2¢ After Dark, 2¢ Christmas, Uncategorized

2¢ After Dark: Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Jingle Bells
Drax smells
Bacon runs away
Oh what fun it is to watch
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday

It’s Christmastime and Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) is feeling blue. It hasn’t been easy since losing Gamora, and he’s not in a holiday spirit kinda mood. In an effort to cheer their friend up, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) devise a poorly hatched plan to travel to Earth and kidnap Earth’s Legendary Hero, Kevin Bacon, and give him to Peter as a present. What could possibly go wrong?!?! I’ll give you a hint. Everything. Everything goes wrong.

The Guardians gang is all here for an outta this galaxy Holiday Special! It all the great things any Guardians of the Galaxy movie has: My favorite group of characters, great humor (Seriously, it’s so funny!), a fun action sequence, and fantastic music including two fun numbers original to the story: I Don’t Know What Christmas Is and Here It Is Christmastime.

I LOVED IT!!! I was smiling and laughing the entire time. It’s so much fun! And as usual, the story is heartwarming in a totally weird way that only Guardians of the Galaxy could pull off! I loved the focus on Drax and Mantis. I love these charts even more than I did before. Stream it now on Disney Plus. If you don’t, you’re really missing out!
A side note for parents: Damn is used 3 times. Shit is used once. Just a heads up in case you don’t want to expand your child’s vocabulary in a new colorful direction.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 comes out May 5, 2023, and I can’t wait. Except I can because I’m not ready to say goodbye to any of these amazing characters yet! Be on the lookout for my reviews of Guardians 1&2 coming in the Spring.

2¢ Christmas

Christmas Specials and End Of Year Wrap-Up

An evil snowman threatens to shut down the toy store and Scooby-Doo and the gang are on the case!

This was more fun than any 22 minute special had any right to be. And a monster that’s actually scary. The snowman shape shifts into a spider. It’s freaky! This special is really enjoyable! Stream it now on HBO Max

Elsa and Anna are sad over their lack of Christmas traditions so Olaf sets off to collect as many Christmas traditions as possible.

The longest short EVER! Super cute with more songs than are necessary for 22 minutes, but it wouldn’t be Frozen without them! (But did Kristoff really need his own song! No, he did not!) Not so short but very sweet. A nice addition to the Frozen franchise. Stream it now on Disney Plus.

My favorites of 2021 in TV, Movies, Manga, and books.

This brings to an end the first annual 2¢ 25 Days of Christmas Event.

2¢ Christmas, Dare to Compare

Dare To Compare: Home Alone And Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Runaway Bride

Negligent parenting… So nice they did it twice!

Eight-year-old Kevin McAlister ( Macaulay Culkin) gets his wish when his family accidentally leaves him home alone for Christmas. The bright side is that someone is home to protect the house from being robbed. It’s one kid against two lame-brained bandits with Kevin winning through the use of some quick thinking and set of booby traps. In the end, Kevin learns that he’d rather be with his family than without them, and everyone is reunited on Christmas Day.

Two years later, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is released. It’s the same plot as the original. The only major difference is that Kevin takes the wrong flight to New York instead of Florida with the rest of his family. Instead of a scary next-door neighbor, there’s a scary bird lady. The bandits have escaped jail and somehow mange to run into Kevin. (Because they wanted to keep the plot as realistic as possible!) Naturally, they’re out for revenge. Instead of robbing homes, they’ve switched things up and are robbing toy stores! Kevin stops them by employing the same methods as last because why mess with what ain’t broke?! Once again, the bad guys lose to a kid, and the family is reunited on Christmas Day.

Both movies are fun and laugh-out-loud funny even though the writers copy-and-pasted the first script over to a new document come time for the sequel and prayed to God no one would notice! (And then they did it again with a different kid five years later… And again…And again…) Watch all the Home Alone you can stand on Disney Plus!

When Donna (Catherine Tate) mysteriously winds up in the TARDIS, The Doctor (David Tennant) finds himself with more than he barganed for: a loud-mouth, obnoxious bride-to-be, Robot Santas, killer Christmas trees, and the Empress of Racnoss’s plan to destroy the world. And he’s still getting over the loss of Rose Tyler. It’s anything but peace on earth!

