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And To All A Good Night

Banes at 12:00AM, Dec. 24, 2015
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I love Christmas Eve. Possibly more than Christmas Day. Both are great fun, and reuniting with friends and relatives I rarely see is delightful of course.

But the quiet anticipation of Christmas Eve is where it's at. For me it's usually a day off work, wrapping (occasionally running around to buy) a few gifts, then a casual evening with my visiting brother (happily, he did come back for Christmas again this year). We often take a drive or two around the city to hang and laugh and get philosophical or whatever).

Christmas day is fun too, but…well, it's like taking in the sight of the presents you've given or received, versus the magical hours before, spent imagining what's inside all those wrapped boxes.

No comparison, really.

Movie-wise ('cuz I'm a movie guy), Christmas isn't the bonanza one might hope. Most are too corny or childish for me (I don't have kids). On the other hand, though I love horror movies and thoroughly enjoy a few scary flicks that are set at Christmas (we saw The Krampus the other day…very good!), but I enjoy them almost despite the fact they're Christmas movies. Horror and Christmas aren't a great mix in my opinion. Ditto the cynical Christmas flick. I liked Bad Santa, but it's not usually one I'm interested in watching during the actual season.
There are only a few that hit the sweet spot for me.

SCROOGED
This is our Christmas perennial, and a great movie. The story is beyond familiar, of course, but it contains plenty of great lines, and one of Bill Murray's greatest performances. We laugh at something in his face, or line delivery, or at some little physical bit of business every time we watch it. Since we have Scrooged, we don't need anything else.

A CHRISTMAS STORY
I've known and loved this one since I was a kid. The perfect mix of cynicism/reality and heartwarming. It was ahead of its time when it came out, and is just lightning in a bottle. I've overwatched it at this point, but it's one of the all time Christmas greats.

ELF
My screenwriting books tell me it's a perfectly constructed script. It's also Will Ferrell's funniest performance (and yes, I love Ron Burgundy). Most movies set in the real world where Santa actually exists don't work for me. The logic breaks down too darn fast. But this one's a rare exception.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween, discovers the magic of Christmas and tries to do that Holiday his way, with disastrous results. A stop motion musical that blends Halloween and Christmas beautifully. The scene in the end where all the residents of Halloween Town experience the delight of a Christmas snow for the first time gets me right in the feels every time.

Hey, I hope you all have a fine, fine holiday season, no matter where you are and whether you celebrate the thing. Thanks for reading this!

…and to all a good night!

Happy Christmas,
-Banes

comment

anonymous?

bravo1102 at 1:05AM, Dec. 25, 2015

A Very Merry Muppet Christmas movie. Mainly because of its great satire of other Christmas standards like Grinch and the Rankin Bass specials. And the It's a wonderful Life Kermit take off which is true to the Muppet universe set up in all the previous films and outrageously funny.

Stellar at 4:38PM, Dec. 24, 2015

I get an itch to watch the Harry Potter saga between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Most of the movies have a Christmas scene and the first few remind me of the times I spent with family as a kid (= The Muppets Christmas Carol and Christmas Vacation are definitely among my favorites of the season.

usedbooks at 4:01PM, Dec. 24, 2015

I always watch Home Alone, White Christmas, a couple versions of a Christmas Carol (usually Muppets and either the musical with Kelsey Grammer or the Patrick Stewart one), and Hogfather. -- My parents watch everything with Tim Allen in it. :-/

ashtree house at 12:05PM, Dec. 24, 2015

I have to watch Ernest Saves Christmas and National Lampoon's Chirstmas Vacation :D!

KimLuster at 11:40AM, Dec. 24, 2015

I love The Grinch movies (both old animated and the Jim Carrey one). Christmas Vacation is awesome too... Also watch waaaaayy too many those feel-good boy-meets-girl Christmas movies... Those old stop-motion movies (Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer..., Santa Claus is coming to town..., Year without a Santa Claus...) will always hold a special place in my heart. The Abominable Snowman and the Winter Warlock truly frightened me when I was little, but those were still must-see movies every Christmas!!

tupapayon at 7:54AM, Dec. 24, 2015

I would add to my list "Trading Places" and "Gremlins"... They're my classic films for the season...

ghostrunner at 6:29AM, Dec. 24, 2015

i enjoyed RED this week :D

Banes at 6:25AM, Dec. 24, 2015

Haha...you're surely right about a Christmas Story; it's been a few years since I've seen it.

bravo1102 at 1:55AM, Dec. 24, 2015

Proper stance is crucial to avoid ricochet like that. One foot forward point beyond that foot.

ozoneocean at 12:53AM, Dec. 24, 2015

I like Groundhog day for Christmas too... I remember seeing that in the theatre when it came out! Saw Scrooged too. Love the cameo by the Solid Gold Dancers! I forgot I'd seen Christmas story and re-watched it again the other day. Man, when I first saw it I thought it was so edgy, adult and cool! Wahahahahaha! It's not at all, it's so wonderfully nice and safe, simple, and charming. That amazing leg lamp is what I remember most. I would've LOVED a rifle like that at his age! But my parents would have seriously worried about me shooting my eye out... Which I probably would've done. Just like the kid in the film I almost shot my eye out with a staple gun once: I fired it at the ground to make sure the air was on (like I was trained to do, FOR SAFETY), and the thing ricocheted directly up into my face and hit me in my lower eyelid, nicely bypassing my safety goggles.

bravo1102 at 12:47AM, Dec. 24, 2015

No Alistair Sim? A Christmas Story was actually the third filming of Jean Sheppard 's story which I read in eighth grade. My sister has a signed copy of the anthology the stories are in. As for ahead of its time? It's a story about the Depression written during the 1960's. Jean Sheppard was also much published in Playboy when you really could read it for the articles.


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