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December 23, 2013 5:27 PM   Subscribe

Die Hard is objectively the best Christmas movie ever made. Related: What makes a good Die Hard movie (and its not necessarily Bruce Willis).
posted by mediocre (107 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
A GOOD Die Hard movie?
Alan Rickman has to be in it, right?
posted by Mezentian at 5:31 PM on December 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


Previously.
posted by John Cohen at 5:31 PM on December 23, 2013


I just made my wife watch Die Hard for the first time this weekend. The amount of stuff that would not work today - gun on an airplane, smoking in an airport, CRT "high tech" computer systems (let alone a plot that would fall apart with the invention of the cellphone) - was just astounding. But then again, I guess all the holiday classics require a certain amount of anachronism.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:32 PM on December 23, 2013


Alan Rickman with a beard...
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:35 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I only recently saw the uncut-for-tv full actual version of DH2 for the first time a month or so ago and the highlight was the hilarious scene of Col. Stuart doing intensely serious nude karate kicks in front of a full length mirror.
posted by elizardbits at 5:35 PM on December 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I support anyone naming anything that isn't like, "a christmas story" as the best christmas movie.

YOU'LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT KID HURRHURRHURRRDURRR
posted by emptythought at 5:36 PM on December 23, 2013 [13 favorites]


Happy Life Day then, emptythought.
posted by Mezentian at 5:37 PM on December 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


I support anyone naming anything that isn't like, "a christmas story" as the best christmas movie.

Yeah, about that ...
posted by kafziel at 5:37 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


i really wanted to show this to my 11 year old but common sense media reminded me again why i read it before i watch movies w/my kids...

Parents: this movie is probably more graphic than you remember, and I would recommend perusing it yourself first before putting your teens in front of it. Though its tone is adventurous and more like an Indiana Jones film, the movie still contains nudity, harsh profanity, and explicit violence. Teens who see the movie will see numerous people shot and killed graphically (with spurting blood and brain matter). One man has his knees shot through (heaps of blood) before crashing his head through a glass window. Another falls from a skyscraper window with a resounding crunch. Several civilians are executed on-screen. A running joke in the film is a recurring topless poster of a woman, and though the nudity is clear, it is in a humorous context and not a sexual one

(it's more the violence)
posted by carlodio at 5:38 PM on December 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


While I enjoyed the read... I'm relatively certain that someone's editor needs to go over the definition of objectively with them.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:40 PM on December 23, 2013


The best Christmas movie ever is "The Ref." Hands down.
posted by Peach at 5:41 PM on December 23, 2013 [14 favorites]


 (let alone a plot that would fall apart with the invention of the cellphone) 

In fairness that applies to almost every movie made prior to 1997 or so.
posted by fshgrl at 5:42 PM on December 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


For what it's worth, my vote is Scrooged.
posted by kafziel at 5:42 PM on December 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm sitting here watching "Christmas Story" on CBC, know what... Die Hard is NOT a christmas movie...
posted by HuronBob at 5:42 PM on December 23, 2013


I saw the first Die Hard in the theaters when I was 7 or 8. Having convinced my mom to take me to the clearly rated R movie. It wasn't terribly difficult a sell, she was a big fan of Moonlighting and thusly loved the idea of seeing a whole lot of barely-shirted Bruce Willis. I went to school the next day raving, uncontrollably exhalting the greatness of Die Hard. My mother was brought in to a private meeting, apparently the administration was concerned I had snuck into a movie so clearly inappropriate for children.

What the fuck do they know though, I was also taken to Robocop, Silence Of The Lambs, and Body Of Evidence before the age of 11 and I turned out.. umm.. well, shit..
posted by mediocre at 5:44 PM on December 23, 2013 [20 favorites]


Yeah, about that ...

This just strikes me as reddity family guy ass "the punchline is a racist joke, it's funny because racism!" stuff, but oh well.

I would say it's a great example of why the collective everyones myopic love for that movie bugs me. Right along with what was brought up in the "Love, actually" thread.

The movie is from the 80s, but a lot of the jokes would never fly now and sound like stuff your weird grandpa would say and a couple people would chuckle and everyone else would just shift their feet awkwardly.

