Friday, December 5, 2014

Movies (New or Old) Make The Holiday Season Special


Grab a soft drink from the Coca-Cola Freestyle
machine at an AMC Theatre
The holiday season is the perfect time of year to focus on spending quality time with your family and friends, and what's more fun than going to the movies during the chilly winter season?

AMC Theatres and Coca-Cola asked me to talk about my favorite holiday movies and since I often think of myself as an old-fashioned girl living in a new-fangled world... I thought it would be appropriate to give you my top picks for classic holiday movies and talk about the new flicks I am looking forward to seeing this season. 

On my "can't miss" list for holiday classic favorites is:

1) White Christmas starring Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney. A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general. The score was crafted by musical genius Irving Berlin. It's my NUMBER ONE must see holiday film!!!

2) Miracle on 34th Street: I equally love the 1947 classic starring an adorable Natalie Wood and the 1994 remake starring Mara Wilson. The story centers on Macy's executive   Walker and her young daughter Susan, neither of whom much believes in the spirit of Christmas. Dorey is in charge of hiring Macy's Santas, including an old man named Kriss Kringle. He does a remarkably convincing job, and he soon reveals that he actually believes himself to be Santa Claus. The authorities threaten to place the old man in an insane asylum, but a young lawyer comes to his defense. Meanwhile, Dorey and Susan find their own defenses melting and become reacquainted with the power of faith.

3) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) This is Tim Burton's twisted animated musical. The film takes place in Halloween Town, a creepy burg presided over by Jack Skellington, known as the Pumpkin King to his constituents. One day, Jack takes the wrong road to Halloween Town and finds himself in the neighboring village of Christmas Town, where he witnesses the busy preparations for the Christmas season. Drawn in by Santa's plans for a holiday season of peace and good cheer, he comes back to Halloween Town and sees all the ghosts and goblins as they prepare for their own Halloween festivities. Jack decides Christmas is better, and thinking that he should give himself a promotion to a more important holiday, Jack decides to kidnap Santa Claus and take over the role himself. With Santa in bondage, Jack and his minions manufacture gifts to deliver to all the good children on Christmas Eve. But Jack doesn't get the essence of Christmas and, instead of joy, brings terror to the kids of the world when they unwrap their presents to discover shrunken heads, toy ducks riddled with bullet holes, and snakes that gulp down Christmas trees. Jack realizes that Santa needs to make a comeback.

4) Home Alone: This 1990 classic is the highly successful and beloved family comedy about a young boy named Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) who is accidentally left behind when his family takes off for a vacation in France over the holiday season. Once he realizes they've left him "home alone," he learns to fend for himself and, eventually has to protect his house against two bumbling burglars (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) who are planning to rob every house in Kevin's suburban Chicago neighborhood. Though the film's slapstick ending may be somewhat violent, Culkin's charming presence helped the film become one of the most successful ever at the time of its release.

5) The Santa Clause was released in 1995. Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, the divorced dad of Charlie (Eric Lloyd). Scott is distressed to learn that his ex-wife Laura (Wendy Crewson) and Charlie's psychiatrist stepfather Neal (Judge Reinhold) have informed his son that there is no Santa Claus. While a sullen Charlie visits his dad on Christmas Eve, a noise on the roof brings them outside, where Scott startles the intruder, who tumbles from the roof. It turns out that there is a Santa after all, and Scott has just accidentally killed him. Because of a legal technicality known as "the Santa clause," Scott inherits the jolly old elf's job. The film follows his hilarious adventure of discovering the true meaning of Christmas and becoming Santa Clause. Two sequels follow this original film.

NEW films being released this December I can't wait to see include:

1) Exodus: Gods & Kings (released December 12) Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Ridley Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses (Christian Bale) as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental 40- year journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

2) Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (released December 19) Get ready for the wildest and most adventure-filled Night At the Museum ever as Larry (Ben Stiller) spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.

3) Annie (released December 19) Quvenzhané Wallis stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who's also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they'd be back for her someday, it's been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything's about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) - advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) - makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.

4) Unbroken (released December 25) A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell), an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II. John Magaro will play Frank A. Tinker, an Air Force dive bomb pilot and opera singer who befriends Zamperini en route to a Japanese POW camp. Directed by Angelina Jolie.

5) Into The Woods (released December 25) Into the Woods is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy)—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them.

Whether you are curling up on your couch or heading out to the movies, I hope you enjoy a few flicks this holiday season. Oh, and if you do visit an AMC Theatre, check out the amazing new Coca-Cola Freestyle machine (pictured above). It's a self-serve machine that allows users to dispense more than 100 individual brands. You can create your own unique combo soda creation like Cherry Coke with a dash of Ginger Ale or an Orange Fanta topped with a dash of Root Beer. The combinations are endless.

This post was brought to you by Coca-Cola and AMC Theatres. While I did receive compensation for authoring this post; product selections, descriptions, and opinions are 100% my own. Interested in a sponsored post or product review? Contact me for rates and details.