The 29 Movies Ross McG Watched Over Christmas
It’s that time of year again… where I run down the good, the bad and the very bad of the movies I watched over Christmas. This is something of an RvR tradition – you can see my Christmas 2009 list HERE and my Christmas 2010 list HERE. If you want to run through some really odd choices you can go for Ross McD’s 2009 list HERE. Somehow we both missed 2011’s movies. Must have eaten too much turkey. Anyway, here are the films I caught over the festive period in the last week or two. As always, some I watched in their entirety, some I watched large chunks of and some I caught just a tiny snippet. Come on, I had things to do. Like walk from the sofa to the kitchen and back to grab more chocolates. These movies are in the order I watched them, not rearranged by quality. Let us know what movies you watched over Christmas in the comments section and tell us what you think of my choices. Although in the case of Happy Feet, I didn’t have a choice…
1. Bad Santa
Where better to start than with Billy Bob spreading the true meaning of Christmas? There are films with ‘Bad’ in their title which live up to their moniker (Hi, Bad Boys. Hi, Bad Boys II) and there are those that mean completely the opposite. Although perhaps it’s not one to sit down with beside you aunties and uncles and nieces and nephews, nothing says Christmas like Bad Santa.
2. It’s A Wonderful Life
Classic Christmas Eve fare. Every time that little girls says every time a bell rings, it’s Niagara Falls in my face.
3. Home Alone
Been a good few years since I’d seen Home Alone and it was as brilliant as I remembered. What kid hasn’t dreamed of making their family disappear only to regret it later? Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern’s pratfalls look so painful they still make me wince. A heavy influence on Skyfall (if you’ve seen the ending you will know what I’m getting at), Home Alone kicks Bond’s ass.
4. Blades Of Glory
I tend to watch Blades Of Glory every Christmas. Okay, that’s a lie – I tend to watch Blades Of Glory every three weeks. Thanks BBC3. Only you and I seem to be able to see the inherent genius in this film. Farrell’s best. In your face, Anchorman and Elf.
5. The Thomas Crown Affair
While I didn’t sit through all of this one – it was pretty late on Christmas Eve – there was some time to catch Pierce and Rene (hottest cinematic couple of the last two decades?) bust some moves on the dance floor. Before busting something else on a marble staircase. Ah… young love.
You know the feeling. You wake up on Christmas Day, you’ve got to kill some time before opening presents… and then you luck out. Because one of the best Disney films ever happens to be on TV. Jasmine! Jafar! Genie! Jackpot.
7. North By Northwest
More Christmas Day action for me, this time from Hitchcock. I don’t think I’ve ever seen North By Northwest in one complete sitting, but if you add up the number of different parts of it I’ve watched on different occasions, I’ve probably seen it about 13 times. This time, I cunningly watched the first half hour and the last half hour. Hadn’t a clue what was going on by the time I rejoined it after Christmas dinner (I eat fast), but the turkey soon digested after watching some Cary Grant heroics.
A recent Disney princess, I think Rapunzel has a good shot of standing the test of time. It’s got all elements of classic Disney – spiky maiden, evil mother figure, gallant horse – and most importantly of all, it’s darned good fun. Expect to be dozing off on the sofa to this one for many Christmases to come.
9. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
I really enjoyed the first Hobbit movie, but mainly because it was a re-run of Peter Jackson’s first foray into Middle-earth. The Fellowship Of The Ring remains the yardstick by which all Tolkien movies must be judged. It thunders along at a great pace, the characters all seem like genuine blokes and there are no talking trees. Exhilarating stuff.
10. The Incredibles
Animated Holly Hunter. Still hot.
11. The Dark Knight Rises
Fancy hat-wearing Anne Hathaway. Still hot. She’s definitely the best thing about The Dark Knight Rises, which I enjoyed a lot more third time round than I did second time round. Perhaps because I had steeled myself for the pretty flimsy final act, notably for the villain’s evil grand plan not, uh, actually being a plan at all. Seriously, if I had been at that American football game, I’d have walked home thinking, ‘what did that guy say again?’
Another that’s becoming a Christmas fave, although I maintain my earlier stance on it that it’s not a perfect film, perhaps more a 7 out of 10.
