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Chris Gay: Yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie

Posted: December 20, 2017 - 2:22am

Last week, my wife and I shipped the kids off to bed, started the DVD and settled in for the next two hours.

We watched a story of a man trying to save his strained marriage. He not only got back with his wife at the end, he became a hero to many.

The movie featured a Christmas setting and several Christmas songs throughout.

Yes, we watched Die Hard.

There are some folks out there who don't believe Die Hard is a Christmas movie. Those are probably the same folks who don't believe in Santa Claus. Bah humbug!

Arguing is what we do in the sports world. That's why there's way too many talking heads on various TV and radio shows throughout the day. Some folks probably think that's great programming.

Arguing about movies, especially Christmas films, ranks right up there with sports arguing. Some of you won't believe that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is one of the finest films in the history of cinema, but it's true. Maybe one day in the future I'll write an entire column about how that film features one of the greatest opening scenes of any movie (at Club Obi Wan, no less), one of the greatest villains and more.

While some of you won't go along with my Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom argument, some of you won't believe Die Hard is a Christmas movie, either. Sadly, you're mistaken. And here's why:

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1) Who says a Christmas film has to be mushy?

2) Why are you watching mushy films to begin with?

3) There's room for an action film in the Christmas genre next to the various comedies.

4) If society is trying to force Frozen - which has absolutely zero to do with Christmas - into the season, then Die Hard absolutely is Christmas movie - and twice on Sunday.

5) If you're spending all your time watching mushy, formulaic, cliched Hallmark Channel movies, you really need to get out more.

Now Die Hard is just one of my favorite Christmas movies. After you watch Bruce Willis walk out of the Nakatomi Plaza battered and bruised - he really should have won the Academy Award for Best Actor - grab some eggnog and check out these 10 fantastic Christmas films:

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: The movie kicks into another gear when Cousin Eddie enters. Then, the film takes an additional turn for the funny when Aunt Bethany enters the house. (Trivia: Mae Questel, who plays Aunt Bethany, was the original voice of Betty Boop.)

Elf: Will Ferrell delivers a brilliant comedic performance. The snowball scene is one of my favorites, along with the dancing scene in the mailroom. (Trivia: Faizon Love, who played a manager at Gimbel's portrayed "Big Worm" in the 1990s classic, Friday.) Six-inch ribbon curls!

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas: Another Christmas comedy classic. My wife and I were dating at the time when we took my two nieces and nephew (all under the age of 10 at the time) to see this in the movie theater. Five years later, we had triplets (two girls, one boy). Omen? Who knows? Jim Carrey should have won an Oscar for his role as the Grinch. Total ripoff that Russell Crowe got it for his role in Gladiator.

It's A Wonderful Life: Jimmy Stewart, one of the greatest American actors, hits another home run (before starring in four Alfred Hitchcock movies). Help me, Clarence.

A Christmas Story: You should watch this 100 times to wash that ill-conceived musical from this past Sunday out of your eyes.

Home Alone: This movie is close to celebrating its 30th anniversary. Wow. You're getting old.

Miracle of 34th Street: If you're going to go all mushy, here's your film.

The Bishop's Wife: Cary Grant plays an angel in a superior performance.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: I discovered recently the main "Peanuts" song is called "Linus and Lucy."

The Shop Around The Corner: Jimmy Stewart in a romantic, comedy from 1940. More mushy.

We can argue about Christmas movies all day long, but in the Christmas spirit of good tidings just know my list is one of the best you've ever seen.

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TIME FOR BOWLING: The college football bowl schedule has already begun, but you probably knew that. Tonight's offering: The DXL Frisco Bowl featuring Louisiana Tech vs. SMU. Let me clear my schedule for this contest.

There's way too many meaningless bowl games. Maybe something will excite me between now and next week, but I doubt it. The Cotton Bowl is the first great bowl contest, Dec. 29. Then the schedule starts getting better.

Honestly, the only game I care about is Jan. 1. Georgia takes on Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. The Sooners feature Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Will the "Heisman Curse," come into play? The Heisman Curse means Heisman Trophy winners sometimes have trouble winning their bowl games. Two of the past three Heisman Trophy winners lost their bowl games, including the 2016 winner (quarterback Lamar Jackson) and the 2014 winner (quarterback Marcus Mariota). Since 1990, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks are 7-10 in bowl games.

The previous Oklahoma quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy was Sam Bradford in 2008. That season, the top-ranked Sooners lost to No. 2 Florida in the national title game.

Who knows if it'll mean anything when Georgia meets Oklahoma in California. But the Sooners opened as a slight favorite when the first lines came out. Now the Bulldogs are slight favorites (1.5-point favorite per ESPN as of Monday evening). Maybe we should follow the money.

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THREE FOR THE ROAD: The joy of having Apple Music is the ability to build my own Christmas music playlist. It's currently at 56 songs, with a more diverse arrangement than you'll find on the radio. Anyway, here's three Christmas songs to check out in the coming day:

1) "Warmer in the Winter" by Lindsey Stirling.

2) "‘Zat You, Santa Claus" by Louis Armstrong.

3) "Christmas Is The Time to Say ‘I Love You'" by Billy Squier.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

 

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