Holiday Movie Tournament: ROUND 2

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Holiday Movie Tournament: ROUND 2

Photo by Nathan Wolfe on Unsplash

Photo by Nathan Wolfe on Unsplash

Photo by Nathan Wolfe on Unsplash

Photo by Nathan Wolfe on Unsplash


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This time around, our traditional and non-traditional movies will be battling it out in the same article! Only one more round until the winner is declared. Read up and vote below!

Traditional Holiday Movies: ROUND 2

“ELF” V. “HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS”

“Elf” – Luke Caslin

When trying to decide on what Christmas movie to watch “Elf” is a great choice to consider. “Elf” is a hilarious comedy that features some great well known actors, which makes the movie even more hilarious. No matter how many times you see “Elf” you will always laugh at the same joke. Of course “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is an okay movie, but it is nothing compared to “Elf“,  a warm hearted family story about a human elf finding his real father. Every moment of the movie will warm your heart. “Elf” is a far better choice than “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” because it does not feature ridiculous makeup that looks really creepy. The one major thing that separates “Elf” from “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is that The Grinch changes from being good to evil, while Buddy the elf is inherently good natured. It is a true fact that “Elf” is a better movie as it scored 7/10, while “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” only scored 6.1/10. Over the Holidays it is obvious that “Elf” is the movie you and your family must watch, as it warms hearts and makes people laugh harder than ever.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” – Jacob Hamburger

How better to show the themes of Christmas than in a town that spends all year preparing for it? In Whoville, Christmas is an all-year event, complete with extravagant gifts and outlandish light structures. The Grinch may be green, but what makes him different from the Whos isn’t his skin tone; he hates the materialism of Christmas, the stupidity and frivolity of the merriest day of the year. He loathes the Whos, and intends to take away the only thing they hold near and dear: their Christmas gifts. The plan he derives is genius, and ultimately works in taking the presents out of Christmas.

But what the Grinch finds after taking these gifts surprises him. As the Whos rose to see their cupboards barren, and their living rooms devoid of gifts and decorations, they don’t stop celebrating Christmas. They stand together, they stand as one, and they sing. They truly celebrate Christmas, for its promise of togetherness and family over materialism and wealth.

Unlike most Christmas movies, “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” means something. It’s more than a fictional man-child, or shall we say “elf”, wandering around New York in search of his father. It’s more than a dumb comedy. It’s, as typical for a Seuss piece, an eloquent, meaningful statement on what Christmas has become, and what it ought to be.

Which is the better traditional holiday movie?

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“POLAR EXPRESS” V. “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE”

“Polar Express” – Ethan Martin

When you think of Christmas what do you think of? A reindeer, Santa, the Grinch? No. The first thing that comes to everyone’s mind is the “Polar Express.” This iconic Christmas movie is a household favorite across the world, and it has it all; from great characters played by famous actors, such as the great Tom Hanks, to famously known songs that will have you singing along. Upon watching, there is no way that by the end of the day you will not be singing the “Hot Chocolate” song. The movie takes place from the perspective of a doubting young boy known as hero boy who embarks on an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, where he goes on a journey of self-discovery that shows him the fascination in life never fades for those who believe. The movie teaches people of all ages that being a believer helps make you be happier and, inspires you to never give in to what others say and stay true to yourself. Other Christmas movies are great but, no other Christmas movie teaches kids such a valuable lesson that shapes who they will be when they grow up. “The Polar Express” does not only teach a valuable lesson, it’s also a holiday favorite for the whole family to watch. It is obviously the most iconic Christmas movie ever and is sure to be a classic for the rest of time.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” – Luca Antonio Colannino

Christmas. A time of care, love, and happiness for all to share and enjoy. What better movie to demonstrate the virtues of this wonderful holiday than “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which shows its audience that we take the joy of life for granted and only focus on the sadness. George Bailey, a beloved man, is suicidal on Christmas Eve in Bedford Falls, New York. Prayers for him reach all the way to Heaven, where Clarence Obdoby, Angel 2nd Class, is assigned to save George in order to gain his angel wings. When George says he wish he never had been born, Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born. There was no happiness, care, or love in a life without George Bailey, leading him to beg Clarence for his life back and never take anything for granted again. One of the most critically acclaimed movies ever made, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was nominated for 5 Academy Awards and is the perfect message of happiness for the Christmas Season.

Which is the better traditional holiday movie?

