A Christmas Movie List

I was typing out the Freeform 25 Days of Christmas movie list as I obsessively do every year and I thought to myself, ‘I should make an ultimate Christmas movie list for my blog!’

This isn’t an official challenge and you don’t need to keep track or put any pressure on yourself to finish (or even start!) this list, but I thought it’d be fun. I’ll probably report my progress some time at the end of the month. (And if you watched some of these in November it totally counts. I would never restrict Christmas cheer to December!)

Feel free to play along if you want to!

Claymations:
A Year Without a Santa Claus (AV) (F)
Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (F)
Jack Frost (F)
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (F)
Rudolph’s Shiny New Year (F)

Animated/Kids:
The Nightmare Before Christmas (N) (F)
The Polar Express (AV) (F)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (HBO go)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (AV) (ABC go)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (F)
Arthur Christmas (F)

The Classics
White Christmas (N)
It’s A Wonderful Life (AV)
Miracle on 34th Street (AV)
Holiday Inn
The Bishop’s Wife

The Contemporary Classics
Love Actually (N)
The Family Stone
The Holiday (N) (AV)
Jingle All the Way
Serendipity (N)
Trading Places

The Overly Played:
A Christmas Story (AV)
The Santa Clause [bonus points for each sequel watched] (N) (F)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation [uncensored, of course] (F -censored)
Home Alone (HBO go)
Elf (AV) (F)

Half-Hour Specials:
The Bells of Fraggle Rock
The Little Drummer Boy
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (F)
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas [animated]

BONUS: Weird Animated Movies From Our Past That We Barely Remember:
Babes in Toyland
The Nutcracker Prince
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

Edit… [Find it on: (H) hulu, (N) netflix, (AV) amazon video, (F) freeform]
Some of these might not be free. And some might be incorrect. Hey, I tried.

While I didn’t include Die Hard, it can be found on Amazon Video 😉

I know I’m missing a million movies. What are some of your favorites?

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Fall Film 2017 Update #1

Since I’m almost through the first month of Jenn’s Fall Film Challenge I wanted to share an update/movie review. I believe someone is doing a link-up for these updates, but I’ll amend this sentence when I figure out who/where it is… lol.

So this month I checked 8 movies off my list.

Sing | PG | 2016 | 108 minutes | IMDB
Summary: In order to save his beloved theater, a goodhearted but floundering koala puts together a musical competition, sure to bring in crowds and money. He assembles a cast of talented but distracted performers and does his very best to make his (and their) dreams come true. This movie has an all-star cast (…er, voices).
To see or not to see… If you have children or you enjoy animated kids movies, yes. This is an adorable, uplifting little film.
7★★★★★★★/10
*a movie about hope

The Founder | PG-13 | 2016 | 115 minutes | IMDB
Summary: A dramatic biography that details Ray Kroc’s discovery and building of the McDonald’s corporation. Spoiler alert: Ray is NOT a nice guy. The original McDonalds brothers didn’t imagine or want the franchise as large as it is today… but Kroc had other ideas.
To see or not to see… Unless you love McDonald’s or you have an interest in shady business men, you can skip this depressing film.
3★★★/10
*a movie about greed

Best in Show | PG-13 | 2000 | 90 minutes | IMDB
Summary: A mockumentary that follows five (I think) dog owners in their quest to becoming the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show Best in Show winner. Sadly, though it be a mockumentary, I fear that I am one of these crazy dog-obsessed people. Ha.
To see or not to see… If you love dogs this is probably a good one for you. Be ready for weird humor and a Modern Family/The Office kind of characters and filming.
5★★★★★/10
*a movie about pride

Coraline | PG | 2009 | 100 minutes | IMDB
Summary: Based on Neil Gaiman’s book, this story follows Coraline Jones as she navigates her new home. When her parents don’t have the time for her, Coraline discovers she has another mother just on the other side of the wall. It’s almost too late before she discovers everything she thought she wanted isn’t everything it seems.
To see or not to see… This movie was actually quite creepy for being a kids film. Still, I thought it was enjoyable enough. A perfect fall or Halloween movie without any gore or horror.
6★★★★★★/10
*a movie about temperance