This is Doctor Who at its most bonkers. There’s no other show where you can take robot Santas and giant spider monsters hell-bent on world annihilation and have it make some sort of sense by story’s end The chemistry between David Tennant and Catherine Tate is absolute fire! One of the best comedic duos on television. Thankfully, this isn’t the last time we see them together. The Runaway Bride lays the groundwork for stories to come. It’s funny. It’s serious and emotional when it needs to be. It’s insane and fun. I enjoyed this special more the second time around. Donna can be annoying at first, but has grown on me with time. She ends up having one of the best character arcs of the show, but Spoilers! As River Song likes to say!

2¢ Christmas

Elf and The Grinch

Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) discovers that he’s actually human and travels from the North Pole to New York City to track down his birth father, bringing along some much needed Christmas spirit along with him.
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” – Buddy

One of the best Christmas movies EVER! And one of the only family friendly movies Will Ferrell has EVER made! This father/son centric story is funny and heartwarming in all the right places. I also really enjoy the romantic sparks between Buddy and Jovie.

Director John Favreau definitely accomplished what he set out to do: Make a classic holiday film.

The familiar story about a Grinch whose heart is three sizes too small, who by stealing all the presents, ends up reminding the Whos what Christmas is really about.

“The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there – on such short notice! Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn’t allow it. 4:00, wallow in self-pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me – I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?”

There are some roles actors are born to play, and Jim Carrey was born to play the Grinch! He plays him perfectly especially the sarcastic and over-the-top comedy he’s known for.

I also liked that Anthony Hopkins did the narration.

Other than the original Chuck Jones animated version, this is the best adaptation of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. (Sorry to Benedict Cumberbatch and Illumination.)

This movie is great for the family particularly families with older kids as there is a lot of adult humor that hopefully flies over young viewers’ heads.

2¢ Christmas

Santa Clause Trilogy; Arthur Christmas and Fred Claus

From Tool-Man Taylor to Santa Clause…

After Santa Claus falls from the roof to his death, and a little begging from his young son Charlie (Eric Lloyd), Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) reluctantly puts on the Santa suit. This enacts the Santa Clause, and Scott inherits all the responsibility and the appearance of Santa whether he wants the job or not!

I always forget how good this movie is until I watch it again! A modern Christmas Classic and a Must Watch during the holiday season! It’s one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies! I use too many exclamation points!

It’s not often that a sequel is just as good as the original, if not better than the original. But there’s no such thing as a sequel slump for The Santa Clause 2!
This time around the Mrs. Clause is in play and Scott Calvin must get married or lose his job as Santa plus his son winds up on the naughty list! 😮Say it ain’t so!

The Santa Clause 2 is full of fun and laughs! No one does it quite like Tim Allen can do it. The man is something special and always a joy to watch! A Definite Must for Holiday viewing!

Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) tries to balance family life with his Santa responsibilities all while to keep Jack Frost (Martin Short) from taking over Christmas!

This movie is fun. This used to be my favorite of the trilogy, but I didn’t enjoy it as much this time around for some reason or other. Martin Short steals the show as Jack Frost. My favorite part of the movie starts when the Escape Clause is enacted and we flashback to the original Santa Clause with Jack and Scott fighting for the Santa suit. The entire third act of the movie is golden. It’s not as good as the two that came before it, but it’s still fun to watch. See it now on Disney Plus.

Once a protective older brother, Fred Claus (Vince Vaugn) feels overshadowed by his younger brother Nick (Paul Giamatti). (Yes, the one you’re thinking of.) Fred grows to hate his younger brother, and becomes as much a sinner as Nick is a Saint.

After getting thrown in jail, Fred begs Nick for bail money, but Nick has another idea: Fred comes to visit and work at the North Pole to earn the money.
It couldn’t be a worse time to visit since an efficiency expert has dropped in with every intention of closing the North Pole down. Just when it seems like Christmas will be cancelled, Fred steps up and saves the day!

I forgot how good this movie is! It’s so funny! The comedy is balanced by heartwarming and heart string-tugging moments. A fun spin on the oft-told Santa tale. Stream it now on HBO Max.

After a child’s gift has failed to be delivered, Santa’s son Arthur (James McAvoy) is determined to get her present to her on time so that she doesn’t think Santa forgot about her. It’ll take every ounce of worry he’s got to make it to Gwen on time!

