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Friday, 23 December 2011

My Christmas Schedule

Okay so it's finally the Christmas weekend and in between the food, the alcohol and the gifts, one must cram in some seasonal films.  Apparently UK television is particularly crap this year (although I wouldn't know, as I tend to not bother with it), so all the more reason to settle down with some great feel-good movies.  We all have our favourites, and here are the films I plan on getting through this year, and which I recommend as terrific Christmas films for you to check out as well, should you be unfamiliar with them.  It's time to put away your cynicism for a few days and enjoy:


That's right, what some might call Curtis' glorious cheesefest.  Quite apart from the fact that it actually isn't all that cheesy, it is simply a great film to watch at this time of year.  For any flaws you might see, at Christmas it simply makes me feel great; every thread of the story is either fun, heartwarming, bittersweet, or actually rather moving.  This film blends the reality of life's struggles with the fanatasy of how the world should be perfectly.  Forget realistic, this is the one time of year where a film as flawed as this gets away with it by overwhelming me with the warm fuzzy feeling.


Er, ok so you don't need to put away any cynicism  because....this isn't a Christmas film, right?  WRONG, this is a great Christmas film.  It is set a Christmas, it's about a man trying to spend time with his family at Christmas, it's about John McClane kicking some Christmas ass!  It also ends with a character wishing another a merry Christmas....what more do you want??  It's not a feel-good film?  Watch John McClane scream lines like "Welcome to the party, pal" and "Yippee Ki Yay, Motherfucker" and tell me you don't feel good.  End of argument.  Ok, seriously, it is simply a classic action thriller and it wins at any just seems oddly appropriate at Christmas, and I can't actually explain why.


Michael Caine playing a very convincing Scrooge alongisde all our favourite muppets?  Can't be off it!  EVERY year this is a must!  So many great scenes, so many great lines, and it even sticks to the story!  Also, if you can get to the end of this version and not feel a bit emotional, you have no heart.  I shall be watching the uncut version with Scrooge's song, which is clearly the only right way.  I still don't understand why it was cut, it makes NO sense!


Cutting edge when it was made, a great turn(s) by Mr Hanks in a film than sits nicely in the gap between asleep and awake, fantasy and reality; a film that intentionally blurs those lines and does it successfully without alienating the audience.  It carries the wonder of Christmas and reminds us why we loved (and should continue to love) Christmas in the first place.


One occasion where the remake outshines the original, partly because the ending is a better argument, and partly because....well, Sir Richard Attenborough IS Santa Claus.  Love it!


Okay, no idea how I'm going to get ALL of these in, but I have to include this, especially as I didn't get to watch it last year, which is a crime as it is CLEARLY the greatest Christmas movie ever made (not to mention quite a high movie on my Top 100 films of all time).  The beautiful, classic story, inspired by a simple Christmas card, of George Bailey, a simple man who loses his will to live and is shown what the world would be like without him.  James Stewart leading the cast with his usual brilliance in what was, by his own admission, his favourte film experience.  Moving beyond measure, it is an absolute must for anyone who wants a pick-me-up at this time of year.  Don't even touch 'The Family Man', the peasants' re-working of it.

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