The Instigator
TN05
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
gomergcc
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Die Hard is a Christmas movie

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TN05
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/25/2014 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,136 times Debate No: 67517
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

TN05

Pro

This is a fairly simple debate. The resolution is on whether or not the 1988 movie Die Hard is a Christmas movie. I will be arguing in favor of the resolution, while my opponent will be arguing in opposition of it.

Rules
1. Burden of proof is shared, which means Pro must establish Die Hard is a Christmas movie while Con must establish that it is not a Christmas movie.
2. Forfeiture of any round by either side results in a victory for the other side.
3. First round is for acceptance.
4. Round 2 is for opening arguments only.
5. Round 3 is for rebuttals and closing arguments.

Good luck!
gomergcc

Con

I accept this debate and will be making the argument that the 1988 Die Hard movie, starring Bruce Willis, is not a Christmas movie.
Debate Round No. 1
TN05

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

When people consider their favorite Christmas movies, Die Hard is often brought up. A 1988 action film starring Bruce Willis as John McClane, an off-duty police officer who foils a group of criminals trying to pull a heist in an LA skyscraper. On the surface, this doesn't seem like a very Christmasy topic - however, the film's holiday setting make it an easy example of an 'alternative Christmas movie'. The debate rages on to this day, but I will prove that Die Hard is, in fact, a Christmas movie.

To start, what is a Christmas movie? There seems to be no real definition, so I propose the following:
1) The movie must be set primarily in the Christmas season.
2) The movie must feature some sort of reference to Christmas, via music, audio, or any other medium.
3) The movie must feature Christmas, in some significant manner, in the plot.
4) The movie must be viewed around Christmas.

I posit that these criteria are vital for any movie to be considered a Christmas movie; any movie that falls within their criteria is a Christmas movie, while any movie that does not meet all these criteria is not a Christmas movie. Go ahead and apply this to any movie. A Christmas Story, for example, clearly meets all four; The Lord of the Rings clearly does not meet any of the four criteria. Some movies, like the Harry Potter films, might meet a few of the criteria (2 and 4, for example), but don't meet all of them and thus are not Christmas movies. Die Hard, as I will explain clearly, meets all four.

To the first criteria, Die Hard is very clearly set during Christmas - in fact, the entire movie is set in the Christmas season. There is not a single second of the film not set around Christmas. The film's central plot point (a hostage situation) takes place in the midst of a company Christmas party.[1] There is really no debate on this point.

The second criteria is also one that Die Hard clearly meets. The classic Run-D.M.C. song "Christmas in Hollis" is played early in the film,[2] while the song "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" is played during the credits.[3] At one point in the film, McClane sends a corpse of a gunman down to the terrorists with the message "Now I Have a Machine Gun Ho Ho Ho" - something that, while not necessarily Christmasy, includes a reference to the season. Beyond this, the song "Winter Wonderland" is used as a motif throughout the film's score, while sleigh bells are used as an instrument in many of the songs. Even the official soundtrack of Die Hard features a Christmas song.[4] Clearly, Die Hard meets this criteria as well.

The third criteria is easily the trickiest to meet - however, Die Hard meets this as well as any other Christmas movie. The movie's plot revolves around the Christmas party - McClane's timely presence in Los Angeles at the party is solely due to his attempt to reconcile with this wife, something that is clearly within the Christmas spirit. Traveling from New York to LA is something one would not expect in, say, Thanksgiving or President's Day. Moreover, the fact that essentially one company, and all its executives, are celebrating in the building, while the rest of the building is empty, is vital to the plot - it allows the terrorists to take over the building while also having a small, easily manageable group of white-collar hostages to bargain with. Once again, this is not something that would happen in any other holiday - Christmas parties might be the only company-wide party the whole year. It is a perfect chance to strike. These are undoubtedly fundamental elements to the plot; Die Hard would not work were it not set around Christmas. One can argue, in fact that other Christmas movies meet this criteria much worse. In Home Alone, for example, Christmas is only lightly related for the main plot - one could easily make a film about a boy fending off robbers with booby traps be set around any other time of the year, as families often leave town for other holidays like Thanksgiving. In It's a Wonderful Life, a quintessential Christmas classic, the main plot doesn't revolve around Christmas, but rather a man's attempt to find meaning in his life. It could easily have been set around Thanksgiving or New Year's and the plot not change one bit. A Christmas Carol faces a similar dilemma, in that, for the most part, the setting is not tangential to the plot. In Die Hard, however, the setting, which is Christmas, is undoubtedly tangential to the plot.

