Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: Arthur Christmas

Director: Sarah Smith
Writers: Peter Baynham (screenplay), Sarah Smith (screenplay)


James McAvoy ... Arthur (voice)
Hugh Laurie ... Steve (voice)
Bill Nighy ... Grandsanta (voice)
Jim Broadbent ... Santa (voice)
Imelda Staunton ... Mrs. Santa (voice)
Ashley Jensen ... Bryony (voice)
Marc Wootton ... Peter (voice)
Laura Linney ... North Pole Computer (voice)
Eva Longoria ... Chief De Silva (voice)
Ramona Marquez ... Gwen (voice)
Michael Palin ... Ernie Clicker (voice)
Sanjeev Bhaskar ... Lead Elf (voice)
Robbie Coltrane ... Lead Elf (voice)
Joan Cusack ... Lead Elf (voice)
Rhys Darby ... Lead Elf (voice)

Let's face it, the holidays are an easy target, particularly when we have slack years in film. Every year, film makers capitalize on the season and bring out a new Christmas film. Most, I don't go to see in the theater. Fewer still get added to my movie collection. Arthur Christmas is a notable exception. Frankly, I'd go back and see this film once more during the season just because the effects on the big screen are that exceptional.

So, what's the story? There's not just one Santa throughout the years, it's an inherited position that's passed on from father to son. The current North Pole has retired Grandsanta and the current Santa in residence. Then, there's the two sons. Steve, the eldest, is the heir apparent. Steve's a paramilitary sort of chap who's got the mission running like clock-work from a fabulous red space ship, instead of the tried-and-true sleigh and eight tiny reindeer (nine, if you're a Rudolph fan). Arthur, who is a bit of a screw-up, works in the mail room answering stacks upon stacks of Letters to Santa.

When it's discovered that one little girl's present didn't get delivered, everyone but Arthur thinks it's well and good. After all, when you consider all the girls and boys of the world, one gift missed doesn't even give them a one percent failure rate.

But, Arthur sets out to find a way to deliver that last gift, a bicycle to a little girl named Gwen who was beginning to doubt. Grandsanta gets involved and the two of them dust off the sleigh and the reindeer to deliver the gift the old fashioned way.

As you can imagine, things go wrong. Will our young hero manage to get the gift to Gwen before she wakes up? You'll be on the edge of your seat waiting to find out.

You'll also be laughing and geeking out at the cool spaceship and the new method of delivering gifts. And yes, maybe just get a little more Christmas spirit at the same time. Like I said, I'm definitely adding this film to my collection when the DVD comes out, but don't miss it in the theater if you're wanting a heart-warming fun film for the whole family.

Rebecca Kyle, November 2011

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