Alice Through the Looking Glass | PG | 2016 | 113 minutes | IMDB
Summary: Finally the savvy and confident captain of her own destiny, Alice returns to England to find that her freedom isn’t celebrated by everyone. At the same time, in Wonderland, Hatter is fading fast and it doesn’t appear Time is on his side. Alice must confront Time in order to save her future and recover Hatter’s past.
To see or not to see… Don’t bother. I think it had potential and there were some chuckle-worthy moments, but this film was dumb and poorly made.
3★★★/10
*a movie starring Alan Rickman

The Magnificent Seven | PG-13 | 2016 | 132 minutes | IMDB
Summary: A remake of the 1960s classic, this film throws together a band of murderous but good misfits as they assemble to save a town from a malicious and violent capitalist. A film that confirms Chris Pratt can play any role and be brilliant.
To see or not to see… Despite my distaste for violence, I loved this movie. (I also love the original.) I’m ok with the generic guns are fired/people fall over scenes, and that was a large part of this movie. Sometimes the characters are a little tough to understand, but this film does the original justice in my opinion. I’m a sucker for westerns.
8★★★★★★★★/10
*a movie released last year & reviewed here

Mr. Holmes | PG | 2015 | 104 minutes | IMDB
Summary: Aging, irritable, and increasingly amnesic, the 93 year old Sherlock Holmes returns to his countryside cottage hideaway after a short trip to Japan. Haunted by an unsolved cased, Holmes cautiously welcomes the investigative skills and friendly companionship of his underappreciated and widowed housekeeper’s son, Milo.
To see or not to see… It was a slow moving, sad but sweet, beautifully directed English movie. If that’s your kind of thing, then yes. I don’t have anything bad to say about the film except seeing stars like Ian McKellen age is incredibly disheartening. (Although he’s still 110% brilliant!)
6★★★★★★/10
*a movie starring Ian McKellen

Iron Man | PG-13 | 2008 | 126 minutes | IMDB
Summary: After escaping captivity in an Middle East terrorist camp, genius weapons tycoon Tony Stark feels compelled to change his tune and invent a new “weapon” to save the world from evil.
To see or not to see… This movie was a little darker than I expected. Also, I felt like Pepper could’ve been a stronger character but they were probably basing her off the comics. The villain was certainly hate-able. But I digress… Yes, this is a movie worth watching. Especially since RDJ got jacked for this movie. It’s not not enjoyable to watch…
7★★★★★★★/10
*a movie starring Robert Downey, Jr.


|one| starring Anthony Hopkins: Thor
|two| listed on nathan bransford’s best hundred movies challengeThe Big Lebowski
|three| about charity: It’s Kind of a Funny Story
|four| starring Robert Downey, Jr.: Iron Man
|five| about envy: As Good As It Gets
|six| about faith: War Room
|seven| about greed: The Founder
|eight| about hope: Sing
|nine| starring Jeremy Irons: Casanova
|ten| about justice: 12 Angry Men
|eleven| starring Kevin Bacon: Crazy, Stupid, Love.
|twelve| about lust: The Virgin Suicides
|thirteen| starring Ian McKellen: Mr. Holmes
|fourteen| set in a castle: Gosford Park
|fifteen| about fortitude: Les Miserable
|sixteen| about pride: Best in Show
|seventeen| starring Alan Rickman: Alice Through the Looking Glass
|eighteen| released last year & reviewed hereThe Magnificent Seven
|nineteen| about temperance: Coraline
|twenty| about prudence: Driving Miss Daisy
|twenty-one| starring Val Kilmer: At First Sight
|twenty-two| about wrath: X-Men: Apocalypse
|twenty-three| set in an exotic locale: The Darjeeling Limited
|twenty-four| about gluttony: The Bling Ring
|twenty-five| set in space: Star Trek Beyond

 

I usually can’t sit and watch a movie but summer was so crazy that I welcomed the relaxation. Also, much of our house is packed up so I really only have access to Netflix and my library books. Not mad about it.

