One of the highlights during the festive season must be the Christmas movie marathon. You might have watched these movies so often that you can recite the script, but when the Christmas tree is decorated and the lights are flashing, stockings are hanging and your family is together on the couch, we know you’ll be happy to immerse yourself in viewing them all over again.
Watching Christmas movies has become one of our many family holiday routines. So, don’t let the absence of Western TV channels ruin this quality family time - download these classics, or visit your local DVD store for more inspiration. This issue, instead of a single movie review, we have selected six Christmas movies from six different categories, so everyone in your family is covered. We have also thrown in a Christmas movie quote quiz to test your knowledge. Ready for your marathon? Go!
The Classic: A Christmas Carol (2009)
When we say ‘classic,‘ instead of the movie we are referring to Charles Dickens’ timeless novella – the story that stemmed from the cruel portrayal of poverty, yet rises above to convey a message of hope, which Dickens simply does best. This Christmas story has been recreated on the big screen many times, however Robert Zemeckis’ 3D adaptation refreshes the great imagination of Dickens’ characters and brings scenes back to life. When you see the stooping, spindly and bitter protagonist make his entrance, you are in no doubt that this is Ebenezer Scrooge. If you don’t feel like a dated real-action classic, or the Muppet version this Christmas, then Zemeckis’s effort might be your choice. A theatrical treat that still tells a good story loyal to the book. Just try and forget it’s Jim Carrey.
The New: The Man Who Invented Christmas
Now that we know the tale of Scrooge and the wakening of his good nature, it’s time for a bit of a ‘prequel’. Starring Dan Stevens (as Dickens) and Christopher Plummer (as Scrooge), The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the story of how A Christmas Carol was created. The film focuses on the period when Dickens was pondering over the characters and the plots, while struggling with the pressing situation of a financial crisis and writer’s block. “If the name’s right, then the character would appear,” utters Dickens while strolling back and forth in his study. And the rest, as they say, is history. The name ‘Scrooge’ is one of the most recognized moniker in the history of literature – and ‘Humbug’ to anyone who says otherwise.
Family Fave: Home Alone
The Home Alone series must be one of the most popular and essential for Christmas family viewing, not only because of the adorable main character, but the message it conveys – “Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back.” (We just accidentally gave you the answer to one of the quiz questions, oops!) Indeed, our family might frustrate us at times however, there are no others you’d rather be with during the holiday season. The first installment, as so often is the case, is the best and John Williams’s score will live on in cinematic archives for decades to follow.
Animated: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Every film that Tim Burton has ever produced includes a quirky grotesque charm. You would think that a Christmas movie is supposed to celebrate and embrace the joyfulness of the holiday season, but as usual, his interpretation goes way off the wall, in true Burton style. So, when Jack Skellington, the well-respected Halloween Town person of terror and nightmares tries his hand at gift-giving, he soon realizes he’d be better off sticking to what he does best, celebrating Halloween. There may be a message in there for all of us: never mind being a little special, a little awkward, even a misfit, if you are gifted in a particular way, you should enjoy being who you are. Be advised that this movie can be a tad ghoulish for young children, however, it might be just the one for your earphone wearing teenagers.
Something for Dad: Die Hard
Before the first Die Hard, you probably wouldn’t have imagined an action movie series making its way to a Christmas must-play list. The movie came out during Christmas, the story is set on Christmas Eve and yuletide music plays along the entire soundtrack. John McClane is a family man who really just wants to spend time with his children and see his estranged wife; as for battling the terrorists and saving all the hostages, that was just what stood between him and his family, and he had to deal with it. You can interpret that as our hero’s self-righteousness, but for our dads, a heart-pumping movie is always more entertaining than a heart-warming one.
Something for Mum: Love Actually
“I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes. Christmas is all around me, and so the feeling grows.” We don’t blame you if you are singing along while reading this (and consequently cursing for hours when you can’t get it out of your head), but this movie has contributed to the great soundtracks of Christmas. Although the multitude of storylines doesn’t leave time for every love to develop into a memorable romcom classic like Notting Hill, We find Love Actually, with its star-studded cast, still one of the most worthy Christmas flicks in its genre. And you know how well Richard Curtis can play romance, even the cheesiest story can give the coldest heart a warm fuzzy feeling.
Name the movies that these famous quotes come from
1. “Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”
2. “This is extremely important. Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back.”
3. “Blast this Christmas music. It’s joyful and triumphant.”
4. “You stink. You smell like beef and cheese, you don’t smell like Santa.”
5. “Just because I cannot see it, doesn’t mean I can’t believe it!”
6. “Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together.”
7. “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.”
8. “Close your eyes, and think of snowflakes and moonbeams and whiskers on kittens.”
9. “I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link and yard by yard.”
10. “You’re skipping Christmas! Isn’t that against the law?”
Check our other posts today for the answers