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2¢ Christmas, Sequels

The Santa Clauses

Scott Calvin’s (Tim Allen) magic is failing. After some encouragement from his wife, he takes it as a sign that it’s time to retire after nearly three decades as Santa Claus. The family hasn’t spent Christmas together in years and Scott feels he needs to be home with his family so he begins his search for his replacement. He settles on Simon Choski (Kal Penn) for the position and him and family settle for a normal life in Chicago. But Simon quickly turns out to be the wrong choice for Santa with his Christmas Every Day plan and turning the North Pole into corporation effectively killing Christmas spirit. Things go from Bad to worse when elves start disappearing.

Bernard the elf (David Krumholtz) makes his long-awaited return to talk some sense into Scott in the hope that he’ll come back to the North Pole and reclaim his role as Santa before Christmas is destroyed forever!

I loved this mini-series! The original Santa Clause trilogy are some of my all-time favorite Christmas so it was great to see the story continue with some great new characters including Scott’s daughter Sandra played by Tim Allen’s daughter Elizabeth. The series wasn’t as good as the original movies, but I rated it 5/5 because the last two episodes were the best and earned it that rating. The episodes got better with each release in general and I’m so glad Disney decided to greenlight this. Guess Tim wasn’t completely cancelled after all. ♥️ They apparently liked it so much that this limited series got renewed for a season two. I CAN’T WAIT!!! A great Christmas comedy for the entire family. Stream the entire series on Disney Plus!

2¢ Christmas, Dare to Compare

Dare to Compare: Grinch Edition

Two versions of the same story about a grouchy green guy who hates Christmas in two completely different mediums, but which one is better?

Jim Carrey’s version has always been my favorite, but I’ve enjoyed the Illumination animation adaptations of Dr. Seuss so I was more than willing to give the new animated version a shot. I’ve reviewed both versions in the past so I don’t need to do full blown reviews again so soon. Both can be found on Instagram.

The animated one wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. It added a bunch of unnecessary though interesting details like the kids trying to catch Santa in the act delivering presents and the reindeer sidekick for the Grinch. Benedict Cumberbatch is always fun to listen to even when he’s using an American accent. The movie overall is enjoyable but forgettable even though it’s my favorite of the Illumination Dr. Seuss movies.

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas live-action is one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies! One of Jim Carrey’s best roles. He was perfect as the Grinch and so funny! It doesn’t matter how many times I watch it, I laugh every single time. This version stuck closely to the original book, but still made a few changes like diving into the Grinch’s past, giving him a love interest, and giving Cindy-Lou Who a solo. It’s got lines so iconic that it’s inspired many TikTok and Instagram reel trends.

I like the new Illumination version, but the Jim Carrey version can’t be beat. His performance as the Grinch cannot be topped. They should’ve stopped here. There was no need for anymore remakes, but we all know how Hollywood likes its money. So as long as people pay, they’ll keep remaking it. For no reason. Whatsoever. You can rent or buy either version online or borrow them from the library.

2¢ After Dark, 2¢ Christmas

2¢ After Dark: Spirited

Is anyone truly unredeemable? That’s the question Spirited attempts to answer.

Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds FINALLY star in a movie together where they play the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Scrooge-like Clint respectively in this modern day take on the Classic story, A Christmas Carol.

Present is faced with retirement but pushes it off to go another round at this redeeming business choosing Unredeemable Clint as the next perp in need of redemption. Clint believes nobody can change. Present would like to prove him wrong and in the process do a little more by creating a redemption ripple effect big enough to have a global impact. But it’s hard to convince someone they can change when Present still considers himself Unredeemable even after two centuries of making up for his past. The two guys become unlikely friends and help each other where they need it most and in the end they end up providing each other’s redemption.

Spirited is a beautiful story full of flaws of the unnecessary language variety. Language includes damn, shit, bullshit, bitch, dick, and ass, along with many others. But this time, I did not care. At. All. This movie had something that the language-filled Scrooged did not: heart and soul. Plus a lot of really catchy musical numbers. Good Afternoon is my favorite! It was overflowing with the theme of redemption which is what Christmas is really about: God loving us so much that he sent Jesus to die so that he could redeem us from our sin.

The movie ended in a way I didn’t expect, but that doesn’t mean I loved it any less. It’s one of the most original movies I’ve watched in a long time. You can stream Spirited now on Apple TV. And if it doesn’t come out on DVD, I’ll be wishing Apple a Good Afternoon!

2¢ After Dark, 2¢ Christmas, Sequels

2¢ After Dark: Iron Man 3

Set after the events of the original Avengers, Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) has to deal with the mental and emotional aftermath of 2012’s Battle of New York. But once again, crap’s hitting the fan before Tony has the chance to breathe.
Back in ‘99, Tony ditches a meeting with a young inventor in favor of a one-night stand, and now Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) wants revenge. Then the mysterious Mandarin shows up and starts to destroy everyone and everything that Tony cares about and no one is safe not even Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow). Tony doesn’t have long to get to the bottom of who’s behind all the destruction before more lives are destroyed and the bomb is ticking.

