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  • Writer's pictureGuy Jeffries

Wishing You A Movie Christmas...

Wishing you all a Movie Christmas! What makes a Christmas movie and Christmas movie? Being set at the festive time of year is a must and having a clear message about the festive spirit I suppose constitutes as a necessity for a good Christmas film. However, other desirable elements would be falling snow, Christmas carols and Santa Clauses, cheers and joyful happiness. Below are nine of my favourite festive films.

Will Ferrell as Buddy the elf has managed to make many people's list of Christmas' greatest. This reminded me a little of Santa Claus: The Movie with Buddy being a cotton-headed, ninnie-muggins version of Patch walking into a plotline from Big. Iron Man director and star, Jon Favreau gives us a memorable Christmas movie with some classic scene such as the unmasking of a Santa imposter, a fight with Lannister, Peter Dinklage and those pants! It's cheesy and corny, but it's still a great Christmas movie.

Who didn't want a Mowgai after watching Joe Dante's classic comedy horror. Even knowing the risks of breaking the three golden rules of Mowgai parenting, everyone just wanted a Gizmo. Or did some of us actually want the gremlins? Gremlins being mythical nasties that normally got the blame for malfunctioning equipment in hangers and workshops. They weren't cute like Gizmo, but no one can deny the use of everyday house hold items as mischievous tools for disaster was so funny. Now I have both the theme tune and Gizmo's humming in my head.

Goonies and Lethal Weapon director Richard Donner gives us a paraphrased rework of Dicken's festive classic, A Christmas Carol, with a cynical Bill Murray taking the role of modern day Scrooge, Frank Cross, a completely selfish TV executive who's a workaholic and has totally lost the spirit of Christmas. Just like in the Dicken's classic, he's visited by four ghosts showing him different stages of his life, past, present and future. Carol Kane being my favourite, the ghost of Christmas Present. It's comedy gold, and while being a quite perverse version of A Christmas Carol it still retains the same all important message.

Still deemed as one of the greatest Christmas films of all time, it's hard to disagree. Frank Capra's festive masterpiece is actually centred around screen legend, James Stewart's George Bailey, witnessing his life story narrated by some watchful angels who heeds his prayer at the brink of suicide. It's a epic tale of an unfortunate reality that test the morals of the lead character at pivotal points of his life. There's some similarities to A Christmas Carol in terms of structure but the message here is quite clear, we are very special to those that care about us.

I actually love this movie, not really I do. The all-star cast including Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson and an obnoxious yet funny Bill Nighy. Being set in London also makes this one of my favourites. It's a good film without it being Christmas, with a great score from Craig Armstrong and a superb soundtrack, this would also feature high on my favourite romantic comedies list.

We have all, at some stage wanted to be a Kevin, being home alone getting up to festive mayhem and defending your castle by means of MacGyver style booby traps against the attempting burglars, the Wet Bandits, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. This was Chris Columbus' greatest comedy alongside Mrs. Doubtfire and setting child star Macaulay Culkin on the road to fame and eventually parental divorce. Such imagination went into this film, sticky tar, icy steps, the iron pull switch, the burning door knob, Micromachines and my favourite, the blow torch and feathers. Keep the change ya filthy animal.

My favourite Christmas movie of all, being at the Griswold's family home where everything at could go wrong does and that's without the help of a home alone Kevin. Unwanted family guests, competing neighbours and a long list of hilarious mishaps. This is the last of the three Griswold's vacations and probably the best of Chevy Chase and Co. There's the lightening cat, the Christmas tree and Clark's iconic raging rant. Hallelujah!

I love the muppets, I like Michael Caine, I like Dicken's Christmas Carol, so this is a winning formula for a great Crimbo movie. All the favourite muppets are there in typical puppetry fashion with Caine taking the lead as Ebenezer Scrooge. But it's Rizzo the rat that steals the shows for me and like National Lampoons, this one is one of my favourites of their franchise.

Much to some people's disagreement, Die Hard is a Christmas movie ticking all the boxes and even has a clear message about family being all important in times of crisis. It's set at Christmas time, has trees and snow and the best Crimbo jumper anyone would want. Face it non-believers, this is a Christmas Movie. It's John McTiernan's masterpiece, Bruce Willis most iconic role and Rickman's greatest bad guy performance. Yippie Kai Yay...

Other Crimbo films Santa Claus: The Movie, Bad Santa, Prancer, The Snowman, Disney's A Christmas Carol and The Family Man. Merry Christmas one and all and best wishes to everyone.

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