If you like Christmas the way I do, you do not want to miss these holiday movies:
The Midnight Mass of Paul Revere, starring Harrison Ford as Paul Revere, originally aired in 1978. The story of a patriot’s ride from church to church to warn parishioners that “Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming,” and they should hurry off to mass before all the seats are taken by people they have never seen before.
The story also takes the viewer back to Mr. Revere’s school days where we see him dumping bales of tea into a pond to strongly encourage pastors to provide coffee and doughnuts in the church hall following masses. Ever the attention grabber, it becomes evident that this Paul Revere would one day be put in charge of his church’s annual tree lighting ceremony.
The most exciting part of the movie for me is a cameo by Tom Bosley who portrays Ben Franklin. It is Franklin who encourages Revere to print church calendars to remind parishioners when Christmas is coming, thus eliminating that dreadfully long horse ride every year.
I Have Not Yet Begun to Shop depicts every retailer’s worst nightmare. Parental discretion is advised because it contains vulgarity and scenes of mall violence when a large group of consumers cram their way into a tiny port the day before Christmas. Bruce Willis stars as Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones who, after three hours of trying to find dry land, wants nothing more than to buy his gifts and go home.
Once inside the mall, Jones weaves in and out of crowds to avoid survey takers. He is having a miserable experience and viewers will be able to relate to what our protagonist is going through. But his mettle is put to the ultimate test when he is bombarded by a sea of cosmetic pushers in a trendy department store. He escapes only to be confronted by a group of thugs wearing “Long Live The King” shirts who attempt to steal his wallet. Sixty rounds of ammunition and 14 grenades later (this is a Bruce Willis movie) Mr. Jones tosses a silver coin on the counter and buys a round of slippers for the strangers around him, reminding everyone of the true meaning of Christmas. The movie ends with a close-up of our main character fixated on the port in front of him. “Where in the hell did I park my boat?”
The Declaration of Christmas is truly an award-winning musical. It opens with a mob of colonists holding shopping bags inside a mall. As the camera pans their faces, it is evident these people are in search of a better holiday. Their leader, Patrick Henry, played by Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame, stands on a soap box and delivers an Oscar-worthy oration on retail tyranny, the wretched wait times to get a picture drawn with Santa, and unfair return policies. Despite the serious nature of the musical, fans of American history will catch a rare glimpse of Patrick Henry using the period’s most popular pick-up line when a beautiful woman walks by during his fiery speech. “Give me mistletoe or give me death!”
The Congress That Stole Christmas pits Christopher Walken’s Wally Fitzgerald (R) against Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Pete Stackhouse(D). It also features 533 extras who had nothing better to do because they were on furlough from their government jobs during filming.
It’s Christmas Eve and the nation’s biggest lawmakers are not any closer to reaching an agreement on the debt ceiling. Fitzgerald and Stackhouse haven’t uttered two kind words to each other in weeks. This stalemate leads to a partial government shutdown that closes all national parks to the public and sends “non-essential” government employees home. Hoffman does a splendid job portraying Stackhouse who favors large government spending and pork-barrel projects. Not because pork-barrel projects are vital to his policies. He just likes hearing people say pork-barrel. Walken will be up for an academy award for his role in the film as a tight-fisted Speaker of the House who wants to cut government spending by 75% through 2017.
The movie is set in a fictional snow-covered national park and was actually financed with both private and public funds. Because national parks are closed, the studio had to construct a makeshift national park using TARP money left over from the previous administration. Money that had been earmarked for such an arrangement in the event of a government shutdown. This way, Americans could remember with great fondness that national parks used to exist. If this sounds strangely familiar to you, wait until you see how the plot unfolds.
Let me begin by saying that this film offers up some breathtaking outdoor scenery, a Chris Walken dance scene and a holiday soundtrack that is second to none. But its similarity to another holiday favorite leaves this viewer with the impression that The Congress That Stole Christmas is nothing but a knockoff.
While a fresh coat of overnight snow blankets the national park, Fitzgerald and his dog, Austerity, slide down the fiscal cliff and steal the employee time cards. But while trying to drag the sack of time cards back up the fiscal cliff, the girth of the sack overpowers Austerity causing sack and dog to start slipping. Fitzgerald is trying with all his might to hold on when he hears singing below. Why are they singing, he thinks to himself. Don’t they know the park is closed? Is it possible that Americans do not need Congress to feel happiness? His heart grows to the size of an overripe melon. He slides back down the fiscal cliff and passes out the time cards. The workers will need them when they return to work after Christmas. Oh, and Fitzgerald and Stackhouse make up and promise America on C-Span there will not be a sequel.
I’ll Be On Healthcare.Gov For the Holidays stars Amy Adams as Sara, a mother of 4, who wants to give her family the gift of health insurance this Christmas. Unfortunately, no one has seen or heard from her since she first went on the website two months ago.
Take a trip on a bizarre ride with Sara as she navigates the slushy streets of the healthcare.gov website for the 84th time. Will submitting all of her answers to the online application before the website crashes require a Christmas miracle? If you like epic dramatic miniseries that showcase adorable kids reuniting with long lost relatives, this movie’s for you. Fun for the whole family!
These movies are only available in certain states and territories. Check local listing for complete details.