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Acting=bland, storyline=contrived, pacing=dirge-like, charm=none. A
live action "Year Without a Santa Claus" seems like a great idea,
unless the people involved turn it into a remake of the Salkind's
"Santa Claus: The Movie" instead. And that's what happened.
Not everything about this movie is worthless. The first Heat Miser/Snow Miser scene was well done, but then again it's the only thing left over from the original. At least the powers that be recognized the appeal of that number.
Everyone else was just sleepwalking through their parts, which is a shame. I was excited to see John Goodman as Santa, but he wasn't weary enough in the scenes where Santa is weary, and certainly wasn't jolly enough when Saint Nick needed to be his old self. And Delta Burke? Did she really have a part in this? Mrs. Claus was an important part of the original...here she just seemed like an observer.
I was looking forward to this...I'm no purist. I'm open for all kinds of remakes. But this just didn't cut it.
Watch the original instead. It's a classic, despite its age.
A truly depressing piece of dreck, this live action version of the
Christmas classic fails on so many levels it's almost funny. (And those
are the only laughs you'll get out of this.) It's a shame the movie
studios all closed down their TV movie units in the 80s because TV
movies need all the help they can get.
All those modern, "hip" touches are rife with jokes that soar over the kid's heads, but sadly not the adults. The humor is, befitting the times, crude and boorish and the story is lame. Bad acting, contrived sentimental situations and flat photography all contribute to a bad time had by all. The heads at NBC must have been high on cough syrup to even think this looked like it would be any good.
Shove this one in the vault and never let it see the light of day again.
It's too bad that this couldn't have been a year without "The Year
Without a Santa Claus" remake.
I'll have a blue Christmas (since I've seen you.) This belongs on the Island of Misfit Remakes. Where's the Burgermeister when you need something burned? Rankin/Bass are probably spinning like the original Snow Miser after this. I let my six-year-old stay up for this...how do I justify letting him stay up past his bedtime for a waste of two hours of his young life. Whoever was approached with this idea should have told the instigator to put one foot in front of the other and walk right out the door.
This "remake" of the beloved Year without a Santa Clause was the most awful movie I have seen in years. First of all - it was not a kids special. There were scantily clad women and many parts I would find inappropriate for young kids. No wonder it was on at 9 pm. Not that I am opposed to adult oriented movies, I am a horror fan and rarely watch anything that is not rated R, but, as far as Christmas specials go... they are usually geared towards little children. The acting was horrible. Eddie Griffin and the guy from Mallrats as the elves was ridiculous. I could not even get through the whole thing it was so bad. If I could have given it a 0 I would have. The original was great - that I highly recommend.
When a "Christmas movie" contains the line "Santa, you suck" and
M-rated video game carnage in the first half-hour, you know it's time
to check out.
Cheap, tacky sets and costumes, atrocious "in-jokes" about other Xmas specials, and no observable comedy anywhere in sight. When you add in the really inappropriate language and visuals, as well as a complete lack of fun, well even my 4-year-old lost interest very quickly.
Besides, Chris Kattan's disgusting pinkeye infection was making it hard to pay attention to anything else but how inflamed his eye was! Seriously, in HD, you could almost feel the burn yourself!
I was actually fortunate enough to watch part of the filming of this
movie in Natchitoches, LA and never would have believed how bad it was
when it hit the screen. I was sorely disappointed for many reasons
including the fact that they filmed this during the hottest time of the
year expecting the extra's to wear winter coats, sweaters & other items
so hot that many were suffering from heat exhaustion...even Santa. The
extra's were not even paid extra's. They wanted 1,000 and I think were
lucky to get 100 if that but I know not near as many showed up in the
90-100 degree weather sporting their winter attire.
I had TIVO'd the movie for my grand children to watch around the holidays and ended up deleting it before I even watched it all the way through.
The grand kids weren't disappointed at Christmas because I had recorded many of the "good" Christmas specials for them and didn't make them suffer through this one.
You really have to wonder what NBC and the creators of this film were
thinking adapting the beloved animated special into this live-action
Were they hoping to expand the story (adapted from Phyllis McGinley's novel)? Then why is it that the original version accomplished more storytelling in a one-hour special than this movie does in two? This adaptation with a strange credit of teleplay and "television story" by Larry Wilson and Tom Martin goes off on so many tangents and in so many directions it only makes passing reference to the plot of the original novel and Rankin-Bass special it makes one wonder why they bothered to pay royalties to the original creators at all.
Perhaps it was so they could include the famous "I'm Mr. Heat/ Snow Miser" song, but this rare moment of energy in this movie is rather jarring considering that this is not otherwise a musical and the rest of the score is missing.
The cast is excellent across-the-board, though the lovely Delta Burke is way too young for the thankless role of Mrs. Claus, the prime mover of the plot in the original but reduced to looking concerned and expounding exposition here. You know you are in trouble when a film includes John Goodman, Eddie Griffin, Harvey Firestein and Michael McKean (and a scene-stealing Carol Kane) and is still dull.
