I mean, Ho, Ho, Ho everyone! ‘Tis the season… eh… ‘Tis the season to… to… to foil bad guys I guess… Or kidnap Santa Claus…
Everyone has his holiday traditions, and I am no exception. Though eggnog makes me vomit profusely, and Christmas music makes my ears bleed… also profusely, I do manage to find time every year for my favorite Christmas films.
In anticipation of my favorite day to receive free shit and eat until I’m too sick to use said free shit, THREE HITS & A MISS has gone green and red. I’ll cover my three go-to Christmas classics and throw in one that makes me go ‘Ho-ho-oh?!”
I am a bit of a humbug; I feel Christmas is best enjoyed in moderation. As a result, you will quickly notice that three of my choices are not traditional Christmas films like A CHRISTMAS STORY or IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. And the fourth is considered by many to be a Halloween film. Don’t hold it against me; just know that I react to full blown Christmas films the same way I react to eggnog AND Christmas music… simultaneously…
If you think I’m gonna eat the world’s lousiest Christmas turkey by myself, you’re crazy.
Yes, LETHAL WEAPON is a Christmas movie. Though DIE HARD may be more famous for its Christmas trappings, LETHAL WEAPON is also a jingle-balls-to-the-wall action extravaganza set at Christmastime. Opening with “Jingle Bell Rock” and ending on Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) joining Roger Murtaugh’s (Danny Glover) family for Christmas dinner, LETHAL WEAPON would clearly receive the Santa Claus seal of approval, were he not imaginary (oops! Spoilers! Sorry…).
LETHAL WEAPON isn’t only my favorite Christmas film, it’s in my top 10 favorite movies. I have written about the father-of-all-buddy-cop-flicks twice in the span of a year on this site as proof of this.
Does It Bring Me Christmas Cheer? Yes, especially the Christmas tree lot showdown where Riggs hunts gun-wielding drug dealers among a sea of evergreens!
Just in case you’re in doubt, let me spell it out for you, logically…
Bruce Willis is one of the greatest action stars of all time.
DIE HARD is Bruce Willis’s best movie.
Therefore, DIE HARD is one of the greatest action films of all time.
See how I did that? No room left for discussion. Just cold, hard facts.
Does It Give Me Christmas Cheer? Yippee-ki-yay, Mother Fucker! (Yes.)
Just once, I’d like a regular, normal Christmas. Eggnog, a fuckin’ Christmas tree, a little turkey. But, no. I gotta crawl around in this motherfuckin’ tin can.
Dissing DIE HARD 2 doesn’t do me any favors here, I know. But I just can’t get into it the same way I do the other 3 films. (Yes, I even prefer LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD to DIE HARDER… And what lil geek cred I had, plummets…)
My main beef with DIE HARD 2 is the very thing that qualifies it for this list: I don’t like the filmmakers’ decision to also set the sequel on Christmas Eve.
I know action movies aren’t known for their realism, but I am picky about certain gaping holes in reality when watching action flicks. Do flashing muzzles and surviving impossibly high falls bug me? No!
But, realism issues relating to story and premise do irritate on occasion. For example, I dislike SPEED because the premise is completely unrealistic. A bus is going to reach 55 miles an hour in Los Angeles, let alone maintain it for longer than 10 seconds? Bullshit! Complete and utter bullshit! It may be a weird thing to be picky about, but I can’t help it; it completely takes me out of the movie.
DIE HARD 2 bothers me in a similar way. You’re telling methat the two most important days in John McClane’s life (thus far) both happen on the exact same date, one year apart? Really?!?! You could say that office parties and airports during the holidays just make sense as terrorist targets, but I say that the executives wanted to take as few risks as possible with their sequel.
It may seem like a silly reason to discount a movie, but this beef is representative of DIE HARD 2’s over-arcing issue; it’s too much a copy of the original. John McClane deals with Christmas villains… again. John McClane’s movements are constricted to a small-ish space (this time an airport instead of a sky scraper)… again. John McClane has Carl Winslow on speed dial… again.
I hold DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE and LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (jet surfing notwithstanding) in higher regard than DIE HARDER because they are more original. They take the same John McClane we know and love and throw him into new situations, rather than throwing him back into one very much like the first.
Does It Bring Me Christmas Cheer? No. Though it’s not as pain-in-the-ass as Christmas Eve terrorists, either.
How horrible our Christmas will be!
Though not as violent as its Christmas cousins that populate this list, NIGHTMARE is a delight. My favorite animated film (in my favorite medium of animation, claymation), NIGHTMARE fires on all cylinders for the entirety of its 76 minutes run time.
The script is fantastic. The songs are amazing… and heartbreaking (one of only two “musical” soundtracks I listen to on a regular basis), and the visuals need to be seen to be believed. NIGHTMARE is one of the most emotionally moving films I have seen, which is a huge accomplishment for an animated film, where the on-screen “actors” don’t have a pulse.
Does It Bring Me Christmas Cheer? Delivers Christmas cheer better than Sandy Claws himself.
So… Merry Christmas! Happy Belated Hanukah! Happy Holidays! And an “I’m too old for this shit!” to you!