Dukemich’s holiday movie tradition

Free Birds is one many holiday films families will decide among to see on Thanksgiving.

Over the years, my family has developed a tradition on my mom’s side of the family, in which we see a movie on Thanksgiving and Christmas (Well my parents are divorced so my sister and I alternate Thanksgivings between them so every other Thanksgiving and every Christmas we see a movie). It is a tradition that I absolutely love, obviously. One of the films that is geared for the Thanksgiving holiday is Free Birds. The idea of the movie disturbs me. The basic premise is that turkeys are going to go back in time to try to stop people from eating turkey on Thanksgiving.

Kids will go to see this movie and then feel bad about eating a turkey on Thanksgiving. I could only imagine the horror at the kids table on Thanksgiving as the children scream, “Mom? Dad? Why are we eating Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson? I won’t eat this! You’re both terrible people!” I don’t know. It’s just an odd premise to me. Anyway this made me think of all the movies I had seen on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here are the 15 holiday films I have seen over the last decade.Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)

I didn’t want to see this. After seeing the trailer, I thought it would be a drama masked by a comedic trailer. We saw the movie on Christmas. It turned out to be a drama that was masked by a comedic trailer, exactly the movie I wouldn’t want to see on Christmas. It was flat out sad for a lot of the movie and not really that funny.

That being said, I wanted to see Paycheck so who knows how that would have turned out. I still have not seen Paycheck to this day and it was probably a good thing we didn’t see it that Christmas. I think my motivation behind Paycheck was that it was PG-13 and I was finally 13 at that time and would be allowed to see it.

The bottom line after the unnecessary rant about these two films is that 2003 was clearly not a good Christmas movie season.

The Incredibles (2004)

This was our Thanksgiving movie and it was well…incredible. Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone really put it over the top for me. The sequence when he asks his wife the whereabouts of his super suit is a classic. It also reminds us that we should never doubt Pixar.

Meet the Fockers (2004)

Although inferior to its predecessor, I did find this movie funny. I remember laughing then, but it’s ultimately unmemorable as far as comedies go.

The Producers (2005)

I feel the same here as I did with Meet the Fockers. It was funny, but there’s no way I would ever want to watch it again.

Bobby (2006)

This was an interesting film, and I bet if you’re reading this you’re wondering what the hell this is about. Bobby stands for Robert Kennedy and it deals with his assassination. It has a monster cast and tells the story of many characters during the time of the assassination. I love history so whenever films center on a historical event, I’m in. Yes, that includes Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

We Are Marshall (2006)

This is one of the only movies I’ve seen where I’ve actually cried in the theater. It was a good cry though as the movie chronicles Marshall University’s recovery from the tragic plane crash that killed off most of its team in 1970. Again, I enjoy inspirational sports films so this was a sure bet here. Also, I’m a big Anthony Mackie fan.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)

These movies are extremely entertaining and Nicolas Cage is the main character. Need I say more?

Four Christmases (2008)

I think I’ve figured out that we shouldn’t see comedies over the holidays. I laughed, but Four Christmases was a forgettable film. Sorry Vince Vaughn, you haven’t had a good movie since Wedding Crashers (2005)…Oh wait. You had a small role in Into the Wild (2007). Well, it’s still been six years.

Valkyrie (2008)

I love history, Tom Cruise and World War II (Well I don’t love that it happened by I think it’s the most interesting war to learn about). Valkyrie is a gripping film that is bolstered by another fantastic Tom Cruise performance.

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

This is one of those movies that I watch every time it’s on TV. The chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law is phenomenal and Hans Zimmer composed another fantastic score.

Unstoppable (2010)

I didn’t want to see this film when I saw the trailer. Who wants to see a movie about a runaway train? However, should I have really doubted the duo of Denzel Washington and Chris Pine? The answer is no.

True Grit (2010)

I knew Matt Damon would be in the film and that was enough for me, but it was the performance of Hailee Steinfeld that stole the show. The 14-year-old (now 16) deserved the Oscar that year for best supporting actress but had it stolen from her by Melissa Leo (The Fighter). It was a very good film that took on the daunting task of remaking the original that starred John Wayne and succeeded.

We Bought a Zoo (2011)

My family was split on which movie to see on Christmas in 2011. My sister and I wanted to see We Bought a Zoo. My mother and step-mom wanted to see War Horse (which I’m sure was a fantastic film but I was afraid the horse would die and I didn’t want to cry on Christmas). I have to be honest…I rigged the voting. We threw both movies into a hat and I folded the We Bought a Zoo paper in a way that it would distinguish itself from the War Horse paper.

I do not regret my decision to rig the voting. I loved We Bought a Zoo, but I really do want to see War Horse at some point.

Lincoln (2012)

This movie should have won the Oscar for Best Picture and Tommy Lee Jones should have won Best Supporting Actor. Neither of those things happened, but it was a fantastic film. Daniel Day Lewis earned the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role and rightfully so. I was very pleased by this Thanksgiving decision.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

It was a spectacular 2012 holiday season. Silver Linings Playbook had come out in November, but had just started to pick up a solid word of mouth around Christmas. We decided to give it a shot and weren’t disappointed. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were phenomenal. Lawrence earned the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. I think she had a spectacular performance, but should have been edged by Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty).

That being said, Silver Linings Playbook was easily one of the best films of 2012.

Well anyways, I hope you enjoyed this recollection of the movies I have seen on Thanksgiving and Christmas over the past decade. What is your favorite holiday movie? What holiday movies did you regret seeing? What movie will you see on Thanksgiving and why? Comment below with your thoughts!

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About dukemich

Samuel L. Jackson
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