Christmas movie chat with Bobi

Over to Bobi, with thanks, for some Christmas Movie Chat:

It’s Christmas movie time. You will need to take notes, make a plan, configure a spreadsheet and start immediately if you want to fit them all before the all important day.

I will try to keep the list short. Insert cackling-laugh track here.

Now that we have that obvious joke out of the way, let’s get on with the list. I have checked it twice. I take this very seriously.

Please note that my definition of a Christmas movie is very loose. It must take place at Christmas and it should be watched at Christmas, repeatedly and often. Sequels are included as a matter of course.

Let’s start with my favourite because, after all, this is all about me. I love Die Hard. I love watching Alan Rickman chew the scenery. I know there is a debate as to whether this really is a Christmas movie. Just quietly, I have been know to join in. Everyone who doesn’t agree with me is wrong. [Juz interjects here: It has Alan Rickman in it which is reason enough to watch.]

Some movies are joyful and I can’t imagine that there could be much disagreement about their inclusion on a list: Elf (who doesn’t love the OTT acting during every second of that movie), The Santa Clause (He kills the previous Santa Claus, guys. Don’t think about it too much.), The Muppet Christmas Carol (just muppets), and A Charlie Brown Christmas (I’m showing my age here. It has just enough sentimentality to keep me both happy and sad).

Out of left field, there are two foreign movies worth watching. The first is Tokyo Godfathers. It’s an anime comedy and a little bit fabulous.

And the second and by far the better of the two, is 8 Women. It’s French. It’s a musical. It’s a mystery. Seriously. Could life get any better? What more could you possibly want?

Speaking of old-age, I also love A Christmas Story. Let me be right up front when I say that this movie is problematic on so many levels but, at the same time, it is charming. He licks a pole. It was funny. Maybe you had to be there. I am not sure that it has stood the test of time and yet, secretly, I watch it in the dark while eating a whole packet of Tim Tams and drinking Green Ginger Wine.

I deliberated at length about including Gremlins in this list. The heroine’s father died in a chimney dressed as Santa Claus and the gremlins die in a movie theatre watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Okay, a lot – animals, aren’t they? – die in this movie, but it does have a Christmas background. I’m sure that makes it okay. Oh, dear. It is regularly played in our house at Christmas and we do enjoy watching it together. Maybe we will shift it off the list and replace it with Frozen.

And to end on a high note, White Christmas. Enough said.

You will, of course, notice the glaring omission – Love Actually – so to distract you (look over here) I will end with this link as a gift from me to you. Enjoy.


– Bobi



  1. Mr 7 and I are halfway through watching Klaus, a new animated movie on Netflix. It’s quite dark to start with but I am enjoying it. He loves The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix. Kurt Russell is Santa and two kids who accidentally derail his gift giving have to help. Ir’s The usual “Santa’s not real – oh yes he is” but Kurt (aka Snake Pilssen) is fun to watch.

  2. Thankyou, Bobi.
    I’m not big on doing things because if tradition. And I pretty much hate Christmas movies, although I did enjoy Elf the first time I watched it.
    Woolif and I watched the new Kirsten Dunst series this week. The problem is having to wait each week for the next episodes.

  3. I only do Christmas for the kids and grandkids and they are all going away this year so I was planning on spending the day watching TV with Woolif. “Aaand loving it”. Christmas is usually a lot of work.

  4. Every day is Xmas with my little rescue dog.

    Yesterday had his photo taken and for dinner was given crab and scallop leftovers by a rich neighbour.

    I remember my mean cousin telling me that Santa wasn’t real. Later in life I knew a woman who’s ex husband broke into a toy shop to get an impressive ute load of Xmas pressies for their 4yo son. I’ve eaten Xmas ham that I later found out had been stolen. It can be the best and the worst of times.

    I’ve enough Roilling $tones dvd’s to get me through with some Satisfaction..

