The holidays are upon us, which means it's time to bundle up with family and friends and watch some seasonal entertainment. While cheesy and overly-saturated with some greater lesson on the meaning of Christmas, everyone's got a bit of a soft spot f
or their favorite holiday films. Here is a brief over view of my five favorites for you to watch over this winter.
A Christmas Story
Despite being played constantly throughout the holiday season, “A Christmas Story” remains one of the funniest and most genuine Christmas movies out there. Even if you have not seen the film, you know about the Red Ryder BB gun, the mocking taunt of “you'll shoot your eye out, you'll shoot your eye out”, and of course the “battle of the lamp”. It has become as iconic as Christmas itself, telling the story of a nine year-old boy and his family making it through the holidays. I know I can't make it through the Christmas season without watching it at least once, so if you happen to be flipping through the channels and happen to see Ralphie fantasizing about his Red Ryder BB gun, it's worth your time.
Jingle All the Way
More than blood-crazed aliens, evil artificial intelligence, and Batman, I believe Arnold Schwarzenegger's biggest nemesis has been Turbo-Man. “Jingle All the Way” follows Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in his frantic attempt to find a Turbo-Man action figure for his son before Christmas. The acting is mediocre, but watching Schwarzenegger battle Sinbad while both are dressed as action figures in the middle of a Christmas parade is pretty spectacular.
I'll Be Home for Christmas
After being abandoned in the desert dressed as Santa, Jake Wilkinson (Jonathan Taylor Weiss of Home Improvement) makes a mad dash from California to New York to make it home in time for Christmas with his family. Jake's shenanigans along the way are so outrageous that I don't want to spoil them here. Jessica Biel plays the love interest who spends most of the movie mad at Jake because of his selfish approach to the holidays. Like most Christmas/ holiday movies, “I'll Be Home for Christmas” gets cheesy and unbelievable at points, but 'tis the season.
The first time I watched this movie, I was immediately disappointed that I had not seen it earlier. Gus (Denis Leary) is a criminal who after a botched robbery takes Lloyd and Caroline Chasseur (Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis) hostage on Christmas eve. The seriousness of the situation is diffused by the constant bickering of Lloyd and Caroline, both of whom take every opportunity to verbally jab at one another. Gus quickly becomes involved, and even more stress is added when Lloyd's aggressive family comes for dinner. The dialogue is sharp, the characters are delightfully awful, and it even has a corny Christmas ending.
The Christmas Invasion
While it's not a Christmas movie in the standard meaning, it does take place on Christmas and give the viewers something wonderful. “The Christmas Invasion” is an hour-long Doctor Who special debuting David Tennant as the Doctor. As hesitant as I was the first time around to embrace Tennant after such a brief time with Christopher Eccleston, “The Christmas Invasion” quickly became one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes. Rose and the Doctor must stop an invading alien race from taking half of humanity as slaves. All Doctor Who Christmas specials make me feel a little bad for the inhabitants of England who can't seem to get a holiday break from the mischief that follows the Doctor. Solid episode, and a great way to start the era of Tennant as the Doctor.
Enjoy your break and tell me about your favorite holiday movie in the comments below!