It's a die hard thread though, so i'll clam up. although someone else did just mention a christmas story...
posted by emptythought at 5:45 PM on December 23, 2013


Die Hard is about a man so desperate to spend time with his family on Christmas that he single-handedly takes on heavily armed international terrorists just to be around them. How is that NOT the most heart-warming Christmas movie ever made?
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 5:46 PM on December 23, 2013 [32 favorites]


Previously

I approve this new Christmas tradition.
posted by Artw at 5:46 PM on December 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


woohoo. Die Hard (I, please...) is my traditional xmas holiday movie and I'm looking forward to my annual viewing!
posted by supermedusa at 5:47 PM on December 23, 2013


Die Hard is about a man so desperate to spend time with his family on Christmas that he single-handedly takes on heavily armed international terrorists just to be around them. How is that NOT the most heart-warming Christmas movie ever made?

AND a cop learns to shoot people again! It's a Christmas miracle.
posted by Artw at 5:47 PM on December 23, 2013 [19 favorites]


"I have no idea how Bruce Willis got himself wedged in a scanner or why".
posted by Mezentian at 5:48 PM on December 23, 2013


Said it before, say it again - Love Actually Die Hard xmas day double header. We wouldn't have it any way. Alan Rickman jingles all the way.
posted by parki at 5:50 PM on December 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Not only my favorite Christmas movie of all time, but my favorite movie of all time. I was 12 when it came out, and in fact it is in my DVD player right now, because it's Christmas ("Merry Christmas!" "Fucking California!")

I've always felt that this was an unpretentious thriller that maximized its potential. As an action flick, its ceiling was going to be only so high, but it was every bit as good as it could possibly have been.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:51 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Love me some Die Hard. Christmas isn't Christmas without it. Nakatomi baby!
posted by arcticseal at 5:53 PM on December 23, 2013


Said it before, say it again - Love Actually Die Hard xmas day double header.

No way, man. Die Hard/Lethal Weapon double header. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang or Long Kiss Goodnight chaser.

SHANE BLACK CHRISTMAS.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:07 PM on December 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


What the fuck do they know though, I was also taken to Robocop, Silence Of The Lambs, and Body Of Evidence before the age of 11

Mine was Blade Runner, Slapshot, and Stripes
posted by edgeways at 6:09 PM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Buzzfeed counterpoint:

Stop Saying "Die Hard" Is Your Favorite Christmas Movie
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:17 PM on December 23, 2013


I refuse to look at that Buzzfeed clickbait. They are just needlessly contrarian.
posted by squinty at 6:19 PM on December 23, 2013


Stop Saying "Die Hard" Is Your Favorite Christmas Movie

Let's see you take this under advisement, jerkweed.
posted by MoonOrb at 6:20 PM on December 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


For a disturbingly long time I was certain Huey Lewis had a cameo as one of the terrorists.

It turned out not to be Huey Lewis.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:22 PM on December 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


Die Hard is fine , but nah. This is something your fratty cousin says.

It's obviously It's A Wonderful Life. If you're not depressed enough to love it, you don't yet understand the true meaning of Christmas.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:22 PM on December 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Weird, my 'Only ever watch at Christmas' movie is The Sound of Music. It's always on christmas afternoon for some reason. Usually by that point I'm somewhat, oh let's say lethargic from too many G&Ts and just sort of zone out while Julie Andrews does her thing.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:24 PM on December 23, 2013


I don't like agreeing with a post on Buzzfeed ... but ...

I like Die Hard. I own a copy of Die Hard. But I do feel like this year -- more than previous years -- there's too much of this "Tee hee, Die Hard is a Christmas movie! I'm so contrarian!" And it's a good movie. But I'm guessing that about 90% of the people claiming it as their favorite Christmas movie aren't actually going to watch it. Or possibly haven't seen it within the past 10 years.

