12/20/20 5:52am
12/20/2020 5:52 AM |
Scrooged Christmas Classic

There are many fantastic Christmas themed films to pick from, and each year a new film is released in the hopes of becoming one of the Christmas classics we will want to see again the following year. With so many wonderful films to choose from, it’s easy to overlook the old standbys. There are several fantastic Holiday classics that deserve to be watched again this winter so whether you’re searching for a heartwarming story or a laugh-out-loud comedy, this list is for you!

Let’s take a look at some of the best Christmas movies from 1969 to 2017;

Palestinian Christmas (2017)

The film “Palestinian Christmas”, directed by Shadi Qutob and starring Eman Esfandi, Anna Clare Hicks, and Paul Grubb, is a must-see on Arabic Christmas movie lists and also one of our personal favorites. The film is a Christmas comedy that depicts the story of two Christian families who were neighbors in Palestine until one day they chose to move to California with no other ambitions but to seek a brighter future. Suddenly, they find themselves in Los Angeles, where they must withstand Hollywood culture and American Christmas traditions while also surviving their neighbors from back home. The film is rated 8.3/10 on IMDb and on Rotten Tomatoes it has a rating of 91%.

Elf (2003)

Elf is about Buddy (Will Ferrell), who was raised in the North Pole by Santa’s elves. He heads to New York City to find his father, played by James Caan who thinks Christmas is just an excuse for children to ask for more toys.

However, he soon realizes that Christmas is actually about spending quality time with family and friends.  He later tries to save Christmas for his son even though he does not believe in Santa Claus. Elf is rated 7.6 on IMDb and has a christmas rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Polar Express (2004)

The story is about a boy who goes on an adventure to the North Pole and learns the true meaning of christmas. The film is an adaptation of the book by Chris Van Allsburg. The film is rated 7.1/10 on IMDb and 74% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This Christmas themed movie is pretty similar to “A Christmas Story” only less serious and good for children/tweens. It has some funny parts but mostly it’s family friendly so parents can watch it with their kids without having to worry too much about language or adult content.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a 1993 American stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy film directed by Henry Selick and produced/co-written by Tim Burton. The story follows Jack Skellington, a being from ‘Halloween Town’ who accidentally lands in Christmas Town and decides to take over the christmas preparations, but he only manages to become depressed and confused as christmas doesn’t go as his plan. This movie is great for adults that are into animation, but the film is also suitable for families with young children. It’s rated 7.9/10 on IMDb and 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

home alone movie

Home Alone (1990)

No Christmas without the filme “Home Alone”. It tells the story of a young boy, Kevin, who is accidently left behind when his family leaves for France and has to defend himself against 2 burglars. The movie became a Christmas classic and it received positive reviews from critics on both IMDb(7.9/10) and Rotten Tomatoes 88%.

Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard from 1988 is the first movie in a serie of five and the only one with a Christmas theme. It’s an action movie with Bruce Willis as the lead actor, and Alan Rickman as a villain. It’s a typical christmas-time scenario where all is peaceful and quiet, there’s christmas music playing, people shopping for christmas presents etc.. And then along comes the villain who could care less about christmas, he just wants to do his business. And this is where christmas themed movies get interesting because the main character has to figure out how to beat the man who’s got him cornered, with no experience in fighting christmas villains whatsoever! The fim is rated 8.6/10 on IMDb and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Scrooged (1988)

Scrooged is a Christmas themed film with Bill Murray as the lead actor, where he plays Frank Cross an arrogant TV executive who plans Christmas specials every year. He’s also planning to put on “A Christmas Carol” with a modern twist to it, but his boss won’t sign the deal unless he gets an A-list Christmas star to play Christopher Cross. The film is rated  7.4/10 on IMDb and 67% on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s christmas time again (1976)

This film is about an orphaned girl who spends christmas with her aunt and uncle, they really don’t want her there and would rather open their presents early. It’s christmas time again is rated 7.1 on IMDb and has a christmas rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Christmas story (1974)

