While You Were Sleeping Review

I can’t be the only one who thinks that this poster looks a little off right? It just seems photo shopped a bit with how Bullock’s character is being lifted. Maybe they couldn’t keep the pose up for the photo and had started to fall when it was snapped which caused a little blur effect. Maybe I’m just reading too much into this. Anyway, despite the lackluster poster the film is actually fairly decent. I dare say that this is one of the best romance films I’ve seen and maybe that’s because there wasn’t much actual romance until the end.

The plot revolves around a train ticket person named Lucy. Every day a guy named Peter comes by and deposits his tokens at her booth. She knows they are meant to be together, but they’ve never exchanged a word. Finally Peter works up the courage to tell her hi, but then he is mugged and thrown into the train tracks. Lucy manages to save him and takes him to the hospital. Peter is in a coma, but the family believes that Lucy is the fiancee after a quick mix up occurs. She decides not to tell them the truth because it would hurt them too deeply. Still, Lucy will have to plan things out carefully since Peter will be waking up at some point and his brother Jack is starting to suspect that something is off. Can she keep the secret from him?

So, you can probably imagine that quite a lot of shenanigans and hijinx ensue. Fortunately, they’re handled pretty well for the most part. You can basically tell what is going to happen the whole time, but as one Reddit user once said, virtually all movies are predictable. If anything, you should be worried when something unexpected happens as it may mean that the film has made a mistake in getting to the end. Instead you just want to see if the film executes the plot well. So while this film was predictable, it was still entertaining the whole time with most of the humor being on point and not being generally annoying.

Lucy is a reasonable main character. Saving Peter was naturally the right move and she tried doing what was best for everyone. She probably shouldn’t have tried going through with the wedding just to make everyone happy though. There’s definitely a moral there about keeping your happiness in mind as well. If you try to make everyone happy, but are miserable inside then this clearly isn’t the right path. Not to mention that then she would have been stuck with Peter for her whole life. Lucy tends to get along with everyone she meets in the film and it shows what a nice personality she has.

Meanwhile, we have Peter who doesn’t seem like a very nice guy. I don’t think he’s all that bad to be honest as he just has to sit in the antagonist role thanks to the film’s plot. If anything, he just doesn’t seem to have much of a backbone. He was knocked into the tracks quite easily and got knocked out instantly. That’s not really the kind of moment that will impress you and since Peter doesn’t really recover from this until the very end of the movie there isn’t much reason to like him. Not to mention that he seemed to be having an affair with a married woman which throws any last chance he may have had out the window. It sounds like he abandoned the family and while we never hear his side of the story, there’s not much reason to like him.

Then we have Jack. Honestly, I can’t say that he is a good character either. The main reason for this of course is that from his point of view, Lucy and Peter are together so she is strictly off limits. Yet, he still can’t help but fall for her. I don’t care if she were a super model, the instant she is taken then you have to be able to completely move on. Jack doesn’t actually do much about his feelings and while he doesn’t make a move on Lucy, he’s not exactly subtle either. He should have probably just avoided her until the wedding or something if he really couldn’t get over himself. Of course it turned out okay since the whole thing was fabricated and he ended up with Lucy, but things could have easily gotten troublesome. He’s still much better than Peter though.

The rest of the family is pretty fun as well. Once they showed up I knew we had a quality family going. They quickly pushed the doctors aside and took charge once they saw Peter. They have a lot of fun at the Christmas gatherings and while they bicker and talk a lot, it does keep the place lively. While skeptical at first, they end up taking Lucy’s word on events and seem to be rather trusting. They’re also pretty sensible and don’t hold the whole thing against Lucy. Considering that they are the ones who typically take the rumors and confirm them as fact, it wouldn’t be right to blame her for any of this. As a result, the family was rather solid.

Lucy’s boss was also pretty fun. He did his best to listen to her stories and give some half hearted advice. You could tell that he was never too invested in her situation, but at least he still took the time to listen whenever they had an encounter. He couldn’t quite keep the names straight, but the guy was earnest so he was definitely low key one of the best characters. To counter this, we have Joe Junior who is easily the worst character. The guy doesn’t have much of a purpose in the film other than to create some misunderstandings and to look really bad. Why does the eligible bachelor character always have to be so untidy, unintelligent, and generally gross? By the end of the film things seem to have possibly worked out for him which is nice and all I guess, but he probably could have been cut out and the film wouldn’t change. At least his father was good as he didn’t blame Lucy for dropping the tree through his house.

The best scene in the film is probably the big wedding as everyone quickly storms in to stop it. We had objections from Lucy which is understandable and better late than never. We had objections from Jack which naturally doesn’t help his case. We had objections from Peter’s ex who I guess drew the short end of the straw here, but considering that she was already a sketchy character I can’t feel sympathetic. Finally we had objections from Peter’s ex’s husband which was pretty intense. That guy came out of nowhere and really added some weight to the scene. It was great to see everyone show up and this was a joke that went over well. All told, the film’s writing was pretty strong for the most part and many of the jokes were sound. You really can’t ask for much more than that.

Overall, While You Were Sleeping is a pretty fun film. The pacing is always quick and so the film never drags on. Given that Romance Comedies aren’t exactly my thing, this one definitely performed quite admirably. If the general premise sounds like fun then I’d recommend checking this film out. You really can’t go wrong here and if you view it more as a general comedy then you’ll enjoy it more since that’s definitely the main focus. It never gets too over the top and most of the misunderstandings are just amped up a little to make the whole thing work. If only all romcoms could be like this one.

Overall 6/10


Scrooged Review

There have been a whole lot of Christmas Carol adaptations over the years. I’ve seen a lot of them and likely have yet to see several others. I can definitely say that this is the most memorable one of the bunch and probably handles Scrooge the best. I feel like he put up more resistance than his other incarnations and knowing about the iconic story does put this Scrooge at an advantage as well.

The film naturally starts off by showing how mean Scrooge is. He is corporate to the core and won’t even let his people have Christmas off. That’s because he wants to have a live show on Christmas for the extra ratings. His boss is definitely excited about this and is low-key the real boss of the company. He insists that animals should be added to the broadcast since they watch TV now. Scrooge sarcastically agrees. Unfortunately, his life begins to turn upside down when he is visited by a ghost. He will have to survive 3 more encounters with his personality intact or he will lose to the very story that he has made it his mission to mock! Meanwhile, there’s a new director in town who is called to help with the movie but he may just be there in order to replace Scrooge once and for all.

The first act of the film is definitely the best part. There are two kinds of mean leads. The ones who are subtly glorified by the end and make it personal and the ones who are just generally mean to everyone but it’s not all that malicious. The latter is the right kind of mean lead and fortunately that is the one we get here. This is a comedy film that is actually funny which seems to be a rare feat at times. Pretty much any scene with the old Scrooge is solid.

