Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Christmas Chronicles

Okay, here we go.

The Christmas Chronicles is okay. It's a mixed bag if anything. I must admit, I think is the first Netflix Original film I've seen and honestly the production and budget does not seem much higher than your everyday children's movie budget except they got a big name star in it. So what's the story? Well we get a montage of home videos introducing us to our main characters Katy and Teddy who after losing their dad in a fire has come to the first Christmas without their dad, and through reasons I don't think I got Katy's older brother gets roped into staying up with Katy to see Santa Claus because....I have absolutely no idea. They hear him on the roof and give chase, leading them to meet ol' Saint Nick when all hell breaks loose. The sleigh crashes, the bag of toys is missing, and Christmas cheer is slowly plummeting, forcing our young siblings to help Santa retrieve his belongings and save Christmas from not happening. A goal I can despise. So here comes the problem with this movie and why I deem it a mixed bag, Kurt Russel is amazing, it's like if you mixed Jack Burton, several Santa's like from the Ernest movie and the Guardians movie, with even a dash of old Luke Skywalker when he gets upset at them, but he makes the role his own and he may be my favorite Santa ever. The problem, I hate to say it comes from the kids. Not the actors, they do fine especially the girl who plays Katy she's just so full of that Christmas spirit and is really great to watch, but the problem is more their personal story. Now I need to go on a brief tangent but trust me it ties back! Last Christmas I was forced to watch a Christmas movie with my younger cousin and you know all those bargin bin, shoestring budget, lazily written, poorly contrived, and low quality kids films? That was one of them. I hated every nanosecond of it. That's kinda what this movie is, a not so great written kids movie with a bit of a budget, but no good or interesting family elements. They lose their dad in a fire, the mom is barely around, they bicker and argue but deep down they love each other, it's so ridiculously forseeable and shoddily written. But every scene with Kurt Russel in it is the reason you watch this movie. It's like the writers had this great premise of a no nonsense, more gruff looking Santa and they really wanted Kurt to play him and wrote all this great stuff, but then had to write main characters from a Hallmark tv movie. I love how they handled the Santa mythos kind of, like how his hat is magic and is what lets him get through chimneys, his sleigh is that mix of tech and mysticism like you see in Elf, and The Santa Clause, they get some stuff really right!....and then you get to the elfs. Like they fully reinforce this weird undercurrent of almost horror you see throughout the movie. Like the first time the kids hear Santa it switches to a handheld camera as they run around trying to find him, and when you first see these elfs, not only are they quite disturbingly designed like they look like rats, tails and all! Wait I take that back, it's like if a lemur and a rat had babies then they were mutated by radioactive waste. And these suckers are mean! The first time the girl meets them, they swarm her, tie her to a chair and are about to probably torture her. But that's nothing compared to when the brother meets them. They pull a Gulliver's Travels and pin him down as one elf comes toward him with a fully working chainsaw about to take it straight to his gnards until his sister intervenes! The f*** movie??! Jesus Christ, who needs a (slightly less) creepy elf on a shelf when you got these beasts? Soooo, yeah. Kinda juggles a bit in this movie. Just YouTube Kurt's scenes, they are the best part of the whole movie, and I saw you little Elvis nod, very nice touch! Just watch A Very Murray Christmas if you're on Netflix, there's less muck you have to wade through and it's an underrated Christmas special!

Tomorrow, I'm not looking forward to. I've gotten and will probably continue to get comments about how I don't like this movie, but I need to set the record straight so I don't have to do it next year. Tomorrow, we'll be looking at, the Jim Carrey Grinch movie. Oh boy.....

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