This week's pick: "The Christmas Chronicles," a delightfully bad*ss, family-friendly twist on your classic "Santa-in-distress" story. One part "Home Alone," one part "Tombstone," two parts "The Santa Clause" and equal parts original, this Netflix original was everything we wanted, more than what we expected and, surprisingly, good.
Honestly, it kinda restored our faith in the genre. If you like Christmas movies, and there's even the slightest chance you'll watch "The Christmas Chronicles," stop reading now...and watch it.
There are spoilers ahead, so you better not pout (or shout!) if you keep reading.
It's a fairly simple scenario: Siblings Teddy & Kate haven't gotten along like they used to since their dad died. Teddy has started down a slippery slope leading to a life of crime, while Kate just wants her family to be what it used to be.
Cut to Christmas Eve. Wouldn't ya know, Mom has to work! So Teddy is forced to stay home and supervise his little sister. He locks himself in his room and Kate resorts to watching old home movies on her beloved camcorder until...low and behold, a supposed Santa sighting appears on the camera's digital display!
Kate convinces Teddy that, since he's couped up with her all night anyway, they should set up a Santa trap to catch the big guy in red in the act and prove to the world that he really does exist. Well, they get him on camera! They also get stuck in his sleigh, scare him enough to accidentally perform a drastic aerial maneuver, drop the sack from the sleigh, unhook all the reindeer and basically ruin Christmas (at least for now).
The rest is mayhem, musical numbers and utter joy.
There's a lot that makes "The Christmas Chronicles" truly different.
From its take on Santa Clause and his gusto to the way he travels around the globe (through a freakin' wormhole) to his elves (who speak some weird form of German), his sack of toys (that doubles as a trippy portal to the North Pole) and last but certainly not least -- his ability to slam dunk presents down chimneys like LeBron James.
There's also a fair bit of action, solid one-liners and good ol' TV-PG fun that'll leave you with a smile on your face and an itch to start wrapping presents early.
Now, here at Dailybreak we have pretty high standards for our Christmas movies. One of our office's many unofficial mottos is "It's Always Christmas at Dailybreak" and we play holiday tunes in the middle of July. Half of us already have trees up in our tiny Boston apartments! We're tough critics and we love the classics.
That being said, "The Christmas Chronicles" really blew us away. Sure, it's simple, and sure -- it didn't necessarily "advance the art of cinema," but it did resonate with us in the best way possible.
Theo has already watched it twice, and we all know how tough of a critic he can be.
...get off of it. Unless, that is, you hate happiness, presents and don't have a fully functioning heart.
"The Christmas Chronicles" is a must watch flick for you and yours.
It's perfect for the kids if you're hosting for the holidays, fun to watch with your significant other when you feel like having a night in and is, simply put, the best Netflix original we've seen in a while (only second to "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs," which you should also, definitely watch).