vrijdag 13 december 2013

Christmas movies - Whedonverse

As I am a major Joss Whedon fan, of course I love it when my favorite actors pop up in movies during the Holidays. Lucky for me, they apparently love it too. Because I found a whole lot of them! I haven't seen all of them, but here they are:

Help for the Holidays (2012) with Summer Glau 
The little boy Will wishes Christmas spirit back into his family. His mother, Sara, is a busy woman with a Christmas shop, but no seasonal spirit and his dad Scott has lost that feeling too. Older sister Ally sees no point in it either. So Santa sends Christine, one of his elfs who wonders if there could be more to life than making toys in the North Pole, to the family as a nanny for the children. She must go to the real world and help them get the Christmas spirit back.

Why watch it? Summer Glau is enchanting as an elf. We are all thinking it right? She is the perfect elf! In a lot of kids movies, the children are basically annoying, but this isn't the case here. Of course love is involved and a little bit of family drama about neglecting the children, but this movie is full of magic and the story is actually a lot of fun. Sidenote: Don't you just love Hallmark? You can watch it in full:

A Golden Christmas (2009) with Nicholas Brendon
Another Hallmark movie is A Golden Christmas. Andrea Roth plays Jessica, a federal lawyer and single mother, who returns to her parents for the Holidays. Once here, she finds out that her parents are selling their beloved family home to new guy Michael (Nicholas Brendon!). She does not agree and will do everthing in her power to stop it from happening. As it turns out, they both know each other from way back when they were children... But they can't seem to remember it.

Why watch it? Well, it's Nicky. Nuff said! Just in case you want some more: Andrea may come off a little fake, but Nicholas is great in this adult single father role. The story is predictable, yes, but it's also sweet. Maybe sweet enough to give you a toothache but that depends on what kind of Christmas movies you like. It's funny, but also simple. Oh, and there's a really cute dog too!

Dear Santa (2011) with Amy Acker
Rich and spoiled 24-year old Crystal (Amy Acker) is being cut off by her parents: She has to find a job or a man. So faith lends a helping hand. A letter to Santa comes across her path and she reads it. In this letter Olivia asks Santa to send her father (David Hadyn-Jones) a new wife for Christmas. Crystal sees this as a sign and starts to look him up. Once in his life, it turns out that father Derek had the same idea... with ex- but now once again -girlfriend Jilian (Gina Golden).

Why watch it? Amy Acker is a bit to convincing in her role as spoiled rich kid/woman, but it's part of the role and luckily that doesn't last very long. It only takes about a couple of minutes to get into the movie and it's very enjoyable. Sure, it's a romantic comedy, so it's very predictable, but this movie is filled with nice characters and the story isn't half bad either. Amy Acker is sweet and David Hadyn-Jones is one of those people every girls falls for because he has an amazing heart. This movie also pays attention to homeless people, which gives it an extra layer. It reminds the audience that not everybody is always lucky enough to spend it in a warm house with their family.

Call Me Mrs. Miracle with Jewel Staite
Just like Mrs. Miracle, this movie is a romantic comedy with children, a love story and personal lives. This movie takes place in New York City where Mrs. 'Merkle' starts working as a saleswoman in a departmant store that is owned by the family Finley. Jake Finley and his father work together: Jake is responsible for the toy department. He conveniently comes across Holly, a beautiful assistant to fashion designer Gloria who dreams of becoming one herself. She's also the legal guardian of her nephew Gabe. He is her first priority and she feels she has no time for anything else. But even though Jake respects her choice, he will not let this wonderful person go without trying.

Why watch it? This movie is not as great as Mrs. Miracle, I have to admit. But Jewel Staite is wonderful, so is Eric Johnson. It feels like the story is a bit rushed at times, but it's got everything that you can find in Mrs. Miracle. It's about love, giving, family and well...toys. Classic toys like trains and board games, instead of all the technical stuff you see everywhere nowadays. My only 'downpoint' about the movie is Holly's boss Gloria. She is overly dramatic (just as her character should be) but it really gets on my nerves and makes it less enjoyable to watch the movie. What this movie adds is attention to children who's parents are in the military and have to spend Christmas with out them. Instead of focusing mostly on family matters and love, this movie also focuses on work related issues. It's a nice addition to the Mrs. Miracle series, and definitely worth a watch.

A Christmas Kiss (2011) with Elisabeth Röhm
Wendy is an aspiring designer, but for now she's assistant to slave worker Priscilla (Elisabeth Röhm). All she wants is to impress her and make her dreams come true. Then she meets Adam in an elevator and when the elevator falls down, they kiss. Later it turns out Adam is Priscilla's boyfriend/fiancee. Adam and Wendy grow closer as the holidays approach, because she has to make sure the engagement goes forward as planned. 

Why watch it? It's funny and cute. It's nice to see Röhm in an 'evil' role, not to mention eye candy Brendan Fehr. Though it's kinda weird to see Fehr so businessy, and good to see him warm up as the movie progresses. Storywise it's amazing that it's set against the Nutcracker, which - of course - is the theater piece for Christmas, as well as the Christmas Carol for a party. Other than that it's one of those inspiring stories for young starters who are trying to make a career and need to stand up to a fierce boss. And the dynamic between the roommates is amazingly funny. Who doesn't love that? Watch it yourself (in parts).

