Here's a list of the best Christmas films ever and where you can watch them in Manchester this December...
Is it a Christmas movie? Is it just an action movie that takes place at Christmas? Who cares when it’s this fucking good? One of the most perfect films of all time, it’s hard to imagine that casting TV comedy star Bruce Willis as ‘cop in the wrong place’ John McClane was considered a big risk in those days. Regardless, Willis never looked back, which is more than can be said for Hans Gruber – always check for a gun strapped to someone’s back you idiot.
Thursday 13th December, 7pm @ Mayfield
Friday 14th December, 8.30pm @ Odeon Great Northern
Probably king of the new school of Christmas movies, casting huge man child Will Ferrell as a human who’s been raised by Elves was a stroke of genius. The fact that Buddy the Elf is obsessed with anything Christmas related certainly appeals to most of the girls I know in my life, and his diet is not that too dissimilar either. James Caan might not be the best dad to have in the world, but I’m assuming he got off with Zoe Deschanel at some point so well done to Buddy.
Friday 7th, Saturday 8th & Saturday 15th December @ Mayfield
Sunday 9th December, 5.10pm @ Odeon Great Northern
Friday 14th & Sunday 16th December @ The Refuge
Sunday 16th December @ Tattu (with 3 course dinner & 2 cocktails)
Jim Carrey had to spend approximately 6 hours in make up every single day to play The Grinch, and it shows. His portrayal as a sinister, miserable creature-thing is so convincing that every single thing he says and does reflects perfectly how Jim was probably feeling at the time. Not to mention the fact that he would then have to act alongside not just a child, but also a dog. I’m surprised he’s managed to get out of his bad mood by now really. Good on him.
Thursday 20th December, 6pm @ Odeon Great Northern
Filmed on the exact same set as Back to the Future’s Hill Valley, Spielberg’s influence is all over Gremlins, which adds a welcome note of black humour to the traditional family Christmas movie. Phoebe Cate’s story about her dad getting dressed up as Santa, getting stuck and then dying in the family chimney is dark enough but when you add manky green monsters that actually kill a couple of hundred people – you know you’re in for a treat.
Friday 7th December, 9pm @ Mayfield
Saturday 15th December – Immersive Screening @ The Refuge
The only Ben Brown Christmas tradition, every year I head on down to HOME with a big box of MAN-SIZED Kleenex and cry my face off to It’s A Wonderful Life. Every year I tell myself that I’m not going to get upset and start bibbing but by the end when everyone is in George Bailey’s front room, I can’t control myself. Sure it’s wetter than a mermaid’s bra but it doesn’t matter – it’s cinematic (and Christmas) magic.
Friday 14th – Monday 17th December @ HOME
Tuesday 18th December, 7pm @ Odeon Great Northern
Not to be mistaken with the live action version starring Jim Carrey, this take on The Grinch is a CGI affair, which was probably much cheaper than employing a $20m a movie actor and a host of make-up artists to cover him up. I’d say The Grinch is more of an American thing but I’m sure kids are well into it nowadays, they’ve stolen most of their culture from the Yanks, including Halloween and taking weapons into school.
All cinemas from 1st December
Very obviously the greatest adaptation of Charles Dickens’ legendary book, the Muppets of course add some much needed humour to what is essentially a depressing and haunting book about a bitter old man and all the people he’s fucked over in his life. Playing Scrooge is Michael Caine, at the height of his ‘I need to pay my mortgage’ phase where he’d say yes to anything (including Steven Seagal’s On Deadly Ground). He’s great in this though, as is Kermit (as always).
Saturday 8th December, 2pm @ Victoria Baths
Another chance to hear Aled Jones’ pre-pubescent voice ringing through your ears as a Snowman takes flight with a little lad in his pyjamas. There’s not much else that I can actually remember from the story to be fair – does the Snowman melt? He probably melts doesn’t he? He definitely melts.
Saturday 15th December, 11am @ HOME
The story of an abusive family, leaving their youngest son first in the house alone and secondly in New York City alone, Home Alone is the quintessential Christmas film, with the best soundtrack and the best gags of all. I’ll always personally prefer the first one but you can’t beat the montage in New York in the 2nd one where Kevin ends up at the top of the World Trade Towers to a backing track of Darlene Love’s All Alone On Christmas.
Home Alone 1: Saturday 8th & Friday 14th December @ Mayfield
Home Alone 2: Sunday 9th December, 1pm @ Mayfield
Home Alone 2: Saturday 8th December, 7.30pm @ Cat Cafe
Home Alone 2: Sunday 16th December @ Tattu (with 3 course dinner & 2 cocktails)
This is rubbish. Like really rubbish. Not even Tom Hank’s computer generated face can make this film interesting, but some people like it so it’s here.
Saturday 8th & Saturday 15th December @ Mayfield
Friday 14th December, 7.30pm @ Cat Cafe
The story of Santa Claus vs. 80’s capitalism, I’ve always been annoyed by the shoddy toys that Dudley Moore ends up making for the kids of the world, and also always wondered what all the elves would do if a child asks for a PlayStation 4. Make it out of wood? Didn’t think so. I find this film highly mediocre – but watching it on a Sunday with some mulled wine and a box of Quality Streets – you can’t get any more Christmassy.
Sunday 16th December, 1pm @ Mayfield