Thursday, December 10, 2015

We Don't Care that "Die Hard" is Your Favorite Christmas Movie

We Don't Care that Die Hard is Your Favorite Christmas Movie

Sorry geeks, the joke's gotten old.  Yes, Gremlins and Lethal Weapon take place on Christmas too, and we don't care.


Not 'Sorry as Santa should be for ostracizing Rudolph', but sorry nonetheless

What we need are a new group of anti-holiday movies.  Not ones that seek to destroy the holiday spirit, mind you, as it is my favorite holiday...

That song now in your head?

Anyway, we need movies tangentially connected to the holidays in some way, but are nonetheless NOT holiday movies at all. 

I was watching the Home Alone series with my niece when a couple thoughts came to me:

1. Kevin McCallister is a stone cold sociopath.

Just look at Kevin's expression.  His dead-eyed euphoria....

2. I wondered: "What else was playing at the theaters when this came out?"

Although the second Home Alone didn't do much besides move to New York City and double the torture, the first is a holiday staple, and the number 1 movie of the year. 

So what went up against it?  Of all those movies, which of them is the 'least' in the spirit of the holidays, but one that you can proudly claim as a 'holiday movie', having come out in the season, the same year as this holiday classic?  In the case of Home Alone 1, the answer is....

It's the far future (I'm going to assume it's also Christmas), and war has been replaced with giant robot fights between opposing nations.

There is NOTHING in that last sentence that doesn't make me aroused.

And then you discover the special effects are TERRIBLE.  It's not that they cheaped out or anything, as the movie cost $10 million, and that's 1990 dollars, but good lord is the action goofy...

Did I mention they were serious?  That's right, this isn't a dumb kids movie or brainless action flick, no this movie tackles heavy issues like geopolitics, treason, the dangers of a nuclear arms race, and illiteracy.

Yes, you read that last word right.

What makes this U.S. vs Soviet superpower plot even more awkward, as some of you history conscious readers out there probably noticed, is that this movie came out the year after the Berlin Wall fell, meaning they made it with the intention of hooking onto the 'Rocky 4' spirit, when suddenly the real life villain disappeared, and the movie suddenly feels more like an AU story.

Still, it ends on a positive note, with our hero and opponent reaching a peaceful ending, giving us Science Fiction's first recorded fist-bump.

So how does this stand up as holiday movie?  Well, definitely more peacefully than Kevin McCallister's reign of terror.

On one hand we have 'the importance of home and family', and on the other hand we have 'WE ARE ROBOT JOX! WE CAN LIVE!'.

Yeah, gonna call this one a tie.


Now, Muppet Christmas Carol is one of my all time favorite holiday movies, and possibly my favorite versions of the Christmas Carol overall.

What of it, Alastair?  What you gonna do about it?

I've ranted on it before, but Gonzo/Rizzo together is comedy gold.

And adorable together, if you ask me.

This, coupled with Muppet insanity and a surprisingly serious (and amazing) performance from Michael Caine.  Overall, it's one of my favorite movies.

WATCH THE EXTENDED EDITION.  Theatrical edition cuts out this song (and thus has no soul)

But if you're not in the mood for the Muppets, you could instead take your family to see the holiday season classic that played in theaters at the same time....

Okay, now things get a little awkward.  

In all seriousness, I don't have too much to say, because it is a very good movie.  Granted, the plot's a little thin, but the performances are amazing!

It's just that people tend to remember only it's 'secret'...

SPOILER: "That frog's f*cked."

...and not that 2/3 of it is actually about the IRA, the kidnapping of an English soldier, and our hero been forced into an assassination plot of a judge.

And a cautionary tale regarding the dangers of picking up Hitch-hikers.

Still, not 'exactly' a holiday film.  So how does it measure up as a holiday movie?

Gotta go with Muppets on this one.

They're the cuter couple.

Besides, I can't help but choose the Muppets movie.  Want to know why?

I'm a frog.  It's just in my nature.


(More anti-holiday movies to come!)