Christmas is Ruined (short 8 minutes) with Tom Lenk
It's a funny take on a missing Santa Claus where an elf is being interrogated because the workshop has been burned down. It takes place in the interogation room of a police department where tension is running high.
Note: It's a Funny or Die video, w
atch it yourself:  http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/08bb57123f/christmas-is-ruined

Why watch it? It's ridiculously funny! Tom is an amazing elf and his responses to the interogation is very creative. The ending is both scary as brilliant. It's just an awesome take on a Christmas story.

P.S. I Love You with James Marsters
A young widow discovers that her late husband has left her ten messages to help her ease the pain and start a new life. Every now and then she gets a letter telling her to do something or remeniscing. It also takes her to Ireland, where her husband was from, leading her to visit her in-laws. But how it's possible for her to receive these letters, remains a mystery.

Why watch it? Technically this isn't a Christmas movie. But the song 'Fairytale in New York' is played during Gerry's funeral, which is a Christmas song. And Hilary Swank singing along with 'The Man That Got Away' by Judy Garland also reminds me of Christmas, because watching old classics/musicals feels like a Christmas holidays thing to do. Other than that P.S. I Love You is just a wonderful story, right to the tearjerking moments, with amazing actors. You should have at least seen it once in your life.

A Christmas Wish (2011) with Kristy Swanson
Martha Evans' husband left her, not long before Christmas. He took all of their cash, left her homeless and with two daughters and a stepson. She leaves the town, hoping to find work along the way. After a long while on the road, she ends up in a small town and finds a job at a rural diner (formarly known for its home-made root beer). But with bills piling up, a broken down car and the danger of being kicked out of the motel she's staying in, Christmas isn't looking to cheery. 

Why watch it? First of all, I know that for a lot of fans Kristy Swanson isn't really Whedony. But she did play the first Buffy, so that's why she made the list. The movie is lovely and full of drama about someone who lost everything right before Christmas: The time to spend with your family. But they make the best of it, with a little help from their newly found friends. Even though the story might seem a bit rushed (people she's only just met going all out for her) it's the perfect Christmas spirit for those who need it. It also has a great guest appearance from Edward Herrman.
Still have to watch a couple of them though, like:

Anne Karenina (2012) with Olivia Williams
It's a story by Leo Tolstoy about the aristocrat Anna Karenina, who enters into a life-changing afair with the charming Count Vronsky. Set in the late 19th century Russia high society. 

Why do I want to watch it? Because I have read the most amazing reviews. I love literature and Keira Knightley is amazing in these movies (just think Pride and Prejudice). Of course I will love the fact that Olivia Williams plays in it, but I am mostly looking forward to seeing how director Joe Wright made the sets and a real theatrical stage thing happen. I'm so curious, I cannot wait! I don't really know if it's a Christmas movie, but it's in Russia and the trailer has shown me a lot of snow, so I'm thinking it's good for the Holidays. 

Ordinary People (1980) with Adam Baldwin
The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationship among the bitter mother, the good natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Why do I wanna watch it? Honestly, I would just like to see more of this young cute face of Adam Baldwin. When I watch the trailer it all seems very heavy and dramatic, not at all a Christmas movie. So I still have my doubts.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011) with Neil Patrick Harris 
Six years after their Guantanamo Bay adventure, stoner buds Harold and Kumar cause a holiday fracas by inadvertently burning down Harold's father-in-law's prize Christmas tree.

Why do I wanna watch it? I've never seen any Harold & Kumar movie, but the trailer seems hilarious! A little bit too much shouting for my taste, but funny none the less. Full of Christmas scenery and amazing actors. It's got Neil Patrick Harris AS Neil Patrick Harris and he sings 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas'. You gotta love that!

Holiday Wishes (2006) with Amber Benson 
Britney, a rich and spoiled child, and Rachel, an orphan,  switch bodies after a visit to their High School party... With a little help from a stranger. Each girl wakes up as the other. While Rachel teaches Britney's unloving family the true meaning of Christmas (with some intervention of professional party planner Danni), Britney learns that giving is better than getting.

Why do I wanna watch it? Well, it sounds like Freaky Friday at Christmas, which makes it very predictable. But I love, love, love Amber Benson - who plays Danni - and I think she might the person to make this movie work.

Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle is in a couple of movies that you can enjoy during the Holidays. I've seen two of them, but I decided to put them all together. Here they are:

- Christmas in My Hometown
- Richie Rich's Christmas Wish
- Black Christmas
- Ice Princess (Not really a Christmas movie, but still a little bit appropriate: )

I know I planned to do this list last year, but I simply didn't have the time. It's all done now though! That's all the ones I came up with/could find, so take your pick to make it a Whedony Christmas guys. Oh, and feel free to let me know what you think ;-). 

(on the right from top to bottom: Call Me Mrs Miracle
A Golden Christmas and Dear Santa)

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