So Kris Kringle is packing the sleigh and yet you’re so Humbug even Ebenezer Scrooge would say, “Lighten up, ya wet blanket!” What’s going to pull you out of this funk? Well, personally I’d grease the wheels with extra helpings of that spiked egg nog and by parking my cute little ass in front of the boob tube for the true meaning of Christmas: Not-Necessarily-Christmas Christmas Movies.
In no particular order, here’s a run-down of some of my favorite movies that invoke the Holiday spirit without shoving the Yuletide cheer down your throat as if it were your first day of lock-up at the North Pole Corrections Facility. Calm down and keep that ugly ass sweater on if your favorite cult & genre films didn’t make the cut. There’s always next year… Just kidding, it’s my list, deal with it.
AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000)
Caught in the corporate grind of 1980s materialism, what does one do to blow off the steam of the holidays? Why dissect and mutilate of course. Some folks would like Christian Bale under their tree this year; naked, and bloody. Me, I’ll settle for him in reindeer horns at his fiancé’s Christmas party. And I’ll ask Santa to make Bret Easton Ellis write a story which finally unites Patrick Bateman with his kid brother, Sean. There’s nothing like family on the holidays.
I have to go return some video tapes.
STANLEY KUBRICK DOUBLE-FEATURE
FULL METAL JACKET (1987)
Happy Birthday, Jesus! We got you all these souls for heaven. We just weren’t sure how to wrap ‘em. Seriously, if one flick runs the gauntlet of human emotions for Christmas it’s got to be Stanley Kubrick’s war-time masterpiece. How many relatives have you endured berating you with festive merriment? So give the gift of jelly donuts Christmas morning and wonder if the best part of you ran down the crack of your Momma’s ass and ended up as a stain on the mattress.
EYES WIDE SHUT (1999)
What do you get that special someone in your life this Christmas? How about a heaping helping of paranoia, sex games, dead hookers, and a blistering need for infidelity? Kubrick skewers the giving of the season by examining just how much one couple can take. The slow burn of the storytelling between Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman is just enough to revel in their shared awkwardness despite them being Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.
I wonder if Santa ever wears a mask…
THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN (1995)
Ah, the little ones. Their heads all filled with visions of sugar plums and Xbox 360s, and Transformers, and a billion other things that will ruin your credit rating come January. So when a mad scientist kidnaps the kiddies to steal their dreams, it’s up to strong man Ron Perlman to help save the day. We all need a little adventure to put a shine to these grey skies above us and this flick will put you right into the spirit with its opening sequence alone.
Nothing quite puts the year in review like watching a man is arrested by the secret police who mistake him for a terrorist due to a misprinted file at the Ministry of Information. Getting lost in the visuals of Terry Gilliam’s surreal visuals is what makes this flick a cult hit, but it’s almost too eerie in how its story seems to Occupy Everything. It’s a gentle reminder that at this precious time of year to appreciate all we have and what we worked for, and how easily it can all be taken away from you.
DIE HARD (1988)
Bruce Willis – the receding hairline that launched a career. I like to imagine that this movie is where Carl Winslow went to work each day when he left home on FAMILY MATTERS. This flick is almost like LETHAL WEAPON via walkie talkie. You’d think I’d include the follow-up sequel as well since it wraps itself in the same garland and tinsel, but I like my movies like I like my Kentucky Fried Chicken; Original Recipe all the way. Anyway, machine gunning terrorists all to rescue a woman that will still divorce you, it makes you wonder why we all go to the lengths we do at Christmas. Sure, John McClane had to walk on broken glass, but I got a paper cut from wrapping presents, so I think we’re about even.
BATMAN RETURNS (1992)
Michelle Pfeiffer in black vinyl. Christopher Walken doing whatever the hell he wants. Michael Keaton in his prime. And why do those penguins have rockets? These are all the reasons to enjoy the circus sideshow that is Tim Burton’s last ride at the helm of the Batman franchise. This flick is so all over the place you almost forget about Danny Devito’s need for family and the undercurrent of Judeo-Christian themes throughout. What? You thought it was just getting this flick done with so the wardrobe department could put nipples on the Bat suit?
P.S. Santa please bring me a Duck Tank.
Kurt Russell, I don’t know why the good people of Earth don’t respect you like they should. You were Snake Plissken, Captain Ron, and Stuntman Mike. But many would have you forget you were a Soldier, a semi-robotic killing machine, but a Soldier none the less. So I salute you and the many others like you fighting the good fight for the liberties we all hold dear.
My favorite liberty is crap-tastic cinema and the freedom to subjugate others with my movie collection. America, FUCK YEA!
FEMALE TROUBLE (1974)
Cha-Cha heels. ‘Nuff said.
I hope your Holidays are happy and healthy and I look forward to traumatizing your brain with my thoughts and opinions come 2012.