The Fourth Annual James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films – Preamble

James Proclaims (6)

As November 2020 draws to a close, it’s fair to say that even by the pretty low standards normally set by the eleventh month of the year, it has not been an especially enjoyable 30 days. This may well be in keeping with 2020 as a whole, which has largely been a year of fear, recriminations and toilet paper shortages. However, although the previous lockdown was longer, the weather was a bit nicer between March and July and I didn’t really have to go to work for most of that time (I did still go most days but not being obliged to go made me feel virtuous). November’s lockdown has been accompanied by my usual Seasonal Affective Disorder (although if there is more to that condition that just moaning about the weather then it is possible I don’t actually have it) and me spending quite a lot of time in a working environment in which there have been several confirmed cases of Covid 19 amongst my colleagues. So far I seem not to have succumbed, although it is entirely possible that I could be asymptomatic and spreading it to all and sundry even as I type these words. However, aside from the staff and students at the school in which I work (who are all essentially ‘fair game’ according to the UK government’s Covid ‘strategy’) the only people I really see are my wife and daughter and they currently appear to be in fine fettle. I don’t think, therefore, that I’m a super spreader. Yet. Nonetheless it’s fair to say that November has probably been the low point of quite a bad year.

Still, it’s near enough over now and December means the latest lockdown will be also be over shortly. It is to be replaced by a state of affairs which might well be described as ‘lockdown light’. Aside from being able to go swimming again, which I was doing quite a lot during August, September and October, I probably wouldn’t have noticed too much of a difference to life in the post-lockdown UK regardless of the new rules, but as it stands it appears that no-one is going to notice too much of a difference.

However it will be December tomorrow, which means the countdown to Christmas begins in earnest. It may well end up being the worst Christmas ever, but we are still morally and legally obliged to acknowledge that ’tis almost the season.

And so tomorrow I’ll be kicking off my annual festive countdown of movies that are not really Christmas films but are arguably a bit Christmas(ish). I’ve been doing this since December 2017 and since December 2017 it has been, statistically, the least popular bit of my blog. I hardly blogged at all in 2019 and my Christmas countdown was still less popular than the handful of other posts I wrote that year. So, even though my 2020 stats have been, on the whole, pretty good, I’m expecting them to dip for the next 24 days.

Which is fine, because if I genuinely cared about blogging stats I would have given up blogging in despair some years ago. I quite enjoy writing my annual festive countdown, regardless of whether anyone else reads it and this blog has always been predominantly about entertaining myself. Frankly, as long as I can find movies with a vaguely tenuous link to Christmas, I will keep writing The James Proclaims Advent Calendar Of Christmas(ish) Films.

However, in the unlikely event that you are someone who enjoys reading badly written reviews of movies that are a little bit Christmas(ish), you can revisit all of the previous efforts below:


Door 1 – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Door 2 – Iron Man 3
Door 3 – Lethal Weapon
Door 4 – Reindeer Games
Door 5 – Ghostbusters 2
Door 6 – Batman Returns
Door 7 – LA Confidential
Door 8 – The Long Kiss Goodnight
Door 9 – The Last Boy Scout
Door 10 – The Ice Harvest
Door 11 – The Nice Guys
Door 12 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Door 13 – Gremlins
Door 14 – The Bourne Identity
Door 15 – In Bruges
Door 16 – Trading Places
Door 17 – Eyes Wide Shut
Door 18 – Prometheus
Door 19 – Rocky IV
Door 20 – First Blood
Door 21 – Enemy of the State
Door 22 – 12 Monkeys
Door 23 – Brazil
Door 24 – Die Hard


Door 1 – Submarine
Door 2 – Catch Me If You Can
Door 3 – The Life Of Brian
Door 4 – King Kong
Door 5 – When Harry Met Sally
Door 6 – Hook
Door 7 – Go
Door 8 – Behind Enemy Lines
Door 9 – The Ref
Door 10 – Jaws The Revenge
Door 11 – Jurassic World
Door 12 – The Hateful Eight
Door 13 – Red
Door 14 – The French Connection
Door 15 – The Lion In Winter
Door 16 – Stalag 17
Door 17 – The Royal Tenenbaums
Door 18 – Last Action Hero
Door 19 – Eastern Promises
Door 20 – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Door 21 – The Apartment
Door 22 – Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
Door 23 – Ronin
Door 24 – Die Hard 2


Door 1 – Three Days of the Condor
Door 2 – Rent
Door 3 – Tangerine
Door 4 – Filth
Door 5 – 2012
Door 6 – Cold Pursuit
Door 7 – Less than Zero
Door 8 – Just Friends
Door 9 – Shaft
Door 10 – The Rules of Attraction
Door 11 – About a Boy
Door 12 – A Long Way Down
Door 13 – Psycho
Door 14 – The Time Machine
Door 15 – American Psycho
Door 16 – Love Actually
Door 17 – The Boat That Rocked
Door 18 – Edward Scissorhands
Door 19 – Soldier
Door 20 – Better Off Dead
Door 21 – Diner
Door 22 – Run All Night
Door 23 – Crash
Door 24 – Shazam

If, however, you have no interest in this kind of thing, then why not pop back on Christmas Day, when I will be writing my Annual Christmas Message, which is also generally quite poorly received. Although I assume that is more to do with the fact that most people have better things to do on Christmas Day than to read my blog.

Most years anyway…

  14 comments for “The Fourth Annual James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films – Preamble

  1. November 30, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    I am several years behind the curve on this feature. I couldn’t help notice the poor review you gave Soldier in 2019. It surprised me that as a teacher you missed some of the allegorical content…… e.g. the joys of a non-talkative child, an excluding headmistress type figure getting blown up, some serious playground fighting, immature person peeing his pants, loyalties that bind gangs together!
    You may need to re-review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 30, 2020 at 3:08 pm

      I do appear to have missed several key theme. I’ll re-watch it post-haste


  2. November 30, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    In Bruges is one of my favorite films of all time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LA
    November 30, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Lockdown light. I like it

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 1, 2020 at 7:19 am

      I fear the phrase is better than the reality but alliteration is always pleasing

      Liked by 1 person

  4. November 30, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is set to be a kitsch Christmas classic in my eyes. A comedy-romance with dashes and slashes of Stephan King, totally unserious cartoon lunacy blood letting fun. I’ll have a trawl at some I’ve missed on your list on the long balmy nights leading up to Christmas here.


    • December 1, 2020 at 7:20 am

      Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is definitely one that merits a few repeat viewings. Sadly the same cannot be said of all the films on the list.


  5. November 30, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    I’ll see you in 2021.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. December 1, 2020 at 3:33 am

    So now I’m laughing at your “Annual Christmas Message” being “generally quite poorly received” and Peter saying that he’ll see you in 2021. There really is something about English humour that just cracks me up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 1, 2020 at 7:21 am

      There is a warm-hearted cruelty to it

      Liked by 1 person

  7. December 1, 2020 at 4:59 am

    Fascinating choices. I will have to check some of these out again. No Hallmark for me Thanks for the suggestions

    Laugh enough today to fill tomorrow. Then Laugh Tomorrow

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 1, 2020 at 7:22 am

      The Hallmark movies are a special kind of genius in their own right though.

      Liked by 1 person

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