Katie’s Christmas Picks

One of our librarians, Katie, has put together some more Christmas picks for the upcoming season. Enjoy!

Cover imageBatman returns.
Fancy a movie where Batman and Christmas rolled into one? Yep, Batman Returns has all these things. In this dark and chilling sequel to the 1989 film, Batman, directed by Tim Burton. This movie takes place during the holiday season where Gotham in under threat by a corrupt businessman, (Christopher Walken), the monstrous Penguin (Danny Devito) and Catwoman, (Michelle Pfeiffer, who absolutely rocks as Catwoman), it is up to Batman (Michael Keaton) to save the day and… perhaps Christmas. Overall Batman Returns is an awesome experience for Batman fans to watch during Christmas.

DVDRecentPicks2Four holidays.
In the mood for a little comedy over Christmas that features familial struggles? Then Four Holidays is the movie to watch. A couple, Brad and Kate (Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon), struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas day. Overall it is a heart-warming film guaranteed with lots of hilarious moments where you will laugh yourself to tears.

Cover imageOutrageous fortune. A very Westie Christmas.
Join the Wests this Christmas as they go on their annual Christmas-New Year sojourn to their favourite holiday spot, Tutaekuri Bay. As we revisit the family – Cheryl is a walking emotional disaster zone. Van is raving to Aurora about chose Tutaekri Bay is but Jethro has decided this is the year he will decline the tempting offer of camping. A good movie to watch that celebrates Christmas kiwi style.

DVDRecentPicks4Tim Burton’s The nightmare before Christmas.
Fancy something dark for Christmas. Then The Nightmare before Christmas is the movie to watch. When Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town, is weary and bored of the same routine year after year. But when he discovers Christmas Town, he decides that the citizens of Halloween Town will take over Christmas this year, but with dangerous consequences. Another Tim Burton Christmas classic.

Cover imageThe family man.
Fancy a modern and alternative take on Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, then this what The Family Man offers. Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni star in this holiday drama about a Wall Street bachelor, who is stunned to wake up in suburban New Jersey on Christmas morning, in some sort of parallel universe. Over the next few weeks, he gets a glimpse of what his life would have been like if he’d married his old girlfriend: a house in Jersey, two children, bowling trophies, a job at his father-in-law’s tire store, and a lot of love from his wife Kate. However the question is, which life will he choose? Overall a moving, heart-warming movie.

Staff Pick DVDs – Christmas Movies

Here are some recent Christmas themed staff picks & some older favourites to get into the spirit of the season!

cover imageA magic Christmas.
Jack is a struggling baker who decides to take his family away to the mountain holiday park he went to for his family vacations. His teenagers were hard to get away from their phones so he thought a technology free holiday would be good for the whole family. When he gets there he discovers that his old neighbour in the holiday park has arrived as well. His neighbour is a millionaire and the competitive streak between them rears its head. This a lovely light movie and good fun for the whole family. (Brigid)

Syndetics book coverThe holiday tree.
This movie is a lovely one for watching after putting up your Christmas tree with others.
The story is about a family who have owned a Christmas tree farm for over a century. The adult children find out that their parents are about to loose the farm so they drop their lives in the big city and come home to help fight for the business. It is a lovely happy story. (Brigid)

Cover imageThe Muppet Christmas carol.
This is the traditional Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens told by The Muppets. All though it is very true to the book it also has more warmth than other versions. There is singing through out it as well. Songs written by Paul Williams. Michael Caine stars as Ebenezeer Scrooge (not only does he commit all the cold callous crimes in the normal version but according to Miss Piggy (Mrs. Crochet) he also has bad fashion style! If you grew up with The Muppets then all your favourite characters are there, Fozzy Bear, Gonzo, Kermit and Miss Piggy, The two hecklers, Rizzo The Rat, Jim The Eagle, as well as Human actors. This is a lovely production and family friendly. This is one of the best versions of The Christmas Carol. Rizzy the Rat and Gonzo narrate a vast cast of interesting characters. Michael Caine is a delight as Ebenezer Scrooge. Lovely singing and a real delight for the whole family. (Brigid)

Cover imageBlack Adder, remastered.
This is a totally different and back to front version of the Christmas Carol. Worth a watch and very funny in parts. Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are good in cameo parts as well. (Brigid)

Amazon cover linkLove actually
One of my favourite movies of all time and a DVD you must watch over Christmas. Love Actually follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. Definitely a 5 star rating and librarian’s choice! (Katie)

Cover imageThe holiday.
When Two women (Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet) are troubled with guy-problems, they decide to swap homes in each other’s countries over the Christmas holidays, where they each meet a local guy (Jude Law and Jack Black) and fall in love. overall a heart-warming Christmas movies combined with comedy, romance and good old Christmas cheer. (Katie)

Cover imageDie hard.
In the mood for some action over Christmas, then check out an oldie but a goodie in the form of Die Hard 1 and 2. When terrorists decide to create havoc on Christmas eve, it is up to John McClane to save the day Yippi-kay-ay style. (Katie)

