At the cinema: Is 'Die Hard' a Christmas movie?

At the cinema: Is 'Die Hard' a Christmas movie?

With all the phenomenal technological advances in film, sometimes it's refreshing to get a bare bones western in the mix that allows you to feel like a cowboy — or cowgirl — for a night.

In "News of the World," a Civil War veteran, played by Tom Hanks, finds a young girl who was captured by the Kiowa tribe while on his travels across the country. He vows to return the girl to her family while evading ruthless thugs and natural hazards. This is the latest directorial project from Paul Greengrass, who received wide acclaim for his work with the Jason Bourne films. "News of the World" opens at Camana Bay Cinema on Christmas Day.

Although many other highly anticipated films — like "Wonder Woman 1984," "Death on the Nile" and "Coming 2 America" — are scheduled for openings in December, studios may decide to delay them once again because of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

Love them or hate them, there’s no mistake that Robert Zemekis’ hyper-realistic motion-capture animated films were groundbreaking. The facial expressions of the characters may be on the wrong end of the uncanny valley for some, but with his 2004 film, "The Polar Express," he made up for it with a Christmas story that makes adults wish they were kids again. Based on the children’s book of the same name, a child is awoken on Christmas Eve to a train in front of his house set to depart for the North Pole. On the journey, he is faced with questions about friendship and belief. See "The Polar Express" on the morning of 5 December.

What’s better than sitting down for an evening and listening to a recording of ABBA’s Greatest Hits? For some people, the answer is "almost anything else." For ABBA fans however, it's sitting down and watching a cherished musical with all their songs. That’s what "Mama Mia!" is. Starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried, this 2008 musical comedy centers around a woman about to get married in Greece. Instead of basking happily in paradise, she is faced with the task of figuring out who her father is. All the while, the story is told through adaptations of ABBA's hit songs. "Mama Mia!" screens for one night only on 1 December.

As for those with a stronger appetite for thrills or even the macabre to get into the holiday spirit, both "Die Hard" and "Gremlins" can be seen at the cinema this month. You might have heard arguments about whether or not these films are legitimate Christmas movies, but make no mistake, they’re still as much fun as riding a one-horse open sleigh driven by tiny murderous creatures with machine guns and fake German accents. Make the decision for yourself; see "Gremlins" on 15 December and "Die Hard" on 22 December.

This article first appeared in the December 2020 issue of Camana Bay Times.

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