by Andrew Martin
(Ed’s Note: Thanks to Andrew for putting this together for us. We have to agree with his decisions, but would love to hear what other movies you guys think would fit in these categories.)
Best Christmas Movie: Die Hard (1988)
This is a lesser known Christmas classic about a devil-may-care New York cop, John McClane, who is invited to visit his semi-estranged wife in Los Angeles for her company’s Christmas party. Upon arrival, he realizes she reverted to her maiden name. Unable to control his anger, he initiates a row. Vexed, his wife leaves him to get dressed in her office. While he ruminates on his present marital status, Hans Gruber and his group of racially diverse terrorists hold the Christmas party hostage. After some cinematic meat in the middle, John saves the hostages (minus their avuncular Japanese boss and cocaine addicted co-worker) and when asked to state her name his wife replies, “Holly McClane!” Some people may disagree with me, but I see this as a classic holiday movie about reuniting families.
Die Hard, at its core, is about making up for past wrongs. John McClane makes up for being a poor husband by killing a bunch of flaxen-haired Russians and Germans. Along his adventure, John is befriended over the radio by a cop, Reggie, who also played Carl Winslow in the sitcom Family Matters. It is revealed in the movie that Reggie accidentally killed a ray gun toting thirteen year old boy with his service weapon and was thus taken off street duty. However, his sins are absolved when he shoots Karl, the biggest and baddest of Hans’ henchmen*. So, no matter what you’ve done, if you kill a terrorist, you’ll be forgiven. That’s a Christmas lesson we can all live by.
[actually a note John McClane pinned onto a dead body.] “”Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho”
Worst Christmas Movie: Santa with Muscles (1996)
I’m not sure what happens because I didn’t get to watch the whole movie. Some guy only posted part 1 on YouTube and if anyone thinks I’m about to pay to see this, they’ve got me twisted. But, from what I can gather by the 9 minutes I saw and the trailer, Hulk Hogan starts out as a wealthy producer of health supplements who enjoys hand-to-hand combat with his house staff. After his butler, gardener, and chef attempt to kill him, he decides to go paintballing in his Humvee. He then gets chased by the police and shoots their car with his paintball gun. Then the screen went black. Apparently, the movie continues with him getting amnesia, dressing up as Santa, and then he protects three orphans from villain scientists of some sort. And, if that doesn’t sound good enough, there’s plenty of one-liners peppered through-out. What kind of one-liners? How about, “Santa you slay/sleigh me?”
Starring in horrible movies won’t doom your Hollywood career. One of the orphans in Santa with Muscles is a very young Mila Kunis, who was just recently on the cover of GQ magazine. She’s doing fine, even with this blemish on her record.
“Wait ‘til Santa hears about this. He’ll kick your butt to New Years!”