Hello, Spongey here.
Well, this review will be posted on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas, guys. I hope you have a good one. In 2012, my Official Christmas Review was Batman Returns, and in 2013, it was A Very Harold Kumar 3D Christmas. Those are unconventional Christmas films, to say the least. So this year, I’ll shake it up and do a normal Christmas movie.
However, it’s not so normal, as we’re doing…an obscure crappy movie. Yeah, I know I was supposed to the Christmas DCOM’s. But I couldn’t find the first one in time, and I was forced to do this in it’s place. We’ll do it next time, which sadly means we can’t do Twas the Night until next year.
Ah well. But this gives me chance to review a movie I found on Netflix that looks really bad. I saw an ad for it last year, and I never heard of it again until recently. It’s a crappy CGI Direct to Video Christmas movie. You know, the usual. Since it’s so weird and obscure, there isn’t a lot to say before we go in.
The writer and director have done nothing of note, and from what I can tell, this movie just came out of nowhere. It has some actual stars in it though, so…I don’t know what the hell this is. I’m not sure what it’s about, so I’m blind here. There aren’t nay reviews of it on Youtube, so it looks I may be one of the first to look at this thing, unless there are reviews on other blogs, which is very possible.
By the way, this was made by The Weinstein Company. You know, the same guys whose last animated film was Escape From Planet Earth. So you know it’s quality!
Whatever, let’s just get this over with.
This, is Saving Santa
The movie opens with narration, telling us that Christmas is awesome and it jumps into a song. Damn, that was fast. We see a kid singing about his Christmas wish and he’s all sweet sounding. Oh god, not this crap again.
“Sweet, eh? We’ll get to that kid later”
The song ends and we cut to our hero, Bernard the elf, voiced by Martin Freeman. …Well, I guess this is also my Hobbit tie in.The fact that he’s voicing a short guy doesn’t help. He wakes up, late for work, and makes a mad dash to get there. Then we randomly cut to this evil base with an evil guy and his minions. He’s looking for the North Pole, I think.
Also, he’s voiced by Tim Curry. I’d complain but i think we need something fun in this thing. His bitch-y Mom shows up and we find out that runs a delivery company. Before we can find out more, we cut back to Bernard as he gets to the North Pole. He wants to show his new invention to some other elves, but he is known for making crappy inventions. Yeah, this is as cliche as I thought it would be.
His invention is a thing that projects memories to raise Christmas spirit. It actually works until some guy misuses it screws things up. The guy that misused it in the first place, voiced by Zim himself, tells our hero to leave. Well, I’m …whelmed so far.
He visits the reindeer and one of them accidentally steps on his balls. Lovely. Santa comes in, and he’s voiced by Tim Conway. Why do you keep appearing in crappy Christmas movies?!
Santa sees an invention Bernard made that let Blitzen talk but in a weird distorted voice, and in another language. Santa speaks it because he’s Santa. He is impressed and he asks Bernard how he thinks Santa is able to deliver toys all over the world. As it turns out, he uses a time machine. Well, that’s….original, I’ll give it that. How he uses it is not explained for now. He tells Bernard this cuz he reminds Santa of the elf who made it it. The guy who made it is Bernard, calling it now. Hey, as long as it’s better than Free Birds, I’m game.
When Santa leaves, Bernard sing his I Want song. Yay. To be fair, it’s actually tolerable, which is good after some of the numbers in Santa Paws 2. Seriously, this song is kind of decent, dare I say. Cliche but okay. After the song, Tim Curry and his pals show up. He’s finally found the place after all these years, apparently.
He’s specially looking for the sleigh. This movie is going a bit too fast so far, but we know what Bernard’s deal is so I suppose I can’t complain. They capture Barnacle Claus and Bernard gets the idea to use the time machine to go back and warn Santa about Tim Curry. He uses it and he winds of somewhen else.
STEWIE: That’s such a douche time traveler thing to say
Shut up. He doesn’t seem to have gone far, which is the point. So yeah, he’s gonna warn Santa, and we have our another time traveling Holiday movie. This is a weird world we live in. Bernard tries to tell everyone about the bad guys but, of course, no one believes him. He tries to get to Santa but this big elf dude stops him. He and his female partner are suspicious of him for some reason and take him back to their base or something. Yeah, this took a weird turn, but then again, I shouldn’t have expect anything normal.
He is taken to the Christmas defense department.
“You know how Santa sees you when you’re sleeping, and knows when you’re awake? That’s us”
Ah, so it’s the Elf Police. I got it. Bernard says he’s from the future and that female partner believes him. Well, that was fast. Bernard explains everything to him but then that power outage happens, which helps Tim Curry find their location somehow. Wah wah. Bernard escapes and ends up back at the part where he got kicked out for the black out. The other him, not the one we’re with now. Crap, I knew I was gonna do that.
He realizes that the bad guys found the north pole because of him and he sings about it. It’s okay but how does the past him not hear his singing? But yeah once again, the song isn’t that bad. I’m kind of shocked, really. Actually, as a whole this thing isn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be. Or at least, it isn’t giving me a lot to talk about.
Tim Curry starts his invasion and Bernard spies on Santa being interrogated. Tim explains he uses to love Christmas but eventually he started to think that Santa is evil and lying about everything.
“How do you fit all those presents into one bag? How do you fly?’
It’s magic, the end.
Tim wrote to Santa asking the answer, but he never got his answer.So his evil plan is to know how Santa does what he does. Okay then. That’s at least a unique villain motivation. While Tim takes a break to talk to his Mom on the phone, Bernard secretly talks to Santa. He says he plans to use time travel to fix this because now we’re in for a Christmas version of Source Code or something.
Bernard makes it to the time machine and he’s back to that morning again. Yep, this is Christmas Day. We see him spying on the past version of himself…spying on the past version of himself. This is…confusing. I don’t think I’ve seen this before, since in most stories like this, it would be weird and impossible.
Our Bernard heads out to stop the presentation so he won’t attract Tim Curry. Sadly, he fails cuz he gets knocked out and wakes up after the blackout has happened. He’s not happy about this. A little early to wring out drama but ah well. He’s knocked out again and he is brought to those elf police guys who I forgot were in this movie.
They think he caused the blackout on purpose, but he corrects them. By the way, we find out Tim Curry’s name is “Nevil Baddington”. BADDINGTON. Seriously? Was Mr Evil McBadGuy too subtle?
This one female chick talks to Bernard and she’s voiced by Ashley Tisdale. …Sigh. She’s had lines before now but she wasn’t really important until now, which is 54 minutes in. Anyway, Bernard has pretty much given and accepts the fact that Tim Curry has a won. Usually it takes mroe than htat for our hero to flat out give up, this really doesn’t work.
Then Candace breaks into a song. Yeah, she had to sing somehow. She uses this song get Bernard back into ass kicking mode. The song is alright. A bit too clunky in some places, but it’s fine. They see a news report with Tim Curry, and they suspect that he has Christmas Spirit but he has lost it. Of course he has.
With this new pick me up, Bernard decides he will head out and stop the bad guys. So we get an extended scene of them getting into the shed with Santa’s sleigh. It’s set to a pop sung performed by Ashley Tisdale because of course it is. Bernard gets the time machine back but Tim Curry stops him before he can use it.
Tim takes Santa’s sleigh and gloats about his evil-ness.
“As of this moment, Christmas is outsourced!”
For all this movie’s faults, Tim Curry is still awesome. But that is to be expected.
Bernard pipes up and claims to be Santa’s main inventor so he can get on Tim Curry’s good side. He explains to Tim how Santa does his stuff. so yeah, he shows him the time machine. But as it turns out, it’s that memory device which works perfectly now because the plot says so. Tim sees him as a young boy and we get a song with young Tim Curry.
This movie is weird. Also, you give a song to a younger version of a Tim Curry character…but not Tim Curry. What.
This is our “sweet” villain redemption moment. Santa joins in on the song and yes, it’s obviously a different actor singing. I’m not really sure what’s going on here, but I know that we find out that Tim’s mother destroyed his letter to Santa asking how he does his stuff, and that’s why he didn’t get the message. So yeah, Santa as willingly to explain it but cuz of Mom, it didn’t happened.
