Heroes are Not Born, They’re Created: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_film_July_2014_poster

People want heroes…but heroes are not born, they’re created.

So this is our first installment of four reviews of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films.

So I know those of you who haven’t been following me, and have stumbled upon this post are probably really confused. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? As a horror film? NO WAY.

crazy

I know you are all saying to yourselves, hey this is a superhero movie, not a horror film. Au contraire, you see the turtles are radioactively enhanced to be larger; agile, smarter, etc. In fact the only thing that separates them from other radioactively changed creatures: such as the ants in Them, the giant spider in the Tarantula, or even Godzilla. They choosing to use their abilities for good and be superheroes doesn’t change the fact of how they were made.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

You also might be wondering why am I starting with the 2014 film instead of the 1990 one? Well I decided that I would review the one with the closest horror film components, as these turtles are engineered in a lab instead of accidentally created, just like Frankenstein.

Clive, Colin (Frankenstein)_02

It might be a little confusing working backwards, but fun all the same. So here we go.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

The Review

So as you know I hate remakes and sequels.

Bad Sequels psycho-1960-alfred-hitchcock-janet-leigh-pic-21

I was not excited about this film coming out at all. And when I heard that Michael Bay was directing?

ugh

It’s going to suck. I just knew I would hate it.

DislikeYOuScream2

But then, I had some friends tell me they liked it and really enjoyed it. I thought, okay. I’ll watch it, I’ll see how it is.

Hmm...

Hmm…

So I went to the movies and I sat through it. And I really tried to be objective, I really tried to be open and like the film. The only problem was that it sucked.

I don't like it 11

It had some good things, but on a whole it was boring, ugly, the same-old-same-old, and stupid. I hated it. I hated everything they did. They ruined the turtles!

michaelBayruinchildhood

So let’s get started on the actual review.

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_film_July_2014_poster

So I liked the beginning comic book look for the credits, that was okay although I didn’t like the backstory. I mean it makes no sense that Splinter would want to prepare the turtles to fight Shredder and the Foot clan, unless they had a backstory and prior knowledge of each other, like in the original. This made no sense whatsoever. It was just so stupid!

stupidestThingeverheard

So Megan Fox as April O’Neal. Why, why would you do that? She is a horrible actress because she doesn’t act. If you put her, Kristen Stewart, and Channing Tatum in a room with a pile of wood, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between any of them.

This film suck!

This film sucks!

Now the whole April O’Neal being a young, fluff reporter trying to make it as a serious journalist, at first put me off…but afterwards I didn’t mind it so much.

It works

It works

I prefer the established April, but I didn’t mind that change. I know they wanted to make her young, “hot”, and more relatable to the viewers.

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

So this is the first film to have Vernon, a character from the original cartoon TV show. Instead of being an egotistical jerk, he’s one of those “ugh guys”. You know the type that tries to be Fonzie, but isn’t anywhere as cool as him.

This is you fault!

 So April is looking for a way to break into the serious news scene. She has been hearing rumors of these vigilantes fighting back. She knows there is more but no one will talk to her. One dock hand says he knows a guy that will talk to her later, at night.

What?

What?

That night April heads to the docks to get answers.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

Excuse me? At night? What person in their right mind would head down to the docks in the middle of the night?

stupidmoranhmm_yes_i_see_youre_a_moron_trollcat

That seriously has to be the stupidest thing anyone could do.

So April spots a group of people breaking into the storage containers at the docks and of course calls the police.

do-you-think-im-stupid-do-you-not-see-the-glasses

Oh wait, I’m sorry. That would have been the smart thing to do. Instead she goes to record it, but her phone starts dying. Her phone can’t record anymore, as the battery is too low, but instead of making a phone call to the police and reporting it, she gets closer!

doyouwanttodie

April in the other film was much better as she made smarter decisions.

So this April witnesses the Turtles fighting, sort of. It’s too dark to make it out what is actually happening. She sees the graffiti mark they leave behind and photographs it.

The next day she goes to speak to her supervisor, Whoopi Goldberg. Now this is a big problem with this film. In the original, the actors became the characters. They were all well-known people before the film, but they were just so awesome they became them. In this the stars don’t make you forget, they constantly push it into your face that they are Megan Fox and Whoopi. It would have been better of they had picked different people.

Bad. Very bad.

Bad. Very bad.

Whoopi is especially distracting as I don’t even know what her character name is.

Truth be told I don't

Truth be told I don’t

I also think it is so stupid that she would throw her idea out there in front of everyone instead of going to speak to her editor one-on-one. She should have waited until later.

Seriously

Seriously

So then we switch to our first introduction of Shredder. I thought this was okay. We watch Shredder blindfolded in the shadows, masking his face and fighting the Foot clan. I like that they all speak in Japanese. That was pretty cool.

loveitSupernatural

Now the thing I hate, is they make a big deal on keeping Shredder in the shadows and masking his face, just like in the original, only to show his face and then go back to the shadows. WHY WOULD YOU BOTHER TO KEEP HIM IN THE SHADOWS AND THEN SHOW HIM WHEN IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE A BIG REVEAL.

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

And as we are sidenoting, have you noticed how every single person has green eyes in this film? Do you know how rare that is? I have natural green eyes and hardly run into anyone who has them (naturally). In fact let’s get the statistics.

“Green eye color is the rarest color found around the world, and it is estimated that only around 2% of the world’s population has green colored eyes.”

But yet every single person in this film has been given the green contacts. Seriously, Michael Bay back down.

Look at your life, look at your choices. You are making some really bad ones.

That night April heads down to a big event in which Eric Sacks, gazillionaire, is teaming up with the NYPD to fight crime. And of course, obvious bad guy is obvious.

  1. Owns a huge corporation? ✓
  2. Has gazillions of dollars? ✓
  3. Talks in a creepy voice oozing with evil intentions so that all know he is evil ✓

you're evil

And of course he’s connected to April.

Come on!

Come on!

Yep, as I said this films is full of boring film cliches. He and April’s father used to work together, until a fire destroyed the whole lab, April’s father having died in the process. Same old, same old.

Blah, blah

Blah, blah

Later that night, Megan oops, I mean April, comes across the Foot clan taking hostages in the subway. Instead of calling the police or the paper, she runs toward the action and gets herself taken a hostage.

stupidmoranhmm_yes_i_see_youre_a_moron_trollcat

 Then she takes footage with her iPhone. Hello, you are taken hostage by people who have no qualms about killing, and while in plain sight you are going to film them?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

doyouwanttodie

She has no common sense at all.

