The Twelve Films of Christmas

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“And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse…”

Aaaah, Christmas. The season ‘tis almost upon us folks, like it or not, and what better way to force some festive spirit down your throat than a Christmas movie marathon? So here is my essential guide to yule tide viewing pleasure; Crack open the mixed nuts, loosen your trousers, pop a laxative (all that turkey is murder for your colon) and enjoy. Here we go:

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

12 Murray’s Scrooging

Scrooged

The umpteenth reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of greed and redemption is given the yuppie treatment with Bill Murray’s Frank Cross substituting for Ebenezer Scrooge as a shallow primetime TV exec. Perhaps not one to watch with the kids, Richard Donner’s take on the Christmas carol is a must see for those bored with the traditional Tiny Tims and bah-humbugs; Murray’s on top form, the ghosts are feisty (the bitch hit me with a toaster!) and the girls are dancing… What more do you need?

11 Cranks A-Cruising

Kranks

If you can suffer 90 minutes of Tim Allen’s unique brand of unfunny smugness, you’ve got to check out Joe Roth’s Christmas With the Cranks. Based on a John Grisham novel (huh?), this follows the well trodden path of realising the error of your ways through the warmth of kith and kin. Opting out of Christmas to go on a Caribbean cruise, the Kranks are forced to ditch their plans at the last minute but will the neighbourhood forgive them for their lack of yuletide spirit? Of course they will!

10 Snowmen Melting

The Snowman

Friendship, adventure, David Bowie… A cross-dressing frost monster! Raymond Briggs’ animated story has it all. This is a wordless tale of the majesty of snow and the imagination of an inexplicably sad boy (maybe he’s seen some terrible things) who discovers friendship and mischief when his snowman magically comes to life. Well, either that or a cautionary tale for kids on Christmas Eve; “If you don’t go to sleep, the 8ft snowman will come to life and take you away in the night.”

9 Georges Dreaming

It's A Wonderful Life

If you like a festive flick with a hint of drunken suicide, It’s A Wonderful Life is the lazy Sunday afternoon film for you. Black, white and beautifully nostalgic, there’s a little George Bailey in all of us; try as you may, life will always throw obstacles in your path. But hey, every life is precious and the world will be a different place if you weren’t in it this Christmas… Ok, maybe not the world but I’m sure your parents would (might) miss you.

8 Arthurs Wrapping

Arthur Christmas

Super impressed with this Aardman Animation effort, Arthur Christmas boasts a wealth of British talent bringing a modern techno twist to the gift giving season. James McAvoy voices the pathetic simpleton Arthur, second in line to the Claus crown but who can barely be trusted to hold down the letter department. Will he ever be ready to step into the big guys shoes?? Of course, he’s got Christmas in his heart!

7 Grinches Stealing

The Grinch

Obviously a rip on Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Jim Carrey brings life to the wicked tale of revenge on those smug little Whos down in Whoville. Genuinely hilarious in parts, The Grinch is sure to rhyme its green fuzzy way into your shrivelled little heart as the titular character fails to ruin the one thing every Who lives for… Christmas. They’d even have you believe the season isn’t all about gifts but rather spending time with loved ones… Huh, go figure.

6 Brothers Fighting

Fred Claus

I know, Vince Vaughn hasn’t been relevant or remotely watchable since Swingers but his brand of cocky, gob-shite immaturity actually plays well as the big guy’s spiteful brother, Fred Clause. Living in his brother’s saintly shadow even though nobody actually knows he’s Santa’s sibling, Fred visits the North Pole at a stressful time for Nick; Christmas is around the corner, Kevin Spacey’s efficiency expert is in town and Santa’s only gone and put his back out! I wonder who will step up?

5 Muppet Ghoooooosts

The Muppet Christmas Carol

‘Tis the singing of a street corner choir, it’s going home and getting warm by the fire. It’s true where ever you find love, it feels like Christmas. It’s in the giving of a gift to another, a pair of mittens that were made by your mother. It’s all the ways that we show love that feel like Christmas… and so on. Join Gonzo, Rizzo and the gang as they guide you through the cobbled streets of ye olde London in their epic retelling of The Christmas Carol through song, dance and ice-skating penguins.

4 Buddys Elfing

Elf

An instant classic upon release, Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf doesn’t seem to fit in at the North Pole or New York City but his insights on the world through child eyes, figure hugging tights and insatiable appetite for all things sweet melts the heart in a wonderful Christmassy way. The mcguffin this time around concerns Santa’s sleigh fuelled by yuletide spirit but reserves are running low. Step forward Buddy with a song in his heart and a bulge in his tights (helloooo, Zooey Deschanel) to save Christmas.

3 Sticky Bandits

Home Alone 2

Almost as good as the original, Home Alone: Lost in New York literally transports the plot from its predecessor and dumps in the magical heart of New York City at Christmas time. Same situation, same bad guys, same plot to foil their evil plans and same appalling parenting (these guys really oughta be investigated). Fortunately, the idea is still hugely enjoyable a second time and makes hanging out with the Central Park hobos not seem to bad a way to spend the festive period.

2 Griswold Fires

Christmas-Vacation

Clark Griswold is the undisputed king of Christmas; he never once allows family disputes, a dry turkey, a burnt down Christmas tree or the fact his children seem to change in every film affect his Yule tide spirit. This is classic 80s comedy with a festive slant covering all aspects of the season from risking frostbite to pick the perfect tree to blowing the local power grid ‘cos you’ve got one too many twinkle lights in your display. His neighbours, boss and kids may hate him but Clark, we salute you!

And A Kevin Home Alone…

Home Alone

Who would have thought a premise about a child loathed by his siblings, abandoned by his parents and hunted down by criminals could be so god darned Christmassy? In pairing a confident young Macauley Culkin with a Joe Pesci playing against type, John Hughes’ timeless Home Alone offers something for everyone; kids tap into the courage of overcoming fears and adults enjoy Marv screaming like a girl with a tarantula on his face. Top this off with a snowy neighbourhood, beautifully decorated houses and an Academy award winning soundtrack et voila, the perfect Christmas movie wrapped in a bow.

The classic Christmas film plays a major role in the holiday season whether it transports you back to childhood or is a necessity to help you even muster a little festive joy. Nothing else gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside and we’d love to hear your must watch films this Christmas. And for those to cool for chorus lines of Muppets or flying snowmen; there’s always Shane Black.

“Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah…”

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