Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas (2011) I find the Disney Channel's Good Luck Charlie to be the most tolerable of their kiddie sitcom stable. This feature length Xmas outing is even more tolerable without an audience screaming with forced laughter after ever other line. The made-for-TV movie find the show's family split up at the start of a trip from Chicago to Palm Springs. The dad and the boys end up at Grandma's by plane while the oldest daughter and mom travel much slowly by a variety of ground methods. This ain't a holiday classic, but it's a pretty good TV movie with some holiday cheer and a few solid laughs. It's easily accessible for anyone not familiar with the show and for anyone with Disney Channel as I'm sure it's running just about every day between now and December 25.
30 Minutes of Less (2011) Solid comedy with a solid cast including the always fantastic Danny McBride, underrated Nick Swardson and Parks & Recreation's Aziz Anzari along with Jesse Eisenberg; all tied up in a crazy heist involving a bomb strapped to Eisenberg's chest and he has 10 hours to rob a bank for the bad guys or they'll blow him up. With a nice breezy run time of under 90 minutes, this comedy is action packed and pretty darn funny.
Ernest Saves Christmas (1988) Seriously, I could not love this movie an ounce more! Easily my favorite Christmas movie, it's also gotta go on my list as one of my all-time favorite films. I've written about it at least twice before. Once, two years ago when I first shared it with my kids and there is also this lengthier, nerdier article I wrote back in 2006.
Scrooged (1988) This is another one of those movies - beloved by America - that I just don't get. Released to theatres less than two weeks after Ernest Saves Christmas, I've just never got this modern Bill Murray take on A Christmas Carol. I saw it way back on either VHS or HBO and didn't care for it all. The last couple of years I've been meaning to take another look at it and I gotta say I was actually pretty bored with it. There's an impressive cast but it just doesn't do anything for me. Murray's speech to the camera at the tail end was pretty impressive but other than that I found it to just be an awful bore.
Christmas in Connecticut (1945) I always wonder how uptight people really were back in the black and white days or if it's just the rose-colored lens of the cinema. When an old woman sees an unmarried man and woman walk into a bedroom at 11:00 at night and then she goes totally nuts and quits her job because of it...well, it's hard to follow along with a movie like that. There's some pretty silly stuff that happens in this flick, but all in all you can't really beat classic Hollywood's depiction of post-wartime Christmas.