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The Great Debate: Is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

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The Great Debate: Is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Old 12-25-10, 07:10 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by Numanoid
The great debate.

All you have to do is define the term "Christmas movie" before you make your bold declaration. As others have pointed out, some define that as a movie about Christmas, while others simply think it's a movie which has a Christmas setting. So the next time you bring it up with your family, here's how you say it, "A Christmas movie is any movie with some Christmas stuff in it, but doesn't have to have a Christmas theme. Ergo, Die Hard and Lethal Weapon are Christmas movies." If you put it like that, no one can argue with you. They may argue about your definition (as I would), but they certainly can't argue your conclusion based on your thesis.
Old 12-25-10, 07:12 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Die Hard has Christmas music in it. So that should count I imagine.
Old 12-25-20, 10:53 AM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Twitter thread from Jake Tapper with pics:


‘Twas the night before Christmas
At Nakatomi Tower
When our story of homecoming
Begins with brute power

At Los Angeles airport, meet our savior, McClane;
With toys for his kids he disembarks from his plane.
To not see that this tale’s about Christmas is folly;
Did I mention that Mrs. McClane’s name is Holly?

“How 'bout some Christmas music?” McClane asks of Argyle.
“That *is* Christmas music,” the driver says with a smile.
To reunite with Holly, his aim is shared with shy laughter;
T’would be a holiday miracle to last ever after.

“You throw quite a party,” says John to Tagaki-San.
“I didn't know they had Christmas in Japan.”
John is weary from travel; Holly offers a bed.
While down in the lobby, the guard’s shot in the head.

In Theo! In Kyle! In Tony, Ed, Fritz!
Into the party the armed thugs run a blitz.
(Argyle still waits; this is long before Uber.)
While havoc is wreaked by the evil Hans Gruber.

John McClane, he escapes. Save the day - he’s just gotta;
Without shoes he tracks blood as if bearing wounds of stigmata;
One thug tries to kill him but that German’s too slow;
Now John McClane has a machine gun. HO-HO-HO.

Sgt. Al Powell is told of disturbance;
In response the fake guard feigns a bit of perturbance
Does he hear anything? The answer is no
Except for the song “LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW”

“Merry Christmas,” says Powell, not realizing the peril;
Driving off while he sings a beloved Christmas carol.
A corpse falls from above with a clear rationale;
McClane says to the cop “Welcome to the party, pal.”

Gruber talks to McClane, or rather he sneers
Survival would be a miracle, he plays on his fears
The policeman is bloodied and in dire need of succor
“Yipee-ki-yea,” McClane says, “mother-f***er.”

A woman hostage with child in of its glory
Is also a part of our Christmas Eve story
With Johnny McC traveling great distance
With hope and with love fighting evil resistance

Theo, a wise man, who’s also quite naughty
Is stealing the money in spirit quite haughty
Ellis, the Judas, attempts an amenity
By disclosing the cowboy’s secret identity

McClane gets a bad feeling and asks Sgt Powell
To relay to his wife a redemptive avowal
“When things panned out for her, I should've been behind her all the way”
He says this thinking that he’ll never see the light of day.

“I got it,” says the sergeant, “but you can tell her yourself.”
In a scene that’s as seasonal as a reindeer or elf
“I hope so, but that's up to the guy upstairs,” says McClane
Who’s traveled far for peace but encountered only pain

If Christmas is love, rebirth and a savior
McClane was all of the above in his Die Hard behavior
God was truly with him, the success was empirical
At Nakatomi they experienced a miracle

That Die Hard is a Christmas film seems to me just a Fact
I declare this without any holiday tact
But whether you agree or your disapproval won’t cease
I wish you a season of love and of peace.
Old 12-25-20, 11:38 AM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

i brought in X-mas by watching Die Hard as the bell struck 12am. first time i did that. i was in glee.
Old 12-25-20, 11:48 AM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Just because there’s a Christmas tree or some decorations in the background doesn’t mean it’s a Christmas movie. Otherwise, we’d just have to classify every Shane Black movie as a “Christmas Movie”.

