Part 2 of a random list of some great double features centered on Christmas films. Here we go:
Die Hard/Die Hard 2
While this may be the most obvious match up on, the list it still needs to be mentioned. Not only because of the fact it‘s one of the greatest action franchises ever including one of the best action movies to date. This one should be a given, even if it isn’t Christmas. What does the world think Christmas is? Peace on Earth and good will toward men and nothing else. Christians know better, but why this is a good Christmas movie is because it is not only set during Christmas, but is about a main character that is willing to sacrifice himself for others, even others he doesn’t know, which is always a good picture during this holiday. So sit back, relax and enjoy the same story twice in different locations.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang/Iron Man 3
Shane Black is one of the better screenwriters out there and for some reason I have yet to figure out, all his films happen during Christmas. Even more interesting is that practically all of his films are awesome, The Last Boy Scout, Lethal Weapon, the Monster Squad, all great, including the two I’m suggesting here. Kiss Kiss Bang Ban is the movie that not only gave us Val Kilmer’s best performance, but is credited as the film that put Robert Downey Jr. back on the map as one of the greats. This is a great up to date noir film with some snappy comedy and quick wit. Iron Man 3 has that as well, but also has some great action, characters and production values. Begin with a comedic mystery and end with another great installment to what started it all for Marvel.
Trading Places/The Ref
Start first with a somewhat lighter town and follow it up with a darker comedy…before that meant gratuitous sex and violence thrown in. Two former stand-up comics round out this lists last match of movies. Starting with Eddie Murphy in one of his first film roles and Dan Akroyd in one of his best, you have one of the best comedies of the 1980’s. Akroyd is a straight laced stock broker and Murphy is a homeless conman. Two rich men have them switch places and watch what happens, all on a bet of one dollar. Akroyd and Murphy really have some great onscreen chemistry and its odd that they never got together for another film. Follow this up with Dennis Leary’s first starring role as a cat burglar who has to kidnap a family on Christmas Eve to get away from the cops. The thing he didn’t count on was the bickering couple on the verge of divorce and their soon to arrive family of misfits. It is strong on the language, but once again our Christmas film that sends a positive message of family and forgiveness.