Christmas Movie Must-Sees and Must-Avoids

Alonso Duralde, author of Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas, provides us with an updated list of some Christmas films that fall under both the must-see and must avoid categories!  Listen for Alonso today on the Frank DeCaro Show on SiriusXM Radio Channel 106.

Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas: Update!

By Alonso Duralde

Christmas is a time when we dig out the old music, the old movies, the old recipes and the old tacky sweaters, the ones we’ve enjoyed our entire lives, that have become part of our annual holiday tradition. But there’s always room to mix things up a little, and that’s the idea behind my holiday movie guide Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas, a book that contains lots of the Christmas movies you already love and that will, I hope, point you toward some new ones. 00332930

New movies keep coming every year, of course, and not just the ones that Lifetime and Hallmark crank out in December. Here are two must-sees (and must-avoids) that emerged since the book’s original publication.

MUST-SEE:

Arthur Christmas (2011): The fine folks at Aardman Animation (the people behind Wallace & Gromit, among many others) crafted this sweet and wildly funny animated adventure about Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy), the younger and most enthusiastic son of the current Santa Claus (Jim Broadbent). When the high-tech and super-efficient gift delivery system of Santa’s older son Steve (Hugh Laurie) leaves a single toy undelivered, Arthur must team up with his Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) and enthusiastic gift-wrapping elf Bryony (Ashley Jensen) to make sure no child gets left behind.

Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever (2014): OK, forget what I said about Lifetime: For all the sappy romances they’ve delivered over the years, they at least got this one right. Aubrey Plaza provides the snarky, snippy voice of Internet sensation Grumpy Cat, who befriends a lonely young girl and helps prevent a dognapping at Christmastime. It’s a silly movie, but it knows how silly it is, with plenty of self-aware jokes about the nature of Lifetime films.

MUST AVOID:

The Nutcracker in 3-D (2009): Awful 3-D, terrible dancing, contemporary hip-hop lyrics added to Tchaikovsky music, and Nathan Lane as Albert Einstein. Oh, and did I mention the Nazi-ish rats, filling in for the mice? The pits.

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas (2014): OK, calling this one a “movie” is stretching the word far past its accepted definition; this is more like an extended Sunday School PowerPoint demonstration full of the former child star’s anti-historical and anti-scientific theories. Also, breakdancing, which made me wish I was watching The Nutcracker in 3-D again. Not really.

Merry Christmas!

Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas

It’s Christmastime, which means gifts, spending time with friends and family, and watching Christmas movies! Luckily for you, Alonso Duralde, author of Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmashas compiled a list of non-traditional holiday movies for USA Today. He’s also being interviewed on the Turner Classic Movies program A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas, which is being aired tonight at 12:15 a.m. EST. You can find out more about the program here.

1988

‘DIE HARD’

When he was writing his book, Duralde often heard from people – usually in guilty hushed tones – how watching Bruce Willis storm the Nakatomi Building after terrorists strike on Christmas Eve became a December tradition. “It’s 25 years out,” Duralde says. “People can openly admit, ‘I watch Die Hard every Christmas!’ I don’t think that one counts anymore as being a different one.”

1994

‘THE REF’

The squabbling family members central to the film just can’t stand one another when a cat burglar (Denis Leary) takes them hostage on Christmas Eve and becomes a device to bring them together. As funny and harsh as the movie is, Duralde says, “it holds out the idea that this can improve and the family can fix itself and be better.”

To find out the rest of the non-traditional holiday movies that make up Duralde’s top five, go to USA TODAY

Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas

Don’t waste another second of your valuable holiday time on another boring Christmas movie. Film critic Alonso Duralde highlights the best – and worst – movies of the Yuletide season with this fun and informative film guide. Whether you’re looking for the classics, family favorites, holiday horror, Christmas-themed crime epics, or the most wonderfully awful cinematic lumps of coal, Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas will point you and your rental queue in the right direction. Whether your idea of a holiday classic is White ChristmasBad SantaDie HardEyes Wide Shut, or Gremlins, you’ll find the right film for you, as well as an exhaustively entertaining breakdown of the various screen Scrooges, from Alistair Sim to Jim Carrey to…Tori Spelling? And get ready to encounter movies you may never have heard of from the gritty noir Christmas Holiday, starring 1930s singing ingénue Deanna Durbin in her first hard-bitten adult role, to the loony Santa Claus, a Mexican kiddie movie in which St. Nick teams up with Merlin to fight the devil! Plot synopses, video availability, and fun facts – did you know the actor cast as Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life was also in the running to play mean old Mr. Potter? – make this a stocking stuffed with information you’ll turn to every Christmas season.

