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8 Movies to Watch this Holiday Season

The holiday season is among us! While we're all busy doing some shopping (and being broke for a few months afterwards), or preparing feasts, making plans to visit family and friends, there's also an influx of holiday movies invading our screens as we speak! While holiday movies are a year-round event for me, some flicks such as Home Alone and Love Actually are holiday staples at my house, here are some movies you might want to see this season.

A couple of months ago, I had a Die Hard movie marathon, and two of those were set during Christmas Eve (and ran on the same plot). Both Die Hard movies are good in their own way, though the first one is superior over the other. We get a great villain in Hans Gruber (you gotta love Rickman), and the one setting action thriller worked its wonders, making Die Hard establish its name in the industry. 

Who would have known that a con movie involving a Santa Clause stand up could be delightful? It's a scam they've been doing every year, but that year was different, as Santa actually got a heart when he encountered a young boy who was a bit different from others. I haven't seen much Billy Bob Thornton movies, but this one was entertaining and fun. This also marks the last movie John Ritter appeared in (albeit unfinished appearance), and he was also great in this one. 

When it comes to a modern love story, Love Actually is one of the better choices, but let's look at this Kate Winslet flick. It's about two people who were alone on the holiday and did something that shook their routine, and found more than what they bargained for. Honestly, I couldn't care less for Cameron Diaz and Jude Law's side of the movie (only Jude Law's character had some sort of story in there, and Diaz was playing a character she plays best), but definitely see this for the delightful chemistry between Winslet and Jack Black, and how their story developed through the world of film. I kind of wish they just deleted the other story and focused on Winslet and Black instead. Both actors were exceedingly charming in their role, and there was so much story working on their side of the film as opposed to the other romantic connection. 

I've only seen this recently, but what a fantastic rendition of the Santa Clause origin story. It's a bit on the horror side, but not so scary to put your children screaming. It's more of a 'tainting film' for kids who absolutely believe in the jolly and goodness of Santa. Despite the bleakness of it, there was a tinge of hope embedded in the film. Suitable for those with older children, as it's a different take on Santa. 

Ever since its release, this has skyrocketed to one of my favorite Christmas movies. It's vibrant, and full of wonder and hope. But beyond that, it was full of heart. Also, it might have something to do with James McAvoy voicing the lead character, although there are a lot of prolific actors attached to the project. 

If you haven't got the time, or funds to visit the picturesque city that is Bruges, well go and see this - and you'll be more determined to visit the place! It's one of Colin Farrell's better roles, as he and Brendan Gleeson flee to Bruges to await instructions after a botched job. Besides featuring some of the scenic places, it offers amazing comic turns from Farrell, Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes (who is so so fantastic). It's on the dark comedy side, but it's brilliant. 

I think it's possible that Nicolas Cage has appeared in every movie imaginable. Sure, he's been having some questionable choices lately, and has seemed to disappear for the meantime, but this is one of my favorite movies of his. His character gets a chance to glimpse on the other side of life - if he had chosen love instead of his career, finding himself in a house in New Jersey, with a wife and two children, and how his life has changed completely after that. It's a heartwarming movie, and you might find yourself cheering for Cage as he navigates through his new life and realizes that void that's been missing in his life. 

The shortest one among the bunch, this 25-minute animated short depicts the story of the Grinch and finding the true meaning of Christmas. You may opt for the Jim Carrey version of the tale, but I think this movie has got it right down pat. It's certainly more vivid in color and characterization, and it doesn't dabble on other aspects. Carrey's version offers a back story to how the Grinch has become that way, and has a love story towards the end. 

Comments

  1. Nice list! I love Bad Santa, that's one of my all time favorite Christmas movies.

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  2. Hey, what a coincidence! I just posted a review/analysis of a timeless holiday classic (and by "holiday classic" I mean a weird and surreal erotic film that just happens to be set around Christmas: http://hitchcocksworld.blogspot.ca/2014/12/1999-sexual-odyssey_12.html). I've been looking at trying to find some more unusual Christmas films and this was certainly one of them. You could also try The Lion in Winter, a Christmas film that has exactly the opposite of the traditional family themes (instead of a family being brought together, it's about family being torn apart because everyone is scheming to their own ends and stabbing each other in the back, sort of like a small-scale Game of Thrones set in a single castle).

    That's still a pretty good list, though. I keep hearing a lot about Arthur Christmas, and it is on Netflix so one of these days I should check it out. I do have a lot of free time now that I'm done my exams, so I don't know, maybe I can find time to watch it in between my scheduled films for Free Action Movie Week, or even just on the weekend.

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    1. I'll try to see The Lion in the Winter, though it'll probably be after the holidays. Arthur Christmas is a good animated movie, though not as over popular as other Christmas movies.

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  3. Some very nice choices. I'm having trouble with one thing you said, though. Jack Black was charming? I've not seen that movie, but having trouble wrapping my brain around that idea.

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    1. Compared to his other comedic roles, Jack Black wasn't playing a typecast character and instead was holding his end to Kate Winslet. I liked him here, he wasn't too douche-y, or obnoxious or had his usual antics on board.

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  4. I love In Bruges. One of the best scenes was Farrell and Fiennes characters negotiating how to go about shooting each other with hurting the pregnant lady.

    Wandering through the Shelves

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  5. Great unconventional movies for Christmas. The Holiday has been on my bucket list forever. Hopefully this is the season I will be able to watch it. :)

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