  5. Die Hard was on a couple of weeks ago. No doubt I’ll watch it again when it pops up next month and same with Love Actually. I like Bad Santa, too.

    I think the performances of some of the actors is what gets me in to see these movies umpteen times – Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, and Billy Bob Thornton especially. There is so much crap on fta this time of year that I will plop in front of any movie that I know is watchable.

  6. * their, their, their.
    How many times did I proof read this thing? For goodness sake, put me in a nursing home to keep me safe.

  7. Christmas isn’t my favourite time of the year, no. I like the Lego sets that Lego always produces around Christmas-time, but I think that’s the crux of the issue. I like the trappings (snowy forests, and romance by a crackling fire-place, and pine trees, and snow-lined streets), but not the event itself. Darn it, I’ve been brainwashed by American media versions of Christmas!

    So I don’t tend to care for Christmas movies. “Love Actually” notwithstanding. Oh gosh, when the dude proposes to the girl who doesn’t speak English very well? Oh, kicked in the heart-strings.

    I have to be honest. The one Christmas story I have a soft-spot for is “Hogfather”, by Terry Pratchett. I find Pratchett very hit and miss (he tends to lecture his audience, particularly when he gets started on a pet topic, and he can be quite condescending. It bothers me, as a reader), but I love the story and well it plays with the mythos of Pratchett’s books, as well as the Christmas tropes it uses.

    For my friends who haven’t read it … new gods have old jobs. On this particular world, the Hogfather (essentially, Santa Claus with hogs instead of reindeer) used to be a god who people celebrated because he made the sun rise, on Christmas morning. Centuries passed and he became sanitised, a jolly old fellow who gives presents to children. But … these things (the Auditors) hate humanity, so what do they do? They murder Santa Claus. The problem is, Santa’s still doing the same job he used to do … so Death (the fellow with the scythe and the black cloak?) has to pretend to be Santa Claus (while getting to the bottom of the mystery) so that people keep believing in Santa Claus. Because without Santa, the sun’s not going to rise. Ever.

    It *sounds* bat-shit insane, but it’s a brilliant story, and I adore it.

      • I was going to say that it was a book, but I’m fairly certain that the BBC made a fairly-faithful television adaption, some years ago.

      • I am fairly certain that I watched the movie.
        It was fairly excellent.
        I’m not sure I would let the kiddies watch it. There was always a bite to Terry Pratchett- at least in the earlier days.

  8. I watched A Wonderful Life for the first time last Christmas, after years of hearing that it is the ultimate Christmas movie. I did love it, but not sure if I need to watch every year.

    I am conflicted about Love Actually. When I first saw it I was blown away, but now I wish I could edit maybe half the storylines out, and keep the brilliant ones. I love, love, love Hugh Grant as the PM, and the love story with his staff member. And Emma Thompson is awesome – the scene where she finds the present for the lover is one of the best ever. And the girl dedicated to her disabled brother.

    Leading on from that, I have no problem if people want to watch Die Hard annually – too much Alan Rickman is never enough. It is not really the “true meaning of Christmas” but then neither are many of the “we have to save Santa to save Christmas” ones either. At least Die Hard doesn’t pretend to be anything but what it is. I can’t stand the boy, though, and his infatuation with the girl who sings.

    Call me a nerd if you like, but one of my favourites is Christmas with the Kranks. I know, it is twee, but I just love the drama and exhaustion produced by trying to not do Christmas. Maybe it hits too close to home as every year I battle extended family who want to remove all tradition and I just wish they would get out of the way and let me “do” Christmas properly! They cause so much stress by trying to simplify things.

    I know there are others I like, but I can’t remember at the moment – I really should be researching presents online – haha.

  9. I had a good night, last night. It was board game Sunday with my nerdy friends, but after the library shut, we headed to a bar ten minutes away. It’s this lovely little watering hole, hidden down an alleyway, but they have this really cool beer garden with a fire (and people come in with their dogs and sit), and the barkeep is a really friendly guy (rather than making fun of us for sitting there and playing boardgame, he came over at the end of the night and asked if he could join in), and they do really great pizzas and nachos.

