Each year at the Rev household it's a tradition to watch at least one of my 'definitive' Christmas movies on Christmas eve. These are the movies which I personally feel define the spirit of the holiday season for me - it's not a long list by any means, but as I only watch one of these movies a year it doesn't have to include a massive amount of them.
Without a doubt this is my favourite movie rendition of that old, tired out classic Dickens story. I've actually only watched this one a handful of times, unlike the others on this list Scrooged is a film I exclusively watch at Christmas time and never at any other. A big part of this is good old Bill Murray, during the 1980s and 90s he was involved in so many excellent films it's almost impossible to count them (for the record it's ten, but I can't count that high) and the man's ability to play a grouchy but ultimately redeemable character cannot be called into question.
Scrooged's modern retelling of A Christmas Carol puts enough of a spin onto it to keep the idea fresh, even when the movie itself now looks a little dated. But despite the technology of the time limiting effects and production I still think that the ghost of future yet to come looks fantastic in this.
Yeah, yeah. I know. This movie is at times almost annoying, but if you're a kid - or in the right mood - it's nothing short of absolute joy to watch. I can still recall the excitement I felt the first time I watched it, the idea of being left home alone in the house by my parents sounded like a dream come true - not even the menace of 'The Wet Bandits' was enough to disuade me from wishing I'd get left behind on one holiday for a few days.
Add into it the joyous fun of all the crude booby traps, slapstick and one of my favourite lines "One cheese pizza, just for me." (I don't know why I like that line. I just do.) And you've got a childrens movie I can rewatch again and again.
Bright light! Bright light!
It actually took me an exceptionally long time to get around to watching this film, I'm not entirely sure why - I just kept putting it off, I think in part because the character design was so stylised and in part because all the goths in the area were raving about it. And generally I avoid anything goths like, on principle. (Not that I've got anything against them, apart from their poaching and degrading of the word Goth, give me Visigoths and Ostrogoths anytime).
Still, once I did finally get around to watching the film I was instantly enraptured by it's mixture of dark humour, music and the celebration of the darker side of Christmas. I think it's already clear from my previous list of favourite Christmas episodes that I do like to see a black twist to my Christmas stories - and The Nightmare Before Christmas delivers on this.
I don't care what anyone else in the world has to say, this is the best Christmas movie in existence and has a good shot at remaining so. It's got everything I could ask for in a Christmas movie; a party, alcohol, a man reuniting with his wife in the holiday season, festive banter, bare feet, crawling about in confined spaces and so much more! It's practically a retelling of the classic Santa Claus visit, except Santa is a police cop and instead of presents he's delivering bullets.
Of course the thing which sells this movie is actually Alan Rickman's phenomenal performance as Hans Gruber, no matter how much you might like the lead character in a film series he's only as good as the villains he gets to bounce off. Which is just one of the reasons why John McClane never quite reaches the heights of brilliance in the sequels - especially the fourth one.
Still, ignoring the rest of the quadrology for the moment Die Hard is always my number one choice for the best Christmas film of all time.
In case you're wondering, I've never seen It's a Wonderful Life. But I keep meaning to do so.