Hello, Spongey here.
It may be after Christmas, but we’re still doing a Christmas movie. It’s New Years Eve, so I might as well squeeze something in before 2015 starts. Or just do a movie I was supposed to do but didn’t because I’m stupid. So yeah, let’s do a Disney Channel Christmas movie. This is a “Classic” one, so that should be interesting. To my knowledge, there two Classic DCOM Christmas Films, and this is one of them. Of the two, this one is way more famous, as it gets air time in prime time every year. The only real reason is that this stars a future Disney Star, but we’ll get to her in a bit.
I’ve been meaning to watch this one for awhile, since it did sound alright. I watched a few clips and I already know one joke I’m gonna make. Other than that, there isn’t too much to say. Except for the creative time, of course. The director made Under Wraps, so we’re in for something good right away.
As for the writers, one had done nothing, while hte other is a writer for Glee. …Okay then. So, I think I’ve touched on the important crap. Let’s celebrate Christmas by looking at this movie. Let’s see how it is.
This, is The Ultimate Christmas Present
The movie opens in LA, 3 days before Christmas. Our heroine is watching the weather channel as we are reminded that it’s hot. We see that the family a bit hetic, her Mom is the Mom form Lizzie Mcguire, and her brother is Spencer Breslin. Fun times.
She meets up with her friend, played by Brenda Song. Now you get why this one is more well known. This was before Suite Life, so seeing her here is interesting. We get some tween talk with them, and our hero tells Dad that Christmas is about presents. Gee, I wonder what the moral will be.
They got to school and they have to do some project thing over Christmas Vacation. They don’t like that. Later, they take a shortcut home, which means they are going to die. …Or get injured, cuz this is a Disney movie. Only the parents die in Disney movies. They find a cabin in the woods (Not gonna make the obvious joke), and inside is some old dude. The guy throws out a weird machine and they take it. This will end well.
They take it home and quickly find out it’s some kind of weather machine. This movie isn’t wasting any time, I’ll give it that. It’s not bad because we already have a good grasp of the characters (The main chick is weird and quirky, and Brenda Song is the normal, smart one…talk about acting against type) and all that good stuff.
Anyway, time to point out logic problems. Who the hell throws out a weather machine? I bet it’s got bugs but it still works and thus could be dangerous!
“Why would that man throw it out?”
..Dang it, kids.
They discover the snow option, and Allie wants to use it to create a snow day. Sam, being the logic one, doesn’t wanna do it but Allie convinces her.
They leave it ouside while they do stuff. And we cut to the North Pole. Oh, it’s one of those Disney Channel movies. Awesome!
Mrs Claus is visited by two elves, one of which is played by Bill Faggerbake. That’s right, Patrick Star is back, bitches! He went from Mummy to Elf in 2 movies flat. These elves have crazy ideas that no one thinks are good.
“That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard”
VITRUVIUS: Please Wyldstyle, let me handle this. That idea is just… the worst.
She gets a call from Santa, who says the weather machine is machine. Okay. why is Santa working a weather machine in Cabin in La? Does he just do that on Fridays or something? And why did he throw it out if he clearly didn’t want it?
“You tossed it out?!”
Stop being smart, movie!
See, he threw it out cuz he got mad it out and he went to get it back and it was gone. Yeah, this is why you don’t do that. With that, Mrs Claus sends out Patrick and the other guy to go to LA to find the machine.
Back with our heroes, her plan works and it starts snowing. After some of that, we cut back to the elves, as they are flying to LA.
“Are we supposed to be heading East?”
PATRICK: East? I thought you said Weast!
Oh come on, they walked right into that one!
We cut to the news station place, during the Weather report, as the guy gets the news that it is snowing. After wacky stuff where he doesn’t buy it, we see that Santa is watching this. Edwin, the weather guy, has a meeting with his boss, who tells him to stop being so boring during his reports. This guy is amazing. So over the top and hilarious, and such an asshole.
“The only reason I kept you this long is that I’m married to your sister, but even she things I should let you go”
It takes a lot to steal the spotlight from Patrick, but this guy did it. He tells Edwin to go out and get some real Weather news. Meanwhile, the schools are being closed due to the snow. Yep, a little bit of snow and everyone shuts down. Makes sense. It is LA after all. While our heroes have fun, Patrick and the other guy arrive at Santa’s cabin.
They figure out that machine has been stolen, cuz the fact that snow happening in LA wasn’t a big enough hint. They scan the footprint they found and use the machine to find out that there are like 1000 girls in LA with that size and type of shoe. So they just decide to go after the naughty girls who fall under that category since the person who took this must have been naughty. Oh what an ironic twist! Or whatever you would call it.
So we get a montage of them tracking down naughty girls, set to Secret Agent Man for some reason. After the montage, Allie finds out that the snow is keeping her Dad from coming home, so she turns off the machine. Then we get our first bit of heart, as Sam reveals that her Daddy is kind of dead, and he died when she was 3, but she was told Christmas was his favorite time of the year. Eh, that’s sweet, I suppose. Speaking of heart, after Sam leaves, Allie and the brother have some nice moments with Mom.
Later, the machine mysteriously turns itself back on. With the storm heating up, Edwin figures out where it all started. But more importantly, Dad is stuck where he is and he won’t make it home for Christmas. Ah yes, that cliche. Actually, this is kind of depressing with how it’s executed.
