Thursday, December 22, 2005 at 11:22 a.m. |
With the holidays once again upon us, we are bombarded with Christmas specials old and new alike. For no reason other than I want to, I'm going to present you with four of my holiday favorites.

A Christmas Story DVD1. A Christmas Story

Produced in 1983, this low-budget film probably didn't have aspirations of becoming a holiday classic, but the infamous "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" found its way into our hearts. The movie, based on a book by Jean Shepperd, follows young Ralphie and his endless pursuit for a BB gun that no one seems to think is safe for him to have.

Great moments include sticking your tongue onto a frozen metal pole, the pink rabbit suit, the leg lamp, and the Santa Claus from Hell. As holiday classics go, no film captures Christmas so well as this film. I don't know what it is about it that reminds me of my own family so much, but it's stuck in my hearts. Catherine's family hasn't seen it, so I've bought it to show them what they've been missing.

Christmas Vacation DVD2. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Some would say this is the most crucial of all holiday films to watch and aside from A Christmas Story, I'm prone to agree. Chevy Chase's film about a holiday gone wrong when his family all visits for Christmas is hilarious and each year manages to impress and delight.

Randy Quaid stands out in this film as Cousin Eddie, and if you look closely you'll notice Juliette Lewis as Audrey, Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Chase's mother-in-law, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld) as the the stuck-up neighbour.

Gotta love this movie for the huge tree, the house of a million Christmas lights, and the dead cat. Every holiday ends well if there's a dead cat involved.

Scrooged DVD3. Scrooged

An update of the Charle's Dickens classic has Bill Murray taking on the role of a man visited by ghosts to show him the error of his ways and teach him the true meaning of Christmas. This film could easily have become heavy-handed, but the entertaining ghosts, including Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present, kept things light.

Bill Murray was outstanding in this movie, and I remember the first time I saw it I was more than a little scared. It seemed dark at the time, particularly the Ghost of Christmas Future, but now I can't get enough of it. I'm still hooked to Al Green and Annie Lennox's 'Put A Little Love In Your Heart' song from the end of the movie.

Great scenes include Bobcat Goldthwait and his shotgun rampage as well as seeing Murray and Kane beat the snot out of each other.

Elf DVD4. Elf

A new entry, yet somehow timeless already. Will Ferrel knocks it out of the park in this Jon Favreau (Swingers) film about a grown man living among Santa's elves at the North Pole. Ferrel is appropriately clueless about how the outside world works when he goes off in search of his human father played by James Caan.

I loved that Caan had a very controlled performance while Ferrel was reigned in just short of Jim Carey-type excessiveness. Ferrel was endearing as Buddy and seeing him lean in to Caan and loudly whisper "I like to whisper too!" fills me with the giggles.

Other great moments are fighting with the fake Santa, syrup on everything, and of course Will Ferrel crushing Bob Newhart by sitting on his lap. This movie will make the rounds on television sooner than later, and likely become a holiday classic. Now if we could all just forget that Christmas With The Kranks ever happened...

5. Other notable entries...

Miracle on 34th Street, It's A Wonderful Life, Nightmare Before Christmas, Peanuts Christmas, A Christmas Carol, Home Alone, and too many others to list all make their way into our hearts each year. One of the biggest thrills at Christmas was the number of specials on and I remember watching all of them with my family. One day I'd like to do that with my own kids. For now, though, I get to hog the remote.

Only three days until C-Day...
Posted by Parallel


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