Tag Archives: Nostalgia Blog

5 Films That Totally Qualify As Christmas Movies

Sometimes the greatest Christmas movies are ones that don’t really center around the jolly fat man or the holiday spirit entirely. Various instances in film have given us the Christmas theme in the background like a New York City cop fighting terrorists during a big Office Christmas party. Or perhaps an army of Gremlins terrorizing a town on Christmas Eve. I’m not even sure why movies like Die Hard or Gremlins are ever up for debate as far as labeling them as Holiday films; because they 100 % ARE an undeniable fact at that. However, there are some true greats I’ve seen that could totally qualify as Christmas movies right alongside that of Stripe and John McLane and it is my mission to stamp a Santa hat-wearing Sico the Robot as a cinematic staple of the holiday season.


Bangarang indeed that Hook is undeniably a Christmas movie. I guess maybe with the late, great Robin Williams’ larger-than-life persona, one could easily forget they’re actually watching a loosely based “Peter Pan” version of Charles Dickens’ “The Christmas Carol”.

Before Peter Banning is bustled off to Neverland to save his kids from the dastardly Hook, Peter and his family arrive in London at Granny Wendy’s home is decked out to the nine in Christmas decor with the score of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” playing in the background. After Peter remembers his origins, defeats Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), and returns to London with his children, he wakes up in the snow a changed man, grateful to be reunited with his family and determined not to miss another important moment. This, in my mind, mirrors the feel of Ebenezer Scrooge’s newfound grateful attitude and that power/money is trivial; thus reminding us to cherish the time we have we our loved ones. It’s a magical film that represents all the child-like wonder that is felt during the season and was actually released in December of 1991. So I can’t see this as anything but, a Peter Pan holiday movie.

Rocky IV

I’m probably going to hear a barrage of complaints that the national treasure that is Rocky IV is nowhere near a Christmas movie. Lemme stop you right there because you’re wrong and get off my blog right now.

Ok, I’ve gone too far. I apologize, but my feelings are pretty strong on this one.

Case in point: The film’s final fight between Ivan Drago and Rocky takes place on the 25th of December, Christmas Day, in Ivan Drago’s less-than-hospitable home of Russia for 15 rounds of revenge boxing. Let’s be realistic here; my own Italian family has taught me that there is nothing that says Christmas more than two grown men beating the ever-loving shit out of one another. While in my case, it’s usually over something petty, unlike the premise in this film, but eh- close enough.

One of the most tender, feel-good moments of the movie is during the snowy backdrop of the bleak atmosphere of Krasnogourbinsk, Russia where Rocky has just finished one of his many mountain man runs. Rocky is reunited with Adrian in order to give him the final push he needs to avenge the death of his fallen friend. Proving that Christmas time is indeed a magical time to set aside our feelings and be goddamn supportive of one another- even if it is vengeful.

Edward Scissorhands

The Tim Burton Frankenstein/ Grinch hybrid of a yes, Christmas movie has all the makings for a classic tale of that one socially awkward member of the extended family trying their best to fit in at Christmastime while simultaneously not trying to have a nervous breakdown.

I can relate all too well.

Family and love are two biggies you will find in any traditional Christmas movie, and you’ll find that among the madness here in Edward Scissorhands. The Frankenstein of suburbia has been taken off his Grinch’s mountain by the neighborhood Avon lady in an act of, what she thinks is kindness. Which would most certainly be the case in most situations, but not here I guess as, in the end, he is chased back into his safe space lair to live out the rest of his days where he belongs- unjudged.

While the Christmas scenery doesn’t arrive until the last 30 minutes of the film, the spirit of “kindness” and treating others with humility is most certainly holiday-themed exploitation that would not garner as much effect if the holiday season wasn’t present as in the rest of the movie. The Boggs try their damnedest to make Edward feel like one of the family and community, with daughter Kim eventually finding her once disgust towards Edward turning into love and understanding. In the first and second half of the film, Edward is fairly accepted and treated with admiration- even if some of it is pure curiosity and exploitation at some points. It isn’t until the Christmas season that he is demonized by the neighborhood. The juxtaposition of these themes is a major driving point for the movie’s plot: that even in the season of goodwill we can forget to treat others, especially those less fortunate, with grace, understanding, and love. Pretty much like Frankenstein and the Grinch here.

Ahh well, just a reminder that when it snows on Christmas, we know Edward is still around.

Lethal Weapon

Die Hard gets all the Christmas Action Movie glory, but credit where it’s due: Lethal Weapon came out a year earlier and is absolutely a goddamn Christmas movie. Oh and psst, a better one at that.

