Top Ten Movies they’re bound to show this Christmas

December 12, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

OTB’s Alejandro Ahmadi Gestoso delves into those cinematic stockings and pulls out the top ten movies they’re bound to show this Christmas.

Okay. You’ve read the news. You know the score. The global economy has dropped its trousers and s*it all over us big time. Jobs are going; shares are falling; houses are being repossessed; bleating banks are being led by veritable titty-shepherds all the way to financial oblivion. And, amid this biblical flood of misery, comes Christmas.

As if it wasn’t bad enough, now you have to lace your fears and anxieties with tinsel, mistletoe, flashing lights and stockings. But that’s not the worst part. Not by a long shot. You also have to sit through weeks of excruciating TV and movie repeats. You know the ones. Those films that have somehow become quintessentially ‘Christmassy’.


Disney and Pixars stunning reinvention of the animated movie genre sees toys belonging to a child named Andy given life (yes, the entire Disney industry seems to be based upon anthropomorphism). Amongst them, a cowboy named Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen), the new toy on the block. What ensues is an adventure through the dangerous world beyond Andy’s room including the garden of a deranged kid who makes hideous Mattel-monsters by unmercifully fusing toys together in freakish configurations.

Xmas Verdict: stocking filler

Buzz and Woody’s hilarious first conversation – Buzz may have landed, but he’s light years from the truth.

9. MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (the 1994 version)

In the long history of pointless movie remakes, this one surely has to make the shortlist for most pointless ever. Even the presence of Richard Attenborough isn’t enough to stop this film sinking faster than the Titanic.

Set in a time before anyone caught smiling at a baby was branded a paedophile, Attenborough plays the role of Kris Kringle a man who, quite literally, believes that he is Santa Claus, a symbol of hope in a jaded modern world of greed and selfishness. It ends, as these feel-good movies always do, with a preposterous trial ultimately won by some convoluted argument whose skinny, rickety legs probably wouldn’t be able to stand in a small claims court.

The real miracle is that I survived through it the first time.

Xmas Verdict: lump of coal


Whoopi Goldberg plays Deloris Van Cartier, a lounge singer dating mobster Vince LaRocca (Harvey Keitel). After witnessing him commit murder she goes on the run and is placed in a convent until she testifies. Don’t be fooled by the ridiculous names and even more ridiculous comedy/musical plot line because this a film that actually works. It belongs to that strange category of “they don’t make them like these anymore? films. The songs are brilliantly produced and sung, the characters are hilarious and, best of all, it doesn’t bible-bash.

Xmas Verdict: stocking filler.

Whoopi sings. What more is there to see in this life?

7. ET (the Extra-Terrestrial)

Even now, picturing that iconic scene of the boy flying on his bicycle with ET, or the two fingers glow-touching, I still don’t see what the big deal is. Sure, it was something new and unique at the time, sure the alien was cute – in a kind of deformed midget asylum seeker kind of way, but why must they insist on putting it on every damn Christmas? It’s become downright annoying. ET’s whiny, nasally line “phone home? was good 26 years ago, and maybe even 15 years ago, still riding the crest of its own hype. But now, when being an alien means you come from some obscure part of durkadurkastan and everyone looks at you suspiciously on trains, it’s simply lost its magic for me. I mean, for god’s sake, it looks like the product of some illicit affair between a dinosaur and a Dyson hoover.

Xmas Verdict: lump of coal (I know I’ll be hated for saying it, but I don’t care)


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Professor of Archaeology. Yes, dressed in his leather jacket and fedora, and armed with a bullwhip, Indiana Jones dodges traps and Nazi’s to reach number 6 on the list.

We are usually blessed with the entire trilogy on successive days or weeks over Christmas. With the exception of Temple of Doom, which was rubbish, Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade are television gold.

Xmas Verdict: stocking filler

That famous Indiana Jones opening scene with the golden idol. ‘Nuff said.


Why? Just – why? Why would you take a classic and have it abused by those furry and velcro hands? Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit side by side with Ebenezer Scrooge played by Michael Cain? Someone down the production line had swigged way – way – too much eggnog.

So bad was this movie, so much did it kill the true essence of one of the greatest morality stories of all time that afterwards I held a moments silence.

Xmas Verdict: lump of coal

It’s almost as if a really low-budget version of West Side Story had sex with Sesame Street.


The premise is simple enough: one child with the inexplicable inventiveness of McGuyer left home on his own defending the house against two burglars with the collective intelligence of a retarded chimp.

I’ll admit, I went to the cinema to watch this movie when it first came out, I even laughed at some of the scenes whilst secretly wishing I had a whole house to myself. But, then again, I also used to pick my nose and flick the contents at girls.

They’ve even tried replacing Macauly Culkin in Home Alone 3 and 4 to try to keep things fresh. I’ll tell you what would make the franchise good again: bring back Mr. M. Culkin, leave him in a house all on his own and, instead of burglars, have Michael Jackson try to break in.

Xmas Verdict: lump of coal


There’s a lot to be said for Die Hard, for example, “it’s awesome and anyone who thinks otherwise is an overly artistic prick who smokes really thin cigarettes, talks through their nose and eats caviar.?

Die hard is not simply an action movie, it is the action movie, a pure adrenaline-pumped experience collected and distilled from the sweat glands of action itself.

So good is this film that not only am I glad they continuously show it over Christmas, but I have also been giving some serious thought to resurrecting “yippy kay yay motherf*cker? into popular culture. Or at least whenever I score a magnificent goal in Pro Evolution Soccer.

Xmas Verdict: stocking filler

2. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (the one with Charlton Heston)

Christianity’s long awaited infiltration into our homes finally came to fruition in 1956 in the form of The Ten Commandments and we’ve been suffering ever since. Don’t get me wrong. The film is a spectacular epic that deserves its place in cinema history but Jesus, it’s like the bible but with moving images.

The life of Moses gets a Hollywood makeover, chronicling his life from his discovery as a baby in a basket to his prohibition from entering the land of Israel by God’s judgement.

But, even though it came close, the word on the tablet is “thou shalt not claim top spot.?

Xmas Verdict: lump of coal


Chariot-racing into top spot is yet another biblical epic Ben Hur. Charlton Heston dons his tunic once more as the title character, a rich merchant of noble blood whose life is peachy until a loose roof tile (yes, it seems builders back then were also useless) frightens a horse that causes a Roman governor to fall and thus has poor old Ben marked for death. From then on it’s s*it city for him and his family. His life then slowly goes on to become entangled with biblical mythology (he meets Jesus, they share a drink, that kind of thing).

To finish off, one quick message to all Christians and Ben Hur/The Ten Commandments lovers, let’s get one thing straight: Jesus was NOT born on Christmas day. In fact, Christmas is a pagan festival anyway, so why television decides to saturate itself with dramatisations of the son of God and the people around him is quite bemusing.

Perhaps it’s for glory and fame, after all, isn’t that what any father wants for his son?

Xmas Verdict: lump of coal

By Alejandro Ahmadi Gestoso

Heathy says:

I want Jingle All The Way to be on, I love that film!