Alonso Duralde, an interview

Onstage and Backstage podcast from Hal Leonard is available on iTunes and Libsyn. Each episode authors and their guests have a chat about the topics of their books. Today, Alonso Duralde, author of Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas, talks Christmas films on Off the Meter with Jimmy Failla. This episode has been re-posted on Onstage and Backstage podcast with permission of Off the Meter.

>>>LISTEN HERE<<<

Don’t waste another second of your valuable holiday time on another boring Christmas movie. Film critic Alonso Duralde highlights the best – and worst – movies of the Yuletide season with this fun and informative film guide. Whether you’re looking for the classics, family favorites, holiday horror, Christmas-themed crime epics, or the most wonderfully awful cinematic lumps of coal, Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas will point you and your rental queue in the right direction. Whether your idea of a holiday classic is White ChristmasBad SantaDie HardEyes Wide Shut, or Gremlins, you’ll find the right film for you, as well as an exhaustively entertaining breakdown of the various screen Scrooges, from Alistair Sim to Jim Carrey to…Tori Spelling? And get ready to encounter movies you may never have heard of from the gritty noir Christmas Holiday, starring 1930s singing ingénue Deanna Durbin in her first hard-bitten adult role, to the loony Santa Claus, a Mexican kiddie movie in which St. Nick teams up with Merlin to fight the devil! Plot synopses, video availability, and fun facts – did you know the actor cast as Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life was also in the running to play mean old Mr. Potter? – make this a stocking stuffed with information you’ll turn to every Christmas season.

5 Movies That May Not Seem Like Christmas Movies

Alonso Duralde literally wrote the book on Christmas movies: It’s called Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas. He chose five movies that may not initially seem like Christmas movies yet have that Christmasy vibe. Check out this Associated Press article for all Duralde’s comments and links to videos of these 5 movies:

  • Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  • Metropolitan (1990)
  • The Lion in Winter (1968)
  • Less Than Zero (1987)
  • Die Hard (1988) 

Keep reading this article on Yahoo! News.

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Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas by Alonso Duralde

Don’t waste another second of your valuable holiday time on another boring Christmas movie. Film critic Alonso Duralde highlights the best – and worst – movies of the Yuletide season with this fun and informative film guide. Whether you’re looking for the classics, family favorites, holiday horror, Christmas-themed crime epics, or the most wonderfully awful cinematic lumps of coal, Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas will point you and your rental queue in the right direction. Whether your idea of a holiday classic is White ChristmasBad SantaDie Hard, Eyes Wide Shut, or Gremlins, you’ll find the right film for you, as well as an exhaustively entertaining breakdown of the various screen Scrooges, from Alistair Sim to Jim Carrey to…Tori Spelling? And get ready to encounter movies you may never have heard of from the gritty noir Christmas Holiday, starring 1930s singing ingénue Deanna Durbin in her first hard-bitten adult role, to the loony Santa Claus, a Mexican kiddie movie in which St. Nick teams up with Merlin to fight the devil! Plot synopses, video availability, and fun facts – did you know the actor cast as Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life was also in the running to play mean old Mr. Potter? – make this a stocking stuffed with information you’ll turn to every Christmas season. Available from Limelight Editions and booksellers nationwide.

Alonso Duralde is the author of 101 Must-See Movies for Gay Men. He has written about film for MSNBC.com and the Advocate, among others, and programmed film festivals, including Outest and the USA Film Festival/Dallas. A regular contributor to The Rotten Tomatoes Show, Duralde has been featured in documentaries for IFC and Starz, and on the Brokeback Mountain and Valley of the Dolls DVDs.
Follow him on Twitter.

A Very DVD Obscura Christmas: 10 Holiday Movies You May Never Have Heard Of

‘Tis the season of long lines, last-minute holiday shopping, copious cookies, and  classic Christmas movies. Or is it? Now featured on Movies.com, Author Alonso Duralde offers a sampling of some great exceptions to the rule with his list of 10 great holiday movies you probably haven’t heard of. From Lassie to La Bûche, these films are a great way to mix up your movie marathon M.O. He’s made his list, now it’s your turn to check it twice.

