Tuesday, December 6, 2016

12 DAYS OF QUESTIONABLE CHRISTMAS MOVIES, 2016: Day 1

Every year, during the holiday season, I do this dumb thing where I find the worst possible Christmas-centric TV movies (usually from the powerhouse film factory at the ABC FAMILY network), get loaded on bourbon, and watch third-rate basic cable actors teach us all about the meaning of the holidays. It is a stupid thing to do and I don't really enjoy it, but sometimes you do things to keep from staring into the abyss. 

These are the reviews of those movies.

DAY 1: A DOGWALKER'S CHRISTMAS TALE (2015)

this is what hell looks like
This isn't actually Day One.

I started another movie last night, but I experienced a little Hulu-itis Interruptis when my bride came down the stairs, said "Oh. So you're doing this again?", and then decided it was more of a GILMORE GIRLS evening.

I went to bed early.

I don't really care for the GILMORE GIRLS. Were I being honest, I would say "I hate that goddam show and just the sound of it, floating in the air, hurts my earholes and my heart."I have opted to be positive, and just say that i don't care for the GILMORE GIRLS, since that sounds more gentle. But holy living fudge that show makes me want to stick knitting needles in my eyes. I've never seen a show so obsessed with class, that gets it so horribly wrong. The rich people are caricatures from the 1930s (I swear Richard Gilmore grew a moustache to look more like the Monopoly Man) and the poor people are about as realistically portrayed as the garbage puppets from ELMO IN GROUCHLAND. Granted it's set in central Connecticut, where even poverty comes with a Mayflower pedigree, so maybe it gets a pass on the realism of the class divide, but it's no less painful to sit through.

Also, can we talk about Luke? What an obnoxious monster. The sneering, the scowling, the temper tantrums... he may be the worst possible boyfriend in a show that should be subtitled "HORRIBLE BOYFRIEND PARADE". Most unforgivable of all, why does he wear a hat indoors? WHY?

GILMORE GIRLS has a lot of problems, but I suppose on the plus side, it is competently shot and edited, with professional actors saying lines written by people who know how to construct a story.

(THIS IS THE SEGUE)

A DOGWALKER'S CHRISTMAS TALE has a lot of problems, including being barely competently shot and edited, with alleged actors saying lines written by people who cashed a paycheck. I always feel bad shitting on these dumb movies, and I try to approach them with an open mind. I have seen several I would watch again (See TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS or the amazing CHRISTMAS BOUNTY as examples ), and I truly believe that talented people are not always wasting their time in the mercenary hunt for a few kopeks when it comes to these basic cable holiday poop-fests.

This one is so hard to get through that I have spent the netter part of the past thirty minutes wondering what Lorelei ever saw in Luke (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!). The leads are bland and annoying, and the story is so fucking typical and predictable, I am sitting here imagining the next scene while only paying about 20% attention. This is not because I am a smart man. I am not. It is because this movie is like a connect-the-dots for toddlers.

Here's a crazy idea for future cinematographers slumming it in the Christmas Movie ghetto. When you have an exterior shot on a cold cloudy day, don't overdo it with the warm bounce lighting on your actors that makes it look like they are lit from the inside like a lawn Santa. Especially when the next scene is all natural light and it looks like a polaroid from the 1970s. That was a specific complaint that will haunt me the rest of this viewing experience. Through all the stilted performances, horrible dialogue, manufactured melodrama, dopey musical cues, and weird edits, the poor attention to consistency in lighting of exterior shots will drive me nuts for the next 65 minutes.

GODDAMMIT IN THE TIME IT TOOK ME TO WRITE THAT, THE SCENE I'M WATCHING NOW IS A SERIES OF REVERSE SHOTS WHERE THE LIGHT DOESN'T MATCH AT ALL OH GODDAMMIT NOW I'M ALSO MAD AT THE EDITOR WHO COULD HAVE AT LEAST MADE THIS LESS OBVIOUS OH GODDAMMIT.

I am so bored and irritated by this experience I am becoming obsessed by the continuity of the light. Well, the two leads are falling in love now. I thought they were just going to playfully tease each other forever!

I think that's all I got in me.

F PLUS

1 comment:

lizzbert said...

I am gonna look for Christmas Bounty! Don't stop, Alex! More movies!