By Choi Hoe Chang (18S07A) and Adri Faris (18A13A)
Noun [c] ˈkaʊtʃ pəˌteɪ.təʊ
Source: Cambridge Dictionary
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…you may be overseas or staying in Singapore, but nevertheless having a great time with your friends and family. It is also the time when you embrace your inner couch potato and embark on a marathon of all the TV shows and movies you missed out on. Here’s a quick list of movies to get you started.
Classic Christmas Movies
1. Home Alone (1990)
No holiday binge-watch list would be complete without mentioning this film! This iconic comedy film features Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, who is accidentally left behind at home when his family flies to Paris, and ends up defending his home against two goofy burglars. This film offers the finest slapstick comedy and light-hearted humour, and it’s the perfect film for those who just want to have a good time with friends and family.
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Another all-time favourite Christmas movie, this stop-motion animated musical film follows the journey of Jack Skellington, the hero of Halloween Town. In his post-Halloween blues, Jack accidentally discovers a portal to Christmas Town and learns the wonders of Christmas. The Nightmare Before Christmas offers catchy music, charming characters, and an enchanting story that will leave you reeling with the magic of the holiday season.
3. Elf (2003)
Released in 2003, this movie starring Will Ferrell is definitely a Christmas classic. The movie revolves around the human Buddy, who was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Buddy travels to New York to find his real father, meeting a lovable cast of characters along the way. With Will Ferrell’s hilarious and charming personality on display, it’s no wonder that this film has appeared on countless “Best Christmas Movies to Watch” lists.
Binge-Watchable Movie Series
1. Bourne (Film Series)
“Jesus Christ, it’s Jason Bourne.”
This 5-film action thriller saga is filled with action, mystery, and suspense – all the things you need for a good spy movie. If you are worried about lengthy commitment, don’t worry. All five films – The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), The Bourne Legacy (2012), and Jason Bourne (2016) – each have a relatively shorter running time of around 2 hours (with the exception of The Bourne Legacy, which is about 2 hours 15 minutes). If you want some adrenaline pumping spice in your movie coma, or just ogle over Matt Damon, this series is for you.
2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001–2003)
Based on the novel of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien of the same name, the films that make up the trilogy are subtitled The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003). The three films altogether have been nominated for a whopping 30 Academy Awards, of which 17 were won – a record for any movie trilogy. With an average running time of 186 minutes per film, the trilogy tells the story of the battle between powerful forces as they search relentlessly for the One Ring, which has been lost for centuries. The future of civilization rests in the fate of the Ring, which has been placed in the hands of a young Hobbit, Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood). If you’re a big fan of high fantasy adventure films, this classic trilogy is the perfect way to spend your holidays.
3. The Hobbit Trilogy (2012–2014)
The Hobbit Trilogy – An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) – needs no introduction. This series acts as a prequel to the previous recommendation on this list. It was a major financial success, becoming one of the highest-grossing film series of all time, even going on to out-gross its predecessor, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. This film series has everything you need for an excellent high fantasy adventure movie – from wizards to breathtaking settings and even to a fire-breathing, English-speaking dragon!
4. The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy
British Comedy filmmaker Edgar Wright showcases his genius in these three films: Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) and At World’s End (2013). This trilogy features the exact same cast – but completely unrelated characters, stories, and genres – across the three films. Shaun of the Dead is a horror-comedy that parodies zombie apocalypse horror films, while Hot Fuzz follows the adventures of a hothead cop assigned in a town that hides a terrible secret; finally, At World’s End is a lads’-night-out-pub-crawl flick – with a twist. Just like the three different flavours of Cornetto ice cream, each film offers a completely different – but equally entertaining – experience.
Other amazing movies you cannot miss
1. Creed (2015)
Let us confess something: we are not really big fans of sports movies, neither are we big fans of the Rocky series. But that did not stop us from recommending Creed – a boxing film by director Ryan Coogler that aims to be the spiritual successor of the Rocky franchise. In this film, Adonis Johnson (Michael B Jordan), hires Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to be his trainer in order to satiate his passion for boxing. Being the son of the legendary boxer Apollo Creed, whom he never had the chance to know, he struggles to live up to his father’s name. This film is adrenaline-pumping, inspiring, and sensational all at the same time.
2. Sing Street (2016)
Sing Street is a charming movie. It’s a coming-of-age musical movie set in 1980’s Ireland, about a boy who starts a band to impress a girl he has a crush on. Sounds cliche, perhaps – but it is so much more. This film will suck you in with its beautiful cinematography, music, and story. Especially the music – this film features original songs such as “Drive It Like You Stole It”, which perfectly captures the youthful and energetic atmosphere of the film. Simply put, Sing Street is one of those movies you hope will never fade away.
3. SPLIT (2016)
SPLIT is a 2016 American psychological horror-thriller film which follows a man with 23 personalities, who kidnaps and imprisons three teenage girls in a confined and deserted underground facility. The girls must try to escape before the emergence of a frightful, stronger, new 24th personality. This film touches on issues related to mental illness, dissociative identity disorder as well as sexual abuse. Although it has been criticized by some for its perceived stigmatisation of mental illness, the film still grossed a healthy $278 million worldwide at the box office on a $9 million budget.
4. Get Out (2017)
This writer believes that Get Out – which acts as Jordan Peele’s directorial debut – is yet another movie on this list that needs no further introduction, having been chosen by the American Film Institute as one of their Top 10 movies of this year. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington, an African-American photographer who reluctantly agrees to meet the family of his white girlfriend. At first, the overly-accommodating behaviour of his white girlfriend’s family is interpreted by Chris as a nervous attempt to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship. However, things start to get increasingly disturbing, leading Chris to the truth he would never have imagined for himself. Director Jordan Peele says “The movie is truth. The thing that resonated with people is truth.” Intrigued? Watch this horror film to find out the truth for yourself.
5. The Big Sick (2017)
The Big Sick is a 2017 romantic comedy film which follows the true story of the struggles of an interracial couple in America. Pakistani-born comedian Kumali (Kumail Nanjiani) intends to marry his girlfriend Emily (Emily V. Gordon), but has to overcome many obstacles such as cultural differences and ethnic prejudices. Director Michael Showalter, as well as Leading Actor and Screenwriter Kumail Nanjiani, have very eloquently and respectfully dealt with the sensitive subject matter and themes of the film. The Big Sick is a hilarious and pleasant film that you must catch.
(Cover image source: http://www.listchallenges.com/megs-top-films-shows)