I do know people who watch it at Christmas. But they're also not the sort to go on Twitter proclaiming it. If you say it's your favorite Christmas movie, I hope you're watching it this week.
posted by darksong at 6:30 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


So the best Christmas movie isn't Eyes Wide Shut?
posted by octothorpe at 6:32 PM on December 23, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's not even really my most favourite xmas movie, that title belongs to Trading Places, but to petulantly deny the valid christmasosity of Die Hard just because other people feel smug and trendy about declaring it their favourite christmas movie is ridiculous.

Other honorable mentions for my top 5 are Prometheus and Mean Girls.
posted by elizardbits at 6:34 PM on December 23, 2013


The best Christmas FAMILY movie is A Lion in Winter.
posted by KathrynT at 6:34 PM on December 23, 2013 [13 favorites]


For a disturbingly long time I was certain Huey Lewis had a cameo as one of the terrorists.

In the Cleveland Show Die Hard episode, they called him "Guy Who Looks Like Huey Lewis" and had him voiced by...Huey Lewis.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:38 PM on December 23, 2013 [14 favorites]


Zombie Strippers is my go-to Christmas Eve movie.
posted by nobejen at 6:47 PM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I agree with the Buzzfeed take. To me it just seems just a little too smug and on the nose. It's the "Wearing Chuck Taylors with your suit to a wedding" of favorite christmas movies.

Christmas Vacation is the best Christmas movie anyway.
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:50 PM on December 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Begin with The Grinch that Stole Christmas, the Chuck Jones animated feature. When the toddlers are abed, continue with A Charlie Brown Christmas. When the little kids are abed, continue with A Muppet Christmas Carol. When all the kids are all abed, finish with spiked eggnog and wassail and Scrooged and Christmas Vacation.

Die Hard is good... as is Home Alone... but Christmas is a gimmick to garner Holiday box-office revenue, no matter how much we wish it weren't in these otherwise excellent films. It could have been set in April as an easter story, and been equally excellent.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:50 PM on December 23, 2013


I'm still going with Millions.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:59 PM on December 23, 2013


In the Cleveland Show Die Hard episode, they called him "Guy Who Looks Like Huey Lewis" and had him voiced by...Huey Lewis.

That show was criminally underrated.
posted by kafziel at 6:59 PM on December 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Let me second "The Lion in Winter" ... I think this year it's the right way to go, in honor of Mr. O'Toole.
posted by allthinky at 7:00 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks to memories of one particularly sodden and debauched Christmas in the early 1980s and the then fairly recent availability of movies on VCR, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life will always be, for me and a few old friends, the definitive Christmas movie.
It even has a full-on Christmas scene (NSFW due to angelic Santa boobies).
posted by islander at 7:01 PM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


From that Buzzfeed link:

Most prized among people of this opinion is not a lifetime membership to the Alan Rickman fan club, but the transgressive act of selecting a violent action movie over Home Alone or more classic fare.

Thing is, Home Alone is much more violent than Die Hard. It's torture porn.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:08 PM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


From the Cracked article...
and The Santa Clause doesn't teach Tim Allen that he should've loved his son more by skinning him alive and covering him in ants.
that is such an amazingly specific image. I could swear I remember reading something like that in some self-published web novel somewhere something something.
posted by localroger at 7:12 PM on December 23, 2013


This conversation is making me want to start one of those "everyone is dangerously wrong" MeTas because people are making suggestions that are not Muppet Christmas Carol.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:15 PM on December 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


i really wanted to show this to my 11 year old but common sense media reminded me again why i read it before i watch movies w/my kids...

Parents: this movie is probably more graphic than you remember, and I would recommend perusing it yourself first before putting your teens in front of it. Though its tone is adventurous and more like an Indiana Jones film, the movie still contains nudity, harsh profanity, and explicit violence. ...


The graphic violence and the (very minimal, as I recall) nudity were exactly why I liked that movie as a youngster. If reviews like that had been available at the time I would have used them to pick what movies to watch. A funny thing about aging has been watching friends transition from underaged watching of inappropriate movies to now trying to prevent their kids from doing the same.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:15 PM on December 23, 2013


For a disturbingly long time I was certain Huey Lewis had a cameo as one of the terrorists.