Iron Man 3 is a Christmas movie, OK?! It’s my Die Hard. It’s set at Christmas so it counts! It’s also my favorite Iron Man movie. It’s got everything I like. A main character who makes morally questionable decisions who’s sarcastic and struggles with anxiety, intense fights, and explosions. Lots and lots of explosions. And the best thing Marvel ever did was pair Tony up with a ten-year-old sidekick who’s just like him.
This is one of my favorite MCU movies overall. It’s got one of my all-time favorite heroes and in my opinion, the best of the trilogy. It also has a great villain and some of the best action scenes in the MCU. When Tony’s house gets destroyed and the fight at the end with all the Iron Man suits are two of my favorite scenes. Also Pepper finally gets her time to shine as more than Tony’s girlfriend and assistant. She’s a hero in her own right. Rhodey (Don Cheedle) also has a couple action-packed standout moments as well. I also love how they dealt with anxiety in this movie. It was realistically represented and done well.

Naturally, a movie like this includes violence and language like ass, damn, hell, pissed, shit, son of a bitch, and misuse of God’s name. Once paired with damn. People get shot and blown up. Several are killed or almost killed and there’s imagery of terrorist attacks. And there’s one closed-door sex scene. Not recommended for children, but fine for older teens and adults. It gets dark, but good triumphs over evil in the end. Stream it now on Disney Plus.

2¢ Christmas

Doctor Who Christmas Specials Vol. 2

Christmas is a time that for many can mean new beginnings. This is especially true for the Doctor who’s in the midst of Regeneration. Same man. Different face.
When the TARDIS crashes back to Earth on Christmas Eve, Ten (David Tennant) exits the blue box only to collapse seconds later. Rose (Billie Piper) and Mickey (Noel Clarke) take him back to Jackie’s (Camille Coduri) flat to recover.
Ten remains unconscious while the others narrowly escape robot Santas and killer Christmas trees which are signs of a bigger alien invasion. The government has been messing where they shouldn’t be and have practically invited the Sycorax to invade Earth and enslave the human race. And the only one who can save them hasn’t finished regenerating yet!

Doctor Who is one of the BEST shows EVER! It’s also really weird. Killer Christmas trees and robot Santas only make sense on this show. No other show, besides maybe Legends of Tomorrow, could write a crazy plot like this one and get away with it! Ten is my Doctor and it’s a great first episode in general for a new Doctor and is also my favorite Tennant Christmas Special. The last third of the episode is my favorite starting with that epic entrance/second exit out of the TARDIS all the way through to the end! You can stream The Christmas Invasion now on HBO Max.

Favorite quote: The Doctor: When you go back to the stars and tell others of this planet—when you tell them of its riches, its people, its potential— when you talk of the Earth. Then make sure that you tell them this: “It. Is. Defended.”

Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory’s (Arthur Darvill) honeymoon is about to come to an end. So are their lives and the lives of everyone else on board as they prepare for a crash landing. Amy calls the Doctor (Matt Smith) for help. There’s only one person standing in his way: Kazran Sardick (Michael Gambon). Kazran is in control of the planet’s atmosphere and could save the ship if he wanted to, but the bitter old man would rather let everyone die instead.
Eleven plays the Ghost of Christmas Past in this retelling of A Christmas Carol when he travels back in time to rewrite Kazran’s past in order to influence his decisions in the future. A plan that almost backfires when an unexpected romance occurs between Kazran and and Abigail (Katherine Jenkins), a young woman frozen in ice. Her time is limited and he’s faced with a difficult decision: To save everyone at the expense of her life.

Quote: Kazran Sardick: Abigail was ill when she went into the ice, to the point of death. I suppose the rest in the ice helped her. But, she’s used up her time. All those Christmas eves with me. I can release her any time I want and she would live a single day. So tell me Ghost of Christmas Present, how do I choose which day?

This is one of my all time favorite Doctor Who episodes! And my favorite Christmas special out of the ones I’ve seen so far. I love the story, the music, everything. It’s the first time I can remember Eleven being dark and being willing to kill one person to save one person. It’s a rollercoaster ride in terms of emotion. It’s sad one moment and funny the next. It’s also got the kinda weird that only Doctor Who can pull off. This time the story takes place on a planet with flying fish. That’s something that you won’t find on any other show which is part of the reason I love it so much. Stream it now on HBO Max.

Favorite Quote: The Doctor: [Pointing to frozen Abigail Pettigrew] Who’s she?
Kazran Sardick: Nobody important.
The Doctor: Nobody important? Blimey, that’s amazing. You know that in nine hundred years of time and space and I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important before.

