Note: Deadline presents the 45th episode of its video series Take Two, in which Pete Hammond and Todd McCarthy tackle the artistry of films just opening in theaters every weekend. Each has reviewed and written about the craft for decades and built a remarkable breadth of knowledge of films past and present. What we hoped for when we asked them to do this was a concise, mature and thoughtful conversation comparable to what we saw from Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.
The so-called “Christmas Movie” has become a genre to itself, a seasonal cinematic exercise that just keeps mushrooming with studios and streamers filling their stockings with new ones every year, and places like the Hallmark Channel turning them out like Amazon packages on a conveyer belt. If you think it is all a bit too much, an overwhelming selection that seems endless, you are probably right, and so that is why this week’s edition of our video series, Take Two aims to separate the true classics and the worthwhile holiday-themed fare from the mundane that seems to be everywhere right.
So of course we are looking at the likes of It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle On 34th Street, the various iterations of A Christmas Carol and more like those, but also some certified classics that came to life in recent decades, and those include, believe it or not, Die Hard which some swear is just as much a Christmas movie as The Santa Clause. We have our own thoughts on that. But if you are about to hunker down for a big holiday break, we hope this review of some that hopefully will warm you heart – or not (yes, that is you, Bad Santa) – is our gift to you. Have a great holiday and hope you are in the mood to celebrate cinematically as well.
To watch our conversation just click on the link above.
Hammond has been Deadline’s Awards Columnist for the past decade, covering what now seemingly is the year-round Oscar and Emmy seasons. He is also Deadline’s Chief Film Critic, having previously reviewed films for MovieLine, Boxoffice magazine, Backstage, Hollywood.com and Maxim, as well as Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, for which he was a contributing editor. In addition to writing, Hammond also hosts KCET Cinema Series and the station’s weekly series Must See Movies.
McCarthy is a veteran trade publication film critic, columnist and reporter who has also written several acclaimed books and documentary films. He served two stints on the staffs of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and extensively covered film festivals internationally for both publications. His film Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography won the best documentary prizes from the New York Film Critics and