CLASSIC COMPARISONS FOR CHRISTMAS

Welcome to the first Classic Comparisions for Christmas feature. As always, to access comparisons for any of the films, just click on the cover art.

MATT'S SELECTION

RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER
A must-see Christmas TV special for the whole family to enjoy and sing along too in this stop-motion animation classic. Rudolph leaves the North Pole and meets lots of interesting characters on his adventure and helps Santa save Christmas. I have been watching this every Christmas morning since I was young and today it still holds a special place in my heart. A must see Christmas special.
NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION
Clark Griswold is back for the holiday season and nothing is going to stop him from having his ideal family Christmas, not even Cousin Eddie can dampen the spirit of Christmas, or can he. This mishap comedy always get watched on Christmas Eve at my house, what about yours? A highly recommended comedy for the Christmas season.
GREMLINS GREMLINS
An inventor buys his son a Mogwai for Christmas with 3 simple rules to follow! If the rules are broken it will unleash vicious little creatures what will cause chaos for this small town. Itís not really a Christmas family movie but it should highlight the importance of reading instructions on gifts, just in case you receive a cute, cuddly, furry Mogwai as a gift.

ADRIAN'S SELECTION

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
I would challenge anyone - even the most hard hearted person - to honestly say they don't feel anything when watching this wonderful film. Saying that a film is a classic is an often used cliche but in this case I truly believe it can't be described as anything else. James Stewart is perfect in the role of compassionate but desperately troubled man George Bailey - a man who will anything and everything for anyone before himself yet is contemplating taking his own life on Christmas Eve. If ever there was a film which shows the true value of family and friends and demonstrate that it is possible to believe in hope beyond all odds; then this is most certainly it.
THE OFFICE: CHRISTMAS SPECIALS THE OFFICE: CHRISTMAS SPECIALS
The two Christmas episodes were the perfect way to round off this perfect comedy. OK, they may feel a little padded in places but the way the characters and storylines came to very satisfying conclusions was great. The Tim and Dawn saga was finished in the way you feel both characters deserved and even the future which lied ahead for David Brent himself was the right one - he may be an incompetent pompous, racist, sexist, idiotic, arrogant pig most of the time but not even he deserved the cruel, bigoted remarks made by his boss and supposed best mate in the latter half of the second episode. The man that you spent every previous episode either cringing or laughing at (rather than with) suddenly doesn't seem all that made after all.
BLACK CHRISTMAS BLACK CHRISTMAS
It's a slasher for the festive period that even pre-dates Halloween and has gone on to become another cult classic - although not any way close to status that Halloween now enjoys. The premise is very simple - a stalker makes obscene phones calls to a sorority house and then starts bumping off the girls one by one. It's a plot point that has been re-used time and time again - some may recognise it from the recent When A Stranger Calls - but of course that was a remake of a film that itself was made some 5 years after this one. So if the sickly smell of Christmas dates is getting too much and you suddenly realise that you just can't be jolly any longer - stick this one on and revel in the misfortunes of others for 98 minutes.

ROB'S SELECTION

THE SNOWMAN/FATHER CHRISTMAS THE SNOWMAN/FATHER CHRISTMAS
The two hugely successful Raymond Briggs' stories are almost a given around Christmas. Where would we all be without "We're Walking in the Air"? And what will it take to finally convince us that it wasn't a young Aled Jones' dulcet tones used for the film's actual soundtrack? Another set of warming tales to watch - and as with The Muppet Christmas Carol - ones to sit down with children, or younger friends and relatives, to watch. The animation is as stylised and beautiful as ever, so no excuse for anyone to not give this a watch!
THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL
Is the love gone from your Christmas? Hopefully not if you pick up the R1 version of "The Muppet Christmas Carol"! The Muppets have been a huge success over many years (and continue to be) but for people like me, the best Muppet moments are the spin-off TV series "Muppets Tonight", the muppets take on Treasure Island and "The Muppet Christmas Carol". A heartwarming tale of change, kindness, grace and love (personified by Tiny Tim) - made complete with wonderful songs and the muppets themselves. What's not to love?!
THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN: CHRISTMAS SPECIAL THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN: CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
Twelvety days of 'local' Christmas? The last of the original feel to "The League of Gentlemen" (before the new direction[s] explored in Series Three), this hour-long special is very entertaining and cleverly put together. Narrated through the visitations to the vicar, the Reverend Bernice Woodall, the story is based in the local church and has plenty of twists and turns to keep up interest - going into new places whilst paying homage to classic British horror films of past. But, of course, there's nothing for you here...

MATHEW'S SELECTION

HOME ALONE HOME ALONE
Pure Christmas gold. Despite being a fairly young film, it's almost become traditional to watch Home Alone at Christmas. If this film doesn't mke you laugh once, well...you're a scrooge. And now, with the new Family Fun Edition, packed with lots of quality extras (although you'll wish you didn't know where Buzz was, if you know what I mean...) you have absolutely no reason not to own it.
THE GRINCH THE GRINCH
Being trapped in a hot green latex creature suit with yellow contact lenses may have been too much for some actors, but certainly not Jim Carrey. He turns in a fantastic performance and doesn't let the suit hold him back. He's been a Grinch lover all his life and you can tell. He is the heart of this visually outstanding Dr. Seuss adaptation.
SCROOGED SCROOGED
Bill Murray plays to his strengths as a bitter, horrible TV executive who would probably give your own grandmother a heart attack just to suck up the publicity. However, Murray is just the tip of all-star iceberg, including Karen "Raiders of the Lost Ark" Allen and a scene- stealing turn from Carol Kane. Okay, it's a tad dated (Solid Gold Dancers, anyone?) but it holds up. The Special Edition release set for this year was sadly cancelled, but hopefully we'll see it next year. Please, Paramount?

ALTERNATIVELY, HOW ABOUT THESE TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS COMPARISONS...

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET A CHRISTMAS CAROL A CHRISTMAS CAROL WHITE CHRISTMAS

...THESE NOT QUITE SO TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS COMPARISONS...

BRIDGET JONES' DIARY THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS LOVE ACTUALLY BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: THE ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS JINGLE ALL THE WAY A MUPPET FAMILY CHRISTMAS THE SANTA CLAUSE THE SANTA CLAUSE 2

...OR THESE DEFINITELY NOT TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS COMPARISONS...

DIE HARD SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT

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