He’s very confident in himself and has made it pretty high up in his career by stepping on all those who would oppose him. That’s why he isn’t too worried when the ghosts come knocking. While you can’t help but applaud his proactive approach to finding the ghosts, it does start to hurt his reputation since nobody else can see them and that makes it easy to frame Scrooge. One of the ghosts in particular is quite aggressive as she spends a lot of her screentime beating Scrooge up. This is around where he lost a lot of his fiery spirit and it’s easy to see why. He was effectively humbled here. The final ghost of Christmas Future is also intense as expected. He has always had a really cool design and the movie goes all the way here. The spirit looks rather disturbing and even houses demons inside of the cloak. Scrooge definitely didn’t have a chance against this one.

Naturally, it’s inevitable that Scrooge has to turn good since that is the whole moral of the film. Fortunately the scenes of him being good only last for a few minutes but his speech on the TV did drag on quite a bit. That’s probably the only scene that I thought went on for too long but it’s probably because the scene in question was definitely on the cheesy side. There’s two ways you can take his 180 character switch. One is that he has genuinely changed and I’m pretty sure that this is what the film is telling us.

The other one is that he is simply playing along in order to keep his life. The spirits basically told Scrooge that they’ll murder him if he doesn’t have a change of heart and while they may have just been trying to scare him, it’s hard to take that risk. He could just be trying to save his own life which is certainly in line with his usual motivation of looking out for himself. The story is also a little tragic since Scrooge initially started out as an earnest worker. When everyone else were having a party he kept on working. He had no time to fool around with the others and just wanted to climb the corporate ladder. As with many though, he eventually forgot why he climbed it in the first place and now takes delight in making everyone else’s life harder.

The film does go a little far with some of the costumes though. Scrooge wants to make an edgy Christmas Carol filled with scantily clad characters which is a bit much and the same goes for the female ghost. It’s certainly not a huge deal in the film but since the ghost at least gets a lot of screentime they probably could have given her a nicer design. As long as they keep in the punches (Yes, she goes for full punches and even some combos against Scrooge) she would still appear to be rather scary.

One of the main reasons why this film was able to succeed is because the writing was pretty solid. You need a good script in order to make Scrooge witty and mean without going too far. Then the rest of the characters are written pretty well too. I guess the only subplot that feels rather tacked on is the romance with the main heroine. I’m guessing the film wanted this plot because in most of the Christmas Carols, Scrooge’s biggest regret is not getting together with someone. The heroine just never gets much of a role though and seems to have done a very good job of leading her own life without Scrooge. I think just showing Scrooge a glimpse at how happy she is would have sufficed for that plot. It’s one opportunity that he completely lost and he won’t get another shot, but at least he would learn from it. The film doesn’t give it a really big focus anyway so it’s rather minor when you think about it.

One subplot that was excellent was Scrooge firing someone on Christmas Eve. That’s definitely one of those things that you just don’t do. It’s an unspoken rule that you wait until after Christmas to let someone go like that. Well, the guy didn’t go down quietly and does take out his shotgun. A very wise move if you’re going to go up against the full power of corporate. The film can really start to get outlandish at times, but never gets too excessive and again, the humor is on point. The film actually manages to pull this off and that’s no easy feat.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed Scrooged quite a bit. Your enjoyment of it will depend on how much you like Scrooge himself. If you find him to be too mean to the point where you can’t stand to see him on screen then this will definitely be tough. If you don’t mind him all that much then it’ll work out pretty well. The film does a good job of being humorous and has solid writing as well. What more could you ask for? Scrooge maybe cried a little too easily the first time but beyond that his character is consistent the whole time he is the antagonist. The ending of the film is a little weak, but it’s hard to avoid that ending without changing the whole meaning of the story. Scrooge is one of those villains that is actually fun to root for and is more likable than the rest of the cast despite being such a mean guy. That’s how much charisma he has.

Overall 7/10

Lovely, Still Review

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It’s time for a very unique romance film. This one definitely isn’t like most as it’s actually about two senior citizens. You typically expect that people would be satisfied with their current living situation by that age, but I guess not this lead. I’m not a big romance fan and while there are some exceptions, I can’t say that this was one of them. Still, it does have some pretty interesting visuals at times which keeps you guessing.

The film starts off with what is a usual day for Robert. He gets up early to go to work, goes home after work, then he goes to sleep. It’s pretty empty since he has no hobbies, but it is what it is. Then one day he is approached by his new neighbor and she wants them to immediately start dating. She seems awfully desperate, but so is Robert so they quickly get together. Mary’s daughter tries to warn her against this, but she’ll hear nothing of it and Robert asks advice from everyone he knows. Can this romance really work?

Well, as I mentioned, Mary seems really desperate the whole time. That should ring up some serious warning bells for Robert if you ask me. It just never feels like the romance was natural and that Mary was targeting him from the start. Sure, it’s nice to see some initiative from her I guess, but I just don’t know about this. Now, there is a massive plot twist by the end which does help this aspect of the movie. By the end Mary is a much better character than she appears to be. That’s one positive aspect of the twist and it really changes the whole dynamic of the film.

Throughout the film we also get some very random moments where Robert is dreaming and we see a lot of bright lights. It gets very trippy and meta with horror music that you would expect from anime. It’s fun to look at though and while it is pretty pointless, that’s one way to pad out the time right? It makes you wonder what the film is going for so you start having a lot of theories like, what if Robert is actually crazy? It’ll at least pop up in your mind, especially since Robert wrapped himself up a gun for Christmas. He’s definitely pretty unstable.

As for Robert, I’m afraid that I didn’t like him. With or without the plot twist, he’s just not a character that I can get behind. The film makes him appear to be incredibly naive, but he’s an old man right? It’s not like he just skipped his teenage and adult life. This guy should be pretty familiar with life as a whole by this point. Even if we incorporate the plot twist and assume that these parts of his past are foggy, it should also make him aware that something’s not right. So, I’d say that it just doesn’t really add up. He also jumps to conclusions and seems to be rather possessive. In short, there wasn’t really any reason for me to like him. He’s just not a lead that I can get behind and he’s not too grateful to Mike considering how helpful he was.

