by Alyana Cabral
It’s that time of the year again, and you and your family need two hours-length of entertainment to get through the cold night. Mugs of hot cocoa in hand, you spend it in front of the television. Instead of getting your yearly dose of Home Alone, The Grinch, or The Santa Clause (1 & 2) on HBO or Star Movies, why not give these movies a shot?
Before Mickey’s Christmas Carol in 1983, The Muppet Christmas Carol in 1992, and the latest film adaptation of the Charles Dickens short novel starring Jim Carrey, there was Scrooge, starring Alastair Sim, directed by Brian Desmond Hurst.
A faithful rendition of the classic novella, the film revolves around Ebenezer Scrooge, a selfish and greedy businessman who hated Christmas, and his change of heart through the help of four spirits who guide him to his epiphanies and forgotten memories.
As if you hadn’t heard enough of the story yet, and for the sake of patronage to the old films, you just have to see it. This adaptation feels as classic as the classic. And it screams every right of the story to be translated onto the screen.
Jack Frost (1998)
Jack Frost is one of the most interesting film adaptations of the folklore creature. It stars Michael Keaton as Jack Frost, a musician, a husband, and father to a teenage hockey player, whom he rarely has time for. He suffers a tragic fate in a car accident, and is later resurrected as a snowman, for second chances with his son. With its subtle elements of fantasy, small moments of comedy, and slight resonance of grief, the film is overall touching and enchanting.
Love Actually (2003)
It’s British, it’s set in Christmas, and it’s a romantic comedy. How can you not love it? Richard Curtis’ Love Actually will make you smile, laugh, and naturally, fall in love.
With a star-studded cast (Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, and Rowan Atkinson), the film shows love in different circumstances through nine interwoven stories involving individuals, couples, and love triangles. It follows a five-week countdown before Christmas, with the song “Love is All Around” being parodied throughout the film.
Some have called the film cheeky or sappy, but maybe that was the point, that maybe that’s just what love is, along with all adjectives to describe it. Either way, you can watch it with your partner, best friend, your mom, or whoever, while you tell them that you love them, because hey, it’s Christmas.
If you’re seeking horror in the holidays, Gremlins is always the one to watch. In the film, a boy gets a pet mogwai as a Christmas present from his dad, but breaks the three important rules in taking care of it. As a result, the mogwai multiplies and transforms into mischievous little gremlins that wreak havoc into town.
With scenes as funny as gremlins partying and getting drunk in a bar, or as provoking as a gremlin exploding in a microwave, Gremlins is one hell of a ride.
Though not as scary as the more obscure horror Christmas films, the gremlin concept can still make you cringe: “So if your air conditioner goes on the fritz or your washing machine blows up or your video recorder conks out; before you call the repairman, turn on all the lights, check all the closets and cupboards, look under all the beds, ’cause you never can tell, there just might be a gremlin in your house.”
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
“The ultimate Christmas movie,” many have said. Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life reflects the very soul of the holidays, not because of any jolly aura or festivity, but because it’s real.
The film centers on George Bailey, a man who never got around to making any of his dreams come true because of setbacks involving his own town and family, and financial issues. His selflessness however, paved way for success for the people around him. Towards the end as he loses his mind and circumstances get worse, a guardian angel helps him get up on his feet and realize how actually wonderful the life he has led was.
Yet another classic based on the short story “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern, It’s A Wonderful Life has got to be one of the best films in black-and-white, and is truly and wonderfully inspirational.
So grab your family, loved ones, and friends, and huddle together in front of your television or computer screen for some good ol’ films to lighten up the holiday spirit. It might be one of the best things to do while the holiday break is still here, and just before the year ends in the next coming days.
Love Actually: http://wildeytheatre.com/?nav=eventsDetails&num=708