The Grinch and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures
Directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney
Is it already time for the holiday season? Can’t we postpone it for another three months or something? No, of course not. The only thing as certain in life as Death and Taxes is the ever expanding period of time known as THE HOLIDAY SEASON where good will and cheer are sold to us in gift baskets and wrapping paper. If you couldn’t tell already I’m not the biggest fan of the season’s greatest excesses even if I do take some joy in trying to find the perfect gifts for people and buying the shiny wrapping paper to put it in. Still, it’d be nice if we could contain it to the month of December, but no; were stuck with Holiday Music, Holiday Sales, and of course… Holiday Movies. With Illumination having already turned The Lorax into a rather detestable piece of confused anti-corporate nonsense, they’re back to the Dr. Seuss well to turn the man’s most beloved creation into yet another big screen adaptation just in time for theaters to start hanging up the tinsel. Will this be an improvement on the studio’s previous output, or are we in for yet more Illumination mediocrity? Let’s find out!!
You see, every Who down in Whoville likes Christmas a lot which is good for keeping the economy strong and red hot! But the Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) who lives just north of Whoville does not seem pleased. Perhaps a trip to the store will put him at ease. With his dog Max in tow, he treks through the snow, to the city of Whoville to where all he can think is NO. No to the consumerism, no to the cheer, just get him to the grocery store to buy provisions and beer. Along the way he meets Cindy Lou Who (Cameron Seely), who seems nice enough, but has nothing to do in this rather thin plot. There’s a story I guess about her finding Santa, but really she’s on hand to be cute and her likeness used on promotional bottles of Fanta. Anyway, The Grinch takes a while to get properly pissed, but he eventually decides that something is amiss. This lousy holiday just makes him way too stressed, so perhaps he’ll steal Christmas and you know the rest! Will he find happiness in ruining this day for others, or is there a way for him to live peacefully with his Who brothers? Will Cindy Lou Who find the answers she needs, or will her tale be lost in the script weeds? The question of course on everyone’s mind is why should I see this when Netflix is only $13.95!? No wait, it’s $13.99. DANG IT!!
Daddy’s Home 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Sean Anders
I don’t know about the rest of you, but the only thing I was wondering when I first heard about this movie was why they didn’t cast John Lithgow as the TOUGH dad. Seriously, the dude’s got Cliffhanger, Ricochet, and even Dexter under his belt to show us all how despicably evil he can when the role calls for it, and it’d certainly be much better casting for Marky Mark’s mean deadbeat dad than the guy they got; though I’m pretty sure ANYONE in Hollywood who’s not currently being ostracized for inexcusable behavior would have been a much more palatable choice than Raging Mel. I don’t know about this one. I certainly didn’t expect much out of the first film and it managed to be a bit better than I was expecting, but what are the chances that we’ll get a half-way decent sequel out of that; especially as it’s a Holiday film which are almost always a bad idea for sequels. Wait, didn’t I just say that like a week ago about A Bad Mom’s Christmas? Now that I think about it… two unexpectedly solid comedies about parenting that made a HUGE amount of money at the box office get Holiday sequels about the parents of the characters in the first film… that are released within a week of each other. Huh. Well that’s… coincidental. Anyway, does THIS Holiday sequel manage to AT LEAST be as good as the OTHER Holiday sequel we just got, or am I in for one HELL of a crappy movie going experience? Well… Let’s find out…
The movie begins about a year after the events of the first film where Brad and Dusty (Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg) have put aside their differences and are the best co-dads of all time; sharing responsibilities with the kids and working together as a cohesive family unit! Well… ALMOST perfect. Dusty’s biological daughter Megan (Scarlett Estevez) reveals during the school’s Christmas Recital that she’s not happy about having the holidays split between two households, so the two families band together and decide to have just one Christmas together which seems like a great idea… until Dusty gets a call from his dad Kurt (Mel Gibson) who’s decided to come down for the holidays. This is bad because Dusty’s dad is just like he was in the first film and will surely be nagging on him the entire time for not being MANLY enough whatever the hell toxic dinosaurs like him are always on about. In addition to that, we’ve got Brad’s dad Don (John Lithgow) coming to town who is ACTUALLY a really nice grandpa but seems to be hiding something from Brad, an increasingly tense standoff between Brad’s wife Sara and Dusty’s wife Karen (Linda Cardellini and Alessandra Ambrosio) about how to raise the kids they share (Dusty’s biological kids and Karen’s daughter from another marriage), and to top it all off, Dusty’s biological son Dylan (Owen Vaccaro) is about at the age where he needs to have THE TALK which throws EVERYTHING into chaos as the four dads on hand have their own idea of how it should go and who should give it. Will any of these plot threads come together into something resembling a cohesive whole? Is there a single point in this movie where it’s NOT uncomfortable watching Mel Gibson on screen? Can someone explain to me what I POSSIBLY could have done to deserve this!?