Sonntag, 21. Dezember 2014


Hello there puny humans,
'tis just a few days till Christmas and just in case you are sick and tired of the old reruns of all the classic Christmas films like Home Alone, Christmas Vacation and The Santa Clause, then you might want to consider my "Top 5 Unconventional Christmas Movies". These films are all set on the holiday in question, but don't necessarily capture its spirit the way you'd expect. So enjoy the list, and maybe you will find yourself a whole new favourite Christmas film :

 "Its hard to believe it was just last Christmas that Harmony and I changed the world." This is the first line of the film's narrator, and eventhough you don't get that big of a Christmas vibe due to its sunny Californian setting (with the exception of Michelle Monaghan in a Santa dress), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang makes the list. Why? Because it's just so damn good. One of the best crime-comedies of all time. Clever, ridiculously funny, and unpredictable, this film starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer is a must-see the whole year round. But why not watch it in the season the story takes place in?

4. IRON MAN 3 (2013)
I almost wanted to disqualify this Marvel blockbuster, because of its many similarities to the flick listed above. It too is directed by Shane Black, and also stars Downey Junior once more as an unreliable narrator. However, this December set superhero story has a lot of ideas to show off on its own. I mean, Tony Stark turns Christmas tree balls into grenades. The winter holidays hardly get more bad-ass than this. And who could forget the giant bunny? So, despite its controversial take on the "Mandarin", this flick from the MCU has everything a Christmas movie needs: Snow, Fun and Explosions!

The second comic book movie on the list, but this time it is DC. Tim Burton's wonderful take on the caped crusader, doesn't only manage the difficult task of handling multiple villains, but also gives us a nice Christmas setting. The paradox of seeing those innocent holidays being celebrated in a rotten town like Gotham is entertaining on its own. But the Dark Knight fighting in white snow, as well as the Penguin's henchmen jumping out of giant presents, is a whole 'nother level of awesome. All of it mixed with the iconic performances of Pfeiffer, DeVito and Keaton, makes this pioneer of superhero films a terrific movie to watch this winter!

 2. DIE HARD (1988)
Did I say earlier that the holiday season doesn't get more bad- ass than exploding Christmas tree balls? Well, how about you go to the Christmas party of your estranged wife's work-place, which is held on the 30th floor of an otherwise empty building, and suddenly a bunch of terrorist take all the guests hostage, and you (being the only one left) have to fight your way through all of them. One at a time. Alone. With no shoes on...
That's John McClane's Christmas story for ya! Maybe the greatest action movie ever made, and yet it still somehow manages to get a message about trust and the importance of family across.

1. GREMLINS (1984)
This film earns its number one spot on this list, because it is so traditional and at the same time, it so isn't. All the old Christmas movies seem to follow a similar pattern: The family just starts the Christmas preperations, when something goes wrong. Either you accidently left a child back home, or you were foolish enough to leave Clark Grisworld in charge, but no movie takes it as far as Spielberg, Columbus and Dante did, with their 1984 monster adventure. Silent night? More like violent night! Starting off with the classic snowy eighties small town, and a wacky but likable father who buys a special present for his son, all hell suddenly breaks lose when the vicious little Gremlins rise up and create more than a little chaos: An old lady gets thrown out of a window, a school teacher is eaten alive, and when the humans fight back, you don't only see the evil-doers getting turned to sludge by a blender, but also exploding in microwaves. An immense amount of brutal fun for the whole family. Gremlins truely is - a Christmasterpiece!

So these are my alternatives to watch during the holiday season! If you feel like I've missed some movies, just stayed tuned and wait for the end of 2015, when I will reveal my "Another Top 5 Unconventional Christmas Movies" list. But of course not before you've checked out all of my suggestions on this one. All that's left for me to do now is to wish all of my lovely readers a very merry Christmas!

Your Cinemartian

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