The Turtles come and knock out all the lights, and defeat the Foot clan. Instead of calling the paper and sharing her story, a real story in which could actually help her break into serious reporting, she takes off after the Turtles trying to get a picture of them. She gets one from far away and of poor quality.

Can't see anything

Can’t see anything

To be honest it is their own faults. Why would they hang around the area after fighting of they don’t want to get caught.

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

So the Turtles grab her and take her phone. Now why would you do that. Okay in the original April is knocked out and Raphael has no idea what to do. He’s not sure if she is seriously hurt and can’t drop her off at a hospital, so he takes her home. In this the girl is far away, taking a photo at night. The best you are going to get is light flashes, black, and blur. Let it go. Who’s going to believe the story of giant turtles anyway?

Get it together!

Get it together!

But NOOO, they decide, let’s reaffirm her ideas we exist by showing ourselves to her and that they we ARE real.

Can't see anything

Can’t see anything

And I hate the way they made the Turtles. They don’t look real and in the picture. You can tell they are CGI, they just feel fake. And don’t tell me that “that’s the way CGI works”, we had CGI in 2001 with Lord of the Rings, and the stuff in there looks way better than some of the stuff we have today.

This movie

This movie

They also say their “real names” in front of her. Come on, these are teenagers who love pop culture and have never read/seen any superhero thing and realized they need to protect their “secret identity.”

Get it together!

Get it together!

After this whole thing, April runs home trying to figure out where she heard those names before. Excuses me? What happened to the hostage story? That’s a good story. She needs to pitch it to her bosses while she works on the other one. This is why an older, established April works. In the other movies, April played up pieces while continuing to research into the complete story.

You suck!

You suck!

She goes home and finds her old home videos she made of her dad’s lab before he died. Now let me ask you one question. What are the odds that she would have brought those old tapes with her? More likely they would be home and she would have to ask her mom to check the attic or her room for her old stuff.

And to ease the suckage of this film

And to ease the suckage of this film

Anyways, in the videos she named the four turtles that her father is experimenting on. First of all, how would a six-year old even know the names of four great famous artists like Michaelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo? I mean I knew them because I watched the Ninja Turtles. It makes more sense to have Splinter choose those names out of a book he found.

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It turns out that April spent lots of time there, feeding the turtles pizza. Excuse me, would scientists conducting an experiment and heavily monitoring everything, allow the turtles to be feed pizza and possibly skew the results? And why do they only eat cheese pizza in this, turtles eat meat more than dairy?(My niece has a turtle, so I know.)

“Never feed a turtle dairy products, as their stomach cannot properly digest lactose.”

So if they are radioactively changed to eat dairy, why not let them eat everything else on the pizza like in the original, TV show, and comics?

April decides that this is her in with a story.

Come on!

Come on!

Meanwhile, in the sewer the turtles try to sneak in, but Splinter catches them. Now Splinter freaks me out.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t look at him. You guys might not have realized this, but rats are creepy looking. And this version of Splinter is the creepiest. At least in the original he was older, cuddly, cute, and pulled on your heartstrings. You know, an animal version of Mr. Miyagi. This one is a more active rat; mean and more of an instructor than a father. Yes in the original, Splinter was their Ninja instructor/master, but he was also their father and moved between both roles, knowing when to discipline and when to love. In this, Splinter was just cruel and cold, no Fatherly twinges at all. They tell Splinter the truth, and he warns them that April will be in danger, they must go save her.

Plus we have the same old plot of Raphael fighting with Leonardo to be the leader. Blah! Boring!

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

It was great in the first film, and worked for the second, but again? Jeez, guys. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!! It’s boring to repeat the same thing over and over again.

Blah, blah

Blah, blah

Back on the surface, April has decided that she will give her story of giant Mutant turtles fighting evil and leaving graffiti to her editor in front of everyone. Like that is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Did she not hear how crazy she sounds? Would she really bring all this with zero proof? Like why? This is dumber than dumb.

simpsons d'oh duh

And of course she gets fired, like no duh. What were you expecting?

Come on!

Come on!

She then she heads over to see Eric Sacks to tell him the turtles exist, and we have that old cliché of going to see someone for help and they are actually evil.

So obs

So obs

There Eric shares his back story (Why?) and we find out he grew up in Japan where he was abandoned by his father. He was reared by his mentor/martial arts instructor. This instructor told him an ancient story of Japan and a warlord that took over when crime was running rampant or something. I don’t know. He hands her his card in case she needs anything, and April leaves. Obvious tracker is obvious.

Just stop with these stupid clichés!

Just stop with these stupid clichés!

After April leaves, Eric talk to Shredder who is his mentor that raised him. Now the Shredder in here is boring.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Originally Eric Sacks was supposed to be the Shredder, but they changed that because fans were upset that the Shredder wasn’t going to be Japanese. They then gave both zero character. Shredder has no real motive, reason, or any development.

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

The original was AWESOME!!! Why? Well we don’t see the Shredder for most of the figure, just his assistant Tatsu. Then when we are introduced to the Shredder, he is awesome. Taking down people, being scary, evil, all-around awesome bad guy. Then we hear Splinter’s tale of his master being killed by Oroku Saki, and how horrible he was. Only in the end to have it revealed that Oroku Saki and the Shredder are the same person.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

So April starts looking online to get more information when Donatello hacks into her computer and tells her to meet them at a certain address. Let me tell you that is the creepiest thing I have ever heard. They sound as if they are going to murder her!!

Gilmore girls creep

And she actually goes there alone, without telling anybody, the middle of nowhere. Man this girl is just asking to die.

Just do it already, end here.

Just do it already, end here.

They take April to the sewers and it is the first film to bridge the actual distance of the fact that they are in a sewer, you know a place where poop is.

Ew Yuck Gross

So here we have the Bay version of the back story. In the original Splinter’s master, Hamata Yoshi and Oroku Saki were rivals in martial arts and in love. They were supposed to fight to the death for the hand of Tang Shen, but as she loved Yoshi and didn’t want to risk his death, they ran off together to America. Oroku Saki doesn’t give up and years later, he tracks them down and murders them. Splinter becomes incensed and attacks Oroku, disfiguring his face. He gets thrown out and winds up in the sewer coming upon four turtles and radioactive ooze. This mutates them and makes them bigger, smarter, stronger, etc. Splinter changes to, and can read, finding a book on painters, naming his adopted turtle children after the people in the book. They find a home in the sewer where he teaches them the secret art of ninja he witnessed his master doing, now not only remembering but able to teach them.

