Merry Christmas to all of you out there. It has been a crazy year and as its winding down we here at the Maus are ever so grateful for the amazing response we've received this year. You all have helped us in achieving Manny's dream of total information domination. Or at least got us one step closer. Anyway, as the local columnist on Food, fashion and film i felt it my duty to give you all some alternative choices this holiday season to some amazing Christmas films. Now I know all of you out there love It's a Wonderful Life, and with good cause it's a classic film in it's own right and one of Mr. Funkowitz's favorites. Or maybe one of the variations on A Christmas Carol is more your speed? or Miracle on 34th St(which by the way I work on 34th street and that Macy's is actually capable of miracles). Well those are all fine and feel good, but I'm here to give you some different choices, just as entertaining and awesome, but maybe a little different than you're used to.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale - Jalmari Helander
This is an amazing film. It is full of the same kind of childish wonder and joy and energy you would find in any other film. It talks about family coming together in a bind and ultimately being there for each other. It also tells the tale of Santa being found in in Finland frozen in the ground. As children start disappearing a group of local hunters capture Santa and hold him hostage against the company that was digging for him, little do they know Santa's elves are on their way to save their master, and this Santa punishes all those who are naughty. A deliciously twisted tale of Christmas, and full of creativity, definitely one of the more original films I've seen. For those who have an open mind you will LOVE this film. The cover likens the film to Bad Santa, but this is nowhere near THAT mean spirited, there is a Christmas story of redemption and family unity here, amidst the bloodthirsty elves and hostage taking.
The Ref - Ted Demme
This was a favorite of ours in the House of Bence. My mom and I used to watch this every year, and now I'm handing this tradition out to you all in the blogosphere. More hostage taking here, as Dennis Leary is a thief trying to get away on Christmas Eve and stumbles into a house and takes the husband and wife hostage. What follows is straight out of a sitcom as the husband and wife are endlessly bickering, with a mischievious son and an overbearing mother-in-law. This is great 90s dark comedy and Leary and Spacey are awesome together. Leary does tightly wound frustration to comedic perfection. And again, ultimately this is about family coming together to solve problems and help each other.
Gremlins - Joe Dante
Do you really need a reason? Little demons cause mischief and mayhem on Christmas Eve due to one lad's recklessness. The ultimate story of responsibility and consequences. Everyone knows Gizmo, but growing up man I loved Stripe. An awesome Christmas movie and a great horror movie that you can start younger kids on. Probably not for RC but in a few years he'll be ready for the awesomeness of Gremlins. Definitely a twisted take on what happens when you're naughty and not nice.
Merry Christmas everyone. Twincess and RC you guys are my world I hope today brings you everything you wanted, and in the case of RC I happen to know it does.
One last thought - my new Christmas fave, if only because RC and I discovered this together we watched this last night before we read The Night Before Christmas