All Around TV It’s Christmas

THE HOGFATHER (2007) was a two-part British adaptation of Terry Goodkind’s Discworld book, in which the mysterious Auditors hire the Assassins Guild to take out the Hogfather (Discworld’s Santa), forcing Death to step in and make Hogfather’s rounds for him while his bemused granddaughter tries to put a stop to the scheme. A bit heavy on the satire in spots (like Death’ visit to a shopping mall in disguise) but overall fun, and a nice rationalization for why believing in Santa is good. “This is the season for holly and being jolly and—and other things ending in ‘olly.’.”
THE JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES: A Very J-Team Christmas was a seasonal episode of the early 21st century ‘toon, wherein a Chinese wizard tries to steal Santa’s chi (“What? You want to take my cheese?”) forcing Jackie and his various sidekicks to head to the North Pole for a rescue. Amusing enough, though they could have done more with Jade’s skepticism (“How can a girl who fights demon ninjas not believe in Santa?”). “Why are you bringing a Christmas elf to a Hanukkah party?”
RARE EXPORTS: A Christmas Tale (2010) is an effective Christmas Horror story from Finland in which a young boy realizes that American mining project nearby has unearthed the demonic child-punisher now known as Santa Claus, which of course results in Very Bad Things. This comes close to being a parody of Santa is Real stories; the ending doesn’t make sense to me, but it’s fun to see a Christmas movie in which the characters end just as mercenary as when they started). “How do you like the Northern lights?”
ONE CHRISTMAS (1994) is a standard seasonal drama with Henry Winkler as a reprobate father saddled with his kid for the season, which complicates his relationship with Swoosie Kurtz and her irascible mother Katherine Hepburn. Par for this particular course.
ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (2011) is the latest in the Santa’s Children subgenre, an animated film in which the eponymous protagonist has to save Christmas when his father’s ineptitude and his brothers technocratic efficiency leaves one child missing a present. Amusing enough, but nothing more, though it’s novel that both brothers turn out to be good guys (usually when the Clauses have two kids, one of them’s rotten). “Reindeer are loyal, powerful beasts, but they’re also dappled cretins with twigs on their heads!””
WHITE CHRISTMAS (1959) has entertainer Danny Kaye try to slow up workaholic partner Bing Crosby by flinging singer Rosemary Clooney at him—which somehow leads them (along with Clooney’s sister Vera Allen) try to save their former CO’s failing Vermont Inn by Putting On A Show. The Irving Berlin score is so-so, and I doubt this would be a perennial if not for the Christmas link—but given the cast, it can’t help but be entertaining. “Uh-oh—he’s got that Rogers-and-Hammerstein look in his eyes again.”
GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST (2009) is a reworked Christmas Carol in which sleazy womanizer Matthey McConaghy learns from the usual three ghosts how following in the footsteps of uncle Michael Douglas (“You know he invented the word MILF?”) has cost him his chance at true love with Jennifer Garner. I’m not a McConaghy fan but he does a good job here, though he’s such an obvious jerk, I can’t buy so many women falling for him.
CHRISTMAS IS HERE AGAIN (2007) amounts to What If The Grinch Did Steal Christmas, as the evil Krad’s theft of Santa’s sack (which can hold all the toys because it’s made out of Jesus’ swaddling clothes) condemns the world to 30 years of Christmaslessness until a plucky little orphan saves the day. Very poor and the songs are dreadful. “Ever since I was young/I”ve known I was the evil one/I’ve tried to be nice but I can’t/I’d rather hula dance!”


Filed under Movies, TV

2 responses to “All Around TV It’s Christmas

  1. Pingback: The three kinds of Christmas Story | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: It’s the season for some more of those “Christmas Carol things” | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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