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The Christmas movie has been a staple of our screens at this time of the year almost since cinema came into being. Our TVs are scheduled up to the eyeballs with various renditions of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and the myriad faces of Santa Claus, all to keep us occupied and sane during this family-orientated fortnight.
But what do you do when there’s only so much festive filmmaking you can endure? When you can’t tell if Time Allen was the Santa in a courtroom with Matilda, or if Dudley Moore was the one who fell in love with Zooey Deschanel? Where do you turn when you’re literally seeing nothing but red?
Fear not weary watcher, we have the perfect gift for you; the Battle Royale With Cheese Top Five Secret Christmas Movies
A great place to start. Christmassy enough that you’re family don’t think you’ve gone totally off the reservation but quickly changing course for a fantastic festive frolic. When young Billy gets a truly unique gift from his Dad for Christmas, a tiny Mogwai named Gizmo, no one knows how right the old Chinese guy was when he said a Mogwai is not just for Christmas.
4 – Lethal Weapon
Now we’re pulling away from the theme a bit more. A heck of a lot more, really (qualifying factor is it ends on Christmas Day). But who cares when you’ve got one of the most genre-defining buddy-cop movies of all time? As Murtaugh and Riggs investigate the depths of a heroin-smuggling operation and take down a swarm of henchmen, you’ll look around you at the seemingly endless swarm of extended family and children and be thankful for this escape. You’re definitely getting too old for this shit.
3 – Rocky IV
Once you’ve taken down your first serving of Christmas dinner and your eyeing up that juicy turkey breast, figuring out if you’ve got room for seconds (or thirds, or fourths) you’ll definitely appreciate the inspirational tale of Rocky Balboa fighting for his friend’s memory against the mountain of a Russian, Drago, on Christmas Day. Just remember, today is not about winning, it’s about going the distance.
2 – Batman Returns
You’ve had your presents, you’ve had your dinner (and seconds) and now you’re trapped in a food coma that seems to defy the laws of physics. Fear not, the caped crusader will save you! Light the Bat Signal and watch classic Tim Burton Batman foil the machinations of the Penguin as he uses the Christmas cheer of Gotham’s citizens to pull the wool over their eyes and the rug from under their feet. Just remember to save your remaining lives for the inevitable Baileys that’s coming up.
1 – Die Hard
The piece-de-resistance of all Christmas movies. John McClane is the everyman, and you are him. You’re tired after the hell of Christmas travel, you’re in an unfamiliar place with, probably, some unfamiliar people, and you’ve got no shoes. Nothing else is qualified to end your Christmas other than the epic duel of McClane and Grüber and then you remember, they were right, you did get together and have a few laughs.