Film 24 - Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Susan Vance and the Leopard Gang This was a bizarre film in many ways, but a wonderful one nonetheless. Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant make for a pretty great combo in this screwball comedy. Although I haven’t seen much screwball comedy before I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Being a film from the 30’s, the film lacked any sort of background music, which did make it drag a bit (as...
Film 23 - Network (1976)
“I’m mad as hell!” What an exceptional film. Clearly this has had a massive influence on writers like Aaron Sorkin, and rightly so. Right from the beginning this story of a network news show was enthralling. Particularly the character of Diana, played by Faye Dunaway. Wow, what a woman! I’m not sure about the historical context of the film exactly, but it seemed to me...
25th Day - The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
This brings my 25 days of Christmas to a close. It is a funny and heartwarming film, that is certainly more entertaining than most Christmas Carol films. I mean who can pass up the Muppets, really? Although I only watched this film for the first time in my early teens, it has been a Christmas viewing staple since. It has some great songs, although they are much worse when sung by Michael Caine....
24th Day - The Grinch (2000)
I’ll be honest, this movie isn’t great. But it is fun, and it does have its moments. Although it does have a lot of filler story, to flesh out a children’s picture book into a 100 minute film, it still manages to create a story that is entertaining and funny. Jim Carrey does a highly underrated performance, and captures the spirit of the book perfectly. Although it’s...
23rd Day - Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
As far as remakes go, this is a very good one. Although it has a lot of 90’s charm to get through, it still maintains a lot of the spirit of the original film, without just being a complete copy. It brings the story into the modern era, and is definitely a favourite Christmas film for me. Although I prefer the 10,000 letters to Santa ending in the ‘47 version, the In God We Trust...
22nd Day - How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
This is an animated classic, and a great little Christmas tale. Basically an animated version of the Dr Seuss book, it animates the rhymes of Seuss’ story. It’s cute, it’s a bit kitsch and it has a great soundtrack (You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch). Narrated by Boris Karloff it’s a lot of fun, and much more to the point than the 2000 live-action version (which I will...
21st Day - It's A Wonderful Life (1947)
This is probably my favourite Christmas movie. Not just because it leaves you with such a wonderful feeling after watching it, but also because it is an exceptional film. I’m yet to see a film where Jimmy Stewart has gone wrong. Even though the actual plot of the film doesn’t really kick in until about 100 minutes in, the story of George Bailey’s life is nothing but enthralling...
20th Day - The Polar Express (2004)
And now as Christmas is right around the corner, we are starting to get into the serious Christmas movies. These are the films that I watch year in, year out without fail. For The Polar Express a lot of people find Tom Hanks animated face to be really creepy. I don’t have an issue, so The Polar Express is a Christmas regular for me. As is often the case, the film hinges on the belief of...
19th Day - Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
This is the only sequel that I will watch this year for Christmas. Sequels to Christmas movies usually aren’t great, but Home Alone 2 continues the charm of its predecessor by setting the same movie in New York. Although its not as good as the first it still manages to produce decent laughs. That being said losing a child at Christmas twice does begin to ask the question, did you learn...
18th Day - Rise of the Guardians (2012)
This is a brand new one, and really more of a general holiday film than specifically Christmas. But it does have Santa so I’m gonna let it slide. This was really fun, a story about the Guardians of Children’s joy (Santa, The Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Sandman) it was a really touching story and had really incredible animation. Of particular mention was an exceptional gag between...
17th Day - Trading Places (1983)
Okay so the Christmas element of this movie is very small, but it’s such a great movie that I’m going to let it slide, also Dan Ackroyd does dress up as a very drunk Santa and attempt to eat smoked salmon through his beard. How much more Christmassy can you get? This is a movie that any fan of Saturday Night Live and its alumni should see. It has a great premise (literally two people...
16th Day - Gremlins (1984)
What a bizarre film. But it is a cult classic and rightfully so. Set at Christmas time (hence its rating as a Christmas film) it is a film about a bunch of idiots who don’t know how to follow rules. And they are punished. Another way of thinking about it is an unfortunate tale of a bunch of Gremlins who go rampant on a small town. It’s poorly written, doesn’t adequately explain...
15th Day - Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
I usually watch the 1994 version (and I will be watching that closer to Christmas) but it is enjoyable to return to the 40s version and the original. The two films are particularly similar as far as remakes go, in particular the representation of Kris Kringle is almost exactly the same between the two films. That being said, this film has a wonderful premise in the trial of Santa Claus....
14th Day - The Santa Clause (1994)
I remembered enjoying this but I had doubts because of Tim Allen’s starring role in the film. I pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed this film. I probably haven’t watched it since I was about 10 but obviously child me knew a good Christmas movie when she saw one. Although it has a lot of 90s charm, it still works as a modern Christmas film. Although it hasn’t been...
