Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Special - Our 12 Movies of Christmas

We've already selected our 12 Beers of Christmas and now we're going to select our 12 Movies of Christmas. Many lists include "It's a Wonderful Life", "Christmas in Connecticut", "Holiday Inn" and the movie it spawned "White Christmas", however I was not alive when they were released. So this list is going to be the Top 12 Christmas Movies Released in my Lifetime. (Spring 1983-Present)

Check out the 12 Movies of Christmas from EXPECT ODD THINGS:

  # 12. Four Christmases (2008)

Four Christmases stars Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon as a couple who forgoes the whole "family thing" at Christmastime for some relaxation together at home. Meanwhile they lie to their families that they are going on elaborate philanthropic missions a world away. Well this year they got caught in the act and must now visit each of their four parents' homes. An ensemble cast featuring Jon Voight, Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Tim McGraw, Dwight Yoakim, and Kristin Chenoweth guest star, also King of Kong star Steve Wiebe makes a cameo appearance in this wonderful holiday film. However, the best cameo in the whole movie is that of Peter Billingsley, better known to all of us as Ralphie from A Christmas Story. He also Executive Produced this film. Check out our #12 selection in my Top 12 Christmas Movies of my Lifetime.  LINK TO WATCH MOVIE

# 11. Love Actually (2003)

Another ensemble cast stars in this story of love. Bill Nighy provides one of the most memorable portrayals of a fading rock star producing a new hit. (Makes me kind of think of Whitney Houston today...) Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson have three of the leading storylines. However, there are almost too many story lines to mention here, but so brilliantly intertwined. Keira Knightley's Juliet character has one of the more revealing tales within this film. If you haven't yet, see Love Actually, our #11 pick . LINK TO WATCH MOVIE

# 10. Fred Claus (2007)
Vince Vaughn stars in another instant holiday classic. Brought up as the less achieving brother in the Claus household, Fred leaves the North Pole early for life in big city Chicago. Locked up and in need of help he gives his older brother knowing that he loves to give. Santa bails him out with one exception, Fred must return to the North Pole and help Santa prepare for the oncoming Christmas rush. Check out our #10 choice, its a hilarious Christmas offering for you to enjoy. LINK TO WATCH MOVIE

# 9. The Santa Clause (1994)

Tim Allen stars in a our second movie featuring the name Claus in the title. Relive this 1994 classic with the family. Released just at the appropriate time in my upbringing, I was 11 years old and just beginning to doubt the magic at this time of year. Tim Allen provided just enough Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor to remind us of the lovable actor he is, while providing a memorable performance as executive Scott Calvin. Pick up The Santa Clause today. LINK TO WATCH MOVIE

# 8. Elf (2003)

Will Farrell stars in our second movie on the countdown with an oversized human visiting the North Pole. Fred Claus being the first. (I think they reused the bed prop from Elf for Fred Claus) Will Farrell provides the performance of a lifetime as Buddy the Elf, a full-sized human raised in the North Pole. He leaves the North Pole for New York City and the desire to meet his real dad. James Caan co-stars as the uninterested book executive who has anything but the Christmas spirit.   LINK TO WATCH MOVIE

# 7. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

This film was my favorite as a child and as I grow older the Muppet magic is fading. However, that doesn't make this version of Charles Dickens' famous novel any less wonderful. With Gonzo as Dickens, and Michael Caine as Scrooge, Brian Henson takes over the reigns of the Jim Henson Company from his father, who had passed two years earlier. All of your Muppet favorites appear in this classic. LINK TO WATCH MOVIE

# 6. Bad Santa (2003)

Billy Bob Thorton stars in this unusually heartfelt Christmas comedy as a very bad Santa with a propensity for serial grand larceny. He and his elf, played by Tony Cox, go to a different city and a different mall and portray Santa Claus in one of the department stores, then steal everything Christmas Eve. This year it's Phoenix and Bernie Mac is the head of security and he sees everything. Brett Kelly plays one of the most lovable kids in any movie, but don't fool yourself this is no kid's movie. John Ritter co-stars in his last big screen performance. LINK TO WATCH MOVIE

# 5. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

Clark Griswold. You're everyday American dad, just trying to do well for his family while screwing everything up in the process. So why not take the family Vacation & European Vacation even further with a Christmas Vacation? As we all know, it's just as classic as it sounds. Join the rest of the Griswold, Cousin Eddie, Uncle Lewis and my favorite, the cat. Check out Johnny Galecki from Roseanne & The Big Bang Theory, well known actress Juliette Lewis of Natural Born Killers & What's Eating Gilbert Grape, as the children.The film also stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, and Randy Quaid. LINK TO WATCH MOVIE

# 4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Jim Carrey stars in a transformative role of the Grinch in Ron Howard's retelling of this Dr. Seuss classic. This movie received and Oscar for Best Makeup design. It is said that Jim Carrey had to sit in a makeup chair for four hours every day for six months to receive his transformation from Hollywood actor to childhood story villain. This easily is one of the best retelling of a Dr. Seuss's Grinch. Jim Carrey provides the performance of a lifetime in this film. That reason and many other is why their parked at our #4.  *COULD NOT FIND LINK*

# 3. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)

Jim Varney's career-long character Ernest P. Worrell is the center of this adventurous movie. Ernest tries to save Christmas as Santa attempts to recruit a replacement. In the meantime Ernest meets a runaway girl who's is trying to act older than her age. This is one of the movies on the list that is an overwhelming personal choice. I know that Jim Varney's Ernest movies are the greatest pieces of cinema but I hold he and his movies close to my heart. This is not only the BEST of all the Ernest movies, its also one of the best Christmas movies. I love the scene when he brings the tree into Verne's house. Check out our #3 pick today. LINK TO WATCH MOVIE

# 2. A Christmas Story (1983)

Released during my first ever Christmas season, A Christmas Story was Hollywood's return to classic holiday cinema. Prior to this release there were very few quality films released specifically for Christmas. Holiday Inn, White Christmas, and It's a Wonderful Life had a stranglehold on the market. Then along came Ralphie. Peter Billingsley stars in what consider to an almost genuine retelling of most of our Christmases. Let Ralphie and the gang adore you in this quintessential Christmas movie. LINK TO WATCH MOVIE

# 1. Home Alone (1990)

Almost every Christmas list you see has A Christmas Story or It's a Wonderful Life. We've already discussed why the latter isn't even on this list and the former, well it's great and all but I didn't really start watching that movie until the last ten years or so. I'm almost positive I saw Home Alone in theaters some 19 years ago as a child. Therefore, without a doubt, Kevin McAllister and the Wet Bandits take my #1 spot. Daniel Stern and Joe Peschi pester Macaulay Culkin in our #1 favorite holiday movie. LINK TO WATCH MOVIE

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