Skip to main content

Christmas Countdown: Santa Buddies (2009) vs. Eight Crazy Nights (2002)

Today I'll take a look at two of the most terrible holiday films I've seen, and the tie that binds them.
---

Santa Buddies is a film churned out off the Disney conveyor belt of "Buddies" movies. These are films that feature talking dogs, who are probably related to "Air Bud" somehow.

There is a family of five dogs, each with it's own personality and stereotype that it personifies. The main story is a pastiche of Christmas classics, and reminiscent of Elf: Christmas spirit is running low, and the deer can't fly. There is also a cheezy Christmas Carol-esque subplot about a dog catcher called S. Cruge, apparently put in to fill the film out to feature length.

---

Eight Crazy Nights is another terrible holiday film. The motivation for this film seems to be the same as Sandler's Hanukkah song: to fill the dearth of Hanukkah-related holiday media.

Sandler is renowned for his whorish adulation of product placement (even the otherwise serious Punch-Drunk Love had a plot point that revolved around acquiring brand name pudding). In Eight Crazy Nights, Sandler walks further down this path, and devotes large amounts of screen time to corporate logos.

The movie is terrible, and not even worth recounting.
---

These two films are both a cynical attempt to cash in on the holiday phenomenon. It's a clever ploy because people are generally willing to accept lower quality films if they are holiday themed. These two films excel at lowering quality.

These don't just represent a low point in holiday film, but film in general.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review: The Salvation

Westerns have never recovered from the oversaturation that killed off viewer interest decades ago, but every now and then a gem pops up. Recent successes like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma and the Coen brothers adaptation of True Grit all did well because they tweaked the genre slightly, but director Kristian Levring goes with an old school approach. A faithful recreation of those revenge Westerns made so popular in the 1970s, The Salvation envelopes many elements of previous Clint Eastwood classics and wraps it into a tidy package.

The Salvation starts in on the central dilemma, joining Jon (Hannibal‘s Mad Mikkelsen) at the train station where he awaits the arrival of his wife and son. Jon and his brother, Peter (Mikael Persbrandt), have lived in the United States long enough to build a hospitable life for their family back in Denmark. This homecoming should be a sweet moment to establish the family important to Jon, but fate plays out…

Review: Anomalisa

Weird is rarely used as a good quality in film criticism, but few words so completely describe Charlie Kaufman’s work as weird does. All of his films are a window into his very particular worldview, and that p.o.v. is certainly unlike anything seen in pop culture. For that reason, Anomalisa became an entry on many most anticipated lists for 2015. That Kaufman chose stop-motion to tell this story made the picture an event. So it came as a disappointment when the film was one of the year’s more mundane efforts.

Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind have an energy and heart at the center that is not present here. Previous collaborators like Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry were able to temper the overwhelming negativity Charlie Kaufman occasionally falls prey to, but, this time, the writer doesn’t have a director to rein things in. In all of his efforts to create an experience that is both familiar and alienating, Kaufman may have accidentally created something host…

Review: Selma

It may surprise many that Martin Luther King Jr. never received the celluloid treatment prior to Selma. Sure he had been mentioned in other historical pieces, but short of documentary footage, King was never given center stage. Quite shocking given the man's legacy and the lingering effect of his efforts still felt today. Several years of production and a director change later, Selma arrives as the film worthy of the man.