Binging the holiday break away


Image courtesy of Metro World News and Flickr via Creative Commons

The ideal holiday snack to pair with your major binge session.

Shrey Parikh, Reporter

The holidays are a perfect time to relax and rewind with your family and friends, and what better way to spend that time than by watching some great movies? Here are some ideas for movie marathons for everyone to enjoy:

Christmas Movies

Movies: Elf, Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Santa Clause, A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Jingle All The Way

Runtime: 13 hours, 13 minutes

The perfect choice for families looking for a way to spend a snowy day indoors, this marathon is packed with plenty of family-friendly staples of holiday cinema. The Home Alone movies have earned their status as two of the most legendary members of the holiday movies pantheon, while Jon Favreau’s Elf, starring Will Ferrell, has been a hilarious Christmas mainstay in the homes of many for the past 13 years. Meanwhile, the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, also makes an appearance on this list in the hilariously campy 90s classic Jingle All The Way, playing a father who just wants to find a toy for his son on Christmas Eve and must compete with another dad over possession of the last one.

Star Wars

Movies: Star Wars Episodes 2-8 & Rogue One

Runtime: 17 hours, 57 minutes

With the latest installment of the main Star Wars saga (episode 8, The Last Jedi) being released on December 15th, what better idea than to go back and refresh your memory on the story thus far? There are many ways to enjoy the Star Wars series thus far, whether it’s watching them in the order they were released (4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 7, RO, 8), chronological order (1, 2, 3, RO, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), or the machete order, a method designed to maximize the effect of surprise reveals, as well as cut out unnecessary messy storytelling (*cough* episode one *cough*).

Rather than following the order of release date or direct chronological order, the machete order mixes up the order to allow for movies to flashback in-between to explain events that take place in the main story. Start by watching episode 4, then watch Rogue One to learn about the events leading up to the destruction of the first Death Star. Next watch episode 5, then return to episodes 2 and 3 following the reveal that Darth Vader is Luke’s father, Anakin Skywalker, to explore his descent to the dark side. Notice episode one is missing, and that’s because it does nothing to benefit the story other than introduce universally hated character Jar-Jar Binks.

After watching 2 and 3, return to episode 6, The Return of The Jedi, to witness the ultimate showdown between Luke and his father in the conclusion to the original trilogy. Finally, jump forward to episode 7 to find out what Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca have been up to for the last 30 years, then head directly to theaters to see episode 8, The Last Jedi, and see where their adventures have taken them in the latest installment of the infinitely entertaining Star Wars franchise.

Harry Potter

Movies: Harry Potter 1-8

Runtime: 19 hours, 39 minutes

Seeing as nearly every Harry Potter movie has a scene set during Christmas, it only seems right to watch them all around the holidays. Whether it’s Harry’s discovery of the invisibility cloak on his first Christmas at Hogwarts or the Yule Ball that takes place on Christmas during his fourth year, the wonder and magic are always present, providing a cozy environment to sit back and enjoy the grand spectacle unfolding on screen. Beware, this marathon is not for beginners; almost a full day is required to watch all 8 movies, so make sure your snacks are stocked and your game plan is ready!

Marvel Cinematic Universe

Movies: Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Captain America, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man Homecoming

Runtime: 1 day, 9 hours, 52 minutes

Only for extreme fans, this marathon featuring every movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (released on home entertainment) so far goes well over 24 hours, and that’s not even including Thor: Ragnarok, the latest installment and still in theaters, which, if included, would push the marathon to 1 day, 12 hours, and 2 minutes. The MCU is one of the most popular film franchises still running today, second only to Star Wars, and their characters are adored by millions of fans worldwide. There’s something for everyone to love, and almost every movie feels like it’s a part of its own genre, ensuring that the movies feel fresh throughout the insanely long runtime.

Anti-Christmas Movies

Movies: Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Batman Returns, Iron Man 3, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas

Runtime: 14 hours, 1 minute

For those who may not necessarily like Christmas, or are perhaps looking for something a bit more mature, these Christmas set films offer an escape from the often overwhelming sense of holiday cheer. Director/Writer Shane Black makes 3 appearances on this list with Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Iron Man 3, cementing his status as the king of Christmas-set action movies. The Harold and Kumar three-quel also features a departure from traditional Christmas movies by instead choosing to feature more adult humor rather than family-friendly fun, although this is the most Christmas-heavy film on the list. Tim Burton’s Batman sequel features a Gotham City in the midst of winter, while the first two, and let’s be honest here, the best two, films from the Die Hard series both feature John McClane (Bruce Willis) fighting off terrorists on Christmas. Yippee Ki-Yay indeed.