Get outta here with that nonsense! Bah, humbug!
Old 12-25-20, 12:13 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
Just because there’s a Christmas tree or some decorations in the background doesn’t mean it’s a Christmas movie. Otherwise, we’d just have to classify every Shane Black movie as a “Christmas Movie”.

Get outta here with that nonsense! Bah, humbug!
It's way more than that. Christmas is everywhere in "Die Hard". There are literally Christmas songs on the soundtrack.

My wife and I watch "Die Hard" every year while wrapping presents for our kids and did it again last night. It's my favorite tradition.
Old 12-25-20, 12:28 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by Draven
It's way more than that. Christmas is everywhere in "Die Hard". There are literally Christmas songs on the soundtrack.

My wife and I watch "Die Hard" every year while wrapping presents for our kids and did it again last night. It's my favorite tradition.
You could literally place Die Hard at any other time of the year and it would be virtually the same exact movie. McClane could have been reuniting with his wife for any number of reasons and the office could have been having a get together for a number of reasons.

In order for a movie to be a “Christmas movie” I think it needs to have a little more to do with, you know, Christmas. You can’t set Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas Vacation, Scrooged, etc. at any other time of the year without making drastic changes to the story.

If you want to classify Die Hard and Lethal Weapon as Christmas movies, you need to add Batman Returns, Eyes Wide Shut, and Trading Places as Christmas movies as well. As a general rule, if you can watch and enjoy it any time during the year, it shouldn’t qualify.

BTW, Die Hard is one of my favorite movies. It’s just not a Christmas movie.



Edit: Sorry, I got the bold in this reply all screwed up and can’t fix it.
Old 12-25-20, 12:41 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
You can’t set Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas Vacation, Scrooged, etc. at any other time of the year without making drastic changes to the story.
Well, no, not really. The only reason they are getting together in Christmas Vacation is because they are family. They could be at a reunion. And if you say there are presents and Christmas trees and the importance of family, well, "Die Hard" has all of that too.

Same with Scrooged - the Christmas setting dictates the way the movie looks (and of course the source material too) but it could be about someone seeing what a terrible person they are at any time of year.

Old 12-25-20, 02:30 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Die Hard is definitely a Christmas movie. it takes place on x-mas, the party is an x-mas party, there are jokes and innuendo about x-mas. just because it doesn't have an angel or some spiritual ghosts telling someone they need to rethink their life, doesn't mean it's not an x-mas movie. sure it could happen any other time of year, but it doesn't, it happens on x-mas. end story.
Old 12-25-20, 02:42 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

What about Three Days of the Condor? It also happens to take place at Christmastime.
Old 12-25-20, 03:00 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by Draven
Same with Scrooged - the Christmas setting dictates the way the movie looks (and of course the source material too) but it could be about someone seeing what a terrible person they are at any time of year.
While I tend to disagree with GoldenJCJ on this, saying that Scrooged could be reset at a different time of the year is a bit much. It's an adaptation of A Christmas Carol and the existing script would have to be gutted to tell it differently. Now, if you wish to argue that A Christmas Carol could have been re-written to not take place at Christmas, I suppose you would be correct, but it would have lost a lot of its impact.
Old 12-25-20, 03:10 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
You could literally place Die Hard at any other time of the year and it would be virtually the same exact movie. McClane could have been reuniting with his wife for any number of reasons and the office could have been having a get together for a number of reasons.

In order for a movie to be a “Christmas movie” I think it needs to have a little more to do with, you know, Christmas. You can’t set [b]Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas Vacation, Scrooged, etc. at any other time of the year without making drastic changes to the story.

If you want to classify Die Hard and Lethal Weapon as Christmas movies, you need to add Batman Returns, Eyes Wide Shut, and Trading Places as Christmas movies as well. As a general rule, if you can watch and enjoy it any time during the year, it shouldn’t qualify.

