Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Five Favorite Holiday Movies

It’s that time of year again and I am reminded of my favorite holiday movies. These are the movies that I can go back to every year. They never get old for me.

I dedicate this list to everyone who seem to enjoy taking this holiday season and make into a call to arms to protect their own versions of what this season means. PEOPLE SNAP OUT OF IT!! Instead of looking at all of differences in our beliefs we need to look at the similarities. Remember what each of our different religions teaches about love, respect, honoring life and family. I hope that the messages in these movies can help you put the arguing aside and focus on the important things they teach us.

There is a Doctor Who episode that involves Charles Dickens. Mr. Dickens asks “You're from the future, tell me Doctor. Do my books last”? The doctor looks at him in amazement and says “oh yes. Forever”. A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite stories. That’s why there are two versions of this story on my list.

Scrooged – This is one of the first movies I saw in the Army when I was stationed overseas. I was having a hard time dealing with being out on my own and this movie gave me what I was looking for. It’s a modern retelling of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. I am a sucker for a good redemption story. Bill Murray makes a great scrooge. He is just enough of a jerk but not too much of one that we don’t like him.

His transition from jaded cynic to a person who really feels the spirit of the season is great. I love the end monologue, in the typical Murray style, he drives home the point that this is not just a once a year thing, but it can happen every day if we choose it.

My personal favorite line from this movie is “The bitch hit me with a toaster!”

The Muppet Christmas Carol – The Muppets went through a phase of capturing classical books and putting it on film. This one is my favorite. They give the respect to the story that is needed and they add their unique flare to the story without taking anything away. They cast each of the characters perfectly. And adding Michael Caine as Scrooge is perfect.

This telling is one that is great for the whole family, the muppets appeal to both the kids and the kids at heart. They blend song and show together in a nice mix. They tell the story and keep it light and meaningful. If you have not seen this version of the story I recommend it, if you are one who has not seen any Muppet movies this one is a great one to start on.

My personal favorite dialog from this movie comes from Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present. Ebenezer: You're a little absent-minded, spirit. Ghost of Christmas Present: No, I'm a LARGE absent-minded spirit!

It's a Wonderful Life – Makes me Cry every time I see it. Like clockwork right when Zuzu’s petals come out I start to tear up and I am in a full-on cry when everyone in town is pitching in to save Geroge. This story is one that starts off my Holiday thoughts. It’s just not the Holidays unless I get to see this movie at least once.

The main message is that your life is a gift and even if you don’t see it. You have an impact on all the lives you come into contact with. We tend to get wrapped up in our own heads and forget that there are other people out there. And even if we don’t realize it we have made a difference in the world.

My personal favorite line from this movie comes from Clarence. “Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he”?

A Christmas Story – I saw this movie at my Aunt’s house while I was housesitting and it was on HBO. I remember laughing out loud at some of the hijinks in this film. The movie has so many memorable moments the “double dog dare” the “Major award” and who can forget the “Red Rider carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle”.

This movie takes place in the past but everyone has had some of the same feelings or experiences during the holidays. What I like about this format is the narration and how they blend in the imagination and memories of Ralphie. I also liked this style in Arrested Development. The narrator guides us through the hilarity.

My personal favorite line from this movie comes from Ralphie’s narration right before going to see Santa, “Let's face it, most of us are scoffers. But moments before zero hour, it did not pay to take chances.”

Die Hard – People overlook this as a Christmas movie, and yes this does not have any particular underlying Christmas movie message. It is a slice of awesome and it takes place at a Christmas party so it fits into the holiday movies category if you ask me. People also overlook the fact that Lethal Weapon and Gremlins all took place during the holidays.

This is just a fun movie. How can I not add this to my favorites with Bruce Willis setting the standard for badass heroes? I have lost the emotion narrative with this last pick but I think that the value on family and how people can come together can still be felt in this film. Remember the holidays are about fun as well as meaningful connections and a renewing of spirit.

My personal favorite line from this movie comes from McClane in the air vent. “Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs...”

I hope that I have at least entertained you with these picks and you can enjoy the holidays however you like. With that, Happy Holidays one and all, may you all be safe this season.

What are your favorite holiday films? Let’s talk about them.