In the trailer for the 30th-anniversary edition of Die Hard, 20th Century Fox added the tagline, “It’s the greatest Christmas story ever told,” and not only is Lethal Weapon more authentically a Christmas movie in terms of origin, but it offers more of the sweet holiday feelings that Die Hard just never bothers to attempt to engender in the viewer. Between the initial shoot-out at the Christmas Tree Farm and the climatic Busey/Gibson fight on Murtaugh’s festively decorated front lawn, there’s again, another mirroring of a holiday classic- It’s A Wonderful Life.

When you lose important people in your life, you miss them every day. However, there’s no time when that absence is felt more strongly than during Christmas. Christmas can be stressful under the best of circumstances, and for Martin Riggs, the loss of his wife becomes too much to bear. With no family, Riggs contemplates suicide early on but thanks to a new partner and the circumstances surrounding the case they’re working together, Riggs finds a new lease on life echoing that of George Bailey.

I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a world without Martin Riggs, thank you very much- cue that “Jingle Bell Rock”!

Batman Returns

Well, I certainly feel like this is the one alternative Christmas movie I might get the least pushback on. Most people would tend to agree that Batman Returns, while not a traditional Christmas film, still has more than enough of those Christmas aesthetics to qualify as one along with the fact the entire movie is set during the season with Gotham covered in snow and the streets decked out with trees, lights and candy colors. From the red and white of the Penguin’s umbrella to the snow-covered streets of Gotham, the director is dedicated to keeping us steeped in the Christmas spirit. Even Max Schreck’s prototype power plant is all Christmassy, with its red-and-white-striped smokestacks. Speaking of the bastard, with his tousled white hair, red bow tie, and nefarious plans to steal all of the energy from Gotham’s girls and boys, he plays very well as an evil mirror of Santa Claus. How can anyone really deny the Holiday vibin’ here? Yet here we are. Still fighting the good fight to ensure its place among the Hallmark Holiday Movie classics.

Tim Burton’s Batman Returns is a unique film that explores both its heroes and villains deeply as tragic, lonely misfits trying to find meaning during the holidays. Kind of like the “Island of Misfit Toys” in Rudolph but with homicidal tendencies. This movie succeeds on so many levels in invoking the spirit of the holidays in a dark, and gothic way that is unlike any other film on this list.

And maybe, one day Batman Returns will be held in the highest regard as one of the greatest Christmas stories of all time. Because hey, “Things change”.

[Video] Reliving The Mortal Kombat 1995 Live Tour

Despite everything destructive about 2021, living in this time right about now has its perks. Mortal Kombat fever is running just as rampant as it did back when it hit in 1992 and maintaining a steady stream of enthusiasm throughout its twenty-year course in the gaming and entertainment business, with the very anticipated R-rated film to hit theaters and streaming here shortly. The first Mortal Kombat was really something, however, I like to think it was the release of the second game, introducing some new and secret characters that really got the fandom to grow to exponential levels. And well, with that kick-ass third installment AND the 1995 movie to boot later, well it was a certain flawless victory for gaming developer Ed Boon to say the very least and things couldn’t get much better.

Or could it? Enter the glorious country tour of Mortal Kombat the goddamn stage show! And hey, according to some kid, it’s way better than the Power Rangers live show. Take that Toasty uppercut Alpha-Five!

Via Mortal Kombat Addicted

The 200 city US tour begat at the infamous New York Radio City Music Hall on September 14th, 1995 and mesmerized kids across the county with choregraphed fights by none other than Shang Tsung himself, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. At a cost that ranged from $14 to $25 a ticket, the 90-minute spectacle of marital artists dressed as our favorite playable characters kicking the crap out of each other to techno music, was the most 90s’ thing ever.

The stage surrounded by giant screens serving as a closer look for those of us with nosebleed seats in the back, was pretty helpful for those bigger venues. However, those green amulets that were sold at concession stands and served as part of the show for those who suckered their parents into buying them, could be seen from planet fucking Pluto with the amount of neon green lights that illuminated from that damn thing. Among the blinding lights, other souvenirs from the tour included collectable tour books complete with cheat game codes and even a space for autographs from the stage cast if you got lucky. But, the gold mine of those concession money grabbers, were of course the KOMBAT KAPS! Or just simply, the beloved and forgotten POGS of our generation.

While no full footage of the actual stage show exists on the internet at this time, (I know weird right?) the closest thing we can to relive this 90s’ mash of laser lights and karate chops, is this video uploaded by NeoGamer that flashes some highlights from the actual show and a promo with the cast on a local news station showcasing some of the moves that got us detention by trying to mimic them on the playground and accidently busting a kid in the lip with a Liu Kang high kick. Featuring a very special PSA from Shang Tsung about the differences between real martial arts and violence and the one and only REAL Sonya Blade Kerri Hoskins doing her Sonya thing, enjoy and relive what a wild and wonderful time we once lived in where this was an actual thing.