Happy Christmas to anybody reading this on or around the 25th! I hope you’ve had a wonderful time however you decided to spend it. The rest of my family have turned in for the night so I’m taking the time to post my review of the final Netflix Christmas film of 2018. It’s the one I was least excited about, which is why I left it til the last-minute. Of course, I can hardly say that I was looking forward to any of them (with the possible exception of The Christmas Chronicles) but, after seeing the trailer, my expectations for The Holiday Calendar were the lowest of the low. I mean the entire preview gave away the entire story. Not that I couldn’t have guessed from the poster anyway. But, needing to get a sense of completion, I knew I had to watch it eventually. At least I didn’t really have to pay attention to the plot. It’s not like there were going to be any shocks with the narrative. And, after a busy day at work, something this mindless is kind of the only thing I’m in the mood for.
Now, we already know that Netflix have added some pretty questionable Christmas films this year but I actually had some hope for this one. It’s Kurt Russell for fuck’s sake. Kurt Russell playing Santa. I love Kurt Russell. I love Santa. It’s a dream combination. Then I saw the trailer and it looked like a Frankenstein’s monster made up from the tired narratives of old Christmas films. So my excitement started wavering a bit and I put it to the bottom of my pile. Then I watched The Princess Switch and decided it couldn’t be as bad as that. And, there have been loads of people at work raving about it. Once again, I swayed due to popular opinion and decided to watch it this week. Well, that and the fact that the only one I really have left t watch is the stupid magical advent calendar one and that looks even shitter than A Christmas Prince 2. And, if nothing else, Kurt Russell was sure to be perfect as Santa, right?
I know that the whole world is madly counting down the days until Christmas because they still have presents to buy and stuff. Me? I’ve got a different countdown in my mind. After today, I’ve only got two more Throwback Thirty posts. That means I’ve only got two more films from 1988 to watch this year. And I already know which ones they’re going to be. Now, I don’t want to spoil it for you all. I’m sure the world is on tenterhooks waiting to see which it will be. Instead, I’ll focus on today’s choice. And it’s one I’ve been waiting for all year. This is one of the infamous films currently holding a 0% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. How could I possibly get through this series without reviewing a film that bad? It’s the film that resides on all of the list of worst films in 1988 and tops most of them. At the very least, it might act as some sort of therapy to help me see that something worse than me came out of 1988. Sometimes a gal just needs a boost I guess.
I’ve been so bad a reading this month that I thought I’d never finish this collection of short stories. There were so many times that I fell asleep with the page open and had to leave story in the middle. It’s just been a stressful few weeks recently and I’ve been feeling it. I’ve managed to get a few days off this week which has been perfect. I got things done I needed to, had some time to relax, and got a quick break before the madness of Christmas. That’s always a fun time to be working in a kitchen. At least I don’t have to come face-to-face with any customers. Apparently, they’ve already started being quite difficult and short-tempered. It’s the reason I don’t like making a fuss when I’m eating out. I’ve seen what the people I work with have to go through and, when things have gone wrong, been on the receiving end of their annoyance. Be nice to your waiter/waitress. But I feel like I’m getting off topic. Long, rambling story short, I finished this book today on my day off. So let’s do this.
Last night was my Christmas party at work and, I’m sorry to say, the free wine on the tables was really flowing. Mainly in my direction. I wasn’t feeling as bad as I expected this morning but, boy, was I glad I had the day off today! I’m so tired. But, instead of spending the day in bed, I have to get myself sorted before I’m out again tonight. I’m such a Grandma these days. All I want is to snuggle up in bed watching more shit Netflix Christmas films. I still have loads that I want to watch but, I’m happy to say, that I have watched the most important one already. After last year’s A Christmas Prince got the internet going mental, I was kind of excited (maybe excited isn’t the right word) to see how the sequel would go. The first film was so bad but in such a wonderful way. And this one has a wedding. That’s always a narrative choice that is both original and full of funny ideas. Right? Guys? Am I right?
