Category Archives: 2014 Holiday-a-Thon

‘Tango’s Definitive Xmas Top5’

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The 25th of December, Christmas Day, which means that my Christmas movie marathon, a.k.a the 2014 Holiday-a-thon is at an end. But with that ending, I have promised you a look at my Must-watch Christmas movie list, so without further ado, I present to you, the ‘Tango’s Definitive Xmas Top5’, but before I dive in to it, I wanna drop an honorable mention to you… and that one is The Santa ClauseProbably the closest 6th-place of all time, I’d say, just barely beaten by the #5. Don’t worry, there’s always room for some Tim Allen-santa in my life around the holidays, it’s just not a top5 contender. But let’s get to it, shall we!

Coming in on the #5 spot is…
#5 Fred Claus

This film about Santa Claus’ naughty brother may not be on many people’s lists, but is sure is on mine. The brilliant chemistry between Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti accompanied with the semi-original plot, well… it’s hard to put my finger on what it is, but whatever it is, it sure does it for me. Add to it an amazing soundtrack and it gives me exactly what I want from a Christmas-themed movie.

Next up on my list on the #4 spot is…
#4 In bed with SantaIn bed with Santa (as is its international title). Guaranteed to be on a lot of Swedish people’s lists and it’s understandable. The story of a husband and his shared intimacy with his Christmas guests…. well, it would be a lie to say that it’s anything other than awkward, but it still holds a certain value to us Swedes, as it basically shows exactly how we celebrate Christmas in Sweden (apart from the semi-incestuous undertones, that is). The chaos, the fighting (the drinking) and the cheer, we have all been a part of it some time or another in our lives.

Coming in on my #3 spot is…
#3 Miracle on 34th StreetNow, keep in mind that this is the remake from 1994, so if you wanted the original to make a guest-appearance on this list, you were mistaken. But… that doesn’t mean that it won’t pop up next year. However, the film about a man claiming to be Santa… what can be more Christmas than that? Not much, but add to that an astonishing performance from Richard Attenborough and you have yourself a miracle. Amazing, how much Christmas you can get from one movie!

Coming in as a runner-up in this year’s Definitive Top5 on the #2 spot is…
#2 Home AloneAgain, what can I say about this movie that hasn’t already been said? The chemistry between Stern and Pesci is fantastic. Maculkin is brilliant as Kevin, the kid left home alone and both Heard and O’Hara does an amazing job with what they’re given. And yeah, sure the movie doesn’t scream Christmas like some of the others on this list does, as it actually works just as well in July as it does at Christmas, but I think that people would be confused if they saw a Xmas-list without it, and I would be as well. And the fact that it’s penned by the always great John Hughes, well that just pushes it toward the top of the list as it is a brilliant, wonderful and Great motion picture!

And now, ladies and germs, the movie that takes the cake. The film that brings home the bacon. The movie that carves the turkey. My, Tango’s #1 Definitive Christmas Must-Watch Film is…
#1 It's a Wonderful LifeYou got it, one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time! What’s that, you don’t believe me? I dare you to find a Christmas Top-list without it!
Sure, as I said in yesterday’s review, even though it may not have a Christmassy feel to it, with it not taking place on Christmas and all. What?! Yeah, I know it does… kinda. The movie starts and ends on Christmas Eve (the same Christmas Eve, in fact), with the Angels taking an interest in George Bailey’s life in the beginning and when everything turns out well in the end. But what is it that makes it the greatest Christmas film of all time, then? Well for starters, I think it’s become quite the tradition. Much like the In Bed with Santa-scenario here in Sweden, we’ve all come to expect it being shown on TV around the holidays. Secondly, if you dissect the story of the film, you’ll find nothing short of a (very) detailed Christmas miracle. Think of it as a Christmas miracle-walkthrough. Not to forget, whenever I’ve watched this film, I’m filled with a sense of hope and joy and that’s an effect that’s extremely rare for a film to have.

