Holiday

Reviews

The Princess Switch: Switched Again

The original cast, director, and screenwriters from Netflix’s surprise hit The Princess Switch have reunited for The Princess Switch: Switched Again to offer fan service for at-home viewers.  But even though the production remembers what tickled audiences the first time around, they have failed to capture the same spark in this rusty sequel.

Reviews

My Dad’s Christmas Date

Recently, I reviewed the hilariously spot-on holly-jolly spoof Cup of Cheer.  The comedy did such a good job calling out tropes, clichés, and lazy writing found in Christmas movies.  What it didn’t do, and what I realized after watching My Dad’s Christmas Date, is that Cup of Cheer didn’t poke fun at deceptive movies that bait viewers with seasonal qualities to dress up an otherwise dismal story.  If My Dad’s Christmas Date didn’t occasionally show…

Reviews

Dinner with Friends

In an unremarkable directorial debut from actor Nicol Paone, and randomly produced by The Heartbreak Kid co-stars Ben Stiller and Malin Akerman, Dinner with Friends features pals Molly and Abby (Akerman, Kat Dennings) hosting a small Thanksgiving that gradually becomes more outrageous as the night progresses.  The guest list grows, and the entertainment evolves the get-together into more of a party where magic mushrooms and sexcapades become a primary topic of discussion.  There isn’t much…

Reviews

Cup of Cheer

How do you satirize a genre that’s become a spoof of itself?  It isn’t an impossible trick but, to pull it off, it takes a keen eye for detail and a filmmaker who can thread the needle between appreciation and cynicism.  2014’s They Came Together, a comedy from the creators of Wet Hot American Summer that hilariously destroyed the rom-com genre, is the bellwether for me, and this year’s clever seasonal spoof Cup of Cheer…

Festival Coverage

Blood in the Snow 2017: ‘Once Upon a Time at Christmas’

By: Trevor Chartrand While the concept of a homicidal Santa Claus has certainly been explored in slasher films like Santa’s Slay and Silent Night, Deadly Night, director Paul Tanter has found a surprisingly fresh approach to the ‘Killer Claus’ trope in Once Upon a Time at Christmas.  This fun and festive Canadian B-movie will give viewers a reason to keep the Christmas lights on overnight.

Reviews

A Bad Moms Christmas

By: Jessica Goddard A Bad Moms Christmas, the holiday sequel to last year’s Bad Moms from the same writer/director team (Jon Lucas, Scott Moore) is generally fun, when it’s not trying to force sentimentality.  It wouldn’t be accurate to say this movie takes itself seriously, but its insistence on crossing over into sappiness and raunchiness when it runs out of comedy is lazy and unfortunate.

Reviews

A Very Murray Christmas

Bill Murray’s idolatry exists because – for the most part – he’s unaware of it.  His humbleness threads through his film roles and who he is outside of the cinema.  It’s why we don’t roll our eyes when he’s crooning up a storm or when we see a viral video of Bill crashing someone’s wedding.  He knows of his popularity, but he doesn’t bother to dissect it.