Escape the schmaltz: TNT’s top 5 Christmas movies and songs Great enough for all year round

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MOVIES – ALAN RICKMAN’S NOT JUST IN LOVE, ACTUALLY

Sure, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone, Elf and that one with Tim Allen are all great, but how many times can you watch the same story again and again? Here is the answer.  

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Kooky murder mystery with petty crook Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer as a gay detective solving a situation at Christmas. Michelle Monaghan even stones up in a slide. It is director Shane Black gave us the outstanding Christmas film, Lethal Weapon, which opens with Jingle Bell Rock.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Tim Burton’s masterpiece is as much Halloweeny as it is Christmasy and vibrant, featuring Jack Skellington researching the wacky world of Santy Claus and the elves. The vibrant stop-motion cartoon makes it totally timeless. Burton’s Edward Scissorhands is too clear.  

Bruce Willis being awesome, explosions and foolish stunts aren’t just for Christmas. Sure, Alan Rickman’s in the Outstanding Love, Really, but he’s superb here as the baddie.    

All carolled out but non-Christmas entertainment is out of the question? Here is the answer. Christmas has nothing to do with the plot, other than the fact that there are Christmas decorations in the stunning Belgian city. In case you haven’t seen it, then do yourself a favour.

Rocky avenges his friend Apollo’s departure against Russian Ivan Drago… on Christmas Day! And basically ends the Cold War having an inspirational mumbling about everybody altering, and stating joyful Christmas to his kid. And there’s a Christmassy robot – you will be a heavy weight champ indicating this one.  

Close but no Santa cookie: Woody Allen’s musical Everyone Says I Love You with Drew Barrymore and Edward Norton; Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal classic When Harry Met Sally; and Go, a Small smokey but a breaking teen caper about a drug deal gone wrong in a rave called Mary Christmas.  

SONGS – SONGS WE WISH YOU A MARIA CAREY FREE CHRISTMAS

In terms of songs, Christmas tunes have been tainted through the past few years by sing-every-note-in-one-hit forms like Maria or schmaltzy fools like Cliff Richard – today we are not from mistletoe and wine or anyone who just needs you for Christmas (but be realistic, they’re probably lying), but you can do better. Start here…

How to Make Gravy, Paul Kelly

Hits right in the heart of a family Christmas and as Kelly’s said it himself, intensifies the atmosphere from the protagonist not being there – like White Christmas. Along with also a gravy recipe, which functions, we analyzed it.  

A classic from The Pretenders that’s been covered by many, including the outstanding KT Tunstall. But we went together with the Magic Dirt singer out of the awesome Rockwiz Christmas unique. All songs on this are all brilliant.    

Frosty the Snowman, Fiona Apple

This record is designed to avoid the trite and nauseating portions of this festive time, but if Cartoon darling Fiona Apple bashes out a Frosty ditty it is tough to go past.

I Respect Your Family, Tripod

Festive humor classic by the Aussie trio that, let us face it, everybody can relate to a little bit. We’ll leave it at this.

Fairytale of New York, Ed Harcourt and KT Tunstall

OK, so we have a crush around the Scot, however it is a worthy alternative to the original and greatest from The Pogues. Harcourt does a corker of a variant with Martha Wainwright.

Close but no cracker: Fountains of Wayne’s I Want An Alien This Christmas; The Futureheads’ Christmas Was Much Better In The 80s along with Run-DMC’s Christmas in Hollis (which can be in Die Hard); The Arcade Fire’s Jinglebell Rock,  Sarah Silverman’s Give The Jew Girl Toys, Blink 182’s Happy Holidays You Bastard and, Bamboula’s I am Getting Pissed for Christmas.