The one who was the security guard right? You are not the only one. That would have been awesome. I was totally bummed when I learnt it was not him.
posted by Renoroc at 7:16 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Alternate Christmas Movies at The Toast by MefFi's own Elsa.
posted by The Whelk at 7:16 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, that wasn't Huey Lewis? Come on, I've been pointing that guy out to friends for years!
posted by 1adam12 at 7:21 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


By the time I was nine, I had seen all of the gen-X childhood Christmas classics (the Peanuts one, the Rankin-Bass Rudolph, Frosty, etc) more than once and was looking for anything else to watch. I was pleased that Christmas Eve to discover a weird, gripping black-and-white movie I was vaguely aware of, but had never seen before: to me, the 1933 King Kong remains the quintessential Christmas movie.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:26 PM on December 23, 2013


Bad Santa is probably my favorite Christmas movie. It may just be because I'm a cynic, and they have to wrap a message of "Caring about other people is good, and that's what the holidays are really about" in several layers of of profanity, cruelty, and Billy Bob Thornton playing an ugly drunk scumbag like some sort of reverse version of sugar coating medicine before i'll swallow it. Swallow it I did though, and so that's why it's my favorite.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:27 PM on December 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


The Die Hard-is-a-Christmas-movie thing comes from, for me anyway, from the UK pre-cable, and the BBC and ITV would duke it out to have relatively recent ish big Hollywood movies on at or near Xmas, plus a selection that became established as favorites. By this metric, Christmas movies include things as varied as Mary Poppins, Star Wars, Die Hard, Jurassic Park, Gremlins, and lots of the cheesier Bonds. I am a little perturbed to know I am now apparently a chuckling tryhard who is too cool for Christmas, according to Buzzfeed, but never mind.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:33 PM on December 23, 2013


Favorite Christmas double-features chez nous:

- holly-jolly dystopian near-future/near-past: Brazil & Twelve Monkeys. Brazil particularly taps into my own anxieties about the Christmas consumer frenzy. And though it's folly trying to pin down a time-travel flick to any particular season, a crucial point in TM takes place shortly before Christmas.

- '70s paranoia: Three Days of the Condor and The Conversation. I namechecked both of these in the Toast article linked by The Whelk above, but I didn't describe how well they complement each other and how they create a sense of the increasing disenchantment creeping over the era.

- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and In Bruges for meditative drama punctuated with shoot-em-up action.

- Holiday and The Thin Man for glorious B&W carousing amid the socialites.

posted by Elsa at 7:51 PM on December 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't know what's wrong with you people. The best Christmas movie is actually a short: Treevenge (mock horror, gross amounts of blood, etc.), although I suppose Die Hard is a distant runner up. The problem with proclaiming Die Hard as your favorite Christmas movie is that it doesn't have anything to do with Christmas. The only Christmas aspect is the Christmas party, which, honestly, does not make any difference to the movie. It's still a great movie. But Aliens might as well be your favorite Christmas movie.

(On the other hand, that buzzfeed article is worthless. It claims that Love Actually is the best Christmas movie with Alan Rickman in it. I am sure there is at least one holiday celebration on video tape somewhere with Alan Rickman in it, which, would, by default, be a better Christmas movie with him in it.)
posted by Hactar at 7:56 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was watching home alone today with the kids and totally was seeing it as a Die Hard style movie except the lead has the option of calling the cops days in advance and decides to toy with his victims first. Bad ass. Best Xmas movie ever. Leaves you full of unanswered questions too.
posted by lordaych at 8:12 PM on December 23, 2013


In both movies the lead proves themselves worthy and realize the importance of family by going through an ordeal to redeem their failings. But in Home Alone the lead decides that in order to prove that he is independent, he must crush his foes single-handedly. Bruce Willis has no choice in how to proceed. Both perform unspeakable acts they will at best only hint at from this forward to regain domestic warmth and camaraderie.
posted by lordaych at 8:18 PM on December 23, 2013


I saw Die Hard as a preteen and the most disturbing part for me was the bloody glass feet walking on torture McBloodyglass scene. Then he's all pulling chunks out. Squick
posted by lordaych at 8:24 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


BuzzFeed? More like BuzzKill!