Mike is Robert’s boss and a pretty upstanding guy overall. He helps Robert pick up presents and even gives him a ride. He shares his intel and life experience with Robert in order to help the date go well. He is nothing but supportive and even then Robert just doesn’t show up to work one day and doesn’t even call out. Mike only found out because he happened to drop by the house. Mike was the best character by a long shot to be honest and easily the most enjoyable character. At first you’re not sure if he will be a nice guy or a really tough guy, but in the end we find out that it was the former all along. He is the comic relief character of the film, but not in the way you’d suspect. He’s not unintelligent or constantly making mistakes. Mike is actually very smart and even has plans on how to get rich. His comedic moments are from his quick dialogue and tips that may not go over so well. He delivers these lines with a straight face though and helps keep this film from being a total romance with no interesting plots to keep you hooked.

While the romance isn’t as bad as a typical modern film where it escalates from 0-10 within a night, I still didn’t like it. Again, romance at this stage is just too late. Even if it wasn’t, it’s just way too corny. Most of the scenes are just hard to watch. The whole time you’ll be asking yourself why these two people couldn’t just be friends instead of dating. If they’re both just lonely and want a companion then being friends makes sense. It doesn’t always have to suddenly get romantic. As a result, I just couldn’t get behind this. As far as the plot twist is concerned, it’s definitely interesting. It definitely adds some tragic elements to the film as well but they aren’t overplayed. It gives the film more depth and as I explained earlier it also makes the romance a little more passable. It’s not enough to save the film or anything, but it was a good twist.

Overall, This is a romance film that really feels like a romance film. Aside from the plot twist the film doesn’t do anything to make itself stand out. I suppose they felt like the gimmick of having the main characters be really old was good enough. While it’s not as if the film is poorly made, this is just a genre that has to be executed extremely well or it simply won’t work. There are millions of romance films and only a small% of them are actually good. It’s also really hard to build up a romance in a single film since there isn’t much time for development. If you watch this film, definitely watch it for Mike’s antics. He’s actually a fun character and his scenes are a blast. Still, you can’t expect one character to hold an entire film on his own do you? He does his best, but it’s not enough. If you want to watch a better romance film….I’m not sure what to tell you. If you want a good emotional film, then I’d recommend watching Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F. You’ll definitely get emotional when the Earth is targeted!

Overall 4/10

It’s A Wonderful Life Review

It’s A Wonderful Life is an iconic film that most people have either seen or at least heard of. I definitely remember seeing it as a kid although my recollection is pretty broken. I remember the main character getting his ears slammed but then I thought the climax was similar to Sleepless in Seattle. I certainly did not recall the Angel helping him out or the reality warping aspect of the film. It’s a movie that definitely holds up pretty well in some aspects while faltering in others. The main character is quite terrible for example which is one part that doesn’t age well.

So the film starts off with a few Angels wondering what they should do about the main character. He is on a course set for self destruction at the moment and must be saved quickly. Clarence decides to learn a bit about our lead before making a move so the rest of the film follows Mr Bailey from his days as a kid to an adult. He is essentially stuck in an old town working a job that he doesn’t like. Bailey doesn’t like this but it’s hard to get out. Unfortunately his partner loses 8000 dollars to the main villain, Mr. Potter. Bailey will now be arrested and left penniless if he doesn’t do something. That’s when he remembers the Life Insurance.

The opening is also a pretty powerful scene as a lot of people pray for Bailey to be okay. It’s not often you see anyone praying in a film, much less a bunch of people. It is definitely nice to remember a time where many people were openly Christian and there weren’t so many social taboos against it. It’s also a scene that shows the power of prayer as the Angels decide to act on the and that is ultimately what saves Mr. Bailey. Don’t doubt the power of prayer in real life either. Your prayers are always answered and God will see to it that you get the right answer to your prayer.

Naturally Bailey’s plight is a sad one but he doesn’t handle it well at all. Take early on in the film, he is about to leave town but then he lets Mr. Potter’s speech get to him so he yells back and the board decides to keep him on. Bailey should have dashed for the train before anyone even had time to tell him such a thing but he was already having doubts. See, I think Bailey was actually not as thrilled about leaving as he suggested or he would have done so. His next opportunity was even easier as his brother returned to take over the family business as promised in Bailey’s place. He ended up getting a fiancée while he was gone and she wants him to run a different business. Bailey quickly folds here, but he could have acted oblivious and just left. The brother would have taken over the business and it would be golden. Even at the end when Potter offers Bailey a deal the lead declines. Now you can’t really blame him too much on a moral angle since it’s only natural that he would never want to work with him. On the other hand, this would have been his best chance to fix their code of ethics and to make things better in the whole town. In the end, Bailey is the one who trapped himself in the town.

The romance is also pretty bad the whole time. He is just so mean to Mary the whole time. He wrecks her big return to the city. She works really hard to make things better for them while he consistently makes things tougher on her. Despite this, she never complains while he always does. So I couldn’t get behind this romance because as the saying goes, I think she could do a lot better than get together with this guy. Let’s also consider the fact that he was going to jump off a bridge and leave her to take care of the kids on her own.

I think the only reasonable characteristic of Mr. Bailey is that he reminds me of Nicholas Cage. The facial expressions and the voice are just really similar which is pretty interesting to see. Watch enough old movies and you eventually start to see these older counterparts. As the final nail in the coffin, Mr. Bailey is also very slow on the uptake. Even once Clarence tells him many times that he has been erased from time and nobody will remember him, Bailey is shocked every time. You’d think after the 2nd or 3rd guy didn’t recognize him that he would realize something was up. Seeing his wife working at a library now is also something he should have considered. The guy is just pretty annoying and cane very close to wrecking everyone’s Christmas.

Clarence was not really my kind of character either. While the other Angels were all on point and very professional, he felt the most Earthly. Clarence came very close to drinking beer at the bar and that wasn’t really a good moment for him. His way of helping Bailey was also very roundabout and risky. There were so many ways the whole thing could have backfired. As slow as Bailey was on the uptake, Clarence was really slow at giving out the details. He seemed shocked whenever Bailey didn’t understand something as well. They probably should have sent one of the Angels with wings if you ask me since this one also didn’t seem to understand people very well.

The best character in the film was definitely Mr. Potter though. The guy was really intense and didn’t mince words when he was on screen. He’d do anything for a profit and didn’t suddenly have a change of heart at the end either. He stuck to his guns from start to finish and got some of the best lines. When Bailey shows up at his throne and desperately asks for help Potter finally relents. You see him soften up and think for a split second that subs he isn’t so bad after all. Then Potter admits that he will help see that Bailey gets the Justice he deserves and issued a warrant for his arrest with the powers given to him as a stakeholder in the company. The money is what matters to him and seeing 8000 of it just vanish was unacceptable to him. Not to mention that he also ends up holding grudges. He’s a very complete character and one that you can root for as a villain. That’s not to say you want him to win over the heroes because of what that would mean for the town but at the very least he is a fun villain to watch.