2¢ After Dark, 2¢ Christmas, Sequels

2¢ After Dark: Daddy’s Home Duology

Daddy’s Home isn’t technically a Christmas movie, but there is one Christmas scene so I’m counting it. I’m ignoring that it takes in April because it’s my blog and I do whatever I want here.
Brad (Will Ferrell) has it all including a gorgeous wife and two kids. Ok so the kids aren’t his biologically, but that doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, he can’t have kids of his own, so being a stepfather is the next best thing, or it would be if the kids accepted him.
Then bio dad Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) flies in for a visit and tries to move in on Brad’s territory by trying to get his family back. This puts the two guys in a competition of dad vs. step-dad. May the best dad win.
This is a movie on fatherhood and the importance of dads in general, but a large part of the plot involves male infertility which is a total blast to watch with your own father in the room. Ask me how I know. 😜 You also get to see Will Ferrell’s butt and with his shirt off which is more than I ever personally wanted to see.

Daddy’s Home is very funny and has a lot of heart. It also has a lot of language. All the usual hits are here including shit, ass, damn, twice paired with God’s name. A couple uses of bitch used once each by both child stars. Sounds even better when kids say it. sarcasm Several misuses of both God and Jesus along with a plethora of other unnecessary language. And despite all that, it still manages to be one of my favorite comedies. Go figure. For added viewing pleasure, just add parents. It’s not awkward. At all. This movie is both sour and sweet. How much sour you’re willing to sit through in order to get to the sweet is up to you.

Brad (Will Ferrell) and Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) had a rough road to get here but now their co-dad BFFs to the point where it’s over the top and at times annoying. The guys hatch a plan for their blended families to spend Christmas together, but didn’t plan on having both of their fathers joining them. Dusty’s dad, Kurt (Mel Gibson), constantly makes fun of his son’s progressive parenting choices, and Brad’ dad, Don (John Lithgow), is just as wholesomely annoying as he is. They rent an Airbnb together for Christmas. One big happy family. Many different personalities and parenting styles under one roof. What could possibly go wrong?

This sequel is far more family friendly than the original! I think Will Ferrell is at his best when making Christmas movies. It’s everything I loved about the original with the amount of language cut in half. Language includes the usual like damn, ass, shit, bitch, several misuses of God’s name, and several unnecessary exclamations. Daddy’s Home 2 is not as crass and just as fun the second time around. A fun but imperfect Christmas comedy for families with older children. You can rent it from online retailers or borrow it from the library.

2¢ Christmas

Deck the Halls and Jingle All the Way

Steve Finch (Matthew Broderick) is obsessed switch Christmas and all the traditions that come with it. When his new neighbor Buddy Hall (Danny DeVito) moves in next door and threatens Steve’s position as the town’s Christmas Guy. Their wives just want to be friends, but the rivalry between Buddy and Steve evolves into all-out war over the obnoxiousness of Buddy’s Christmas decorations including his house covered in so many lights that it can be seen glowing in space. They go to great lengths to outdo each other that they forget about what makes Christmas important and almost lose their families in the process. It’s a fun enemies-to-friends type movie that everyone can enjoy.

This was a major step up from the dismal mess that was Christmas with the Kranks. It’s fun, is actually funny, and is mostly family-friendly. It’s a typical PG rated movie with minimal language including one use of damn, what the hell, ass, along with several misuses of God’s name. There’s also some suggestive humor. You can stream Deck the Halls on Starz. Libraries also still exist.

Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) wins the Worst Father of the Year award when he misses his son’s karate class. Wanting desperately to make it up to Jamie (Jake Lloyd), he promises to buy him a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas. Naturally, he forgets to buy the toy until the last minute on Christmas Eve when all of the stores have run out of the year’s hottest toy. He finds himself in a full-out war with another dad as they go to desperate and often funny measures to track down the last Turbo Man. Hopefully Howard can upgrade that trophy from Worst to Best Father of the Yearand save his marriage in the process before the neighbor can make a move on his wife.

This one was fun! I enjoyed it. There’s some great physical comedy and some heartwarming moments as well. Perfect for Christmas! It’s got some language including a few uses of What the hell, and one use each of damn, dammit, and ass. Other than that, it’s great for the entire family.

2¢ Christmas

Christmas With The Kranks

Since Luther (Tim Allen) Nora’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) daughter Blair is away in Peru, they’ve decided to skip Christmas in favor of a Carribean cruise. No tree. No decorations. No donations. No nothing. The neighbors are horrified since Christmas is community event that everyone is required to participate in. To skip Christmas is absolutely unheard of and downright scandelous!

