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Reel to real –– holiday style

Keeping with the Christmas theme, here are some of my favorite holiday films.
Keep in mind, I’m not listing the best made movies, just my favorite ones to watch during this time of year.

“It’s a Wonderful Life”
While the rest of my Christmas selections to come aren’t in any particular order, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is most certainly my favorite. Besides starring James Stewart and being chockfull of quotable quotes, this movie is a feel-good story (when watched all the way through) about a man ready to give up on life.
As he is contemplating ending his life an angel appears and shows him what he has meant to those around him. The film shows us how – whether we know it or not – we affect one another by simply existing.

It’s not exactly a classic, but I fully expect it to be at the top of people’s Christmas watching lists in 20 years like the other films on this list (excluding my final entry). Like its title indicates, “Elf” is the story of Will Ferrell, who is raised to believe he is an elf at the North Pole, searching for his father in New York City. Ferrell’s father, played by James Caan, is a grumpy publishing executive who is on the naughty list.
What ensues is typical Ferrell freak out moments and unforgettable Christmas quotes, such as “I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel,” “You smell like beef and cheese, you don’t smell like Santa” and “Son of a nutcracker.”

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
If you haven’t seen Christmas Vacation then I pity you. The Griswold family makes a lasting impression on the holiday after Clark attempts to create the spirit of Christmas through family tradition, decorations and holiday joy.
Yet like everything in a National Lampoon Vacation film, it just doesn’t seem to go as planned. Arguably one of the best Vacation movies of the series, right along with the original, Christmas Vacation was the “Elf” equivalent nearly 20 years ago, hilarious and holiday-themed.

“The Muppet Christmas Carol”
This probably isn’t the best version of Charles Dicken’s classic Christmas story, but it is my favorite because of those adorable Muppets. I am a fan of Jim Henson’s puppet creations and enjoy seeing the hand puppets take life as some of the immortal characters, such as Kermit the Frog playing Bob Crachit opposite Michael Caine as Scrooge.
It probably takes a childish sense of humor to enjoy this version of “The Christmas Carol,” but that is something I am not lacking.
“The Muppet Christmas Carol” is also the best effort at updating a literary classic with Muppets rounding out the cast.

“Die Hard”
I fully understand this isn’t a Christmas action movie but rather an action movie set during Christmas, but it is “Die Hard” for goodness sakes.
Real men love “Die Hard” and I like to think of myself as a real man.
Those not looking for realism, a fluid script with no story holes and spot on acting, go somewhere else (except for Alan Rickman who does an excellent job like always).
However, if you want excitement, if you want suspense, if you want non-stop adreneline, then look no further. “Die Hard” is the father of modern day action films.

Matt Cook is a staff writer at the Ennis Daily News can be reached at matt@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Dec 20 2007. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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