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In Bay’s version, April’s father and Eric Sacks were working on some kind of mutagen that will increase immunity, make you stronger, and the rest unsure of what exactly. They experimented on four turtles and a rat. April’s father was a good scientist only wanting to increase knowledge, while Eric Sacks is evil after money. Same old, same old.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

When April’s father figures this out, he tries to destroy everything, by burning down the lab. It’s kind of his fault he died. April somehow was there and rescued the turtles and Splinter releasing them into the sewer. Okay, if April’s father was to destroy a lab with fire, why would he bring his six year old along?

That makes no sense

That makes no sense

And why do they always have a bad scientist and a good scientist. It’s boring and been in everything from The Amazing Spider-man to The Fantastic Four. And you notice the father that died is always morally upright. I was thinking that is one of the things that makes Star Wars so awesome. They aren’t afraid to go there, they aren’t afraid to have their hero deal with a moral issue of what is right, should I follow in my father’s footsteps, etc.

StarWarsDarker

So in this after being in the sewer, Splinter just happened to come upon a book on Ninjitsu, teaching himself and then the kids. That’s as stupid as when Danny is trying to teach himself karate in The Karate Kid. You can’t learn martial arts from a book. Especially Ninjitsu. Ninjitsu isn’t a real martial art, the Ninjas were assassins, the only way to learn is to be taught. It is the dumbest thing I have ever heard and the dumbest backstory ever!

stupidestThingeverheard

And if the rat is from America and grew up in a lab how does he know so much about Japan? The culture, the essence, etc? If the film took place earlier, it might work as the ’90s were a plethora of ninja things. But in this version, the film takes place in 2014, the turtles are 15-16, which means that the kids and Splinter start their “mutant” life in 1998-1999, meaning they grew up in the 2000s. That means that Splinter should know nothing about Ninjas, Japan, etc. If anything, they should be obsessed with cops and CSI.

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So back on Shredder, Eric Sacks has given him an ugly robotic suit. Just no, no, no, no.

metropolis-Robot

And with Shredder, why do you keep putting his face in shadow? You already showed us his face, why bother?

Get it together!

Get it together!

So the Shredder comes with the Foot to take down the Turtles and kidnap them for their blood. They trip the alarm. And booby traps. Wait no, no, no that is not what happens. In a world where the Turtles have every kind of tech in the world that exists and more that Donatello made, they have nothing whatsoever to protect their hideout?

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

In the original it made sense, the only tech they had was cable. They lived off what they scrounged. So they don’t have any booby traps or worries about people finding them. In this, they have a gargantuan amount of tech, but no security system? These boys read superhero comics and watch TV, they should have thought to have something.

This is what I would like to do to the stupid in this film.

This is what I would like to do to the stupid in this film.

So Shredder and Splinter fight. I do like how Splinter is younger and can fight, using his tail to as a weapon. But it was kind of sad too, as Splinter is no longer Mr. Miyagi, but now Jackie Chan. However, there is a weird dynamic between the two. Shredder and Splinter act as if they are mortal enemies, but why?

That makes no sense

That makes no sense

In this film they have no connection to each other. They know nothing of each other, really. In the original they fight because Splinter ruined his face, and when Shredder sees him, he becomes enraged. In this Shredder even calls Splinter a “father”. How would he know that?

It is so stupid! It makes no sense!!!!

It is so stupid! It makes no sense!!!!

I hate the Shredder’s fighting style too. In the original he was a master martial artist and we see him actually fight. In this one, it’s more the tech on his suit. BORING!!!

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

They knock Splinter out (dropping a wall on him), and Raphael. They steal the other three.

As April only has a bike, she calls up Vernon to help them. When he gets there she tells him she needs a ride to the Sacks estate as they need to save the TMNT.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Jeez April, Vernon hasn’t been spending every moment with her, he doesn’t know what’s what. You need to give it to him a bit slower. You sound like a psycho.

Victor Moritz: You're crazy! Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

She’s crazy!

Raphael reveals himself, and they all head off to the Sacks estate.

At the Sacks estate, Eric reveals his evil plans. They want their blood to make an antidote for a virus they created and will be releasing onto the world. The reason? MONEY!!! People dying will pay through the nose for it. Even though Eric is a gazillionare, he wants more. Like world domination would make way more sense than money?

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

April and Vernon crash into the estate and go in to save the turtles. As they are fighting, they manage to release the turtles giving them shots of adrenaline. Now I tried to discover of this would really help, and it seems adrenaline can reduce blood loss, but there was nothing there on bringing people back after massive blood loss. I’m saying, they died. The end.

TheEnd_Title_2

The group hijacks a truck and makes there way down to save the day. Now this scene has some stupid parts, but it was pretty cool. The only thing I hate, they made Donatello more than the nerdy one, they downright Urkeled him. I hate that.

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

The elevator scene, probably the best part in the whole series. Cute and funny.

They go to do the final fight with Shredder and I hated it. It was boring, cliche, and there is no way they would have survived.

Mysteryofthe13thguestdead

April manages to secure the mutagen. She later attacks Shredder trying to channel Indigo Montoya but failing.

inigo montoya PrincessBride kill my father prepare to die

The Turtles then band together with a maneuver that allows them to push Shredder off the roof. Donnie goes to stop the toxin’s release as Shredder pulls himself back up. Leo, Raph, and Mikey continue to hold him off, and Donnie is able to stop the release with a second to spare. Shredder then tries to knock the top of the tower down, and the Turtles try holding it back as April gets to the roof and shows off the mutagen to Shredder to distract him. The top of the tower comes crashing down as Shredder lunges at April and throws them both off.

What was the Shredder’s plan here? Run toward crumbling architecture?

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

They hang on for dear life, and the Turtles try to save April. Shredder tries to finish them off, but Leo throws his katana at him, causing Shredder to lose balance and fall to the ground.

We know he doesn’t die as you can’t really kill the Shredder. He’s always needed for the sequel.

Get it together!

Get it together!

The top of the tower comes loose, taking April and the Turtles with it. Then we hear this really boring thing from Raphael, blah blah blah. I’ve already checked out.

