Holiday Movies

Every year as the Holidays approach, television stations flood the air with Holiday themed programming.  It could be a risky decision as not everyone wants to watch Holiday shows for a month straight.  However, I think there are plenty of people that do want to watch this type of programming.  For many, it is a great way to spend time with family and friends.  It can also help people get into the “Holiday Spirit”.  Many movies have been made that are Holiday themed. I wanted to take a look at some of the most popular movies from over the years. Which movies are considered the best Holiday Movies? Does the movie need to have a Holiday scene? Does it need to be about presents?  I think this can be a very vague topic because the Holidays could have such a drastically different meaning for people.  Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Some would say it is because the events of the movie fall during a work Christmas party.  I am going to take a look at the more traditional types of movies that focus on a Holiday theme.

My personal favorite types of Christmas movies are real similar.  I would imagine it is because of my age and what seemed to be shown when I was an impressionable child.  I am very fond of Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  As you can see I am into the traditional animated films that many other people enjoy.  Just because I like them does not make them the best.  

The 1940’s has a very large amount of classic Christmas themed movies that have withstood the test of time. When you look at lists of the greatest  Christmas movies of all time like this one and this one they are flooded with movies from the 40’s.  The top 5 movies of all time are from the 40’s according to Rotten Tomatoes.  I am sure there is a reason for this, but I am not a film historian and it is not that important to me to figure out why.  I can say that I have seen Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life.  Both of these are very fine films and I usually catch pieces of each every year around this time.  

Here are a few more films that are extremely popular this time of year.  A Christmas Story, Home Alone, Elf, and The Santa Clause seem to dominate the landscape and for good reason.  They are good, clean, family friendly movies that appeal to a wide audience.  You can not forget about The Polar Express.  That movie has gone on to have great success in more areas than one.  Every year small railroads around the country use The Polar Express as a theme.  It has become quite popular and in many cases you have to buy your seats months in advance.  Here is one of the places for the themed ride.  As you can see they have turned the movie into a marketing machine by selling all kinds of merchandise based around the movie.

Another group of movies that have quite the following are Christmas comedies.  My personal favorites are Scrooged, Bad Santa, and Christmas Vacation.  These movies are not necessarily family oriented because of adult material throughout.  However, when watching them as an adult, they are much funnier than I previously thought upon my initial viewing.  I think that everyone has different taste in movies.  I also think that the selection of Holiday movies is so great that people can find whatever they are into.  The best part about watching the movies is the company you are watching them with. Cherish your family and friends and I hope you have a Happy Holidays! 

Bowl Season is Upon Us!

The College Football regular season and conference championship games are in the rear view mirror.  This means it is time for bowl season!  Bowl season has always been my favorite time of the season, but it has lost its appeal over the years.  There are so many games now that the postseason seems watered down.  Now that a 4 team playoff decides the National Champion there are only three games that really matter.  I am sure the players, coaches, and fans of any particular team do not agree with me but 40+ games does not seem like much of a postseason. Regardless of my thoughts the games will be played so I wanted to take a  look at some of the more intriguing games and match ups.  I also wanted to look at the 2 semifinal games.

As mentioned previously, there will be over 40 games.  It will be impossible for us to watch them all, but here are a few that I think will be fun to watch.  The Music City Bowl should be entertaining.  The game will feature Purdue vs. Auburn.  These teams are both better than their record shows and they have the capability of beating just about any team in football.  The Camping World game will feature West VA vs. Syracuse.  This game features two teams that are high octane.  This could end up being one of the most prolific offensive games of the entire bowl season.  The Rose Bowl will feature Washington vs Ohio State.  Ohio State narrowly missed making the playoffs and they have plenty of talent.  If they play well, they should handle Washington easily.  What makes this game interesting is that it will be Urban Meyer’s last game as the head coach of Ohio State.  Another game I am looking forward to will be LSU vs. UCF.  UCF has not lost in two years and has been held out of the playoffs both years.  LSU will be a formidable opponent.  If UCF can handle them easily, they will certainly be making a case for themselves.

The semifinal games have the potential for great entertainment.  At the same time, I would not be surprised if they were both blowouts.  The games will be played on Dec 29.  Notre Dame will be playing Clemson in the Cotton Bowl.  Both teams have made quarterback changes during the season and seem to be better for doing that.  The Clemson DL is dominant, will the Notre Dame offensive line hold up?  These two teams have not played all that much, the last time they met was in 2015.  The game was played in hurricane conditions with Clemson holding on at the end.  In the other semifinal, two storied programs will meet.  Alabama vs Oklahoma is sure to be a shootout.  The teams will feature the most likely Heisman winner and runner-up as their QB’s lead their respective teams.  I think the Alabama defense will be able to get a few stops, but will Oklahoma be able to play good enough defense to have a shot?

I believe that Clemson and Alabama will win their semifinal games and end up squaring off again in the National Championship.  Here is a pretty good article that has the same prediction as mine.  The article also offers predictions for every bowl game so it is worth a view.  I am looking forward to less than 10 of these games and I am sure I am not alone.  It is impossible to watch and follow this many games and quite frankly some of the games are not worth watching for the general public.  However, these games are not necessarily meant for me or the general public.  The games are a nice reward for the team and fan base.

—Victor Mandalawi