Well, there you have it, my Definitive Top5. Do you agree with it? If not, what would you change about it? Which movie would take what film’s place? Let me know, ’cause it’s always fun to see how others think. Anywho, with this year’s holiday season coming to a close, I’ll be doing my New Years-think and get back to you when I feel I have something I’d like to share, but until then……. Merry Christmahanakwanzika …. or as a sane person would say; Happy Holidays!

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Holiday-a-Thon #24 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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It's A Wonderful LifeWe’ve finally arrived at the end. The 24th of December, Christmas eve and with that the final movie in my Holiday-a-Thon. And what an end it was, I’d tell ya.
Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, one of the all-time greatest classics James Stewart as the down-on-his-luck businessman George Bailey. Hey, one thing I have to mention right off the bat…. What a performance Stewart delivers. The word “Wow” doesn’t quite cover it, but it’ll do if you add the words Brilliant and Perfect to it. Yeah, without a doubt one of the greatest performances of the era (and ours)! But now, on to the movie itself….

It's a Wonderful Life DVDWe start out with a couple of angels discussing what to do with a man down on his luck, thinking about taking his life. They send for a third angel, a second-class angel, Clarence Odbody, who is more than eager to earn his wings. What we see after that is how the life of George Bailey turns out, what choices he makes, the women he dates, how he misses out on opportunity after opportunity, finally arriving at the end of his ropes, on Christmas eve, thinking that suicide is the last way out.

This movie is without a doubt one of the greatest Christmas classics of all time. Sure, the overall feel of the film has nothing to do with Christmas at all, but he feeling you get when watching it does. It gives you hope. It shows you compassion. It has love and a sense of truth and emotion to it that knows no peers. And with that said, I conclude this Holiday-a-Thon with these words; If you haven’t seen this film yet, well… first off, I feel bad for you, I really do! Second, if you haven’t seen this film yet, I strongly urge you to do so. It truly is a masterpiece in its own right and there is no movie out there like it.

So, there you have it. 24 movie “reviews” on the 24th of December. What’ya think about that? Not too shabby, huh….
But hey, it’s not completely over yet, ’cause we still have my top5 to see tomorrow. But until then….


Holiday-a-Thon #23 It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas (2002)

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It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas bannerIn 2011, the Muppets had to pull their strengths together to save their theatre. Well, that’s nothing new for the Muppets, actually, as that is the exact plot of this It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas. Yeah sure, they are not identical, not by a long-shot  But the essence of them both is the same…. but that’s okay, ’cause it works. When it comes to The Muppets, nothing is off the table. I imagine the creative meetings going something like this;
– “Have we done this thing before?
– Who cares, just put a spin on it and it’ll be just fine.”
But like I said, when it comes to the Muppets, that’s okay, ’cause they’re just that fun to watch anyways, and this Christmas themed film is nothing but not that. A fun watch. Classic Muppet comedy with the ever awesome Kermit in the front, followed closely by Fozzy, Gonzo, Miss Piggy and all the rest.

This may not be the greatest Christmas film of all time, but it sure is one hell of a good watch. Why? ‘Cause it’s the damn Muppets, that’s why. Jim Henson, I salute you for creating The Muppets!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and as I am of Swedish decent, this is the day I’ll be celebrating the holidays, but don’t worry, the Holiday-a-thon will come to a close on Thursday with My definitive Top5 list of Must-watch Christmas films, so tune in later this week if you want to read some final thoughts on my favorite holiday themed movies. “But wait, shouldn’t there be 24 movies?” Right you are, my friend! As I said, tomorrow is Christmas Eve, so I’ll be glooming a stare on the TV tomorrow as well, and the classic that I’ll be watching is….. you guessed it, It’s a Wonderful Life, so please tune in tomorrow as well. But hey, if you read this (and/or that) after the holidays, have a Merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, a happy Kwanza (and a merry whatever you’re celebrating)… let’s just say Happy Holidays!!