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Christmas is near… What Five Movies Do You Need To Watch?

It’s that time of year again when Holiday movies invade our televisions to spread cheer. I’ll admit, I enjoy watching some Christmas movies and I’m not talking about slasher flicks were Santa lops off the head of people on Christmas Eve (Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy those mostly because I’m twisted in the head).

 If I was told, under no uncertain terms, to pick my top five Christmas movies, and two honorable mentions, these are the films I would choose. I’m not including any film prior of the eighties, only because the eighties were the best decade ever. I also will not be going to go into detail of the plot since most of you will know anyway. Keep in mind, your results may vary.

 5. Ernest Saves Christmas – Hardly seen on television during the season, this forgotten gem is tucked away in the vaults of Christmas past. It’s goofy, silly, and at times stupid, but yet, it still manages to make me crack a smile.

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  Out of all the Ernest movies, this is the only one I can stomach.

  1. A Christmas Story – “You’ll shoot your eye out kid.” How can one not have this on their list. A stable of TBS’s Christmas Eve and Christmas. Granted, by the third straight viewing it does grow thin, but it’s enough to tie you over until next year so you can switch the channel. 

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Based on Jean Shepherd’s short stories In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.

  1. ELF – I’m not sure why exactly I like this movie, I just do. Maybe it’s Will Farrell, maybe its a young, blond, Zooey Deschanel. Either way, I do get a chuckle a few times throughout the movie.

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The scene that gets me every time is Farrell chugging a 2 liter of Coke, followed by a 30 second belch and reply, “Did you hear that?”

    2 – Die Hard – Yeah, ok, it’s not a Christmas movie per se, but it does take place during the season, so for that reason, I consider it one.

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Yippe-ki-ya. Inspired by the Roderick Thorpe book Nothing Last forever.

 The number one movie was a no brainer for me. Not to many movies make me laugh out loud, Airplane being one of them. It’s not that I don’t find them funny, I guess it just takes a lot to make me laugh out loud.

1 – National Lampoons Christmas Vacation – I’ll admit, I have a thing for younger Beverly d’Angelo. Ok, now that’s out of the way, this movie for is downright funny. From the “Hap-hap-happiest” speech, to Clarks rant against his boss, Christmas Vacation plays on my Blu-Ray several times a season. 

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The movie has a great supporting cast, highlighted by Randy Quaid’s cousin Eddie.

Honorable Mentions:

Bad Santa – Vile, but yet has a tender side. John Ritter steals the movie every scene he is in.

Jingle all the Way – Bad. Very bad. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion and yet, I have to watch it when it’s on. Watching Arnold in his thick Austria accent pretend to be funny is amusing in about itself. Jake Lloyd couldn’t act in this movie, and he couldn’t act in the Phantom Menace.

There it is folks. My top five Christmas movies. What say you? What are your top five Christmas movies and remember, only after 1980.

 


My top five zombie movies

It’s no secret that I enjoy everything zombie. If it has that magical “z” word in it, I’m on it like, well, a zombie on a body. There is something about those slow—and yes, I do prefer the slow moving flesh eaters over the fast ones—that fascinates me.

Zombie movies as a genre have been hit or miss. I could rant on about the abomination known as World War Z. I guess I shouldn’t say that definitively. The first half was decent, but my God, why couldn’t they have stuck to the elements of the fantastic book by Max Brooks. For seeing so many zombie movies, it was difficult to narrow down my personal top five. I felt as if I was going through hundreds of Christmas presents, and I had to only choose five. It was tough because there are so many, some great, some, downright horrible. But I always seem to find way to get enjoyment out of even the terrible ones (yes, I’m looking at you Zombie Strippers).

Let’s get started, and as always, your opinions may vary:

5)  DEAD ALIVE A.K.A. BRAIN DEAD (1993) – The early films of Peter Jackson were probably not what you would have expected from him. This slap stick, over-the-top gore fest brings not only laughs, but a heaping amount of blood and guts. I usually can handle just about anything I see on television, but the dinner scene actually had me turning away. Some of these zombies have personalities, most notably zombie baby, who endures a lot, but still keeps on ticking. So many good gifs to choose from for this movie, but I need to try to stay somewhat respectable, so I will refrain.

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4) DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004) – I may get crucified by some of my zombie purists, but I enjoyed the 2004 version over the 1978 Romero version. Zach Snyder’s directorial debut featured a great opening sequence topped off with Johhny Cash’s The Man Comes Around. Sure they run, and sure it lacks the humor and wit of the ‘78 version, but I still enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the original, but this one just edges it out.

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I took a few days off before proceeding with this list. I’d pondered where to place the next three movies that I stop to watch on television if I came across them. It was a tough call, but I believe I’m ready to put them in order.

