Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm not the one who just got butt-fucked on national TV, Dwayne.

So in the spirit of biting off more than I can chew, I thought I would try to look at FIFTY HOLIDAY MOVIES. Why not. In no order and completely whimsical. So horror, comedy, action, old and new, good and bad. Including flicks I have never seen nor wanted to see before (meaning I will finally watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation even though I loathe Chevy Chase).

But it was important to start things off right, at the very least.

#50. Die Hard (1988)

I mean, it's a classic. It never gets old and it remains full of fantabulous quotes. Since I really have nothing new to add, I chose some random trivia off imdb...

In the scenes where John McClane is required to run through a multitude of glass shards in his 'bare' feet after Hans has his men shoot out the glass partitions in the computer room, Bruce Willis is in fact wearing special 'rubber' shoes designed to look like his own bare feet. One can in fact see this if looking closely as his feet appear quite unnaturally large in some of these crucial 'barefoot' scenes.

The original script called for terrorists to hijack the building, and for a super-hero cop to stop them. Director John McTiernan modified the script to change the bad guys into robbers pretending to be terrorists so that the audience could enjoy their intention of grabbing a load of money. He felt having terrorists as the villains would make the movie less enjoyable and give it a political angle, which he wanted to avoid. McTiernan also changed the hero, John McClane, into an everyday, flawed man that rises to the occasion in dire circumstances. He felt the audience would identify more with him than with a "super-cop."

Bruce Willis was the sixth choice for the main character. It originally went to Arnold Schwarzenegger, then Sylvester Stallone, then Burt Reynolds, then Richard Gere, then Harrison Ford, then Mel Gibson before Willis got it.

The Serbian, Croat and Bosnian translation of the title is "Umri Muski" ("Die Like A True Man"; literary: "Die Manly" ). The pirated VHS translation back in 1988 was "Skupo Prodaj Svoju Kozu" ("Sell Your Skin At High Price").

#49. While You Were Sleeping (1994)

So this is a pretty bad movie. Complete with a big barf-bag-worthy ending. Well, not the ending so much as the Big Reveal Scene at the end. Wow, gag.

And yet, it still has a number of really cute scenes that make it worth watching (for me, anyway). I want to say it is all Sandy, but Bill Pullman has always made me laugh, too. He does clueless and dorky really well. The supporting cast does a nice job even if nearly all the characters annoy me with their forced quirkiness.

But you know I have a big Sandra Bullock weakness, so no big surprise that I can get through this one yet again, however silly it is. For example, I can even overlook the fact that BP asks her to marry him after knowing her for, what, two weeks? (Even though his character previously gave her a hard time for getting (supposedly) engaged to his brother after a mere three months.)

#48. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

I know, you think I'm knocking out the fun and obvious ones first. But I thought since today is Thanksgiving I should get in a few genuine Thanksgiving films, too. And this is a big one.

This absolutely falls into that "never gets old" category. And one day I will write up for you just why this movie works but something like Due Date comes off as so mean-spirited. Because I do think it's an interesting debate, and I worry I'm just biased by nostalgia. I get that PTA has charm and detail on its side--in abundance--but surely it's more than that.

And by all means, if you have any to recommend that you think I need to watch, suggest away! 50 is quite a lot, you know.


alex said...

Good movies to start with! :)

I dunno if you still have the list, but we were batting this around last December; here's the list we compiled (I forgot about While You Were Sleeping!):

Batman Returns
Black Christmas
Bridget Jones' Diary
Die Hard
Die Hard 2
Edward Scissorhands
Enemy of the State
Going My Way & Bells of St. Mary's
In Bruges
Joyeux Noel
Lethal Weapon
Lethal Weapon 2
The Lion in Winter
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (animated)
The Long Kiss Goodnight
The Man Who Came to Dinner
A Midnight Clear
A Midwinter's Tale/In the Bleak Midwinter (1995)
Nobody's Fool
Peter Wimsey: The Nine Tailors
Rambo: First Blood (I haven't seen this, but imdb says it takes place during xmas XD )
Tokyo Godfathers
Sherlock Holmes: The Blue Carbuncle

Babes in Toyland
Bad Santa
The Bishop's Wife
A Christmas Carol (all of them, every one)
Christmas In Connecticut
Holiday Inn
Home Alone
The Lemon Drop Kid
Miracle on 34th Street
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Sagan om Karl-Bertil Jonssons julafton

Peter's Friends is kind of an honorable mention as it's post-Christmas (New Year's)

Sleepless in Seattle has some Christmas scenes, as does When Harry Met Sally...

alex said...

(Oh--for Thanksgiving, don't forget Scent of a Woman! And I know you haven't forgotten a certain RDJ HH film. <3 )

Ellen Aim said...

Lmao, I was just about to say--Home For the Holidays! That's gonna be #47. ;)

And I TTLY count Sleepless in Seattle ("Horses! Horses! Horses! Horses!") and WHMT.

Thanks for this reminder of the list--I had forgotten!

alex said...

No prob!

btw, LOL at the book John Candy's reading--I never noticed that. I love his character even more now. XD

And omg, poor Holly's shirt--was it really open quite that much in the film? Poor woman. XD;

:o I can't believe all those actors were up for the role before Bruce Willis. Goddamn.

Ellen Aim said...

I know, I LOVE the book. I think this scene probably isn't in the movie??

Anonymous said...

I love this! :D

Time to get a bunch of movies from Netflix!

Not going to watch Chevy Chase, though, unless I've had a few beverages.

Ellen Aim said...

I'm halfway through it. It's not awful, but so far I have no reason to recommend it...(John Hughes wrote and produced, wth).