Every night, after we shut the doors at Rockhoppers, we go home and watch a movie. We don't get television, but we've got a nice high-definition widescreen home theater system and a lot of DVD's. Lately we've been watching Christmas movies every night. I've noticed we've got a lot of them.
Here's the list of our Christmas movies and my take on them. Note that I'm not including movies that take place at Christmas, like Lethal Weapon, or Die Hard. I'm only including the ones that are about Christmas. You can find a fairly comprehensive list of both kinds of Christmas movies at Wikipedia, here.
Bad(der) Santa. Rene hates this film. It's a measure of how much she loves me that she bought this for me last year. I like the movie a lot, there are some fantastic bits.
A Charlie Brown Christmas. Sweet and silly, the little forlorn tree is an icon of hopefulness for all of us.
Christmas with the Kranks. Someone's review of this movie called Dan Ackroyd and the neighbors 'Fascists' for trying to force Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis to decorate their house. The movie is just surreal enough for me, and sappy enough for Rene. I particularly like Cheech Marin and Jake Busey as the obfuscating cops.
Elf. This is a great holiday film. Not too over the top, and the love stories are great. I love Zooey Deschanel in this movie.
Ernest Saves Christmas. Despite making several peoples list of worst Christmas movies, we love Ernest. This is a sweet movie, and the bit with the reindeer at the freight office alone is worth the price of the DVD.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There are a few scenes that are really over the top in this film, but overall it's a good one. The set, makeup, effects, and design are amazing. We love this one.
It's a Very Muppet Christmas Movie. A surreal little film that must be seen to be believed. Whoppi Goldberg plays God.
It's a Wonderful Life. What's not to like? Makes us cry, every time.
Love Actually. This is one of the best holiday movies ever. So perfect in every way, this ensemble piece never fails to wring out joy.
Miracle on 34th St. We've got a couple versions of this one, and I really don't like any of them. I know, they're classics. Meh. I'll watch them, but don't expect me to like them.
A Muppet Family Christmas. Another classic, the swedish chef's delight at the prospect of cooking big bird is a favorite scene.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. The ultimate Christmas movie. We watch this one all the time -- year round. In fact, this might be our favorite movie of all time. I'm not sure I want to know what that says about us.
The Nightmare before Christmas. The perfect meld of two great holidays. We can only watch this a one once a year or so, it's so intense.
The Polar Express. Weird movie. Sweet and touching at the end, but can you imagine experiencing all that in real life? Too scary by far. This was shown in IMAX, 3-D. That would have nauseated me for sure, without the syrupy sentimentality.
Scrooge. We have the musical, with Albert Finney. Not exactly my cup of tea, but well done overall.
White Christmas. A classic, although the whole wartime camaraderie is pretty over the top, and the plot has holes big enough to drive a truck through, the set design, costuming, choreography and cinematography are all excellent.
There are some more, I'll update this list in another post. We love Christmas movies!
Christmas movies on Whidbey Island.