Friday, December 17, 2004
Feel like renting a DVD and watching it at home rather than braving the icy outdoors? Here's a list of alternate holiday flicks for those who've grown bored repeatedly viewing "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Story."
A Midnight Clear (1992)
In 1944 France, an American squad and a German platoon try and set aside their differences during a Christmas standoff. But the plan goes awry in this haunting, powerful drama.
Christmas Vacation (1989)
The Griswold family (led by Chevy Chase) entertains their weirdo relatives -- including trashy cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid), who is from Kansas, naturally. It's by far the funniest of the "Vacation" sequels.
Set during Christmas eve, an outlandish night in the life of a group of young adults (that includes Katie Holmes, Sarah Polley and Scott Wolf) is replayed three times from different views. Like the title proclaims, the comedy has enough energy for two movies
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Jack Skellington, the pumpkin-headed ruler of Halloweentown, kidnaps Santa then decides to deliver his own unconventional gifts to unsuspecting children. Director Tim Burton ("Big Fish") crafts an animated musical of charming perversity.
The Ref (1994)
Denis Leary showcases his sarcastic persona in this dark comedy about a cat burglar who is forced to take hostage a bickering Connecticut couple (Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis).
The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)
Few can forget the showstopping anthems by the villainous Heat Miser and Snow Miser that punctuate this stop-motion animation favorite. Santa (voiced by Mickey Rooney) decides to take the year off unless two of his elf emissaries can find proof of Christmas spirit.