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Not Christmas Movies for Christmas

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Watching traditional Christmas movies is part of celebrating Christmas. After two times maybe, Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Story admonishing Ralphie he’ll shoot his eye out with his Red Ryder BB rifle might lose some appeal, at least for the present season. (Pun not entirely intended.) Consider, then, Christmas Movies That Have Nothing To Do With Christmas. The seven of this list are not exhaustive; they might be some of the quirkier “Not Christmas Movies for Christmas.” First, but not necessarily the best, unless John Travolta and Kirstie alley light you up; the third chapter of the franchise Look Who’s Talking…Now. Remember Danny Devito and Diane Keaton are the voices of the dogs…and Kirstie is costumed in that elf dress/outfit. Next is the 1984 horror/comedy, “Gremlins.” Sort of Christmas – at least – about the gifts of Christmas. Remember cute, cuddly and heroic Gizmo, the Mogwia that is a gremlin precursor with a conscience. It has some righteously bloody and horrific scenes mitigated by the comic relief of the bad gremlins’ rendition of “Heigh Ho” (from Snow White, no less!) It’s enough to cause on to stop and think again about giving an exotic animal as gift pet. Los Angeles cop John McClane punches, shoots, stabs, bombs and walks on glass to thwart terrorists who crash a high rise Christmas party in “Die Hard.” He got invited to the Christmas party by mistake…yippie ki yay!  It was a SUMMER release in June 1992. Perhaps director Tim Burton wanted to reprise his success with the first Dark Knight film or lay the ground work for his stylistic approach to “Nightmare Before Christmas.” One review observed that “if you take away the Christmas decorations, you’re left with Batman fighting a bunch of clowns on a really cold night.” What a catty thing to say about Michelle Pfeiffer in black plastics. Christmas is not much more than just another day during World War Two in Stalag 17. It’s adjudged an “off-beat choice for a non-Christmas story set during the Christmas season.” The film clearly shows Nazi Germany still believed in Santa Claus. Some reviewers allow it’s a film “having secret CIA financing written all over it” because the hero flies to Soviet Russia during the Cold War to beat up on the country’s best boxer in Rocky IV. Is the dialog mix that bad? Did Sly tell his movie son in the end “Maxie Grimace, Tad”? Finally, some observers consider it “Brazil” a smashup of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol,” George Orwell’s “1984” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It’s also suggested it might be a metaphor for “rampant consumerism and alienation,” (NOT the TV series about the ET visitor who became and LA cop – not John McClane, either!) Robert Diniro fans (and critics) pay close attention to the scene in which his character is smothered in wrapping paper as holiday shoppers pay little notice. Sounds like the sentimentality of some recent years of Black Friday shoppers’ behavior. Other “Not Christmas Movies For Christmas” exist; be encouraged to develop your own list.

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