Blah, blah

Blah, blah

And when everything is done, EVERYONE HAS SEEN THE TURTLES!!! WORST NINJAS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

In the end Vernon still trying to put the moves on April, and failing. We end with Happy Together a sad song about hoping you aren’t dumped instead of the awesome and pumping turtle power or Go Ninja or anything.

It pretty much it sucked and was absolutely horrible. Once again, Michael Bay trying to destroy everything I love.

HateEverythingthewomen

Why did they ever have to remake it?

And to ease the suckage of this film

And to ease the suckage of this film

But there is one good thing to come out of this: How It Should Have Ended

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to A Matter of Loaf and Death: Wallace and Gromit (2008)

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For more on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, go to Return of the Fandom

For more How It Should Have Ended, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

For more sucky remakes, go to Don’t F*** With the Original: Scre4m (2011)

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25 More Films of Christmas

Bishop's wife christmas tree

So two years ago I tried to do a Christmas countdown, the 12 Posts of Christmas, but I discovered that it is really difficult as you get involved in Christmas activities. So last year I decided to make it easier on myself and did a singular post listing 25 of my favorite films that were either classified as Christmas movies or had a Christmas scene in it. Since it worked so great last year, I decided why not do it again? So here are 25 more films of Christmas! (Once again these aren’t my my top favorite 25, but randomly picked and then rearranged them in the order of how I love them.

Holly

25) Holiday (1938)

Poster - Holiday (1938)_06

Holiday (1938) is a remake of the 1930 film. In it Johnny Case (Cary Grant), a self-made man, is heading to his fiancé Julia Seton’s house for the holidays. While on the surface the two appreared perfect for each other, as Johnny spends more time at the Seton household he finds himself having more in common with Julia’s younger sister, Linda (Katherine Hepburn). Johnny now finds himself in a dilemma, should he honor the commitment he made to Julia? Or should he try to find love with another?

Why it’s Great: Hepburn and Grant made four films together, and anytime you have these two paired up you have pure gold. Grant is his attractive, charming, and at times comical self. Hepburn is the silly, comedic, oddball, and modern woman that she always does great at. A fun film. Plus those scenes of Grant tumbling? Priceless.

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24) The Polar Express (2004)

polarExpress

The Polar Express is based on the short book of the same name. In the 1950s, a little boy, no longer believes in Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, he hears something outside and goes aboard the Polar Express, the train that heads right up to the North Pole and Santa’s home. He makes new friends on the train, helps control the train, meets a ghost hobo who tries to teach him morals, and ends up in the North Pole coming face to face with Santa Claus.

Why it’s Great: This is a cute kid’s movie. Tom Hanks is pretty amazing at how he plays almost every character in the film. The kids are cute, especially the geeky, know-it-all tattletale. He makes me laugh. It has a good message of faith, believing, leading, etc. It also has a couple great songs: The Polar Express and When Christmas Comes to Town. It does have a few problems though. Mainly it suffers from the same issues all small picture book film adaptions face, extra content to fill the time block. There are a lot  of unnecessary songs, characters, and scenes; that if they had been culled would have resulted in a stronger film. But on the whole it is a cute, family, Christmas film.

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23) Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

HomeAlone2LostinNewYork

The sequel to Home Alone (see #2 on the list). Home Alone 2 has Kevin McCallister once again finding himself spending Christmas on his own, but this time he’s in New York! How did this happen? Well this year instead of going to France, the McCallister clan is heading to Florida. Once again they find themselves running late to the airport (but this time being sure they have Kevin) and have to run to catch their flight. Kevin stops for a moment to get batteries out of his dad’s bag and accidentally follows the wrong man onto a plane to New York City. He starts living it large at the Plaza and using all his dad’s credit cards and cash (as he has his bag). Everything goes well, until he runs into the two thieves he harassed the year before and sent to prison. They come after him, but luckily he has rigged his uncle’s townhouse into one giant trap.

Why it’s Great: I have to say how he gets alone again was done really clever. The scenes of him just spending the dough and buying pizza, ice-cream, going on huge toy shopping trips, etc is fantastic. That was all the things that kids wished they could be able to do. Tim Curry plays the hotel manager who notices the lack of an adult and is awesome in being evil and trying to trip Kevin up. Unfortunately, the second half the film falls a little flat. I mean what are the odds of the thieves running into Kevin in New York City? There are a gajillion people who live there. Also the traps aren’t as clever as in the original film. It wasn’t nearly as great as the original, but still one fun holiday film.

Holly banner

22) Elf (2003)

Go here to see who you are

Go here to see who you are

One Christmas a baby boy accidentally gets on to Santa Claus’ sled and is transported to the North Pole. One of the elves adopts him and raises him as his own child, naming him Buddy. One day, Buddy overhears some elves mention he is a human. He goes to his elf father and discovers the story of his adoption. They tell him who is real father is, and Buddy travels to New York City to meet him. When he firsts meets his father Walter Hobbs (James Caan), Walter doesn’t believe Buddy’s story to be true. After a DNA test confirms it, Buddy is introduced to the family. Buddy befriends his stepmother, stepbrother, and makes new friends. However, he doesn’t fit in well with “humans” and after an argument with his dad, decides to return to the North Pole. On his way he runs into Santa who is having trouble using his sleigh and magic as people don’t believe in him anymore. Now Buddy has a bigger problem to solve. How can he save Santa?

Why it’s Great: Now let me say that I am not that big a fan of Will Ferrell. I only like a few of his films, and this is one of those. The story is silly, but the reason it works is that Ferrell goes all in to the character of Buddy. Unlike everyone I know, I do not watch it over and over, but I do think it is definitely worth checking out and viewing around the holidays. And I do have to agree that I am as crazy about Christmas as Buddy.

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21) Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

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Dr. Seuss’ beloved book finds itself heading to the big screen with Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Jim Carrey plays the Grinch, the beloved grump who hates the Whos and hates Christmas. He terrorizes Whoville, and all are afraid of him. Except one girl, Cindy Lou Who. Cindy Lou is eager to find out all she can about the Grinch and why he is the way he is. She discovers his sad childhood and decides making him the Holiday Cheermister will repair everything. When her idea has disastrous results, the Grinch decides to head down to Whoville and steal Christmas.

Why it’s Great: Jim Carrey really is the only reason why the film is great. Like The Polar Express, it suffers from being stuffed with extra scenes, characters, and things not needed in order to fill the time block. And I absolutely hate the song “Where Are You Christmas?” But as I said, Jim Carrey is a great Grinch. His makeup is amazing, I mean look at him! He’s looks just like the illustration. The backstory of why he is mean loses ground, but the film really picks up once he starts stealing Christmas. I love how they illustrate the song and copy the scenes from the original film. It’s worth watching the film to see that scene. It may not be as great as the Boris Karloff version, but it is still a fun Christmas film.