This Christmas themed movie is about a man who is down on his luck struggles to see the magic of Christmas. The christmas story from 1974 is rated 8.2 on IMDb and has a Christmas rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1969)

This movie debuted in theaters in November of 1969 and is generally considered first Christmas themed movie ever produced. Despite it’s age, it still has a very good rating on IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes (8/10). It tells the story of how Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas after he gets depressed with everything surrounding Christmas; from his peers making fun of him for celebrating Christmas to the commercialization of Christmas which gets him very depressed. Eventually his friend takes him to the woods where he shoots off his own Tannenbaum, which is seen as a Christmas tree by Linus. All around the Christmas tree are lit up lanterns, which according to Linus symbolize what Christmas really should be about The story has good messages for kids but also teaches older viewers that Christmas can’t always be peachy & it may take you some time to realize the true meaning yourself. Currently A Charlie Brown Christmas is only available on Apple TV.

Christmas movies are a great way to get into the holiday spirit, and to keep it a bit longer. They provide entertainment and cheer, and can help to create a festive atmosphere. So if you’re looking for a fun way to spend Christmas this year, be sure to watch one, or all, of these classic movies – You won’t regret it!

07/15/15 10:01am
07/15/2015 10:01 AM |

Directed by Judd Apatow
Opens July 17

Much of today’s big- and small-screen comedy exists in a landscape staffed, designed, or at the very least branded by Judd Apatow, but the canny director-producer perhaps makes his biggest impact now through the talent he has encouraged, most notably Lena Dunham in Girls and Amy Schumer in Trainwreck, but dating back to casting unconventional leads (Steve Carell in 40-Year-Old Virgin, Seth Rogen in Knocked Up) or the prescient lineup of underdog TV touchstone Freaks & Geeks. That may also amount to a strategy that preserves his viability when his movies fail to connect (This Is 40, Funny People), but Trainwreck, written by its star, powers into theaters with a formidable head of steam thanks to Schumer’s success and enduring viability as a subject for magazine features—which makes her self-casting as a staff writer for a misogynistic lad mag another installment in the comic’s running satire on the culture and the industry.


07/15/15 9:55am

photo Courtesy of Sundance Selects

Directed by Christian Petzold
Opens July 24

One of the major themes in the work of German director Christian Petzold (Barbara, Yella) is personal repression, and subsequent awareness, of the disturbing historical past. Addressing regeneration through intense suffering with more than just its title, Phoenix marks not only an apotheosis of Petzold’s career-long examination of memory in relation to national cataclysm, but also a critique of the mind-easing revisionism offered by mainstream depictions of genocidal oppression, whether serious (Schindler’s List) or facetious (Django Unchained).


07/15/15 9:48am

photo courtesy of Cinema Guild

Horse Money
Directed by Pedro Costa
Opens July 24 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center
following “The Films of Pedro Costa,” July 17–23

The first time Pedro Costa brought his camera to Portugal’s Fontainhas district, a now-defunct impoverished neighborhood on the outskirts of Lisbon, he brought a crew with him; the result was Ossos (1997), in which Clotilde (Vanda Duarte) and her lover struggle to deal with their unwanted baby. For In Vanda’s Room (2000), the breakthrough film in which Fontainhas residents (most notably Vanda Duarte) play fictionalized versions of themselves as documentary footage depicts the demolition of their neighborhood, Costa first immersed himself in the community, shooting over 150 hours of footage as a one-man crew. Colossal Youth (2006) took a similar approach and introduced viewers to Ventura, a Cape Verdean immigrant who carries with him the story of an entire generation.