I'll get my coat...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 8:24 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


The news that that guy wasn't Huey Lewis has ruined my Christmas.
posted by Mezentian at 8:36 PM on December 23, 2013


My husband and I did our annual Die Hard and gift wrapping night last night. I think I'd probably accept an excuse to watch Die Hard any day of the year, though. I have been known to open up Die Hard in lieu of a frosty beer after a hard day at work.
posted by town of cats at 8:39 PM on December 23, 2013


Stop Saying "Die Hard" Is Your Favorite Christmas Movie

Apologies, this is a long one.

Traditional Christmas movies have never really been my thing. Usually, they are something I've had to 'endure' far more often that I enjoy, and I do my best to not make a big deal out of it, as many take my stance as a odd form of personal insult (I'm looking at you, fans of "A Christmas Story" - you try growing up looking a lot like the main character at that age just as that film turns into a national tradition, and you may have a different opinion of it too. It's arrival becomes something to dread at that age). Whatever turned me off to the genre must happened early on and set me on my course to occasionally be called the 'enemy of whimsy.'

I don't begrudge anyone for liking those films and countless specials, though. Many of them are quality pieces of work that I am not trying to disparage. I don't 'hate Christmas' as some have postulated over the years; quite the contrary. It's just those warm sentimental feelings have never really been triggered by the traditional films and shows - its the time I spend doing things with my family that trigger it, whether it's building something in the workshop with my dad and brother, or hours of video games and 20-hour marathons of rented VHS films with my cousins, helping with the Christmas dinner with my mom and sister that evokes those good feelings.

Die Hard has been my favorite Christmas movie and tradition since I got it on VHS in either 1989 or 1990. Here, finally, was a movie with a Christmas backdrop that I could enjoy. A main character that I could watch overcome challenges and root for and empathize with, without the depressing Charlie Brown special motif that can border at times on 'Book of Job' levels of psychological torture porn that is so popular with Christmas movies, where the main character get shit on the entire movie, only to have a sudden reversal with a trite 'soul searching revelation' and an 'it's OK, it's all better' deus ex machina endings that make even the traditional 'Christmas miracle' idea groan with embarrassment.

Sure, most of Die Hard is simply an popcorn action movie, but what John McClane valued and was fighting for (to live, to see his kids, get over his own BS and reconnect with his wife with whom his own stubbornness and blind spots have strained so much, as well as what's in the 2nd link of the post) seems to me a far more real, grounded, and believable premise than the vast amount of other films out there. So Die Hard allows me for once to have a Christmas movie that I can actually look forward to, and have an equal level of enjoyment that those who love more traditional films of the season get to have.

As for both Buzzfeed, and those who have latched onto Die Hard as some sort of marker of independence and reactionary cool, it's not worth concerning myself with. I know why I've thought about this film for years, and will not change my opinion simply due to association with whatever hipster bandwagoning argument they're trying to start over there, and me jumping off said bandwagon for this reason would be petty, and as irritating and hipsterish as those jumping on. In cases like these, I just say to myself, "Forget it Mike, it's Buzzfeed," and move on - there's nothing to win in that fight.

As the years passed, 'Trading Places' was added to my favorites, 'Scrooged' if the moment is right, a growing respect for 'It's a Wonderful Life' developed, and the mid-90s brought me the classic MST3k version of K. Gordon Murray's 'Santa Claus' and recently, the madness that is 'Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny'

TL;DR - I've always said Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie, and watching it has been a tradition for me since it came out on video, for, um... reasons stated above and in the links of the main post.
posted by chambers at 8:50 PM on December 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


You are all wrong. The best Christmas movie is the underappreciated Paul Newman gem Nobody's Fool, a smart little movie about what it means to bear the chains we forge in life.
posted by gauche at 8:57 PM on December 23, 2013


When I was growing up, the musical version of Scrooge, with Albert Finney, was always THE Christmas feel-good movie in our house. The animated Grinch and Rudolph with his band of misfits ("Bumbles bounce!") made up the perfect holidays trio.

My boys also have come to appreciate Scrooge, though they cannot get behind Rudolph ("claymation is CREEPY!") . But yes, Die Hard is right up there in the Christmas lineup now, too.