    And I played a game of pool and I won, which was wonderfully surprising because I’m terrible at pool (I sank the 8-ball with a lucky rebound, but I’ll take it).

    Of course, I crawled into bed at one o’clock this morning and I thoroughly wrecked, today, but that’s the price you pay for a night out.

    • That’s sounds like a lovely night. I’m feeling a little envious.
      I love a board game. I grew up on them and card games – we had limited access to tv.
      Careers was great but has not stood the test of time, and the one about Mrs White in the library with the candlestick. Loved that one.

      • When I used to work in the game shop, the two games we always sold out of first, during school holidays? “Cluedo” and “Uno”. Those were the two. Not even the two most popular games, but come school holidays, we’d run out of those first.

        • We still play Cluedo quite frequently. Had to buy a new set because the other one fell apart, and the cards were becoming “marked”!

          • Yeah, it’s a shame when games get worn out, but that just means they’re good games that people enjoy playing.

    • Sounds like great fun, despite paying for it the next day.

      We talk a lot about board games at this time of the year, because we are all finding ones to put on our Christmas lists. We have recently discovered Azul – one of those great games which are simple to learn but have endless possibilities for tactical play. And beautifully designed graphics. Another new one for us is Love Letters. Don’t be put off by the name – it is really irrelevant to the game. Again, simple to learn but highly addictive, and also doesn’t take long if you want a short game to fill-in a bit of time.

      • Love Letter is one of the first gamey-type games I ever learned how to play. I’ve played the Batman and Lord of the Rings variants, but I’ve never played the original princess version.

        Yesterday we played “Exploding Kittens” (which is one of my favourite card games), and we played “Wingspan” (it’s a game about bird-watching, basically. It’s got the feeding-animals mechanic of “Evolution” — which is a game I like — and the resource management of “7 Wonders” — which is another of my favourite board games ever). Then we played a few games of “Sequence” (green team won 4 out of 5 rounds).

        • I was cleaning out the garage yesterday and found my Buffy the Vampire Slayer Top Trumps set. Will take it camping in a fortnight, along with UNO and pick-up sticks – although Mr 7 cheats terribly at both

        • oh I am loving this thread about games. I thought I responded but clearly hadn’t.
          We are sequence fiends so will be looking at Azul, love letter and exploding kittens! YAY to new things
          We also like Saboteur – super easy to learn but lots of fun, especially for a larger group where you get alliances!

    • I love pool. I am no longer.good at it.

      I have to throw my hat into the ring on High Grant…”Vom”. Too much dandy/toff. I have never liked him, but don’t mind Colin Firth.

      • I have a love/hate thing with Hugh – it depends on the role. I think the difference is whether the role slightly sends him up (as himself). I don’t like him in roles they want him to speak slowly and lovingly – he just sounds bovine.

        He was really wonderful in Paddington. Maybe he should stick to character roles.

  10. It’s raining here. Smells fabulous.
    btw, my Apple phone is not registering anything. It probably doesn’t remember what rain is.

    • I kept thinking that just to the west of us was getting a bit of rain nearly every day. Then I heard on the radio that the BOM app registers bushfire smoke as cloud! Duh – here I was getting all excited about a bit of rain over the fire ground.

    • YAY! I need some exciting survivor as the current US season is so hard to enjoy and I find it hard to find people to support!

  11. I think we Germans have a bit of a different taste in Christmas movies.
    When I was a kid, we always watched Drei Haselnuesse fuer Ashenbroedel. It was an old Cinderella movie.
    And the ultimate movies back then were Sissi with the incredible Romy Schneider.
    I have no idea if those movies are even properly known outside of German speaking countries.
    They are pure kitsch and drama, but as a little girl, I couldn’t care less.

