By Joseph Walter
Today, we're doing double duty for a missed day (Christmas shopping took precedence!)
Both entries will be brief, as they're beloved Christmas favorites.
Let's kick things off with "Home Alone!"
Kevin's family returns and have a heartwarming reunion.... until Buzz realizes that Kevin utterly destroyed his room.
Damn it Kevin. I wouldn't let him sleep in my room if he was growing on my ass. That little jerk.
Ironically, I felt a lot like Kevin: His family, immediate and extended, had the same kind of dys-fun-ction that mine did (does?) and I, being the youngest at the time, kind of felt like I often got the short end of the stick. In fact, the aforementioned Andrew was the direct equivalent of Buzz, Kevin's tormentor.
Those memories are some of my most treasured, and I'll never forget those warm, glossy feelings of the roaring fireplaces, presents, feats, giant Christmas trees and my full family enjoying the holiday together.
Disregarding my own connection to this movie, the idea of a family reuniting, somewhat miraculously, on Christmas Day is a prime example of a great Christmas theme. Secondly, the aesthetic calls to mind the fuzzy Christmas memories that are furthest back in our mind, idealized over time. The snow, the lights, the stockings, everything.
It's hard to describe adequately (and I'm doing an exceptionally poor job) but "Home Alone" captures a childhood Christmas (and perception of it) that nothing else seems capable of doing.
It's simply one of the best Christmas films ever made, and it will continue to resonate with me for every Christmas to come.
Occasionally, you'll see the film loop. You see, the supremacy of the rapid oxidation of the wood in the exothermic chemical process known as combustion is far too great to be contained in one single shot.
The lovely setting of the scene with the slow zoom towards the fire place within the living room is a nice touch to draw you in, as are all of the classic, nostalgia-heavy Christmas tunes that grace the flames.
Sounds perfect, right? Especially for families with no fireplace.
Alas, there's a deep, inconsolable issue:
There's no Christmas tree in the scene they've set. They go through all the trouble of decorating some person's living room and starting their fire to get a bunch of families in the Christmas spirit, but forget there's no Christmas tree. No damned Christmas tree. This was supposed to be the chosen one, the one Christmas special to bring all families together forever, but no longer. I'm knocking off a .25 for this treacherous act.