With another fine Christmas season barreling down upon us (and in the midst of a new console launch no less), holiday-themed programming is what’s on the menu. Since the PS4 also doubles as a dedicated Blu-ray player why not give it a spin with some Christmas-themed film favorites?
Many of the following movies aren’t what you’d call “traditional holiday fare”, but are perhaps set in and around the Christmas season. Quite a few of the selections here are designed to suit the season though, we thought it best to try and cover all of our bases from family-oriented heartwarming stories and animated favorites to winter-themed action / thrillers and risqué movies with adult themes. Seriously, who said Christmas had to be boring? Anyway, without further ado, here are the top 15 Christmas-oriented Blu-ray movies to watch on your new PS4 console (in no particular order)…
As far as Christmas flicks go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more fitting movie to slip into your blu-ray player that National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It features a stellar cast, including Chevy Chase in the prime of his career, in one hilarious scene after another. In short, it’s a tale which disseminates the horrors of suburban life – you know, all the instances where things go wrong during the holidays, including visits from overbearing relatives and snooty neighbors. This is the sort of Christmas movie that you’ll want to watch every single year.
While many might not include Die Hard in a dedicated list of holiday movies the fact remains that many perceive it to be just that. However, instead of learning life lessons and engaging in naughtiness our protagonist John McClane accidentally finds himself in a situation where he must stop a group of international terrorists who’ve hijacked a high-rise. Needless to say, it takes place during the Christmas season, making it a nice deviation from your typical holiday film fare.
1983’s “A Christmas Story” is a narrated tale that is at times heartwarming, hilarious and sometimes just a bit disturbing. The individual narrating the film recounts a particularly memorable Christmas, leaving no dirty details unmentioned. What you’re left with is a crazy tale which doesn’t necessarily paint young Ralphie’s family and friends in a positive light, instead focusing in on some of the more crazy exploits. This is definitely a movie worth digging out of your collection for an annual screening.
Yes, “The Long Kiss Goodnight” is an action – thriller, but it possesses a certain holiday-themed charm that cannot be denied. Additionally, this movie features both Geena Davis as well as none other than Samuel L. Jackson. Davis’ character had washed up on shore with amnesia a number of years beforehand, unable to recount the basics of her life up to that point. After rebuilding her life and searching in vain for answers, she hires Mitch Henessey (Jackson) and participates in a Christmas day parade which is broadcast on TV. Unbeknownst to her, a convict she knew from before recognizes her and sets off to get revenge.
If you’ve seen Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” and enjoyed it then you absolutely must pick up “Scrooged”. Not only does the film feature excellent performances from Bill Murray, it’s also quite comical. Murray plays a cold-hearted TV executive who has a series of supernatural experiences in order to awaken him to the cruel acts he’s committed.
Based on Chris Van Allsburg’s childrens book of the same name, 2004’s “The Polar Express” is a tale of fantasy involving a mythical train which appears to whish certain people away to the North Pole to meet none other than Santa Claus himself. Naturally, the movie is very child-friendly and features a unique style of motion-captured, computer-assisted animation which allows for some really interesting special effects.
Going in almost the opposite direction, 2003’s “Bad Santa” is most definitely a film for the adults to watch during the holidays. Aside from featuring a slew of raunchy jokes, the movie details the exploits of a would-be thief who takes a mall Santa job so he can pull off a big heist. Over the course of the film he begins to have some doubts and is befriended by a slightly naïve young boy who unknowingly thwarts his plans. It’s a perfect adult-themed film which might perfectly compliment a more serious or aggressive selection.
Yes, we realize that there is a more modern version of this movie, but the animated feature from 1966 is a true holiday classic and is worth checking out. Surely you already know the story by now, how the Grinch absolutely loathes the Holiday season as well as the happy townspeople below. Moreover, it features some memorable musical numbers and even incorporates the Dr. Seuss rhyming scheme throughout.
“Miracle on 34th Street” is a true Christmas classic. If you’re looking for a movie that really captures the simple elegance of the season, this is the sort of film that you should roll out. All in all, it’s a rather hilarious tale involving a department store Santa who claims to be the real deal. Needless to say, through a series of corporate incidents, they actually take the case to trial with one lawyer attempting to get the judge to rule that Santa Claus doesn’t actually exist. It’s good, clean and wholesome family fun.
What, two adaptations of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” in one list! Surely this is madness?! Nope, in all actuality, “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is worth watching just because it’s a great live-action musical. Moreover, this film more or less sticks to the original story and setting (well, aside from utilizing Muppets instead of people, of course). It’s a great family-oriented film that the kids and adults will enjoy.
If you’re going to build a Christmas movie list you have to have at least one Tim Burton movie on it, right? While 1992’s “Batman Returns” might not be the first choice in most people’s minds (perhaps a majority of individuals will gravitate toward “A Nightmare Before Christmas”), it definitely has style and appeal. The film feature quite a lot of Christmas themed scenery even though it takes on a sort of carnival fun house-type feel throughout.
Here’s one for the adults to watch after the children have all went to bed. Stanley Kubrick is well-known as being one of the preeminent directors of the modern movie era, a true film genius. His 1999 fillm, “Eyes Wide Shut” is a psychological thriller which investigates the realm of conspiratorial secret groups who engage in certain practices which many might find to be quite shocking.
Featuring both Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy, this hilarious comedy details what happens when a streetwise hoodlum is given the chance to switch places with a successful, highly educated fellow. Of course this wasn’t something that happened naturally, instead, two exceedingly wealthy brothers (Duke & Duke) have set the whole thing up as part of an ongoing personal bet they have going with each other concerning the psychological issue of “nature vs. nurture”. All in all, it’s a wonderful film that features excellent performances all around.
1990’s “Home Alone” has become something of a holiday favorite. The film features a young Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, a kid who accidentally finds himself home alone during a family vacation. While his parents are losing their minds because of their blunder, Kevin is living it up, relishing his newfound holiday freedom. This doesn’t last however; two bandits (portrayed by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) have already decided to hit his home which means Kevin is going to have to fight them off. Needless to say, they greatly underestimated young Kevin’s ingenuity and hilarity ensues.
2003’s “Elf” has become something of a worldwide holiday favorite in its own right. The story details the pilgrimage of one very large elf (portrayed by Will Ferrell) who discovers that he’s actually a human. Sensing a desire to connect with his roots, this rather large elf decides to trek down to New York city in search of answers. The highlight of this movie is Ferrell’s stellar comedic performance, he really sells the screwball script, inciting one laugh from the audience after another.