If Mary was the main character then she would be easy to root for against Potter. Unlike Bailey, she actually seems like a nice character and makes all of the reasonable choices throughout the movie. Without her to keep Bailey in line, he’d probably still be whining about his job, but not doing anything about it. That’s just the kind of man that Bailey is. She’s a lot better at reading a situation and even offers the money to the townsfolk before Bailey even thinks of the idea. Her generosity is on point as well.

Overall, It’s a Wonderful Life is a good Christmas film with solid Christian themes at work as well. It has a good premise and it’s always interesting to look at a world without yourself. The ripple effect of you not existing would definitely be quite massive when you think about it. That being said, the execution isn’t always on point and some parts of the film have not aged well like the romance or the main character. It’s certainly more of a hit than a miss though and I’d recommend checking it out. You should see for yourself why the film is so well known and remembered.

Overall 6/10

Miracle on 34th Street Review

It’s time to look at a very iconic Christmas film. Miracle on 34th Street is a film that I know by reputation but I was never aware of the plot. I figured it had something to do with a kid finding out his father was a famous basketball player but clearly the sport spinoff is completely different. It’s definitely a solid film and one that holds up quite well throughout the years. Mixing Santa Claus with the court room is a recipe for success!

This movie starts off with Santa Claus deciding to take a break for a little while to see if New York understands the Christmas spirit. Unfortunately it seems that they don’t and buying gifts is all they care about. He quickly replaces drunk Santa at the annual Macy’s parade and is a big hit. His boss doesn’t believe in Santa but Mr. Claus aims to change that. Unfortunately a psychiatrist wants him out of the picture and tries to tell the world he is crazy. Santa is now in a legal battle to prove he is the real deal but the opposition has a smoking gun in the fact that they found his home address…in Long Island!

With almost every delusion there’s a point where it breaks and a point where it should burst if enough facts are provided against it. Often the individual in question will have an identity crisis, stay in denial, or suddenly be very rational about it. That’s not the case in this movie as Santa sticks to his theory that he is the real deal. Of course, nobody challenges him with the tough questions like how many presents he delivers a year or why he doesn’t live in the North Pole. We can probably assume that he was asked those questions in the original nursing home but it’s still a pretty interesting premise. The big question of course is..do I believe he is Santa? I’m going to have to say No here. I just think there are too many strikes against him. The evidence is overwhelming and leaving his cane in the House is the only impressive part by the end. I like to think he left it there to hint to the leads that they should buy the house which could be done without the supernatural. Still, even if Kris Kringle is a little deluded here, he is still a pretty fun main character. Seeing him confront the drunk Santa was pretty intense even if you could argue that the drunkard won that battle. Santa can just be a little too naive and shocked at times to take on a battle weary New Yorker.

The cast is actually pretty solid as a whole. Doris is a likable enough lead and I was on her side of the debate. She has decided to raise Susan practically. She teaches her daughter early on that Santa is fake and shows her that there is a trick behind everything. It’s certainly a different way to grow up but I can roll with it. At the end of the day there isn’t much of a reason to believe in Santa. It’s not like it’s going to help you in the future. Unfortunately the message of the film is against her and that believing in a little magic is good for you. I don’t buy into it, but at least the message wasn’t shoved at the viewer too much. As it is most of the characters don’t believe in Santa and just use him for the publicity.

The romance between her and Mr. Gailey is a little weak though. Considering that they didn’t know each other pretty well, they got serious pretty quickly. I couldn’t really get behind that, but Mr. Gailey is also a fun character. He actually comes up with strategies to improve his odds which is commendable. Getting Santa to stay at his house was certainly a brilliant nice and one that really helped him out. He was also persistent in trying to get Susan to believe in Santa even if that did turn out to be a little trickier than expected.

Susan is a nice enough kid. She can still be rather greedy for her age as she immediately asks for a huge house to put Santa on the spot. Why couldn’t you ask for a doll house or something like that? Even at Santa’s big party she comes across as a big ingrate the whole time. This was a big moment for him and all of Macy’s, you’d think she could have at least pretended to be happy. Of course, she is just a kid so I’ll try to cut her some slack but it does support my theory that often times the kids can get in the way.

The supporting cast can be pretty solid as well. Doris has a colleague who is able to quickly get on board with the Santa idea. When an opportunity presents itself you have to quickly get with the flow or be swept away. In this case Doris may have been swept away if not for this guy’s quick thinking. Santa’s jolly actions of sending customers to other stores is crazy but it brought results so of course you would want to throw your lot in with him. Mr. Macy’s is also a very reasonable character and doesn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. His visions of the newspaper during the court scenes were certainly handled really well. When push came to shove, Mr. Macy’s was definitely ready. The guy from Gimbles was also pretty solid but at least from this movie it’s clear who is in the lead. Gimbles is merely following while Macy’s leads. It’s pretty nostalgic to see Macy’s as well since it’s been years since I set foot in there. I should probably change that one of these days.

Really the only bad character here was the self proclaimed expert who had a grudge against Santa. That guy was definitely not even meant to be likable though. The kid that Santa mentored was also on the annoying side I suppose. I keep on forgetting that the kid even exists since he really doesn’t even serve a purpose in the story. I guess they needed a reason for Santa to hit someone and get in trouble but I’m sure we could have had other routes. Santa definitely should not have gotten in the car with the others either. You always want to let the top boss know what’s up in case things get tricky.

As always I definitely enjoyed the courtroom scenes. Seeing them debate on if Santa exists or not is definitely an interesting concept. The mail delivery may have been on the really convenient side of things but I suppose we take those. Both sides did a decent job debating and in this case I would actually be against team Santa. After all, there’s no way that guy exists even if the post office has conceded. Putting the kid on the stand was a low blow as well. This is why you always want to leave the kids home before engaging in serious business.

Overall, Miracle on 34th Street was a really solid movie. The pacing was tight and it went from start to finish quite smoothly. I wouldn’t say that it ever dragged on and the writing was solid. Kris Kringle could tow the line on whether he was a good character or simply an annoying one the whole time. For the most part I would definitely say that he was handled well though. I think making him the real Santa would have made the film even better but I suppose they wanted to keep the grounded aspect of the movie. If you haven’t seen it yet then you should definitely check the film out. It’s got heart.

Overall 7/10

Rise of the Guardians Review

Rise of the Guardians is a film that looked like a lot of fun right from the first trailer that I saw of it. The movie looked like it would have a surprising amount of action in it and the idea of a Holiday Mascot crossover had a lot of potential behind it as well. The film turned out to be about as good as I had hoped and it’s definitely got some nice visuals for the action scenes. I can safely say that it is rather underrated considering how obscure it appears to be, at least relative to other big animated films.

