It's Christmas, well it is in our house. As the more consistent readers amongst you will know, we seem to have two Christmas-ees (Christmi?) which has become some sort of tradition, due to the fact that we're all a bit spread out. This year it's our first Christmas Day tomorrow.
So while I'm sat peeling sprouts and awaiting the thawing of the turkey, I have been putting some thought to Boxing Day (of which I also have two) and what this years Boxing Day movie(s) should be.
For some people, spending a few days with their families is a bit of a horror story, so maybe we should go with the nightmare before christmas (although thats really a Halloween film in my book), or lets go to the all time top of the horror movies and consider, The Shining, The Thing (1980 not the new one) or Omen (the first one). After all, I'm sure most kids a little devils even though there supposed to be good. He knows who's been nasty or nice you know.....
While I think of it, it's worth remembering that Gregory Peck is Darth Vaders father.
Well, it's very straightforward actually. In the early 1970's 20th century fox was in a bit of bother. They'd made some bad movies, and that meant they'd not made much money. The pressure was on for a hit movie, and it just wasn't happening. Things were getting wobbly. The situation was not good. What they needed was a massive hit on a tiny budget - because budgets were pretty much non-existent.
Enter stage right - Director, Richard Donner, Gregory Peck and 2,225,000 dollars. In the grand scheme of movie making that's not a lot of money but when they make a movie like the Omen, and scare the living bejesus out of everyone, they manage to turn $2.2m into $60m - and that's in the US alone. According to Mr Donner himself, it's this very healthy profit that went into Fox's coffers and enabled them to make Star Wars. So without Gregory Peck's fine performance and one of the most impressive and most talked about in-camera visual effects of a fall (courtesy of Mr Donner), Darth never would have seen the dark of night. May the force be with you - always.
Anyway, I digress. Of course what we really need is a proper festive film, with all the trimmings. There's a long list of possibles with things like "It's a wonderful life", "Miracle on 54th street", "Home Alone", "The Snowman", "Elf" and no end of Santa Claus related movies.... But no. Not for me.
For me - its some of the most memorable scriptwriting, and all round fun and games of any holiday season movie ever made. With gems like "nice suit", and "nice bear", or classics like "I'll kiss your fugging Dalmatian" (If you're still wondering what that means, it's a reference to Dalmatian dogs being fire station mascots in the United States), "Fists with your toes" or "now, I have a machine gun, ho, ho, ho" and of course the immortal "Yippee Kai Ay".... It can only be Die Hard...
Topical references to Twinkies, a Top Draw bad guy in the form of Alan Rickman's "Hans" ("by the time they figure out what went wrong we'll be sitting on a beach earning 20%" and "Where are my detonators"), the dumb schmuck that is Ellis ("Hans. Boobie! I can give him to you"), a cocky and unlikely hacker ("Merry Christmas"), an annoying investigative journalist ("Tell me you got that") and some all round hammy cop/FBI acting ("Woohoo, just like fugging Saigon hey slick?", "I was in junior high dickhead")... Oh yes, and how could I forget the ballet dancing Russian playing a German - Alexander Goodunov?
It's what Christmas is all about.
And as we have two Christmasii, our second Boxing Day needs more of the same - so thank god for Die Hard 2 - yet another great Christmas movie. It's true it's not as good as the first one, but it's still classic action fare.
The 3rd one is for the summer, the 4th one is for different generation and 5th will be next years fun, so in the meantime, I'll leave you with this memorable NSFW gem - with a little help from Alan.
Yippee Kai Aye Mellon Farmers