By The Alabamian’s staff
“Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”
By Cady Inabinett, Editor in chief
A couple of years ago, I wrote about my love of “Home Alone” in this very newspaper, calling it my favorite Christmas movie. But I have a confession to make: “Home Alone,” while certainly a deeply beloved classic, is not my favorite Christmas movie. My real favorite Christmas movie is “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.”
While, I’m aware, from a technical standpoint, “Home Alone 2” is probably significantly worse than the original film, that fact matters very little to me due to the fact that it’s a silly movie that I liked when I was six years old. “Home Alone 2” is an ultimate wish-fulfillment movie for me. Not that I’ve ever necessarily wanted to be separated from my family while going on vacation, but I think there’s something to be said about how “Home Alone 2” manages to capture what feels like every child’s desire to go off on some grand adventure by themself—to, metaphorically, in terms of Kevin McCallister’s desires, have their very own cheese pizza.
By M.K. Bryant, News editor
I’m not writing this to join in on the infamous “Is ‘Die Hard’ a Christmas movie?” debate—even though, in my opinion, it definitely is.
Christmas movie or not, “Die Hard” is genuinely one of my favorite movies to watch during the holiday season. Obviously, it wasn’t a major part of my childhood, or anything like that. I’d be a bit concerned if it was, given its R-rating. I was introduced to the movie for the first time in high school, and it quickly became a favorite.
“Die Hard” is a staple in cinema, specifically, the action genre, and it has a little bit of everything that makes a movie good. Drama, suspense, even comedy—you name it, “Die Hard” probably has it.
One main critique I see from people who refuse to view “Die Hard” as a Christmas movie is the idea that it doesn’t convey any Christmas-themed concepts or values—it’s simply an action movie that happens to take place during Christmastime.
In my opinion, however, the central story of “Die Hard” is about a man who, despite being estranged from his family, saves the day and finally reunites and reconciles with them on Christmas Eve. What could convey the holiday season better than that?
By Wesley Walter, Managing editor
As someone whose lived in Alabama his whole life, New Jersey is a fascinating place to me. Not because I have any real affinity for or connection to the state, but just because I am drawn towards its general vibe of hopelessness.
It’s not like Alabama is any better, really, and I’m sure there are some perfectly cool and nice spots in New Jersey. But, watching “Funny Pages” has perhaps been the most impactful push towards my, admittedly, prejudiced conclusion that, instead of the Garden State, New Jersey would be better referred to as the “Chemical Waste Runoff State.”
This is perhaps the greasiest, grimiest, least Christmasy movie that has ever happened to take place during Christmas. It’s also, at points, very funny and fills me with hope that, if the most miniscule glimmer of humor and fleeting joy can be found in the shivering tar pit that is Trenton N.J., I can similarly laugh at and come to terms with holiday season bleakness
I don’t recommend “Funny Pages” as the ultimate Christmas film at all since, to be honest, I forgot it was set during Christmas for 90% of its run time. I would also seriously think twice about recommending it to about 90% of people, but I do think it is a pretty good black comedy.
Even the most unlikable and vile characters, who make up most of the film’s cast, contain at least some likeable uniqueness and fleeting moments of human decency, making the film an oddly sympathetic and realistic portrayal of humanity to me.
I might just be insane, and to others the film might be irredeemably bleak and, at times, mean. But, I think there is something to be said for the fact that it shows how even the worst dregs of society are just trying their best and contain some capacity for goodness—however miniscule and misguided that goodness may be.
If this sounds up your alley, I think the film is worth a watch, but it’s probably still best to do so on an empty stomach.
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
By Maeghan Jeremiah, Layout designer
Jim Carey’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” from 2000 has been my favorite Christmas movie for as long as I can remember. I’ve seen this movie so many times I can probably recite the whole thing. I even watch it when it’s not Christmastime.
I feel like The Grinch and I have a lot in common. No, I’m not mean, but I do like to be alone. Also, in the end, I will open up when treated kindly and when I’m around people I like.
Also, I would like to make an honorable mention to Max, the dog. He is so cute and makes the movie better just by being there.
I prefer the 2000 Grinch because I just really enjoy how Jim Carey embodies the character. I enjoy the recent animated one put out in 2018, but it just doesn’t compare.
I feel like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will forever be my favorite Christmas movie. I highly suggest watching it if you haven’t — although I am sure we all have.
“Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”
By Lucy Frost-Helms, Copy editor
The main draw of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” is that it is centered around chocolate, which is one of my favorite food groups. The second draw, for me at least, is that Willy Wonka’s factory is similar to an amusement park, which, in my eyes, is the greatest thing on planet Earth. I have always been a massive fan of any amusement park, and when you combine one of the greatest food groups with one of my favorite activities, I am sure to love it. The third draw, of course, is Gene Wilder, may he rest in chocolate heaven.
This movie gives me a form of nostalgia like no other—the kind of nostalgia that you get around the holidays, which makes this movie an appropriate film for me and you to watch in this festive season.