I really wanted to keep going but I can’t take yet another piece of garbage film. This year has been a tale of highs and lows. SO MANY BAD MOVIES! I just can’t take it.

So I’m bowing out with DIE HARD! I’ve not touched on it before, but did mention it earlier in the series due to Alan Rickman in Love Actually. This evening will be tinged with sadness as I get to watch what is, IMO, the greatest villain performance in cinematic history until Heath Ledger’s Joker.

You know the plot. Bruce Willis goes to visit his estranged wife on Christmas Eve. “Terrorists” take over the building. Fun ensues.

This was a genre defining movie. Until this film action movies were always bullet proof hero, unlimited ammo, and barely a scratch. Die Hard was the first film where the hero gets the absolute crap kicked and beaten out of him. Whereas prior movies ended with Arnie or similar brushing the dust off victorious, John McClane ends the movie cut, bleeding and battered. This forever changed action movies, for the better.

“But it’s not that Christmassy”. Nonsense. The score through is CHRISTMAS MUSIC! It’s set during a CHRISTMAS PARTY! AND IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE! AND IT ENDS WITH DEANO!

Do I really need to say anything else?

5 out of 5 Jingle Bells

I WILL be carrying on to see if I can WATCH 50 Christmas movies in the run up. However from this point it will mostly be dupes. Stuff I’ve already reviewed. Or older stuff I’ve just not gotten around to doing. (Jingle All The Way for example).

The snark train is parked. But the movie train will roll on.

The train is pulling into the station. Once movie #30 is done (and I already have made sure it’s a classic I’ve not yet reviewed) I am DONE DONE DONE! I will create one final post listing the movies. However it will largely be movies I’ve already reviewed. I want to get to 50 movies but there is NO WAY I can get there as to be honest ONE MORE BAD MOVIE WILL BREAK ME! So I’m putting my faith in this. After the two Mrs Miracle films, which were great… Here’s hoping a gender swap will be as equally entertaining.

Rob Morrow, who I don’t remember seeing since Northern Exposure finished, is the lead. At this point I’m 20 minutes in and both my wife and I know his acting is reminding us of SOMEONE but we can’t quite put our finger on WHO! It’s very frustrating!!!!

Massive glaring WalMart product placement. Find this especially nauseating these days.

Morrow’s performance aside this is a nothing film. Barely any Christmas. Really dull. I got halfway through before basically giving up. I can’t take it anymore, these terrible movies.

0 out of 5 Jingle Bells

 

 

 

Michelle Trachtenberg is a writer who decides to track down the secret santa that sent her the gift that made her decide to be a writer when she was a kid.

First thing you notice is HOLY CRAP! THIS MOVIE IS OVERFLOWING WITH AFRICAN AMERICAN ACTORS! These movies are usually so whitewashed it’s a miracle if you see one person who isn’t white. Here we are with some ACTUAL DIVERSITY!

I’m going to give it an extra Jingle Bell just for this!

The movie also deals with gentrification, which is also not a common topic.

Sadly it’s barely a Christmas movie. It’s sunny. There’s decorations everywhere but nothing about Christmas except kids making Christmas cards…

Kudos for having the audacity to have an inter racial couple I guess. Just a shame it wasn’t more Christmassy.

Worse still it falls into TOTAL cliche at the end. I am not being hyperbolic here. This actually caused me physical pain to have to sit and watch. Awful, terrible cliche that just kills the movie stone dead. To the point I basically quit watching. I am SO DAMN SICK of this lazy, cheap writing in these movies. There is absolutely NO excuse for this garbage. A long time ago during the Hollywood writers strike, I wrote a piece about the shamefully poor, lazy, formulaic writing for a particular sitcom on the air at the time, and how in a fair world their lazy, cliche spewing writers would never ever work again.

This year we’ve seen some great Christmas movies that avoided ALL the cliche. It IS possible. Sadly this is the laziest of the lazy. This absolutely stinks when the movie had more than the token African American. They could have done that AND not written cliched drivel… But no. They totally took the lazy, cheap route and frankly any writer that takes this route when writing deserves nothing but your disdain.

I’ve come to the point where I AM GOING TO WRITE A CHRISTMAS MOVIE! I’m so sick of crappy cliched nonsense. I DEMAND A BETTER CHRISTMAS MOVIE! I’ve watched 70 of these things in three years now. I know the subject. I am MORE than aware of the cliches. No, really, I am going to write a Christmas movie. I’m going to write a movie and I’m going to pitch it to Hallmark or Lifetime. I can write better than this cliched mess in my sleep. (Note: I already have one completed screenplay.)

Shamefully lazy film. Unworthy of the wear on my remote or my thumb to skip the commercials in it.

1 out of Jingle Bells (and remember, I gave it an extra for not being white washed).

That rare thing… A BRITISH Christmas movie. Jim Broadbent as Santa! YES! I love Broadbent to bits so I’m really looking forward to this.

Usually during these movies I make notes, pause if I have something to write down…

This is the first I’ve not done that with. Hooked for the entire thing. Absolutely brilliant film. Best I’ve seen so far this CME I think.

