Falling for Christmas – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Falling for Christmas.

Story

The second Netflix Christmas movie with a sexy single dad and a cute kid. The story was cute, but very cookie cutter with almost nothing new or unique.

Score: 0

Characters

The characters should have been bland and extremely cliché, but the acting saved the roles. The two leads did a great job as selling their characters and bringing heart to them.

The rest of the cast did well too.

Score: 1

Dialogue

At times it felt forced and a little cheesy but overall it wasn’t bad.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

I have to say I was impressed to see a movie take place in winter and be able to see their breath. This was obviously filmed in a cold location (Utah) and it gave it some authenticity that a lot of other movies miss. That being said the transition and establishing shots were overused.

The music was nice, but I was really disappointed to not see a proper duet between the two leads. They’re both accomplished singers afterall.

Score: 0.5

Fun

It was predicable, cheesy, and borderline satirical, but it had charm. The entire family watched and didn’t get bored. It’s a low angst lovely movie.

Bonus points for the positive portrayal of consent.

Score: 1

Overall

It might not be the most original or the biggest budget, but it’s charming and succeeds on the charisma of the leads. If you need a nice Christmas romance with low stakes, this is for you.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Christmas With You – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Christmas With You.

Story

This falls into the category of “Rich out of touch city person” is shown the joys of a modest Christmas category of movies. That being said, there’s a little more heart to it with the way the main character has missed out on a lot of Latinx traditions. So it feels less like she’s learning about the joys of being middle class and more like she’s re-learning her culture and how to have a family.

There’s also a wonderful level of respect and collaboration between the two leads. Made me think of writing with my wife.

Score: 1

Characters

The two mains were great. I loved the amount of emotion in their expressions. I liked the solid, priorities in the right place, dad. I also liked the vulnerable and genuinely nice pop star.

The main girl was great for the early hook, but sort of fell back after that.

The manager / best friend was amazing.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There’s a lot of cheese in this movie, but most of it is the right kind. The Abuela’s thirsty comments are hilarious and the small snarky comments throughout are great.

My only gripe was the teens. What little dialogue they had felt forced, like the movie was written by someone who’s only seen teens in the movies.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The visuals were good. The cinematography was acceptable and the sets were awesomely Christmas.

The music was mostly great, but I didn’t really like the final song. It was nice, but missing something.

Score: 0.5

Fun

It could have been very awkward and angsty, but the movie is a lot of fun. Mostly everyone enjoyed it. The three year old was restless, though.

Score: 1

Overall

A sweet and adorable Christmas romance. The leads are solid, but what makes the movie is the warmth of a loving family Christmas.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Scrooge: A Christmas Carol.

Story

It’s A Christmas Carol… mostly. If you’re a stickler for the original, it’ll annoy you at times. There’s some anachronisms and a few extra touches to soften Scrooge and make him more likeable. I don’t think they were necessary, but they did give more emotion to the songs, so I’m okay with it.

Score: 1

Characters

The characters are pretty much the same. I like that they kept Cratchet’s wife being angry with Scrooge. I liked the emotion and way they handled the love interest.

I like that they include the sister. In so many movie adaptations they forget about her or only make a passing reference. I approve of switching her from older to younger and making her frail.

The ghosts, which are often the best parts, are fun.

Score: 1

Dialogue

I’m a big fan of Dickens’ choices and language. The dialogue is quick and witty in the story. Unfortunately I find this movie’s updates to the dialogue to be pretty bland. A watered down version of the original where any older language just seems out of place.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

The animation was pretty and captivating. I think they overdid the special effects and jarring camera work.

The music… Holy Marley’s Ghost it was good. They didn’t need to go that hard with the music. Any and all beauty lost in the modern language is more than made up for in the music.

Score: 1

Fun

Once I got over the anachronisms and the language, I greatly enjoyed this one. The 6 year old was captivated and the 3 year old was only a little bored during the last ghost.

The adults all kept being amazed by the music.

Score: 1

Overall

An interesting take on A Christmas Carol. Not for the purists or those who hate historical inaccuracies, but the animation was fun and the music was outstanding.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Disenchanted – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Disenchanted.

Story

This is a fantastic take on an alternate reality/wish style story. While the first one’s emotion was all tied up in the conflict between “jaded” and “fairytale” love, this one is all about not being happy and finding your place.

Each character is treated to their own character arc and it’s solidly built. The story did feel like it had been developed as a TV show and then shrunk down into a movie and I think some of the emotion and story ideas could have been better served with a longer runtime.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The casting for Morgan was scary impressive. I had to double check that it wasn’t the same actress. Amy Adams made me, once again, wonder why we don’t see her in more musical roles. I also now want to see her play more villains.

The rest of the cast did an excellent job.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Extremely believable, I like that they leaned into the dissonance between the fairytale language and modern day.

I also really appreciated Amy Adams arguing with herself and the Gollum-style camera work.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The scenery and camerawork felt smaller than the first one. The dance numbers smaller but more intricate. It’s a beautiful set and great acting, but shows they didn’t have the budget for massive set pieces.

They thankfully gave Idina Menzel something to sing in this one. I loved the music and I’m glad there was more of it.

Score: 1

Fun

There’s a certain melancholy in this one compared to the first, but it’s somehow more optimistic. Love isn’t a magical uncertain thing, it’s a certainty and the characters never seem to doubt it.

The entire family was glued to the screen and enjoyed it.

Score: 1

Overall

There’s a grandness missing compared to the first, but it still has all the heart, warmth, and magic. The music is excellent and Amy Adams is a fantastic villain.

This was a joyful addition to the first movie and was just as enchanting.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5