Archives for posts with tag: Christmas movies

When musicians run out of ideas, they do a Christmas album. What if you had only one good idea in your whole career? “Ernest Saves Christmas” (1988) is Jim Varney’s yuletide iteration of his Ernest P. Worrell character, which was first introduced in television commercials and eventually became its own franchise. You’ve heard of lowbrow humor – with Varney’s effectedly verbose and inept (yet oddly likeable) redneck, we’re talking unibrow humor. The plot is irrelevant, but Santa has business succession problems, Ernest is harboring a runaway girl, and everyone is sweating because this movie was shot in Orlando. Yuletide hijinks ensue.

I try not to know too much in advance about films I watch. When I saw a DVD for “Riders of Justice” (2021) with Mads Mikkelsen’s big, bearded mean-mug on the box, I assumed it was a sloppy, meathead, biker action flick. I mean, his name is MADS. Well, Mads supplies plenty of gunfire, but I was the one walking into an ambush – subtitles (they’re speaking Dansk), wacky professors, deep conversations about math, death and fairness (both separately and together), and some truly dark humor. And it’s a Christmas movie! It’s no coincidence pleasant surprises are often the greatest joys.

If “Happy Christmas” (2014) is a Christmas movie then all y’all need to shut the hell up about saying “Die Hard” isn’t a Christmas movie. “Happy Christmas” happens to take place at Christmas, but it’s really just a character study about a ne’er-do-well layabout sibling that brings joy to a mundane home when not almost burning it down. Anna Kendrick is the ne’er-do-well and Melanie Lynskey (priceless in “Two and a Half Men”) is the sister-in-law who could use something/someone to rouse her from a post-partum funk. Every generation has these types of middling dramedies. This one’s for the millennials.