Santa crashes while testing his new sleigh over London. Rafe Spall plays Steve, an ex-con. When Santa is arrested trying to rescue his missing reindeer, it’s left to Steve and his estranged son Tom to save Christmas.

I will definitely be watching this again before the big day. Great story, great cast, uproariously funny in spots… Rafe is brilliant as Steve and Broadbent… Well when has he ever played a bad role?

Also of note: Executive Producer, well one of them, is Ridley Scott.

WATCH THIS FILM! YOU’LL LOVE IT!

5 out of 5 Jingle Bells… And 12 Candy Canes!

I have a philosophy. Well… HAD more like. That was never give up on a movie. Stick it out to the bitter end. I find as I get older my patience has ended and now I give a movie 25 minutes. Now a movie has to be really REALLY bad for me to quit. I watch a lot of films and I can count on ONE HAND the number I’ve given up on and quit in the last 3 years.

Which brings me to this… Thing. I should have known better. The first Christmas Vacation is an absolute classic. Chevy Chase is a comedic genius. Beverly De Angelo (I can never spell her name!) is gorgeous, and terrific as the long suffering wife. It has Johnny Galecki, who I was a huge fan of before he sold his soul to Chuck Lorre. Juliette Lewis… JULIETTE FREAKIN’ LEWIS! Amazing supporting cast. Commits to the gags. (The cat.) Comedic situations are organic and while far fetched make sense. In short it’s a terrific movie.

Then there’s this cinematic abomination. I say cinematic but I very much doubt it saw the inside of a movie theater unless it came in on the sole of someones shoe.

I should have known. A movie based on Cousin freakin’ Eddie played by Randy Quaid, who if you didn’t know is COMPLETELY NUTS now. The mental acuity of the actor aside, Cousin Eddie was always the weak point of the series, only providing two real laughs. (I’m trying to stay family friend this year so can’t even say the iconic line from the first Christmas Vacation…)

I figured I’d give it a chance though. Movie starts out badly with Eddie having a kid… Who is perfectly normal and smart. So nothing we’ve ever seen before. Then we cut to Eddie, losing his job to a chimp because the chimp is smarter… HO HO! SUCH COMEDY!

It goes downhill from there. Yes, there is actually a lower place. There is a comedic set piece with a broken tap in the bathroom. With Chevy in front, and John Hughes behind this would have probably been an hysterical comedic set piece. However with Quaid in front and god knows who behind it’s just played out with no finesse, ability or soul. And it drags on. And on. And on. The secret of comedy is knowing when to go, and when to stay. Clearly nobody involved realised this and let’s this gag beat itself to death.

Which brings us to the main issue. Christmas Vacation pulls you in immediately with the car scene. There are at least 2-3 good laughs in the opening few minutes. Twenty five minutes into Christmas Vacation 2 I hadn’t laughed once.

I have to draw the line somewhere. There must be an end point. There must be a level below which I will not drop. A bare minimum entertainment line a movie MUST meet to even warrant being allowed, let alone viewed.

Christmas Vacation 2 is so far below that line I can’t even see it. No soul, no character, no finesse. Just some random images thrown onto a screen in the name of Christmas.

This movie gets nothing. No, not even ZERO because I’ve rated other movies that before, and implied that there is no lower place to go.

Sadly there is. And Christmas Vacation 2 found it.

 

High hopes for this. All star cast. Cinematic release. It can’t be bad, right?

John Goodman and Diane Keaton star as the second generation of four, all of whom come together for Christmas Eve dinner.

Keaton and Goodman are slightly mismatched. I love both but I never really bought them as a married couple. This aside they are excellent, as is everyone else in this this film.

Terrific to see Alan Arkin in something. Not seen him in anything for a long time.

The premise of the movie is we see the disparate elements of this extended family on Christmas Eve as they all head to this yearly family event. I won’t spoil any of the storylines but they’re all fun and interesting.

Special note, as a fanboy, must be made for Anthony Mackie. I’ve seen him in several things this year and man alive I LOVE that guy. Such a terrific actor. And the second Christmas movie I’ve seen him in this year. (The other being “The Night Before”.)

This a really good film.

5 out of Jingle Bells

No that’s not a typo… And WE’VE DONE IT! BEATEN LAST YEARS RECORD. Last year we submitted and tapped out at 24… Here is the 25th movie of this season, and the train rolls on!

Official plot: “A family must save Christmas when Santa lands on their roof and loses his magic bundle.” Magic bundle?!?!

This stars Jennifer Beals (What a feeling!) and Rick Roberts who, by sheer coincidence was also the Dad in Movie #24.

Movie starts with Santa departing the North Pole. Festive! Shortly thereafter he crashes in Milwaukee and is rescued by a family who of course don’t believe he’s Santa except the youngest kid. The parents of said family are the usual business crazy types who pay their kids little attention so along the way they can learn what Christmas is supposed to be all about.

I LOVED this movie. From start to finish it’s about SANTA! There’s a few funny gags and it’s just generally a warm, Christmas hug.

Perfect Christmas Eve viewing.

5 out of 5 Jingle Bells