I guess he never tried again because the plot says so. Speaking of Mom, she shows up and sees that Tim has won. He hopes that this as made his Mo proud of him.
“You’re finally putting profits over people!”
This makes Tim realize that his Mom is kind of a bitch. The fact that it took him this long is kind of dumb, but I’ll take it. She gets mad but Bernard uses a machine to erase her memory. Wow, that’s a classic example of a Deus Ex Machina. Something that comes out of nowhere ans saves the day. Mom is taken away and Tim thanks Bernard for helping him get his Christmas Spirit back.
Yep, another rushed villain redemtoion. Yawn.
Also, Candace kisses him cuz…they had a romance, I guess. With that, the day is saved, everyone is happy, and Barnacle Claus is ready to go. Also, Santa takes Bernard with him and makes him Santa’s Chief Inventor. Bernard’s cliche, rushed, arc is done. Yay!
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good night”
Roll credits. …Wait, what? …Even by the standards of rushed endings this was…rushed. Like…wow. It just…ends. Yes, the day is saved by the two main arcs were so rushed they felt like an after thought. I just…wow. And guess what? They never really explained how Santa does. He uses Time Travel..but how? He does it help? They never fully answered the main question it raises!
Ugh. Let’s wrap this up.
This movie was disappointing. This is my Big Christmas review, and the film ended up being so…average. I wanted it to be terrible, but it had to be competent! For the most part, this film was just really…okay. The story, animation, and characters are all…so okay. It has Bilbo teaming up with Candace to save Barnacle Boy from the hands of Tim Curry, using Time Travel. That should be amazingly terrible but it’s so…okay. At times it dips into being weaker but it’s so…okay.
It gave me so little to comment on because it’s so..forgettable. I know, that sounds with this premise, but it’s so standard. We have a misunderstood little guy proving himself to be a big hero while the villain turns out to be good. It’s so…standard. I think that is what it drags it down. I’m glad it wasn’t bad but could they have at least put it in a forced parodox. As weak as Free Birds is, I remember it better due to weird choices the script made.
This films flaws are so…standard. It’s overly cliche and it very rushed. It’s not even 80 minutes, minus credits. As for the animation, it’s a lot better than I thought it would be…but it’s nothing special. It gets the job done, and that’s it. It’s as a standard as everything else.
The story being standard is forgivable, but they could have tried harder. There were a lot of chances to do crazy twists with time travel but it didn’t take any of them. Guys, you can have fun with time travel without worrying about crappy paradox. Just look at Mr Peabody and Sherman. Yes, they have 3 Bernard’s bu they never meet so that was wasted.
Speaking of wasted, what was Ashley Tisadale here? She does nothing and her character adds nothing but a kiss at the end for no reason. The rest of the actors are used well but the one I was most interested in was not. Ah well. The movie might be worth it if you wanna see Tim Curry but there way better films he’s in, so it’s not even worth it for that. Everyone else is fine but he sticks out as the best, as you might expect.
The characters themselves are dull. Not hateable, but only two really do anything, and our lead is just kind of there. Tim is a fun villain but he’s also generic and has a rushed backstory. It could have been done well if they made the film just a big longer and fleshed things out more.
Also, the songs ae nice but nothing special. I mean, it’s a musical and Tim Curry doesn’t sing? The hell?!
I think this movies problem is the length. Due to it being short, it’s very rushed and there’s o time to do anything crazy. If they fleshed things out ore, this could have been fun. But as it is, it’s just…okay. Nothing painful at all, but nothing special either. It should have been better..or worse, but it’s so…average.
It’s a waste. What a lame Christmas review, right? I wish I realized that Ultimate Christmas Present was on the Watch Disney Channel App sooner…Wait, what? D’oh!
I hope you enjoyed this lame review. But hey, I know a lot about crappy articles, isn’t that right, Agony Booth?
Anyway, Merry Christmas. Next time, we close out 2014 with that movie I just mentioned.