The fourth and final criteria is whether or not people watch it on Christmas. The fact we are even having this debate shows that we are - Die Hard is watched by many people on Christmas, and is regarded as one of the best 'alternative Christmas movies'.[6] This is the fourth, and final, criteria Die Hard meets.

To conclude: Die Hard meets any reasonable criteria regarding what a 'Christmas movie' is. It is set entirely in Christmas, and Christmas imagery and music is utilized throughout the entirety of the movie. The Christmas setting is fundamental to the plot and, most importantly, people watch it on Christmas. The resolution has been upheld, so a vote for Pro is warranted. I look forward to my opponent's opening statements.

References:
1. https://en.wikipedia.org...
2. https://en.wikipedia.org...
3. https://www.youtube.com...
4. https://www.youtube.com...
5. http://www.allmusic.com...
6. http://www.stuff.tv...
gomergcc

Con


I disagree with my opponent’s definition of what makes a Christmas movie.



Christmas movie- The movie must feature Christmas in the plot in such a way that you cannot remove Christmas from the movie and the movie make any sense.



When viewed this way Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. If you change the dialog to say Holiday party and not Christmas party, and change every other time Christmas is said to New Years it still the same movie. You cannot this this with any other Christmas movie. I cannot change The Stata Clause movies, staring Tim Allen, to New Years. The movie would not make any sense.



As far as my opponent’s claim that, “The fourth and final criteria is whether or not people watch it on Christmas.I remind my opponent that Die Hard came out in July of 1988.



http://www.imdb.com...



When my opponent makes this statement, “an easy example of an 'alternative Christmas movie',” they forgot a word, to. Yes Die Hard is a great example of an alternative to a Christmas movie. I personally hate Christmas movies. I watch the Shawshank Redemption every year on Christmas. As a college student I had more than one Christmas for bachelors’ events were we watched Die Hard. Just because it is enjoyable around Christmas does not mean it should be a part of the Christmas genre of movies.


Debate Round No. 2
TN05

Pro

My opponent, predictably, has argued that a Christmas movie much have Christmas be vital to the plot. He has not provided any evidence to back this assertion up, but I will attempt to refute this as best I can.

My opponent defines 'Christmas movie' as "The movie must feature Christmas in the plot in such a way that you cannot remove Christmas from the movie and the movie make any sense". He argues that "If you change the dialog to say Holiday party and not Christmas party, and change every other time Christmas is said to New Years it still the same movie. You cannot this this with any other Christmas movie". This is a false argument, as I explained in my opening statements:

"The movie's plot revolves around the Christmas party - McClane's timely presence in Los Angeles at the party is solely due to his attempt to reconcile with this wife, something that is clearly within the Christmas spirit. Traveling from New York to LA is something one would not expect in, say, Thanksgiving or President's Day. Moreover, the fact that essentially one company, and all its executives, are celebrating in the building, while the rest of the building is empty, is vital to the plot - it allows the terrorists to take over the building while also having a small, easily manageable group of white-collar hostages to bargain with. Once again, this is not something that would happen in any other holiday - Christmas parties might be the only company-wide party the whole year. It is a perfect chance to strike."

Essentially, Christmas is vital to the plot. If you were to set Die Hard around another day, it wouldn't really make any sense. Companies generally don't hold corporate holidays on any other day besides Christmas, and people generally don't fly in from the other side of the country on other holidays. Moreover, the potential success of the burglary plan crafted by the antagonists of the movie relies on Christmas - in particular, a small group of people (including executives) being in a single floor, while the rest of the building is empty. The plan crafted by the criminals (the central conflict of the movie) would not work outside the Christmas season. The entire plot, therefore, relies on the Christmas season. Is it possible to create a generic action thriller around any holiday? Sure. But Die Hard is not a generic action thriller - if you remove Christmas from Die Hard, you don't have Die Hard, you have some other movie.

