Thursday, December 25, 2014

Saving Santa (2013)

Number Rolled: 6
Movie Name/Year: Saving Santa (2013)
Genre: Children & Family
Length: 83 minutes
Rating: TV-G
Affiliated Companies: Gateway Films, Prana Animation Studios, The Weinstein Company
Executive Producer: Nathan Baggett, Terry Byrne, Mike Diamond, Nicola Fenn, Brian Gray, Chris Howard, Max Howard, Martin Hughes, Tony Jimenez, John Kennedy, Lord Kirkham, Frank Mannion, Paul McKeon, Chris Rokos, Anil Samani, Nia Syson, Presley Warner, Mike Watson
Director: Leon Joosen, Aaron Seelman
Writer: Tony Nottage, Ricky Roxburgh
Actors: Newell Alexander, Noel Clarke, Joan Collins, Tim Conway, Tim Curry, Holly Dorff, Pam Ferris, Martin Freeman, Nicholas Guest, Ashley Tisdale, Tom Baker

Bernard D. Elf wants to be an inventor. He’s got his heart set on creating the next big thing for Santa. However, he’s more accident prone than anything else, and Christmas this year is going to have enough issues.

There’s a little discrepancy as to whether or not Tom Baker (Doctor Who, Little Britain USA, The Beeps) was really in this movie. IMDB lists him as an actor in it, but with the same part as Tim Conway and I’m not exactly sure how that works. Noel Clarke (Star Trek Into Darkness, Storage 24, Centurion) is an actor from Doctor Who, though, which amuses me because of all the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey going on in this film.

Despite the time-jumping, I found Saving Santa to be a little generic. Even with that belief, it was kind of adorable and the music was catchy.

I probably wouldn't watch Saving Santa again. At least, not alone; I might watch it with a child. There was much less appeal for someone of my age than some of the other animated kid’s films floating around Netflix.

Cute for Christmas, cute for kids, not terrible in general but far from amazing.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 20%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 38%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.3/5
Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

The Random Rating: PG

P.S. There’s an extra scene after the first part of the credits.

Movie Trailer:

Monday, December 22, 2014

As I Lay Dying (2013)

Number Rolled: 50
Movie Name/Year: As I Lay Dying (2013)
Genre: Indie
Length: 109 minutes
Rating: R
Affiliated Companies: Lee Caplin/Picture Entertainment, RabbitBandini Production
Executive Producer: Boaz Davidson, Mark Gill, Avi Lerner, Heidi Jo Markel, Lonnie Ramati, Trevor Short, John Thompson
Director: James Franco
Writer: William Faulkner, James Franco, Matt Rager
Actors: James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack, Ahna O’Reilly, Logan Marshall-Green, Brady Permenter, Danny McBride, Beth Grant, Brian Lally, Jennifer Kristen Howell, Natalie Minton, Anna Kooris, Steve Nabors, John Still, Susan McMillin, Ken Hudson

The Bundren family is suffering a terrible loss. Their matriarch has grown terribly ill. In an era when doctors were not just a cab ride away, they are not able to save her. After her death, they need to go on a journey to the cemetery she wished to be buried in.

Have you mentioned the term “indie movie” to someone and watched them cringe? You had to explain to them that when something is considered an indie film it just means it was produced mostly outside of the major film studio system? Maybe to get rid of their sneer you mention that some of their favorite films are considered indie: The Evil Dead (1981), The Usual Suspects (1995), Clerks (1994), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Pulp Fiction (1994), even the very first incarnation of The Terminator (1984). With a line-up like that, how could that guy possibly hate on indie films?

This movie is how. When those people who hear the term “indie movie” sneer, they’re thinking of this kind of movie. They’re thinking of something that goes so artistic in its filming that there’s no cohesiveness or clarity. They’re thinking of a movie they can watch for over an hour and a half and still have no idea what happened.

Watching As I Lay Dying was like watching a butter sculpture melt. It was pretentious and slow. I know it was based on a book, but no movie has made me want to read a book less.

The only thing I can think to add is that this movie probably wasn't for people like me. I enjoy drama, but not at this level. To enjoy As I Lay Dying you need to value drama and artistic flare more than content. That’s just not me.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 41%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 37%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1/5

Movie Trailer: