Hey there, dear readers!
First up today on the penultimate day of the Christmas in July Blogathon is Rob, the monster reviewer behind Movierob. Rob has reviewed literally thousands of films on his site. If you don’t already follow his madness, go check it out. Now Rob brings two reviews to the party. Let’s get to them!
Thanks again to Drew for running this Blogathon for the 3rd time (That I’ve taken part at least)
A Midnight Clear
When thinking of a movie that helps bring out the holiday spirit and feeling, one usually doesn’t think of a war movie, but that is exactly what I chose as my first (of two) picks for this year’s entries.
I came across this gem of a film over twenty years ago and have enjoyed watching it and learning from it each and every time.
As with many war dramas, this film is actually an anti-war drama where we learn from the characters why war is bad for everyone involved and that no matter the situation, we should seek peace with our enemies while trying to find something in common in them at the same time.
Similar to the movie Joyeax Noel (2005), this film takes place on the front lines in Europe (different war tho) and the soldiers must decide what to do when Christmas comes around and their ideas of peace and good will towards all men create a sense of yearning towards the comforts and happiness of home during the holidays.
The soldiers slowly realize that the German soldiers they are fighting have similar aspirations for the holiday period and a truce of sorts is suggested between the warring sides.
I obviously don’t want to give away the whole movie, but the holiday spirit is constantly in the air and we get to see into the true hearts of ordinary men faced with war.
The cast is superb here and the 6 main characters are all played by (now) famous actors – Ethan Hawke, Gary Sinese, Frank Whalley, Peter Berg, Arye Gross and Kevin Dillon.
Loved the way that Hawke narrated the story because he was able to give us so much insight into many of the characters, their chosen nicknames and the reasons for how and why they all act the way they do.
As I stated previously, this may not be the regular kind of film one would normally choose to watch around Christmas, but the themes and actions presented really show the true spirit of holidays no matter your religion.
Oscar Worthy (9/10)
This is a holiday film that I’ve been meaning to rewatch for years but never got around to it. Thanks to Drew’s wonderful yearly blogathon, I got the added kick in the butt to rewatch this film.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like it this time as much as the last time 9 years ago.
Will Ferrell is spectacular as a human who grew up with the elves at the North Pole and I must admit that there are few actors who could pull off what he did here. Acting like a cheerful yule tide kid is the kind of role that he can embrace and he is able to transform himself into Buddy the Elf for 90 minutes.
His antics are extremely fun to watch because he is able to capture the innocence and youthfulness of the character which endears him to us even more.
It’s too bad that besides Ferrell, this film has little to offer. James Caan comes off hollow, Mary Steenburgen isn’t given enough to do and Zooey Deschanel and Ferrell have no real chemistry together. Bob Newhart and Ed Asner’s roles are glorified cameos.
Peter Dinklage is hilarious as a ruthless executive, but is only in one small scene.
The holiday message tho is quite clear and is delivered properly so I can’t claim that this film doesn’t hit its mark at all.
Ultimately, there are scenes that will put a smile on your face and that’s what we all want from a holiday movie; to cheer us up and put us in a happy mood.
Tnx again to Drew for hosting this Blogathon!
BAFTA Worthy (5/10)
Thanks, Rob! Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy Elf that much. It is one of my favorite holiday movies. This blog is only three years old, so this is the third iteration of this blogathon. Thank you for being there since the beginning and participating every year.
Kim from Tranquil Dream will be by later today with her review of a classic 80s holiday film.
See you soon!