Did you watch any fun movies this month? Have you seen the new Magnificent Seven?

Fall Film Challenge (3)

This will be my third year participating in Jenn of Quirky Pickings Fall Film Challenge!

It starts on September 1st and ends at midnight on November 30th. Rule are no repeats (in any capacity), must be theater releases, and there’s a points penalty for switching films mid-challenge.

|one| starring Anthony Hopkins: Thor
|two| listed on nathan bransford’s best hundred movies challenge: The Big Lebowski
|three| about charity: It’s Kind of a Funny Story
|four| starring Robert Downey, Jr.: Iron Man
|five| about envy: As Good As It Gets
|six| about faith: War Room
|seven| about greed: The Founder
|eight| about hope: Sing
|nine| starring Jeremy Irons: Casanova
|ten| about justice: 12 Angry Men
|eleven| starring Kevin Bacon: Crazy, Stupid, Love.
|twelve| about lust: The Virgin Suicides
|thirteen| starring Ian McKellen: Mr. Holmes
|fourteen| set in a castle: Gosford Park
|fifteen| about fortitude: Les Miserable
|sixteen| about pride: Best in Show
|seventeen| starring Alan Rickman: Alice Through the Looking Glass
|eighteen| released last year & reviewed here: The Magnificent Seven
|nineteen| about temperance: Coraline
|twenty| about prudence: Driving Miss Daisy
|twenty-one| starring Val Kilmer: At First Sight
|twenty-two| about wrath: X-Men: Apocalypse
|twenty-three| set in an exotic locale: The Darjeeling Limited
|twenty-four| about gluttony: The Bling Ring
|twenty-five| set in space: Star Trek Beyond

I actually feel pretty confident about these films. Some I’ve been meaning to see for a while (Thor, Iron Man, Driving Miss Daisy, Crazy Stupid Love, The Magnificent 7) and some are based on books I”m currently or soon-to-be reading (Coraline, The Virgin Suicides).

Have you seen any of these? What would you pick? (You can still join!)

A Mental Diet

After I wrote my fall TV show post I started thinking about all the shows I’d like to watch, but can’t. It’s a funny thing to say considering I’m an adult and I can technically do whatever I want (within reason/the law), but similar to how we know we shouldn’t each donuts and ice cream and cake for dinner every night, I know there are shows I shouldn’t watch.

This is not a moral or biblical “shouldn’t.” It’s a mental health kind of “shouldn’t.” If I drink Mt. Dew & eat potato chips for every meal I know I will be physically unhealthy. If I binge on Game of Thrones or This Is Us or Criminal Minds I know I will make myself mentally unhealthy. And like food, we all have a different threshold for “too much.” We all prefer different flavors- we all process those foods (or shows) differently. I don’t enjoy pie, but a lot of people love it – I don’t enjoy GOT, but a lot of people love it.

I think it’s important to know what you can and can’t do mentally. I have never enjoyed violent television shows. I don’t like anything that fixates on the drug culture (Shameless, Breaking Bad, OITNB) or anything with violent or rape undertones (The Handmaid’s Tale, OITNB, Game of Thrones). It doesn’t both me one bit that people enjoy these shows- I just know that I don’t.

In my early twenties I used to love Law & Order SVU, CSI, and Criminal Minds. In my teens I watched General Hospital, Grey’s Anatomy, and other dramas. Somewhere along the lines I realized that I internalized the drama, fear, suspicion, and paranoia that the characters in these shows portray. I let it affect me and I carried it with me. When K would leave for business trips I’d have terrible dreams about kidnapping and murder. I honest to God believed someone was living in our attic. (And I love to be alone- having him gone was not the issue. My brain was the issue.)

So I stopped watching shows like this.

