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– by Campbell Clark

It’s almost Christmas holiday season folks and we here at LRM like many of our readers enjoy watching old movies at this time of year. Below is a holiday movie planner to suit every situation you will encounter over the holidays.

Think of it as a survival guide of sorts, and given how old these movies are, if you still have cable, chances are you’ll be able to catch these on TV for free.

So let’s get into it!

Christmas Eve

Scrooged

Essential Christmas Eve watching. Scrooged not only has the same heart and the same message as the classic Dickens tale upon which it is based, it also has some damn funny jokes, and Bill Murray at his crazy best along with Karen Allen in her best role since Raiders of the Lost Ark. For me it’s a toss-up between Scrooged and the Muppet Christmas Carol, but I will always side with Bill Murray.

Who doesn’t love a man who wants to staple antlers on a mouse for TV? But if you have time and the kids are still awake, why not watch both back to back and then engage them in a  discussion about which one of them was more culturally relevant in the modern world and why the classic Dickens tale will always be applicable to any medium no matter the time period it is set? By the time you have finished that, they will be begging to go to sleep and await Santa’s arrival.

Christmas Day AM

Gremlins

For a start, you need something to occupy the kids, and it’s probably not the kind of film they will have come across on their own.

For me, Gremlins should be a film that all children are forced to watch on Christmas day, especially those who got pets for Christmas. And as a parent you can tell them that now they have a pet they have to watch an educational film about what happens to pets when you don’t take care of them properly. It will do a better job than those infomercials about dealing with unwanted pets.

It also has the added benefit of being a nightmare-free day. No kid has nightmares on Christmas evening, a they’re too tired from getting up so early and being overly excited. The ideal day to introduce your child to the world of kiddy horror. And… They will want to watch It’s a Wonderful Life because they will assume it must be good after featuring briefly in Gremlins. No doubt the kids will fall asleep half way through and leave you in peace to watch action movies properly like you should be doing on Christmas.

Christmas Evening

Die Hard

A cop is coming to see his estranged family for Christmas, and something is preventing him from meeting up with them. Classic Christmas family fare right? Although, in this case, the thing keeping him from his family is a group of high-end thieves stealing millions from the Nakatomi Plaza.

While John McClane is running around with a vest on, a cigarette hanging out his mouth and no shoes, it gives you an excuse to follow his lead and relax a little as the day wears on. After all, when your family demands you put on more clothes and stop acting like a slob, you can simply point to the screen and say. “ If it’s good enough for John McClane, it’s good enough for me.” ‘Nuff said.

Lethal Weapon

It’s Christmas in LA, and LA never looks Christmas-y, does it? It must be strange to live in such warm weather during the holidays (EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s not). As someone who resides in Scotland, which is basically Winterfell for seven months of the year, it is something I have never experienced. Why would you want to stay in, shut all the doors and watch old movies with the family if you could nip outside for a jog along the beach, followed by some surfing and then relaxing by the pool all day (EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, it’s not that warm out in December — even in LA. Calm down.)?

Well… you could be an overworked alcoholic cop, whose family have disowned them. If so, Lethal Weapon is the LA Christmas movie for you. It’s got bugger all to do with Christmas other than the opening song being “Jingle Bell Rocks,” and occasionally you will notice that the Murtagh’s have decorations up.

However, if you’re spending Christmas living in a trailer by the beach, and you wake up Christmas day to find some warm beer at the bottom of the bottle and decide to drink it whilst walking butt naked out to the Pacific ocean for a pee and a cigarette, Lethal Weapon is the movie for you (Yes, I know, that’s a highly specific scenario). You won’t feel as bad about being alone at Christmas, because Martin Riggs don’t give a damn, so why should you? Anyway, your buddy at work has asked you over for Christmas dinner and his daughter fancies you. Life is always good when you live it like a Lethal Weapon.

New Year day AM

James Bond

It doesn’t matter which one. You have a hangover, you cannot concentrate on anything but one-liners and complicated plots will hurt your brain. Some free channel will be showing at least 20 James Bond movies, so fire them up and by the time James is about to get the girl and the titles roll, you’ll be ready to eat and brush your teeth.

If the hangover is however worse than you first feared, it may be possible that James Bond is even too much to handle. It’s okay. Fear not. Not all hope is lost. Simply find a channel showing Tom and Jerry on an all day marathon. The kids will be entertained, you can drift in and out of slumber and not miss anything. Plus, in your small moments of lucidity, you will be sniggering away at the greatest cartoons ever made.

New Year’s day PM

Indiana Jones

Hangover gone, lunch is eaten, and you are going to make sure you don’t get off the sofa much for the next 4 hours.

How about an Indiana Jones marathon, but only the first three, no one wants to watch Crystal Skull. It’s like James Bond, but you do have to engage with it slightly more and the more attention you pay to the plot, the better it seems. It is important though, to make sure you are completely done with lunch before the dinner scene in Temple of Doom.

Eating baby snakes and monkey brains can play havoc with a delicate stomach. Also, when your kids ask why Raiders of the Lost Ark was allowed to be shown to kids when you were young, you can point out that for some weird reason, biblical violence, when delivered by God seems to be perfectly acceptable for all ages. So enjoy the melting faces, kids. This is what happens if you look at something you’ve been told not to.

New Year day Evening

The Godfather Trilogy

It’s New Year’s, time to make resolutions and start to make big changes in your life, but all that can wait till tomorrow. For now why not get The Godfather Trilogy out to see you into the early hours of the morning. No matter how much you take your spouse/partner for granted , it won’t be as badly as Michael Corleone does. You are free to point this out at your peril. Just remember to make sure they are asleep before the end of The Godfather 2, (SPOILERS) Kay leaves Michael.

And always remember readers across the globe, that the rest of the world generally is back to work on the 2nd of January, except Scotland. They have to give us the 2nd off as well, because much of the population have only just gone to bed for the first time since last year. The other half are still going! Enjoy your time with your families.

Are there any movies we have missed off of our holiday season master plan? Let us know what you think below?

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  • Kindofabigdeal

    Why do you have a pic of Bad Santa and don’t include Bad Santa? I haven’t seen the sequel yet but I plan to watch this weekend.
    I would replace Lethal Weapon with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
    Also any list without National Lampoons Christmas Vacation is blasphemous.

    • To lull readers into a false sense of secrurity lol

      I dunno, the others didn’t seem right for a humorous Xmas movie list somehow.

  • Note to editor

    It seems likely warmer than our summers so if you are not used to it like me it would be amazing ha.

    Happy to swap sometime? 😜