5/5 Arthur Christmas is one of my favorites! It’s so much fun, and Arthur is a really relatable character. Anxiety ridden, klutzy, and completely lovable and totally deserving of the role of Santa by movie’s end! It’s a must-see!

Favorite Quote: “I have to worry! It’s the only thing I’m good at!”

2¢ Christmas

Holiday Transition

Tom Popper’s (Jim Carrey) life is turned upside down when his dearly departed dad sends him one final gift: A penguin. When trying to send the pest back, he finds himself with five more penguins instead! Six pesky penguins threaten to derail his career, but could be what’s needed to the Popper family back together again.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins is perfect for when you want to watch a Christmas movie without really watching a Christmas movie. It’s funny and sweet. It’s Jim Carrey at his best. A movie full of comedy gold. Plus, Clark Gregg stars as the movie’s villain. It’s interesting to watch him in this role after spending years watching him play good guy Agent Coulson in the MCU. I own this one, but you can watch it now on Disney Plus.

Rise of the Guardians is of my all-time favorite movies! I don’t watch nearly enough. Technically this isn’t a Christmas movie, but it has Santa in it so I’m counting as one. Plus, it’s my site, and I can do what I want! I wrote this review last year, and my thoughts haven’t changed a bit since the last time I watched it. I’d only add that Jack Frost is the hottest animated boy ever! And reiterate that Chris Pine has the kind of voice I could listen to forever. ♥️ Now, Dreamworks, where’s my sequel?!

In 2012, the Avengers assembled on our screens for the first time. That same year another team was formed: The Guardians. Jack Frost, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa, and Sandman came together to defeat Pitch and restore the belief in magic in every child worldwide.

5/5 EASY! One of Dreamwork’s most underrated films EVER! Beautifully animated, an interesting plot with awesome characters. It’s just as good as anything Disney has released in recent years, but it’s a movie rarely talked about. The cast is amazing. Alec Baldwin is unrecognizable as the voice of Santa. Jude Law plays a fantastic villain! And as a side fangirl note, Chris Pine has the kind of voice I could listen to forever. ❤️ This movie is totally worthy of a sequel, and it’s such a shame it wasn’t given one! I’d be the first in line for a ticket if that happened!

2¢ Christmas

Disney Plus Christmas Finds Plus Princess Switch 3

Godmother-in-training, Eleanor (Jillian Bell) is determined to save the Godmothering profession by granting the wish of former 10 year old child, present day adult Mackenzie (Isla Fisher) The only problem is that Mackenzie no longer believes in fairy tales and has a limited time to convince her before the portal back to the Motherland is closed forever!

Godmothered is the knock-off Enchanted, a complete copycat set at Christmas time. It’s like the people at Disney forced the writers and Jillian Bell to watch Enchanted repeatedly until the writers could knock out a copy-and-paste plotline and she could copy Amy Adams’s performance of Giselle perfectly. From the voice to the mannerisms to several similar plot points, Godmothered doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of story or performance. But it still manages to be a total blast anyway. I guess if the formula ain’t broke don’t fix it! Watch it now on Disney Plus.

After a Christmas gone wrong, Rowena (Scarlett Estevez) asks Santa for a do-over. When her wish is granted, she tries to recreate old family memories without her family. She then decides to get her parents back together. She eventually learns to accept her family as they are, and to help others around her.

After a hard-to-sit through beginning, Christmas Again?! becomes the fun Groundhog Day-esque movie it’s meant to be. At times it’s funny, and at times it tugs at the heartstrings. Overall it’s a cute Christmas TV movie worth seeing once. Streaming now on Disney Plus.

Clara (Mackenzie Foy) receives one last gift her late mother: A music box with no key. At her godfather’s party, she follows a golden thread that leads her into a parallel universe featuring characters from The Nutcracker. She finds the key which is immediately stolen sending her on a mission to find it.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a hot, pastel-colored mess. The writers were probably high on something. At least that’s what it feels like. The only interesting thing about this movie was the twist with the villain. That’s it. It’s long. It’s boring. The score is great. The credits are fantastic! (And not because I watched them, but because it meant the movie was over!) You’re not missing out on anything, if you don’t watch it. There are better options out there, but it’s on Disney Plus if you want to check it out for yourself.

