ANASTASIA MONTAVON, AUSTIN VAN PAY, BENJAMIN K. PAPLHAM, SAMANTHA KOLB | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNISTS
Anastasia: “Die Hard”
Without a doubt, the classic 1988 action film “Die Hard” is my favorite Christmas movie. Bruce Willis stars as officer John McClane, who is just a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. He flies to Los Angeles to visit his wife and kids for Christmas, only to arrive at his wife’s office right as it’s taken over by terrorists. As the terrorists work to get the vault open, McClane does his best to stop them and get the hostages out safely. “Die Hard” manages to capture the Christmas spirit in ways most people wouldn’t expect in a movie like this, and that’s why I look forward to watching it every December with my family.
I’m sure I’m not alone here when I say that my all-time favorite Christmas film has to be 2003’s “Elf.” The film stars Buddy (Will Ferrell), a human who has grown up in the North Pole his entire life and has been raised by elves. After finally realizing he’s not an elf, Buddy journeys to his birthplace in New York City to find out where he truly comes from. He quickly finds out that his father is on the naughty list and his step-brother doesn’t believe in Santa. To make things worse, it seems like everyone has lost their Christmas spirit and has forgotten what Christmas truly is about. This film is one that I can continue to watch over and over again without ever getting sick of it. Director Jon Favreau and Will Ferrell as Buddy do a fantastic job of creating a lovable character who is truly hilarious and, of course, extremely quotable. It’s one of those Christmas movies that has a great message that everyone can get behind, and it really does get you in the spirit of the Holidays. “Elf” has become one of the greatest Christmas films of all time, and Buddy is an iconic character that embodies what it means to show the Christmas spirit.
Ben: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
I suppose if you think too hard about things, you might wonder where the Grinch came from or what would happen if an errant human stepped on that tiny snowflake. But “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000) holds a special place in my heart—which grows three sizes this time of year—because it’s the earliest Christmas film in my memory. It’s hard to beat the art direction with the colorful lights and the vivid costumes. Plus, no holiday season is ever complete unless I have Jim Carrey yelling “VENGEANCE!” as his head bursts through Cindy Lou Who’s Christmas tree. Really, everything that Carrey does is hilarious, and reliving it ever year is a Christmas tradition that I’ll never let go.
Samantha: “Muppets Christmas Carol”
Muppets have been an enjoyable part of my childhood,and have made their way into my family’s kickoff to the Christmas Season. Every year, after Thanksgiving dinner, we watch this movie and then mentally prepare for Christmas even though the radio stations and commercials have been advertising the holiday since after Halloween. This film involves catchy musical numbers and features the actor Michael Caine as Scrooge. I’m a huge fan of this version of “A Christmas Carol,” and recommend it to all who don’t mind the Muppets, some singing or having their heartstrings warmed.