Family

Christmas Chronicles (2018)

Christmas Chronicles

Christmas Chronicles (2018)

NETFLIX

Director:

Clay Kaytis

Starring:

Kurt Russell

Darby Camp

Judah Lewis

Plot:

The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.

Review:

The first movie of my holiday season and I don’t think I could have chosen better. From the minute I saw the trailer I was excited to watch and it was an effort to wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday was over. Things ended up being perfect when I was able to watch with both of my kids and my husband; it was a definite Hallmark moment.

Anyway, Kate, Darby Camp, and Teddy, Judah Lewis, have recently lost their father and are having a rough Christmas. Their mom is having to work a lot and isn’t there as much. It’s hard and very emotional, the intro borrowed from Up. One thing leads to another and the kids decide to stay up and catch Santa in the act, low and behold, it works!

Kurt Russell as Santa is inspired and he was so freaking perfect! Ugh! It was awesome!

Christmas Chronicles hit a lot of the best Christmas movie tropes. There was a musical number, there were lots of lore explanation, there was a cynical child that needed to be shown that the world doesn’t completely suck. Even the elves were cool. There was a car chase! Seriously, what more do you need from a Christmas movie?

Fair warning, I cried at the end.

Christmas Chronicles has definitely been added to my list of yearly Christmas movies. It was everything I could have possibly asked for.

5/5

Merry Christmas, Baby (2016)

Merry Christmas, Baby (2016)

Director:

Rhonda Baraka

Starring:

Malinda Williams

Victoria Rowell

Karon Riley

Plot:

Marci throws herself into preparing for Christmas and building her new event-planning business. But when the business gets off to a rocky start and members of her family face their own hardships, Marci steps up to help everyone have a good holiday.

Review:

So in the first movie Marci, Malinda Williams, comes home because her favorite cousin is going to be a missionary in Haiti and she’ll be gone for five years. I mention this because, they have continued this plotline. They mention her in every movie and in this one they even do a video chat. I like that she didn’t just disappear.

Blair, Karon Riley, is still struggling with his law firm. Marcie is now trying to run an event business with her aunt Elizabeth, Chrystale Wilson, and Myra, Deetta West, wants to adopt the young girl from the last movie. Again all the same actors which is nice, but they’ve stopped growing. They’re more giving but apart from that they’re still the same people.

I was really hoping that Marcie would be back on top and that Blair would be a stay at home dad, but I guess that’s not the direction they want to go in which is a bummer. It also kind of ended abruptly it felt.

Once again, poorly sung Christmas carols, check.

Picking out the perfect Christmas tree, check.

Learning to give to those in need, check.

It’s interesting to see an entire arc with this type of movie. I thought it was very real to life, which is probably the major negative for me. I wanted something more fanciful, I wanted perfect, and super happy endings. It’s Christmas, I want everything to work our beautifully in the end, not be stuck working with someone you can’t stand. Still, I will be very interested to see if there are more of these movies.

4/5

A Baby For Christmas (2015)

A Baby For Christmas (2015)

Director:

Rhonda Baraka

Starring:

Malinda Williams

Karon Riley

Deetta West

Chrystale Wilson

Plot:

It’s Christmas with the Chandlers but no one seems to have the Christmas spirit – except for Stephanie, that is. Marci and Blair are obsessing over being the perfect parents, Myra and Donald have retired and suddenly feel useless and Elizabeth is bending over backwards to get a promotion at work. Add to that Stephanie’s blooming romance with Lawrence – who is torn between being with her and continuing his mission work – and Christmas seems to be taking a back seat. That is, until a group of kids at an orphanage helps the family to realize that there’s more to Christmas than wrapping gifts and baking cookies.

Review:

Alright, movie number three and we’ve still got the same actors. I wasn’t as big a fan of this one, mainly because Marcie, Malinda Williams, who loves her job decides that she’s going to give it up so that she can be a stay at home mom. Even though she’s about to land a huge contract and her husband, Karon Riley, is still struggling with his law firm. It doesn’t make sense to me why he doesn’t just become a stay at home dad.

Outside of the main couple we got more focus on the other Chandler sisters this movie. Elizabeth, Chrystale Wilson, is trying to get a big promotion and Myra, Deetta West, is coping with her husband’s new retirement. It was nice to learn more about them. Elizabeth didn’t really make much progress, though, she did realize she didn’t want to be cut throat and is now thinking about starting her own business.

Poorly sung Christmas songs, check.

False labor and a rush to the hospital, check.

Christmas baby, of course check.

Oh well, one more movie to go in this franchise and I’m curious to see what happens.

4/5 (Still giving a star for being a Christmas movie)

Fuller House (2016-?)

Fuller House

Fuller House (2016-?)

Network:

Netflix

Starring:

Candace Cameron Bure

Jodie Sweetin

Andrea Barber

Plot:

D.J. Tanner-Fuller is a widow and mother of three. Things become too much to handle, so she asks for help from her sister Stephanie and her best friend Kimmy.

Review:

I don’t remember exactly what I thought when I first heard that Netflix was making this, but I believe it was along the lines of, “Why?”

After having binge watched the entire first season on release day, I can safely say, “More please.”

Fuller House of course had loads of nostalgia attached to it since I’d watched the original show growing up, however I found that the parts and episodes I liked the most were the ones that weren’t filled with cameos from the original older cast members. In fact easily the worst episode was the first one, the increase in quality after that one was immense. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the first pilot, but there were plenty of cringe worthy moments and I think a series written with everyone in it would have not worked.

This was also a family show, with comedy for the entire family, not just kids like the remake of Boy Meets World, Girl Meets World. I’ve read some people think the humor was too adult for a family comedy, but I disagree. It had nothing more risqué than what you find in an episode of Modern Family.

D.J., Candace Cameron Bure, Stephanie, Jodie Sweetin, and Kimmy, Andrea Barber, take up their roles like no time has passed. The kids, who could easily drag down the show, are as entertaining as the original Full House kids. It’s like I’m watching a 90’s sitcom through the lens of the 10’s. It’s awesome.

Honestly, as soon as I finished the season I wished there were more episodes. I’ve already re-watched the first episode and I can see myself re-watching the entire season easily. Now I wait to hear if Netflix decides to pick it up.

4.5/5

Side note: I don’t understand why the original series isn’t on Netflix US, it’s available in other countries, I’d really love an opportunity to re-watch the original series.