I regularly ask you to picture a scene and this week, I must ask it of you again.
It’s the evening of December 24. You’re sitting by a roaring, open fire, reading a nice b-- alright never mind, nobody reads any more. You’re binge watching “Grey’s Anatomy,” and enjoying a nice plate of warm cookies and a glass of cold milk. As you reach your ninth or tenth episode, the fire slowly goes out until it’s a just a heap of glowing embers and ash and a soft snow begins to fall outside. You begin to doze off, until…
There’s a thud on the roof. You snap awake, looking around wildly. Without warning, an obese old man crashes into your fireplace. You scream, but he ignores you, choosing instead to hurl wrapped packages at you as he bellows with insane glee. At one point he pushes you violently out of the way, emptying the tray of cookies into his open maw and drinking the milk with one gluttonous gulp. Then, like that, he’s gone, exhibiting a raw agility the likes of which a man of his monstrous stature should not be able to achieve. That man was Saint Nicholas Clause, and he heralds the arrival of Christmas.
Despite the blatant breaking and entering and potential property damage, Christmas is, say it with me now, "the most wonderful time of the year," and it’s right around the proverbial corner. So, to accompany the twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords a leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, FIVE GOLDEN RINGS, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtles doves, AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE, the Trove office staff has each chosen three of their favorite Christmas movies a piece, all available to stream! Some, you’ll know, others ... not so much.
Production Assistant, The Dickens of Blogs, General Office Slave
“Die Hard,” 1989
Directed by John McTiernan, Written by Action Guys, Starring Bruce Willis and Severus Snape. Available on Amazon Video.
Miles (I, myself, the writer of this blog, so I refuse to acknowledge myself in third person) went out on a limb and chose a few movies that more happen during Christmas than are Christmas movies. Exhibit A: John McTiernan’s 1989 action classic, with Bruce Willis as the seemingly immortal John McClane. Commonly seen as one of -- if not the -- greatest action movie of all time. Nothing defines the spirit of Christmas more than Alan Rickman’s thick German accent, Bruce Willis strangling a man with a chain, among other violent tidings of good cheer. “Yippy ki-yay, motherf@#%&*” might as well be a Christmas carol.
“Eyes Wide Shut”
1999, Directed by Stanley Kubrick, Written by Kubrick and Another Dude, Starring Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and an Army of Masked Orgy People. Available on Netflix.
Another one that follows a sort of loose definition of a Christmas movie, but hey, there are tons of Christmas lights in it! Fun fact, the inimitable Kubrick actually did everything he could to have certain scenes illuminated only by Christmas lights. What’s more Christmas-y than that?! Sure, the film involves a massive, Illuminati-esque conspiracy theory and features its fair share of wild, yet ... dignified orgy scenes, but what better way is there to celebrate Christmas?! Plus it has the added bonus of being one of the best films of the ‘90s! Win-win, people.
“It’s A Wonderful Life”
Directed by Frank Capra, Written by Geniuses, Starring Jimmy Stewart and The Most Evil Looking Man in the World. Available on Netflix.
Alright, as flippant as I am with my choices, it’s impossible to ignore “It’s A Wonderful Life.” What a freaking incredible movie. If you haven’t seen it, it will be on approximately 100,000 times from now until the 26th. Capra, the KING of feel-good movie making without being manipulative or sentimental, crafts what may be his masterpiece here as he basically takes us through the whole of George Bailey’s (Stewart) life. Then, in a twist that’s been parodied thousands of times, from “That ‘70s Show” to “The Simpsons,” Bailey, and the audience, is shown what life would be like without him. You have to be the coldest of monsters, like the film’s Mr. Potter, to not feel moved at the movies conclusion, although SNL imagined another one that might be even better.
Editor Extraordinaire, Supple Twenty-Year Old, Four Time Winner of the Most Handsome Man in Office Award
*NOTE: Trove does not endorse all films selected in this list. Having said that, everyone has a right to their opinion.*
“How The Grinch Stole Christmas”
2000, Directed by A Financially Desperate Ron Howard, Written by Anyone They Could Find, Starring A Surprisingly Committed Jim Carrey. Available on Netflix.
