The Christmas Chronicles


Viewed – 16 December 2018  Netflix

In hindsight, Kurt Russel makes for a perfect Santa Claus, but as I sat down to watch this I thought … really?  I’ve been a fan of this guy for a long time (Kurt I mean, although who doesn’t like Santa?), and this story has two kids on Christmas Eve out to catch him in the act of delivering presents, and unwittingly sabotage Christmas when they stow away on his slay.

Santa

It’s a fairly typical Hollywood rendition of a Christmas movie and focuses on a family who have since lost the children’s father who was a fire fighter, and we get a stereotypical moody teenager on the brink of going off the rails with the wrong crowd, and a spirited younger sister who still believes in the magic of Christmas.  I’ll admit the somewhat motor-mouth young girl playing the sister got irritating fast, and the squabbling between her and her brother was cliched as hell.  Yet this is Kurt Russell’s movie and showcases an actor, who let’s agree hasn’t been in that big a stuff of late, seriously on top of his game and makes an initially grumpy Santa very likeable and fun.  The movie’s budget sadly shows cut backs in the CGI department, with the elves looking like Minion rejects, and overly this isn’t that flashy or visually creative.  A small twist towards the end involving Santa’s hat doesn’t make much sense either.

However for a perfect getting in the mood for Christmas experience, this does the trick, is funny, exciting in parts and delivers one of the most endearing Santas I think I’ve ever seen on screen.  Worth a watch.

Verdict:  3 /5

Merry Christmas


It’s that time of year again and how fast it seems to have come around.  Doesn’t feel like twelve months.  I’m having a really nice day and have been spoilt rotten so thank you so much to those that have got me anything and I really hope you like what I got you!

This year I have had a couple of box set, namely the Blu-ray set of the cult TV series (due back in 2017…) Twin Peaks which comprises of the full, re-mastered versions of the two seasons of the show as well as the movie, Fire, Walk With Me.  Another box set I got is it has to be said, well overdue and a series of movies I intend to fully review on this blog…yes, its Harry Potter!!  I confess I have never watched a Harry Potter movie but I am actually really looking forward to delving into this much acclaimed and popular world.  In addition to the box sets, I have also had a very nice book, namely ‘The Secret History of Twin Peaks’ by series co-creator Mark Frost and am excited to read through that as a great companion-piece to my Twin Peaks collection.  I also received the much anticipated (and long awaited) The Last Guardian for PS4.  In the picture below you’ll also find an R2D2 mug, and well, I love novelty mugs so that was a nice surprise.  Oh yes, and a Jennifer Lawrence calendar – don’t judge me!  ha ha.  As well as the above, I also got the usual smellies, clothing etc and have to say I’m really humbled by what I’ve received this year.

20161225_125046

I’ll take this opportunity to also thank you, my readers / visitors to this blog.  All year round I write it as a hobby, a continued interest and next year will mark 10 years that I’ve been running Craig’s Movie Report.  I’m not particularly popular or put that much content on here, but I love running this blog and love any feedback or interest I get.  So thank you all.

Merry Christmas and here’s to a wonderful Happy New Year!

Krampus


Viewed – 26 April 2016  online-rental

I can’t say these days I’m really a Christmas person and well, stopped watching Christmas themed movies a while back.  It’s something about the traditions, the schmaltz and the build up that mostly leaves me cold.  However outside of Christmas is watching a Christmas movie wrong?  Well I did it anyway, thankfully this one spins such age old traditions on their head.

krampus

A dysfunctional family are getting together to spend Christmas eating, getting drunk and arguing.  There’s a few stereotypes, such as the moody teenage daughter, the annoying brother in law, the creepy grandma and the wise beyond his years little kid.  It wear’s its clichés with pride however and perfectly sets the tone for a decidedly old-school yarn – with a bit of a sting in it’s tale.  You see said kid has lost all faith in the spirit of Christmas and just wishes his family were ‘like how they used to be’ and then suddenly, there’s a power cut, the town is blanketed in snow and something is lurking in the shadows.

For this one think Gremlins, a clear inspiration with a smattering of Critters and Poltergeist for good measure.  We get demonic Gingerbread Men, a mutated jack-in-the-box and the Krampus itself; a horned, hooved and cloaked monster.  I had a ball with this.  It’s very 80’s in its look and feel, and the cast of mostly b-list actors (with Toni Collette of Sixth Sense and Muriel’s Wedding fame) all do a good job of portraying their caricature-styled roles.  Along with a fun animated flashback to when one character first met the titular demon, this is packed with energy and creativity.  The reasoning behind why shit-goes-down initially seemed a bit ‘really?’, and that final scene felt like a cop-out.  And yes, it could have been scarier (it still managed to be creepy in the right places) and more violent … but as a fairly audience-friendly horror this still managed to deliver a quality evening’s viewing that’s worth checking out Christmas or not.

Verdict:  4 /5

Merry Christmas!!!


Well the day is finally here.  Here’s what I got this year… 

Christmas2014

Consisting of this year’s prezzies was:  USB powered computer speakers (JBL Pebbles), the complete Breaking Bad on Blu-ray, A Nightmare On Elm Street seven film collection, again on Blu-ray and a surprise, the complete Die Hard also on Blu-ray.  Add to this a very nice pen that’s been engraved with my name on it, and the official Scarlett Johansson 2015 calendar … growl!  Not pictured was various smellies, clothing, sweets etc. etc.  All in all very very pleased.

So wishing everyone a really great Christmas and to those that I got presents for, hope you like what I got you!

Ho ho ho.

Craig.

Elf


Viewed – 21 December 2011  Blu-ray

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a Christmas movie.  Last year was a bit of a let down (cough, A Christmas Carol, cough), but this year I was borrowed this much-loved movie starring comedy star Will Ferrell.  Telling the tale of a baby who when Santa visited an orphanage, snook into his sack, and it wasn’t until Santa returned to the North Pole that he discovered he had a stowaway.  Deciding to bring up the human baby amongst the elves in his workshop, after 30 years, Poppa Elf realises that ‘buddy’ the elf should be told the truth, and so sends him to New York to track down his real father, a mean-spirited business man, played by James Caan.

This is thoroughly charming stuff.  At first I found it a touch too kiddie, with its near-cartoon like rendition of the north pole etc, but once events jumped to the big apple, I really began to enjoy myself.  Will Ferrell is clearly a gifted comedy actor, and reminds me of Chevy Chase to a degree, and his slapstick antics and just all round likability, made him very easy to watch.  Supporting Ferrell is James Caan in a role he’s done plenty of times, and doesn’t really deliver anything surprising (what, the mean business man discovers his softer side eventually?  Who didn’t see that coming?!), and love-interest Zooey Deschanel is gorgeous, but offers little more than a pretty face and a good singing voice, with wafer-thin characterisation.

This is clearly Ferrell’s show then, which is no bad thing as he’s often laugh-out-loud funny, with many of the fish-out-of-water situations really hitting my funny bone.  Considering up until now I was feeling a bit bar-humbug, this has got me in the Christmas spirit no end, and at this time of year, who can ask for more?  The ending also, was feel-good heaven.

Verdict:  4 /5