Happy Holidays everyone. We are a week away from Christmas and in honor of that, the Top Ten Show this week focused on Christmas Movies. It was another entertaining episode with John Rocha and Matt Knost, as their opinions on movies really fluctuated during this topic.
Matt Knost, in particular, had a wildly expansive variety of films. He included some of the old Rankin-Bass specials such as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It was his list and I respected that.
As for the EYG list…
#10. It’s a Wonderful Life. I am not much of a fan of this film. I have seen it, but when I saw it as a younger person, I found it boring. Maybe I should watch it again as an adult. Still, it is undoubtedly one of the most famous Christmas movies in history. Remember when those bells are ringing, an angel is getting its wings.
#9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This is another one of the massively popular Christmas films that I think is okay. I have been a big fan of the Vacation series and the Christmas Vacation is no exception. There are certainly some funny moments here though and should be recognized as an iconic holiday film.
#8. The Ref. I hadn’t remembered that this was a Christmas movie until Matt Knost brought it up on this week’s Top Ten Show, and he reminded me that I really enjoyed this film starring Denis Leary. It was dark, funny and a true breakout role for Leary.
#7. Scrooged. Just watched this in prep for this list, again because both of the Top Ten guys had real positive things to say about this. I will say that most of the film felt too hectic to me, but I loved the ending of the film. The monologue Bill Murray gives at the final act of the film is just amazing and shows what a strong actor he could be.
#6. The Ice Harvest. This is a great film that you probably haven’t heard of. It is a dark comedy with John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton. There is also some really funny lines from a drunk Oliver Platt. Cusack and Thornton are trying to get out of town with their stolen money, but they can’t see a way to get out of town because of this ice storm. Really funny and very dark.
#5. A Christmas Carol (1951). This is the version of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol that I grew up watching and I can’t help but think of this version when I picture it. Alastair Sim was iconic as Scrooge for years. It may not be my favorite version of this story (more to come later) but I will always see this as the vintage version.
#4. The Man Who Invented Christmas. This is the most recent film on the list and I really enjoyed this one. Dan Stevens (from Legion) starred as Charles Dickens and this was a way to show how Dickens created the story of A Christmas Carol. The film is kind of a fantasy biopic. We go into the mind of Dickens and see him actually interacting with the characters, implying that this was how the creative process took place for him. It was a surprise to me how much I loved this one.
#3. Home Alone. Macaulay Culkin became a major celebrity because of this home invasion movie based around a young child being left behind by his family over Christmas. Of course, this house would also be targeted by the Wet Bandits. But who knew that these two crooks would meet their match in a Looney Tunes like finale where the Wet Bandits basically became Wile E. Coyote. Plus, there is a nice message about loving your family no matter how obnoxious they could be.
#2. Die Hard. Okay, Die Hard is one of my favorite movies of all time, but I could not put it on top of this list because there is some reasonable arguments against it being a Christmas movie. I have it as a Christmas movie, but I can understand why some one may say that it is not. It does take place on Christmas Eve at a Christmas office party at Nakatomi Plaza and there are Santa hats and Bruce Willis writing on a dead guys short “Now I have a Machine Gun, Ho Ho Ho.” This might be a near perfect action movie.
#1. Muppet Christmas Carol. I watch this every year. I love this movie. I cry every time Tiny Tim, played by Robin, has died and you hear the pain in the voices of Miss Piggy and Kermit, as the Cratchits. It is extremely funny, with Gonzo playing the omniscient author Charles Dickens. It has one of the great Scrooge performances, this time by Michael Caine. I loved the songs. Fuzziwig. The Marley Brothers (two, not one) as Statler and Waldorf. The Muppet versions of the Christmas Ghosts are excellent- especially the Ghost of Christmas Present which is how I picture that character from now on. The Muppet Christmas Carol is one of the greatest Muppet films ever made and is my favorite Christmas movie ever.
Honorable Mentions: The Santa Clause, Krampus, A Nightmare Before Christmas, Arthur Christmas, Trading Places, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, A Christmas Story