Happy Christmassing


I just want to wish everybody a safe and happy Christmas, or eating of Chinese food, or watching of THE INTERVIEW at an independent theater, or driving a city bus, or other. I really want to thank everybody for all the support and fun this year, I really appreciate it. I guess it’s not New Year’s yet, I can get mushy then, huh? I’ll be back next week with some new reviews. Go watch a Johnny Cash Christmas special.

p.s. Special thanks to Jan Elvsén for sending me a Christmas CD he made. It has everybody from Diana Ross to Shonen Knife on it.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 25th, 2014 at 12:01 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

39 Responses to “Happy Christmassing”

  1. Tried watching the Charlie Brown special on Hulu, but it’s web-only plus it had commercials (which is sadly ironic considering the message of anti-commercialism Schultz conveyed). Really hope Netflix gets the rights to those specials away from ABC, so they can be watched commercial-free.

    Other than that it’s been a good holiday season. Merry Christmas to you Vern, and to everyone else here as well.

  2. Merry Christmas, everybody! Mine was surprisingly stress free and I hope yours will be too.

  3. Merry Christmas, motherfuckers.

  4. Merry Christmas Fellow Badass Cinemaphiles!

  5. Happy Christmas, fellow Vernians.

    Hope you’re all spending time with your loved ones. Or watching Die Hard. Whatever works.

  6. O_O Tracklist?

  7. Merry Christmas, Vern and friends. I’ll be commemorating the birth of Our Lord And Savior like I do every year — by watching BAD SANTA, the most joyful of Christmas occasions. To an even greater 2015. Keep striving for that excellence!

  8. * of course, I did not imply that I did not watch DIE HARD as well, but I think that is self-evident for people who comment here.

  9. The Original Paul

    December 25th, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Merry Christmas fellow Vern-ites!

  10. Merry Christmas to all.

    Just finished watching GREMLINS gonna follow it up with BATMAN RETURNS & DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER.

  11. Merry Christmas! Just finished watching Love, Actually (I wept so hard) and Four Christmasses (I laughed so hard), they were so good that I’m watching them both ag….. sorry, wrong forum

  12. My itinerary for this holiday season included both BLACK CHRISTMASes, the second and third SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHTs, KISS KISS BANG BANG, GREMLINS, and that X-FILES episode where the ghosts of Lily Tomlin and Ed Asner try to talk Mulder and Scully into murder-suicide. Hoping to get to DOE HARD tonight but it’s not looking too good.

  13. I got the 2nd edition of Seagalogy for Christmas!

    I asked for it last year, but was given the 1st edition by mistake. Now I have both, and I’m enjoying the added material so far…

  14. Like many of us here, I watch Die Hard every Christmas. You always get something new out of the film. The one thing I really appreciated this time around was Bruce Willis’s speech to Al towards the end of the movie. It’s the part where McClane tells Al that when everything is over, he should search out his wife and tell him that he’s sorry for everything. The way that Willis gets his voice to crack ever so slightly as if he’s on the brink of tears really sells the scene. I found it surprisingly emotional this time around. But the speech also sells McClane as an everyman. Here we get to see what kind of psychological and emotional stress he’s under, something that’s rarely addressed in action films, even in the Die Hard sequels. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Christmas if you celebrate it. I received a bunch of old favorites on Blu Ray that I’m itching to watch. So that was cool.

  15. I really love that DIE HARD has become my generation’s IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

  16. I’ve noticed several people this year complaining about other people making a big deal about DIE HARD as a Christmas movie. Okay, I get that people who point that out and act like they expect some sort of surprised reaction is annoying, but I ask these complainers to let it go in the spirit of Yuletide and what not. A holiday tradition is something that people share, it’s not something where you have to come up with your own secret underground thing and then disown it when it becomes popular. I feel like maybe you don’t know what the word tradition is, Twitter people.

    Yes, it goes without saying to watch DIE HARD at Christmas just as often as you do not at Christmas. DIE HARD cannot be overexposed, because it transcends overexposure. It’s DIE HARD.

  17. German TV only shows part 2 this year. In a cut version, suitable for 8pm airing. Sad Smiley face. Thank god I got them on DVD. (Although I had no time to watch any DIE HARD this year. I think I should correct this. It’s still christmas here for 2 1/2 hours [Christmas runs from the 24th to the 26th in Germany])

  18. This might just be in my head, but it seems like Die Hard has really cemented its place in popular culture in the past ten years. I loved the Die Hard movies when I was younger (they were some of the first R-rated films I was allowed to see). And there’s no denying that Die Hard’s formula had a huge effect on action films. But in the past decade, I’ve encountered a lot more references to Die Hard in television and movies. I remember watching the episode of The Office (U.S. version) where Michael Scott has to get a second job at a call center and he was telling his fellow call center employees why Die Hard 4 pales in comparison to the original. At the time, I thought it was really novel for a sitcom to reference Die Hard. And around the same time the TV show Chuck (which I didn’t watch) had Reginald VelJohnson reprise his role of Al Powell. And now apparently in some circles it has become passe to watch Die Hard on Christmas, which I don’t remember being the case ten years ago. But I’m just glad that the next generation will be exposed to an amazing film.

