

Mildly offensive tones? Absolutely. One of the only movies centered around Hanukkah? Sadly. Come on, Hebrews of Hollywood, step your game up.

Mildly offensive tones? Absolutely. One of the only movies centered around Hanukkah? Sadly. Come on, Hebrews of Hollywood, step your game up.

A Comedy Central original, Hebrew Hammer is one of the only Hanukkah-based films out there. I get it – you make a movie on what sells, and it’s hard to sell a kid on 8 days of latkes and menorah-lighting. But I think it’s time to update the Hollywood standards and start pumping out some solid materials for the Jewish faith. Why the hell do we have to subject ourselves to Eight Crazy Nights as the only REAL movie-theatre Hanukkah film? Alright, getting back on track now. Hebrew Hammer is a Jewish Shaft, led by Adam Goldberg, who has to save his holiday from Santa Claus’ evil son, Andy Dick.

No. That wasn’t a typo. The leading antagonist of this movie is Andy Dick. Now you see the problem. They pinned comic genius Adam Goldberg against…Andy Dick. Well, at least they pulled in Judy Greer to play one of the greatest named female Jewish characters of all time – Esther Bloomenbergensteinenthal. I’ll take it. And I’ll watch it every night ’til Boxing Day.

Trading Places

Dan Akroyd trades lives with Eddie Murphy. Which is a nightmare. No one wants to star in Meet Dave.

Dan Akroyd trades lives with Eddie Murphy. Which is a nightmare. No one wants to star in Meet Dave.

This is another traditional story given a modern twist. God vs. Satan on the condition of Job. Duke & Duke, on the downfall of a wealthy man, and the rise of a con-artist. Dinner for Schmucks, on…watching idiots do idiot things. Basically, the story is about people of power who wager on the success and failures of people who generally live content lives. It’s a really funny movie, though, especially when these two ex-stars of Saturday Night Live were in the prime of their careers. This reversal-of-fortune story takes place around the holiday season, so, I mean, it’s technically about Christmas. Right? Sure. At least, at one point, Dan Akroyd dresses like a drugged-out Santa, bent on a murdering spree. And Eddie Murphy says a couple of Christmas jokes. Yeah, we’re gonna go with that.

Batman Returns

Danny DeVito plays a riveting…version of himself...

Danny DeVito plays a riveting…version of himself…

Earlier this year, the announcement was made that Ben Affleck would be playing Batman in the newest version of the DC Comic hero. Hell, I’m open-minded. I allowed the Swing Kid to play the role for 3 movies. But no man will ever compare to the badassery that was Michael Keaton, in the Tim Burton (ugh) version. This is a great movie for the holiday season, because you get to see Christopher Walken in a bow tie and a white wig, doing Christopher Walken things. And he has “Christ” in his name, which is the first syllable of “Christmas,” so it’s all relative. Besides the Christmas speech, probably the most holiday-esque part of the movie is when Catwoman has a weirdly-arousing mistletoe scene with Batman. So, I mean, yeah. It’s Christmas. Whatever.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

The age-old classic tale of a deformed freak, who befriends a reindeer.

The age-old classic tale of a deformed freak, who befriends a reindeer.

Obviously, this is one of those movies that has to be watched at least once a year. It has to be watched, because there’s at least twelve different channels playing it. Sometimes at the same time. Damnit, claymation, is there nothing you can’t monopolize? This is (yet another) story about love, friendship, and acceptance of difference. Towards the beginning of the story, we’re exposed to a super unnecessary reindeer birthing scene, to which the reindeer father screams in horror at the mutant son he helped bring into the world. This monstrosity grows up without friends, solely because his nose has the occasional red glow. That’s all. There’s nothing else. He’s a nice kid, with sinus issues. And then he runs away from Reindeer Town, or wherever the hell he’s from in the North Pole, and he comes across a terrifying Aryan child and a molesty mountain climber. And the moral of the story is, no matter what your shortcomings are, when shit hits the fan, people will come to you and use you for your body.

Wait. Wait, no. It’s togetherness and love. Damnit, I keep getting it wrong.

So that leads me to the last film on my to-watch list. The movie to end all movies. The one I watch on Christmas night, when the soft, white snow, gently taps my bedroom window, and the crackle of the fire emanates through the entire home…

A Charlie Brown Christmas

charliebrowntree

People usually feel bad for how others treat Charlie Brown. But this turd had one goddamn job, and shows up with a twig. He deserves the pain.

I felt like I have to end it with one of the most depressing Christmas movies of all time – A Charlie Brown Christmas. Yes, yes, the ending is so sweet, with all the kids coming together to show how much they actually appreciate the kid who royally screwed up their plans. Yes, they show a mixture of forgiveness and remorse for their reactions. But 99.9% of the movie actually consists of the kids being absolute douchebags to the ever-awkward Charlie Brown. I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve it, but there are kids in that group who deserve it WAY more than he does.

I'm an advocate for anti-bullying school programs…and ALL off these kids deserve wedgies.

I’m an advocate for anti-bullying school programs…and ALL off these kids deserve wedgies.

Take a look at his “friends.” You have a dirty and smelly kid, who PROBABLY doesn’t have a caretaker. You have a kid with thinning black hair, doing the shuffle way before his time. You have twin girls who dress exactly the same, because they have no identity of their own. You have a morbid, scoliosis-enriched child who would rather play piano than score with ladies. I could keep going, but I already feel much better as a person by bringing other people down. Anyway, all these misfits treat the most average kid (with the shittiest luck) like a piece of shit, until the nerd with the blanket talks about Jesus. And suddenly, EVERYONE LOVES CHARLIE BROWN LIKE A BROTHER. Cool story, Schultz. Thanks for the memories.

Well, that about “wraps” up my holiday movie list-off. I’m gonna go fill back up on egg nog and pie. This gut needs to be ready to burst by the time I start delivering gifts on Tuesday night.

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