The plot starts off with a lonely guy named Jack Frost. He has ice powers but nobody actually knows him. Guys like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny have a lot of fans but not poor Jack. Despite trying to help people out and enjoy himself in the process, people just can’t see him and as such it all goes for naught. 300 years pass by and nothing changes. However, a mysterious villain has arisen and is determined to destroy all of the iconic holiday legends. Santa Claus and his team of icons realize that this is one battle that they cannot win. Their leader tells them to enlist the help of Jack Frost. Can this team really be enough to take down this villain or is the battle over before it has even begun?

As I mentioned earlier, the battle scenes are handled really well. The energy effects are vibrant and you can feel the power behind Jack’s blows. The rest of the graphics are fairly standard but solid nonetheless. The character models look good and the screen is always clear. If this was more of an action movie then the film would probably be able to prove itself even more. There isn’t much of a soundtrack so that is regrettable but still, having one of the two big technical components to the film at the ready is a good way to start off.

One slight issue with the film, or at least a concern for when the fight scenes would occur is that Jack appears to be the only power hitter on the team. The rest of the combatants just pale in comparison and they don’t seem to have any really useful special abilities. Jack has complete control over the ice and can fire blasts so concentrated that the they are basically lightning strikes. He is really the only one who puts up a decent fight against the villain while the others are basically just watching. At the very least you would expect Santa to be really powerful but surprisingly this was not the case.

Santa is a twin blades user who strikes with pure power. The problem is that he isn’t very fast nor does he seem to be very smart. He’s a nice enough chap and makes sense as the leader of the team but making him a little stronger would have definitely been a good move for the film if you ask me. They still could have had some reason as to why he couldn’t hear the main villain without simply making him weak.

The Easter Bunny is also weak but he’s not nearly as likable as Santa. He talks a good game but just can’t compete when the chips are down. You can tell what his character is after a single scene with him. The trope of acting super tough when you’re actually weak can make for really good characters but typically the film or show has to at least be a little self aware that the character is all bark and no bite. This one never really gets into that. He still isn’t the worst character though or even the 2ns worst. He can still be somewhat reasonable.

The 2nd worst character is definitely the Tooth Fairy. She can’t fight at all and is a little too obsessed with her teeth gimmick. It wouldn’t even be a problem if there was more to her character but there really isn’t. Her role in the film is so small that you could take her out entirely and I doubt a whole lot would change. The worst member of the team is the Sand Man. He’s one of the most annoying kinds of characters as he is always sleeping but actually ends up being the strongest kind of all. He didn’t have to work to get his strength but in fact he was just born into it. He has a lot of arrogance when fighting but not the cool kind as you’re still just annoyed at the guy. It gets to the point where you already dislike him so much that his potentially good moments don’t even work. As you can tell, I did not like this character and giving him the pivotal moment at the end of the film wasn’t a great move if you ask me. Why couldn’t Jack have gotten the big blow and ended his character arc on a grand note? If you ask me, that would have been perfect.

The villain is pretty solid. His plan to take down everyone who believes in the legend is pretty solid as then they will be too weak to put up much of a resistance. He should have picked them off way before that though instead of focusing on the main goal even when there was just one kid left. At that point you just have to pick off the main characters one by one. In his defense, Jack’s plan was pretty good though and it’s easy to make the kids believe when you actually move stuff around right in front of them and use your supernatural abilities in an obvious manner. The villain made for good fight scenes so I’d definitely say that he did a good job fulfilling the role.

I’ll also give the film kudos for not giving the kids much of a role. Lets face it, they would have had some cheesy scenes and I’m not sure I can buy into the kids as solid characters just yet. Still, since they were crucial to the villain’s plan they needed some screen time. The way the film handled it was pretty solid so that’s another feather in its cap. The writing in general was pretty solid and while the cast of characters may not have been amazing, Jack was likable which is really what counts. He’s a solid lead and I’d be up for a sequel.

Overall Rise of the Guardians is a solid animated film with a good amount of action and heart. It’s a film that I would definitely recommend checking out. Where else are you going to see a film where Jack Frost finally gets to shine and prove himself as one of the big Christmas characters? He really doesn’t get a whole lot of attention compared to the other big characters in most media so this may be the only time to really see him take the starring role. Maybe it’s time I get the game adaption of this movie to see if it holds up well. Getting it for Christmas would have been fitting but that day is already booked with presents so most likely it would be later on if I purchase it.

Overall 7/10

Elf Review

It’s time for a Christmas film that I’ve known about for a long time but never got around to watching before. Elf’s premise just isn’t my cup of tea but of course the film can get around that if the execution is good enough. It’s definitely well known and I will definitely admit that the film has its moments. I don’t think I would call it one of the all time Christmas greats or anything but it is decently good all the same. I’d be interested in a prequel about the pony riders who show up near the climax. Those guys were some of the best characters in the film.

So the film is about a human who was taken by Santa accidentally around Christmas. As a result he was brought to the North Pole and tricked into thinking that he was an elf. Buddy never realized the truth which worked very well for the system. However, Buddy was no good at any of the tasks and one day he overheard some gossip that he isn’t a real elf. Buddy decides to go back to New York to find his father. Despite being warned that his father isn’t the nicest guy, Buddy appears to be shocked by this in every scene. What can he do to make everyone nice again?

As you can probably tell, the main annoying thing here is Buddy himself. The guy is just very slow on the uptake and seriously cannot take a hint. His naivety is taken to the maximum possible extreme as you would think he is an alien. He has no manners when eating which leads to a bunch of crude humor. He also has no common sense such as eating dirty gum and arguing with his supervisor over minor things. He is definitely a character who has not heard the phrase, “Don’t Rock The Boat.” Buddy is supposed to be endearing and likable but that part never actually happens. He just stays annoying the whole time. There’s a clear line between the two and it was crossed consistently.

I don’t really care for the trope of the super naive character who just doesn’t understand anything. A character like Drax The Destroyer who takes everything literally is one example or Starfire from Teen Titans. Typically it’s a plot that is used when an alien comes to Earth or when a kid is raised in the jungle all his life and as a result he doesn’t really know anything about human interactions. Yet another example of this trope is when a genius character knows everything except common sense. The irony is supposed to be humorous but that flops as well. Naturally since the whole film is based around Buddy that ends up limiting its potential. At least the supporting cast is good though.