Holiday-hooby-what happened here? That’s what many critics were asking when this Ron Howard-directed adaptation of the cartoon Christmas classic was released. Despite that, Addisohn still digs it thanks to some ridiculously impressive art direction. The man isn’t wrong; it is pretty creative. He’s also a fan of the general oddness of the movie; it’s just plain bizarre not just for a Christmas movie, but for movies in general. Finally, and perhaps most important to Addisohn, is the sentimentality the film carries for him, as he used to watch it regularly with his family -- all together now -- AWWWW!
“The Polar Express”
2004, Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Written by Unfortunate People Forced to Stretch A 32 Page Book Into A Movie, Starring Tom Hanks’ Avatar. Available on Hulu.
Another one that hinges on sentimentality for Baby Addi, but he is not ashamed of his adoration for it. A budding filmmaker in his own right, Addisohn particularly digs the cinematography, which was extremely impressive at the time, given that it’s actually the first ever film to use all digital motion capture. The soundtrack is also a major plus in Addisohn’s eyes (or ears, I suppose), save for the song “When Christmas Comes to Town,” which he described in words that decorum prohibits my documenting here.
2015, Directed by Michael Dougherty, Written by People Who Either Love or Hate Christmas Too Much, Starring The Woman from “Fargo,” The Man from “Anchorman,” The Man from “Parks and Recreation,” and Toni Collette. Available on HBOgo.
Despite the panning and verbal abuse that Addisohn received for his first two picks, “Krampus” was met with much more enthusiasm, and for good reason. “Krampus,” made by the same genius who made “Trick R Treat,” is almost like a PG-13 version of “The Cabin in the Woods.” It’s a movie that just doesn’t care, basking in the glow of its mixture of camp, comedy, and horror, and topped off with some surprisingly great acting from its ensemble cast. The opening scene, where shoppers revert to near animalistic savagery as they shop for gifts, is specifically cited as one of Baby Addi’s favorites in the film.
Ben Wade's Picks
Auteur Director, First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm
“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
1993, directed by Henry Selick, Written by Caroline “Morbid” Thompson, Starring Spectacular Voice Actors. Available on Netflix and Hulu.
What’s this? A terrific little movie that’s turned into a major cultural phenomenon, from the macabre and potentially disturbed mind of Tim Burton. What’s this? A Halloween movie ... AND a Christmas movie? You can watch it twice a year! Fantastic! What’s this? A movie that is just dark enough so that emo kids from your middle school can wear Jack Skellington jackets, but just enjoyable enough that you could permissibly show it to an elementary schooler and they may not be traumatized for life. What’s this? An incredible soundtrack that carries you right along a story that sees the denizens of Halloween Town hatch a scheme to take over Christmas and torture Santa Claus. What’s this? A movie you need to watch, immediately.
“Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Chrimbus Special”
2010, "Written and Directed” by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, Starring Fantastic Actors Looking to Have A Good Time. Available on Adult Swim
Suffice it to say, when Ben presented me with this pick for one of his favorite Christmas movies, I was a tad bit confused. But upon viewing it, I realized the true scope of the special’s vision, a Christmas (or “Chrimbus,” as they refer to it) themed comedy variety show that seems to be infused with the style of David Lynch. Ben is a devout follower of Tim and Eric and their comedy in general, which exists on a surreal plane of existence that you and I simply can’t enter, but in which Tim and Eric thrive. Whether it’s the small creature Dee Vee or the seemingly endless musical numbers, Ben finds Tim and Eric to bring a rather joyous Chrimbus indeed.
“Fireplace for Your Home”
2010, Directed by George Ford, Written by Kenneth Logernan, Starring Kenny Loggins and Logan Lerman. Available on Netflix.
Winner of a record twelve Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress for Meryl Streep, and Best Supporting Actor for Michael Shannon, George Ford’s 2010 opus asks the age-old question “What does an active fireplace look like?” and gives no easy answers. Originally released as a trilogy, the film was finally released as a whole in the 2010 Final Cut, and it makes sense, since Ford pulled off an incredible feat and filmed all three consecutively. It’s helps that, besides the dedicatedly inert performances of its cast, that the film is a technical marvel, as Roger Deakins’ work as cinematographer finally won him his first Oscar. This, ladies and gentlemen, is film. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the true meaning of Christmas.
So hope you enjoyed our list and getting to know us! Please, take advantage of your streaming abilities and go enjoy yourself some vaunted holiday cinema that will truly put you in the spirit! If you dug what you read, feel free to check out our other blogs on our website! Thanks for reading, and have yourselves a merry little holiday!