3) Shaun of the Dead (2004) – Trying to win your girlfriend back, make things better with your mom, and, oh yes, there is a zombie outbreak. Where is the first place you run…the local pub or course. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s chemistry is fantastic, and the supporting cast is almost as great. To this day, I still laugh my ass off as Pegg and Frost are flipping through the collection of old vinyl records. Why? To throw at an undead girl in the backyard.

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2) Zombieland (2009) – Bill Murray, enough said. Not that he makes the entire movie, as he’s only in it for fifteen minutes, tops, but it’s his cameo that pushed Zombieland to the #2 spot. The entire cast nails it—Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin fight their way cross country to get to an amusement park—and all to find Twinkies. This is another movie where the opening sequence is one of the highlights.

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1) Night of the Living Dead (1968) – The movie that got me hooked on zombies. I came close to placing this at #2, but the more I thought about it,  it seemed only logical that Romero’s cult classic take the top spot.

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There it is, my top five favorite zombie movies. There were a few notables that should be mentioned.

28 Days Later – Hated the last 1/4 of it.

Resident Evil – Yes Milla Jovovich is nice to look at, but, it lacks something that I can’t put my finger on.

Return of the Living Dead – Running zombies I can live with. Talking zombies, no.  

Crystal Marcos Tour Stop

I’m honored to be a stop on Crystal Marcos’s blog tour.

Novus (The Cresecren Chronicles #1)
by Crystal Marcos
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release Date: August 18th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

~”Official Selection” Winner in the E-Book Young Adult category, 2015 New Apple Book Awards!~

~Winner Best Books in the Young Adult category, 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards!~

~”Honorable Mention” Winner in the Sci-fi category, 2016 New York Book Festival!~

~B.R.A.G Medallion Honoree, 2016 indieBRAG!~

~”Honorable Mention” Winner in the Young Adult category, 2016 Hollywood Book Festival!~

~Bronze Medal Winner in the Young Adult – General category, 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards!~

5 Stars -I would recommend not starting Novus (The Cresecren Chronicles, Book 1) by Crystal Marcos if you have anything planned for the rest of the day, as you will most likely not want to put the book down! . . . It’s the kind of book whose characters you miss when you finish the book. -Readers’ Favorite

Ideal for Hunger Games and Divergent fans, Crystal Marcos delivers Novus, a riveting novel set in a dystopian future of action-adventure, suspense, and romance. Intriguing characters and a gripping storyline keep the reader turning page after page.

Being a teenager is hard enough. And what if your life’s path is predetermined? On top of that, you aren’t even Human?

Cayden was given life as a Cresecren. He expected to live out his days with the dysfunctional Human family he was assigned to serve. One fateful night, however, landed him in Gavaron, the home of maimed, elderly, or defiant Cresecren.

Beyond its borders is the Den, an area much more dangerous than he ever imagined. Now seventeen, Cayden unwittingly becomes involved in a conspiracy and is one of a handful of survivors fleeing a deadly attack. They set off on a perilous journey in search of refuge and the truth. Along the way, Cayden begins to comprehend the difference between fully living and merely surviving, while trying to balance his emotions and a forbidden love. 

Excerpt from, Novus

I slid the door open to find Kayella standing wide-eyed. She looked shaken, beads of sweat covering her forehead. Her arms were crossed in a protective position, and one finger twisted a lock of her auburn hair.
 
“Kayella? What happened? Are you hurt?” I asked as I pulled her inside and glanced both ways down the seemingly deserted corridors. I slid the door shut.
 
“What is it, Kayella? Did Dahsie do something to you?”
 
“No!”
 
I waited patiently and offered her my rest pod. She remained standing, staring ahead.
 
She swallowed. “You have no reason to believe me. None at all. Ever since I can remember, my dreams have reflected reality. They are jumbled and I never remember the entire dream but something always stands out and I see it come true.”
 
“Why has this brought you here?”
 
“You can’t go into the Den to the Supply Depot. At least, I feel you shouldn’t go.” Kayella rubbed her forehead with the sleeve of her blouse.
 
“Let me get you a drink.” I pulled down a metal can and filled it with water.
 
Before I turned around, Kayella’s hand was on my arm. Her footsteps were so silent that she startled me. I pivoted to look at her as she spoke a single word hauntingly. “Death.” Kayella looked so serious that I did not speak my initial thought of “nonsense.” Instead, I handed her the can and asked her to tell me about her dream.
 
“It won’t make any sense to you. How can I explain something I don’t understand? They are bits and pieces of a puzzle.” Kayella became flustered, her hand began to tremble, and water sloshed to the floor. “I came because I felt I needed to warn you not to go tomorrow.” She grabbed my arm tightly. “Have someone go in your place. I have to go and warn Alecander.” She dropped the can into the sink, splashing water along the wall. Before I could stop her, she ran out the door and down the corridor. I stood there, taken aback. The Kayella I knew was timid and sweet. I knew nothing of this Kayella.
 
Death. Such an ominous word. Is it that I might die? Or Alecander? What exactly had Kayella seen? Did it even matter?
 
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