After Santa dies, his son Nick (Bill Hader) inherits the role of Santa. Right before Christmas, he runs away when the pressures of his new job get to him. Now his sister Noelle (Anna Kendrick) has to track him down and bring him back home before their cousin Gabe (Billy Eichner) ruins Christmas for most of the world’s children.

This was cute. It was slow in the beginning, but it gets better as it goes along. A fun and heartwarming gender-bent Santa tale worth checking out. Watch now on Disney Plus.

Another year. Another Princess Switch sequel. And it’s the worst out of the three.
When the Star of Peace is stolen, Margaret and Stacy team up with “crooked’ cousin Fiona (all played by Vanessa Hudgens) to steal it back. Fiona enlists a guy from her past to help them, and romance manages to blossom between the characters despite me hardly feeling any chemistry between the actors who play them.
This movie felt longer than an hour and forty-six minutes. It sounded like the cast was reading from the script, just saying their lines woodenly most of the time. And still, despite being the most boring out of the trilogy, it managed to be way more entertaining than The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. You can plod through it now on Netflix.

2¢ Christmas

Prep and Landing Shorts and Christmas Ice Age Special

Wayne is passed by for a management position at Prep and Landing and must continue to play the field prepping homes for Santa’s safe arrival. Much to his chagrin, he’s paired with rookie Lanny. Wayne’s sour mood threatens the entire Prep and Landing operation. Because of this, Timmy’s house is almost skipped. Wayne has to pull his big elf pants up to work together with Lanny and save Timmy’s Christmas!

I love this short! Grumpy elf in office sitcom style show is up my alley. I wish they’d done a full blown episodic show with this. It would’ve been awesome. A new 4 episode season every December would’ve been nice!

Wrong Poster supposed to be Secret Santa

Wayne and Lanny are sent on a mission by Mrs. Claus to retrieve a gift for Santa. The gift is in his office. They need to get in and get out without being caught or risk being put on the Naughty List.

A sweet and funny elf-sized short. It’s amazing how a complete story can fit in only 8 minutes. See it on Disney Plus.

Wayne and Lanny must save Christmas once again. They team up with a Coal Brigade elf, Wayne’s brother Noel, to keep a Fruitcake Conduct Calculator out of the hands of jinglesmell1337. Noel and Wayne don’t get along, and need to find some way to work together before they ruin Christmas for everyone!

I haven’t come across a Prep and Landing short I haven’t enjoyed. My only complaint is that there’s not more of them! Watch now on Disney Plus.

An Ice Age Christmas Special? Count me in!

When Sid breaks Manny’s sacred family Christmas Rock, he lands himself on Santa’s Naughty List. Peaches, Crash, and Eddie convince Sid to join them on a mission to find Santa to:

  1. Prove to Manny that Santa exists
  2. To get Sid off the Naughty List

This short was so funny! It’s classic Ice Age Christmas Style. The entire cast from the movies returns in this laugh riot of a short TV film. Don’t miss it! I’m sorry I didn’t watch it sooner. Available now on Disney Plus.

2¢ Christmas

Classic Disney Vol. 1

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas is a series of 3 shorts. Each one focuses on Classic Disney characters, and explores the true meaning behind the Christmas season. The secular view anyway.

  1. Huey, Dewy, and Louie wish that Christmas would happen every day. They get their wish via a Groundhog Day scenario, and they quickly learn that a never-ending Christmas isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
  2. Pete plants doubt in Max’s mind about the existence of Santa, and Goofy does everything to convince him that Santa is real and wouldn’t forget him.
  3. Mickey and Minnie star in Disney’s version of Gifts of the Magi, playing the part of a couple who gives up their most prized possession in order to get each other the perfect Christmas gift.

These shorts were cute and heartwarming.This wasn’t my favorite, I prefer Mickey’s Christmas Carol, but I still liked it. I especially loved getting to hear Alan Young as Scrooge McDuck. He’s a voice talent that is missed. See it on Disney Plus.

Three spirits show up on Christmas Eve to remind Scrooge McDuck about the true meaning of Christmas.

My favorite version of A Christmas Carol reenacted by Classic Disney characters. I’ve loved this short since I was a kid. It was fun to see it again! Watch it on Disney Plus!

PS. If you pay attention to some scenes, you’ll see several characters from Robin Hood walking and dancing in the background.