This will probably be my last review of 2022. So why not finish off the year with another Christmas movie? Tis the season after all. “I Believe in Santa” is a Netflix original 2022 Christmas Rom/Com starring Christina Moore (“That 70’s Show”), John Ducey (“Wheels of Fortune”), Sachin Bhatt (“Hidden Canyons”), Violet McGraw (“The Haunting of Hill House”), and Lateefah Holder (“Other People”).
A columnist (Moore) who doesn’t believe in Christmas ends up dating a Christmas fanatic (Ducey) who still believes in Santa.
There’s a ton of Christmas movies that come out every year during the holiday season, especially the Hallmark ones. The majority of them are crap. So, it’s hard sometimes to find one worth watching. I like how original the idea of this one is. It’s like if “Elf” was dating someone. Not to the extreme of Will Ferrell’s character but going for the same ballpark. As far as new Christmas movies go, this one is pretty decent. The acting is good, and the story like I mentioned is unique. I felt it could have been funnier than it was, and they could have done more with the characters. Having a diehard Christmas fanatic and a non-believer dating, they could have done a ton of funny situations with it, but they didn’t. Also, it was a little slow in spots, but overall, it’s still worth the watch. I give it a 6.5/10.
I’m going old school with this one, all the way back to 1989 to “Vampire’s Kiss”. I’m actually a little surprised I haven’t seen this one before. “Vampire’s Kiss” is a 1989 Dark Comedy starring Nicholas Cage (National Treasure), Maria Conchita Alonso (The Running Man), Jennifer Beals (The Book of Eli), and Elizabeth Ashley (Just Getting Started).
A publishing executive (Cage) is bitten by a bat in his apartment, who he believes is a vampire. He starts to experience erratic behavior and starts to spiral out of control. Unfortunately for his secretary, she becomes the object of his focus.
This is easily the most ridiculous movie I have ever seen, and the whole reason is because of Nicholas Cage. It’s also one of the funniest movies I have ever seen because of him too. His acting is so over the top it is insane. All the eye popping and erratic memes you have seen of him is from this film. His facial expressions and body language are enough to make you cry with laughter. Nicholas Cage is supposed to be pretty eccentric in real life, I imagine this is how he really is just walking around. This film is going to leave you asking more questions than what it gives answers for, but just because how ridiculous he is in this, it’s worth it. It’s easily a movie I could watch over and over. I give it a 10/10. You can currently catch it on Tubi.
“The Noel Diary” is a 2022 Netflix original Christmas Romantic Comedy film starring Justin Hartley (This is Us), Barrett Doss (Iron Fist), and Bonnie Bedelia (Die Hard).
It’s Christmas time and a famous bestselling author (Hartley) goes back to his childhood home after he finds out his mother passed away. He hasn’t been home in twenty years and when he returns, he finds a woman (Doss) waiting outside his house. The woman is the daughter of the nanny who watched him and his deceased brother as kids. She was put up for adoption by her mom and is trying to find any info she can about her. While Hartley is going through his mom’s possessions, he stumbles across a diary that belonged to the nanny. It may hold the key to reuniting mother and daughter. They set off following the clues to reunite them, and along the way he tries to reconcile some of his own past. All the while the two start to fall for each other.
This one isn’t very Christmasy, it takes place during Christmas and there’s snow throughout the entire movie, but that’s about it. It feels more like a Nicholas Spark movie. It’s more of a romantic drama instead of comedy. The acting is pretty good, it follows the cookie cutter style romantic movie where the two want to be together, but can’t because of certain reasons, end up being together, but then can’t once again. If you’re into these types of movies, you’ll love it. It is not as cheesy as the last Christmas rom/com I reviewed “Falling for Christmas”, the acting and story are line are both better making it a better watch. I give it a 6/10. Still not my cup of tea, and I found the ending to be a little bit of a letdown.
“Violent Night” is a 2022 Christmas dark comedy/ action film starring David Harbour (Stranger Things), John Leguizamo (The Menu), Alex Hassell (The Boys), Beverly D’ Angelo (National Lampoons Christmas Vacation), and Leah Brady (The Umbrella Academy).
Santa is down on his Christmas spirit, and he gets stuck at a house that’s being robbed by a team of mercenaries. One of the house’s occupants is a little girl who still believes in Santa and needs some Christmas spirit herself. Santa now must kill the mercenaries and save the little girl and her family while trying to find the spirit of Christmas.
