LAMBracket: Best Christmas Movie – Round 1-4

From December 1st until Christmas Eve, here on the LAMB, we’ll be determining what is the BEST Christmas movie of all time. We’ve asked you all which films are the main contenders, and twenty-four of you replied with your choices, which will bauble battle it out for seasonal supremacy. It’s a head-to-head, single elimination tournament, so whichever film wins today moves onto the next round. However, here is not the only place to vote. No, head to FacebookTwitter and Instagram to see the same poll there, and it’ll be the total of all four results that determines the winner.

Today’s tinsel tussle is the second match-up in the Genre Group, and is between the number one seed, Die Hard, and the first play-off winner, Batman Returns:

Die Hard vs Batman Returns

Die Hard, championed by Simon Appleton from Moustache Movie News

‘Tis the season to be jolly, which means lots of tinsel, wrapping paper, empty bank accounts and the same damn Christmas music playing over and over. But it also means we have the perfect excuse to watch Die Hard – the ULTIMATE Christmas movie – as many times as we want.

Now many of you are probably thinking; Die Hard? That’s not a Christmas movie! Well respectfully, you’re wrong. I don’t think Die Hard could get any more Christmassy. For one thing, it’s on TV every December. The story takes place during a party on Christmas Eve. There’s plenty of decorations, trees and music, not to mention the most inventive use of Christmas tape the world has ever seen. Our hero even sends his enemies a heart-warming Christmas message, “Ho-Ho-Ho”. And let’s not forget, McClane pulls off the greatest Christmas miracle in the history of Christmas miracles – saving 30 hostages…and his marriage. Wait, does that make it two miracles? Either way, if all that doesn’t make it a Christmas movie, I don’t know what will.

Granted, Die Hard isn’t warm and fuzzy like most Christmas movies. But who said all Christmas movies have to be warm and fuzzy anyway? With Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells and all that other Christmas stuff in overdrive, wouldn’t you rather watch a tired, pissed off cop run bare-foot around a building on Christmas Eve, killing terrorists? Let’s face it, Die Hard is the definitive action movie, a simple – yet fairly believable – story, with interesting characters, filled with great action set-pieces, shootouts and one-liners…never forget the one-liners! And even after all that, Die Hard still manages to leave you with that Christmassy feeling, every time. Filmmakers have been trying – and mostly failing – to re-capture that magic for 30 years.

Then there’s the underdog himself, John McClane, the fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench, the pain in the ass. He’s a man under immense pressure, up against seemingly insurmountable odds, who still manages to find the time to annoy the living shit out of his opponents, and in hilarious ways. Bruce Willis was the perfect choice for this role, he plays McClane in a way that’s not only believable, it’s relatable. McClane isn’t a superhero, or even a super soldier, he’s just an average guy trying to fix his marriage. He wasn’t supposed to be there, he certainly doesn’t want to be there, but he knows he’s the only chance those hostages have. I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes – if that’s the right way to put it – but I love rooting for him every time I watch him fuck up Hans Gruber’s Christmas.

Short of putting up a Christmas tree, we don’t really have any Christmas traditions in my house. In fact, the closest we come is sitting down every Christmas Eve to watch the ULTIMATE Christmas movie…Die Hard.

Batman Returns championed by Aaron Neuwirth from The Code is Zeek

Along with being another adventure with the Dark Knight, Tim Burton’s Batman follow-up also provides a wintery setting that allows one to celebrate Christmas while dealing with the Penguin and Catwoman. Taking it one step further, there is plenty to look at with this gothic sequel as far as how it fits in the realm of great Christmas films. You get a Bruce Wayne who slowly learns that accepting in friends and love interests may be in his favor. You get a Penguin who serves as a perverse version of the Grinch, even stealing babies, as opposed to toys. Catwoman attempts to channel the holiday spirit by having plenty of fun over the holidays, while also detailing the specifics of mistletoe. This is a jam-packed holiday classic if I’ve ever seen one, with Danny Elfman delivering one of his all-time great scores to accompany the snow falling on Gotham.

Which is the better Christmas movie?

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