Chaos Attraction

Bad Christmas Movie Review

2010-12-25, 9:40 a.m.

So, Christmas at my house so far is going well. No crying! I think she's really liking it. We ran around to various stores for foodstuffs, then went home to watch uh... Christmas movies that are not in the holiday canon for being good.

(Though, alas, SHE IS STILL UNDISSUADED ABOUT THE DAMN IPAD. She just said, "Oh, I'll make payments on it and leave you two out of it." And according to her going into a Target, there's still a sale. WHAT? I give up.)

Anyhoo, while she's busy making pizza for breakfast, I'm going to post some reviews of the movies we saw last night, just for kicks.

"Call Me Claus," a 2001 made for TV movie featuring uh... more famous people than I'd expect to see in such a flick. Whoopi Goldberg stars, also has Victor Garber and Taylor Negron and a few other folks you might recognize.

The plot: as a cute 8-year-old or so, Lucy (Whoopi) asked Santa to bring her daddy home from Vietnam for Christmas. Too bad Daddy came home in a wooden box. Yes, they found that out on the way back from the Santa visit. Oh yeah, and while she was at Santa's, she tried on the hat and it glowed. This Will Be Significant Later, for some reason.

As an adult, Lucy is some kind of producer at the Home Shopping-Esque Network, which is now hiring a Santa to hawk their products. Of course they hire the real guy, who doesn't need to like, worry about the gifts or the naughty list and has plenty of time to work at Shop-A-Lot. He's also being nagged a lot by elf Taylor Negron, and seems to be at the bottom of his list of potential replacements to be Santa for some reason. Apparently after 200 years of the job, Santa has to recruit uh...a hat glower the end of Christmas Eve or else Noah's Ark flooding ensues. (Why? Does the North Pole melt? They do not say.) "Nick" makes everyone a lot of money, Lucy bitches about getting lattes.

Eventually she gets dragged to the North Pole, where she grumpily refers to the elves as "goblins" and that PISSES THEM THE SMACK OFF. (Later in the movie, Taylor Negron Elf says, "Pardon my goblin, but...") When Lucy asks why this is a problem, Taylor Negron Elf gets to deliver what is, by far, the weirdest line of the movie.

"Goblins are bad thieves. They're what happen when gnomes and leprechauns get drunk on a beach. At NIGHT."

Whoopi is just as shocked at the audience, and like the rest of us, repeats this line back in shock. I can't help but wonder, what does the AT NIGHT have to do with drunken gnome/leprechaun sex? Why does that make it worse? Goblins only exist when conceived under the light of a full moon or something?

Anyway, this movie isn't so good on explaining plot points like "why the glowing hat" and "why is a middle-aged black woman the only person who can replace the most famous old white guy on earth?" Eventually Lucy puts on the hat and tools around in Santa training, taking some time off to do silly dances and go visit her niece and crap, while Taylor Negron Elf is all, "No, seriously, WE HAVE A SCHEDULE HERE AND 3 MILLION PRESENT TO DELIVER. We gotta go NOW." (Especially when he's gotta break in the noob on top of that.) Lucy keeps griping at him to shut up and stop nagging her, but I think he's got a point.

I should also mention that Lucy (a) gets odd white dreads added to the hat, and (b) the one kid she sees in a house can't help but notice she's a girl. It makes me wonder how they plan on explaining Black Lady Santa for the next 200 years.

Fun IMDB Movie Facts:
* Up 132% in popularity this week on IMDB.
* The guy who played Santa, Nigel Hawthorn, was dying when he made the movie and died the day after Christmas. Given the movie's plot, that's just uh, really sad.

Christmas In Wonderland:
A Canadian flick from 2007. Stars: Patrick Swayze, Tim Curry (as a Mountie with a strange Scottish? accent), Chris Kattan, Carmen Electra.