13th Day - Love Actually
This movie somehow manages to take a series of individual love stories, connect them all together and still has the audience feeling for each individual story. It’s very well done, and a favourite film of mine, as well as a great Christmas movie. Described as a Christmas themed romantic comedy, I would say this adequately sums up the film. It is a romantic comedy that can be watched all...
12th Day - Die Hard (1988)
This epic film is great to watch all year. The fact that it is set at Christmas makes it especially awesome viewing around the holiday season. John McClane is one of the most badass Christmas heroes ever. If you’re a bit sick of the happy, overly cheerful and jolly Christmas film (I’m not yet, but this is still a welcome change) then watch Die Hard. You will not be disappointed. Die...
11th Day - The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
This is generally an exceptional film, by one of the lesser recognised early directors, Ernst Lubitsch. Jimmy Stewart is here at his best, in this romantic comedy set in Hungary at Christmas time about two pen pals who are in love in their letters and hate each other in real life. It was remade in the 90s as You’ve Got Mail with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. There’s not much to say here...
10th Day - Scrooged (1988)
And another version of A Christmas Carol. Not sure how many more of these I can watch. This one takes Bill Murray as our Scrooge character and places him in the greedy world of the 80s. This was a really self-referential film, constantly referring back to a live tv special of A Christmas Carol being recorded as the film progressed. Despite this interesting twist, I think my main issue with this...
9th Day - Elf (2003)
Although I remember watching this when I was younger and thinking then that it wasn’t that great, Elf actually holds up pretty well as a solid Christmas film. Will Ferrell plays the person who grew up with the elves perfectly and Zooey Deschanel is a nice addition to this wonderfully Christmassy film. I don’t know that I do watch it every year, but when I do I have a great time New...
8th Day - Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Edward Scissorhands is a sweet story, that although isn’t entirely set at Christmas, instills a warm and fuzzy feeling, which to me captures the Christmas spirit. Kim’s dance in the snow is an especially joyous moment. This is a great film, and a personal favourite of mine year round. It will certainly remain on my Christmas list. New to Christmas viewing? No Continue to be on...
7th Day - Holiday Inn (1942)
Although this film isn’t strictly a Christmas film, it’s certainly a holiday film. The combination of Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby is certainly a match made in heaven. A fantastic dancing and singing romp, with a touch of 1940s charm, Holiday Inn is Old Hollywood entertainment at its finest. Particular mention goes to Fred Astaire’s “drunk” dancing scene. Despite...
6th Day - A Christmas Carol (1951)
This is the second adaptation of A Christmas Carol that I have seen so far, and it is considered to be the best by many Best Christmas Movie lists. I strongly disagree. Although this film does appear to be the closest to Dickens’ novella, it was slow, boring and did not have enough light moments, instead was 90 minutes of tragedy with a minor moment of happiness in the end. Although...
5th Day - A Christmas Story (1983)
This is a film that consistently pops up on Best Christmas Movie lists, but one that I hadn’t seen before. Although I thoroughly enjoyed this quirky Christmas tale, I’m not sure whether I would add it to my regular rotation. This boys quest to get a BB Gun for Christmas was highly entertaining and his bizarre family (including his fathers prize lamp of a leg in fishnet stockings) was a welcome...
4th Day - Home Alone (1990)
Home Alone is definitely a John Hughes classic. Macauley Culkin’s performance is exceptional and this Christmas farce is always good fun. Despite this, Kevin McAllister’s Christmas without his family has a great message about the importance of family and the importance of forgiveness around the holiday season. I think it’s this element that makes it a great Christmas movie and...
3rd Day - Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
This has always been a favourite of mine although whether it is particularly Christmassy is debatable. Tim Burton’s tale of Halloween’s take on Christmas has a lot of heart in its songs and its good intentions. I think the spirit of Jack and his all out attempts to make what he believes will be a great Christmas makes for a heart warming story, and one worthy not just of Christmas but of year...
2nd Day - A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
Gotta love a sardonic child trying to find the meaning of Christmas. A Charlie Brown Christmas is a heartfelt Christmas special that is surprisingly adult for 1960s children’s television. As a fan of the Peanuts series from when I was a kid, I now understand why. Charlie Brown’s sarcasm and cynicism are far beyond his years. His quest to find a meaning of Christmas beyond commercial ideals is an...
1st Day - A Christmas Carol (1938)
There are many filmic versions of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale, and this one is definitely one of the better few. It has a classic 1930s film feel, which normally can create a slightly stale film pace, but here works to the contrary. Scrooge’s crankiness is well suited to a mildly slower pace, and the sense of Christmas goodwill and cheer is prevalent throughout the film...
