Christmas time is fast approaching, so the staff at Cinema Soapbox got together to list some of our favorite Christmas movies and what we think is the worst one ever.....because why not watch terrible movies year round for a laugh?
The following group of questions was posed to Stephen, Todd, and Stephen G. to answer and they did not let us down.
What movie from the last 20 years will be considered a classic in 20 years?
Stephen G. - Jingle All the Way. Watched it again last night and it still holds up. Sinbad, Arnold, and the late great Phil Hartman playing the role he was meant to play: Skeezy neighbor trying to move in on his neighbor’s wife through kindness and smiles. I haven’t gone through it yet personally, but the lengths parents will go to for their child’s gift is something I think everyone can relate to.
Todd - Well since there has not been a decent Die Hard Christmas movie in the last 20 years then I will need to go a different route. What will be considered a classic in 20 years depends on what the views of the populous are at that time. With the increasing growth of “Green” states I feel that there is only one true answer… A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. Basically it comes down to the fact the holidays are a time of over indulgence and that is basically what the H&K movies are about and this one involves Christmas and stuff. Everyone can relate, especially in 2036.
Stephen - How are we defining classic? If it is quality and rewatchable and it is played 10 times a day on TBS during the holiday, then I’m going with Elf. Nobody in the last 20 years is better known for being a comedic icon than Will Ferrell. That memory of him will ultimately grow with time, which is also what a good Christmas movie does too. In 20 years if you ask someone if they want to watch a Christmas movie with Will Ferrell, Bob Newhart, and James Caan, then they are choosing that movie every time. I think the casting is going to be so underrated in 20 years.
What is your favorite Christmas movie of all time?
Stephen G. - Christmas Vacation. It’s got tons of laughs obviously, but the main message is something I think most all families can relate to. No matter how crazy your family is they are still your family. Also nothing works better than kidnapping your boss to get what you want.
Todd - Die Hard. STFU! Your argument is invalid. John McClane is a weary traveler bearing gifts. There is a pregnant woman who might be a virgin, they don’t say she isn’t. It is about the importance of family as John is coming to reunite with them. Hans Gruber is a deity to the Grinch. There is also an excellent selection of Christmas classics on the soundtrack.
Stephen - Home Alone is not only my favorite Christmas movie, it is my favorite John Hughes movie! It is perfect in every single way and if you try to point out plot point holes, then I will straight up fight you! Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are the most underrated comedy duo of all time and it was so good that they even managed to talk Pesci into doing a sequel. Now, 25 years later, you can turn this movie on and feel the nostalgia, and then feel a rush of even more nostalgia when you see John Candy show up for 15 minutes of the movie just throwing comedy heat. This movie works on every single level and is going to stand the test of time.
What is the worst Christmas movie of all time?
Stephen G. - Santa’s Slay. Bill Goldberg, a professional wrestler, plays Santa. Santa is also a homicidal demon who had to give toys to children for a thousand years because he lost a bet, and the thousand years is up. Merry Christmas.
Todd - Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas. I have never seen it, but I am sure that I am correct. 1.5 on IMDB. This is Kirk, not James. It is something about how he has to teach brother-in-law, Christian, about the importance of Christ at Christmas. Say that three times fast. If James Cameron made a Christmas movie it might rival Die Hard. Honorable mention: the Star Wars Holiday special. OMG!! If you get the opportunity take a look. It is amazingly weird and bad.
Stephen - The worst and definitely the creepiest is the 1998 movie Jack Frost. It had promise with casting Michael Keaton and Kelly Preston, but I’m positive nobody took a long enough look at the plot. In case you have forgotten, the plot is a terrible father dies in a car wreck and then comes back as a Snowman a year later to attempt to make up for years of being a shitty father. That is the first 15 minutes of the movie!! I don’t know about you, but when I start a feel good Christmas movie, the first thing I don’t want to see is vehicular manslaughter and deadbeat parenting. The rest of the movie is a bad CGI snowman trying to be a good father, which isn’t a light hearted as you would think because it is kid trying to act to a CGI snowman and it doesn’t go well. Look, I love a good bad movie, but this one is tough to sit through.
Give the readers a Christmas recommendation they might not have seen.
Stephen G. - Krampus. Came out last year. It has a pretty good Christmas message and it’s also the only serviceable Christmas horror movie I can think of, and that has to count for something.
Todd - Anything written/directed by Shane Black. He has a thing for having his movies take place at Christmas. Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 are a few examples. But I really love The Long Kiss Goodnight. It is all about the holiday joy of when an amnesiac comes out of her mental fog to realize that she is a high end assassin with an incredible set of lethal skills. Bad guys are coming out of the wood work after her as she fights to keep her family together during the holiday season. Very heart warming. Not Die Hard but in the same Christmas tree lot, so to speak.
Stephen - Joyeux Noel. Yes there are subtitles, but this movie is so, so good. Diane Kruger and Daniel Bruhl star in this movie that is based on a true story. In December of 1914 during the First World War, an unofficial Christmas truce is called on both sides to let the soldiers celebrate Christmas. There are touching moments and tense moments and moments of pure joy. It’s beautifully acted and worth the time.
What is the ultimate Christmas movie double feature?
Stephen G. - Christmas Vacation and Jingle All the Way. Fun for the whole family.
Todd - Die Hard and Die Hard 2. Duh!!!
Stephen - Home Alone and Home Alone 2 for sure! How do you improve on the original? Tim Curry is how! The sequel holds up as a great movie on it's own and they managed to get Pesci back for a sequel too, so you know it's going to be good.
Have a Merry Christmas!!
Stephen Balding is the founder of Cinema Soapbox. You can contact him at email@example.com
Todd Reardon is a senior writer for Cinema Soapbox.
Stephen Gipson is a writer and contributor for Cinema Soapbox