Ah, the holidays are here again. A time for people to love one and all, a time for families to come together and enjoy each other’s company, a time for an endless line of joyous holiday movies full of yule time cheer and… and… oh my stars and garters! Is anyone else sick of this happy-happy joy-joy crap already? I don’t mean to be a grinch, but enough of this holiday stuff. It wouldn’t be so bad if stores didn’t start lining their freaking shelves with holiday crap even before Halloween. It wouldn’t be so bad if radio stations didn’t start playing holiday music non-stop starting the week before Thanksgiving and all the way through Christmas Day. It wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t and endless stream of holiday commercial propaganda that tried to sell us on useless and unnecessary things we are convinced that we need. … … … Ok, so it is just plain bad. I blame it on commercial greed and societies need to fill emotional gaps in their lives with the latest need-to-own products. Whatever it is, enough is enough and I just can’t wait to get over this season. So the day after Christmas, I pop in the next few films for a nice 12 hour marathon to help me forget all this festive BS and get back to my normal routine.
6. TRON: Legacy
I know a lot of people didn’t like the sequel to the 1982 cult classic, but I had a real blast watching it. Seeing the upgrade to the grid, the new visuals the film introduced and the possibilities left open for future installments in the series; I loved it. I just wish they would have spent more time in the arena and featured more of the games. I mean, come on, who didn’t like the new Disc Wars and Light Cycle games? Still, it is enough of a visual eye-fuck that quickly helps me break away from the festive lights and cutesy decorations I have been looking at for the past couple of months.
5. Enter the Dragon
Nothing marks the end of the holiday season like a nice martial arts classic. And this one is as classic a film as any martial arts films can get. Watching Bruce Lee (and even John Saxon) tear through wave after wave of martial arts flunkies is still as adrenaline pumping as it was the first time I saw it as a kid. Hell, I will even admit that I like Jim Kelly in this film, especially when he tells Mr. Han that comes “right out of a comic book” when he has him summoned to his private chambers for punishment. Yeah, some good old martial arts beat downs is just what the doctor ordered.
4. The Rock
Soldiers, poison gas rockets, hostages and Nic Cage and Sean Connery sent in to save the day. Watching as Nic and Sean take out a team of marines after their SEAL team accompaniment was wiped out always brings a smile to my face. Knowing they only have a few hours to neutralize the threat before either Ed Harris and company launch their threat against San Francisco or the US government launches a counter attack via airstrike that will completely level Alcatraz killing both the marines-turned-terrorists, hostages and them alike is a fuel-thrilled ride I love taking every time.
3. Trick ‘r Treat
Man, ever since first seeing this horror flick a couple of years ago, I really fell in love with it. Then again, I have a thing for anthology films as it is. But the way these tales all intertwine in this ingeniously crafted Halloween movie is entertaining any time of the year. Oh man, especially when you come to the werewolf tale and watching Anna Paquin just go all “sexy beast” on that victim of hers. But there is so much to love in this movie that picking one scene as a favorite is an injustice to the rest of the film. That’s why I have taken to watching this film immediately after the holidays are over.
Nothing says “the holidays are over” better than a good old end-of-the-world film – and this movie is great at making me end the holiday cheer, especially for the wife who loves to hate this film. Yeah, it may be farfetched and ridiculously acted and directed, but watching Bruce Willis and company survive and die in explosion after explosion is fun as hell. I think I will especially love watching this film after the less than stellar end of the world the Mayans predicted failed to pass. Besides, if they really knew the end of the world was coming, why didn’t they see the Spanish coming?
1. Die Hard
Okay, so this is technically a Christmas movie at its basic core, but I can oversee that fact by watching Bruce Willis take out terrorists in L.A. in a high rise building is one of the best action experiences I have ever seen on film. The scene where he thinks he blows all of the C4 down an elevator shaft and watching the first four floors of the building go out in a blaze of glory full of fire and glass always make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Then seeing him match wits with Alan Rickman later in the film as they try to one-up each other is perfect protagonist-antagonist interaction.
So if you feel the way I do about all this holiday cheer, try watching some of these films and see if it helps you get over the festive mood as fast as it helps me. And one more thing; for all you people out there who don’t understand sarcasm or can take a joke properly (damn you idiots), I am not really that cynical. I have a wife and three kids with whom I immensely enjoy the holidays with. We do all the fun, regular things a family does – I even enjoy the occasional (but brief) family visit or two. But I am serious when I say that I need to get over the season as quickly as possible. There is only so much festiveness a sane person can take. So take the opening of this article in stride; grow some thick skin and grow up, you bunch of softies.