A Country Christmas (2013)
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- There’s a national movement to ban the belief in Santa Claus. It’s about time congress actually did something worthwhile.
- Joey Lauren Adams is playing moms now. I feel old now. Her voice really doesn’t fit. And I thought her legacy to starring in Kevin Smith movies was bad enough—now she’s doing these terrible ABC family-style features.
- Senator Schmucker? I sure hope his first name is Dick. I would totally call his mom Mother Schmucker.
- I know it’s a kids movie but how does banning the belief in something work? You can’t ban something that’s a belief or based on faith. The principal of the school tells a teacher that the bill to ban Santa passed and that there is no more Santa Claus. You know kids aren’t that stupid and this dumb concept is just condescending. How do you enforce a law like this? Sure, it may look easy to take down images of the jolly fat man but what do you do to the kid who wrote a letter to him and mailed it? JAIL TIME!
- Hate to nitpick but this movie is called A Country Christmas and these main characters live in Arizona. That’s not exactly “Country” to me. Country is Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio. Arizona is desert. Not really the same thing. I’m sure we’ll get comments on this.
- Can one of Santa’s elves, who is invisible and somehow trapped in this families barn, not notice the two kids notice his footprints and him opening the cookie tin and eating it? Just because he’s invisible doesn’t make the cookie invisible. This is really stupid.
- Santa has a few written rules that he shows the Logan kids. The first rule is “don’t show yourselves to mortals.” Doh! And moments later Miley (yes, Miley) asks what happens if you break a rule and Santa says “I don’t know. It’s never happened before.” UGHH. This is doubly dumb since the prelude to the movie has Santa see the young Schmucker kid in his home and then leave him a lump of coal in his stocking. So these rules are more of guidelines really.
- I just realized that the father Logan was the sleazy rapist rock star from Showgirls. Sadly, this movie is a downgrade from that.
- So Santa and his elf, Eliott, are stuck in the Logan barn with their magical powers diminishing because of the lack of belief now. But they somehow conjured up decorations and presents from the North Pole with magic. While this isn’t such a bad thing but in the next scene, their father approaches the barn and now they can’t magically make the presents and stuff disappear so they scramble to hide the stuff manually. Keep in mind that their father is right outside the barn while this is happening and he doesn’t hear a thing.
- The kid said he wanted “Pa-Taters!” for lunch and the next shot his dad hands him a PB&J sandwich. Huh?
- Man, I’m getting way too fucking old for kids-outwitting-grown ups movies.
- Why the hell is Santa accompanying the kids to the TV station anyway when he’s supposed to be in hiding? He does nothing to help them and he couldn’t do much with no power anyway. This doesn’t make a lick of sense.
- Oh I cannot wait for this scene of the cops pulling over the car that has Elliott the elf steering the car with Zach pushing the pedals with his hands and Santa and Miley sitting in the front with no seat belts.
- Elliott blows “sleeping sand” into the face of the cop and speeds off like the Dicken’s. What kind of message is this family feature teaching kids?
- The goat, who ate magic feed meant for Santa’s reindeer, and can now talk and fly just uttered that he has four-stomachs. It’s not four stomachs stupid, it’s a four chambered stomach! That’s like saying humans have four hearts because it’s four chambered too. Aargh!!
- So let me get this straight. Max Schmucker, who saw Santa give him coal and then disappear when he was younger, vowed vengeance against Santa when he became a senator to enact a law that forbids all Americans to believe in Santa. But Schmucker actually witnessed Santa. He knows he exists. And he doesn’t necessarily know that the less people believe in Santa the more he’ll lose power and eventually go away for good, so what’s Schmucker’s ultimate goal here?
- A news reporter just referred to a Matt Schmucker. His name is definitely Max. Nice gaffe dumb movie.
- Why is there a need for Joey Lauren Adams character to have terminal cancer? Is this really necessary?! Why does every friggin’ Christmas movie have to have someone sick, dying, or already dead?!
- There’s a lot of protesters outside the ranch where Miley and Schmucker are having their Santa is real debate. The protesters all have shirts and signs depicting Santa. But isn’t believing in Santa against the law now? These protesters are all criminals and should be arrested immediately.
- This debate is worse than watching the 2016 GOP debates. But Schmucker says he just learned that Miley’s mom has cancer and he wants to reimburse the family for the expenses. Wait? What? Why? He then asks Miley if she believes in Santa because she thinks Santa will cure her mom. This is fucking ridiculous in so many ways.
- Every time they cut over to Elliott the elf he has the most awkward look on his face like, why am I in this movie?
- A few weeks later on Xmas eve Santa visits the Logan’s and cures Joey Lauren Adams with his Santa magic. Fuck this movie hard. Then Santa loses his powers because he broke a rule. His powers then go to Elliot who is the new Santa. This happens all in front of a bewildered family.
- Mom and dad Logan give Miley pink cowboy boots for Xmas. Wouldn’t a movie that just spent the last 90 minutes telling us that Santa is real make a point that all the kids’ gifts be from Santa? Strange.
Is It Actually Jolly: I don’t care if you think that I’m a a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich, with arsenic sauce, I think this movie could go far away to the island of misfit toys. I will say that the girl Miley was acting her little heart out as best as she could and I wish her well.
Jolliest Moment: I really liked the scene where Santa and his elf took out a highway patrolman with some sleeping narcotic and fled the scene.
Dumbest Moment: Having a Santa Claus hang out in some barn for the most of the movie is creepy, sad and boring on so many levels. But the scene where they all scramble quickly to remove the holiday decorations and presents in the barn before the father goes in is by far the dumbest moment in any Xmas movie I’ve ever seen. The father is just outside and the time it takes him to get from the horses are to the barn is stupidly too long. Why and how could Santa have the magic to conjure up these decorations but yet doesn’t have the power to remove them? And why would he need to decorate a barn (that isn’t his) especially when he’s laying low and hiding from the public, except of these kids?
Overall: Look, I thought it would be fun to watch a children’s holiday movie that I found on Netflix to riff and nitpick on for Hard Ticket to Home Video’s readers’ enjoyment but this one was really bad and I regret every minute I stayed up to watch it. It’s boring as fuck and written by half-wits. The concept is completely half-assed (banning the belief of Santa—but not Frosty, Rudolph or Mr. Grinch?) and the shoe-horned tragedy of the mom having terminal cancer is unforgivable. Every actor in this sucks the joy out of the holiday, especially Santa who is by and large the worst cinematic Santa since Harry from Christmas Evil. He does absolutely nothing! And he has a really creepy voice too; it gave me the heebie-jeebies. If they had him actually do something, even inside the barn, to help these kids who want to help him then fine but he just sits around and talks to them. it would be best to avoid this one folks.
Score: 2 PAA-TATERS Up the Rapist From Showgirls Butt (out of 10)