Christmas Movies Preview

by | Nov 30, 2021 | Podcast, Two Drink Cinema | 0 comments

It’s the month of December which is the month of Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ or, according to Brett and Bart Simpson, the birth of Santa. We thought we would do a bit of a preview about Christmas movies and let everyone know what we’re reviewing this December. 

In our research on Christmas movies (which wasn’t extensive let’s be honest) we found an article by the American Film Institute listing the top ‘Holiday Movies’. As well as including classics such as Scrooged, Frosty the Snowman, and A Christmas Carol there are also the mildly controversial ones like Gremlins and Die Hard. But then there’s some that just scraped through, like when Tennis Australia lets a 17-year qualifier into the Australian Open because they’re Bernard Tomic’s sister. The Apartment, The Wizard of Oz, and Singing in the Rain all feature. Are they on the list because they just liked them or are they ones to watch during the holidays to keep the kids entertained? We love the AFI but we’re not sure they’ve nailed this list

This led us further down the research path to try and determine what makes a Christmas movie a Christmas movie. Because we didn’t want to work too hard, Lee found an article on Reel To Reel Movies which created criteria for us. On the back of the increasingly heated debate about Die Hard, they came up with three main criteria for fitting a movie into the Christmas genre. You can read the full article but the criteria are paraphrased thus:

  1. Most of the movie is set around the Christmas season. 
  2. A ‘Christmas character’ features heavily. 
  3. A traditional Christmas theme is central to the movie (love, hope, joy, family, redemption and, interestingly, fear). 

Brett added the criteria of a song and dance number about Christmas. While not an essential element it can elevate a film that is lacking in another area. 

 The list of Christmas movies is long, like, longer than long. We could’ve filled every day of the month and every month of the year. We had many suggestions of what we could choose, Love Actually, Gremlins, The Santa Clause, are some of our favourites but didn’t make the list. There are only four weeks in December, like most months, so we’re limited in that regard. We’ve also got to fit Dune in, not because it’s a Christmas movie but because it’s finally being released in Melbourne, the most locked-down city in the world. 

The movies cover our usual categories. The nostalgic, Home Alone 1&2. The classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. The cult, Die Hard. We’ve added a category though. The awful, A Mom For Christmas. We made sure, in this preview episode that the five movies fit the criteria given to us in the blog article referenced above. If you don’t believe us we’ve highlighted it in this run down. 

  1. Home Alone – Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) gets left behind by his family at Christmastime and must defend his home from burglars (Joe Pesci & Daniel Stern). He realises he misses his family and the love of his mother (Catherine O’Hara). His mother also has to seek redemption for leaving him at home (but she leaves him alone again the next Christmas in Home Alone 2)
  2. Die Hard – John Maclane (Bruce Willis) flies to LA on Christmas Eve to reunite with his estranged wife and daughter. He must save the staff of the Nakatomi Corporation from a terrorist attack and thus reignite the love between himself and his ex-wife, thus reuniting their family. 
  3. It’s A Wonderful Life – Not many Christmas movies need such a heavy trigger warning but George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) is suicidal. Maybe the guys will discuss it on No Pants, No Problems too. George is visited by an angel (Christmas figure?) on Christmas Eve and is shown how his existence has brought joy to the world. He’s is saved and redeems himself with his family. 
  4. A Mom For Christmas – a made-for-TV Disney movie starring Olivia Newton-John. A girl prays for a Christmas Miracle and a mannequin comes to life for the girl’s father to fall in love with and create their perfect family. Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds and, like Plan 9 From Outer Space, we love it anyway. 

But what are our favourite Christmas movies, you ask? Maybe you didn’t, but we’ll answer anyway. 

Lee’s favourite is Love Actually, but we’re not reviewing it. He watches Die Hard every December as well as Home Alone and Love Actually. He remembered, in real-time while recording, that he actually really likes The Santa Clause as well. It’s Tim The Tool Man being Santa, what’s not to like. 

Brett’s favourite and annual Christmas Eve viewing is It’s A Wonderful Life. I mean, if you had to guess you probably could have. If Rebel Without A Cause featured a Christmas miracle he’d choose that, but it doesn’t. So he’s gone for Jimmy Stewart instead. That one made the list for review this month.  

What about the highest-grossing Christmas films of all time? Many of these aren’t on our list to review either. Here’s the list according to Screen Rant, we go through them on the podcast episode linked below but only two of our 5 reviewed Christmas movies are on the list, we’re definitely not following the big popular choices here. 

In other Christmas-related commercial news, Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You is inescapable and according to JOE, reentered the streaming charts at the start of November and has only risen in places since. Another of our favorite Christmas songs is Santa Claus Is Coming., which was regularly performed by Hi-5 at Melbourne’s Carols By Candlelight. It’s not the same without that song (it’s not the same without Nathan’s tight white pants either).

As we said at the start, we could’ve filled the whole year with Christmas Movie reviews. Well, we could have filled the whole month of December with versions of Dicken’s classic, A Christmas Carol. Here’s the 10 best according to IMDb, as written about on ScreenRant. We discuss them in not much length on the pod but we both agreed that Mickey’s and the Muppets’ were right up there as a couple of the best. 

We both love Christmas and are looking forward to the festive month of movies, songs, family and Christmas cheer.
What’s your favourite Christmas movie? Let us know and maybe we’ll chat about it as a tangent in a podcast episode.
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Check out the podcast episode down here, it’s produced by Odd Sox Entertainment, the website you’re on now.



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