  19. GREMLINS is one of the best christmas movies of all time in my book. It´s almost perfect dark humour. It doesn´t shy away from darker moments, like when Phoebe Cates explains why she doesn´t like Christmas with her dad died getting stuck in the chimney.And even though that is some grim shit, I still find it darkly humorous, because that is quite a silly way to die.

    Or maybe I am just an asshole who likes to laugh at other peoples misery. I just don’t know anymore

  20. Vern, that screenshot…is that a montage of sorts? Some of it looks like it´s from 8 DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER?

  21. I don’t usually promote myself here but I did write a defense of DIE HARD as a legit Christmas movie here:


    I think it’s a testament to the film that some folks had to take to snarky reactionary takedowns. But Vern’s right, you never need an excuse to watch DIE HARD.

    I saw it in 35mm this year and man that is a special experience. What I noticed this time was how subtly details are layered into character scenes. Not exposition, not just giving the ensemble something to do. The Rolex was a metaphor.

    I do love that DIE HARD 2 is also a Christmas movie. I came home and watched it too.

  22. The Original Paul

    December 27th, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Dayum Fred, that is a nicely-written article. Props.

    And as for Vern:

    “DIE HARD cannot be overexposed, because it transcends overexposure. It’s DIE HARD.”

    Well said, sir. Well said.

  23. Yeah, it’s from the opening fight in 8 DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER. I always thought those guys looked like they were wearing Santa Claus costumes. That was the best screengrab I could get though.

  24. The guy at the front kinda looks like Nic Cage.

  25. Yeah, what’s with people complaining about people watching Die Hard?

    1) Is there something wrong with watching Die Hard?
    2) Is there something wrong with enjoying watching Die Hard?

    I don’t go around telling other people what they should enjoy, so when they try to tell me they should shut the fuck up. For Christmas.

    In other news, I am glad someone else knows/enjoys Shonen Knife enough to put them on a mix. As far as anybody else knowing who the hell they are when I mention them goes, I’d just about concluded they were a figment of my imagination.

  26. P.S. Happy holidays everybody!

  27. Happy holidays fella’s, hope you all had a merry Christmas or whatever it is you do.

  28. The first pop culture reference to DIE HARD that I remember was in FRIENDS when the guys had a movie night and, when one of them says he has other plans, Ross yells “John McClane had plans!”

    I like FRIENDS.

  29. Excellent article Fred. I’d also add that the Michael Kamen score brilliantly uses freaking sleigh bells throughout. I mean, if that doesn’t spell “Christmas movie” then what does?

    I somehow missed this entire Die Hard controversy and subsequent backlash, and even though the Buzzfeed article sounds bitter and she’s entirely wrong here, I do kind of get her point. If I had a dollar for every smug hipster who says with a self-satisfied grin, “well, the best comic book movie ever made is….Ghost World” then I’d be a very rich man.

    But the problem is with those hipsters, not the film, and attempting to say it’s NOT a Christmas movie via nitpicking and revisionism, is stupid and a waste of time. It’s CLEARLY a Christmas movie, I’d argue just as much as Home Alone/Gremlins and moreso than Love Actually, which she seems to have no problem including.

  30. As usual I am late to the party, but happy holidays everybody.

    I watched DIE HARD on Christmas. I also watched CHRISTMAS EVIL (aka YOU BETTER WATCH OUT), which was marketed as John Water’s favorite Christmas film on the Blu Ray packaging. I wasn’t familiar with CHRISTMAS EVIL before checking it out but I liked it and it is pretty crazy in the best way possible.

  31. Given that Bruce Willis acted in FRIENDS, does that mean in the FRIENDSiverse someone other than Bruce Willis played John McLane?

  32. Also, Joey’s dad was the cop who gave McClane a parking ticket in DIE HARD 2.

  33. Pacman2.0, you just blew my mind. Now I want to know who plays John McLane and Magnum PI in the FRIENDS alt universe.

  34. Whoever it is that plays McLane should come from a comedic TV back ground like Bruce, and they would also not be your traditional action hero type. With that said I think I know who plays John Mclane in the FRIENDS universe……………..

    Tom Hanks

  35. That curly-haired guy from BOSOM BUDDIES? Yeah, like anyone would buy him as a movie star.

  36. Actually in all seriousness (or as serious as you can be when have a conversation about fan casting DIE HARD in an alt. FRIENDSiverse), I think Ed Harris who would have been a great John McLane.

  37. Neal2Zod, upon this year’s rewatch I noticed that kamen’s score actually riffs Winter Wonderland. Wish I’d noticed that in time for the article.

  38. Charles: Harrison Ford as Magnum PI? I have the joke that he sometimes has nightmares in the form of a movie trailer that ends in “Harrison Ford IS MR. BASEBALL” if Selleck had been cast as Indiana Jones. Harris would have been good but I’m not sure how the character would be improved since he’s never been the best at comic relief like Bruce is. I’ll be interested to see how does in the upcoming WESTWORLD show, as it looks like he’s playing the equivalent of Yul Brynner’s character.

  39. onthewall, I like it. There is a DC universe earth 2 symmetry to the pick.

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