I went into this movie entirely blind. I didn’t even know it existed until a week or so ago, and I hadn’t seen a trailer or read a blurb about it. I did know that the critics are largely for it, though.
As the opening exposition was dumped, I had a little conversation with myself:
“This is a lot. This is a lot of really weird stuff. This setup is completely bizarre and convoluted,” said one part of me.
A Christmas Hero is fascinating. Every indicator seems to point toward a docent at the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum who’s suddenly come into some money and also has vague but strong feelings about planes and veterans, wanting to make a movie that doubles as a goodhearted holiday pick-me-up and some good advertising for the museum.
At the time of this writing, I’ve given this film 4 out of 5 stars, and I think that’s more aspirational than anything: at the risk of being dishonest by not siding with my immediate feelings, I’m putting my faith in something deep down inside me that says, “there is so much to this movie that even if you didn’t feel it all tonight, you will upon repeated viewings, and this is the rating you will eventually give it.”
Jingle All the Way 2, a WWE Studios film starring Larry the Cable Guy, is a smaller, more modest, lower-energy and certainly lower-budget film than the original from which it takes its name. They share nothing in common except a superficially similar “child wants toy therefore Dad wants toy” plot. It is in every way a less impressive film, and if you handed me both and asked which one I’d rather watch at Christmas time, I’d take this every time.
Continue reading “Brian’s Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’20: Jingle All the Way 2”
I really, really, really thought I had reviewed Tokyo Godfathers for a previous Christmas Endeavor, but I can’t find any evidence of such a thing on the site. It’s better that way, though, because I’m sure I would have done a bad job of it.
At the bottom of everything, is love. And when love is present, forgiveness is usually nearby. In spite of some very dark happenings over the course of its runtime, Tokyo Godfathers earns its status as a Christmas classic by keeping these facts just beneath the surface of every event that happens on-screen. Love is what drives everything we do. Love is what keeps us together, and what brings us back together.
Continue reading “Brian’s Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’20: Tokyo Godfathers”
I hate that it has taken me so long to get around to writing about this movie. In fact, when I re-watched it about a week ago, I was full of ideas about just what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say it. But as I was with my girlfriend and unable to write at the time, I found my brain beginning to empty out rapidly over the next 24 hours. It’s the curse of my poor, broken brain.
But the show must go on, and so must I say something good about this movie, because I really love it more and more every time I watch it.
Continue reading “Brian’s Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’20: Almost Christmas”
I didn’t really like anything about this one. It felt completely joyless. The acting was fine, but I didn’t like or relate to any of the characters. I’m glad that Idris Elba’s character didn’t have some literal Come To Jesus moment, which I thought they were setting up.
It’s also weird to watch Chris Brown play the hero in something, given how he beat the shit out of Rihanna. This film took place before that incident, there appears to be more nuance to it than is commonly mentioned, I don’t know either of them personally or any of the gritty details, and it appears they are on good terms these days…but still, it just doesn’t sit right.
This movie could have taken place at any time of the year. It’s a “but I’m a singer, mama!” movie. It’s a “you owe those bad men how much?” movie. It’s a “you’re AWOL!?” movie. It’s a “you brought who home for dinner? And she’s pregnant!? movie. It’s another one of those films that is draped in Christmas scenery, but doesn’t have that Christmas cheer I’m always looking for. I don’t know. It just didn’t do a thing for me.
GBU Christmas-Adjusted Rating: 3/10
I was thinking about the way in which we are funneled by The Algorithm into our own isolated realities when I went to look up the Rotten Tomatoes reviews for Happiest Season on Hulu. You see, I was under the impression that the proverbial ‘everybody’ had a problem with this movie because it failed to stick the landing when commenting on lesbian relationships.
The thing is, when I think back now, I only saw that in two or three places. And they were mostly just snarky memes, not detailed arguments. And even if they had been detailed arguments, that’s still all they are: arguments. Opinions. The Algorithm has this way of making us thing the tiny personalized micro-zeitgeists in which it keeps us encapsulated are, in fact, the zeitgeist we are all living in. And it’s a great big lie.
Continue reading “Brian’s Exploratory Christmas Endeavor ’20: Happiest Season”