Walter is Buddy’s father and right now he is a very successful business man. Honestly he doesn’t even seem like a terrible guy. He does take some short cuts in his book publishing which is sleazy but no too over the top. In theory it just won’t sell well because word of mouth will let the consumers know not to buy it. It’s not a trick you can get away with twice. Beyond that Walter is just consumed with work and keeps it as top priority. At least he doesn’t seem like he’s mad with power at home. In one scene he says that maybe his wife Jovie should stay home to look after Buddy but she just declines and comes up with another plan. Clearly she is not going to get pushed around by him. Josie isn’t even upset at Walter compared to Jingle All The Way where the main character also took work too seriously but everyone was mad at him for it. There is no bad blood between Walter and Jovie here and it’s a much better dynamic so both of these characters end up being really good. There are times you have to sympathize with Walter, like any moment Buddy is on screen. Buddy was actively sabotaging the job that Walter had worked so hard to obtain so it makes sense why he would be upset. If Buddy has acted even slightly normal then I don’t think Walter would have had a problem with him. It’s just all a matter of not going off the deep end.

Jovie did her best to welcome in Buddy and is a direct contrast to Walter. As explained, I don’t think it makes him a bad character though but she is certainly better equipped to handle the situation. At first you figure that she may get tired of his antics but she plays along and tries to convince Walter that her should help him out so he will lose his elf delusion. She even eats some spaghetti with syrup since Buddy made it so she wouldn’t hurt his feelings. She didn’t have to deal with him as much as Walter but you can be sure the film would have been a little different for Buddy if he had been looking to her for guidance.

Emily is the main heroine. She has been disillusioned with the world due to working retail which is as good a reason as any. She dislikes her job and seemingly isn’t following whatever career path she had hoped to be in. Fortunately for her, Buddy joins her job. Before he is fired, he convinced her to hope again and their really rushed romance kicks off. I can’t say I was a huge fan of her plot line and it doesn’t really make all that much sense. It all happens really fast and considering that Buddy acted completely crazy the whole time, it’s just intriguing at best. She’s not a bad character though although it’d be nice if she was a little happier at work. The boss seemed to enjoy his job so why couldn’t she?

Granted, the boss is the best character in the film so I’m setting the bar rather high here. The tackle he pulled off against the fake Santa was pretty intense and you were reminded that his guy could fight. Not to mention that he was one step ahead of corporate and was ready for their inside agent. He is just a quality character and someone who is not to be trifled with. I would have liked to have seen more screen time from this guy because he was just great. Finally we also have Michael, Buddy’s little brother. He likes being a rebel so when he finds out that Buddy doesn’t mind jumping on beds and messing up stores as well he tags him in. The two get along pretty well as a result and it’s a decent enough subplot. It never gets a lot of screen time or anything but from those scenes Michael seems like a reasonable enough character.

There are a few other characters like Santa Clause and Buddy’s adopted father but they don’t do a whole lot. From the minor characters it is clear that the Pony Riders are the best. They actually know that Santa is real unlike the common masses but actively try to hunt him down and eliminate the old man. You could say that this should power up Santa’s sleigh since it runs in belief but a handful of people won’t really make a big difference compared to the rest of the world not buying into it. I would have liked the film to have given these characters a little more screen time to be honest.

Overall, like all comedies Elf has some jokes that work and some that don’t. It’s an entertaining film from start to finish though and one that doesn’t drag on either. The supporting cast is solid and the film’s very upbeat which makes it a good film for Christmas. At the very least it’s one that will leave you feeling content. Buddy should have been toned down though as that would have made the whole film more enjoyable. He’s just so extreme that you certainly can’t sympathize with him and I feel like the film wasn’t intentionally trying to make him unlikable. If they were…then they succeeded. The romance is rather weak as well, but whenever Walter is on screen you know someone is going to get burned. I’d recommend checking it out at least once so you can add it to your collection of Christmas films that you’ve seen.

Overall 6/10

A Christmas Story Review

It’s time for a classic Christmas film. Despite it being so classic, I can’t say that I was really familiar with this movie before watching it or that it left much of an impression afterwards. While not quite as interesting as other slice of life comedies of its nature, A Christmas Story doesn’t make too many mistakes. It just hasn’t aged particularly well, but its use of the narrator voice is quite good and I’d like for more films to do it. It could definitely make the kid characters a lot more interesting and while it wouldn’t completely fix my issue with them, it would help quite a lot.

For Christmas Ralph wants a BB gun toy. Unfortunately, his parents do not approve because it is easy to injure yourself with such a dangerous toy so they continually point out that he should just get something plain instead. Ralph decides that he’ll have to convince them somehow, but he must proceed carefully. Luckily, his adult self is here to show us his thought process and maybe this will be enough to get him to claim victory. Hopefully because he is completely sunk otherwise!

I can’t say that I like Ralph, but I do like his adult voice that is used whenever he is thinking. It makes him sound like a good character and it makes him more interesting as well. Unfortunately, the actual Ralph is basically just your average kid and not even a very nice one. He ditches his friends whenever the going gets tough. If a bully shows up, he’ll let his friend take the fall. If one of his friends is stuck to a lamp pole, he’ll pretend not to know about it. That’s just the kind of guy Ralph is and he’s also a chronic liar to boot. He doesn’t have a lot of good qualities and while he is supposed to be endearing, I can’t say that this ever worked.

His parents were a lot more reasonable although they had their flaws too. The Dad enjoyed the sketchy lamp a little too much and I can see why the Mother quickly decided to break it. His attitude towards the neighborhood dogs was also a little iffy and the most dicey part of the film was when he closed the door on one of their ears. It’s meant to be funny, but if you’ve been following my reviews then you’ll realize that it was anything but funny. The Mother opposed the gun plan and I can certainly agree with her on that. Giving Ralph the soap treatment for repeating a bad word was also a good thing.

It was nice to see Santa and his elves appear as well. They were pretty realistic interpretations of what to expect if you ever went to a mall to meet up with Santa Claus. They are paid by the hour so naturally they wouldn’t want anyone to take up to much time and once it’s 5, they’re ready to head out. Even then they gave Ralph some nice advice so that was awfully considerate of them. Ralph should have heeded the warning since he ended up injuring himself as soon as he got the gun. Not a very smart play eh? There was also a sub plot where the bullies would corner the heroes every day and force them to give up some money. I have to admit that this plot did grow old rather quickly. Seeing it once or twice was enough and the kids probably should have done something about it. Ralph did end up beating one of them up in one of the more cheesy scenes and I guess that ended the plot at least.

One of the better moments of the film was when the Ovaltine conspiracy happened. Ralph had to buy a lot of Ovaltine containers to win the decoder so he could figure out the messages on the radio. It turns out that the message was to “Buy more Ovaltine” which was a nice slap in the face to consumers. It wasn’t even subtle as to get the decoder you had to buy a lot of Ovaltine and now this was saying that you had to buy some more. I don’t imagine that the company had a lot of happy customers, but I suppose that it doesn’t matter too much when they’ve already bought the decoder. It’s a rather slick move, but that’s why it’s so genius.