    Otherwise, we also had tons of English or American movies. SCROOGED with Bill Murray is a classic, so is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. We also appreciated Home Alone and Die Hard.^^
    Little Lord Fauntleroy with Sir Alec Guinness is also a classic for Germans.
    A movie and TV series called Anna, a story about a ballerina from the 80s.
    Die Feuerzangenbowle, The Punch Bowl, classic German Christmas movie.

    • I have watched Sissi. How can that have happened? It must have international appeal.
      I do remember enjoying it, whether it was the ott drama or because it was family viewing, I can’t recall. I am becoming increasingly nostalgic as I get older.

      • To me it just holds very fond memories of my childhood. 😉 And yes, Romy was well known after Sissi, but I never realized she was that famous as most movies she made were more arthouse. When I was little I never knew how tragic her life was despite being such a stunning and talented woman. No wonder her life ended the way it ended. 🙁

        Sissi was basically a Disney trilogy. And Romy was the most perfect looking Disney princess. When they announced they will make a live action remake of Beauty and the Beast, I thought the actress should look like Romy Schneider. 😉 I cannot tell you how disappointed I was when they chose Emma Watson who is cute but so lifeless.

    • Mmm, I might have to watch Sissi again. Romy Schneider was well known outside of Germany. Not sure young people would know now though.
      I like Maria Schell, and I don’t think she would generally be known.

    • I’m looking forward to it. Nice try, Ch 9….but nothing could top the couple featured on Dr. Phil today. Attention , daisy. It’ll take Dr Phil two eps to sort this one out.

      • I’ll watch after B&B. I look forward to it.
        I have been also been watching See No Evil.

        Hey! Did anyone watch Stage Beauty on SBS World Movies? Lovely.

        • On part 2, daisy that terrible couple rue how their lives have been destroyed by reality tv. The latest shuckster Mike Bayer is brought out to do some relationship snake charming. At the end Dr Phil brags that he’s been married 47 years and then Robin sells the badly named wrinkle creams to y’all while he holds her hand. Celebrity $nake Oil. Is that all there is?

          • Those brat types don:t go on Dr Phil to get cured but for a big platform to grow their fans. They get chosen to go on Dr Phil because they are brats. So much for, “You don’t reward bad behaviour”.

      • Interesting reading, Bobi.
        My mum is a narc and it was interesting comparing that article in the light of her relationships with the men in her life.

        • No, a few of my friends called my ex a narcissist once we broke up, and reading that article, I was like, oh yeah. Yep, that makes sense.

        • Yep. This is a topic that has been discussed at length in my house over the years.
          Was my ex-husband a narcissist or a sociopath? Interestingly, the jury is still out.

          • It’s a tricky thing, isn’t it? I don’t hate my ex, as much of a jerk as he turned into. I still have some affection for him, as a human being, because we were connected for a long time and that doesn’t fade. It’s more disappointment than anything. I saw good things in him, and he had the potential to be a great person, and it’s a damn shame he couldn’t be bothered being anything other than a selfish tool.

          • Windsong, good attitude. A narcissist is their own worst enemy in the end.
            My mum is a narcissist and has great difficulty being the least bit interested in a topic that isn’t her. Anything else bores her. People have sometimes commented on it being age related, but she has always been like that. And oh boy, she loves attention, especially male attention.

  12. OMG that whining woman on Dr Phil. 1st world problems. Fark, when 3 year olds are in hospital braving leukemia. That sh,*TS me.

    • Dr. Phil brings the quality again today.

      The Michael Hutchence bio “Mystify” in ABC I view is well worth a watch. Never really a fan, but good show.

  13. Trivia: I have Studio 10 on in background. The dumbing down of Australia starts early. Blah, blah, blah. Especially Denise. OMG do we hand out prizes for dumb. Why hire people who have absolutely nothing intelligent to say? She’s not even funny.

    A mind numbingly, inane panel.