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20) The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

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This is the sequel to The Santa Clause (see below #6). Eight years has passed since the original film and Scott Calvin, AKA Santa Claus, has just discovered that if he is to remain being Santa Claus he has to have a Mrs. Claus. Scott also discovers that Charlie has been having a lot of problems and and acting up. So the elves create a robot Santa to fill in for him, and Scott heads back home. He stays with his ex-wife’s family, trying to reach Charlie, and becoming an uncle figure to Charlie’s sister Lucy. When talking to Charlie’s principal he finds himself falling for her, but will she believe him and go with him back to the North Pole? Also, while Scott has been gone, his robo-Santa has become and evil dictator. Will Scott be able to stop him in time to save Christmas?

Why it’s Great: I like how this film deals with real issues. Charlie is having problems as he misses his father, has the stress of having to lie about his dad’s job, etc. I loved how realistic it was as this are issues a boy who’s father has to be away for his job would actually deal with. I also enjoy the scenes of Scott and Principal Carol Newman. There were real dates and actually showed them falling in love over a period of time, it wasn’t instantaneous. And the Principal’s reaction to “I’m Santa” talk was completely real. Some scenes are definitely cheesy and silly, but I have to say this is one of the better Disney sequels and one great film to watch at Christmas.

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19) The Toy That Saved Christmas (1996)

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So this film is part of the Veggietales series. Veggietales was a series of Christian films that lasted 30 mins and told two stories that were either a retelling of a bible story or had a strong biblical message. And all the characters were fruits and veggies! The Toy That Saved Christmas was the first Christmas Veggietale video and starts with a green onion, Grandpa George, telling his granddaughter Annie a Christmas story. In the Veggietown (or wherever they live), December is here which means CHRISTMAS!!! All the kids are excited. They see a commercial on TV for a new toy Buzz Saw Louie and everyone wants them. Besides having a saw, Louie talks and tells people that the true meaning of Christmas is getting stuff. This was planned by the toy factory owner as he wants to sell more toys. When more Louies are being made, something happens to one, and it comes to life. It starts to wonder if getting stuff is the true meaning of Christmas. Louie escapes from the factory and gets stuck in the snow. The next day Bob the tomato, Larry the cucumber, and Junior the asparagus all go sledding and come upon the toy. They also run into Grandpa George who tells them the true meaning of Christmas. After the hear the message they want to tell the world the good news? But how? They get the idea to use the factory owner’s equipment and make a commercial. Will their plan work? Will everyone get to know the true meaning of Christmas?

Why it’s Great: It is an incredibly funny and adorable film. This is one that my family has to watch every year. Besides the comedy, adventure, and fun it also has a lot of great songs. One of my favorites is Can’t Believe It’s Christmas! as it truly captures being a kid excited about the holiday. And then there is the hilarious silly song Oh Santa!If you don’t watch the film at least check out that song.

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18) Lady and the Tramp (1955)

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The classic story of a rich girl who meets a boy from the wrong side of the tracks with one major difference-dogs! Lady is a cocker spaniel is a Christmas gift to “Darling” by her husband Jim “Dear”. She grows up in the household, becoming a real “Lady”. Everything changes when Darling gets pregnant. With a baby coming Lady is unsure of what her life will be like. The baby comes and Lady realizes that she loves him as much as her other masters. Things seem to be great until Darling and Jim Dear have to go away on business. Jim Dear’s Aunt Sarah comes to watch the baby, and brings along her two siamese cats that cause problems for Lady, and gets her a muzzle. Lady embarrassed, scared, and confused; runs away and straight into a mutt, Tramp, from the other side of town. He not only frees her, but the two have a romantic dinner, a moonlit walk in the park, etc. However, when the Tramp gets Lady to chase chickens, she winds up being sent to the dog pound. There she hears all about Tramp’s sordid past. She is freed from the pound but chained up outside by Aunt Sarah. The Tramp visits to apologize, but Lady won’t hear anything. Then a rat tries to get into the nursery. Will Lady be able to save the baby? Will Lady and the Tramp get back together?

Why it’s Great: It is an old story that has been done before, but the choice of dogs is great. I love how the dog thinks Jim Dear and Darling are their real names as that is only what she hears, and there are also some great dogisms. The We Are Siamese song is really catchy and the pasta scene is just adorable. This film actually has two Christmases in it; one when Lady is first introduced, and the second at the end of the film. Making this a great film to see round the holidays or any time of the year.

For more on Lady and the Tramp, go to Part IX: Adventures in Movie Lines

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17) Chasing Christmas (2005)

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This abcFamily film, part of the 25 Days ’til Christmas countdown, tells the story of A Christmas Carol in a completely new way. Jack Cameron is a modern day Scrooge. He caught his wife with another man at his daughter’s Christmas play. Not only is the marriage over, but so is his love for Christmas and Christmas spirit. At the Bureau of Yuletide Affairs (BYA) the company is reviewing which holiday grumps need a little Dickens spirit. He assigns Christmas Past (Leslie Jordan) and Present (Andrea Roth) to take care of him. Past has started to become disgruntled with life. Every year it is the same thing over and over again. So he decides to do something about it. After taking Jack to his childhood in the ’60s he knocks him out and takes off. Present is then sent back to catch Past and help Jack find his Christmas spirit. As they travel through time Jack discovers a lot about himself and his family. When they reach the ’70s, they accidentally break their time machine and are desperate to find Past in order to get back to the future. Will they ever catch up to Christmas Past? Or are they doomed to stay in the ’70s? And more importantly, will  they be able to save Jack’s love of Christmas?

Why it’s Great: The twist on the classic is extremely hilarious, fun, and adorable. In fact, the film is almost a parody of all the films and TV episodes that rip of Dickens’ work. The characters are lovable as you have the sarcastic, unhappy, stick-in-a-rut Past that wants to relive the good times instead of just visiting. Then there is Jack, the average guy who gets pulled into this adventure and really starts having a great time.  Then there is Present, who knows nothing about the past and has to educated by Jack. This is actually pretty adorable, as it awakens his love for different things as he explains why they are important or special. A truly great film, loosely based on one great book.

