Wednesday, December 29, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Movies - The Ref

Spoiler Alert (I have now done my part. If you read this post and accidently spoil the movie for yourself it's your own damn fault)

"12 Days of Christmas Movies" reaches the halfway mark. This is very exciting news if you have nothing really going on in your life. There have been some classics so far, but for Day 6 I'm going to choose another movie I watch every Christmas that is kind of obscure. Not that nobody knows about it, it's just that there is rarely any mention of it when it comes to must-watch Christmas films. I've watched it every year for the last 13 years and I will continue to watch it until a movie knocks it out of the top 12. Ladies, Gentlemen and the fine people of Denmark AND the United Kingdom, The movie of Day 6 is the crude Christmas movie before it was cool.

The Ref

The Plot according to j.Bowman:
"Denis Leary is a burglar on the run who takes a dysfunctional family hostage on Christmas eve and teaches them the true meaning of Christmas: Putting people in their place and airing grievences". How this wasn't the tagline for this movie I'll never know. There is little more that can be said about the plot, but I talk too much so I'm sure I will find a way.

Denis Leary plays Gus, a career criminal who, on Christmas eve, robs an upscale house in a quiet suburban neighborhood and things don't go according to plan. Of course they don't. If they did, Denis Leary's character might be satisfied with something and will have nothing to rant about. That just won't do. Can you imagine him playing a character who has everything turn out just the way he wanted them too?

("I wish I was big. Fuck!")

So he barely escapes from the police and manages to abduct a horrifically unhappy married couple played by Kevin Spacey and....someone who wasn't in The Usual Suspects, so why do they matter?

(Pictured L-R: A two time Oscar winner, a human female lady)

They fight and bitch and argue and everything in between before and after they are taken hostage. If "pairs bickering" were an event in the hypothetical "Passive Aggresive Olympics", these two would win gold every time. I would totally watch that. The event possibilities are endless. How about an event for "Most Attractive Woman who might've at one point been a Man"?

(I swear the one on the right is the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls)

The married couple drive a gun toting Denis Leary crazy and as a result he gets to spend pretty much the whole movie pissed off at someone. Luckily the film keeps giving us more characters to act as punching bags for him. They include Kevin Spacey's overbearing thunderbitch of a mother, his brother and his shrill cryptkeeper looking wife and their two bland children, and finally Kevin Spacey and whatsherface's son Jesse who has just returned home from military school. Oh, he also blackmailed one of military schools have teachers? What do you call someone who works there in an administrative capacity? Whatever you call them, Jesse has pictures of one of them getting down with some prostitutes and uses them for monetary gain. It's worth noting that the military school guy is played by the always awesome J.K. Simmons.

("J.K" stands for "Always Awesome" if you're a terrible speller)

Denis Leary pretends to be the Spacey and his wife's marriage therapist to fool the family as they show up for dinner while a massive neighborhood manhunt has local police searching for him. Awesomeness ensues and it's hard to really describe the rest of the movie from there. It is absolutely full of amazing quotes and I'm surprised this movie doesn't get more love around Christmastime. Everyone seems to fawn over "Bad Santa" as the king of the crude Christmas movies but "The Ref" can absolutely hang with the big boys. There is tons of cussing, suggestive scenes, minor violence and even a drunk as fuck Santa Claus.

(According to my research, 1994 happened before 2003)

Screw it, I'm going to go ahead and declare "The Ref" > "Bad Santa". I like both a lot but I prefer biting, mean and acerbic conversational fighting. Also you should not be able to call your movie "Bad Santa" while this movie exists:

(Bill Goldberg as a murderous Santa = Amazing)

Before I get to the breakdown of The Ref, I want to take a brief moment and give "Santa's Slay" a quick mention. Sadly it does not appear on my "12 Days of Christmas Movies" list and seeing as how "The Ref" is the most adult title I have on the list, I will rent out a little bit of space here to showcase the plot synopsis and one more picture of "Santa's Slay". The official plot synopsis reads as thus (I did not make this up)

It turns out that Santa Claus is not really the cuddly, harmless old fellow that we all know and love. In fact, he's a devil, and the only thing that has been keeping his bad side in check all this time is a bet he lost with an angel. Now, the bet has expired, and 1000 years of good cheer will be replaced by Christmas fear. This Christmas will be a violent night of chaos, with Santa bashing his way through town. Local boy Nicholas, his girlfriend Mac, and his crazy Grandfather are the only ones who know the truth about Santa, and can save their town and the world.

 (Everyone is on his "gonna get fucked up" list)

Withouth further interruption from the greatest interpretation of Santa ever, here is another picture from "The Ref" to lead us into the breakdown.

(He doesn't look happy....but does he ever?)

What Solidifies It's Status as a Christmas Movie?
It takes place on Christmas eve and features a dysfunctional family bitching at each other while getting progressively drunker. What doesn't solidify this as a Christmas Movie?

(Flaming Candle Crown Tornado Table Deathmatch)

Key Christmas Moment
Denis Leary vs. Drunk Santa Claus. Who doesn't love that matchup?

Key Christmas Quote
Lloyd (Spacey): You know what I'm going to get you next Christmas, Mom? A big wooden cross, so that every time you feel unappreciated for your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it.
Favorite non-Christmas Quote
Caroline: He sounded upset.
Gus (Leary): He should be. He's going to die a horrible fucking death.

The Game Ball Goes To.....
Denis Leary as Gus. He absolutely owns this movie from start to finish. If you aren't a fan of his, you might not like it. But even if you found him funny once, check it out and you'll see why he deserves the game ball.

(And his jacket had the most buttons)

Most Hated Character?
Mother Rose, a heinous bitchy shrew if I've ever seen one. You just watch the entire movie hoping someone, anyone, everyone puts her in her place. Which is hell, apparently. I can't picture her living anywhere else.


The Movie Wouldn't have happened if...
Kevin Spacey didn't hate his wife so much he made her go into a store by herself while he sat in the car. Nobody ever takes a couple hostage. They take one person hostage and that leads them to eventually 10 hostages. Way to go Spacey. You must have a sprocket loose.

(Pictured: Confirmation)

So there you have it. "12 Days of Christmas Movies" takes an R-Rated turn and Billy Bob Thornton had nothing to do with it. That's a good movie, but my heart lies with "The Ref".

The List so Far:

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