Media Update 12/13/18


The Princess Switch

Netflix is experiencing a boom of Christmas movies this year based on reactions to last year and I am all in. This movie stars Vanessa Hudgens and … Vanessa Hudgens!? Yes, this is your classic Prince and the Pauper story but set at Christmas. Some have been critical of Hudgens but I feel like she did a great job playing twins. Each character felt distinct and she really made me believe it with her acting. Coupled with the fact that Vanessa Hudgens is a pretty charismatic young woman and this was just destined to be a pretty good movie. The love interests are played by Sam Palladio and Nick Sagar, two guys I have never seen before but I liked both of them. Palladio plays a foreign prince in yet another small fictional European nation a little stuffy but charming. Sagar plays a down to Earth American guy who always had a bit of a crush on his friend. The acting is pretty good, the script is cheesy, and the production budget is mostly non-existent. Still, there is something about the formula for these movies that is nostalgic and pleasant. Besides, there’s a shoutout to last year’s A Christmas Prince in the middle of the movie. I definitely recommend this for a good Christmas movie.


A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding

Speaking of the sensation that launched a new niche in Netflix, I knew I just had to watch the sequel this year when it was announced. I actually showed my mother the first movie over Thanksgiving and we were able to watch the sequel together. This made it infinitely more enjoyable as we both really got into it. These are the people who will probably own this sub-genre forever. Like the first one, this movie has just the right mix of Christmas and politics to satisfy me. Set one year after the first movie, the wedding is fast approaching but also the tiny country of Aldovia is having financial problems. Once again, Rose McIver (of iZombie fame) is just so likable as the American journalist who got swept up in a romance with a royal. Her performance and plot made me think of how they talked about Princess Diana when she first married Princess Charles like it was a fairytale. The rest of the cast all return (except Amber’s dad) and I think they turn in an even better performance than the original. I think they all realized how popular the first movie was and were excited to do a sequel. I think part of it is the script had more complexity and felt more relatable than the first one but both were really enjoyable to me. I definitely recommend both movies.


The Christmas Chronicles

Hollywood seems to love doing movies where kids meet Santa and they get swept up on an adventure with him. It happened in Ernest Saves Christmas with probably one of the best onscreen Santas. It happens in The Santa Clause where we learn how new Santas are made. It happens again here but I felt like they put a new twist on it while making it feel familiar. The movie stars Kurt Russel who has a pretty unique take on playing Santa Claus. I have seen Saintly Santa (Ernest Saves Christmas), Kind Santa (Miracle on 34th Street), Bad Santa (Bad Santa), Asshole Santa (A Christmas Story), and Sarcastic Santa (The Santa Clause). Kurt Russel actually pulls off Cool Santa. This Santa is just a cool dude who is so likable. He is the kind of Santa who tells it like it is and is just good friends with everybody he meets. The kids who accompany him are great too. Judah Lewis plays the older brother, deep in his teen years and really bucking against the system. Darby Camp plays the younger sister, a little lonely but still full of childlike wonder. The movie mostly depends on the interplay between those three characters and it makes the movie flow better. I also really liked the deep dive into their take on Santa Claus lore and trying to explain how certain things work. They do not get too caught up in it but they definitely intrigued me with their take on things. I recommend this one as well as it is exciting and surprising in places.

 

Music of the Week:
Kurt Russell – Santa Claus Is Back In Town

Katy Perry – Cozy Little Christmas

Sia – Santa’s Coming For Us

John Legend – Bring Me Love

Eric Clapton – For Love On Christmas Day

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “A Netflix Christmas”
– I watched more Happy! Season One
– I watched more Designated Survivor Season One
– I watched more Hilda Season One
– I watched more The Dragon Prince Season One
– I watched more Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season One
– I started watching The Seven Deadly Sins Season 3
– I finished She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Season 1
– I finished Once Upon a Time Season 7 (and thus the series)
– I went all in on Christmas a little early and the joy continues next week
– Or does it? Muahaha!

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