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16) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

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The story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer started out as a short poem, then transformed into the hit song, and ultimately (like everything) found its way into film. Rudolph is the son of Santa’s flying Reindeer Donner. Everyone bullies him and doesn’t want him around because he has a blinking, red nose. Rudolph ends up not being able to deal with it and runs away, hoping to find a place for misfits. As he heads out, he runs into an elf named Hermy. Hermy is also a misfit as he doesn’t want to make toys, sing carols, or other elf-y things; he wants to be a dentist. As the two journey out they run into a miner named Yukon Cornelius, hunting for silver and gold, who joins up with them. They have to fight the Abominable Snow Monster, when running from him they hitch a ride on ice and end up on the Island of Misfit Toys. Rudolph, conscious that his nose almost got them attacked by Abominable, he takes off on his own. He later returns home to find that his family has been captured by the Abominable Snow Monster while searching for him. It’s up to the team to save them from the monster. Everything seems like it is going to be a great Christmas until the fog rolls in and Santa won’t be able to see where he is flying. That is until Rudolph steps up to the plate.

Why it’s Great: My earliest memory of this cartoon was when I was three years old. My family was visiting my aunt’s house, and being kids, us cousins were running around everywhere. I ran smack into my cousin Sean, and began bawling. I was bruised, so I did have a reason to be sad, but I wouldn’t stop crying. I kept going and going, until my mom told me that I could watch Rudolph if I stopped crying. I stopped immediately. My favorite character as a kid actually wasn’t Rudolph. I loved Yukon as I thought he was hilarious and I loved Hermy as I too wanted to be a dentist (which everyone thought was weird). Watching it as an adult, I still love it. Happy Anniversary Rudolph! Here’s to another 50 years!

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15) Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too (1991)

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It’s Christmas time at the Hundred Acre Woods and Christopher Robin is writing a letter to Santa Claus. As he is finishing the letter, asking for a sled big enough for him and a friend, he asks each one of his friends what they want for Christmas. Rabbit needs a new fly swatter; Tigger a snowshoe for his tail; Eeyore an umbrella to keep snow off his house; and Piglet asks for whatever Santa wants to give him. Christopher Robin sends his letter off into the wind and to Santa. The next day, Christmas Eve, Winnie-the-Pooh is drawing his Christmas tree on the wall when Piglet comes in and tells him that Pooh forgot to ask Santa for something. They chase after the letter, find it, and take it to Rabbit’s house to add on Pooh’s request for honey. As they are doing that everyone asks for an upgraded present: Rabbit a super bug sprayer, Tigger a special bouncing boot, and Eeyore a mobile home. They send the letter out, but when Pooh gets home a southern wind has sent the letter the same way. Pooh and Piglet don’t want Christmas ruined so they set out to fix everything. They try to create the gifts asked, suit up, and head out. Will their homemade gifts work? Will Christmas be ruined? Or will everything turn out just right?

Why it’s Great: First of all it’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Secondly, the story is amazingly sweet. Once Pooh realizes that Christmas might be ruined, he tries to do everything in his power to make it right. A great story of friendship, love, and Christmas!

For more on Winnie the Pooh, go to Heartbreak Hotel

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14) Christmas Every Day (1996)

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Billy hates Christmas! For him it is always the worst day of the year and this one is no different. It starts off with him tripping, his uncle coming to visit and crashing into the garage, the pies burn, he misses his basketball shot, he loses the jellybean thousand dollar contest, messes up the Christmas pageant, and gets socked in the eye. To top it off, his uncle is bringing his monster conglomerate store, Value Mart to town, and will be putting all the smaller businesses, (including his dad’s store) out of business. Billy sarcastically wishes it was Christmas everyday, and gets his wish granted. At first he is in denial, then he makes it the most selfish Christmas, then tries to make it the most unselfish Christmas, but still remains stuck in the day. After he has been going through all those days, he finally stops thinking about himself, but tries to make it the best Christmas for his friends and family. Will it be the best? Will he finally get to December 26th? Will he be able to stop his uncle from bringing in his Value Mart?

Why it’s Great: My sister and I loved this movie so much. We would watch it every year on the 25 Days ’til Christmas until they stopped showing it. I just rewatched it a week ago and love it as much now as I did then. I thought Billy was pretty realistic in how he dealt with being stuck in Christmas, sort of the preteen version of Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day. He gets over his Christmas hate much quicker than in Groundhog’s Day, but he is a kid and hasn’t been jaded as long. The best part, of course, is the fact how Billy learns from his past mistakes, and ultimately does create the best Christmas for himself and everyone.

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13) Batman Returns (1992)

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The Joker may be gone, but Batman is back to the big screen in his film Batman Returns. It’s Christmas time in Gotham, but even though it is supposed to be a time of good cheer, crime still abounds in the city. Oswald Cobblepot (Danny DeVito), who as a baby was thrown down the sewers by his rich parents because of his deformity only to be saved and raised by penguins, has returned 33 years later as the Penguin and leader of the Red Triangle Circus Gang. He kidnaps businessman, Max Shreck (played by Christopher Walken) and blackmails him about his dirty business dealings into making the Penguin a citizen of Gotham. Shreck agrees and promises to do even better, promising to make the Penguin mayor. Shreck has some plans he wants to put in motion, but knows the current mayor would not approve. Unfortunately, Shreck’s secretary, meek Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) has discovered them. Shreck does the only thing he thinks he can do, he kills her by throwing her out the window. Unbeknownst to him, Selina is revived by nine cats and granted “9 lives.” She goes home having fully transformed in her personality, creating a black leather outfit, and becoming Catwoman. She returns to work for Shreck, planning on destroying him when he least expects it, and runs into Bruce Wayne. The two begin dating, while at night their alter egos begin fighting. The penguin and Catwoman team up to destroy Batman. They sully his reputation, but Batman is able to outwit the Penguin and disgrace him. Upset, the Penguin renounces humanity and kidnaps the first sons of all the wealthy families of Gotham during Shreck’s annual Christmas party. Bruce takes Selina as his date to the party and the two discover that they are Batman and Catwoman. What does this mean to their relationship? Will Batman be able to stop the Penguin? Will Catwoman get her revenge?

