Greg Tyler

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Christmas 2013 Wrap Up

Part of the series Christmas 2013

For the month of December up to Christmas, I busied myself watching a selection of festive films. Ranging from the classics (The Muppet Christmas Carol) to the strange (Holiday in Handcuffs), straddling some disappointingly non-Christmassy flicks along the way (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), I enjoyed the whole experience.

You can find the full list of films watched, with my star-rating and a link to each review right here.

After all this joy, I thought it would be suitable to write a follow-up post looking back at some statistics.

I watched 12 films with an average length of 1 hour, 38 minutes which means I watched a total of 19 hours and 39 minutes of Christmas movies. The longest was On Her Majesty's Secret Service, weighing in at over two hours. The shortest was The Muppet Christmas Carol which wraps itself up in 1 hour, 28 minutes.

If I was paid minimum wage to watch each film, I would've earned £124 which would buy me 310 litres of milk, which is enough to fill a couple of bathtubs! I could be bathing in milk.

Notable mentions

There were lots of films I didn't get to watch, and several I chose not to. Top of the list of recommendations were Die Hard and Love Actually, two films that I love far too much to fairly review. A few older films were also recommended to me that I didn't get to watch, including The Bishop's Wife and Miracle on 34th Street.

Lest we forget, too, the weirder films that I didn't get around to. We had planned to watch Reindeer Games in which Ben Affleck becomes "the unwilling mastermind of a Christmas Eve casino heist". I'll definitely be watching that piece of joy sometime soon. I missed Make the Yuletide Gay, in which a gay college student has trouble coming out to his parents at Christmas; Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman, the horror sequel that never needed to happen, and Jack Frost (1998), where a son reconnects with his dead father who reappears as a snowman and slowly, tragically melts. Frankly, I made efforts to avoid all three.

Ultimately, there are a lot of Christmas films. It was hard to pick which ones to watch and the decision was often made from convenience of what people had on DVD. I'm sorry if I missed your favourite film, but maybe I'll get round to some more next year. Black Nativity is out on DVD now, and to not review that would be sacrilege.

Stats

Here's an interesting grid of some common themes across the movies, and which ones hit the mark:

Interesting grid of common themes

You'll notice that, according to this rudimentary system, the most Christmassy film was The Santa Clause, scoring in all categories. Scoring no points were Shaft and On Her Majesty's Secret Service (which should come as no surprise), but also Holiday in Handcuffs which is a bit of a shame as it at least tries to be festive.

Conclusion

I did enjoy watching all these films, despite my general dislike for Christmas. A lot of them were really nice, caring films that help you to get in that all important festive spirit. I saw quite a few with friends, and it was great to hang out with them, centring an evening around watching a movie and using this blog as an excuse to chill.

Picking a favourite film from the selection would be like picking a favourite child, and mine would be The Santa Clause. It embodies the Christmas spirit, and manages to keep its humour whilst focussed around serious issues of divorce and broken families. My least favourite was Home Alone: The Holiday Heist whose only redeeming feature was the appearance of Malcolm McDowell.

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