Friday, December 19, 2014

5 Fandom Friday: December 19th, 2014

Merry Christmas!  This is the last Fandom5 before the big day, and today's topic is:
Must-Watch Christmas Movies!

There are so many good Christmas movies, but I have a few I love and try to watch during the holiday.  Fortunately, unlike my favorite Halloween movies, I own most of these on DVD or VHS, so there's little risk of missing them!  And some of these are on Netflix now!

1.  A Christmas Story
"You'll shoot your eye out!"  Poor Ralphie.  All he wants is the Red Ryder carbine action 200 shot range model air rifle for Christmas.  This is a must-watch for a variety of reasons.  It's so funny!  It's a modern classic!  It seems to perfectly capture what Christmas was like as a kid - not the specifics, but the overall feeling of wonder and excitement and family stress.

As I'm originally from the Cleveland area, where it was filmed, this movie has a special place in my heart.  My mom and I are planning to visit the Christmas Story House, which is a museum now and was restored to look like it did in the movie.  They sell the leg lamps in the gift shop too!

2.  The Muppet Christmas Carol
This is the best version of Dickens' classic Christmas story.  Michael Caine is a perfect Scrooge, the music is fantastic, Gonzo narrates. the ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come is appropriately scary, and it has Kermit.  I love Kermit.

3.  Baryshnikov's Nutcracker
My grandparents taped this off PBS back in the 1970s or 1980s and I insisted on watching it every time I would visit.  I would dance around, and because of that my mom enrolled me in ballet classes, where I later performed as a mouse in a production of the Nutcracker.  My grandparents ended up giving me the tape for my 4th birthday and I still have it - but now I only watch it at Christmas.  And luckily it's on YouTube now, so I can stop worrying about ruining my ancient VHS!

4.  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Another modern classic, this one is hilarious.  Clark Griswold just wants to have an old-fashioned family Christmas, and it seems like everything is working against him!  The neighbors are stuck-up yuppies, the extended family is caustic and crude, but it's not until something happens at work that Clark snaps.

The ending of this movie is hilarious, and there are some great lines - "We'll have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny-f*cking-Kaye!" "Hallelujah! Holy Sh*t! Where's the Tylenol?" - along with some good-natured humor poking fun at Christmas customs and the pressure to have the "perfect" Christmas.

5.  It's a Wonderful Life
I love this movie and watch it every Christmas Eve (in black and white, on my Mom's old VHS).  I love the message and the characters, and how even though none of George's professional dreams came true, he still had a wonderful life.

Merry Christmas, you beautiful old Building and Loan!

There are so many more I want to list, because I love them, like Die Hard and Trading Places, but they aren't movies I need to watch on or around Christmas to feel Christmasy... they're just favorites.

Runner up:
Prep and Landing - this tv special is hilarious.  I love it when they "rev up the engines" by psyching up the reindeer!  And the elves are wicked cute.

And one more thing...
Does anyone else remember "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus"?  These were on in the 1970s-1980s, and the first was animated while the second was one of those old stop-motion style tv specials.  These were GREAT.  I don't think kids know these specials anymore, because they haven't been aired in years.

My mom taped a bunch of Christmas specials off the TV when we were kids, so we grew up watching these every year, long after they stopped showing them on TV.  And to be honest, I don't much like watching Rudolph or the animated Grinch without the 1980s commercials, even though those are still aired every December!

What are your favorite Christmas movies and TV specials?  
Do you only watch them with certain people or on a certain night?

To learn more about 5 Fandom Fridays, check out The Nerdy Girlie's blog or Super Space Chick's blog!  December and January prompts are posted on their blogs (TheNerdyGirlie and SuperSpaceChick).

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  1. Ooh Trading Places would be a good one. So would Gremlins because of cute little Gizmo. I almost out the same Nutcracker version on my list as well, but Kiss Kiss Bang Bang won out. Great list. :)

    1. Yay! Someone else who has seen Baryshnikov's Nutcracker! You know, I've never seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I will add it to the list of movies to see!

  2. The Nutcracker has a special place in my heart too. My Nana took me to see it when I was lil many times and it gave me my love of ballet. I listen to the soundtrack on my vinyl and it always brings back fond memories. xx

  3. Aw Prep and Landing. I had that saved on my Tivo for so long and it finally died. I need to buy it.

    1. I have lost many movies to the DVR autodelete feature - I really need to buy this one too!