Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 23: A House to be Seen from Space...

Christmas decorating, we've all done it at some point and we've all seen others do it.  In fact, we've probably seen many people OVERDO it.  Like the folks who cover their homes in tinsel and lights, have the lights blink in rhythm, and then synchronize all of it to music.  And then there are the people who cover their houses in those ugly inflatable decorations (I really hate those, sorry if anyone reading this owns them).  All of it is done to celebrate the season, and few people seem to really take passion in it anymore, so I suppose I can't fault those who go overboard.  If you haven't already guessed, tonight's film has to do with Christmas decorating and the problems it can cause both between neighbors and within families.  It's also yet another one that's named after a song.  So, sing along if you know the words, cause we're gonna Deck the Halls.

Local eye doctor and Christmas expert Steve Finch wants his kids to have a great Christmas, packed with Steve's tried and true traditions, such as using an advent calendar, taking Christmas card pictures in matching sweaters, and getting a large tree. At night, he hears noises. He looks out his window and sees a moving truck. He and his wife Kelly immediately know that "the new neighbors are moving in." In the morning, when Steve goes to get his paper, he is startled to see someone on his doorstep, stealing the paper, which causes him to spill coffee on himself. The stranger is his new neighbor Buddy Hall, a car salesman. Steve and Kelly also meet Buddy's wife Tia. Later that day, Kelly, her daughter Madison and son Carter go to the Halls' house, where they meet Tia and Buddy's teenage twin daughters, Ashley and Emily. Tia and Kelly immediately become friends, as do Ashley, Emily and Madison. That night, the Hall sisters discover a website called MyEarth, which shows satellite images of any place from space. The Hall house is not visible, so Buddy decides to make it his mission to be able to see his house from space, and to do it, he plans to use Christmas lights. Due to his lights,Buddy soon becomes known as the new King of Christmas around town, much to Steve's dismay, and thus begins a war between them that gets real ugly, real fast.

This film was released in 2006, with stars who were long past their box office prime (Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito) and there was little in the advertisements to make the film look appealing.  I myself did not see it until it was on television last Christmas, and while it had a cute concept, I simply could not say that the film was 'good'. In fact, based on the writing and the effects work done for Buddy's house, the film seemed like a Lifetime television movie that had been repackaged for the big screen...with no real good reason why.  There isn't much to the movie and it honestly feels like a story that could have been told in 45 minutes rather than in an hour and 33 minutes.  Its really sad too, because making a movie about Christmas used to be a sure thing...and now its become almost as bad as making a remake or a sequel.  This is just another dud in a string of increasingly bad holiday films (with only a few contemporary gems).  Oh well, if you catch it on television this season I'm sure you will finish it...kinda like how you can't take your eyes off a train wreck.

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