I've also added Love, Actually to my personal list of all-time favorite Christmas films (I'm fearful of reading the recent FPP; I don't want to hear how how very wrong I am to love that movie).
posted by misha at 9:01 PM on December 23, 2013


1) I do, in fact, watch Die Hard every year for Christmas
2) I just got back from a theatre that was showing Die Hard.
3) I was dressed in a Santa hat and a sweatshirt with "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." written on it.
4) I was not the only one in the theatre dressed in this fashion.


(Possible bonus round, I made a Flash game called No More Table)
posted by RobotHero at 9:09 PM on December 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I want to hear Burl Ives sing "Santa Baby."
posted by ryoshu at 9:18 PM on December 23, 2013


not the result I expected to see from ctrl+F "Abed"
posted by scrowdid at 9:20 PM on December 23, 2013


Die Hard would have been better if it starred Michael Caine playing scrooge.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:31 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh. This thread is apparently the one in which I realize my celebrity crush has transitioned from Bjork to Alan Rickman. My brain is a wondrous thing.
posted by davejay at 10:17 PM on December 23, 2013


The Dissolve Worst Films of 2013

The first Die Hard is a paradigmatic action classic, as oft-imitated and never-topped in its genre as Halloween was in the horror genre. The drop in quality from Die Hard to the next three entries in the series—Die Hard 2, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Live Free Or Die Hard—is precipitous, but all of them are more or less passable, even though Bruce Willis’ wisecracking cop evolves—or devolves—from “the wrong guy at the wrong place at the wrong time” to a flesh-and-blood superhero. But the drop from those sequels to A Good Day To Die Hard is equally steep. It so perverts the original film’s virtues that it’s like a game of Telephone that starts with Die Hard and ends, to quote The Simpsons, with “purple monkey dishwasher.” Whipped around Russia like a cartoon rag doll, Willis’ John McClane is hard to kill not because he’s a tough, hard-nosed hero, but because he’s no longer human at all.
posted by Artw at 11:00 PM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


3) I was dressed in a Santa hat and a sweatshirt with "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." written on it.

A few years ago, I was given a set of big Christmas cookie cutters with slots for inserting letters so each cookie can be imprinted with a brief message. When I pulled them out this year, I discovered that after I made cookies for my partner's cinephile co-workers at Supercool Local Videostore, I never took the letters out of the gingerbread man (or, more likely, I washed the pieces and put them all back into the slot to save time this year).

As I say, the space is only long enough to hold a brief message, so I had reckoned out the best way to space it so I could easily hand-imprint as few letters as possible. That means the message across my gingerman's chest reads
I HAVE A
MACHINE
just waiting for me to hand-press the words "HO HO HO" at top and "GUN" at bottom.
posted by Elsa at 11:22 PM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, apparently I got the order wrong. I am just reporting the facts.
posted by Elsa at 11:23 PM on December 23, 2013


Objectively, the best Christmas movie is "On Her Majesty's Secret Service".
posted by mazola at 11:33 PM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Um, hello? Rare Exports?
posted by gottabefunky at 11:48 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


My Christmas eve tradition is a drunken hate-watch of the Star Wars Holiday Special.
But not this year.
This year I can't do it.
posted by Mezentian at 12:37 AM on December 24, 2013


Oh for goodness sake.
The best Christmas movie is Back to the future 2.

Not because it takes place at christmas, or has anything to do with chrismas but simply because it is the best movie of and for all time.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:35 AM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Three was better and the best Christmas movie is A Short Film About Killing.

How fucking edgy am i?
posted by fullerine at 2:51 AM on December 24, 2013


simply because it is the best movie of and for all time.

Would you like the line of challengers to that statement to form to your left or right?

BTTF2 isn't even the best BTTF movie.
posted by Mezentian at 2:53 AM on December 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Stop Saying "Die Hard" Is Your Favorite Christmas Movie

It is important to remember that not only is it wrong (Love Actually is the greatest Christmas movie starring Alan Rickman) but it is extremely commonly held.

