Before I wrap up my movie picks next week, I wanted to give a little shout-out to a few other offbeat movies that can give you some holiday happiness in a few different ways.
Nothing says Christmas like Crime
Though not on the level of my previous picks, The Ice Harvest and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, here are a couple more capers high on hijinks that can help add a little salt in case all the old standby sickly-sweet movies are starting to make you sick.
Caustic Denis Leary takes Kevin Spacey and his wife, Judy Davis, hostage in their home on Christmas Eve. But they're even bitchier than he is.
Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy. Do I really need to tell you about this movie? No. But Dan's drunk, wearing that Santa suit, stealing buffet food and brandishing a gun. Makes your office party seem a little less painful, now doesn't it?
Trapped in Paradise
You might not like this flick, but I think it's okay. Full disclosure, I have a thing for Nicolas Cage. I'd like to tell you that this offbeat movie about three brothers who try to rob a bank at Christmas was done before Nic turned crazy. But I can't. Let's face it. His jingle bells always did ring a slightly different tune.
Nothing says Christmas like Comedy
Look. We all know that A Christmas Story is the best. And Christmas Vacation still cracks me up. (Randy Quaid in that dickey gets me every time.) But you might find some unexpected laughs or lighthearted levity in these picks.
The Bishop's Wife
Cary Grant is heaven sent. Literally. A bishop is having trouble building a church, so he's sent Cary Grant as an angel named Dudley. Apparently, it was a rule in '40s cinema that angels had to be given dorky names. Clarence. Dudley. Whereas in modern days, we just go for it and namecheck archangel Gabriel and turn him into a nasty piece of work (see Constantine and The Prophecy) Anyhow, everyone falls in love with Dudley, but Dudley falls in love with the bishop's wife.
Ryan Reynolds isn't Cary Grant. Ryan Reynolds is...Ryan Reynolds. If you hate him, you'll hate this movie. But if you give his affected methods a chance, he really can grow on you. The laughs in this flick are in no way sophisticated, but there are some good chuckles and plenty of winter scenery.
Nothing says Christmas like Cranial Injury and Watching other People's Careers Crash
This isn't a good movie. It's a pretty bad movie. Ben Affleck has made a few grabs for holiday gold. (His previous entry, "Reindeer Games" isn't bad, if you can stomach him. It's not good, either.) But you know, Surviving Christmas does have some redeeming qualities. For instance, this happens in the movie:
If Jimmy G smashing Affleck upside the head doesn't make you Ho Ho Ho, then you're totally scrooged.