An almost-complete waste of time and a scouring of a terrific story. Now go and watch the Rankin/ Bass original!
When you watch the original claymation films it's always amazing how
much visual impact and story they pack into a relatively short amount
of time. This remake had nearly the opposite effect and had the viewer
begging to reach the conclusion and put this nightmare behind them.
Something tells me this will not be a 'classic' for the entire family
to gather around and watch together - year after year.
Delta Burke is a beautiful woman with a gentle spirit and wonderful acting style so it's disappointing to see her grouped with the Zany antics of Carole King and the wanna be sympathetic John Goodman. It may just be me but Mrs. Claus' shy nature and quiet voice almost represented Delta being apologetic for her role in this movie.
The film retells the story of Santa's growing frustration with the commercialization of Christmas and the apparent apathy from children all over the world. Santa decides he's had enough and plans to skip Christmas altogether. Two elves and one reindeer leave the North Pole in search of one child who can sway Santa's heart and reverse his decision. Yada yada yada - eventually all the characters and pieces come together and bring the spirit of Christmas back to life.
This version lacks the charm and timeless wit from the original. The live actors appear to intentionally overact as their feeble attempt to capture the claymation's over-animation. The story has been 'updated' to incorporate a techno-saavy Claus and ELF incorporation - hahaha - wow, that's really clever (pause) NOT. The producers of this film would be smart to bundle the ensuing DVD with the original and offer some kind of bonus features in order to push the 2-pack. I can't imagine too many children or adults wanting to add this to their DVD collection. Next time, remake the little drummer boy - nobody liked that one too much anyway.
In ranking this film we should always start off with a 5 - neutral - then give it 2 pts for costume and effects for a 7, remove 1 point for being a remake for 6 pts and 2 more for remaking a classic, 4 pts, finally lose a point for being absolutely horrible for a 3 out of 10. Why the 3 pts you ask? Because this is so bad that any casual fan of the original claymation/puppet version must watch this for themselves in order to fully appreciate how truly bad this really is. I suppose a live action 'Great Pumpkin' is just around the corner, sad :(
This was an absolutely awful remake of a holiday classic. There was a
movie some years ago called Scrooged (with Bill Murray). In that movie
that are producing a version of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol".
The version that they create is absolutely over the top and insane. I
think that this remake of "A Year Without a Santa Claus" is that to a
This production was so over the top it completely wrecked the movie. The casting was atrocious...John Goodman as Santa wasn't that bad, but Harvey Fierstein as the Heat Miser and Michael McKean as the Snow Miser...come on are you kidding! Fierstein killed the most memorable song from the original movie. What about the Miser Brother's assistants, any reason they were cast as hot female models (not that I don't appreciate eye-candy)? As for the storyline....why did they create this "new" story? Yeah, it follows the basic idea as the original, but the story was basically completely different.
Please avoid this movie at all costs if you are a fan of the original. This one is too over the top, too long, and too crappy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have always loved the Rankins/Bass *Year without a Santa Claus*. The
scenes with Heat Miser and Cold Miser were hilarious, and Shirley Booth
did a wonderful job as the voice of Mrs. Claus. So I was excited when I
saw the Heat Miser/Cold Miser clip that NBC placed on youtube.
It turns out that NBC placed the only decent moments of this demeaning remake on youtube. Almost everything else disappointed when it didn't outright offend. I was tricked.
Many of the jokes seemed to be focused on telling the current generation how much better the previous generation was -- and even then, the jokes were outdated. With the complaints about life of the past twenty years and the rosy-glasses nostalgia, the focus of this version seems to be one long Baby Boomer whine.
The people behind this version are so clueless they seem to consider "goth" jokes to be cutting edge fifteen or so years too late! The jokes about "Extreme Santa" might have been clever a decade ago, but now they only show the viewer how out-of-touch these people are if they still think such jokes are clever now. The "hep African-American elf" jokes may have been funny fifteen years ago but are an embarrassment to modern racial relations. The demeaned role of women in this version is nauseating.
In the Rankins/Bass tale, Mrs. Claus is an active, intelligent woman determined both to help out the world in general and to bring her stubborn husband to his senses. In this remake, she is nothing more than a passive and obedient wife with an attractive figure. Who could have imagined wasting Delta Burke's talent playing a woman who does nothing except coo in worry? They completely disempower the character of Mrs. Claus: it isn't even her idea for the elves to go down to earth in this version! The disempowering extends to Mother Nature. In the Rankin/Bass special, Mother Nature is an awe-inspiring figure of dread, and Mrs. Claus is courteously cautious about speaking with her. In this tepid remake, Santa Claus is able to summon an obedient Mother Nature with three claps as though she were one of his harem dancing girls! The tale ends with a father guilt-tripped into destroying the hopes of hundreds if not thousands of jobs in a small town for the sake of sticking to old town values. Merry Christmas to his son who now gets a dad who will build snowmen with him, and Merry Christmas to all those workers who discover the day before Christmas they will be unemployed!
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