07/15/15 8:00am

photo courtesy of IFC Films

The Stanford Prison Experiment
Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Opens July 17

This harrowing dramatization of the infamous titular incident is hardly the first film to take it as its subject. But previous inspirees, from 2001’s Das Experiment to its straight-to-DVD American remake, The Experiment, have been “based on” Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s questionable research into power dynamics, resembling it rather than re-creating it; whether for provocation or titillation, those depictions moved past mere sadism into manslaughter, their filmmakers not realizing that such hyperbole wasn’t necessary; as The Stanford Prison Experiment so efficiently demonstrates, the real story is horrible enough without embellishment.


07/15/15 7:48am

Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

Mr. Holmes
Directed by Bill Condon
Opens July 17

About halfway through Bill Condon’s Mr. Holmes, the aging detective (Ian McKellen) visits a cinema and sees for the first time how his adventures have been adapted for the screen. As he watches the cheap melodrama unfold he scoffs at the quality of the storytelling, and one can’t help wondering how this incarnation of Sherlock would react to Robert Downey Jr.’s action-packed escapades or Benedict Cumberbatch’s near-robotic sleuthing—these two actors having redefined the iconic character for the 21st century. In comparison with slicker recent screen versions, Mr. Holmes initially comes off as laughably staid and old-fashioned, and something more suited to a Sunday evening TV slot than the big screen, but there is a depth and wisdom to be found behind the film’s doddery façade for the patient viewer.


07/15/15 7:36am

Photo Courtesy of The Film Arcade

Directed by Kris Swanberg
Opens July 24 at Village East Cinemas

The image of a pretty young woman sitting on a toilet is an indie film cliché. In Kris Swanberg’s Unexpected, such a scene comes early: our protagonist, Samantha Abbott (Cobie Smulders) takes a pregnancy test which turns out to be positive, providing the foundation of the story. Samantha is a teacher at an inner-city Chicago high school on the brink of closure, and she quickly learns that one of her best students, Jasmine (Gail Bean), is also pregnant. Both decide to keep their babies and an unlikely bond is formed.


07/15/15 7:18am

Courtesy of Drafthouse Films and Participant Media

The Act of Killing, documentary director Joshua Oppenheimer’s first film about the 1965 genocide in Indonesia, jump-started a national dialogue about an atrocity that had been a toxic secret for decades. Largely unknown in the rest of the world, the killings were actively celebrated in Indonesia, where the perpetrators, who are still in charge of the government, described their gruesome deeds in heroic and triumphant terms. But as impressive as that was, it is not the most extraordinary thing about the film. After something much more transformational than merely revealing buried truths or eliciting the easy sympathy of moviegoers for victims from a far-off time and place, Oppenheimer sought out perpetrators, not victims, to tell the story of the genocide, inviting them to reenact their crimes for the cameras. It is deeply unsettling to watch mass murderers matter-of-factly act out some of their more horrific deeds, often enlisting terrified locals to reluctantly reenact the tortures, rapes and murder they are still traumatized by. It is even more disturbing to get to know the perpetrators well enough to see ourselves in them.

In The Look of Silence, the second of his films about the genocide, Oppenheimer switches to a victim’s point of view.


07/15/15 6:19am

image courtesy of Kino Lorber

A Hard Day
Directed by Kim Seong-Hoon
Opens July 17 at the Village East

A Hard Day’s title is somewhat misleading: the 24-hour period in which homicide detective Go (Lee Sun-kyun) kills a man while speeding, possibly under the influence, away from his mother’s funeral and back to police headquarters, in order to hide evidence of his unit’s corruption from Internal Affairs, is over within the first thirty or so minutes of Kim Seong-Hoon’s black-comic thriller. But the film maintains its momentum thereafter, with a finger-trap murder inquiry and blackmail scheme, cleverly interwoven and made constricting moment-to-moment with recursive obstacles—it’s the kind of movie in which a character who must load a gun must first, invariably, decide whether or not to retrieve the bullet he’s just fumbled away. It plays like a feature-length version of Robert Walker losing Farley Granger’s cigarette lighter down the storm drain in Strangers on a Train.