Thursday, 10 December 2009

It's Christmas Time...

At this festive season, many people will be buying films as gifts, going to the pictures after gruelling shopping trips or sitting down to watch a DVD with the extended family. The difficult question remains: what to watch in order to generate the ideal sensation of seasonal wellbeing, keep out the biting winter winds and warmly bring the family that much closer together?

Here are some suggestions:

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Stick the turkey in the oven, pour some Bucks Fizz and sit th'self down to an hour and a half of festive fun in the company of Robert Downey Jnr, Michelle Monaghan and a never-been-better Val Kilmer as they attempt to unravel a labyrinthine murder mystery on the christmassy streets of wintery Los Angeles.

Okay, so the fact that it's christmas is largely irrelevant, but the commentary on the superficial fakery of LA is summed up perfectly by the theatrical, "pretend" christmas that appears to be happening in the background of pretty much every scene, plus you get Monaghan dressed in (and out of) THAT Santa outfit, ranting about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer being the victim of racism.

Murder, torture, russian roulette, gay private detectives, giant robots (sort of) and pithy, profane dialogue that you'll be quoting long after the last of the turkey sandwiches have been polished off make this the ideal choice of christmas movie for all the family.

Christmas Quote:

Harry: Hey, hey, hey! It's Christmas, where's my present, Slick?
Perry: Your fucking present is you're not in jail, fag-hag.

Die Hard

Everyone knows it's not christmas until you've seen Bruce Willis get his vest out and say "Yippe-kye-ay, motherfucker". This is the original and best of the "Bruce's Bloody Vest" series - featuring one of cinema's finest villains in the shape of Alan Rickman's oily, formidable Hans Gruber - and features a perfect balance of action, thrills, comedy and character.

The movie starts off with Willis heading to his wife's christmas party, so there is plenty of dialogue about "mulled wine" and "roaring fireplaces", "Santa, Rudolph and Frosty" and other such seasonal gubbins to get you feeling festive before the actual shit-kicking commences.

Bruce puts a Santa hat on a dead bloke, Hans attributes the inevitable success of his plan to christmas being "the time of miracles" and Willis' final triumph is achieved with the help of two strips of parcel-tape emblazoned with the legend "Merry Christmas"! Uber-festive!

Christmas Quote:

Theo: 'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except... the four assholes coming in the rear in standard two-by-two cover formation.

Lethal Weapon

The christmas spirit of togetherness and mutual understanding has rarely been conveyed onscreen with the poignant power of the first Lethal Weapon film. Packed with positive christmas messages, this is possibly the most upbeat entry on this list: Riggs and Murtaugh (Mel Gibson and Danny Glover) are from different worlds, but unite in trusting friendship against evil, Riggs is convinced not to shoot himself by a Bugs Bunny christmas special, and Murtaugh even invites Riggs to christmas dinner after they've dispensed with all the baddies.

Gunfights in christmas-tree yards, cars driving through heavily chrimbo-decked living-rooms, "Jingle-Bell Rock" playing over the opening credits (interrupted by a semi-naked woman leaping to her death out of a high-rise window) and, of course, Jesus' PR man himself: Mel, stripped to the waist and bashing Crazy Gary Busey's brains in on a slutchy lawn. Lethal Weapon is as christmas as Eggnog, post-dinner bloat and present-related disappointment!

Christmas Quote:

McAllister: The bulk of the heroin will be here Friday night, we'll make delivery at that time. Have the money ready, and no tricks. If you try anything... you'll have to talk to Mr. Joshua. Merry Christmas.

Batman Returns

Arguably superior sequel to the Jack Nicholson show that was 1989's Batman, and also incredibly seasonal. Danny Elfman's soundtrack is all jingly bells and ethereal choirs and the set-design is knee-deep in theatrical snow-drifts, while motifs of gifts and parties recur throughout. Bruce Wayne and Selina kyle share a singularly unusual brand of "Holiday Blues" as they struggle with a burgeoning relationship and their respective secret identities, and a major plot point takes place beneath the mistletoe, just before a giant duck explodes through the floor!

From the snowbound opening to the ruefuel final line, Batman Returns is a christmas fantasy to rival "Santa Claus the Movie". Plus, there's Michelle Pfeiffer in a catsuit for the Dads, and... erm... Christopher Walken... with big hair... for the mums. Michael Keaton? Erm... Danny DeVito..?

Christmas Quote:

Alfred: Come what may; Merry Christmas, Mister Wayne.
Bruce Wayne: Merry Christmas, Alfred. And good will toward men. And women.

Merry Christmas!


  1. What's wrong with It's A Wonderful Life?
    Cannot be beaten. End of discussion.

  2. fantastic picks best I have evr seen, you are on top of it.

  3. "Die hard" is such a good movie!! Timeless!

    PS:by the way, I love the last pic!


  4. You had me at the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang photo!

    My kind of movie!

  5. Tom: "It's a Wonderful Life" doesn't contain nearly enough killings, drug deals, car chases or catsuits to make it onto this list.

    Bob: Cheers!

    Sarah: "Die Hard" is indeed a classic. The last pic is from the legendary "Jack Frost".

    Sarah from SS: KKBB is one of my personal favourites. You have good taste!

    Cheers for reading!

  6. Good Picks.

    I can't argue with Die Hard

    Kate x

  7. Lethal Weapon? Not Lethal Weapon 2? You're an idiot. And what exactly is wrong with Jack Frost, anyway? It's essentially Batman Returns with a snowman instead of a man-bat.

  8. Kate: Nobody can argue with Die Hard!

    Maf: Lethal Weapon 2 isn't a cocking christmas film. Bat-fink isn't in that Jack Frost, he's in t'other one. You know, the heart-warming, kid-friendly one that doesn't feature the fake-russian chick from American Pie getting carrot-raped.

  9. I absolutely and completely love Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang... but I've kind of ruined it for myself-- I once watched it about 15 times in two months, just way too much--- now I struggle to get through it! Still, it's been a while.. I may try again..