Oasis Magazine Articles

Cinema Chatter: Holiday Movies to Watch at Home

By Oasis Staff Writer

December 01, 2016

Christmastime is upon us, and between the first week of November and New Year’s Day, an average of 100 films will be released during the holiday season movie rush. The holiday season has evolved into a window for primetime moneymaking, and big studios know this – this time last year, studios raked in 2.8 billion dollars!

Films released around this time tend to cater for everyone. Kid friendly films, rated R films for adults in dire need of a break from the madness, and the odd Quentin Tarantino movie that always seems to open around this time of year. Consider that last year’s highest grossing film was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the year before it was American Sniper.

However, we wanted to go back in time and explore some classics enjoyed by all ages. Those perfect mixes of comedy, nostalgia, adversity, and happy endings. For example, 13 years ago, Will Farrell brought all these elements together in Elf, a film about a young man raised by Santa in his workshop, despite his laughably huge stature, who decides to go find his father in NYC.

Going even further back, at least two generations have grown up watching and loving Home Alone. Macaulay Culkin’s breakout role as Kevin McCallister made him a household name, and all the creative ways he protected his empty house against two sneaky burglars left us kids wishing we had the chance to do it all ourselves. The movie was included in The Guinness Book of World Records for the highest box office gross, and is considered a traditional Christmas movie in Poland, airing nation-wide on TV since 1990, with an astounding five million people watching it in 2011.

Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a classic made even more fantastic by Jim Carrey’s comedic genius. The movie required an extraordinary amount of makeup and prosthetics to complete The Grinch’s iconic look, Carrey spent 92 days total in the make-up. Apparently, the actor felt so uncomfortable and restricted in the latex skin he had to wear, he sought counseling from the CIA in order to learn torture-resistance techniques!

Boasting a stunning score, the Polar Express is another Guinness Book of World Records holder as the "first all-digital capture" film. A touching story set in the 1950s, Hero Boy (voiced by Tom Hanks) goes on an adventure to the North Pole. The film used 3D motion capture techniques to digitally record the physical performances of the actors before "skinning" them with their animated forms.


Finally, The Nightmare before Christmas is a stop-animation classic that combines both Halloween and Christmas. Jack Skellington is bored with the ghoulish fun inflicted on the “real world” every year and accidently stumbles upon Christmastown. Dazzled by all the lights, beauty, and cheer, he decides to kidnap Santa and attempt a coup. Director Tim Burton was inspired after seeing a store exchange their merchandise display, seeing the contrast of ghouls and goblins versus Santa sparked his imagination. A team of around 100 people spent three years completing the movie, as each second of film required up to 12 stop-motion moves.


So settle in on the sofa, pop the popcorn and watch any of these classics either alone or with the family. You are guaranteed some laughs, some awwwws and maybe even a tear or two. Happy holidays!!

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