25 Days of Christmas Movies
Well, It’s the 1st of December, and to bring in the Christmas season I’m going to have my own advent calendar of Christmas movies. Many of these films are an annual viewing tradition for me, but I will try and include a few new ones. To begin I’m going to watch “A Christmas Carol” the 1938 version
Film 22: High Noon
This is certainly a classic. Probably the best western I’ve seen so far. The tension created in this film, that is almost in real time I might add, is astounding. Although it received some unfavourable criticism due to its lack of many of the standard western conventions (little violence, no chases) we can perhaps see it as an early revisionist western. The somewhat desperate search for...
Film 21: Duck Soup
Rufus T. Firefly And so I arrive at the Marx Brothers films. I chose this one first because of its length (only 68 minutes long) and because it is considered a Masterpiece among the Marx Brothers’ films. Although I did not see it as a masterpiece it is clearly a highly influential film. In particular the famous Mirror scene (pictured above), where Harpo breaks a mirror and then mirrors...
Film 20: The Philadelphia Story
“It’s terrible nice” It’s certainly been a while since I did one of these. I think this was a very fitting way to get back into it. Also I have realised upon re-reading some of my entries that I use the word “interesting” too much. I will rectify this now. This was another film that I’ve been meaning to watch for a long time. As a big fan of Jimmy...
WHEN I'M TRYING TO GET OFF A CROWDED TRAM.
Feminism is a great burden to BEAR: A "Brave"...
Oh my, how groundbreaking, a ‘strong’ female character who defies her mother’s plans for marriage and ends up being accepted for who she is. I don’t think I’ve seen this before? Disney Pixar’s “Brave” is the kind of overdone feminist trope that has been present in literature and film for many years. I mean I love bears as much as the next person,...
Film 19: Bonnie and Clyde
“We rob banks” So I haven’t written one of these in quite some time, but I figured I would try and get back into it, albeit at a slower pace. This film was interesting in its groundbreaking depiction of sex and violence, practically unseen in film up until this point. It was intriguing because it was from the point of view of Bonnie and Clyde, rather than from a cop or agent...
Film 18: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Another revisionist western This was a great film and a great representation of the revisionist western genre. It seemed to incorporate a number of alternative ways to present the western which was interesting in itself. In particular the photo montage of their eventual journey to South America and also the use of more popular styles of music within the soundtrack. As usual, Paul Newman and...
Film 17: The Grapes of Wrath
The classic American Depression film. This was a story of great courage by a family travelling America during the Great Depression. It’s greatly sympathetic to the so-called “Okies” travelling from Oklahoma to California in search of work and as such I truly felt sorry for them. So much in fact that I felt guilty eating my dinner. This was a truly interesting depiction of the...
Film 16: Easy Rider
A bit of counter culture thrown in here. This was the first film I’d watched that was a real counter culture film. And it definitely demonstrated the genre. Basically it was a film that rather than having a plot, more just had a string of things that happened, some of them not so interesting and one or two that stuck out within their bike journey through America. I think the editing in...
Film 15: The Deer Hunter
Anyone for a bit of russian roulette? This was a great film, I think most intriguing part about it is that it is a Vietnam war film but not that much of the film happens in Vietnam. Obviously the Russian Roulette scene was pretty intense, and a surprising jump from the beginning of the film. Robert de Niro was as usual an amazing member of the cast, and Christopher Walken likewise. I usually...
Film 14: The Godfather Part II
I liked this one better than Godfather Part I It might just be a personal dislike of Al Pacino, but I found this Godfather more interesting because of the prequel scenes with Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone. What a fantastic performance on De Niro’s part. It made for a much more interesting 3 hour film than I had expected. I suppose I dislike these types of gangster films because usually...
Film 13: Gone With The Wind
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!” Well it has one of the most famous lines in film history and its the longest film I’m going to watch in this challenge. Luckily, it was not really boring so the almost 4 hours of film was not a struggle. It was actually a really interesting story about life in the South, during and after the American Civil War. It seemed to have a...
Film 12: Midnight Cowboy
“I’m walking here! I’m walking here!” This was a change from some of the films I’ve seen so far, as it seemed to embody a little bit more of the counter culture of the late 1960’s, in particular within the party scene that was reminiscent of an Andy Warhol Factory party. That being said, the story itself, even for the 60’s, seemed pretty out of the...
Film 11: The Wild Bunch
A different take on the Western. This one was an interesting film, because it was a Western but not like other Westerns, for instance it was quite different to The Searchers. The Wild Bunch comes under the category of revisionist Western. This is generally a western that depicts a more realistic idea of the old west, as a place lacking in laws and with a distinct sense of cynicism. This is...
Film 10: The Searchers
John Wayne. The man sure can do a western. “The Searchers” is an interesting one because it jumped from #96 to #12 on the top 100 between 1997 and 2007. The only reason I can think of for this jump is perhaps people realised its message of anti-racism, where as before they just thought it was a great western. Funnily enough, the way it creates this message of anti-racism is by...
jenz00r asked: Good idea! Fav film so far? (Tough question I am sure!)