The Best Christmas Movies, JACK FM Style
It’s the day before Christmas, and tonight, countless people will settle in with their families to usher in the holiday. It’s a wonderful time of the year, full of warmth and love and togetherness. And on the TV, a Christmas classic, to further the warmth and love and togetherness. Maybe Miracle on 34th Street, because, you know, nothing says warmth and love and togetherness like a Christmas movie from 1947.
You see what we’re getting at here? Yes, Christmas is great, but if we have to choke down another sappy Christmas movie to add to all the sappiness we’re already drowning in, well, let’s just say all sap and no play make JACK a dull boy.
What we got for you is a list of the best Christmas movies, JACK FM style, that will help you keep your sanity through the holidays.
Rocky IV: Let’s set the bar and let’s set it high, right here right now. It’s 1985, the height of the Cold War. Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) has already established himself as an American icon, but when his friend Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) is killed in the ring by the Russian monster, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), it’s on. The tie in? Their epic battle for freedom is fought on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas America.
Black Christmas: Nothing says holiday cheer like a good old fashioned slasher movie, and this particular gore-fest happens to take place during Christmas. It was also the name of a song JACK FM wrote back when we were the lead singer of our band during our college days. True story.
Go: Correction, nothing says holiday cheer like a multi-plot, ecstasy fueled, Christmas Eve drug deal gone bad movie. And Katie Holmes when she was famous for Dawson’s Creek and not for being Tom Cruise’s ex-wife.
Trading Places: Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy when they were still really, really funny. The story, which takes place during the holidays, is the old nature versus nurture argument and a $1 bet. Randolph and Mortimer Duke (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) swap the lives of rich investment banker Louis Winthorpe (Akroyd) and homeless man Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy), just to see what happens.
Gremlins: A man gives his son a Christmas gift of a mogwai, a small, furry, innocent looking creature. There are three specific instructions: no bright light, no water, and no food after midnight, all of which of course, are broken. The now multiplied mogwai turn into evil Gremlins and wreak devastation throughout the town. The lesson: never give pets as a gift.
Bad Santa: With Santa in the name, you know off the bat this is a Christmas movie. Of course, “Santa” in this case is an alcoholic con-man and thief, but we’re just splitting hairs at this point.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: The original Vacation and it’s sequel, European Vacation, are modern masterpieces, and Christmas Vacation perfectly caps off the trilogy. Centered around the ill-fated Griswold’s, Christmas Vacation shows how much can truly go wrong during what is supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation.
Scrooged: A (then) modern comedic take on the Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, Scrooged tells the story of television executive Frank Cross (Bill Murray) being visited by the three ghosts Christmas past, present, and future. Of course, Bill Murray makes anything better. Anything.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Tim Burton’s somehow seamlessly meshes Halloween and Christmas together, all through stop motion, nonetheless. Jack Skellington is from Halloween Town, but when he accidentally stumbles into Christmas Town, he decides he should take over, with horrific consequences. Truly genius in scope and execution.
Elf: Ron Burgandy, err, Hank the Tank, we mean, Will Ferrell as a man raised by Santa’s elves visiting New York City to find his true father. You could have stopped reading at Will Ferrell, because as we like to say around here, ’nuff said.