The Lamb’s December 2020 MOTM (Holiday Special) – My Rankings

As a frequent and steady contributor to The Large Ass Movie Blog, (The LAMB), I always try to get more people involved with the site.

Every Month, the site runs a poll based on the list of films submitted by LAMB members for the prestigious ability of being named as the Movie of the Month that will be discussed on the LAMBCAST podcast during that given month.

I decided that each month I will watch each of the films chosen and give my rankings of those films in order to decide which film I should vote for and in doing so, maybe help some of you also decide which film to vote for.

This month, the films are all connection to the theme of the Holidays (Mostly Christmas)

The voting is open until Sunday the 29th of November, so make sure to get your vote in soon.

This month, there were 10 Contenders suggested so here they are:

  • The Thin Man (1934) [Howard Casner, Rantings & Ravings]
  • The Shop Around The Corner (1940) [Brian Eggert, Deep Focus Review]
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) [Rachel Wagner, Rachel’s Reviews]
  • Ernest Saves Christmas (1988) [Mark Hofmeyer, Movies, Films & Flix]
  • Ghostbusters II (1989) [Lisa Leaheey, The Critical Movie Critics]
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) [Doug Jamieson, The Jam Report]
  • The Family Stone (2005) [Meg Hyland, Meg’s Movie Alphabet]
  • The Ice Harvest (2005) [Aaron Neuwirth, The Code is Zeek]
  • Arthur Christmas (2011) [Amanda Kirkham, Hollywood Consumer]
  • Krampus (2015) [Heather Baxendale-Walsh, MILFcast]

Here are my rankings along with brief thoughts on each film (click on the film title if you want to read my full review)

10. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988) – More enjoyable than I expected even if Ernest can be quite unbearable at times. Varney plays this character in some really strange ways, but this film at least gives him a few opportunities to disguise his character and it actually works really well. The supporting cast is fine but Seale really stands out as Santa.  The plot gets a bit out of hand and takes the story to some very strange places, yet still finds a way to return to something more enjoyable and meaningful towards the end. (5/10)

9. Ghostbusters II (1989) – Not as good as the original and plays more as a comedy than an adventurous idea. Nice to see the cast reunited because they work so well together but this film tries too hard to entertain and loses something along the way. They have some very clever scenes about ghosts that work really well especially the Titanic scene and the scene dealing with a fur coat. The music is amazing and they have some nice montages that also work quite well despite the story itself being very inviting. (5/10)

8. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – Couldn’t really connect with this story or the tone of it all. I’m not in the least surprised by the fact that this idea came from the mind of Tim Burton. The animation is done extremely well and even makes the whole thing seem more kid friendly (even though it isn’t). I can understand why people could like this, but it just really wasn’t for me. (6/10)

7. Krampus (2015) – Intriguing idea that shows how the anti-clause could also exist and try and wreck Christmas. The story itself moves along at a nice pace and the choice to keep it as a horror comedy works to its advantage. The cast is great with Scott and Collette as the parents, but Koechner and Ferrell steal every scene that they each appear in with the great characters that they are given. The film has a Gremlins (1984) aura to it and the battles with the gingerbread men are classic. (7/10)

6. The Shop Around the Corner (1940) – Great concept for a romance film that probably worked much better when it came out than it does now. The cats is quite good and Stewart and Sullivan have nice chemistry together despite the fact that they are meant to hate one another when they are shown together. The story itself starts off really well, but loses a lot of its credibility along the way due to the choices of how to present certain aspects of the storyline. This is a rare example of a film that was remade and the remake is actually much more enjoyable. (7/10)

5. The Family Stone (2005) – Such a fun family movie that works really well. The cast is superb and they are truly able to give off the feeling that they are such a close knit group of people. The story is filled with some great dramatic and comedic moments which helps emphasize the importance of family even at difficult times. The various story lines are created quite well and they do a nice job of blending them together while also having them intersect along the way. Really clever and ambiguous title. This movie brings together such a nostalgic feel of the closeness of family especially during these days with the need for social distancing. (7/10)

5. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) – Intriguing idea that works because of the blunt way that they present the message of things. Great seeing all of the various Peanuts characters appear even for short scenes, but they add so much to the atmosphere of the story due to the way that they each act here. This is only 25 minutes long yet they find a way to make things so powerful and poignant in the way that they deliver the message of the true meaning of the holiday season which even 55 years ago, it was seen how diluted things have become due to the commercialization of it all. (8/10)

3. The Ice Harvest (2005) – Really fun heist film that works on so many levels. Cusack is superb in the lead because he really plays a character very different from the kinds he usually plays. The rest of the cats is superb and help keep things so engaging and enjoyable to watch unfold. Platt is hilarious in this film and is able to steal every scene he appears in. The plot has some great twists and turns that help raise the suspense level of things even though none of the characters are very likeable. The modern versions of Christmas songs used on the soundtrack help add to the holiday atmosphere but also enhance the story itself because of the modern feel of it all. Ramis does a wonderful job directing this film and helping it all come together in such a fun and enjoyable way. (8/10)

2. The Thin Man (1934) – Powell and Loy are great together and their banter makes this film so much fun. The mystery is done quite well and they do an amazing job keeping us guessing the whole way through. (9/10)

  1. Arthur Christmas (2011) – Such an amazing Christmas film because it takes the story that we all know and love and not only modernizes it but also shows that the spirit of ‘giving’ hasn’t been lost due to advances in technology and the world all over. The characters are all fun loving and distinct and gives us a great perspective on the team effort that is needed for such a task to happen over one night. The voice cast is superb with McAvoy, Broadbent, Nighy, Laurie and Jensen are all giving us great three dimensional characters. They also manage to perfectly blend the known Christmas music into this heartwarming tale. (9/10)

So who should I vote for? – Clearly Arthur Christmas. It easily is the best film on this list of films and is among my faves.  The story is quite original and works so well.

To vote, click here


Good luck to one and all!!!

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