Why it’s Great: So Christmas does play a role in this film as a little more than a backdrop. There is a line about mistletoe that is the key in discovering each other’s identities. When Batman and Catwoman are fighting the first time Batman says, “You know, mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it.” In which Catwoman replies, “But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.” When Bruce and Selina are at the party, Selina tells Bruce ,“You know, mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it.” In which Bruce replies, “But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.” But that’s not the reason why I like this film. First of all Michael Keaton has to be my favorite Batman, he just gets the stoic and serious, along with debonair and slightly fun side correct. I mean out of all the actors I think he captured the duality of Batman’s character the most. Then we have Michelle Pfeiffer who has been the best Catwoman to date. Morally ambiguous, vengeful, focused on her goals, but still having a heart of gold. No one could have played her better. Plus Christopher Walken as the bad guy? Perfect. The only thing I don’t like is that the Penguin was much sillier than I would have had him be. Danny DeVito did a great job and he looked great, but a lot of his lines and obsession with birds of all kinds were just a bit too silly. Otherwise, this is one great film to watch anytime.

For more on Batman Returns, go to Fanning All Over the Place

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12) The Year Without a Santa Claus (1975)

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Santa Claus is sick and tired, and has decided that he does not want to do Christmas anymore. After all, no one believes in him anymore. Mrs. Claus is determined to prove Santa wrong and sends out two elves, Jingle and Jangle. The two get into some scrapes and end up in Southtown, USA. Their mistakes cause Santa to come down and try and help out. The two elves and a small Southtown boy, Ignatius, end up getting the Mayor to agree to giving Santa a holiday, only if it snows in Southtown. The chance of that happening, -100%. The elves go to Snow Miser, but he it isn’t his territory and he can’t do it unless his stepbrother Heat Miser agrees. Heat Miser will only let them, IF he gets the North Pole. Something that Snow Miser will never give up. Will they be able to get the two to compromise? Will Santa get his holiday? Will we have a year without Santa Claus?

Why it’s Great: This is a cute film that tries to revitalize the Christmas spirit. It has some great numbers like the Miser Brothers’ SongI Believe in Santa Claus, I’ll Have a Blue Christmas, and Here Comes Santa Claus. A cute film that old and young will love.

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11) The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow (1975)

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In The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow, Lucas a shepherd boy is blinded by lightening. Nearby is the nunnery, who takes in the orphan boy. He befriends a girl Lisa, who helps him. Sister Theresa, one of the nuns, takes care of Lucas, even describing the snow that wishes would come. Lucas is chosen to be an angel in the play, and as it starts snowing, a Christmas miracle occurs. The snow falls in Lucas’ eyes and grant him back his sight. He remains with the nuns and the priest, finally having a family.

Why it’s Great: This is a cute and cuddly Christmas film with great songs. You’ll enjoy this half hour production, along with their version of White Christmas and The First White Christmas. It is a great addition to your Christmas lineup.

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10) Borrowed Hearts (1997)

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Sam Field is a millionaire who is trying to negotiate the biggest deal of his life with Javier Del Campo. The only problem, Del Campo only likes to do business with family-orientated people, and Sam is a confirmed bachelor. He hires a family to pretend to be his, but that doesn’t work out very well, and he is unsure of what to do. Enter Kathleen, single mother and worker at Sam’s plant. She is trying to save up money to buy a house, but so far does not have as much as she needs. A chance meeting, winds up with Kathleen and her daughter Zooey pretending to be his family for a few days, which expands into weeks as Del Campo wants to spend Christmas with the Fields. As they spend more time together; Sam, Kathleen, and Zooey all learn more about family and learning to love again.

Why it’s Great: I love this film sooooo much. It’s one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies. I will not go to far into it, as I have written a separate blog post on it that you should check out.

For more on Borrowed Hearts, go to On the 9th Day ‘Til Christmas: Borrowed Hearts (1997)

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9) Rise of the Guardians (2012)

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In Rise of the Guardians, Jack Frost (played by Chris Pine), is created in the depths of a pond and suffers from amnesia. He doesn’t know how or why he was created, but just goes around having fun. One day Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin) discovers that the Boogeyman Pitch, has returned and notifies the other Guardians: Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), Australian Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Sandman. They learn that their creator, the Man in the Moon, has chosen Jack Frost to join them as a Guardian of Children. Pitch goes about trying to destroy the children’s beliefs in these characters, and attacks the Tooth Fairy’s home, stealing her helpers. The other Guardians pitch in to help her out, doing the same for the Easter Bunny. Will they be able to defeat the Pitch? Will Jack finally learn who he is and why he was chosen? Will they secure the children’s belief in Jack Frost, Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Sandman?

Why it’s Great: When the film first came out, I thought it would be really dumb, but then I saw it and loved it. It is funny, cute, sweet, everything you’d want in a family film. The characters are amazing and just perfect as they bring your childhood to life. I just love this film and could watch it over and over.

For more on Rise of the Guardians, go to Dreaming of the Sandman 

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8) Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

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It tells the story of the Robinson family, (they are Swiss), who are traveling to New Guniea but end up getting stuck in a storm, abandoned, and stranded on their broken ship. They pack up every bit of supplies they can and travel to the nearest place, a little island. The family consists of the father, mother, and three boys; Fritz (my fav the cute one), Ernst (the smart one), and Francis (the baby). The family creates a tree house and lives on the island going through many adventures; dealing with wild animals, saving a young teen, fighting pirates, etc.

Why it’s Great: This was a favorite of mine as a kid, although more beloved by my sister than me. It has everything you could want: action, adventure, pirates, etc. Plus, like Supernatural, you have your pick of which brother to chose from. Do you like a brawny man of action? Or are you more interested in a thinker and planner? And let’s not forget their amazing treehouse. I wanted one like it so bad growing up. It used to be in Disneyland, but they replaced it with Tarzan. And yes, this film does have Christmas in it. The Robinson family has sent out Ernst and Fritz to explore the island, and are sad that they won’t all be together for Christmas. The boys surprise them with a zebra for Francis, and a rescued hostage. It is classic Disney at its best, and a worthwhile checkout any time of the year.

For more on the Swiss Family Robinson, go to Snakes on a Post: Chinese New Year

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7) Jingle All the Way

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Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a workaholic. His wife and child are very upset with him, and the only way he can get back in their good graces is to pick up a Turbo-Man doll. Only problem is, EVERYONE wants one and EVERYONE is sold out. This causes him to go on one crazy adventure involving a faux toy factory, a postal postman, a mall doing a Hunger Games to sell off their remaining doll, battling a reindeer, storming a radio station, bombs, fistfights, etc. Howard even goes as far as replacing Turbo-Man in the Christmas parade in order to try to get a doll. Will he be able to do it? Will his family be reunited for Christmas?