This mental healthy “diet” isn’t restricted to television. There are songs and artists that I avoid for emotional reasons. (I’d guess many music lovers are nodding their heads.) There are books I know I shouldn’t read or I should space out. (Thrillers make me shake- my body actually quivers while I read them. Holocaust and slavery-era books completely destroy me.) Obviously there are movies I’d never touch. I watched Django: Unchained with my family once and I felt sick for a week.

Perhaps it sounds silly at first, but if we’re careful about what we feed our bodies nutritionally, why wouldn’t we keep tabs on how other stimulants make us feel?

We all feel things extremely differently. It’s why menus & Netflix & the TV Guide have so many options. I would challenge you to pay attention to how television shows and songs and movies make you feel. I know that I shouldn’t have a milkshake every night, but once is a while is totally fine. I know I can’t read a book like The Handmaid’s Tale every week, but every so often is fine. Knowing what’s good for you in all forms of ingestion is important to your health.

So pay attention to how television shows make you feel. Do you walk away from Grey’s Anatomy feeling dramatic and bitchy? Do you walk away from GOT with a little bit of rage? Evaluate how affected you are and how your personality differs after you take in a program or movie. Set some limitations for yourself and find a healthy mix.

(Or maybe I’m just crazy 😉 Are you completely unaffected by shows? I’m genuinely curious.)

The Boy Who Lived… ⚡

The stress levels around these parts are unreal. If you follow me on IG, you saw we listed our house last week. We got an offer within 2 days of it being online and we accepted it on Saturday. We’re pumped, but also stressed because inspections/appraisals/financing/buying a new home/money/moving/packing/fencing/fees/etc./etc./etc.

Also, as I mention all the time, summer is our busy season professionally. *groan*

So today I’m doing something fun that I can’t believe I’ve never done before: A Harry Potter Tag. (Thanks to Stephanie and Jenn for the questions!)

1. What is your favorite book?

The Prisoner of Azkaban. (& the Deathly Hallows)
2. What is your favorite film?
Order of the Phoenix. Although I think the Half-Blood Prince is hilarious up until the cave scene.


3. What is your least favorite book?
Goblet of Fire. I feel like most people say this one or OtP.
4. What is your least favorite film?
Probably Goblet of Fire, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen it.
5. Parts of the books/films that made you cry?
Probably every other scene for some reason or another. Molly v. Bellatrix, Hedwig’s final scene, the death of the twin, Dudley and Harry’s goodbye, Narcissa protecting her baby bear Draco & lying to Voldy. Also, Harry rescuing Ginny in the 2nd book always gets me since I know their end story 🙂 There are many, many more moments.
6. If you could hook up with any character, who would it be?
Movie George Weasley. Book Lupin. (Is that weird…?)


7. Who is your favorite character?
Book Ginny. Movie Molly. I like the twins, Luna, and Tonks in both forms, too.
8. Who is your least favorite character?
Umbridge is garbage. Duh.
But also Dumbledore. (Go ahead, burn me at the stake.) Snape also never won me over. And Wormtail creeped me ouuuuut.
9. What is your favorite quote?
I can’t even begin to answer this- book or movie quotes.


10. What is your least favorite quote?
“I must not tell lies.” (Crazy bitch…)
11. What would your Patronus be?
Pottermore said a basset hound, but I think it’d be a fox 🙂 Or a hawk.
12. What would your Boggart be?
A dinosaur riding a giant horse.
13. What would you rather have – the elder wand, the resurrection stone or the invisibility cloak?
The cloak.  Duhhh.
14. Which house would you be in?
Ravenclaw. (When Pottermore was revamped it re-housed me into Gryffindor. But nah.)


