One of the hidden benefits of being in the Army is that around Christmas time, you get to have a thing called the ‘half-day’ schedule. It usually starts around the 16th of the month and goes through 3 January. If you are not going on leave, you end up going to work in the morning doing a few odds and ends and then you are off for the rest of the day. One of the reasons why this is so awesome is it allows me to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes: Watching Movies! Every year, there are a few movies that I absolutely must see. Of course, being the odd pop-cultured obsessed geek that I am, my Christmas movie list is a bit off. Here is what I mean:
DIE HARD: This movie has everything that makes Christmas great: Love, Santa Claus, Holiday Cheer, and Euro Trash Terrorists bent on mayhem! Once upon a time, Bruce Willis use to be the coolest guy in the entire world not because he was ridiculously handsome, knew Parkour, or had a license to kill. He was the coolest because he was a regular guy who cursed, made bad decisions, and was trying to save his marriage and when the cards were on the table threw down against Professor Snape in a lock-downed Skyscraper on Christmas Eve. Many more Die Hard movies were made including Die Hard 2 which was set over Christmas, but none of them come close to replicating how much fun is to be had in this film.
Best Line: Now I have a machine gun, Ho Ho Ho. (Note: Bonus points if you can say this with a German accent).
BAD SANTA: Lorelai Victoria Gilmore having freaked-out fetish sex with a drunken Billy Bob Thorton dressed in a Santa Outfit in the parking lot of a seedy bar. If the thought of this does not grab you at some level, male or female, than I don’t want to know you. Merry Christmas indeed!
SCROOGED: They don’t make actors like Bill Murray anymore: The jaded but lovable rogue that you cannot help but make you smile. It takes a special director to make proper use of Bill Murray’s talents and the last time that anybody really caught his magic was Zombie Land. Scrooged makes full use of Murray’s charm by casting him as a shark-like Corporate Executive on the path to redemption in a retelling of the classic Charles Dickens tale.
Best Line: Have you tried staples?
GREMLINS: Ah, the 1980s! Looking back on this movie, I cannot help but to admire it because at it’s heart, it is a black comedic monster movie that is saccharine sweet one moment, and then in the next a green creature with a chain saw is trying to carve someone apart. And this was what passed for a child’s movie in the 80s! As I watched Rise of the Guardians with my kids this holiday season, a harmless enough movie where no one really gets hurt and everyone learns the value of team-work and being nice, I kept thinking back to how much more fun holidays movies like Gremlins were. I personally think the children of this country are being cheated.
Best Line: He'd been climbing down the chimney... his arms loaded with presents. He was going to surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus.