The Christmas/holiday season is hectic for me, as I’m sure it is for everyone. If I’m not in the Nutcracker, I’m in some sort of Christmas program elsewhere, on vacation, or simply busy shopping, wrapping, and catching slightly-cheesy Christmas movies on ABC Family and Hallmark. Speaking of which, I have a few favorites in the Christmas movie department to share with you all, some of which I just saw in the past couple days and some of which have been favorites for years. A quick note on the ratings – they have almost nothing to do with the movie itself, they are just a rating of how much I enjoyed it.
First up, we have ABC Family’s Snow (2004) and Snow 2 (2008). Starring Tom Cavanagh, Ashley Williams, and Patrick Fabian, the first movie’s plot revolves around a missing reindeer just learning to fly and Nick meeting (and falling in love with) Sandy Brooks (Ashley Williams), a zookeeper. Also in the puzzle is Buck Seger (Patrick Fabian), a big game hunter intent on hunting down the reindeer in question for a trophy and getting Sandy to fall in love with him. The second movie’s plot features an amnesiac Nick after he travels through a mirror and gets hit on the head. (Yes, the mirror traveling is as weird as it sounds. However, it is a plot point in both movies, and despite the weirdness, it’s pretty awesome.) Sandy tracks down Nick in a effort to help him regain his memory, and Buck makes a return, this time intent on removing Nick from the picture and finally winning Sandy.
I have to admit, I mostly watched these out of boredom. The day before Christmas Eve is boring, y’know? However, by a half-hour into the first movie, I was thoroughly enjoying it. It’s nice to see Cavanagh in a less… creepy role. (He currently stars as Dr. Harrison Wells on The Flash.) Nick Snowden’s character is nearly a full opposite of Harrison Wells, and these movies (after seeing The Flash) cemented forever (for me) that Cavanagh is an excellent actor. While the movies themselves are a little cheesy, the acting was wonderful, and these are definitely going on my repeat-watch list. 9/10 for the first movie… 7/10 for the second. (Sequels are never as good as the originals!) Anyone over 10 should enjoy these.
Second, we have another new favorite: ABC Family’s The Mistle-Tones (2012). Starring Tia Mowry, Tori Spelling, Jason Rogel, and Jonathan Patrick Moore, this movie is about a singer named Holly and her mission to either join the Snow Belles, a group started by her mother, or beat them in the auditions for the right to sing at the Christmas Eve performance at the mall.
This was another movie I watched out of boredom. It is a musical, though I would classify is as musical-light, as most of the songs are rearrangements of classic Christmas carols. If you don’t like musicals, you may or may not like this movie. While it wasn’t my favorite movie ever, it did have some pretty epic carol rearrangements. I’d say it’s appropriate for anyone over 12, due to some profanity. I’d rate it 7/10 overall.
Third, a classic movie nearly everyone has seen at some point, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) is one of my favorite movies of all time. Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Henry Travers, and Lionel Barrymore, this is a movie about a man named George Bailey and his realization that a life, even a seemingly unimportant one, influences everyone who comes into contact with it. After all, it really is a wonderful life. Recommended for 8 and up, 10/10.
Fourth, we have another first-time watch, The 12 Dates of Christmas (2011). Another ABC Family movie, this stars Amy Smart and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. This movie follows a Groundhog Day (or as I like to call it, the original movie that spawned a thousand spinoffs) style, with the protagonist stuck in a loop repeating Christmas Eve until she gets everything right. This movie wasn’t great, it wasn’t horrible, and it was actually a cute movie. Plus, it gave a great line to use this Christmas. [In reference to the 12 Days of Christmas song] “I hate that song. It’s like the Christmas version of 100 Bottles of Beer.” That line right there made my day. In the end, with a little bit of profanity, I’d recommend for 12 and up. 7/10.
Finally, we have A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). This is another movie I watch every year. It’s a musical, following the Muppet style. It follows the original story nearly perfectly, although with more modern songs. All I have to say here is that I love the Muppets. Recommended 8 and up, 9/10.
Of course, I have a bunch of other Christmas favorites. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), Scrooge (1970, also a musical), Home Alone (1990), Miracle on 34th Street (1947, original is the best), The Polar Express (2004, also has the distinction of being my first IMAX movie), and The Santa Clause (1994). All of these are holiday re-watches, and I’m sure there are more I’m not thinking of. This is one of two times you will catch me watching movies with a definite romantic subplot. The other time is Valentine’s Day. However, we’ll get into that in a couple months. 😉 Also, if WordPress behaves (it hasn’t been nice to me lately), I should have Best of 2014 lists going up over the next week. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have Christmas lunch/dinner to attend and a stocking full of presents to open.
Merry Christmas, and to all a good night!