There are no real words to describe how much I enjoy the original Die Hard. The action, hilarious one-liners, dastardly villains, home-grown heroes, (somewhat) realistic hero relationship, and some dramatic irony all come together to propel this movie to classic status. Surprisingly, it doesn’t hurt to watch when getting into the Christmas spirit either. Stellar performances by Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman are the icing on this already delicious cake. (Who will ever forget yippee kai yay (Insert profanity here) and Alan Rickman’s scared American impression?) Don’t forget that incredible ending. Without spoiling it, let’s just say not many movies have endings that are both badass and heartwarming.
Home Alone is a rather odd movie. It’s a childlike fantasy of what could happen while you’re by yourself, but also a creepy look at the dangers of maturity/adulthood. That’s not to say it is humorless, but putting a young kid in a house by himself (after his parents forget about him) against two dangerous burglars makes for a movie that is pure fun and also a bit scary. The child’s fantasy is what is really important here. I mean, who didn’t want to be a hero and stop/beat up two adults with a bunch of improvised booby traps that are both hilarious and comically dangerous? That balance between the fun and the dark is one of the coolest things to come out of the Christmas movie tradition.
It’s a Wonderful Life
What is there to say about this heartwarming classic that hasn’t already been said? The movie is worthy of its status with its clear-cut morals concerning the themes of life, death, and love. George Bailey, played with precision by James Stewart in arguably his most famous role, tries to commit suicide and is contacted by an angel who shows him a world where he never lived. Although the plot sounds dark, it actually makes you think about the value of loved ones. If you accept the cheesiness, it can be the perfect holiday movie to watch with your family.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The animation of one of Dr. Suess’ most famous books, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” is known and loved by many. What makes this short film so wonderful? Two things. First, the animation. It’s smooth throughout and leads to fantastic close-up shots. Who can forget that devilish Grinch grin? Second, the narration from Boris Karloff, more commonly remembered as Frankenstein’s Monster from the original Frankenstein movie. Karloff’s narration is a great mix of evil and mischievous at the beginning and turns nicely light and sweet at the end. The change is subtle enough to take lessons from. The Grinch’s turn from evil to good and the final scene of the Whos and the Grinch singing together will warm anyone’s heart during the holidays.