For as long as I can remember Christmas was a time for movies. My Santa list generally just consisted of a list of videos and then DVDs. Some of my fondest memories were of receiving two or three James Bond videos each year; I would quickly try and watch them before we had to sit down for lunch. However the pinnacle of my Christmas memories would have to be the year I had asked for a few of the James Bond DVDs when videos were just about dying out. To my amazement I received the entire box set of the Bond series, my movie viewing was sorted for weeks to come and my family must have been sick of hearing the Bond theme tune by at the latest New Year’s Eve!
This time of the year sees endless Christmas movies being released each year and old titles being recycled to fill the TV timetables over the holiday period, any movie fans delight. What are the best Christmas movies, what qualifies a Christmas movie? These are questions that no doubt all movie fans have discussed and asked each other. What I want to do in this list is to take you through my favourite Christmas movies. What I classify as a Christmas movie is any film that is set around this time of year, there doesn’t need to be an appearance from the big man with the beard in my book for it to qualify! Anyway enough of the chit chat, here are my Top 5 Christmas movies!
Number 5 – Elf
I struggle to think as to how any Top 5 list can go without an appearance of this film. Elf has quickly cemented itself into many people’s Christmas traditions; it isn’t Christmas without a viewing of it! It is hard to believe that this film is already 10 years old, but saying that I remember going to see it in the cinema on Christmas Eve the year of its release. 10 years on it is still as funny, and probably the most quotable Christmas film there is. I am not ashamed to say that I have already watched it twice this Christmas period and I wouldn’t be averse to seeing that number increase. Elf is a film that will most likely settle the debate between squabbling family and friends who can’t quite agree on which festive favourite to watch. I challenge anyone to sit through this movie without it bringing a smile to their face; it’s simply wonderfully comic throughout and encompasses the spirit of Christmas perfectly.
Number 4 – I’ll Be Home for Christmas
We turn to Disney for the next film on my list, I’ll Be Home for Christmas. Probably not as well-known as the other films featured on this list but a gem of a Christmas film in my opinion. College student Jake (Jonathan Taylor Thomas, yeah that kid from Home Improvement) struggles to make it home for Christmas. As you can imagine he experiences many obstacles on the way continually becoming more and more outrageous, almost like a family friendly Christmas version of the Hangover. If anything else this film was a part of my childhood and I watched it most Christmases so I had to have it featured on the list. Although not as funny as some other festive films it has that nostalgic element for me and is one of the two films I always watch at Christmas, the other will appear further down this list!
Who doesn’t love these wee critters!? So this is the first film on my list which isn’t really about Christmas but instead is just based around this time of year. Gremlins is a classic that is hard to beat in my opinion, it is something different for this often crowded and generic genre. Dating all the way back to 1984 it still manages to entertain audiences today and is just so much fun. That scene where the Gremlins visit the elderly lady is probably a favourite of mine, I won’t ruin it in case you haven’t seen it but they are just so cruelly mischievous that you can’t help but love them! If the Gremlins were unleashed on the rest of the films on this list they would put up a fight but I still think there are a couple that are more enjoyable, sorry guys!
Number 2 – Die Hard
We stay in the 80’s for the runner up on my list and again not explicitly a Christmas film but it is based around this time of year and that is Christmas enough for me. Bruce Willis as John McClane, the undisputed best action hero of all time had to be included in this list, another essential in my opinion. Die Hard is simple, a skyscraper is taken over by terrorists and Willis shoots the place up. Endless action fun features and also some nods to the festive season too, namely that scene in the elevator just reminding you what time of year it is in case you forget amongst all the action! Die Hard is the king of the action genre and simultaneously makes a massive dent in the genre of Christmas movies, its sequel would most likely have featured too if this list had been longer!
Number 1 – Jingle All The Way
Could it be that Willis is taken down by his fellow action legend, Arnie!? I am afraid so although, he shouldn’t feel too bad as in my opinion no one even comes close to Arnold Schwarzenegger as Turbo Man! Jingle All The Way is the ultimate Christmas movie in my opinion, however if it didn’t feature Arnie I’m not so sure how it would fare. He is just so good in this role, it is cheesy but it is so endearing! This is the other film that I must watch every Christmas, it combines everything that is good in life; Christmas, superheroes and Arnie himself. This has to be a winning formula, no!? Who would want to watch anything else? Sometimes I think that Turbo Man would be a more effective leader of the Avengers that Captain America himself, well not really but the way this film is crafted just allows for so much family fun viewing and will without fail get even the worst scrooge into the Christmas spirit. If you haven’t seen this movie, watch it this Christmas – take it as an early present from me.