I meant to start writing this review last night because I’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead of me. Inevitably, I didn’t manage it as I got distracted and, if I’m not careful I’ll do it again tonight. It’s all because of this book as well. I have been a fan of Greek myths since I was a kid and got given a book about them. Before writing this post, I decided that it was vital to find the book online so I knew the name. I never did, which is a shame because I bloody loved that book. It presented the Greek myths in a child-friendly way that really played up the humour. Something that really helped distract from just how horny Zeus and everyone really were. It meant that I became interested in the myths rather than disturbed by them. With that kind of background then this book should have been right up my street. So, why has it taken me 7 years to read it? A very simple answer… the cover. The original cover (featuring a breastplate that looks more Roman in my mind) just looks tacky. I know I know. Never judge a book by its cover etc. But, come on, it’s awful. If Bloomsbury hadn’t released the beautiful Modern Classics edition then I might never have experienced this book at all. I owe them.
Think back to this time last year when Netflix changed the history of Christmas films by releasing one of the worst yet most compelling Christmas films in recent years. For an entire month, the internet became obsessed with A Christmas Prince and, when news came of a sequel, everyone was excited to continue the story. What nobody was ready for was the increased volume of original Christmas films to come out of the streaming service. Each trailer I saw was worse than the last and, if I’m honest, my excitement to watch them was only increasing. As we know, I love a Christmas film and a cheesy and obvious Christmas film is even better. I have decided to only review Netflix films for December and I decided to start with a doozy. A film that was essentially The Lizzie McGuire Movie meets A Christmas Prince? Starring Vanessa Hugdens sporting a terrible British accent? Who wouldn’t be desperate to see that?
You know that thing where you’ve been saying something for years and then everyone jumps on the bandwagon? I feel like that about JK Rowling. I’ve been ranting about that woman and the damage she’s causing the Harry Potter series for years and now, all of a sudden, it seems that people are finally catching up with me. It was way back in 2012 that I first started complaining about her ability to fuck shit up. Then, with every passing year and every new revelation, I’ve continually begged her to just leave the series alone. I was definitely in the minority back in those days. Now? Now I’m reading articles in The Guardian saying exactly what I’ve been saying. It’s really infuriating. But also good, I guess. It helps to know that I’m not just being petty. That I’m not just targeting a famous and successful writer to make myself feel important. I’m just a fan who is sick of this dead horse being flogged for everything it’s worth. A fan who went into the new Fantastic Beasts film expecting to come out in an absolute rage because I’d already reached my limit thanks to the Nagini and McGonagall news. Plus, you know, Johnny Depp.
I really am getting to the point know where a lot of the 1988 films that I only have the more serious films left to pick out of my TBT jar. Mississippi Burning, Cinema Paradiso, Colors, Gorillas in the Mist are films I am sure will be worth watching but I’ve kind of got used to watching the sillier ones. I normally end up watching these films on my day off when I’m not really in the mood for an intense 2 hour plus watching experience. I’ve come to enjoy the fact that there are so many films from the 80s that don’t make it too far past the 90 minute mark and many that don’t even make it that far. And, really, that’s a good thing. I’m not suggesting that all films need to be shorter but I’m a busy girl. Okay, nobody believes that. I’m a lazy girl. I just need highly concentrated bursts of cinema. Preferably with dodgy special effects or weird narratives. Oh, and a whole bunch of actors who make me sit there with my head to one side thinking ‘where do I know them from’. I can’t even start to work out how much of this film I spent madly searching IMDb to find the movies I’d seen certain people in.
It became very apparent at the start of this week that there was no way that I was going to finish the book I was currently reading for this post. So, on Tuesday lunchtime I had a mad dash around the charity bookshop next to work to find something I could finish in a day. There were plenty of possibilities on offer but, having recently seen this on Instagram, I felt the discovery of this book was fate. Not only is the book gorgeous but it’s something I’ve only heard great things about. So, I bought it and started reading it immediately. I didn’t get as much reading done last night because I ended up dropping my phone outside my friend’s house. I ended up spending the time I had put aside to read desperately trying to find my phone and arrange to get it back to me. Still, thanks to a lunchtime of ignoring my coworkers and just reading, I finished the book in time. Now I just need to get this post written.