Three kids and their Dad move from L.A to Edmonton. When they go shopping at West Edmonton Mall they find counterfeit cash. They inadvertently help catch the crooks, and later make a discovery about Santa.
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It's turning out to be a pretty rotten Christmas for the Saunders family. Having just moved to a new city from Los Angeles, they have no friends, no money and, with the exception of the bright-eyed Mary, no Christmas spirit. To make matters worse, their mother is stuck in L.A., stranded by airline overbookings. So, the Christmas shopping duties fall on Dad and the gloomy kids. Things start looking a bit more like Christmas when 12-year old Brian and 6-year old Mary find a satchel of money at the local mall and they launch a Yuletide shopping spree...that is, until the crooks who counterfeited the money chase them through the mall packed with holiday shoppers. Written by
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I got to see an advanced screening of this movie in Edmonton. Sadly while its good for a movie to be made in Edmonton, this is the worst movie i have ever seen. Worse than Police Academy Mission in Moscow. Worse than a Sylvestor Stalone or Hulk Hogan comedy. And those are bad movies. Im sure most direct to DVD movies are better than this. And this is sad as i do enjoy GOOD Christmas movies.
The script is terrible and doesn't give the actors much to work with, but only a few actors seemed as though they are not just reading lines. The movie is full of product placement. Initially at their house with apple products and a PSP in center screen, then at the mall with the kids going on a shopping spree. The West Edmonton Mall had a terrible CGI makeover from the outside to make it seem 'magical' as it was painted in blue gold and pink. The first 5 minutes of mall footage was like a promo video for the mall. (Although it is a great mall and you should all visit it, this is meant to be a movie not an infomercial.)
The love story in the movie is unbelievable. The older boy misses his girlfriend from LA. But luckily he finds an attractive girl with the same obscure name as his old girlfriend, who also just moved from LA, and who has the exact same catch phrase as the boy does. He says one line to her, and they are instantly dating. It must have been love at first sight.
There were a couple of bright spots though. Tim Curry Played a Scottish Canadian Mountie. He forgot peoples names and i did laugh when he called one of his helpers 'Rico' when that was neither of their names. But this gag was used several times and grew tiresome by the end of the movie. Santa also made many appearances, making the whole family believe in him again.
One part i cant get over though is the image of the north pole. One of the boys opens a door supposedly to the north pole. The next scene is very poor cgi animation. I think the whole audience was shocked by its lack of quality. They must have hired a computer graphics student who hadn't finished the course yet. As it was beginners level stuff.
To conclude, while I got a free pass to this movie i still felt somewhat short changed by it all. I would have hated to have paid money to see it. Terrible.
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