Then Blair flys home for Christmas as a surprise and Luther and Nora’s Holiday plans get turned upside down as they scramble to throw their annual neighborhood Christmas party at the last minute. With a little help from their neighbors that they’ve been horribly rude to they might manage to make it in time before Blair arrives home.

The Santa Clause this is not. The first act of this movie was boring and not funny which is bad considering that Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis are two of the funniest actors working today. The combination of the two of them should’ve been the best thing ever but it wasn’t. Christmas with the Kranks is mean-spirited in tone and devoid of Christmas spirit for much of the film.

It does get better and funnier about halfway through. It’s nice to see the neighbors pull together to help the Kranks when they least deserve it. And Luther eventually learns to put others before himself. There’s also a heartwarming moment or two in here somewhere if you’re willing to sludge through this movie to find them. Christmas with the Kranks is a family-friendly mess with one use each of what the hell and damn. Not bad. But not great. Stream it now on Prime Video.

2¢ Christmas, What the bleep was that?!

Gremlins

Billy’s (Zach Galligan) dad has gotten him a new pet for Christmas, a Mogwai. The little critter comes with three very simple, very important instructions:

  1. No exposure to bright lights and especially not sunlight, or the Mogwai dies.
  2. Don’t get it wet.
  3. Don’t feed it after midnight.
    Naturally, all three rules are broken in quick succession. They have to be or there wouldn’t be a story.
    If the furby-like creature gets wet, it multiplies in a Biblical fashion. And if it gets fed after midnight, it cocoons itself and comes out the other side transformed into a demonic gremlin. The gremlins quickly multiply, go out of control, and nearly destroys the entire town. It will take nothing short of a Christmas miracle to save the day.

This is a weird little movie. Was Chris Columbus on crack when he wrote this?! And when Furbies came out how many kids named theirs Gizmo?

This movie felt kinda like a demented mix of Ghostbusters and Star Wars except that’s an insult to two amazing movies. The gremlins are like evil Yodas with the spirit of Gozer inside of them. Gizmo was the best character in the entire thing. If there needs to be family-friendly horror, Gremlins is the perfect blueprint. It’s crazy and scary without being satanic. The House with a Clock in its Walls writers should’ve been taking notes.
There’s several uses of damn, paired once or twice with God’s name, several uses of what the hell, exclamations of Christ and Jesus. Ass and asshole are also used. One person winds up dead, but there’s no blood.

I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. I prefer ET or Jurassic Park over this one. It’s not a movie I’d watch to get into the Christmas Spirit, but that’s just me. You can stream it now on HBO Max.

2¢ Christmas, Uncategorized

Freeform Christmas Originals Vol. 2

Nick Snowden (Tom Cavanagh) is busy preparing for Christmas when one of his reindeer goes missing. Transporting himself from the North Pole via magic mirror, Nick finds Buddy at the San Ernesto zoo in the care of zookeeper Sandy Brooks (Ashley Williams). They need to work together to rescue Buddy from Buck Segar (Patrick Fabian) before Buddy is sold to a game farm for the purpose of hunting. Nick’s on a tight deadline to be back at the Pole by Christmas Eve since all those presents won’t deliver themselves, but there’s always time for a love story because this is rom-com, and you have to squeeze the rom in somewhere.

When I found out the guy who plays one of my favorite Flash characters, Harrison Wells and all his variants, I knew I had to watch it. This is one of my favorite versions of Santa: cute, a bit nerdy, and super awkward. ♥️ I loved this movie! It was so cute! And the best thing is there’s a sequel which I’ll be watching later this month. Snow is available to stream on the ABC app.

When Sandy (Ashley Willams) and Nick (Tom Cavanagh) have a fight 3 days before Christmas, he leaves via magic mirror portal and winds up with amnesia. When Nick’s nemesis Buck (Patrick Fabian) finds out, he tries to take advantage of the situation to get his revenge and not only ruin Christmas but also get his hands on the reindeer who got away. It’s up to Sandy and some new friends to once again save Christmas.

Snow 2 was just as fun as the original if not more so. It was full of laughs and full of heart. I wish there was a third. Stream it now on the ABC app.

Reality can be better than fiction, but sometimes a break would be nice.

Angela’s (Christina Milan) we’ll-meaning but pushy family wants her to marry and settle down and arrange dates for her with her neighbors down the hall. She receives a special delivery from her new neighbor, Eddie: A magical snow globe that transports her inside to the perfect little town with the perfect little Christmas to match that includes the perfect guy. Every time she exits the snow globe something or someone always comes with her meaning that fantasy and reality collide in a way they’re never meant to. Over time, Angela learns that reality is better than fiction and she gets the cute neighbor in the bargain which is always a plus.

This movie was cute but cheesy. Sometimes too cheesy, but it was still fun. There’s one use of what the hell and a few misuses of God’s name that’s it. Stream it now on the Freeform app.