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Ben Yennie: Another 5 of Ben's Favorite Holiday Films

In a continuation of my last post, I’m adding another 5 of my favorite holiday movies/specials. Again, these are not meant to be the best out there, simply my own incredibly biased opinion.  Read the other 5 in this blog below.  

5 of Ben's Favorite Holiday Movies.

1. The Ref

The fact that a film about Dennis Leary trying to burgle a dysfunctional family in the midst of a divorce made it so high up on my holiday list probably says more about me than it does about the movie, but I digress. This is one of my favorite Dennis Leary roles, probably second only to his role in Demolition Man.  His comedy shines through, and the film itself shows how sometimes you have to go through some pretty gnarly stuff to fix an ailing relationship.

2. Eight Crazy Nights

Yeah yeah yeah, this is essentially just an animated Adam Sandler movie.  There’s a lot more they could have done with it.  However, there’s a strong amount of nostalgia I’ll always have for this film, and I think it’s worth a watch.  It’s far from Adam Sandler’s worst film, and there’s just enough holiday feeling to give you what we’re all looking for around the holidays.  It’s worth watching with kids 10-14.

3. The Shop Around The Corner

This one is on there in part to sate Jim’s comments about how I don’t watch movies pre-1980.  It’s also a fantastic film.  It’s essentially about a couple that meet via a mail correspondence dating service, which essentially predates app and internet dating.  Shockingly, it’s much classier than Tinder and much less desperate than match.com.  They eventually fall in love, and get together just in time for Christmas.  

This movie was remade into the Tom Hanks film You’ve Got Mail.  They lifted more than a few scenes directly from the source material.  That being said, in my opinion The Shop around the Corner is by far the superior film.  

4. Elf

OK.  I had to put one more traditional Christmas story on here.  (I’m not counting Home Alone because it was really more about child abandonment than family togetherness.). While I’m not normally a big fan of Will Farrell, his awkward obnoxiousness and social ineptitude totally make sense in this character, and I think it’s an excellent performance.  He really nails the childlike wonder that’s completely necessary to pull off Buddy the Elf.  

While this isn’t a film I’ll watch every year, it is one that I own and I’ll put on when the mood strikes me.  

5. The Star Wars Holiday Special

Remember, this list says NOTHING about quality.  It is solely an entirely subjective list of films that I find to be my favorite.  The Star Wars Holiday Special is an atrocity against all things Star Wars, and one of the trippiest things I’ve seen in my adult life.  When I say that, keep in mind that I watch 3-5 undistributed (and often undistributable) indie films every week.  

The special follows Chewbacca’s extended family as they prepare for a Wookie Holiday that I don’t think I can spell.  There are cookie children, Chewbacca’s wife (I think) and even Chewbacca’s Father.  The story is told through a series of vignettes and music videos.  At one point, it appears as though Chewie’s dad watches what appears to be human striptease on a VR headset.  I wasn’t alive during them, but all signs tend to indicate that the 70s was a weird time.

Thanks to the power of youtube, you can watch the entire star wars Christmas special in its entirety below.  "

Also, you should check out this awesome article from Indie Film Hustle that has a collection of youtube videos related to filmmaking and Star Wars and the holidays. 

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