15. If you were on the Quidditch team, which position would you play?
I think chaser. Or I’d chill in the stands 😉
16. Which class would be your favorite?
Either Transfiguration or Care of Magical Creatures.
17. If you could bring one character back to life, who would it be?
Do Tonks and Lupin count as one…? (Sorry Hedwig/Fred/Dobby) I freaking hate that they died. Or maybe Sirius. He still had a lot of fight in him.
18. What would your job be in the magical world?
I think I’d want to be a professor at Hogwarts.
19. If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?
Dame Maggie Smith & Emma Watson. I typically consider people to be people regardless of their “job”, but those ladies are so badass I think I’d faint.
20. Were you happy with the ending? 
Yes. But I hated the spin “The Cursed Child” put on it. I refuse to believe Ron and Hermione had such a common and predictable love. And Ginny is better than that play gave her credit for.

Annnnd there we have it.

Movie Yays and Nays

I saw Tanya and Erin do this fun little questionnaire. So now I’m doing it, too!

Most Hated Movie of All-Time: Django Unchained, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Last Airbender
Movie I Think is Overrated: Shawshank Redemption (it actually ties for “most hated”)
Movie I Think is Underrated: Field of Dreams
Movie I Love: Clue
Movie I Secretly Love: Inglorious Basterds (even though I hate violent movies)
Favorite Action Movie: The Mummy
Favorite Drama: Ocean’s 11
Favorite Horror: The Grudge or Gothika (is that horror?)
Favorite Comedy: Talladega Nights
Favorite Disney Movie: The Lion King or Aladdin or Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Favorite Sci-Fi Movie: Star Trek (2009)
Favorite Animated Movie: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Favorite Superhero Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy or X-Men: First Class
Favorite Musical: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
Favorite Western: Rio Bravo (1959)
Favorite Martial Arts: Ummm… I don’t think I’ve ever seen a martial arts movie
Favorite Indie: I guess Juno… independent films are always so dang depressing
Favorite Bad Movie: Alice in Wonderland (1999)… it was made-for-TV, but I don’t think it’s bad
Childhood Favorite: Billboard Dad
Favorite Franchise: Harry Potter & X-Men
Best Trilogy: LOTR (or the original X-Men)
Guilty Pleasure: Napoleon Dynamite… so bad, yet so good
Favorite Director: Wes Anderson and David Yates
Favorite Actor: Chris Pratt or Jon Hamm
Favorite Actress: Jennifer Lawrence or Olivia Munn
Favorite Foreign Film: Water (2005)
Favorite Movie this Year so Far: I’ve only seen Beauty & the Beast this year…
Worst Movie so Far this Year: -nothing-
Movie I Have Seen Recently: We’re the Millers
What I Thought of It: I’ve seen it before but it was on TV recently. I actually think this is a hilarious movie. Stupid and cheesy, but comical.
Most Anticipated Film of this Year: Guardians of the Galaxy 2!!
Favorite Movie of All-Time: It’s a tie between HP, Alice in Wonderland, & X-Men

What movie do you hate? What’s your favorite Disney one?

Winter Movies that Aren’t Christmas Movies

This week is always confusing to me… I still feel festive, but Christmas is over and I don’t know if holiday music is still appropriate… Also, the Type-A planner in my brain wants me to take down the tree & decorations, but New Years still feels Christmas-y and festive so I’d actually like to leave it up. I don’t know- it’s just a really confusing week for me each year…

Additionally, I am at work this week but K gave his boys the week off… which I know is the norm for some businesses. Our house is a mixture of vacation and normalcy (and I’m stuck on the wrong side, ha).

Maybe you have some downtime this week? If so, here are some winter movies that aren’t actually Christmas movies to keep you entertained!

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)winter_movies_1

Trading Places (1983)winter_movies_2

Edward Scissorhands (1990)winter_movies_3

The Mighty Ducks (1992)winter_movies_5

Balto (1995)winter_movies_4

I came up with this topic a few days ago but didn’t jot down the movies I was thinking of at that moment. Oops. I’m sure there are a million more I’m missing… What are some winter non-Christmas movies that you enjoy watching?

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On Friday I’m announcing some 2017 resolutions and goals, plus a pretty big life change for us next year (nope, not pregnant ). So come back on Friday!