BTW, Die Hard is one of my favorite movies. It’s just not a Christmas movie.
Someone's heart is two sizes too small, and his shoes are too tight.

Come on, Mr. Grinch, Die Hard is a CLASSIC Christmas movie! They just added violence to the mix for extra Holiday fun!

Die Hard is absolutely a Christmas movie. Christmas is brought up as many times in Die Hard as it is in all the classic Christmas movies you mentioned. It's my absolute favorite Christmas movie.

Is it an orthodox, run of the mill Christmas movie? No, but it IS a Christmas movie. Only The Grinch or Scrooge would think otherwise.
Old 12-25-20, 04:01 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by jfoobar
Twitter thread from Jake Tapper with pics:

https://twitter.com/jaketapper/statu...75213797584896
Best. 10-year Thread bump. Ever.
Now, did Tapper actually compose that or was he just reposting somebody else's work?
Also, I heard a commentator on the radio complain that companies absolutely never hold a Christmas party on Christmas Eve. True, but in this instance, it's a reasonable case of dramatic license.
Old 12-25-20, 04:24 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Gremlins is more of a Christmas movie than either Die Hard or Lethal Weapon.
Old 12-25-20, 04:43 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

I watched this Youtube video yesterday that posits that arguing about what counts as a "Christmas Movie," is itself now a Christmas tradition:

Old 12-25-20, 05:15 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by jfoobar
While I tend to disagree with GoldenJCJ on this, saying that Scrooged could be reset at a different time of the year is a bit much. It's an adaptation of A Christmas Carol and the existing script would have to be gutted to tell it differently. Now, if you wish to argue that A Christmas Carol could have been re-written to not take place at Christmas, I suppose you would be correct, but it would have lost a lot of its impact.
A man could be visited by three ghosts telling him not to be such an asshole at any time of year.

Same thing with "Home Alone" - a kid could be left home by his parents any time. But that movie is pretty universally considered to be a Christmas movie.
Old 12-25-20, 08:46 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Some people here have some pretty strict standard of what a Christmas movie is.
Old 12-25-20, 10:33 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by Draven
A man could be visited by three ghosts telling him not to be such an asshole at any time of year.

Same thing with "Home Alone" - a kid could be left home by his parents any time. But that movie is pretty universally considered to be a Christmas movie.
A major plot point of Home Alone is that Kevin doesn't go to the cops or anything because he believes that his wish to Santa caused his family to magically disappear. You'd need another scenario where the average kid would plausibly believe that a wish to a supernatural being could come true.

Also, for A Christmas Carol, the whole supernatural element is, again, tied to the "magic" of the season, a period of Christian approved supernatural events, along with the themes of generosity and charity being tied to Christmas. Scrooge is so much worse than other people not just because he's a miser, but a miser at Christmas.

I was curious about if anyone had tried changing A Christmas Carol to be not at Christmas, and Wikipidia has a pretty extensive list of adaptations, and after a quick scan, only two out of seemingly hundreds of adaptations removed Christmas from the story: a Batman comic that changes the holiday to Halloween, as well as changing the moral a bit, and the movie Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, which also changes the day and the moral.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapta...hristmas_Carol
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman...night#Specials
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghosts...rlfriends_Past
Old 12-25-20, 11:08 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by Jay G.
Also, for A Christmas Carol, the whole supernatural element is, again, tied to the "magic" of the season, a period of Christian approved supernatural events, along with the themes of generosity and charity being tied to Christmas. Scrooge is so much worse than other people not just because he's a miser, but a miser at Christmas.
Yup, there are about a dozen plot points in A Christmas Carol that are specifically related to Christmas. Sure, you could remove all that and have it just be a story about a rich miser who gets visited by three ghosts on March 14, but it would substantially lessen the story.
Old 12-25-20, 11:50 PM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by Jay G.
A major plot point of Home Alone is that Kevin doesn't go to the cops or anything because he believes that his wish to Santa caused his family to magically disappear. You'd need another scenario where the average kid would plausibly believe that a wish to a supernatural being could come true.
Hm, I just watched Home Alone again and there wasn't anything indicating Kevin's wish was "to Santa" as far as I could tell. He was just upset when being sent to the attic and said he wished he didn't have a family - and his mom says be careful or it might come true. Later in the movie he does ask the fake Santa to get a message to the real Santa, asking for his family to be brought back, but I interpret that as just asking Santa for what he wants for Christmas. I don't think that was intended to suggest that his initial wish was also made to Santa. Maybe I missed something though.