13. Happy Feet
And then there’s this. Some day, people will look back on Happy Feet and realise it is a cloying, over-sentimental, drippy piece of propaganda designed to tell lies to kids (will humankind stop polluting the world if they see a penguin dance? Will they, heck). Until that day, I’m going to keep prattling on about it.
14. Inglourious Basterds
Something about Nazis getting scalped just always says Christmas to me, don’t you agree? Am looking forward to Django Unchained, but I will be very surprised if it matches Basterds, a hypnotic film I can’t keep my eyes off every time it’s on the telly.
15. Strictly Ballroom
Hard to believe the same guy who made Australia (the crap film, not the country) made this. Strictly Ballroom is a bit corny, sure, but it remains a delight. And Strictly Come Dancing isn’t its fault really.
16. Point Break
I remember the first time I saw Point Break. I was about 12. I thought it was the best film I had ever seen or would ever see. I haven’t changed my opinion too much since then. Didn’t watch it all this time. Come on, once Keanu shoots that gun up into the air, you don’t really need to see any more anyway. That would have been a great ending, now that I think of it…
There are three rules: Don’t get the remote control wet. Make sure your TV isn’t exposed to sunlight. And never, ever, ever fail to watch Joe Dante’s finest hour at Christmas time.
Robin Williams is a damn fine actor. And I’m not just talking about shouty, swearing acting like in Good Will Hunting. Alright, so Patch Adams was a dud but there a number of 90s comedies that he elevated with his timing and charm. Perhaps just behind Mrs Doubtfire on that score is Jumanji, a terrific adventure from another director named Joe – this time it’s Johnston. Crap CGI monkeys though.
‘It’s a topsy-turvy world, and maybe the problems of two people don’t amount to a hill of beans. But this is our hill. And these are our beans!’ Oh, wrong quote.
20. Love Actually
Schmaltzy. Syrupy. Sickly. Sweet. Yet somehow I still love it.
21. Victor Victoria
A bizarre curio, in which Blake Edwards directed his wife Julie Andrews playing a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman. Confused? Doesn’t matter. Just sit back and enjoy the hijinks. And Mary Poppins in the bath.
22. Bedtime Stories
From a bizarre curio to the just bizarre. If I told you there was a film in which Adam Sandler told stories to his niece and nephew and the stories came true, and that Russell Brand, Courteney Cox and, unforgiveably, Guy Pearce were along for the ride, would you believe me? Sadly, you have to. It does indeed exist. It’s okay though, Guy, we’d forgive you anything.
23. Jurassic Park
‘I know this… this is a Unix system!’ Oh, shut up.
24. Three Men And A Little Lady
The Godfather Part II. Toy Story 2. Three Men And A Little Lady. All better than the original movie which preceded them. Maybe. Godfather 2 is a bit overrated.
25. The Mighty Ducks
Since when did The Mighty Ducks become ‘Champions’?! Childhood. Over.
26. Mary Poppins
More Julie Andrews, this time floating about in the sky and steering as far away from those bloody hills as possible. But then we’ve been over all that before…
If Up was a ten-minute short it would be the best, most emotional ten-minute short ever made. While the rest of the film can’t quite live up to that opening tearfest, it’s still pretty special. ‘I have just met you and I love you.’ You said it, pal.
28. Date Night
I wanted to watch Russell Crowe try out different accents in Robin Hood, but instead I got lumped with this. Date Night is pretty disposable stuff, but it was obvious its two stars were told they could whatever they wanted in front of the camera, meaning all sense of character goes immediately out the window. Shame, had this been a thriller about a couple getting caught up in some deep doodoo in the big city, it could have been gripping. You know, like Frantic, but not in Paris and not with Harrison Ford. Instead, it’s just, well, crap. Thank goodness William Fichtner pops up in it then.
29. The Craft
Remember when you were a teenage girl and you saw The Craft and you thought you might be a witch? No, me neither, but this is a decent high school flick, like Heathers meets Sabrina The Teenage Witch. Perfect then, for closing out the holidays…
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE LIST? WHICH MOVIES DID YOU WATCH OVER CHRISTMAS?