ERROR CODE 1604: Lists love, actually as being a good movie.

Weren't we just fucking that chicken?

Not even getting in to the level of how that buzz feed article is really meta-hipstery and tiresome. Like "Oh yea, people say they like that or that's their favorite to be contrary, that's soooo played". I'd argue that sort of thing is more irritating than people parroting the "clever" and "unexpected" answer.
posted by emptythought at 2:55 AM on December 24, 2013


Mezentian....
We are enemies now.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:23 AM on December 24, 2013


Charly Baltimore: Good morning, Raymond.
Raymond: [nervously] Good morning, Miss Caine.
Charly Baltimore: What have we learned about the dangers of smoking? Give it here.
[She takes a puff.]
Charly Baltimore: Thanks. Tell anyone you saw me, I'll blow your fucking head off.


So many good lines in A Long Kiss Goodnight.
posted by arcticseal at 3:44 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


We are enemies now.
On Life Day even Han, Luke, Chewie, C3PO and R2D2 were good friends with their pal Boba.
Can't you bury the hatchet and share in this time with me?
posted by Mezentian at 4:30 AM on December 24, 2013


Gremlins is on my list. Our dad made us watch it one year before we could open presents.
posted by ian1977 at 4:51 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have seen your previous posts.
So of course I can.
It's what Special Weapons Dalek would want.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:52 AM on December 24, 2013


It's what Special Weapons Dalek would want.

My manly exterior just teared up a little then.
Because of the children, at Christmas, ALRIGHT?
posted by Mezentian at 5:03 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's hard for me to think of Die Hard specifically as a "Christmas movie" because a) you could replace the Christmas elements with anything else (company New Year party, a celebration for the completion of the Indonesia project, Joe Takagi's birthday, etc.) and it would be pretty much the same movie...You just need to get John there to try to patch things up with Holly during a company party, it doesn't need to be the holidays for the meat of the story. And b) if you were watching Die Hard in July and someone came in and said "Why are you watching Die Hard, it's not Christmas!" you'd look at them like they were nuts, because it's fricking Die Hard. Tis always the season.

You could almost make the argument that Die Hard 2 is more Christmas-specific than part 1, because the airport being overly crowded with holiday travelers and the Virginia winter weather are more relevant to that plot than any holiday elements of part 1 (part 1 just has more fun with the Christmas bits it does have).

I understand the Buzzfeed thing's sentiment, that loudly proclaiming Die Hard to be the best Christmas movie is mostly about considering that proclamation to be unique and "edgy" even though a million people nationwide are doing the same thing, but when you point out that Love, Actually is the best Christmas movie in the same breath, it just feels like using one contentious internet-fighty opinion to combat another for the sake of baiting all of its vocal haters. (I actually love Love, Actually...But go ahead and hate it, it is sappy, who cares, to each his own, ME NO BAIT, just making clear my point of view.)
posted by doctornecessiter at 5:32 AM on December 24, 2013



Given that it was made in 1984 and shown on the BBC, our American cousins may not be aware that the 'best thing to watch at Christmas' debate has already been settled by the Box of Delights. The 6x30 series of John Masefield's Christmas story has it all, snow, carols, cheap effects, magic but best of all towering performances by Patrick Troughton and the ever wonderful Robert Stephens (chewing through that scenery like there's no tomorrow).

Yes, some of the effects are a little cheesy now, but the sense of malice and wonder just isn't there in any Christmas film since.

Most, if not all, of it is on youtube these days, but as a taster, try these genuinely creepy and awesome opening titles (and what a theme song). Don't forget, 'The Wolves are running, Master Kay'...
posted by ciderwoman at 5:38 AM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Brazil not only has the holiday setting with the pressure of consumerism and pointless, thoughtless gift giving it also has many iterations of Santa, boots on the rooftop and al but its really the all consuming security state that knows when you're sleeping or awake. Without the Holiday motifs it looses a lot of its metaphorical heft.
posted by The Whelk at 5:48 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Proclaiming Die Hard is the best Xmas movie is not about being edgy, it's about acknowledging that most Xmas movies are pretty crap.
posted by biffa at 6:53 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Proclaiming Die Hard is the best Xmas movie is not about being edgy, it's about acknowledging that most Xmas movies are pretty crap.