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Non-Traditional Holiday Movies: ROUND 2

“DIE HARD” V. “THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS”

“Die Hard” – Max Wilson

There’s no better way to spend the holidays that watching the classic action movie “Die Hard”, the story of tough-as-nails cop John McClane protecting an entire building full of people using nothing but grit and holiday spirit. Full of quotable lines, epic 80’s villains, and a pinch of festivity, “Die Hard” is a verifiably fun way to celebrate the most wonderful time of year, beating the uncomfortably weird “The Nightmare Before Christmas” by a mile. And let’s not forget, a movie is only as good as it’s villain. Alan Rickman kills it as the suave criminal mastermind Hans Gruber, a menacing terrorist with a penchant for theatrics who always manages to stay one step ahead. If, however, you like spending the holidays being traumatized, you could watch Santa Claus get tortured by “The Nightmare Before Christmas’” villain, a literal pile of insects (with a severe gambling addiction). “Die Hard” is not just a blind action movie, however. It is also the story of a estranged man reconnecting with his family. McClane goes through thick-and-thin to save his wife’s life, and there’s a positive message of unity and happiness. While “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has aged about as well as eggnog does, “Die Hard” has remained a classic Christmas movie.  

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” – Sarah Green

If you are one of the movie-lovers that hesitates to call “The Nightmare Before Christmas” a Christmas movie over a Halloween movie, it’s important to remember what truly makes a Christmas movie: the holiday spirit. Not only does “The Nightmare Before Christmas” embody this spirit more than that of Halloween, but it also embodies this spirit more than any other Christmas movie. What better way is there to show the meaning of Christmas than through the story of Jack Skellington finding the lost magic in his life through Christmas Town, a world of gifts, lights, family, snow, and especially joy? At the start of the movie, Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, feels discontent with the monotonous, unsettling world he lives in. It isn’t until he stumbles upon Christmas Town that he realizes he was not only missing out on an entire world, but an entire feeling, the feeling that only surrounds something as magical as Christmas. This magic is the only thing that can transform Jack Skellington into a selfless, sentimental person who knows what is really important in life and tries to share this joy with others. Because of this, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” isn’t just a Christmas movie. It is the ultimate Christmas movie.

Which is the better non-traditional holiday movie?

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“LOVE ACTUALLY” V. “CHRISTMAS VACATION”

“Love Actually” – Minji Kim

Love Actually”: the classic Christmas Rom-Com. What Christmas is complete without Hugh Grant dancing in the governor’s mansion or baby Sam running through the airport? Like most movies, “Love Actually” has its flaws. Though, in my opinion, that’s precisely what makes it a great movie. The movie is about many different people all celebrating the same holiday. Love is special and connects everyone together. Family and love is always a little imperfect and this movie captures that perfectly. In this movie, all the characters are somehow connected, whether it’s by family, friend, or even neighbor. The multiple storylines create a cozy environment for all the characters to tell their own stories. The movie might be flawed, but it certainly makes up for it with the fun Christmas music, the British accents, and love.

“Christmas Vacation” – Michelle Yu

 

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” may not be as well known as “Love Actually”, but it is definitely the superior holiday movie. Though “Love Actually” is considered a “classic,” it by far has more flaws than “Christmas Vacation” does. To be frank, “Love Actually” is a mess; it features nine complicated love stories that teach us all the wrong lessons about romance. All that viewers take away is that love is purely based on physical attraction, first impressions, and sweeping declarations, rather than any honest communication. “Love Actually” is overstuffed with stories and characters that are not compelling, and it tries to cover up its horribly entangled bunch of tales with a semi-charming cast. It’s also important to note that, in remembering that this is a holiday movie tournament, “Love Actually” isn’t really a “Christmas movie”; it just takes place near the holidays.

When “Christmas Vacation” and “Love Actually” are pitted against each other, the former is much better categorized as a holiday movie than the latter. “Christmas Vacation” is a feel-good movie that centers around a family getting ready for the holidays. The film is bound to make viewers laugh, rather than cringe when watching “Love Actually”. In “Christmas Vacation”, the Griswold family deals with the stress and chaos that come with the holiday season; their oversized-tree has to be cut down with their bare hands, the extended family keeps showing up unannounced, the Christmas Eve dinner ends in comedic disaster, and the SWAT team shows up and holds everyone at gunpoint over a small mistake. By the end of the movie, however, the family manages to celebrate Christmas together, which is a much better lesson than what “Love Actually” teaches. A family movie at heart, “Christmas Vacation” conveys the spirit of Christmas and derives its humor from the holiday. “Love Actually” merely uses Christmas as a backdrop – something it arguably could have done without.

If none of that convinced you that “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” wins the battle against “Love Actually” as the best holiday movie, just know that “Christmas Vacation” was rated higher on Rotten Tomatoes.

Which is the better non-traditional holiday movie?

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