As I stated in my last review, it’s the season for Christmas movies, and majority are cheesy and bad. This one looked like it could go that way, Santa in a John Wick style movie killing mercenaries. It is original, so the question is, how is it? Simple, amazing. They made it work. It’s a fast-paced violent ride while still maintaining a way to capture it as a Christmas movie. Where else are you going to watch Santa Clause killing bad guys in creative ways such as with a sharpened candy cane, sledgehammer, and woodchipper while Christmas Carols play. This one is going to go down as a Christmas Classic. Even with all the violence and bloodshed, you leave feeling the Christmas spirit. David Harbour plays an excellent Santa and embodies this role. I give it a 10/10.
It’s that time of year again when the holiday movies start to roll out. Let’s take a look at the first one I’ve watched this year. A 2022 Netflix original romantic comedy Christmas movie titled “Falling for Christmas.” It stars Lindsay Lohan (The Parent Trap), Chord Overstreet (The Hole), and George Young (Containment).
A struggling small time ski resort owner (Overstreet) doesn’t know how he’s going to stay open through this holiday season. He’s tried everything he can think of when he comes across a young woman (Lohan) in the woods who is unconscious from a ski accident. He lets her stay at his resort since she has lost her memory from the accident and doesn’t know who she is. It turns out she is an heiress to a large successful ski resort, and the two start to fall in love.
This one is very Hallmark-esque, it’s the same cookie cutter plot from all Hallmark holiday movies. Someone rich meets an unlikely love interest who is not rich, and love prevails. We’ve seen it done a thousand times. Only big difference is this one has Lindsay Lohan in it, she plays a good role but it’s still cheesy, predictable, and Hallmark-esque. Don’t count on it becoming a holiday classic anytime soon. If Hallmark movies are your thing, you’ll probably love this one, I give it a 5.5/10.
“The Menu” is a 2022 horror/thriller starring Ralph Fiennes (Skyfall), Anya Taylor-Joy (Last Night in Soho), Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), John Leguizamo (Romeo + Juliet), and Hong Chau (Big Little Lies).
A young couple goes to an island for very exclusive dinner that is over 1200 a head created by a world-renowned chef. Little do they know, everyone is there for a certain reason, and the chef plans on making this his final menu. Every little detail is meticulously planned out, every deadly detail.
I’m a big fan of Anya Taylor-Joy she always plays a great role in her movies, and her starring in another horror, I knew this was a must-see movie. Ralph Fiennes also plays the perfect role of a detail-oriented perfectionist chef who has slowly gone mad by society and has finally reached his limit. This movie was different than I was expecting, it was still a great movie, just different. Not quite as fast paced as I was thinking it would be. It was a little more artsy than I was expecting. It reminded me of an artsier version of a M. Night Shyamalan movie. I also enjoyed how everything was targeted at the rich vs. the working class in society. I give this one a 7.5/10.
“Vengeance” is a 2022 Drama/Comedy starring B.J. Novak (The Office), Boyd Holbrook (Logan), Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect), Issa Rae (The Lovebirds), Louanne Stephens (Longmire), and Zach Villa (American Horror Story).
A playboy from NY City, who jumps from woman to woman, is trying to make it in the podcast scene. He receives a phone call from a woman’s brother, who he hooked up with a few times, telling him his girlfriend is dead. The woman’s family thinks he is her boyfriend and wants him to attend her funeral in Texas. When he’s down there the brother convinces him, she was murdered, and he agrees to help find the killer thinking he has found a subject for the perfect podcast.
I was surprised how good this movie was. It’s really well written, and you find yourself wrapped up in the story as B.J. Novak tries to find out what happened to the girl. It’s a little predictable as you know he’s going to go from self-absorbed dick to caring about more than just himself as he gets wrapped up with her slightly dysfunctional family. It doesn’t matter though because even though you know it’s going to happen it’s written well, and brings a good balance of being heart felt, comedy, and drama. This is also B.J. Novak’s directorial debut for a film, and it’s a great debut. The only qualm I have with the movie is the ending, I felt it a little anticlimactic and lacking, still it’s a great movie and worth watching. You can currently catch it in some theaters, and on Peacock. I give it an 8/10.
“Halloween Ends” is the latest (2022) and hopefully final installment in the horror series “Halloween” and it’s the third one in the most recent “Halloween” trilogy. This one stars Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Andi Matichak (Halloween), Rohan Campbell (Virgin River), Will Patton (Yellowstone), and Michael Barbieri (Spider-Man: Homecoming).
