Classic Christmas movies
Writer: Lai Swee Wei
What would Christmas be without a visit from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future? In this version of the Charles Dickens' classic, Bill Murray plays a self-centred, money-minded Frank Cross who runs a TV station that is planning a live adaptation of A Christmas Carol. He wastes no time in preparing a trailer of his own version entitled "Scrooge". We see men and women screaming, planes exploding in the air, people using shotguns... oh-say, the typical things you'd want to see in a Christmas special. When this promo literally scares an old woman to death, he becomes ecstatic as it seemingly appears to be good publicity (The bastard!). Thankfully, this "Ghostbusters" star is no match for the Christmas ghosts that teaches him a lesson; Past as a New York cab driver, Present as a life-size pixie who takes pleasure in punching and slapping Frank, and Future as a seven-foot-tall ghoul with a TV screen for a face.
Packed with wise-crack jokes, the movie kicks off with a trailer for one of the TV station's upcoming holiday movies entitled, "The Night The Reindeer Died", where the North Pole is under attack by Ninjas with guns! Even Santa's stash of AK-47 assault rifles couldn't help much as the "Six-Million Dollar Man" Lee Majors comes to save the day. Then, Santa looks Lee straight in the face and proudly tells him, "You've been very good this year!" Corny, but it works.
- Frank Cross: I want to see her nipples.
Censor Lady: But this is a CHRISTMAS show.
Frank Cross: Well, I'm sure Charles Dickens would have wanted to see her nipples.
- Frank Cross: You've got a program featuring America's favourite old fart. Reading a book in front of a fireplace. Now, I have to kill all of you!
- Frank Cross: We're indivisible. If I'm workin' late, you GOTTA work late! If you can't work late, I can't work late! If I can't work late, I CAN'T WORK LATE!
HOME ALONE (1990)
Who can forget the classic look on Macaulay Culkin's face when his mouth gapes open and his hands placed on his cheeks? Playing eight-year-old Kevin McCallister, he is mistakenly left behind when his family flies to Paris for their Christmas vacation. Boo-hoo for them, but YAY for us! The film was so popular that it raked in a sequel, "Home Alone 2: Lost In New York". And you wonder how his family got to be so careless. Soon it spawned "Home Alone 3" and "Home Alone 4: Taking Back The House", featuring a new cast and storyline. Let's face it, being home alone is fun and when you have a clumsy duo called the "Wet Bandits" in the picture - it's fun-er. Planting booby-traps all over the house, ranging from a fake party to fake gunshots using firecrackers in a pot, to fight off the hapless crooks, it's sure to have laughs all around with its comical moments. Interestingly, "Angels with Filthy Souls", a parody of the 1938 Warner Bros. film "Angels with Dirty Faces" was made for this film. A fictional gangster flick that McCallister used to make outsiders think there were adults in the house. Remember this line? "Keep the change, ya filthy animal!"
- Kevin McCallister: Okay, this is extremely important. Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back?
- Mr. Marley: You can be too old for a lot of things but you're never too old to be afraid.
A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)
All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200 Shot Model Air Rifle BB gun. But all he hears is "You'll shoot your eye out!" Throughout the whole movie Ralphie was warned about the dangers of BB guns and when he actually gets it, he heads outside and anxiously aims for his first shot, a shot that pinged off the garage and nailed him right in the eye! Oh, bugger. But luckily his glasses were there to block it off. Set in the 1940s, this heart-warming story is apparently a must-see classic by many critics online. Jean Shepard is the original author of the works that the Christmas Story is based upon and he is also featured as the narrator in this movie. He guides us along as a grown up Ralphie and a lot of the laughs from the movie come from this voice. He tells us what Ralphie is thinking as it happens and the comic timing fits perfect with this film.
- Ralphie: Oooh fuuudge!
Adult Ralphie: (narrating) Only I didn't say "Fudge." I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word!
- Ralphie: No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!
Santa Claus: You'll shoot your eye out, kid.
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993)
Written by Tim Burton, responsible for "Edward Scissorhands" and "Batman Returns", you'll surely be in for a treat in this dark Christmasy story of when Halloween meets Christmas. Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day, he is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween. Behold the stop motion photography and creative settings that prove to be an eyeful for audiences. It took over two years and more than 140 artists and technicians to bring Jack and all of his creepy friends to life on screen. Every gesture the characters make was created by the human hand, by an animator who moved the puppet in tiny increments from frame to frame. Talk about immense patience. Even a non artist will surely know how to appreciate the hardwork and efforts in creating this other-worldly movie. Moreover, the soundtrack keeps the mood going as it bears a couple of toe-tapping songs like "Kidnap The Sandy Claws", "Oogie Boogie's Song" and of course melancholic tunes as well - it's a dark tale after all.
