Wonderful as the classic family Christmas movies can be, the overwhelming sugary sweetness in most of them can be a little off-putting to adult audiences. I know my friends tend to gravitate more towards the R-rated holiday fare -- Die Hard, Bad Santa, The Ref, etc. Lord knows Hollywood doesn't want to be bothered coming up with original ideas, so I'm proposing seven remakes of Christmas family classics -- souped up for 2008 and aimed at the 17+ crowd. I've set up the plots and even suggested a possible director for each. Enjoy...
Michael Moore's A Christmas Carol
In Michael Moore's return to narrative filmmaking, George W. Bush plays with his shiny new train set, sets out cookies for Santa Claus, and falls asleep in his footie pajamas while watching Power Rangers. He is awoken in the middle of the night by The Ghost of Christmas Past, who takes Georgie through his days of frat parties, draft dodging, drunk driving, and cocaine abuse. Even faced with hard evidence, Bush denies any involvement. The Ghost of Christmas Present takes Bush deep into a post-Katrina New Orleans, where Bush cracks jokes and enjoys some caramel corn. Stunned by Bush's lack of feeling, the ghost takes him to Iraq, where he sees what Christmas is like for U.S. soldiers. Bush yawns. He is sleepy. The Ghost of Christmas Future shows Bush a world ravaged by the effects of global warming and America hated by countries all across the globe. "Not real concerned about my legacy, Future Dude" chuckles Bush, and he falls asleep safe in his bed. Bush wakes up twelve hours later, having learned absolutely nothing. As the movie ends, he runs over a homosexual couple with his truck and kicks a sick orphan in the face.
Judd Apatow's Elf
40 year-old Buddy (Will Ferrell) learns that he is in fact a human, not an elf, and he has been kept from human experiences for his entire life. Buddy returns to Earth eager to make up for lost time, with the help of some wisecracking friends, played by Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd ("You know how I know you're gay? You're wearing yellow tights!"). They are more than willing to help him out, and so begins an epic quest to get Buddy laid -- though what Buddy really wants is love. He eventually finds it with the kind of girl who would totally go for an average-looking man/child in the Apatow universe -- Jessica Alba.
Mel Gibson's How the Jews Stole Christmas
Mel Gibson's take on the beloved holiday classic loses the Grinch angle and finds Christmas being stolen by a legion of angry Jews. "Resistance is futile! Don't you know we're responsible for all the wars in the world?!" yells their leader (played by Jerry Seinfeld) as he sets fire to Christmas trees and manger scenes, replacing them with menorahs and dradels. The film concludes with an astoundingly graphic and lengthy scene of the Jewish people crucifying Santa Claus.
It's a Wonderful Life
This is about as close to perfection as movies get, and I pray they never remake it. But if they do, adding this scene is a great idea. Enjoy.
John Woo's A Christmas Story
All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun, but his parents are worried he'll shoot his eye out. Everyone agrees, and Ralphie's frustrations build. Come Christmas morning, Ralphie does not receive the gift he asked for. He is pissed, and unleashes a foul-mouthed tirade on his family. Ralphie's mother reaches for a bar of soap to wash his mouth out, but Ralphie gives her a roundhouse kick to the stomach. Ralphie pulls two Red Ryders from behind the couch. "Who's shooting eyes out now, bitches?" yells Ralphie as he leaps over the sofa whilst firing both weapons simultaneously. His parents wounded, Ralphie takes to the streets and wreaks bloody vengeance on the town as BBs and white doves fly through the air in extreme slow-motion. Hours later, the entire town hospitalized with infections from BB wounds, Ralphie finds himself alone in the house and feeling randy. He chugs a huge glass of spiked Ovaltine and makes love to his father's sexy leg lamp as the credits roll.
Darren Lynn Bousman's Home Alone
Professional burglars Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) break into the house of little Kevin McCallister, unaware that Kevin is totally prepared to make them pay for their life of crime. Harry and Marv slip on some Micro Machines in the hallway and hit their heads. When they regain consciousness an hour later, Harry is ball gagged and suspended over a pit of razor blades by a padlocked chain. Marv has the only key to the padlock surgically implanted behind his right eye. Home Alone enters the age of Saw and Hostel, and oh yes...there will be blood.
Martin Scorsese's Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
In its original version, Home Alone 2 found young Kevin alone in Manhattan -- enjoying a fantasy world of luxurious hotels and fancy toy stores. In the remake, directed by Martin Scorsese, Kevin is shown what life is really like in New York City. That homeless lady with all the pigeons gives Kevin a scorching case of bird flu, an elderly man exposes his genitals to Kevin on the subway, and things go really wrong when Kevin befriends a young prostitute, shaves his head, and faces off with a terrifying pimp played by Harvey Keitel. Joe Pesci returns as a heavily mobbed up Harry, and the only thing on his Christmas list this year is Kevin's head in a box. Kevin is literally lost in New York, but Paul Schrader's script uses that setup to explore the ways in which we are all "lost" -- spiritually, emotionally, and sexually.