Few holidays bring out the movie fans like Christmas. (Halloween is probably a close second; Arbor Day comes in third.) Mostly everyone has time off to relax, but not enough time to really "watch" a movie -- and that's where your basic cable channels come in handy. You don't have to worry about raunchy words, the commercials are there to remind you that the cake needs to be iced, and let's face it: there are lots of great Christmas movies out there.
So here's who's showing what and when! Happy Holidays!
TBS begins its 24-hour 'A Christmas Story' marathon, which is very quaint and all if you need something in the background while you're basting a turkey -- but if you really want to appreciate Bob Clark's holiday classic, you should break out the DVD or blu-ray. The marathon ends with a screening of 'The Wizard of Oz' (yay) and 'Surviving Christmas' (boo).
TNT? On Christmas Eve they offer coal ('The Holiday') and and something called 'This Christmas,' which is one heck of a title. On Christmas Day they've got Peter Jackson's 'King Kong,' three consecutive chapters of 'The Librarian,' and random screenings of 'Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' and 'The Mummy Returns.'
IFC has a fun programming run that begins tonight with 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail,' Lucky McKee's 'The Woods,' and an always-welcome block of 'Undeclared.' Tomorrow they offer a massive marathon of nothing but 'Freaks & Geeks,' which you really need to have seen by now.
AMC does Christmas Eve the old-school way: with 'White Christmas' (1954) and 'Miracle on 34th Street' (1947). The double feature runs all night, and then tomorrow we switch to ... seven consecutive screenings of 'Scrooged.' Great flick, but sheesh, enough is enough.
The USA network seems to think that 'Bad Boys,' 'The Pacifier,' and the 'National Treasure' flicks are appropriately seasonal, so I'd avoid that channel tonight. They do offer 'Elf' tomorrow, so there's a silver lining.
Or flip to Turner Classic Movies, where you'll find titles like 'Scrooge' (1970), 'The Bishop's Wife' (1947), and 'Remember the Night' (1940). On Christmas Day they offer a great mix: 'A Christmas Carol' (1938), 'Ben-Hur' (1959), and 'The King of Kings' (1961) ... followed by a lot more fantastic non-holiday stuff.
Or if you're looking for something on Netflix (instant streaming), it's tough to go wrong with 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.'
For even more options, check out this handy little piece at Popwatch.