- Jack Skellington: (singing) And on a dark cold night, under full moonlight, he flies into the fog like a vulture in the sky! (in a deeper tone) And they call him, Sandy... Clawssss...!
- Mayor: How horrible our Christmas will be!
Jack Skellington: No... How jolly!
(the Mayor switches to his upset face)
Mayor: Oh. How "jolly" our Christmas will be.
- Lock, Shock, Barrel: (singing) Kidnap the Sandy Claws, beat him with a stick, lock him up for ninety years, see what makes him tick.
- Oogie Boogie Man: J-J-J-Jack! But they said you were dead. You must be - double dead!
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (2000)
What's not to like about a bitter, cave-dwelling creature with a heart "two sizes too small" who tries to ruin Christmas for a bunch of munchkinlike people living in a town called Whoville? Rejected by the Who's as a child, the poor Grinch is hurt further by one of his classmates with the remark "You don't have a chance with her. You're eight years old and you have a beard!" Honestly, kids are like little alcoholics. Although it's a family show, it does have a lot of jokes geared towards the adults that only they would understand. Good ol' comedian Jim Carrey takes on the role like a pro with his over-the-top performance, turning the Grinch more comical than Dr. Seuss' book ever did. The Who's are also a pretty sight to catch with their vivacious energy and funky retro costumes and hairdos. Oh - and did I mention the Grinch has a dog named Max who has an antler strapped to its head? Cute. If you're into Dr. Seuss' works and you've never seen a green Christmas hatin' creature in action, then try this on for size.
- The Grinch: What's that stench? It's fantastic!
- The Grinch: We're gonna die! We're gonna die! I'm going to throw up, and then I'm gonna die! Mommy, tell it to stop! (continues to scream and yell, then chuckle as he gets the sleigh under control). Whew... ha! Almost lost my cool there.
- Cindy Lou Who: (kisses the Grinch on the cheek) Your cheek's so...
The Grinch: I know. Hairy.
Cindy Lou Who: No.
The Grinch: Greasy? Stinky? Do I have a zit?
Cindy Lou Who: No. Warm.
LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)
This British rom-com is a charming eight-piece story that delves into the lives of different couples of various ages and social status. Featuring a brilliant line-up of well known actors namely Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, and Rowan Atkinson, the movie takes place six weeks before Christmas in Britain. Perhaps, one of the sweetest moments in this movie that is a guaranteed "Awww..." for the ladies is the flashcard scene between Keira Knightley and Chiwetel Ejiofor, where he confesses his wasted love for her (who already has a boyfriend) during Christmas day using flashcards, whilst "Silent Night" plays in the background. Portraying the message that love actually is all around, the story will bring out that warm fuzzy feeling within you during the Christmas season.
- Parky: This must be a very exciting moment for you, fighting for the Christmas No.1. How's it looking so far?
Billy Mack: Very bad indeed... Blue are outselling me five to one. But I'm hoping for a late surge. And if I reach No.1, I promise to sing the song stark naked on TV on Christmas Eve.
Parky: Do you mean that?
Billy Mack: Well of course I mean it, Michael. Do you want a preview, you old flirt? (stands in front of Parky and flashes at him)
Parky: That'll never make No.1!
- Billy Mack: Hiya kids. Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don't buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free!
- Colin: I am Colin. God of Sex. I'm just on the wrong continent, that's all.
THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (1992)
Muppet characters are wonderful with their expressive, quirky personalities and their tendency to break into song at every possible moment. Taking a humourous spin to the Charles Dickens' classic, it adds a clever touch of having Charles Dickens (portrayed by Muppet Gonzo the Great) appear as a narrator in the film and is accompanied by Rizzo the Rat, where the duo have some great slapstick humour and comic banter. With a funny, moving script that incorporates well with the famous Muppet personalities (even singing vegetables), this makes it one of the unique Christmas movies to watch. Dedicated to the memory of Jim Henson who died before the film's release, he is the brilliant creator of the Muppets and original performer for Kermit the frog.
- Gonzo: My name is Charles Dickens.
Rizzo the Rat: And my name is Rizzo the Rat... wait a second! You're not Charles Dickens!
Gonzo: I am too!
Rizzo the Rat: No! A blue furry Charles Dickens who hangs out with a rat?
Rizzo the Rat: Charles Dickens was a 19th Century novelist! A genius!
Gonzo: Oh, you're too kind.
- Rizzo the Rat: Mother always taught me: "Never eat singing food."
- Gonzo: I know the story of A Christmas Carol like the back of my hand!
Rizzo the Rat: Prove it!
Gonzo: Okay. There's a mole on my thumb, and a scar on my wrist, from when I fell of my bicycle!
Rizzo the Rat: No, no, no, don't tell us your hand, tell us the story!
- Fozziwig: Here is my Christmas speech. "Thank you all, and Merry Christmas."
Cinema Online, 23 December 2009
Cinema Online wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!