Also, Die Hard is a Christmas movie and I don't feel any need to justify that statement.
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Old 12-26-20, 12:43 AM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

If a video store (back in the day), only had one copy of Die Hard, would they put it in their Action Movie section or their Holiday/Christmas movie section? I think the answer is pretty obvious.
Old 12-26-20, 01:11 AM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

What is and what's not a Christmas movie is subjective to the viewer. I don't buy the "video section" argument, either, because The Polar Express I see put in the animation section all of the time and that movie bleeds Christmas. Movies like Krampus and Black Christmas are usually in horror.

I personally feel Die Hard is a Christmas movie and that Lethal Weapon is not. But I'm not going to lose any sleep over anyone who disagrees. I love the hell out of both movies. It depends on what your personal qualifications for a Christmas movie are. Personally, I just think it should make us want to watch it at Christmastime. And I've watched Die Hard almost every Christmas Eve since 1988. The thing is, John McClane does rethink his life over the course of the night. He comes to realize the importance of his family and how he let stupid little things get in the way of his marriage. The entire movie takes place on Christmas Eve at a Christmas office party. Much like Home Alone, it's got guys trying to rip off a place that's less frequented on Christmas. Just on a grander scale. Without Christmas, John McClane doesn't show up to the party and there's no hostage situation to be had. Just because it has action and suspense and doesn't follow a "Christmas formula" by having angels, Santa Claus, and reindeer in it doesn't make it any less a Christmas movie in my eyes. I get more "feels" from McClane talking with Powell on a CB radio about how he screwed up his life than I do anything in A Christmas Story. It's subjective and no one person is right or wrong in how they feel, I suppose.
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Old 12-26-20, 07:31 AM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by kefrank
Hm, I just watched Home Alone again and there wasn't anything indicating Kevin's wish was "to Santa" as far as I could tell. He was just upset when being sent to the attic and said he wished he didn't have a family...
From a transcript of the dialogue:
https://www.scripts.com/script.php?i...lone_10089&p=3
Everyone in this family hates me!

Then ask Santa for a new family.

I don't want a new family. I don't want any family. Families suck!
Another major plot point is that the family can't just immediately fly back, because all the flights are booked for days out, due to the Christmas rush. There's not really another time of year where airlines are that busy, for that long.
Old 12-26-20, 07:54 AM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
You could literally place Die Hard at any other time of the year and it would be virtually the same exact movie. McClane could have been reuniting with his wife for any number of reasons and the office could have been having a get together for a number of reasons.

In order for a movie to be a “Christmas movie” I think it needs to have a little more to do with, you know, Christmas. You can’t set Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas Vacation, Scrooged, etc. at any other time of the year without making drastic changes to the story.

If you want to classify Die Hard and Lethal Weapon as Christmas movies, you need to add Batman Returns, Eyes Wide Shut, and Trading Places as Christmas movies as well. As a general rule, if you can watch and enjoy it any time during the year, it shouldn’t qualify.

BTW, Die Hard is one of my favorite movies. It’s just not a Christmas movie.



Edit: Sorry, I got the bold in this reply all screwed up and can’t fix it.
Do you consider Home Alone to be a Christmas Movie? Because by this criteria, it is not.
Old 12-26-20, 09:07 AM
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Re: The Great Debate ; is Die Hard and Lethal Weapon a X-mas movie?

Another Youtube video (actually a companion to the one I posted previous) that asks, instead of whether a movie is a "Christmas Movie" or not, just how much "Christmas" a particular movie is:

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