Cover imageThe Grinch.
Fancy something kid friendly? Check out The Grinch. Based on the beloved children’s tale by Dr. Seuss, the reclusive green Grinch (Jim Carrey) decides to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville by sneaking into town to swipe… More everything holiday-related from the Whos. However, the bitter grump finds a hitch in his plans when he encounters the endearing Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen). Great for kids who love humour and Dr. Seuss. (Katie)

Cover imageChristmas at Downton Abbey.
The series maybe over, but feel free to relive the magic of Downton Abbey, where in 1919, Downton Abbey is hosting a lavish Christmas party, yet despite being the season of goodwill, tensions are rife and Bates’ arrest has cast a shadow over the festivities. The question on everyone’s lips is will Bates get out of prison?, Who is Rosamund’s mysterious new suitor and will Mary and Matthew finally get together. (Katie)

Cover imageFour holidays.
Vince Vaughn, and Reece Witherspoon star in this quirky comedy. It is about a young couple who try to get away from their families at Christmas. They are both from blended families and being with family would mean having to go to 4 separate holiday functions. They plan to go away to the islands but the plane is cancelled and they are interviewed at the airport and so spotted by their families and forced to go and spend time with all four sets of parents. Where they learn lots about each other. This causes all kinds of soul searching and questions of themselves. It is rated M. (Brigid)

Cover imageMiracle on 34th Street.
This is a lovely story about Kris Kringle. There are several different versions. One was made in the 1930’s with Maureen O ‘Hara and the second was a remake in the 1990’s. Both versions are lovely. Both have a little girl who is being raised to not believe in Father Christmas when he comes in to their lives and brings magic into it. There is a big court case to prove whether or not there is a Santa Claus. Both versions are lovely and worth watching. (Brigid)
The holiday season is in full swing when a cultured gentleman with twinkling eyes, an ample belly and a snowy beard is hired as Macy’s department store Santa. He claims his name is Kris Kringle and soon fills everyone with Christmas spirit… except for his boss, Doris Walker, who’s raising her daughter to not believe in Santa. But when Kringle is declared insane put on trial, everyone’s faith is put to the test as young and old alike face the age-old question: Do you believe in Santa Claus? (Katie)

Cover imageIt’s a wonderful life.
This is an old classic by Frank Capra. It stars James Stewart and Donna Reed. In this story George Bailey (Stewart) plays the part of a very generous man who is desperate and about to commit suicide when things in his life go terribly wrong. He is rescued by his Guardian angel who shows him the impact he has had on everyone around him and what would have happened to the community if he had not been there to help. It is a feel good movie and is set around Christmas. It is really lovely. It is rated PG. (Brigid)

Cover imageHome alone.
One of my favourite movies from childhood. After the McCallister’s mistakenly leave for the airport without youngest son, 8-year-old Kevin, (Macaulay Culkin) uses being ‘home alone’ to his advantage, by doing all his favourite things, eating his favourite food and finally being ‘the man of the house.’ But his excitement sours when he realizes that two con men (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) plan to rob the McCallister residence, and that he alone must protect the family home. A Die Hard movie for kids! (Katie)

Some other Christmas movies from our catalogue:
Amazon cover linkTim Burton’s The nightmare before Christmas (1993).
Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween – but alas, they can’t get it quite right. Sally, Jack, skeletal reindeer, gorgeous stop-motion animation from Tim Burton – perhaps not quite traditional Christmas fare, but still a wonderful watch.

Amazon cover linkGremlins (1984).
Well, we seem to have given up on traditional holiday movies, but who can go past Gremlins? This is another movie set at Christmas, and if you like mild horror and hilarity, and enjoy Christmas, this one’s for you:
“Billy Peltzer’s father buys him a new cuddly pet. But heed these three warnings: Don’t ever get him wet. Keep him away from bright light. And the most important thing, the one thing you must never forget: no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs… never, never feed him after midnight!” (Library Catalogue)

Amazon cover linkHoliday Inn (1942)
A musical affair with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and music by Irving Berlin. A song-and-dance man leaves show business and opens up an inn in Connecticut with his former partner. Believe it or not, the song “White Christmas” was written for this film. Another classic Christmas movie, complete with lots of crooning. Watch and enjoy!

Amazon cover linkThe Polar Express (2004)
Some have found the animation a little jarring, but this is just so Christmassy we don’t believe you can go past it! An adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express.
“Santa Claus does not exist. Or does he? For one doubting boy (voice of Daryl Sabara and Tom Hanks), an astonishing event occurs. Late on Christmas Eve night, he lies in bed hoping to hear the sound of reindeer bells from Santa’s sleigh. When to his surprise, a steam engine’s roar and whistle can be heard outside his window. The conductor (voice of Tom Hanks) invites him on board to take an extraordinary journey to the North Pole with many other pajama-clad children. There, he receives an extraordinary gift only those who still believe in Santa can experience.” (Library Catalogue)
Based on the beloved book by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express is about a young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express. During his adventure he learns about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas. (Katie)

So – a few of our favourites. Browse more Christmas movies on our catalogue!