10 Holiday Movies You May Never Have Heard Of

  1. Lassie
  2. Some Girls
  3. Remember the Night
  4. Santa Claus (1959)
  5. La Bûche
  6. The Store
  7. It Happened on Fifth Avenue
  8. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
  9. The Silent Partner
  10. We’re No Angels

Click here to read what Duralde has to say about each film on Movies.com.

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Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas by Alonso Duralde

Don’t waste another second of your valuable holiday time on another boring Christmas movie. Film critic Alonso Duralde highlights the best – and worst – movies of the Yuletide season with this fun and informative film guide. Whether you’re looking for the classics, family favorites, holiday horror, Christmas-themed crime epics, or the most wonderfully awful cinematic lumps of coal, Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas will point you and your rental queue in the right direction. Whether your idea of a holiday classic is White ChristmasBad SantaDie Hard, Eyes Wide Shut, or Gremlins, you’ll find the right film for you, as well as an exhaustively entertaining breakdown of the various screen Scrooges, from Alistair Sim to Jim Carrey to…Tori Spelling? And get ready to encounter movies you may never have heard of from the gritty noir Christmas Holiday, starring 1930s singing ingénue Deanna Durbin in her first hard-bitten adult role, to the loony Santa Claus, a Mexican kiddie movie in which St. Nick teams up with Merlin to fight the devil! Plot synopses, video availability, and fun facts – did you know the actor cast as Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life was also in the running to play mean old Mr. Potter? – make this a stocking stuffed with information you’ll turn to every Christmas season. Available from Limelight Editions and booksellers nationwide.

Alonso Duralde is the author of 101 Must-See Movies for Gay Men. He has written about film for MSNBC.com and the Advocate, among others, and programmed film festivals, including Outest and the USA Film Festival/Dallas. A regular contributor to The Rotten Tomatoes Show, Duralde has been featured in documentaries for IFC and Starz, and on the Brokeback Mountain and Valley of the Dolls DVDs.
Follow him on Twitter.

Best, Worst, Most Deranged Holiday Films: Q&A with Alonso Duralde

Advocate.com interviews Alonso Duralde, author of Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas

Which film in your book are readers most surprised you included?
I probably get the most raised eyebrows over Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, but again, take another look at the film and you’ll be amazed at how almost every scene includes a decorated tree or wrapping paper or twinkle lights.

You were a guest on the TCM Classics cruise earlier this month. What was that experience like?

I did a clip show and lecture based on my book, and it was a real blast. There was an interesting mix of people on the boat in terms of ages, ethnicities, and sexual orientation, but everyone there was a movie fan and thrilled to be around not just movie stars like Ernest Borgnine and Eva Marie Saint but other classic film fans. You would get seated with strangers at dinner, and within minutes you’d be comparing notes about your favorite John Huston movie.

Keep reading on Advocate.com and don’t forget the 4th page that includes a video of the entire 1959 Mexican Christmas film Santa Claus

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Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas by Alonso Duralde
Don’t waste another second of your valuable holiday time on another boring Christmas movie. Film critic Alonso Duralde highlights the best – and worst – movies of the Yuletide season with this fun and informative film guide. Whether you’re looking for the classics, family favorites, holiday horror, Christmas-themed crime epics, or the most wonderfully awful cinematic lumps of coal, Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas will point you and your rental queue in the right direction. Whether your idea of a holiday classic is White ChristmasBad SantaDie Hard,Eyes Wide Shut, or Gremlins, you’ll find the right film for you, as well as an exhaustively entertaining breakdown of the various screen Scrooges, from Alistair Sim to Jim Carrey to…Tori Spelling? And get ready to encounter movies you may never have heard of from the gritty noir Christmas Holiday, starring 1930s singing ingénue Deanna Durbin in her first hard-bitten adult role, to the loony Santa Claus, a Mexican kiddie movie in which St. Nick teams up with Merlin to fight the devil! Plot synopses, video availability, and fun facts – did you know the actor cast as Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life was also in the running to play mean old Mr. Potter? – make this a stocking stuffed with information you’ll turn to every Christmas season. Available from Limelight Editions and booksellers nationwide.

Alonso Duralde is the author of 101 Must-See Movies for Gay Men. He has written about film for MSNBC.com and the Advocate, among others, and programmed film festivals, including Outest and the USA Film Festival/Dallas. A regular contributor to The Rotten Tomatoes Show, Duralde has been featured in documentaries for IFC and Starz, and on the Brokeback Mountain and Valley of the Dolls DVDs.
Follow him on Twitter.