The film actually has a pretty small cast when you think about it. Aside from the parents, Ralph is really the only notable characters. Yes, there are classmates, the bullies, and Ralph’s kid brother, but they don’t do much. That may be part of the point since Ralph is the main character and he’s telling the story. I can’t say that it matters much either way, but since Ralph wasn’t really a good character, it may have been helpful to have another main lead to help hold the film. There’s no guarantee that the other character would have been much better, but it certainly would have helped the odds. It also may have just come out at the wrong time. If this film was a little older than the writing would have given it a boost and the setting would be all different. If it was newer than they probably would have tried to make it more exciting. This could be a case of wrong place, wrong time.

Overall, A Christmas Story may not do a whole lot of things wrong, but its biggest crime is probably just the fact that it can be boring. The film tries way too hard to be normal and to be an example of an every day Christmas for the every day family. It doesn’t have any animal violence, the writing’s not terrible, and it’s not edgy. The problem is just that it doesn’t do a whole lot of good either. The family tries so hard to be realistic that it really isn’t and the characters don’t have a lot of personality. I think the main problem that the film faces all comes down to Ralph as the main character. Lets face it, it’s hard to have a kid as the main character and still manage to be an interesting film. It’s simply very rare and not even the cool voice could do it. If you’re looking for something peaceful to watch then this film could work well for you, but you’re better off watching another Christmas film like Jingle All The Way or Christmas with the Kranks. They’ll give you more laughs and just have more personality in general. I fear that this film has simply not aged well.

Overall 4/10

Jingle All the Way 2 Review

It’s time to look at the sequel that nobody even knows about. The original Jingle All the Way is classic at this point, but the sequel has been overlooked time and time again. At this point, a third film is unlikely to come out anytime soon. It’s definitely not a bad film and I thought that it was entertaining enough, but it certainly is a step down over the last film. You can tell right away that this wasn’t a theater film and the soundtrack isn’t quite as good. You can draw a lot of similarities between this and Home Alone 4, but the ending is much better here.

It is almost Christmas time and Larry wants to give his daughter Noel the best Christmas ever. The problem is that her new Step-Dad please wants to have her over for Christmas. The official system is that she switches between them every year as they alternate days, but the step Dad pulls rank. The compromise is that Larry will have her for the first half and will then bring her back over for the second half. In the week leading up to Christmas, he now has to really show Victor up. He steals her letter to Santa, where Noel asks for a super cool Teddy Bear. Larry knows what he has to do but Victor won’t make it easy.

Once again, it’s one of those cases where the contrast between the two Dads is probably exaggerated a little too much. Larry has let himself go since the marriage fell apart and now he’s super overweight. He’s not very smart and economically he isn’t doing well either. He attempts to impress Noel by connecting his car lights to the Christmas ones, but ends up losing all of his electricity so they can’t bake cookies or even have a proper breakfast. They have to settle for cereal. Larry’s a nice and likable guy, but it’s clear who we are supposed to think will give Noel a better Christmas when it comes to material goods. What works in Larry’s favor is that he has no real responsibilities and can just hang out with Noel all day. They go sledding, ice fishing, and do all kinds of stuff. Larry’s super laid back and relaxed as well with a charismatic personality so it’s easy to see why he’s fun to be around.

One thing that really hurts Larry’s case though is the fact that he’s always taking cheap shots at Victor. You never see Victor insulting Larry, but whenever Larry sees something that he can use against Victor, he takes it. “I bet Victor’s food isn’t this good right Noel?” “I bet Victor’s no fun” and he takes shots at Victor throughout the entire film. Naturally, the writers make sure that Victor jumps over the fence in the last part of the film, but otherwise, it’s hard not to be in his corner right from the start. Also, Larry cheats at games.

Sleigh bells ring…are you listening? Odds are that you’re not if you’re Victor. He’s so rich that he is hosting the town’s Christmas party this year and even buys a 10000 dollar tree. He wants to make Noel’s Christmas great so she can accept him as her new Dad. He pulls out all the stops and I wouldn’t even say that it’s to make Larry look bad. He’s just insecure and is doing everything that he can to give himself better odds. It only gets personal once he finds out that Larry is looking for a bear so he decides to buy all of them in the city. This is the only part where he goes too far as he wrecks many Christmases since everyone wanted the toy and it was a pretty dirty move. He is forced to give them back by the end and the heroes make up. So, the film wants you to go with Larry or to admit to a draw, but I’m going with Victor here. I’m not saying that money wins, but Larry had many chances, but blew them all. Victor wouldn’t have been able to buy all of the toys if Larry hadn’t slept in. Furthermore, they both (Victor’s proxy anyway) ran into a store at the same time when it opened, but Larry was outrun (Of course) and by the time he got to the toy section, they’d all been nabbed. Larry did his best after that, but he got taken into a choke hold and an Elf beat him up after that. It was rough for Larry, but at least he never gave up.

Noel was actually a lot better than Jamie from the first film. She was really understanding the whole time and took everything in stride. It was as if nothing could bring her down and the only thing that mildly upset her was how everyone kept fighting over her. She got everyone in line though and ultimately acted like one of the best kids in recent films. It’s hard to be better than her. Her Mom didn’t really have a role at all, which was surprising. She basically just watched the two Dads fight with an amused expression the whole time.

The film’s humor does occasionally wander into lower depths than the first film. Larry gets so nervous that he does something pretty sad and then makes sure to tell his friend about it. Not only is this not funny, but it doesn’t make sense. At least not for something this mild. The scene where Larry’s looking for trees and an attendant comes out to help him is also poorly handled with cringe worthy dialogue at every corner. That moment couldn’t end fast enough! Once those two moments were out of the way though, the rest of the film is fairly sound.

It certainly flew by fast and the film was just entertaining. While Larry was a little too exaggerated to allow him to be a winner here, his personality was handled well. You can still tell that he’s a nice guy as opposed to being a terrible person who just happens to be a good father. There’s a difference, trust me. His Teddy Bear fight with Victor is good as well although it naturally doesn’t beat the fist fights from the first film. I definitely think that this one held back a little too much in that regard. The action was dialed down quite a lot. Perhaps they thought that it would be bad for the kids to see or something? I get that standards have changed over time, but since the WWE helped with this film, you’d expect some action.