My opponent's only other assertion relates to my fourth argument - he says that "As far as my opponent’s claim that, 'The fourth and final criteria is whether or not people watch it on Christmas.' I remind my opponent that Die Hard came out in July of 1988". This is a straw man argument - when the movie was released has nothing to do with when people watch it. Moreover, the prima facie argument my opponent is trying to make here (that no movie released outside of the Christmas season can be considered a Christmas movie) is incorrect - many Christmas movies are released outside the holiday season. Miracle on 34th Street - a classic Christmas movie - was released in May.[1] The Polar Express was originally released in October.[2] Are those not Christmas movies?

My opponent's final claim is that "When my opponent makes this statement, 'an easy example of an 'alternative Christmas movie', they forgot a word, to. Yes Die Hard is a great example of an alternative to a Christmas movie... Just because it is enjoyable around Christmas does not mean it should be a part of the Christmas genre of movies". This is a bare assertion - my opponent isn't making any sort of valid point here, but simply restating what he said earlier (which itself had no real supporting evidence).

To conclude: I have proven that Die Hard meets all the requirements of a Christmas movie. I have proven it takes place at Christmas, that Christmas imagery and sound is used pervasively throughout the movie, that Christmas is vital to the plot, and that people watch it around Christmas. My opponent has neither crafted a compelling positive case against it being a Christmas movie, nor has he effectively refuted my case. Accordingly, I have upheld the resolution, and a vote for PRO is warranted.

References:
1. http://www.craveonline.com...
2. https://en.wikipedia.org...(film)

gomergcc

Con


Once again, this is not something that would happen in any other holiday - Christmas parties might be the only company-wide party the whole year. It is a perfect chance to strike.


Most companies have holiday parties and not Christmas parties. Calling it a holiday party changes nothing in the plot of the movie.



Companies generally don't hold corporate holidays on any other day besides Christmas, and people generally don't fly in from the other side of the country on other holidays.


Many people fly in for Christmas and stay until the New Year. In fact January 2 and 3 are one of the worst days to fly due to traffic.


http://www.independenttraveler.com...



Moreover, the potential success of the burglary plan crafted by the antagonists of the movie relies on Christmas - in particular, a small group of people (including executives) being in a single floor, while the rest of the building is empty. The plan crafted by the criminals (the central conflict of the movie) would not work outside the Christmas season. The entire plot, therefore, relies on the Christmas season.


What you are missing is the Christmas season includes New Years. You could say New Years and not Christmas and the movie make since. Here is a list of notices for business stating they will be closed until at least January 2 for the holidays.


http://www.ecmstockroom.com...


http://www.imakenews.com...


http://www.laminatorsinc.com...


http://store.scent-works.com...


http://www.royalplatinumprogram.com...




In conclustion I have shown that if Die Hard was about New Years it would in no way change the plot of the movie. That means it is not a Christmas movie. Christmas is not critical to the plot of the movie. Only the generic winter holiday season is. Christmas is not the only winter holiday.



Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Mr.Chorlton 2 years ago
Mr.Chorlton
I agree! It is a christmas movie....the 2nd best Christmas movie. Behind Lethal weapon.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
TN05gomergccTied
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: I hate doing this, but everything is a tie. Both sides set their subjective criterion for what makes a Christmas movie (neither of which I fully agree with), and both sides fulfilled their BoPs based upon the movie's contents and their criterion. Both sides were civil, used good enough spelling, and did excellent jobs of sourcing their points.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
TN05gomergccTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both had proper conduct throughout. S&G - Tie. Both had adequate spelling and grammar throughout. Arguments - Pro. Pro needed to overcome each challenge raised by Con. Con presented several challenges such as its release date, the fact that you could replace certain terms like christmas with holiday and it'd still work, etc. However, Pro was able to overcome those challenges by showing that other christmas movies have been released outside of christmas season, and also showed that the main plot did revolve around and depend on Christmas. In the final round, Con introduced a new argument regarding the inclusion of New Years. Unfortunately, in debates there are no new arguments allowed in the final round, so I am throwing those out. Overall, Pro rose to each challenge presented by Con and overcome. For that reason, Pro wins arguments. Sources - Pro. Since a majority of Con's sources were for his last round arguments, I can't count them. Ultimately, Pro's were stronger.