Posts Tagged ‘The Santa Clause’

Ezra’s Six Days Of Christmas Movies

Posted 23 Dec 2014 — by Ezra Stead
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

A Muppet Christmas Carol is a delightful and remarkably faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic. Yes, I know this should be “12 Days of Christmas Movies.” Listen, it’s the holidays, guys; cut me some slack. Anyway, Christmas is far from my favorite holiday, as evidenced by my much more thorough Halloween article (over four times as many movies in that one, folks!), but I wanted to take some time this year to look at some rather off-the-beaten-path movies, as well as a couple I had seen before, but felt it was time to revisit. Here they are, in the order in which I watched them. Happy birthday, Jeebus!

THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL – a delightful and remarkably faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic, starring Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge (Ebenezer apparently went the way of Adolph as a first name choice), Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit, and the Great Gonzo as Dickens himself. The biggest deviation from the source material is the casting of not one but two Jacob Marleys, in the form of crusty old hecklers Statler and Waldorf. Michael Caine gives a typically excellent performance, with far more emotional depth than you’d expect from a Muppet movie, and the film ends on a positive, Sesame Street-esque educational note: “If you’d like to know more, read the book.” ****  Read More

Hop

Posted 25 Apr 2011 — by contributor
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Hop, USA, 2011

Directed by Tim Hill

Hop isn't half-bad, according to Scott Martin. For those who know me, it’s no secret that I usually find movies like this a bit deplorable. There’s just something about the live-action/animation hybrid that I can’t ever get behind. Be it Yogi Bear (2010), or the Scooby-Doo movies, or the Alvin and the Chipmunks films, I’m always reminded of the glory days when Roger Rabbit was king. But a lesson I learned from reading Roger Ebert prevails in these situations: you judge the movie for what it is and if it achieves what it set out to achieve. Hop is a film that does just that – it’s sweeter than candy, it’s a kid’s movie through and through, but it has enough in it for adults to enjoy. And the most enjoyable thing about the movie? The comedy isn’t once forced. Yes, there are pop culture references every now and then, but it’s all derived from the situation. And situational comedy is always the best option.

E.B., voiced by Russell Brand, is the son of the Easter Bunny (voiced by Hugh Laurie), and is about to be named as his replacement. Of course, E.B. doesn’t want this; he wants to be a drummer in a rock and roll band. An evil chicken named Carlos, voiced brilliantly by Hank Azaria, wants Easter for his own. Meanwhile, in the human world, Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) is a disappointment to his father, Henry (Gary Cole); he’s a twenty-something loafer who can’t seem to find the right job and needs to move out of his parents’ house. E.B. and Fred meet at just the right time in both their lives. What follows is a film not only about growing up, but growing into yourself in the process.

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