1.5 out of 10
Release Date: 13th November 2015
Director: Richard Elson (MI High (TV))
Cast: Erin Galway-Kendrick, Rob James-Collier, Bronagh Waugh, Brian Clements, James Stockdale, Roma Tomelty, John Moan and Suranne Jones with Kylie Minogue, Dermot O’Leary, Julian Fellowes with Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan
Writer: Maire Campbell
Trailer: A CHRISTMAS STORY
This is the type of soppy, insincere, overly sweet, puke inducing movie that will make you want to throw puppies off bridges and kick old people in their sleep. It’s so drippy and over the top it will make you hate Christmas. It’s such an unappealing mash of cold Christmas left-overs as I’ve ever seen. There’s no magic, no miracles and nothing to recommend here. Bah humbug be damned, this is a rush-job written to cater for idiots, f*ck Christmas.
Martyr-like Noelle (ERIN GALWAY-KENDRICK), is born in a stable one Christmas Eve but her Mammy’s no virgin. Her Dad is an ass though. They live in a small town in Northern Ireland that is supported solely by the sales of the chintzy-est looking snow globes ever. Her father is the lead snow glass blower (BRIAN CLEMENTS – THE FALL) who gives these pieces of bad taste to all his mates for Xmas. One day, an evil property developer played Rob James-Collier (DOWNTON ABBEY) shows up in town to settle an old grudge by buying the factory for it’s land. He wants to build a Christmas themed wonderland. Noelle can make miracles work by closing her eyes and forcing people to stop fighting and make friends, but it take more than looking constipated to put an end to these horrible plans. None of her friends except for the wee disabled lad Spud Bob (yea really) (JAMES STOCKDALE), a Tiny Tim type wheeled in to maximise the vomit quotient, believe she’s a magician. Despite her pals lack of support she gets to the bottom of the dodgy deal through some badly acted, scripted and plotted espionage and restores order to the town. It’s unspeakably bad and was probably filmed in two hours.
Pierce Brosnan (THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY) phones in a cameo, as the Mr Big. He’s supposedly sat in a high-rise office in Chicago (according to a scene-setter) but it looks like he’s in the back room of a run down pub down the road in Letterkenny. Elsewhere we have Liam Neeson (THE GREY) putting in the sorriest cameo I’ve ever seen. At first, you think he’s gotten out of appearing in the film altogether as he plays a disembodied local Radio DJ. He does eventually show up in a scene all to himself, looking brow-beaten, half-pissed up and garmed in a dodgy Christmas sweater, poor sod. I’m surprised he never went Brian Mills on the makers. You can imagine him writing in his Xmas cards to the writer and director “I’m coming for you next!”
The kids in it are the wrong side of wooden and they play very annoying characters in an annoying way. Pity poor James Stockdale whose Spud-Bob is lucky enough not to have been written out of the film at some point in a tragic accident, where he had sacrificed himself for the heroine. He does get to sob his eyes out though in a scene of manipulative heart string yanking. Most of the adults, turn in embarrassed performances – Pierce Brosnan being the exception as I think it’s actually his ambition to go into Panto or inherit the film career of Roger Moore. He’s going the right way. Suranne Jones (CORONATION STREET) is wheeled in as a comedy drama teacher to no avail. But she’s got nothing on the parade of stars who play themselves, miraculously phoning in bumper orders of snow globes for their celebrity mates so avoid Julian Fellowes (DOWNTON ABBEY), Dermot O’Leary (BIG BROTHER) and Kylie Minogue (MOULIN ROUGE) if you’re expecting pressies from any/all of them.
This could be the worst Christmas movie you’ll ever watch because it comes with a side dose of insincere Irish twinkly eyed blarney, so fake you’ll want to duff your Mum up. Avoid like last year’s Turkey. Stinky.
1.5 out of 10 – This will one will make you cancel Christmas. And the next one.
Second review by Matt Usher aka Joe Pesci II below
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Rob James-Collier: Downton Abbey (TV), Spike Island, Wayland’s Song, Mercenaries, Coronation St (TV)
- Bronagh Waugh: The Fall (TV), Hollyoaks (TV)
- Richard Clements: The Fall (TV)
- Suranne Jones: Doctor Foster (TV), Scott & Bailey (TV), A Touch of Cloth (TV), The Crimson Field (TV), Coronation Street (TV)
- Kylie Minogue: San Andreas, Holy Motors, The Magic Roundabout (voice), Moulin Rouge!, Sample People, Bio-Dome, Street Fighter, The Delinquents, Neighbours (TV)
- Dermot O’Leary: The X Factor (TV), Big Brother (TV)
- Julian Fellowes: Downton Abbey (TV) (writer), From Time To Time (dir), Seperate Lives (dir), Monarch of the Glen (TV), James Bond – Tomorrow Never Dies, Jane Eyre (1996), Shadowlands, Damage
- Liam Neeson: A Monster Calls, Ted 2, Entourage, Run All Night, Taken 3, A Walk Amongst The Tombstones, A Million Ways To Die In The West, The Lego Movie (voice), Non-Stop, The Nut Job (voice), Anchorman 2, Third Person, Taken 2, The Dark Knight Rises, Wrath of the Titans, Battleship, The Grey, Unknown, The Next Three Days, The A-Team, Clash of the Titans (2010), Chloe, The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian (voice), Taken, Seraphim Falls, The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (voice), Breakfast On Pluto, Batman Begins, Kingdom of Heaven, Kinsey, Love Actually, Gangs of New York, K19, Gun Shy, The Haunting (1999), Star Wars – The Phantom Menace, Les Miserables (1998), Michael Collins, Before and After, Rob Roy (1995), Nell, Schindler’s List, Leap of Faith, Ruby Cairo, Husbands and Wives, Shining Through, Under Suspicion, The Big Man, Darkman, Next of Kin, High Spirits, The Dead Pool, Suspect, A Prayer For The Dying, The Mission (1986), Lamb, The Innocent (1985), The Bounty, Krull, Excalibur, Pilgrim’s Progress
- Pierce Brosnan: Survivor (2015), No Escape (2015), Some Kind of Wonderful, The November Man, The Love Punch, A Long Way Down, Love Is All You Need, The World’s End, Remember Me, The Ghost, Percy Jackson, Mamma Mia!, Married Life, Seraphim Falls, The Matador, After The Sunset, Laws Of Attraction, James Bond – Die Another Day, Evelyn, The Tailor Of Panama, James Bond – The World Is Not Enough, Grey Owl, The Match, Thomas Crown Affair (1999), James Bond – Tomorrow Never Dies, The Nephew, Dante’s Peak, Mars Attacks, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Mrs Doubtfire, The Lawnmower Man, The Deceivers, The Fourth Protocol, Remington Steele (TV), Nomads, The Long Good Friday