Overall, Jingle All the Way 2 is an admirable sequel. It may not have topped the original film, but it’s a good film in its own right. Some parts of it are fairly cheesy and don’t make sense, but that’s the problem with having this plot amidst a very exaggerated contrast. Victor’s speech about how he envies Larry’s ability to go out and have a lot of fun is just a little unbelievable. It’s a lot easier to buy into Larry’s argument since he literally cannot compete with Victor’s money. It doesn’t help that all of Larry’s attempts to do something special for Noel backfire completely. Taking a peek at her letter was also very underhanded and I like to think that Victor would not have done that although I suppose that’s not a complete guarantee. If you want a hidden star in this film, keep an eye out for Victor’s head of security. He may have thrown Victor off the bus by the end, but he did a really good job of executing the mission right from the get go. I’d recommend checking this film out. It also feels pretty fresh since I had not seen it before and adding new Christmas rosters to the collection is always a blast. No worries, it still makes for a good January film. I’d actually like to see a third film and it’d be even better if it was a crossover. They could have both families fighting over one copy of a new toy. Arnold may be old, but he still has fighting spirit and if they could get Myron back, the duo would be set!

Overall 6/10

Jingle All the Way Review

I’ve seen this film many times over the years, but that was before my reviewing days. I finally got a chance to rewatch it the other day and the film holds up well. It’s a fun Christmas film that you can certainly watch time and time again without the story getting stale or losing its charm and for me it’s probably the most iconic Christmas film thanks to how many times its been viewed in my household.

The film follows Howard, a rather successful business man. His problem is that he tends to forget about everything else once he’s at work and this leads to him not getting his son Jamie a gift for Christmas. He can’t afford to lose this opportunity though since tensions are already high since he missed Jamie’s karate promotion. Howard goes on the hunt for the Turbo Man toy that Jamie wants, but he will have to contend with Myron. Myron is a cynical delivery man who wants to get the toy for his son at all costs and he’s not above using cheap tactics to get it. Criminal organizations and mean spirited police officers also stand in Howard’s way, but he has the determination to keep on going. He is on the clock though since his corrupt neighbor Ted is trying to pull the moves on his wife while he’s gone. Run fast Howard!

From the start of the movie you can tell that it’s going to be a fun adventure. The clip from the Turbo Man show was pretty fun and a nice homage to the Power Rangers. Howard may have forgotten about Jamie’s event, but at least he was working while the rest of his staff was having fun at the party. Howard’s a hard working guy…things just don’t always work out very well for him. He does make it up to Jamie pretty quickly. His next mistake was maybe a little worse as he had weeks to get the toy, but forgot until the very last night. I can definitely see why it would be hard to find a toy by then, just look at the Nintendo Wii from a few years back. It was incredibly difficult to get that toy and it seemed like every store was out of stock. I pulled through of course.

The main part of the film that makes for good entertainment are the battles between Howard and Myron. First off, I have to acknowledge that Myron is the best character in the film. I’ve always had a knack for attracting people like him in real life so I’m pretty familiar with the type. He could talk about anything for days and it’ll always be complaints. One of these characters once called me a casual as a result and I just let it pass through me. I’m only a casual when it comes to my Godzilla knowledge and even then I’m mainly just a casual to get people to let down their guards. Myron is a charismatic character from the start with his speech about how toys are made to be cheap on purpose nowadays and how it’s all a conspiracy. I’m always eager to hear about conspiracies and this guy was full of them. Things escalated quite a lot from there as Myron and Howard would bodyslam each other and get into a lot of chaos.

Howard typically took the high road or at least the less painful one. Myron slammed him into CDs, blasted him with pepper spray, threatened Howard with a gun, threatened Howard’s son, etc. Howard hit him with a toy car, got a mob to tackle Myron, and slammed a door in his hand. You can easily tell who the more unhinged one is here. Myron is always ready for a truce when he’s losing though and Howard was all too ready to except the quick shot of Miller Time. It wasn’t enough to quench his thirst though.

While not quite as great as Myron, Howard’s still a good main character as well. Once he infiltrates the villain organization, he definitely gets into the fight. He’s also a quick thinker and manages to get out in one piece. His only failing is taking a shot at the reindeer. That was pretty uncalled for and he should have just run for the hills. I didn’t really mind him deciding to get even with Ted. Breaking into the house would help teach Ted a lesson before knocking him out with the toy. It doesn’t really help that Liz refused to listen to him at all during the scene though. Howard sure does drink a lot though. He went through quite a few bottles before coming back to his senses. He may not be perfect, but he can certainly hold his own film.

Ted is the worst character in the film and that’s probably intentional. He is always flirting with Liz even though she’s married. Liz probably should have gotten Howard to step in a little sooner, but at least she ultimately gave him a stern rejection. There’s not really anything good to say about Ted and his polite facade never gets all that convincing. I wasn’t a big fan of Liz either though. It felt like she was upset for about 90% of the film. If anything, Howard seemed to have a better Christmas than her even though he was the one who kept getting attacked by just about everyone. Jamie was a little worse though. I always feel like the little kids are pretty unreasonable and he is no exception. While he can’t really guess how much effort Howard is putting into the search, he isn’t making things any easier by going on tantrums. He just needs to accept the fact that Howard can’t usually keep his promises and it’ll help him learn to expect the unexpected.

There was a Cop who got a fairly large role in the film. He came across as a jerk the whole time though so it’s hard to sympathize with him when a bomb blows up in his face and his motorcycle is destroyed by Howard. The guy was basically asking for it, but I guess you can’t say that he’s not determined. The guy certainly went all out. There aren’t really any other big characters as the cast is relatively small. The rest of the people who show up are typically just people trying to make life hard for Howard. The little kid, the store owners, they all believe that this is some kind of fun joke.

Jingle All The Way has a nice soundtrack, which helps the film out overall. You’ll get to hear a nice array of classic Christmas themes as the film goes along. It’s definitely good to have and I’m always on board for that. While there are no real fight scenes to test the effects, the climax of the film plays out a bit like a real Turbo Man clip with Howard getting to take down Myron once and for all. That was a fun way to end the film and you’ll just feel bad for the actor who got knocked out by Myron. The poor guy never even saw it coming.

Overall, It’s easy to see why Jingle All The Way is such a solid film. It has rapid pacing and the writing is on point. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and embraces the battles between the two leads the whole time. The only weak part of the film is the Ted plot as it seriously did not need to be here. Liz also handled the whole thing as badly as you can imagine. She shouldn’t have let him even help set up the lights, much less be in a position to put up the Star while Howard was watching. It added the extra drama, but I don’t think the film would have changed much if he wasn’t around. Well, I definitely recommend this film. You may have missed out on the chance to see it for Christmas, but it’s a fun enough film to watch anytime. Also, it is snowing today so now might be a good chance to check it out right?

Overall 7/10