Patrick Swayze and his family move from LA to Edmonton, which is bizarrely sunny and snow-free. In CANADA. Looks like they actually filmed in Canada, but probably like in July. Dad already got laid off from the job they all moved for, which makes me wonder about if he's going to get kicked out of the country, but the movie doesn't get into that. Mom's still in LA, but bugs Dad over the phone to go take the kids out for a tree and presents and crap. So they go to the tree place-- oh, wait, no, they go to the West Edmonton Mall, "the biggest mall in North America." Where one sees no trees. One does, however, see AN ENTIRE BEACH AND WAVE POOL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MALL. And they play "California Christmas" (oh, irony) over this entire scene. There is also an ice skating rink.

Dad totally leaves his kids alone to go lingerie shopping, which he finds embarrassing and unpleasant even before his credit card gets declined. BAD IDEA.

Anyway, this one has a slightly different plot from most movies: after overhearing her dad say he could use a million dollars, little Mary asks Mall Santa for that. Soon after that, they FIND a million at the mall.

Coincidence? Not really, there's a pair of idiot thieves (Chris Kattan and his fat dumb brother, working for Carmen Electra) who have been running around buying stuff with counterfeit money and getting real money in change, and the kids ended up with the fake money. Naturally, the kids have a giant shopping spree. Tim Curry The Scottish Mountie goes after them.

Meanwhile, back in LA, the mom is doing the Home Alone airport wait, where she runs into Surfer Hippie Christopher Kringle. No, seriously.

Depressed Dad manages to have enough money to hit the mall bar, where Mall Santa tells him the story of how his dad worked 2 jobs to get Dad a pony for Christmas, then dramatically disappears. Then Dad gets arrested by Scottish Mountie.

The kids figure out they've got fake money and discuss what the problem is loudly, on the escalator, just in time for Chris Kattan and Dumb Brother to catch them. The little girl screams for help, and nobody comes... except Elderly Walker Santa. Yes, Santa gets around. Naturally, this leads to Chris Kattan ending up in the mall's SHARK TANK.

I should mention that there is a third kid in this movie, but he's too busy trolling on a hot blonde to notice this shit. The hot blonde is on the middle child's side when he finally finds the older brother. She says that they should believe the kid because he looks too scared, and middle kid is all, "You don't deserve this woman." Mary is rescued by Bob the dog and Wolf the uh... same guy who plays all the Santas and tells them not to go through a red door that leads to the North Pole. Middle kid checks and sees...funky animated elves in there! Surprise!

After older brother and the new girlfriend get arrested too, the kids break out the fake money and deck themselves out in camo and black leather and sunglasses (I'M SERIOUS) to give the bad guys "a nice gift from the Saunders family. Like a nicely wrapped box of payback." Middle kid gets on his new dirt bike and taunts the bad guys to chase him around the mall, eventually leading the bad guys to drive their stolen bike into the pool. Mary drops a water balloon on Carmen Electra and attacks her with Ping-Pong balls, and then lures her into falling through the mall ceiling. Mary throws counterfeit money down to everyone, and Carmen also lands in the pool. The Scottish Mountie thinks it's a show, as does the nearest sea lion applauding. And then the sea lion tries to drown Carmen.

After getting off the hook, mall owner Santa rolls by in his limo and offers Dad a job. Then they all go home to a trashed house thanks to the Mountie search warrant and order pizza. Next day Mom comes home (yes, shades of Home Alone) to find that it has showed and SOMEONE has decorated and given everyone a tree and gifts and dinner (in the morning?). And he left a note. Mall Santa waves at Mary from the yard before turning into the Santa lawn ornament.

Sad lines:
"Next time I see you useless pieces of LINT..." --Carmen Electra.

Tim Curry in Scottish accent:
"Don't play dumski with me!"
"And I've got monkeys flying out of my butt." (Accent has to be heard to be believed on this line.)
"Rico, get this bugger of crud out of my sight before I puke my guts up all over him."

"Bob's the dog and Wolf's the guy. That makes as much sense as anything else 'we've seen today." --middle kid.

Fun IMDB Movie Facts:
* Up 30% in popularity this week.
* One of Patrick Swayze's last movies before he died. What's with the deaths in this movie pool?
* A documentary of the making of this movie exists, which is up 38% in popularity.

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