The Santa Clause poster

The Santa Clause

by John Pasquin
Specifics
USA [1994] - 97 mins
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy
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1.0*/5.0*

Cheap effects, a poor performance by Tim Allen, a horrible kid and a mediocre Christmas story. Even though the film tries to get the Christmas feeling across, it's just too flimsy and shoddy to have any kind of effect. It's a bit surprising Disney went this cheap, at least they put more effort into their kids films nowadays.

My American Grandson poster

My American Grandson

by Ann Hui
Also known as
Shanghai Jiaqi
Specifics
Taiwan, Hong Kong [1991] - 100 mins
Genre
Drama
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2.0*/5.0*

Somewhat tepid and simplistic drama by Ann Hui. The film looks nice for a 90s Hong Kong film, but the drama between a grandfather and his visiting grandson is hardly substantial. The acting is poor, the film is predictable and there's absolutely nothing that makes this one stand out. Not terrible, just forgettable.

27: Gone Too Soon poster

27: Gone Too Soon

by Simon Napier-Bell
Specifics
UK [2018] - 90 mins
Genre
Documentary, Music
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1.0*/5.0*

Doc on the "club of 27", 6 influential pop idols that died at the age of 27. They suffered in their younger years and were unable to cope with their success, that's about the only thing to come from this doc. The rest is just a quick rundown of the event that lead to their death. Pretty pointless and not very informative.

The Bourne Legacy poster

The Bourne Legacy

by Tony Gilroy
Specifics
USA, Japan [2012] - 135 mins
Genre
Action, Adventure, Thriller
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1.5*/5.0*

A poor and derivative sequel/reboot to a series that wasn't all that interesting to begin with. Renner has trouble replacing Damon, Weisz is almost invisible and Norton isn't much of a bad guy. The first 90 minutes are dull beyond belief, but a well done action sequence at the end does make a small difference.

Miracle on 34th Street poster

Miracle on 34th Street

by George Seaton
Specifics
USA [1947] - 96 mins
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Family
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1.5*/5.0*

Quintessential Christmas classic. Edmund Gwenn is superb as Santa Claus, but that's about the only positive thing to be said about this one. It's all rather plain and functional with not much actual Christmas atmosphere to speak of. At least it's short and rather uplifting, but it's not a film I'd like to revisit.

Arhats in Fury poster

Arhats in Fury

by Hsing-Lai Wang
Also known as
Ba Bai Luo Han
Specifics
China, Hong Kong [1985] - 91 mins
Genre
Action
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3.0*/5.0*

A film that was clearly distancing itself from the Shaw Bros legacy. Arhats in Fury is a transition film, with still plenty of SB traces present, but also different enough to stand out. At times the production feels quick and dirty, but the martial arts scenes are top notch and in the end that's what a film like this is all about.

Scrooged poster

Scrooged

by Richard Donner
Specifics
USA [1988] - 101 mins
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
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2.5*/5.0*

A film that somewhat works, despite Murray's presence. Murray's character requires him to be annoying, but he's just too loud and obnoxious. The stuff surrounding him is pretty goofy and funny, though time also chipped away at its edginess. There are some fun moments, but overall it's just not that great.

Mr. Long poster

Mr. Long

by Hiroyuki Tanaka
Also known as
Ryu San
Specifics
Japan, Taiwan [2017] - 129 mins
Genre
Drama, Crime
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4.0*/5.0*

Another quality Tanaka film. More in line with Bunny Drop, combining drama and comedy to great effect. Mr. Long also introduces some crime elements, though they are very limited. Well shot, perfectly acted, dramatically impeccable. It's not as unique as some of his other films, but well worth a watch.

Nativity! poster

Nativity!

by Debbie Isitt
Specifics
UK [2009] - 105 mins
Genre
Comedy, Family
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2.0*/5.0*

Cheaply produced Christmas film, which is oddly enough its saving grace. Not that it's a great film, but because it's rather crude and down to earth, the usual cheese isn't all that overpowering. The kids are genuinely amusing and Freeman is nice as grumpy teacher. Decent filler, but don't expect too much of it.

Bringing Up Baby poster

Bringing Up Baby

by Howard Hawks
Specifics
USA [1938] - 102 mins
Genre
Comedy, Family, Romance
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1.0*/5.0*

Grating. Grant is absolutely horrible and Hepburn's voice is completely unsuited for screwball comedies. The dialogue is fast and there's plenty of it, but almost none of it is funny. And so, safe a few inspired moments, the film simply goes on and on and on, growing increasingly more annoying with each passing minute.

The Christmas Chronicles poster

The Christmas Chronicles

by Clay Kaytis
Specifics
USA [2018] - 104 mins
Genre
Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
More info on
1.0*/5.0*

Bog standard Christmas film with some annoying attempts to modernize things. Russell sucks as santa, the kids are intolerable and the story is rather longwinded. There's also some atrocious animation and a cheesy ending. I'm sure this was an honest attempt to make a modern Christmas classic, it just didn't work.

Follow the Fleet poster

Follow the Fleet

by Mark Sandrich
Specifics
USA [1936] - 110 mins
Genre
Comedy, Musical, Romance
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2.0*/5.0*

Another one of Sandrich's famous Astaire & Rogers collaborations. It's a very typical musical, with a bunch familiar songs and a few token dance sequences. The plot is negligible and it probably should've been a little shorter, but if you're a fan of Astaire & Rogers you really can't go wrong with this one.

Sully poster

Sully

by Clint Eastwood
Specifics
USA [2016] - 96 mins
Genre
Biography, Drama
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2.0*/5.0*

A rather plain and tepid drama about a plane crash. It features some interesting bits about the media portrayal of heroes, but apart from that it's mostly US patriotism and hero worshipping of the worst kind. Eastwood's direction is as flavorless as ever, so is Hanks' portrayal of Sully. Not terrible, but quite boring.