Film Club: Christmas Edition – Week 1
by Brendan Campbell on December 10, 2010

Ho-ho-hello and welcome once again to Inside Pulse Movies Film Club! Last month we had a successful tournament which saw various horror films battle it out for the right to be called the King of Horror. This month, ‘tis the season, as you, the reader, will get to enjoy some vicious bouts between holiday films to see which ones really do have what it takes to not only bring the yuletide cheer, but also knock a fellow classic down a peg or two in order to be deemed the winner of their individual bouts!

The matches have been set, and things could get messier as the month goes on! For now, we start off with a classic that everyone knows, going up a modern day classic that some may have only heard of in passing. That’s right, it‘s the longtime classic It‘s a Wonderful Life up against the romantic comedy Love, Actually! Let’s head to the judges…

Jenny Rushing Alme - No contest for me. Love Actually is a beautiful movie, but It’s a Wonderful Life is a classic. I’ve watched it every Christmas since I was a kid and it gets better and better every year. It’s just an amazing film.

Well if that’s the way you’re looking at it, it really would be hard to beat a film you’ve seen over 50 times! Was that too harsh? Okay, 48 times…

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz - Everyone’s seen It’s a Wonderful Life so often because every Christmas it’s on at least 20 times a day. So we look at it as a “classic” not because it’s a brilliant film because it’s been seen en masse. It’s the same principal behind the popularity of Office Space, oddly enough, but I never really thought much of Love, Actually. So the former by default.

Well there’s a battle that we’ll have to save for another edition of Film Club…though I’m not sure that It’s a Wonderful Life would win in a battle of quotes against Office Space, as “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings,” can’t really compete against, “Looks like you’ve been missing a lot of work lately,” “I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it Bob.”

Josh Begley - I’m not a huge fan of It’s a Wonderful Life, so Love, Actually kind of wins by default. I consider this to be more of a movie that takes place at Christmas rather than a Christmas movie, but it is very good.

That’s it, it’s two to one for It’s a Wonderful Life, and I must say that it took a lot of coaxing to get Mr. Mike Noyes to join us in this edition of Film Club after most of his picks to win last month were completely blown out of the water…but alas, here he is, in full holiday spirit, wearing a Santa suit, and holding mistletoe in his hand…that I think is actually poison ivy…yes, it is indeed poison ivy, and I will now be stepping away from Mike as he makes his selection…

Mike Noyes - It’s a Wonderful Life Vs Love, Actually: I know there are a lot of people who are sick to death seeing It’s a Wonderful Life being played ad nauseam every December, which is a shame, cause it really is a fantastic film. It’s a very dark film where nothing really good happens in it until the end. This one is on my MUST SEE list every Christmas. Love, Actually is a pretty cute film too, but seriously? No contest.

Well there you have it ladies and gentleman, Hugh Grant can do battle with Mr. Darcy any day of the week, but when it comes to battling out with suicidal businessmen, and an angel trying to get his wings, well, he simply got his bell rung.

Our next bout is a somewhat darker holiday contest, where we see a young boy fight for survival against two clumsy men out to get him battle it out against a film where the only slaying taking place isn’t the kind where you’re holding a cup of hot chocolate, snuggled against a loved one, all while hoping the horses don’t pass gas. That’s right, it’s Home Alone Vs Black Christmas (1974)…

Josh Begley - As much as I love horror movies, I have a huge problem with somebody dressed up as Santa and killing people. I suppose it’s silly, but Santa is one of those icons from my childhood that I want to remain pure and good and it just makes me sad to see any representation of him as anything but. That’s why I also don’t like Bad Santa.

That’s…actually quite touching Josh. In fact, I shall refrain from making any comedic remarks about the way you feel here, as it really does show the true meaning of Christmas, and what Santa means to us all. I mean sure, he’s not real, and it’s your parents that bring the presents, but I mean…oh…oh no, Josh, I thought you knew…this, has become somewhat awkward now, moving on!

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz - I would say here that whoever wrote Home Alone sold their soul to the devil to make that piece of dreck a hit, but Kevin Smith beat me to the punch. Black Christmas was an alright film but mediocre beats god-awful every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

But John Hughes wrote Home Alone! Are you telling me that John Hughes is in Hell right now because he wanted to see Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern get hit in the face with paint cans? And I don’t know about you, but I learned how to throw a kick-ass Christmas party with nothing but mannequins and cardboard cut-outs thanks to this film…though maybe all this time I’d have wasted less food and money if I actually invited actual people over…damn you John Hughes, damn you…

Jenny Rushing Alme - Heh, another one that’s no contest. Black Christmas is considered a Christmas horror classic, but Home Alone! That’s just greatness! When I was a kid, I loved it because of the slapstick humor and because it was funny watching Kevin try to take care of himself and the house. The scene where he goes to the grocery store, “Oh wait! I have a coupon for that.” Hilarious! But as an adult with kids, now I relate more to Catherine O’Hara. Seriously, the movie makes me cry now. She goes through hell and back in a van full of polka players just to get home to her baby boy. Any parent would do the same. (Any parent wouldn’t leave their kid on Christmas, but hey.)

What about John Heard!? That guy comes home to everything being destroyed, and he knows that he’s going to have to work some overtime in order to pay for the repairs. If I feel bad for anyone, it’s him, as nobody likes to work overtime, plus, he had to watch all the other kids while his wife up and left him. In fact, go and give your husband a big hug right now Jenny, and say, “If we ever leave one of our kids at home on Christmas, you get to ride with the polka players, and I’ll work the overtime.” He may not know what you mean, but I’m pretty sure saying that is the same as a bell ringing when it comes to angels.

Mike Noyes - I loved Home Alone when I was a kid, but out grew it pretty quick. Black Christmas is an amazing slasher flick, it’s got the Christmas theme going strong and it even predates Halloween by a few years.

And with the votes tallied up, in the end, could Kevin beat a killer Santa? The answer is…partially. The two went head to head, and you can choose your own ending, in which they were both knocked out by paint cans, or Kevin’s parents came home early, and Santa had to make like a Christmas tree and pine needle.

That’s all for this week, and what a round it was! Join us next week as we up the stakes, with even more judges, a couple of 3-Way battles, as well as a bout of the classics, in which two Christmas heavyweights stand toe to toe, with one hoping to sing victory from the rooftops, and the other hoping to shoot its eye out!



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