Thursday, December 12, 2013

Best Christmas Shows

By now, you know I was raised by wolves. And those wolves had colour TV. So a big part of my Christmas is watching feel good Christmas stuff on television. With that, I thought it might be time for yet another edition of the Warne List – Best Christmas Shows.

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989) - Chevy Chase was especially brilliant in the malfunctioning Christmas lights scene. The funniest Christmas movie ever.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) – It’s actually quite bad. However, I’ve watched it every year I’ve been alive so it completely feels like Christmas.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) – See above. And buy the Vince Guaraldi Trio soundtrack.

A Christmas Story (1983) – Darren McGavin is the show in this film, falling in love with a leg shaped lamp, a major award that comes in a container marked fra-GEE-lay. He’s also terrific on Christmas morning, reminding me of my own dad’s giddy excitement when I was cracking open something really good.

It's A Wonderful Life (1946) – It’s not particularly Christmasy but it is a great feel good story led by one of the greatest, most likeable actors ever. I’m not sure I can watch it again. 20 times may be enough. I envy those of you who have yet to make it a Christmas tradition.

Scrooged (1988) – Bill Murray is very good, playing the billionth variation of the Scrooge character. He is the first Scrooge to ask, “Have you tried staples?” when told tiny antlers won’t stick to the mice for a TV production.

A Wish for Wings That Work (1991) – A personal favourite since I was such a fan of Berke Breathed’s comic strip Bloom County. Figures. My sports teams (Expos, Riders) AND my comic strips fold. It was a little disconcerting to hear the characters actually speak after being a fan for so long but it was still pretty cool. Sort of the same way people feel when they see radio announcers in person.

The Polar Express (2004) – Tom Hanks does a great job in this film, playing most of the adult characters. The kids' faces are a little creepy at first but once you get past that, it’s awesome. I especially loved it on the big screen and plan to take the kids to see it in the IMAX 3D Experience at Silver City.

A Christmas Carol (1951) – This is the crème de la crème of the attempts at A Christmas carol. Most critics agree Alastair Sim is the only version of Scrooge who seems truly transformed into a good person after his run-ins with the ghosts. The others change only because they know what lies ahead.  I also enjoyed Jim Carey's version.

Elf (2003)- It has Wil Ferrell in it. That either makes it 100 per cent attractive or 100 per cent repellent. For me, it’s the former. Ferrell always makes me laugh.

As always, the Warne List will not change. However, it is receptive to honourable mentions below.


Anonymous said...

Gahhh Steve... Where is Badder Santa on the list?? That has to be on the top 10!

Anonymous said...

I agree with all your choices except for the "A Wish For Wings That Work" Never heard of it so I'll defer my opinion.

I'd suggest "One Magic Christmas" with Jans Rubes, Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton. About a woman that's lost the Christmas spirit and how her daughter helps her get it back. Can you tell it was filmed in Canada? Almost has a CBC Sunday afternoon movie feel to it.

"The Santa Clause" has become a staple at our house with the kids the past few years and I have to admit it's started to grow on me.

Alastair Sim's version of "A Christmas Carol" is best viewed on Christmas Eve. It's a classic! My Dad mentioned once that near the end of the movie when he's finally getting the Christmas spirit back, if you look in the mirror you can see the reflection of one of the sound men in the shot. He realizes that they can see him so he ducks down really quickly just before the camera angle changes... Just a bit of trivia for ya.

Merry Christmas Steve!