Why it’s Great:  This movie is so freakin’ hilarious. I just love it so much. All the crazy things that happen to Howard as he tries to achieve success in his quest to get the doll. And that end fight scene is just great. A true holiday classic that I watch every year I can.

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6) The Santa Clause

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Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is a self-absorbed and selfish toy designer. This Christmas Eve he gets to have his son spend the holiday with him, while his ex-wife and her husband celebrate elsewhere. Of course he is not only extremely late (too much partying at the office), but he burns their Christmas Eve dinner. Things are not going as planned. That night Charlie hears something, and the two go out to investigate, surprising Santa and causing him to fall off the roof! Scott puts on the suit, and the two go out to deliver the gifts. After the deed is done, Scott discovers that when he put on the suit he entered a clause, that is a decree, making him the new Santa. He doesn’t believe it, but as the year passes, his body starts to become more Santa-like. Will he have enough faith to become Santa? Will he be able to change his ways so he can be more like Santa?

Why it’s Great: Like Borrowed Hearts I have done a post on this, so I’m not going to talk too much aout it. It is a truly hilarious movie with some truly memorable lines and scenes. I love this movie so much that I don’t even always wait for Christmas to watch it. Defintely worth seeing again and again.

For more on The Santa Clause, go to On the 11 Day ‘Til Christmas: The Santa Clause (1994)

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4) Christmas With the Kranks (2004)

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Based on the John Grisham novel, Christmas with the Kranks shows how one can never truly skip Christmas. After Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora Krank (Jamie Lee Curtis) discover that their beloved daughter Blair won’t be coming home for Christmas, they decide to forget it entirely. No decorations, no Christmas cards, no Christmas party, no Christmas tree, zip. Instead, the two will go on a lovely cruise. It starts out a great plan, until they start getting upsetting calls from the neighbors who want to win the best decorated street contest; tickets from policemen who are used to them buying multiple calendars, charities who expect their yearly donation, etc. As they are getting ready to go on Christmas Eve, they get a call from Blair who is surprising them by flying home-with a fiancé. They have to rely on their neighbors for help in making this the greatest Christmas ever.

Why it’s Great: I just realized that this is the third Tim Allen movie on this list. Guess it was a good thing I decided to save Toy Story for another time, or else there would be four. Anyways this is just a hilarious film, from beginning to end. Grisham is a true master and the actors really bring his work to life. This is a truly great addition to you Christmas lineup as it is funny, heartwarming, and covers the true meaning of Christmas.

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3) Goodfellas (1990)

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A film based on the real life of gangster turned FBI witness, Henry Hill. Half-Italian, half-Irish; Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) has always wanted to be a gangster. He is taken under the wing of mob-boss Paul “Paulie” Cicero, to work under James “Jimmy the Gent” Conway (Robert De Niro) alongside Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). The trio hijack cars, commit insurance fraud, and the famous 1967 Air France Robbery. They spend most of their time at the Copacabana, hanging out with women. Hill meets Karen, Jewish and upper class, and the two eventually marry. At first Karen is alarmed at Hill’s lifestyle, but eventually becomes enamored with the perks. They continue to live the criminal lifestyle, ultimately having to serve a stint in prison. There Hill discovers how “real” money can be made in drugs, and his life starts to take some real twists and turns.

Why it’s Great: Now this film isn’t for everyone, but if you are a fan of the gangster genre then you need to check this out. It covers the life of Hill pretty accurately, and of course the actors they chose are just amazing-De Niro, Liotta, & Pesci. In fact if this wasn’t a Christmas list countdown, I probably would have it even higher. And for the Christmas part of the film, well this is no Christmas film but the holiday does play into a crucial part of the film. My friends and I used to have “gangster film and spaghetti” parties, with this one always being one of the main courses.

For more on Goodfellas, go to Sucky Sequels: Mean Girls 2 (2011)

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2) Home Alone (1990)

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Kevin McCallister’s whole family is getting ready to fly to Paris for Christmas, spending the holidays with his uncle and aunt. The night before they leave, Kevin is punished (unfairly) to sleep up in the attic by himself, where he makes a wish that his family would just disappear. When a tree limb crashes on the powerline, the McCallister’s find themselves waking up late and rushing out the door to the airport, in order to catch their plane. And…completely forgetting Kevin. At first being home alone is just fun and games, but when two robbers try to get into his house, Kevin finds himself defending it, in very imaginative ways.

Why it’s Great: This movie became so popular, almost every family pic after it tried to recreate it’s success. It is funny, memorable, and the scenes where Kevin is just wolfing down junk food was every kid’s dream. It is one fantastic movie, great for Christmas or anytime you want a laugh.

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1) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970)

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In Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, postman Special Delivery Klugman (Fred Astaire) is prepared to answer all questions about Santa Claus. In Sombertown, the Burgermeister Meisterburger discovers a baby on his doorstep, with a tag saying Claus. He sends one of his stooges to take the baby to the orphanage, but a wind blows the baby away. The forest creatures take the baby to the elf family Kringle, where he is raised as one of their own, Kris Kringle. The Kringles used to be toymakers for the King, but an evil man, the Winter Warlock, keeps them from continuing this tradition. Kris resolves that when he is old enough, he will brave the forest and Warlock, in order to give their toys to the children in the nearby town. He manages to slip the Warlock and heads to the town. Unbeknownst to Kris, toys are outlawed in Sombertown. He meets the school teacher, Jessica, and convinces them all to take toys. Kris almost gets arrested, but runs away, only to be captured by the Winter Warlock. When he gives the Warlock a gift, it melts his icy heart and removes his evil. Winter Warlock teaches Kris a few tricks, like magic snowballs that allow you to watch anyone. Kris keeps coming back and giving more toys, first handing them out to kids, then leaving them at night, lastly putting them in the children’s stockings. The Burgermeister Meisterburger lays a trap and catches Kris. In order to free him, Jessica gets the Winter Warlock to give reindeer his flying corn, and thus Kris’ eight flying reindeer were born. Jessica and Kris get married and move to the North Pole, Kris reverting to his given name of Claus.

Why it’s Great: This film is absolutely adorable and Christmas is never the same without at least one viewing of this film.

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Merry Christmas All!

ChristmasfromJaneAusten

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For more on Christmas, go to O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

For more on Christmas movies, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more quizzes, go to Simply Fantastic

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Dreaming of the Sandman