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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Films for the upcoming holiday season

Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid and Miriam Flynn in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989)

We’re down to the final stretch of the semester, Wildcats. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now we can look forward to the holiday season. Most importantly, we approach our month-long break from schoolwork when we enjoy some siestas, hot cocoa, candy canes, friends, family and, of course, beloved holiday movies of the season. The Daily Wildcat has arranged a list of classic films to get you started on your merry way. Happy Holidays!

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” 

Sappy Christmas trees, bickering relatives, decoration misadventures and one massive freak-out following a year-long membership for the Jelly of the Month Club, this Christmas classic is integral for your holiday viewing experience. Chevy Chase stars as patriarch Clark Griswold, a family man intent on creating the perfect holiday for his family and extended relatives. The film opens with Clark driving with his wife, daughter and son to find the perfect Christmas tree, and instantly the madness begins as Clark tangles with road rage, getting stuck under a truck and ultimately flying off the side of the road to, thankfully, the Christmas tree lot. Well, at least they made good time. From there, Clark’s fun-filled family Christmas goes wrong at every turn, with Clark being the only one attempting to remain positive for the whole misadventure. Join the Griswolds for a “fun, old-fashioned family Christmas!” Don’t forget the Tylenol. You can watch this film with Netflix DVD or buy for cheap on Amazon.

Macaulay Culkin in "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" (1992).
Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (1992).

“Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”

Starring Macaulay Culkin as our favorite mischievous kid that outsmarts a couple bungling burglars, Kevin McCallister is back to once again outwit Harry, played by Joe Pesci, and Marv, played by Daniel Stern. Kevin is left alone for the second time when he is separated from his family in the Chicago airport as they head to Florida and Kevin boards a plane for New York City. At first, Kevin is having the time of his life on a vacation of his very own; then, following a hotel clerk’s discovery of a stolen credit card and a subsequent run-in with Harry and Marv, who have escaped from jail, Kevin gets to work setting traps in his uncle’s vacant house, which is under renovations. From bricks in the head, electrocution and exploding toilets, you’ll be laughing your ass off. As Kevin remarks in the film, “you can mess with a lot of things, but you can’t mess with kids on Christmas.” You can watch this film with Netflix DVD. 

RELATED: Weekly Wildcat Playlist: Holiday Tunes

Will Ferrell in "Elf" (2003).
Will Ferrell in “Elf” (2003).


Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, a human raised by elves who discovers his true heritage, as well as the fact that his father is on the naughty list (gasp!). He subsequently leaves the North Pole for New York City. Buddy struggles to connect with his long-lost father and blend into the cynical world outside of the merry North Pole, but he ultimately spreads Christmas cheer — and a lot of spirit — to the people around him. Ferrell is funny, loveable, witty and able to drink a whole gallon of Coke in one sitting in this film; Elf is both humorous and heartfelt, and it’s perfect for the holiday season, as it will give you a good dose of Christmas joy. You can watch this film with Netflix DVD or buy for cheap on Amazon.

"Eight Crazy Nights" (2002).
“Eight Crazy Nights” (2002).

“Eight Crazy Nights”

Co-written, produced by, and starring Adam Sandler, this animated comedy is intertwined with plenty of adult humor. When Davey, voiced by Sandler, is arrested for refusing to pay a bill, a man named Whitey, also voiced by Sandler, intervenes on his behalf in court and suggests community service in lieu of jail time. This is granted, with the condition that if Davey commits a crime during community service, he will go straight to prison for a decade. Hilarious yet touching, this movie is an essential on your holiday watchlist. You can watch this film with Netflix DVD or by renting on Amazon.

Tom Hanks and Daryl Sabara in The Polar Express (2004)
Tom Hanks and Daryl Sabara in The Polar Express (2004)

“The Polar Express” 

This animated 2004 classic, narrated by Tom Hanks, is another beloved Christmas classic. A young boy, his belief in Santa Claus fading, has his beliefs renewed in one incredible night when he boards a mysterious train that is heading for the North Pole. He meets several children, two of which he befriends, as well as the train’s conductor, voiced by Tom Hanks, and a peculiar but lovable ghost. The journey is eventful to say the least, from crackling ice to skiing across the rooftops of the Polar Express. Touching, merry and sweet — take a ride aboard the Polar Express and hear the sleigh bells ring, as they do for all who truly believe. You can watch this film with Netflix DVD or buy for cheap on Amazon.

Michael Keaton and Kelly Preston in "Jack Frost" (1998).
Michael Keaton and Kelly Preston in “Jack Frost” (1998).

“Jack Frost” 

Starring Michael Keaton as the title character, Jack Frost, a musician who loves his family but strives for a successful musical career. In persuit of his dream, he heads with his band for a gig that would mean spending Christmas away from his family. At the last minute, Jack takes a bandmate’s car and drives back to the family cabin, but he never makes it. Jack tragically crashes and dies instantly as he was driving in the midst of a snowstorm. One year later, he is resurrected by a harmonica he had jokingly told his son was magical, and he is given the chance to be the dad he always wanted to be. The film is heartwarming, funny and a must-have on your list. You can watch this film with Netflix DVD.

RELATED: Five Things to do in December

Samantha Bond and Robert Hines in "The Black Candle" (1991).
Samantha Bond and Robert Hines in “The Black Candle” (1991).

“The Black Candle”

A documentary narrated by Maya Angelou, known for her book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” this film follows the growth of Kwanzaa via the Black Power Movement in the 1960s to the present day reality. More specifically, this documentary emphasizes the ups and downs of African-American family, community and culture. You can watch this film on iTunes.

Tim Allen in "The Santa Clause" (1994).
Tim Allen in “The Santa Clause” (1994).

“The Santa Clause” 

Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, a man who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof one night — and who finds that, after donning Santa’s suit, he’s the next Santa Claus. Allen, to the audience’s amusement, struggles with severe weight gain and is in severe denial about what’s occuring. Meanwhile, his ex-wife, played by Wendy Crewson, is seriously concerned about their son, Charlie, played by Eric Lloyd, who believes his father is Santa Claus. You can watch this film with Netflix DVD or buy the DVD on Amazon.

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