Music, Movies & More: "A Christmas Story", "Elf", "Home Alone"

Jake Tapley

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“A Christmas Story”
Rating: 5/5 (candy canes)

It’s Christmas morning, and a young boy makes his way down the stairs in a furry pink bunny suit.

The narrator provides a humorous explanation for the event: “Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old but also a girl.”


The classic Christmas tale directed by Bob Clark grows fonder with every watch.

“A Christmas Story” epitomizes the ideal Christmas movie and sets the standard that all other Christmas movies should be judged by. The plot points are both relatable yet intriguing – the ruined Christmas dinner, the flag pole scene and the Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.

There is something very basic and human about the movie. It is refreshing to see Christmas movies that don’t incorporate fantastical elements into the storyline.

Balancing genuine emotion and experience with smart humor, the movie discovers the perfect combination. I also love how the narrator’s recollections contrast with the persona of Ralphie, the main character.

The only downside to the movie that I can find is that TBS feels the need to play it constantly around Christmas time, to the point where it actually gets tiresome – but what movie wouldn’t get tiresome when given a 24-hour marathon?

 

“Elf”
Rating: 4/5 (candy canes)

The camera pans across a room of elves sitting in a classroom reciting “The Code of the Elves,” finally fixating on what appears to be an overgrown Will Ferrell.

“The best way of spreading Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear,” the room says in unison.

The least conventional “Will Ferrell movie” might be his most popular one to date.

This movie has become the trademark family Christmas movie, as Ferrell’s character of Buddy the Elf lends himself to both children and adults alike.

The naivety of Buddy the Elf is what truly makes the movie so endearing to its audience.

As he journeys to the distant land of New York at the beginning of the movie, he is confronted with a raccoon. Having been used to the friendly, clay animation animals that apparently inhabit the North Pole, his first reaction is to offer the wild forest critter a hug.

This doesn’t end well for him.

“Elf” seems like a movie that will be timeless, though its cheesiness may set some people off. But then again, people that don’t like cheesy movies should probably refrain from watching Christmas movies altogether.

 

“Home Alone”
Rating: 3/5 (candy canes)

As a little boy, “Home Alone” was easily the best Christmas movie ever.

I wanted to sled down the staircase and out the front door or prank the neighborhood thieves like Kevin McCallister did.

If you haven’t watched this movie in quite some time, do yourself a favor and watch it again – it’s hilariously corny. I challenge you to count how many holes you can poke in the movie. 

My guess is that the movie’s plot structure and character development will end up looking like a couple of sponges by the time you’re done with them.

With that being said, the movie is still enjoyable – so long as you aren’t going into it for the cinematic experience.

The biggest issue I have with the movie is that Macaulay Culkin’s character Kevin talks to the camera too much. That is Ferris Bueller’s thing, Kevin!

But all jokes aside, I think the movie does a good job in depicting the way Kevin handles his parents being gone. It goes through the process in (what I believe to be) a fairly accurate fashion. 

It isn’t the best Christmas movie out there, but it is still a classic to keep in mind.

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