Well, most Christmas movies are about Christmas. Die Hard isn't, so it's a movie with a Christmas backdrop for people who don't generally enjoy that sentimental/nostalgic stuff to get behind when everyone else is gushing over It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story. It's counter-programming from a different genre.
posted by doctornecessiter at 7:22 AM on December 24, 2013


No love for Silent Night Deadly Night 2? It has the hardest working eyebrows in showbiz.
posted by Peccable at 7:46 AM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel the need to point out that Macauley Culkin couldn't call the cops days in advance in Home Alone because he accidentally stole the toothbrush and became an outlaw himself!
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:43 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also the telephones were out at his house.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:55 AM on December 24, 2013


The Wolves are running, Master Kay'...

You've just made Christmas for me.
posted by arcticseal at 11:12 AM on December 24, 2013


Clearly the finest Christmas movie series is A Ghost Story for Christmas. There's a new one this year: The Tractate Middoth.
posted by Mezentian at 2:23 PM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


A Christmas Prayer:

All Mighty and most merciful Father, We humbly beseech Thee, of thy great goodness to restrain this immoderate weather with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.

Patton
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:06 PM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine had people over last night to watch "Rare Exports" and it was all I wanted it to be. I think it would make a good double feature with "Iron Sky", actually.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:20 PM on December 24, 2013


I wanted Rare Exports to live up to the opening. I don't think one child died horribly in that movie. And there was far too much Santa cock.
posted by Mezentian at 5:43 PM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The news that that guy wasn't Huey Lewis has ruined my Christmas.

Huey Lewis cover band: Huey Lewis and the News That That Guy Isn't Huey Lewis
posted by Sys Rq at 7:28 PM on December 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Sometimes I think hipster backlash comes from a legitimate grievance, like, as something becomes popular the new people cause changes that destroy what you liked about it.

But that Buzzfeed article does not. What are they complaining about? "It used to be cool to watch Die Hard on Christmas, but now too many people do so it's lame." Why? Is the Christmas Die Hard scene ruined? Did they cause Die Hard to sell out?

I don't get it. It's not even like the stupid enthusiasm for bacon in everything, where you had a chance of being exposed to baconified food. There's just no reason to care about a bunch of people on Twitter.

I'm not sure why I'm so worked up about what this person says on Buzzfeed. I think it's because Die Hard is actually a movie I watch at Christmastime (I like to follow it up with Wonderful Life) and I'm worried that this opinion will catch on and then people will start rolling their eyes at me when I ask if they want to watch it.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:41 PM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Sunny Philly Christmas Special is good if you can show it to people who have never seen Danny DeVito naked and oiled.
posted by lkc at 9:49 PM on December 24, 2013


And b) if you were watching Die Hard in July and someone came in and said "Why are you watching Die Hard, it's not Christmas!" you'd look at them like they were nuts, because it's fricking Die Hard.

This really clinches it. It's not a Christmas movie if lots of people watch it when it's not Christmas.
posted by straight at 12:17 AM on December 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Since someone might still be reading this thread for Xmas movie suggestions, my gift to you this year metafilter is Homecoming: The Walton Christmas Special from 1971. Saw it for the first time last night and was seriously blown away. It was beautiful: no diagenic music, lots of digressions and monologues, random carols that break out with mediocre singing, tiny moments of social justice, heavy lidded irony... Basically everything you want on this dimly lit depressing holiday. Bon Noel!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:06 AM on December 25, 2013


Its Brazil.
posted by bzbb at 10:01 AM on December 25, 2013


Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas:

Including the extended drum roll outtakes : Sweet Jesus.
posted by edgeways at 7:52 AM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


This really clinches it. It's not a Christmas movie if lots of people watch it when it's not Christmas.

What if the classic Xmas track 'I wish it could be Christmas every day' comes up on shuffle in June and I watch Die Hard motivated by it?

Actually Die Hard 2 is my favourite Xmas movie.
posted by biffa at 5:10 PM on December 30, 2013


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