FILMS: What We Watched #5

Our weekend routine usually consists of watching a couple of films. There's nothing we like more on a Friday and Saturday evening then getting in our pj's, grabbing some snacks and a drink (or maybe just a hot chocolate!) and watching a film. We have quite a Blu Ray collection these days but the same thing happens every weekend in that we can never decide what to watch. 
We thought we'd share with you what films we watch each month and our thoughts on each film.
2003 | 97 min | Christmas / Comedy
J: Gotta love a good Will Ferrell film (he's done a lot of em), but Elf is up there with the best (who'm I kidding, all the films starring him are the best!) Anyway, the story is unique, fun and hilarious yet very Christmassy. And while there's a lot of Christmas films out there, this has got to be one of the funniest! Also the woman is quite hot, so...jingle bells!
L: The perfect Christmas comedy. What's not to love about Will Ferrell dressed as an elf? Light-hearted, easy to watch and a little silly, Elf is the perfect film to kick start the festive season. So it's not up there with Christmas classics such as Santa Claus the Movie and Miracle on 34th Street but to me watching Elf really marks the start of Christmas. I think it'd be great to live in Buddy's happy world of sugar, revolving doors and general Christmas cheer.

 Arthur Christmas
2011 | 97 min | Christmas / Comedy
J: Not many good Christmas films have come out in recent years, but Arthur Christmas is a really great one. The all star cast bring it to life (with the show being stolen by Bill Nighy's Grampa Christmas), and there are plenty of chuckles to be had. It also provides a good explanation as to how Santa can do everything in one's a HUGE military style operation with headquarters in the North Pole and his vast aircraft the S1. Some parents complained about that on Amazon. Seriously, go look at the 1 and 2 star reviews. Anyway, really good film. Watch it!
L: The last good Christmas film to come out over the past few years. Arthur Christmas modernises Christmas with the use of a large aircraft rather than a sleigh, Santa is a little past his prime leaving Christmas operations to his eldest son, Steve. When a child is left without a present, Arthur, Santa's other son steps in to save the day. Although this really is a more modern take on Christmas it's still and excellent film with some humorous and heartwarming moments.

A Christmas Carol (Disney)
2009 | 95 min | Christmas / Comedy-drama
J: One of the absolute best animated films I've seen, Disney's A Christmas Carol finds the inimitable Jim Carrey portraying Scrooge. His voice acting is top class, emotive, expressive, funny...and undoubtedly Jim Carrey. Obviously I can't knock the story, old Charlie Dickers penned a winner right there, but this version is one of the best accessible to both adults and children.
L: I love the story of the Christmas Carol so much and this version has been done excellently. It sticks closely to the book and the animation is spot on (some of the best I've seen). Jim Carrey plays the perfect Scrooge (as well as all the ghosts). Each year I watch this I'm still blown away by how good it is. If you've never seen it you seriously need to get it for next year!

The Snowman and the Snowdog
2012 | 24 min | Christmas / Animation / Short Film
J: Some classic animation going on here, but it's a pretty good short film to pass a bit of time. The story is fun and uplifting, however it ends on a pretty harrowing note. This whole thing can be made a million times better though, as their is no dialogue at all, which means you can provide your own hilarious commentary filled with puns, witticisms and astute observations at the Snowman's suspect behaviors. I had fun doing that anyway!
L: I'm not really a fan of the original Snowman, to be honest I think it's the whole Walking in the Air song that puts me off! The Snowman and the Snowdog though is so adorable even if it is little sad at times. I actually want a little Snowdog of my own! Oh and the featured song in this one is much better than the original!

The Muppet Christmas Carol
1992 | 86 min | Christmas / Comedy / Musical
J: If you don't know each and every song on the Muppet Christmas Carol (except that slow, lovey one in the middle) then there is something wrong with you. Seeing the Muppets put their twist on the old Charlie Dickers classic is great and there's some comedy gold in there. Though they never included a great song in the final edit. But it's on the soundtrack so I'll let you skip off to YouTube and discover that one for yourself!
L: It's not Christmas without this film and its catchy songs. I've always loved this film. Some parts stick to the book quite well and other parts are completely made up just for the film but I don't actually care with this because it's so good. I find myself singing the songs for days after watching this. Even after all these years I still laugh at the amazing double act that is Gonzo and Rizzo.

The Polar Express
2004 | 100 min | Christmas / Fantasy
J: A magical film, The Polar Express gives the whole idea of Christmas and believing in Christmas an extra magical quality. The animation is magical, Tom Hanks puts in a first rate performance as several magical characters (though he's always be Woody to me) and the story has a warm and tingly sort of magical feeling to it. It's magical. Magical I tell ya! "All aboooooard!"
L: This has to be one of the most beautiful Christmas films. I don't really know what to say about this film to do it justice. I just love the whole idea of it. It brings back the magical Christmas memories for me of when I believed in Santa. This film is about so much more than receiving presents it's about friendship, holding onto childhood innocence and letting yourself believe in a little bit of magic. If this doesn't leave you feeling all warm inside I don't know what will.

If you only watch one of these films it should be:

J and L: we couldn't just pick one, it's Christmas and we love all of them. Watch them all!

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