Charles Dickens might be one of the most legendary authors in history, but it wasn't always plain sailing for him. In fact, ahead of the release of his 1843 novella 'A Christmas Carol', his career was already suffering. Dan Stevens plays the author in 'The Man Who Invented Christmas'; a tale all about how he went from failing writer to a festive miracle.
It's the early 1840s and London author Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) is suffering a bad case of writer's block. His last three books have been total flops, and the pressure to write a magical new story to grip the public has never been so high.
Before long, however, his new tale begins to develop in his head; a Christmas story about a miser named Ebenezer Scrooge (personified by Christopher Plummer) who is challenged by a series of mysterious apparitions. The characters develop beautifully, but before long he starts to hit another roadblock when he can't work out how to finish it.
Continue: The Man Who Invented Christmas Trailer
After 2009's inane comedy Nativity, no one was clamouring for a sequel, but at least this one tips the scales into sublime silliness. If you can suspend your disbelief, this might even be a guilty pleasure, complete with stars behaving stupidly, adorable children and a series of hilariously corny pastiche Christmas songs.
Things continue to be rather chaotic at St Bernadette's Primary School in Coventry, mainly because the headmistress (Ferris) is still employing her idiotic nephew Mr Poppy (Wootton) as a classroom assistant. He's just scared off another applicant for the teaching job when the tenacious Mr Peterson (Tennant) arrives with his pregnant wife (Page), determined to stick it out. Somehow Poppy convinces Peterson to take the kids on an illicit cross-country journey to a Song for Christmas competition in Wales, at which the kids will face competition from school rival Mr Shakespeare (Watkins) as well as Peterson's estranged twin brother Roderick (also Tennant), a snooty composer with a professional choir.
The plot is utterly preposterous, and as the wacky events progress, writer-director Isitt never even tries to ground the movie in realism. In fact, there's a point about halfway through where it becomes pure fantasy, so complaints about believability don't really apply. The only way to survive watching it is to sit back and enjoy the inane plot and goofy slapstick. And by doing so, we're surprised that the film is actually rather enjoyably ridiculous.
Continue reading: Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger! Review
Mr. Poppy, an immature classroom assistant at a St. Bernadette's Primary School, returns with ideas for a new Christmas performance with his class following the success of their Nativity play in 2009's 'Nativity!' He wishes to organise the pupils for the National 'Song for Christmas' Competition where the prize is a massive o10,000. However, being only an assistant, he cannot enter the class until their new teacher arrives. Donald Peterson is that teacher; a restless and stressed out man who struggles to deal with the pregnancy of his wife, the pressure on him to become like his talented composer twin brother and, of course, the unruly Class 7. Mr. Poppy wastes no time in getting Donald to agree to get the competition performance underway but the new teacher soon finds himself out of his depth and struggling to control the behaviour of his teaching assistant who insists on using a real baby and a donkey in the show. However, when Donald discovers that his perfect, daddy's boy brother is also competing alongside the upperclass choir of St Cuthbert's College, he finds himself determined to put on a world-class performance.
'Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger' is the most perfect sequel to its 2009 predecessor. It sees the return of Debbie Isitt as writer and director and most of your favourite characters and is set to be released well in time for the festive season on November 23rd 2012.
Director: Debbie Isitt
Continue: Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger Trailer
So someone in the Sci-Fi Channel marketing department thought that they'd be able to create the definitive version of the novel, making much ballyhoo over it in the press. "This is the way Frank Herbert intended it!" Yes, yes, I'm sure he was precisely thinking of static, made-for-television sets lifted from Star Trek: The Next Generation, bathed in nauseating greens, oranges, and fire engine reds.
Continue reading: Frank Herbert's Dune (2000) Review
Michael Keaton is Jonathan Rivers, a successful architect and loving husband to his pregnant novelist wife Anna (Chandra West) and father to his son Mike (Nicholas Elia), from a previous marriage. After Anna's sudden disappearance and subsequent death, a man named Raymond Price (Ian McNeice) contacts Jonathan claiming he's been receiving messages from Anna on the other side. Desperate to be connected once again with his wife, Jonathan begins a dangerous obsession with EVP.
Continue reading: White Noise Review
Jules Verne might have a hard time recognizing his source material in the Jackie Chan action-comedy adaptation of "Around the World in 80 Days," but for non-purists, it's easy to forgive the many liberties taken in this funny, fleet-footed summer-matinee romp.
Although the ostensible main character is still screwball Victorian inventor Phileas Fogg (lanky Steve Coogan) -- who wagers against the stuffed shirts of the English scientific establishment that he can circumnavigate the globe in the titular time period -- this version of the story more literally revolves around Passepartout (Chan), Fogg's valet who has his own reasons for traipsing across continents.
Passepartout has stolen a jade Buddha from a Bank of London vault in order to return it to its rightful place: his native village in China. Fogg is his ticket to safe passage -- or so he thinks.
Continue reading: Around The World In 80 Days Review
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What's new in the music world this week?
These albums are not nearly as appreciated as they should be.
Listen to her new song 'Callous Copper'.
They might sound like they're from the 70s, but they way they roll is very 2020.
'U Kin B the Sun' is an album rich in texture and depth and one that quite obviously, and unapologetically, plays to Frazey Ford's strengths.
Listen to their new single 'Small Change'.
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Jules Verne might have a hard time recognizing his source material in the Jackie Chan...