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The Lucky 13: Favorite [Unconventional] Christmas/Holiday Films VOL. 3

December 11, 2013

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Thanksgiving and Hanukkah has come and gone, now we look forward to that delightful Christmas time! And for my third consecutive year I shall countdown to my favorite Unconventional Christmas/Holiday films! So, let us begin!

13. “Tower Heist” – Gotta say, I wasn’t expecting much out of this movie when I saw it a couple of years ago, but it did a few things right, one of the biggest, giving Eddie Murphy material that makes him funny again. The film is a 99%-ers vs. 1% fantasy caper, about a bunch of wise-guys going up against a Trump like figure, after he loses all their pensions. The heist is set on Thanksgiving day, and manages to utilize the famous NYC Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in a clever manner.

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12. Silent Night, Deadly Night – Garbage Day! Wait, that’s “Silent Night, Deadly Night 2”. Ok, watch this movie, then watch Part II, it’s the better movie because of that scene. No seriously, I’m not kidding, watch it and see. The “Silent Night…” series is pure cheesy schlock, and if you’re into that sorta thing (I am), then you’ll have a good ole fashion bloody good time.

11. Black Christmas” – I cannot help myself, it’s not the greatest horror film ever made, but “Black Christmas” is one of the best 70s grind house, home invasion thriller, set on Christmas eve, in a Sorority house. If you’re smart, you’ve already figured it out. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie.

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10. “Adams Family Values” – The first “Adams Family” film, while an ok movie, wasn’t able to find it’s ground in the humor department. The problem it faced was that it didn’t know how to parody or humor itself for its own good. “Values” succeeds to greater lengths where the first fell short, and it features one of the most hilarious/terrifying tellings of the tale of Thanksgiving I’ve ever seen.

9. “American Psycho” – The holidays can be murderous. I’ve placed “American Psycho” on my 31 days of Halloween Horror Picks, so I won’t go into much detail here. Not really a Christmas movie, but it set during the holidays, so that counts. See how Patrick Bateman enjoys the holidays…

8. Home For the Holidays –  The 1995 comedy-drama, directed by Jodie Foster, her second attempt as a director. Foster hits all the right notes about family disfunction. While “Christmas Vacation” found a way to satirize it, “Home for the Holidays” showed us the harshness of it, and darkly funny at times too. Best supporting player in the whole family is Robert Downey Jr.’s Tommy.

7. “Love Actually” – This is one of those movies I’ve begun to appreciate more and more every year. “Love Actually” is a brilliant, and truly unconventional holiday film, focusing on several different cast of characters in the London metropolitan area, who all have different plans/agenda’s, and some how all criss-cross come Christmas. Silly characters, outrageous scenarios at every turn, and look…Rick Grimes (“Walking Dead”) aka. Andrew Lincoln is in this movie?!?!

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6. “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” – OKAY, back to the dark side of Christmas, and believe me, there is a dark side of Christmas. Anyone familiar with the tale of Krampus? To learn more, you can watch the Season 9 Christmas episode of “The Office”, but here, we get a sadistic Santa tale that rings back to classic Joe Dante style holiday horror, with a dash of black humor to spice things up.

5. “Joyeux Noel” – Christian Carion’s Oscar nominated drama, accounts events that take place on Christmas Eve during World War I, the Germans, French, and Scottish fraternize and get to know the men who live on the opposite side of a brutal war, in what became a true lesson of humanity. Only one night, enemies become equals, by putting aside political and social responsibilities.

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4. “The Hebrew Hammer” – With the exception of “Adam Sandler’s 8 Crazy Nights”, we Jews haven’t been blessed with a significant Hanukkah themed movie, that is until our cinematic Messiah, Jonathan Kesselman, came along and brought us untold riches in the form of “The Hebrew Hammer”. Now a beloved (or hated, amongst all tight ass Jewish people) cult classic has become one of my favorite holiday traditions since it’s release in 2003. “The Hebrew Hammer” is a parody, inspired by blaxploitation cinema (like “Shaft”), starring Adam Goldberg as the big-nosed biblical brotha’ out to stop Santa’s evil son, Damien (Andy Dick) from destroying Hanukkah forever.

3. “Iron Man 3” – I knew that when Shane Black was set to direct “Iron Man 3” for Marvel Studios, I KNEW he would naturally set this action tale on Christmas, as he normally does from time and time again. Stark and his Iron Army kick major Extremis ass on Christmas eve and boy oh boy does he take ’em to church. Not to mention, I could listen to that awesome Jingle Bells riff from workshop scene on repeat.

2. Eyes Wide Shut –  Set in the Christmas season, with almost every scene involving twinkle lights, wrapping paper, or a decorated tree. The delights of the Yuletide season make the perfect innocent counterpoint for this tale of marital discord. And that’s why Kubrick is the fuckin’ man of visual dominance!

1. “Blast of Silence” – Writer/director/star Allen Baron plays a hitman from Cleveland coming to New York for an assignment. It’s Christmas Eve and he has some time to kill before he’ll have a person to kill, and he runs into some people that he knew from growing up in an orphanage. It turns out your social skills can be awkward when you have a lot of catching up to do and you’re in town for a murder.

Check out:

Vol. 1 – 2011

Vol. 2 – 2012

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