Superman Stats

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Tintin's Top Ten: Christmas Based Movies

Tin Tin's Top Ten

Tis the Season to be Jolly!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! Okay, so I know I am 2 days late but I thought if the internet can take a break then so could I. The reason being I had some personal work to finish, which I promise my next week blog theme will reveal. Anyhow, this week there will be no comic book top ten, simply because the DC/Marvel or Indie companies are taking a break. The only comics coming out are the duo crossover titles Aquaman and Justice League 15, while Marvel brings us the historic end of the Amazing Spider-Man book in the seminal 700th issue. 

So this week also gives me ample time to complete my last week's comic reviews. I have a lot to review and have realized how complicated it can be to do so much. So watch out for my Wonder Woman Weekly round-up, to inform you how my comic reviews will be going forward.

Now let's get on with this countdown, but let me explain first; I have not watched many movies based on the holiday of Christmas, therefore most of the movies here are based on those that take place on Christmas day but do not necessarily have the certain yuletide spirit. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Director: Ron Howard/Chuck Jones

Narrated: Anthony Hopkins/Borris Karloff

Starring: Jim Carrey/Borris Karloff.....The Grinch

Both the cartoon TV movie (by Chuck Jones of Tom and Jerry fame) and the Jim Carrey starring live action picture. The movie sees the aformentioned Grinch trying to ruin Christmas for the Whos of Whoville. This is due to his outcast status and a horrid past, the Christmas spirit shines as Grinch learns to be a good man when a young girl becomes friendly to him. This is one of my guilty plesure movies as it isn't quite an acclaimed movie, but due to a scenery chewing Jim Carrey-getting into the skin of his character-provides some funny thrills.

9. Arthur Christmas Sarah Smith

Starring: James McAvoy...Arthur Claus, Hugh Laurie...Steve Claus, Bill Nighy...Grand Santa, Jim Broadbent...Santa Claus

Maybe it was because the holiday season was upon us, or maybe beacause it had been years since a really any Christmas movie was worth it or the fact that this was an animated movie from the British; but the fact remains that Arthur Christmas was one of last years most underrated films. The story gives an insight into the Claus family, something that really provided a hilarious zing. The animation is beautifully rendered and the soft look fits in well with the theme of Christmas. It was also splendidly performed by an all star british cast from new blood James McAvoy (fame X-men: First Class) to veteran Bill Nighy (who features again on this list). It was a sad thing to see that it failed to make it's box office collections after what had been lackluster years for Christmas Based movies.

8. Elf Jon Favereau

Starring: Will Ferell...Buddy Hobbs, James Caan...Walter Hobbs, Zooey Deschanel...Jovie, Peter Dinklage...Miles Finch

This is the film, that made Will Ferell a comedic juggernaut and leading man. The film follows the tale of an orphan who enters Santa Claus's gift bag on Christmas Eve and becomes and adopted Elf at the North Pole. Years later, due to his tall stature and bad toy making skill Buddy (Will Ferell) realizes he isn't an Elf and sets out to New York to find his real father; played by James Cann (fame The Godfather). The film is hilarious and provides ample opportunity for Ferell to prove his impeccable comic timing and sincere mannerisms. Accompanied by a charming and lovable performance from Zooey Deschanel (fame 500 days of summer) and a hilarious cameo from Peter Dinklage (fame Game of Thrones) presumably mistaken for an Elf by Ferell. If your looking for a Ferell film that doesn't hinge on R rated comedy, this is it!

7. Bad Santa Terry Zwigoff

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton...Willy Stokes, Tony Cox...Marcus, Brett Kelly...Thurman Merman, Lauren Graham...Sue, Bernie Mac...Gin Slagel

Mix the Coen brothers dark humor with Judd Apatow's heartfelt comedy but not as good and Bad Santa is what you get. Billy Bob Thornton (fame Monster's Ball) plays a thief who dresses up as Santa every Christmas and at the end of his peformance at the mall ends up robbing stores clean with his Elf helper Marcus. This Christmas he meets overweight boy Thurman, in this meeting he realizes that the boy is an orphan with a huge house with his ill Grandmother. Willie decides to trick the boy and rob him, in the end he grows fond over the boy and soon realizes his follies and becomes a good man with guardianship over Thurman. The movie is splendidly dark and yet has it's comedy filled of heart, the movie hinges on the sullen performance and wry comic delivery of Billy Bob Thornton. He shines with a good cast but a poor story bogs the movie into typical cliche.

6. Love Actually

Director: Richard Curtis Alan Rickman...Harry, Emma Thompson...Karen, Hugh Grant...David, Keira Knightley...Juliet, Colin Firth...Jamie, Liam Neeson...Daniel, Laura Linney...Sarah, Chiwetel Ejiofor...Peter, Bill Nighy...Billy Mack and Rowan Atkinson...Rufus

The movie does have to much candy floss fluff, even for a Christmas movie but it's the star studded British cast which makes it extra special. It's an anthology of Romantic movies centered around the festive holiday. Theirs heartbreak in some and heartfelt flavor in others. Performances are top notch, highlights being Alan Rickman (fame Harry Potter series), Keira Knightley (fame Atonement), Liam Neeson (Fame Schindler's list), Colin Firth (fame King's Speech), Bill Nighy and a surprising hilarious cameo from Rowan Atkinson (fame Mr. Bean). A few love stories don't necessarily get enough time and thus fall flat. The simplicity of Colin Firth's language barrier tale and Thomas Sangster's young childhood love is fabulous. The movie's best parts include touching small unsung scenes such as Andrew Lincoln's Mark (showing why he avoided Juliet) proffesing his love to his best friend's (Ejiofor) wife Juliet (Keira Knightley) and blessing her on her married life.  

5. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Director: Henry Selick Chris Sarandon...Jack Skellington, Danny Elfman...Jack Skellington (singing voice), Catherine O'Hara...Sally, William Hickey...Docotr Finklestein, Glenn Shadix...Mayor of Halloween Town, Ken Page...Oogie Boogie, Paul Reubens...Lock

Poignant, Musical and Masterly crafted. Produced by Tim Burton (who features again on this list).. Jack Skelligton leads the Halloween festivities in Halloween town, he has gotten tired now and stumbles on a portal to Christmas town. He leading the tow citizens decides to take over Christmas town and soon usurps Santa Claus, with this begins disaster and soon Jack's redemption. There also a goth styled romantic tale between Jack and the mad scientist's rag doll creation Sally. Made through Stop-motion animation, the movie took three years to form into the stellar looking picture it is. Not your typical Christmas or animation movie, but one that resonates brilliantly for those looking for a quirky and odd animated experience. Watch this for the best format of animation and fall in love with the depth filled characters. 

4. Batman Returns
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Michael Keaton...Batman/Bruce Wayne, Danny DeVito...Penguin/Oswal Cobblepot, Michelle Pfeiffer...Catwoman/Selina Kyle, Christopher Walken...Max Shreck, Michael Gough...Alfred Pennyworth, Pat Hingle...Commisioner Gordon, it's a comic book film but Batman Returns is based in a crystal snow Christmas week. The film follows Batman after his fight against Joker as he establishes himself as the vigilante of Gotham city. Oswald abadoned as a child due to deformity, resurfaces with his Penguins as villain Penguin (go figure). Penguin wins over Gotham through elaborate plans and teams up with corrupted buisnessman Max Shreck to plot to become Mayor. Shreck has other plans discovered by his secretary Selina, who is thus thrown from high floors. She is revived by cats becoming the enigmatic Catwoman with revenge in her mind. Batman then must fight foes from all corners while also discover love and heartbreak in the form of Selina Kyle. The movie today in comparison doesn't hold up in favor of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, but for some Batman dark humor it's quite good, the cinematography is splendid with the presentation of a stellar snow covered Gotham with dramatic Gothic vibes. 

3. Home Alone and Home Alone: Lost In New-York

Director: Chris Colombus Macaulay Culkin...Kevin McAllister, Joe Pesci...Harry Lime, Daniel Stern...Marv Merchants, John Heard...Peter McAllister, Cathrine O'Hara...Kate McAllister

The films about the boy left by his parents on Christmas twice and coming face to face with a crooked duo, then outsmarting them with his wit. What makes it such a laugh out loud holiday riot yet a audience connecting tale is the charming, witty and devilishly wicked but heartfelt performance from Macaulay Culkin. The child star struck once again with this movie proving his acting range that I only hope he could repeat in his performances now. He is also supported in great strength by Joe Pesci (fame Goodfellas) as a sneaky and slimy one half of the Wet Bandits.Must watch movies for those looking for popcorn entertainment and a charming child and parents tale in the festive season of Christmas. Both the first and second have similar plots thus making the sequel a little redundant however the performances are still top notch, as long as you make sure not to check out the next two entries in the series which unfortunately do not include young Culkin's splendid child like sensibility and charm factor.  

2. Kiss, Kiss, Bang Bang

Director: Shane Black

Starring: Robert Downey Jr...Harry Lockhart, Val Kilmer...'Gay' Perry Van Shrike, Michelle Monaghan...Harmony Faith Lane, 

Yes it's played out during Christmas, don't beleive me; then check out Michelle Monaghan (fame Gone Baby Gone) decked out in a Santa Claus costume:

Robert Downey Jr, Michelle Monaghan and Val Kilmer in a scene from Kiss, Kiss Bang Bang

The underrated crime flick, sees Robert Downey Jr (fame Iron Man) as former child magician and thief Harry Lockhart who during a chase from cops enters a film auditioning office and recites his tale thinking this to be a confession. He is hired and soon meets detective 'Gay' Perry (Val Kilmer) to learn how to be a detective through the movie. During this time he meets childhood sweetheart Harmony and with Perry stumbles upon a crime scene, beginning a humorus and dark mysery thriller. This was the beginning of a career revival for Downey after years of being a drunk bum, and he roves his mettle. However it's not easy stealing a spotlight from the Iron Man (ask Tom Hiddleston and Mark Ruffalo) but Val Kilmer does with cold steely eyes and superb style. His 'Gay' Perry is an entertaining character to watch and shows that behind the surface of poor movies and shenanigans Kilmer is a real gem of an actor. If this is anything to go by, then Black and Downey's reprisal of director and actor partnership will be a treat to watch in next years Iron Man 3. Die Hard

Director: John McTiernan

Starring: Bruce Willis...John McClane,  Alan Rickman...Hans Gruber, Bonny Bedelia...Holly McClane

The Home Alone version for the big boys. If you haven't watched this movie, action aficionado or not, I suggest you do so cause I'm not going to say anything about this classic flick. This movie is what made Bruce Willis the A-list star he is today. His John McClane is your typical action hero but unlike his counterparts (Stallone and Schwarzenegger) he can actually act. The movie is stolen from him by Alan Rickman in an eccentric performance as menacing Hans Gruber. The Action is har hitting and bloody violent, wait? action? we're stil talking about Christmas right? Yes we are, this movie takes place during the holiest nights in the world and ends up being the bloodiest time for a vest wearing, gun totting and foul mouthing Bruce Willis. Yippee kai yay, mother******!!!

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!!!

Aneesh Raikundalia  




No comments:

Post a Comment