    • Denise is a real redneck. She died thirty years ago. No difference between her and Prue McSween. Pauline Hanson. All tarred with the same ugly brush of opinion.Repulsive. Australia has better women than those everywhere.

      RIP Clive James…..not a redneck by comparison, not a nice drunk by his own admission.


      • Goodbye and rest in peace to Clive James and Jonathan Miller.

        It makes me feel old when people I grew up watching die, and it always seems unexpected, even if they were really old.

    • I love HYPPA and their take on Studio 10. Very funny and in full agreement with your opinion.
      I used to like it, some time back.
      The panel was more diverse and more interesting. Something’s gone wrong.
      I still like Tash. The rest are phoning it in. Fire them, fire them all!
      It’s a shame. I have nothing to watch now at morning tea.
      I’m pretending that’s a good thing.

  14. 2 weeks after the FL and I am thrilled. Oh look! A chin. 😁. And my original jaw line.
    The surgeon showed me the before pics today. I think he made a man bag from the off-cuts.
    Surgeon said it will get even better. Yay. 😁😁

    • They all sound good, but those resumes sound like they were written by the producers. I look forward to seeing the real personalities come out a bit. Not looking forward to the girls, as I suspect that the genuine, ordinary girls of the previous seasons may have been ditched for Bachelor look-alikes, cast only for drama.

      • Yes I am worried it will be like when they paired up Jess with Mick. Hopefully since some of the blokes are more mature they will interest age appropriate women, although older woman are more likely to have children they won’t want to uproot

        • A lot of the locations are closer to big regional areas or cities. No outback WA in this series. That may be for financial reasons, or it may be to attract more women who are realistic about moving.

  15. To make up for the disappointing fiasco of the Not so Amazing Race, watch Love on the Spectrum, on ABC. I caught it last week. I think it’s on Tuesday nights. It’s really interesting and kind of sweet and sad.

  16. Away from TAR….I highly recommend Love on the Spectrum on ABC. It’s First Dates but with Asperger’s, or autism. It’s reality TV with reality. The stars are quite charming.

  17. So, Netflix got me again, Virgin River. Perfect for cold December days here. Extremrly cheesy, cute and kinda predictable and I am hooked, so are my sister and two of my friends.

      • A nurse moving to a much more rural area in the US and trying to get along with the people living there. The doc she works for is a grumpy old guy, there is a cute looking bartender, the nosey neighbour. Some of the story gets told through flashbacks. As I said, it is pretty predictive how the story unfolds but I didn’t mind it too much. Apparently they are already filming season 2, which is good as the first 10 episodes just set things in motion. It is rather slow paced, but it doesn’t matter.

  18. Anybody watch the AACTAs? So refreshing compared with the Logies.

    Survivor Australia won the best show in its category, up against MKR, MAFS, MC, and GABO.

    This year the major award went to Sam Neill, and because they know who is getting it, the whole show is a bit like a Roast. Last year it was Bryan Brown. Both shows were hilarious, mainly because Aussies (or NZers) don’t like to big note themselves, so it is all self-deprecating while at the same time really honouring these actors who have impacted our screens for so many years. Well done, AACTAs.

    Slight negative is that so many shows and movies mentioned were unknown to me due to being on pay tv or niche cinemas. But they look so good, it would be worth the effort to seek them out. Best film was The Nightingale, so that might be one to find.

    • The reviews on The Nightingale mention the huge amount of violence.
      There were a number of walkouts.
      So my takeaway was that it may be good but a bit wrought. Just a warning.

  19. Soooo, we are at Day 5 of the general strikes. Thankfully busses here run normally and I at least get to Versailles. This week Macron announces his pension reform and I feel we will see strikes until January. Roughly 1 train or so per hour to Paris out of 6 or 7. Which sucks, because for 3 days, no trains to or from Germany (due tonthe SNCF protesting, the German trains are understaffed. They could easily just use German personal but what do I know?), and I have tickets for the 18th as I wanted to spend Christmas with my family for the first time in 5 years. 🙁

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