So with that, the kids need to find a way to fix things but can’t find a way.
“We’ll be responsible for the next Ice Age”
Oh god, we’ve already had 4 of those!
They fight a bit and when the electrify goes out, they have another sad moment. That kind of renders that bit pointless but ah well. Eventually, they head out to the Cabin and bump into Santa.
‘You are number 263 on my Los Angles Naughty Girl list”
Wait, so she is on the Naughty List? That kind of makes the whole irony thing…not ironic. And there was no sign of her being flat out Naughty before this happened so…whatever.
After a bit, she figures out that this is indeed the real Santa. He convinces her of this by telling her/the auidence that her family members are always so busy doing stuff that they never have time for each other, and it bothers Alllie even though she puts on a brave face./ We didn’t get a big sign of this into now so…lazy exposition explaining how the character is feeling. Yay.
Meanwhile, Edwin shows up Allie’s house and tells Mom some stuff to get her to let him hang around. Yeah, let’s back to our heroes, as they explain what happened. Santa explains why he was in LA: There are so many distractions at the North Pole this itme of year, and it was best to work on the machine somewhere else.
“It’s important because I wanted to give people The Ultimate Christmas Present”
PETER: He said it!
While that is going on, Edwin stumbles upon the machine which is going off like crazy and…no one heard it for some reason.
“From now on, I will be the greatest weatherman in the world because I will control the weather!”
And now we have a pointless villain. Yeah!
Anyway, our heroes arrive home and must get the machine back. They bump into Edwin and we have a chase scene. It doesn’t last long because be crashes into a Chocolate store warehouse place. We get more chasing and Allie gets the machine. They fiddle with the machine and eventually fix it by changing the batteries. Now that’s funny.
Yes, Edwin was completely ineffectual, why do you ask?
They bring warm weather back and now it’s time for Santa to do his Christmas thing. But first, he tells Allie she’s off the naughty list for obvious reasons. He gives us the moral: Don’t do the shit she did. Jokes aside, this is a nice moment.
When he’s done there, he talks to Edwin.
“I remember you as a child. You were bright, inquisitive, not a crook. What made you so mean?”
Edwin cries over how crappy his life got and we have our villain sympathy moment. It actually works in this context, since he wasn’t much of a villain to begin with. Edwin promises to be good and everything is good. Arc over!
Allie is brought home in time for Christmas morning. And right there, she gets her gift from Santa: Dad coming home. Oh yeah my present is something that was gonna happen eventually anyway, yay!
Of course I had to ruin a happy reunion with dumb old logic. So yeah, everything is all happy and nice. It’s a feel good ending.
“Being here is…well..”
“The Ultimate Christmas Present?”
(Jokes aisde, that was so forced)
“That’s exactly right, it’s The Ultimate Christmas Present”
Stop dropping the title, it’s gonna break!
The family has fun in the snow, and we cut to Edwin who is now working in Antarctica, where the weather is a lot more interesting. And the credits roll there. ..Could have done that on the heartwarming family part, but ah well. Yes, abrupt ending but it works in context. I am so tired of talking about abrupt endings to be honest. I mean, they aren’t that ba-
Yeah, that was decent. It’s not great or anything, and it doesn’t hold a candle to some of their Halloween movies, but it was still fun. There really isn’t a lot to say about it. It’s pretty simple and that’s a good thing and a bad thing. Bad because it means certain elements feel empty of under developed and good because it means it’s just a simple fun flick instead of anything hugely complex.
I think it may be too simple, because it’s clear the writers couldn’t fill a whole movie with the premise of a girl stealing a weather machine from Santa, and filled it with filler and pointless bits, like Edwin. He has a nice ending, he’s fun and has an amazing boss, but he did feel tacked on and he was a lame villain in the end. They seem to be able to fill the time up okay with decent drama so why they did that is beyond me
Despite that, the movie is fun. I won’t compare it to Twas the Night, because that’s a review for next year. I will say this is slightly more comedic, which works out fine, I suppose. It’s amusing enough and not much really bombed. The plot was fine enough, and they brought out some decent drama with this concept.
Allie is perfectly fine, as she is likable enough and gets decent development, as cliche as it is. Everyone else though, is just kind of there. People like London and the brother are there to fulfill their roles, and I totally expected more from Patrick. However, they fill their roles role and peple like Mom are decent enough to hold up the dramatic moments. Besides, Patrick is still fun.
We have a decent Santa here, as he is respectable and does a good job the moral, even if it’s not the most memorable Santa out there. Edwin is a forced villain, but he has a good ending and he is enjoyable. I really wish we had more of his boss, as we was amazing, but ah well.
This film is mostly “decent”. It isn’t hugely impressive but it is fun with more heart than I expected. It’s a bit cliche but it quite sweet and fairly fun when it needs to be. It’s decent as a Christmas film too, with all the snow and Santa’s role. It could have been written better in some areas, and I waned more character depth, but it’s not a bad time overall.
It’s good. Not great, but solid. Really, the only reason it’s more iconic than Twas the Night is Brenda Song, and she doesn’t really get a lot to do. But we’ll cover that other one next year. For now, this is a solid DCOM that holds up despite it’s flaws.
And with, 2014 is more or less done in terms of reviews. It was a fun year, and you can expect a few odd posts in the next few days. Come back in 2015 where we start things off with a little ass kicking.