It has been four years after the events of “Halloween Kills” and Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since. A new killer emerges who idolizes Michael Myers and unleashes the evil that is Michael Myers. Laurie (Curtis) must now stop the new killer and hopefully once and for all put an end to Michael Myers.
Out of the recent trilogy this one is the best, the last one wasn’t bad. It gave a lot of nods to the original films, but my big issue with the last one was Michael Myers himself. The guy has to be in his 70’s and they can’t take him down? Enough is enough, it’s beating a dead horse at this point. The cool spin with this one is Michael Myers isn’t the main focal point but a much younger killer all together, with his own troubled back story. Laurie and Michael still have their showdown, and the ending is very fitting. As far as I understand it’s the end of Jamie Lee Curtis with the “Halloween” franchise. Which it is time, we all know remakes will still be made, especially since it still brings in money. Hopefully though, we’re done with senior citizen Michael Myers. Overall, it’s worth watching. I give it a 7.5/10.
“The Munsters” is a 2022 Rob Zombie reboot comedy of the classic 60’s sitcom with the same name. The movie stars Sheri Moon Zombie (The Devil’s Rejects), Jeff Daniel Phillips (3 from Hell), Daniel Roebuck (3 from Hell), Richard Brake (31), Jorge Garcia (Lost), and Thomas Boykin (3 from Hell).
This is a prequel to the Sitcom. It shows life before Lily and Herman, how they got together, and how Herman came into existence. It also follows their move from Transylvania to America.
I was excited for this one ever since it was first announced, I have loved The Munsters since I was a kid. It was before my time, but as a kid I would watch classics like The Munsters, Leave it to Beaver, Green Acres, Twilight Zone, Andy Griffith, and The Beverly Hillbillies. Rob Zombie is notorious for using the same actors and actresses in every movie especially with his wife Sheri Moon. This one isn’t any different as he uses Phillips, Roebuck, Brake, and Boykin who have all been in previous movies of his. So how did the reboot stack up, and how did his repeat actors do?
Simple, if you loved The Munsters like I do, you’re going to love this film. Zombie does a great job of capturing the essence of the 60’s and The Munsters. Not to mention the actors Phillips and Roebuck do a great job playing Herman and the Count, but the real star is Moon Zombie. She does such a great job as Lily, she even has her mannerisms down to a t. It’s perfect. Now if you haven’t seen the sitcom or not really a fan of it, you’re not going to like this movie. You’ll think it’s dumb, silly, and campy, which it kind of is, but that’s how the sitcom is too, and Zombie does such an amazing job of capturing that. Another cool little tidbit, Pat Priest and Butch Patrick have small roles in this film. They played Marilyn and Eddie in the original show. For me, as a fan it’s a must watch and I give it an 8/10. You can catch it on Netflix.
“The Curse of Bridge Hollow” is Netflix’s newest Halloween themed movie. It’s a 2022 family/comedy starring Marlon Wayans (White Chicks), Priah Ferguson (Stranger Things), Kelly Rowland (Empire), John Michael Higgins (Pitch Perfect), Lauren Lapkus (The Wrong Missy), and Rob Riggle (Holey Moley).
A teenage girl (Ferguson), her mom (Rowland), and her dad (Wayans) move to a small town from the city around Halloween time. The small town is all about Halloween and all the houses deck out their yards in decorations. The girl accidently unleashes an ancient spirit who brings all the yard decorations in town to life. She now must team up with her dad, who doesn’t believe in the paranormal but only science, to stop the curse before it’s too late.
I like Priah Ferguson, she’s great in “Stranger Things”, and I also like Marlon Wayans, he’s a very funny dude. It also looks like it would be good, an original concept. However, it’s not funny and just seems to be a rip off of “Goosebumps” with Jack Black but not near as good. It didn’t seem to know its target audience. It’s labeled a family film, but it appears to be too scary for kids, maybe not older kids, but not scary enough to be a horror. It also drops a couple of random curse words that don’t seem to be family friendly but again too dumb/not scary to be for adults either. It just falls in that weird void. Instead of battling R.L. Stein’s monsters in “Goosebumps” they run around defeating yard decorations while maintaining too not being funny. It sets up for a sequel at the end, but I hope Netflix spares us from that atrocity. I would give this one a pass this Halloween. I give it a 5/10.