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Christmas

Your Christmas or Mine?

Published December 3, 2022

Your Christmas or Mine?

This is a brilliant Christmas film. Fully British and cute and funny, odd-ball people doing odd-ball things and learning and growing and getting all festive at the same time. It wasn’t until afterwards that we put two and two together in terms of Jim O’Hanlon being of Trying fame too - how much we love Trying makes perfect sense with how much we loved this film.

Christmas With You

Published November 30, 2022

Christmas With You

Ooh this was a bad one. It was entertaining enough to get to the end but there wasn’t really a lot redeeming about it. There was no chemistry between the two leads and the plot was entirely implausible - from the music industry side to the home-town that seemingly has its own micro-climate. Also, it seems like no one knew Freddie Prinze Jr had Latino heritage so that’s a surprise to us all. I don’t recommend watching this but, have to admit, the PA woman was wonderful.

Scrooged

Published November 29, 2022

Scrooged

As a vehicle for Bill Murray’s best darkly comic grumpiness, this is perfect. As a movie that’s supposed to be a take on A Christmas Carol, it’s really not great. Firstly it makes no sense why the woman would have fallen for Bill, stayed with him, and actively wanted to get back together with him before even his redemption journey started. I call it a redemption journey but he really doesn’t seem to be learning any lessons, remaining pretty miserable and dour the whole way through until suddenly BANG he’s all better with a big speech on TV.

Falling For Christmas

Published November 26, 2022

Falling For Christmas

There’s nothing new about this movie at all - it is that same old Christmas story told over and over. High powered city girl ends up in the cosy Christmas village and falls in love, fixes everything, etc, etc. It had so many elements of other films with the most obvious comparison to Overboard, but it held its own and wasn’t entirely predictable. It’s probably the best new Christmas film we’ve had for a while (sorry Hudgens).

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Published November 25, 2022

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

This is the one that we were aiming for, the reason we rushed through the previous two entries in the franchise. It was good! I would say not as good as the first one, but a lot better than the second. It’s a different thing, because they’re not travelling, the family are stuck at home and everything that goes wrong has to happen there. That gave it Home Alone vibes, particularly when he was bumbling around the loft hurting himself.

Spirited

Published November 19, 2022

Spirited

Traditionally, I don’t let Christmas start until 1st December but this released on Apple TV+ on Friday and it just had to be watched, so this year, Christmas comes early! It was so good, a lot better than I was expecting. I thought it would just be Ryan and Will reliving the story of A Christmas Carol and putting their silly brand of humour in it. But it was a musical with really good songs, it was a twist on the traditional tale, and it was full of heart and humour and a surprising ending. This is definitely one that will be rewatched many years in the future.

Silent Night

Published December 27, 2021

Silent Night

So then, what is it? It’s a black comedy, for sure, and a lot of the humour lies in being at a tricky family gathering without the trouble of consequences, so there’s a big battle between British politeness and not giving a hoot about tomorrow. There are some great performances in there, particularly Keira who does frantic trying-to-keep-it-all-together host really well, and Matthew who gradually lets his frustrations show as the night wears on.

Deck the Halls

Published December 27, 2021

Deck the Halls

This is a reasonable Christmas movie, and a warring neighbours one - kind of the fictional version of the Fight Before Christmas. DeVito and Broderick make a good sparring duo, and it’s nice that they both have relatively good reasons for doing what they do. But ultimately, it is just two men having a competition for no good reason and the women being slightly more sensible and sorting it all out. Plus there are a couple of moments in the movie that haven’t aged so well, and it’s not even twenty years old yet! But mostly worth a festive watch.

Santa Claus: The Movie

Published December 26, 2021

Santa Claus: The Movie

Yea, this is two very poor Christmas movies in a row. The thing about this one is, it could be good. There are elements in there that are mildly entertaining but it has so many problems, it just doesn’t work. The most fundamental issue is this feels like at least three different films smooshed together. There’s the woodcutter learning how to be santa (that got off to a slow start, I will admit), there’s the dissatisfied elf heading down to earth (Dudley Moore is great in this, except for those GOD DAMN PUNS), and then the homeless kid learning the true meaning of Christmas.

The Polar Express

Published December 26, 2021

The Polar Express

Combine our run of Christmas films with our aim to work through Tom Hanks’ back catalogue and you get this, The Polar Express. It’s not really been a burning ambition of mine to watch, this kind of mo-cap sets my teeth on edge a bit, but worth a go, anyway. It was what I thought and somewhat worse. I’ve read that the animation style was to get around restrictions on the rights of the book (the author didn’t want this to be animation even though it would be seven thousand times better if it was), so I can see they were being pioneering in their own way, but it’s not great and it’s only getting more dated.