Scrooged – 1988 – Starring a young Bill Murray and Karen Allen.
No matter what the season, Bill Murray is always a winner. Scrooged is a very, very 80s twist on the classic Dickens story of a Christmas Carol. In this version, Ebenezer Scrooge (Murray) is a big shot TV yuppie exec, unfazed by ghosts of Christmas past and any sense of doom or karma. The film is packed full of one liners and comedy gold scenes, including the potential stapling of reindeer ears onto a mouse. With very, very 80s looking effects on ghosts, sing-alongs and suicide attempts, it’s a real delight!
Jingle All The Way – 1996 – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad.
Christmas might be the season for getting merry and giving generously, but what if you can’t buy what you want to give. This pressure is most felt for stressed-out parents at this time of year, and Jingle All The Way perfectly portrays the manic rush of one man’s desperate struggle to get his son the must-have toy of the season. One of Schwarzenegger’s many hilarious attempts at light family entertainment, the man is on a mission… to get a Turbo Man doll. His journey includes some light-hearted violence, a punch up with a reindeer and a classic Arnie quote: “Put that cookie down NOW”.
The Santa Clause – 1994 – Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold.
The once great Tim Allen injects some pity into the age old tale of a divorced dad who can’t get things right for his son until the day when he accidentally kills Santa and is forced to take his job, subsequently becoming the bestest dad ever! Growing a jolly belly and a curly white beard, cynical Santa dad saves the day and his family with it. Reeking of great OTT Christmas scenes, this sofa film requires little to no concentration!
Die Hard 1 – 1988 – Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman.
Die Hard, a Christmas movie? Really? Yes! One of the greatest action movies ever made slides with ease into the Crimbo category. Bruce Willis plays the ultimate unsuspecting hero, John McClane, and certainly saves the day in a classic Santa Clause guns blazing fashion. When terrorists try to take over the Nakatomi Plaza and hold hostage all the guests of an office Christmas party, including McClane’s wife, no prizes for guessing what happens next. There is a lack of holly and baubles but snow and Christmas tunes aplenty! The film contains one of the most epic of Xmas movie scenes, in which Alan Rickman’s German accented ‘Now I have a machine gun. Ho,ho, ho’ still manages to de-humbug us everytime!
Love Actually – 2003 – Starring every British actor going.
If we must, we must. There’s no sense of irony or throwback here. Love Actually (note how many times the word ‘actually’ is uttered) is the ultimate get you in the mood film. Director Richard Curtis is the Christmas movie king and comes up trumps with a film dripping in the best British acting stars around. The film is compiled of many intertwining stories ranging from new romance, heartbreak, first love and patriotic pride that all come together in a Christmas miracle, that’s not too damp with cheese and still dry and irreverent enough to please the cynics!