Yet To Be Watched:
The Man In The Santa Suit
Why this one? Because it had Gary Burghoff in it! That's all I need to know.
The Ten New Movies:
#10 - A Christmas Story 2
Oh dear God, please don't watch this movie. If you like the original, don't waste your time on this one. It's not worth it. If you're a fanatic of the original, then okay, go ahead and watch it. but be prepared, it's kind of the like Star Wars Holiday Special. You really only need to watch it once every decade or so.
#9 - Fred Claus
Only slightly better than the Christmas Story sequel, this is another movie that you can feel free to skip. The premise sounds interesting, the brother of Santa Claus, but the acting, plot, and the special effects just suck. There are a few stand-out scenes but they are sadly lost in the mire of everything else. And it's pretty rare when special effects take me out of a movie, but these were below even the SyFy Channel's requirements.
#8 - Rise of the Guardians
Not necessarily a Christmas movie but it does star Santa Claus. And Jack Frost. And, line the Santa Claus series, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. It's billed as a kid's movie but there are a few scary parts in here. Not scary to me but I can see how a smaller kid would be afraid. As for the plot, meh, it's okay.
#7 - A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
I don't know what possessed these people to make this movie but it is Christmas related and it is funny. Not the best in the series but funny enough to keep you occupied. And the waffle robot is pretty cool. Maybe if I watched it in 3D I'd like it better. But probably not.
#6 - Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
While it doesn't come anywhere near touching the humor in Home Alone 1 or 2, it does a fair job of giving 3 and 4 a run for their money. The kids hated it but I kind of liked the old house and the actors. Even though it was yet again another new cast, they seemed to do a better job of handling the acting part of the movie.
#5 - Good Luck Jessie
Technically not a movie, this TV special is a cross-over between Good Luck Charlie and Jessie. Both are on the Disney Channel and both are shows that my daughter likes. Which is pretty much the only reason I watched the special. The best way I can describe the special (and the shows) is to call it generic. Yes, the jokes are funny, there's some drama, and even a little romance. But it's Disney. So you know what's going to happen. There are no big surprises or sad endings, it just is.
#4 - Trading Christmas
I stumbled onto this one when I thought I had recorded Pete's Christmas. I kept watching and watching waiting for it to repeat itself. Finally, after I was nearly halfway through, I realized it wasn't the right movie. A check of IMDB revealed it was something else. But I was invested enough into the thing that I couldn't delete it. Instead I finished watching it and was mildly surprised at how good it was. Sure, it was some sappy Hallmark movie, but at least it had a decent plot, decent acting, and a good ending. Better yet, my wife and daughter enjoyed it well enough to want to finish it too.
#3 - Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas
While based on the TV show Good Luck Charlie, this is actually much better than the crossover show. And it's more of a full-length movie. Certainly entertaining and as usual, lots of Disney values forced down your throat.
#2 - Pete's Christmas
Why this one? Because I didn't get to watch it. And I'm pissed about it. It sounded like a great cross between Groundhog Day and Christmas Day. But the stupid Hallmark Channel decided to not show it and instead it's on a blocked channel. Humbug! Thankfully I have a great wife and daughter looking out for me and they picked it up on DVD. Turns out, it was pretty good. Not as good as Groundhog Day but still enjoyable enough to keep me glued to my seat.
#1 - Surviving Christmas
This movie was so bad it was good. A rich guy basically rents a family to impress a girl. But this damn thing was so sloppy, so badly done, that it snuck up on you. It was almost like a car accident that you just had to watch to see what happened in the end. Now the actors are pretty good with James Gandolfini, Christina Applegate, and Ben Affleck, but the mom from Home Alone, Catherine O'Hara, is also in it. And be warned. You may never watch Home Alone the same way again. Let's just say there's a few scenes that show how well she hasn't aged.
*If you want to step back in time, here are some of my older posts on Christmas movies: