The 2016 Christmas -non- Christmas Movie Marathon
It's that time a year again. 'Tis the season, indeed. The kick-off of my favorite annual tradition: the Christmas -non- Christmas Movie Marathon.
What is this tradition, you may ask? Oh, oh. Let me tell you.
The Christmas -non- Christmas movie marathon is a list of movies which take place during Christmas, but are not about Christmas, that I watch every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It all started with the realization in December of 2001 that I didn't have a favorite Christmas movie. Growing up, we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, and of course the Grinch, but TV wasn't as big part of my childhood. At one point, I think we were only allowed an hour of television a week, so of course I chose TGIF (yes Urkel, you did do that!).
OK, back to the point: I wasn't really into the spirit of Christmas (the feel good stuff) as much as I was into the idea of things taking place around Christmas time. And then I watched Die Hard, and I realized it was the greatest Christmas movie of ALL TIME.
So it started with Die Hard. Slowly, over the years, other movies crept in. L.A. Confidential starts with a Christmas party. Gremlins and Lethal Weapon also take place during Christmas. And yet, none of these movies are about the spirit of Christmas.
The marathon grew and grew until it became impossible to watch them all in one year, so I've selected some new ones and some old favorites for the 2016 marathon. Follow along if you wish, but be forewarned: some of these movies are pretty terrible (I'm thinking of Batman Returns, which is so bad that I can't help but watch it).
This year I've decided to pair some cocktails with each movie, because why not incorporate mixology if I can?
The List & The Cocktails
- Rambo, First Blood: Blood & Sand
- In Bruges: "gay beer" (of course)
- Lethal Weapon: Bitter Old Pal
- Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: Corpse Reviver #2
- Rocky IV: "Beetnik" Martini
- Step Brothers: Wine (It's the fuckin' Catalina Wine Mixer!)
- Batman Returns: Gotham Cocktail
- Trading Places: Millionaire Cocktail
- The Hateful Eight: Mexican Spiked Hot Chocolate
- Home Alone: Milk Punch (yeah, you know that scene with Kevin's huge pile of mac 'n' cheese and that goblet of milk)
- Beerfest: German beer (und....und Becks!)
- Gremlins: The Last Word
- L.A. Confidential: Scotch
- Die Hard: Eggnog
As I watch the movies, I'll post links to the reason the specific cocktail (or beer/wine as the case may be for some of those), and also the recipe. All of the recipes can be found with the great google machine, so follow along if you wish!
The Christmas References
- Rambo, First Blood: The sheriff's office has a Christmas tree, and there are some decoration around town
- In Bruges: There is a Christmas tree in the Inn, and the whole town of Bruges is decked out with decorations
- Lethal Weapon: Riggs chases drug dealers through a Christmas tree lot, along with a number of other decorations
- Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: Shane Black is notorious for setting movies during Christmas. The movie opens with Ironman (*ahem, Robert Downey Jr*) robbing a store for a toy on his kid's Christmas list, and then theres the Christmas party, and then there's people in Santa suits...and it goes on and on.
- Rocky IV: Rocky wishes his son a Merry Christmas at the end (yup, that counts!).
- Step Brothers: Only an amazing Christmas dinner scene. I'm so excited I get to add this one to the marathon this year!
- Batman Returns: Tim Burton is another lover of Christmas time it seems. Catwoman has a line about kissing under the mistletoe, and then of course there's that huge tree.
- Trading Places: I must admit, this is a new one and I haven't seen it in a long time, but I believe the plot thickens at a Christmas party.
- The Hateful Eight: Joe Gage claims he's on his way to visit his mother for Christmas: "Christmas with mother? It's the greatest thing in the world." You know, before everyone gets murdered (spoiler! Sorry Tarantino, don't get so mad you almost cancel this movie release...or whatever).
- Home Alone: This one is a tricky one. It definitely takes place during Christmas, but many would argue it's about the spirit of Christmas. I disagree: how is this *not* about a totally messed up child who seems to be okay with being abandoned and want to cause a seriously amount of sadistic pain to a couple of strangers (yes, they're trying to rob him, but really? You couldn't just call the cops?). Feel free to disagree with me on this one, but this was the second addition to the original marathon.
- Beerfest: It's brief, and it's subtle, but they're training from Oktoberfest until the next Oktoberfest, so this movie obviously takes place over the course of a year. In one scene, there are wreaths, garlands, and Christmas lights decorating the Schnitzengiggle Tavern.
- Gremlins: This whole movie takes place during Christmas, with many scenes evidencing decorations, but the kicker: Phoebe Cate's famous speech about how her dad got stuck up the chimney, dressed as Santa.
- L.A. Confidential: The movie begins with Bud White picking up booze for a Christmas party, leading to the headline "Bloody Christmas."
- Die Hard: All I need to say is: "Ho, Ho, Ho, now I have a machine gun."
There are a ton more movies not included on this list. Leave me a comment with your favorites, I'm always looking to add to my collection!