Month: December 2023

Merry Little Batman

Marry Little Batman was watched early as a screener. It comes out on Prime Video on Friday, December 8th!

Batman! Nununununununununun. I did not count if I put the right amount there, nor do I care.

This Christmas Batman movie is set in a Gotham where…Batman had finished the job! Like, the crime is all gone. Woo. So Batman (Luke Wilson) has been more settled down, and has a son, Damien (Yonas Kibreab). Mother? No idea, I don’t think it is brought up. Maybe it was a mitosis thing.

Either way, Damien is super young and likes to play, but generally in a mansion only has his dad and an Alfred (James Cromwell). There are toys, gadgets, and bat caves. Oh yeah, he knows about Batman.

Anyways, long story short, around Christmas, Batman gets in a jam, appears to be missing or dead, so Damien thinks he needs to done the costume before all of these villains come out and steal Christmas, or whatever.

Also starring Brian George, Dolph Adomian, Therese McLaughlin, and David Hornsby as the Joker.

Why does Alfred look like the world’s wrinkliest long penis?
From the very first frames, it became incredibly clear that this is not a movie for me.

Style wise is the first indicator. The animation style was absolutely gross in my mind. Not because of a penis joke I made above, but the style instead just felt like, I am not sure, an early 2000s Cartoon Network show? Something that is super quick and easy? I don’t think animation needs to break the bank every film with futuristic drawing technology, classic is fine, but this isn’t even something appealing to me. It feels like a television show, in the worst way, but goes on for 90 minutes.

The next glaring category was the voice acting. I am not some purist that thinks a certain voice actor is the best actor for the job and should keep doing it. Changing people up is great. (Unless it’s Mario, then they should get an impersonator). But almost no voice really hit for me. Sure, Kibreab as the kid? Fine. Wilson is a great actor, but he never felt like Batman to me this whole film. Just felt like a silly dad. The catalog of villains were all forgettable, except for Hornsby as the Joker. He had some giggles, sure, and it just still felt really off and like I was getting the most reject version of his character they could have made. Something left at the bottom of the bin and ignored.

And finally, the story. It is wild a little bit that part of this plot would have the kid thinking his dad was dead for a large part of this film. And he is hearing his voice on the bat belt. It is played for comedy, and we know that Batman isn’t, but damn, this kid, whose size makes him look like he is 5 years old or younger (look, the animation style is BAD), but it is fucked up. I never feel compelled about any part of this story. I don’t get scared, or excited, or confused. I just watch in boredom, apathy, and a bit of disdain.

I am not saying some people out there might think this is just a cute Christmas movie. The good news for you if you like it, is that it is also turning into a Prime show at some point next year which, well, explains a whole lot more in that regard.

0 out of 4.

Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane was watched early as a screener. It comes out on Prime Video on Friday, December 1st!

Christmas is the best season to be and exist in, according to Chris Carver (Eddie Murphy). Now, it is debatable if he married his wife just because her name, Carol (Tracee Ellis Ross), fit in with the season so well, but his three kids, Joy (Genneya Walton), Nick (Thaddeus J. Mixson), and Holly (Madison Thomas) were certainly named that way for Christmas.

Except this Christmas things are shit. Chris just got laid off. His wife might get a promotion, but he feels bad. And his street always has a giant contest for the best decorated house. He loses to his neighbor (Ken Marino) a lot, who just fills his lawn with inflatable crap, whereas Chris has hand carved wooden sculptures and lights. Well, for some reason, this year there is a cash prize of $100,000 to the best house. That is a chunk of money that can save Chris. And so he wants to make this Christmas the best he can before his oldest runs off to college.

Long story short, he ends up spending a lot of money on a giant Christmas Tree themed after the the 12 Days of Christmas, that is wooden and robotic and spins. And through more plot (eventually), that stuff all comes to life to terrorize his life until he can reclaim all of the golden rings, least he get turned into a toy. Turns out making a deal with an elf (Jillian Bell) is more like making one with the devil.

Also starring Nick Offerman, Robin Thede, Chris Redd, and David Alan Grier as Santa.

Only people with Christmas Sweaters can win Christmas decorating contests, fact.
Ah, Christmas movies. What is their goal overall? To make you excited about a holiday that you likely are excited about already? To make you feel a certain way? To make you remember it is coming up? To make you realize some people do holidays way better than you?

Hard to say. Having a main character as an adult just really love Christmas is an interesting idea. Hallmark movies do that all the time.

Honestly, at this point, I think I am just over Jillian Bell as a villain. She was also in the recently straight to streaming, Good Burger 2, as the bad guy. And has been the bad guy before in the past. And it has lost all meaning at this point. Kind of like Ken Marino playing a smug asshole. The side characters don’t do anything for me, which is more important given that Bell is in this movie a lot as a weird vengeful elf.

But what about the main family? Well, they just never really seem to deal with the issues the characters are going through. Murphy lost his job and is now spending a lot money, for a cause, and not looking for something else. That is an issue. The son is failing school class. The main plot line dealt with is the oldest daughter wanting to go to school out of state (and she is a senior, and this is December, so I guess it makes sense for this to be a last second conversation. Although she was also doing Track and Field for high school, which we all know is not in December).

Sorry, I am getting technical.

In terms of the actual plot, it is actually really bad. Collecting the golden rings in 24 hours. Is it figuring out clever puzzles? No not really. It is just aggressively themed ornaments who come into the families life at various points, and they just succeed when the challenge comes to them. They don’t have to go out from their normal activities to find them. No puzzles. Just…rings. Only a little bit of shenanigans, at the end, but hey, it is solved by counter-shenanigans so again, no worries.

Honestly, out of the side characters? I did love David Alan Grier as Santa. I wish he had a bigger part of it.

Candy Cane Lane is a safe movie, that maybe some kids will like the slight zany-ness of the situation that comes up. But it takes a long time before that even starts, and it is spread out slowly through the other slower family plots. There was potentially a good idea here, but it was played safe and slow.

1 out of 4.