Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Elf Bowling (2007)

Have you ever just looked at the title of a movie and immediately knew that it was going to be bad? Yeah, this is one of those. Just take a gander at that title. Elf. Bowling. Now, in actuality, the full title is Elf Bowling the Movie: The Great North Pole Elf Strike, but I have chosen to just call it Elf Bowling, as that is literally all you need to know. This movie has a bit of a strange history too, as it's actually based on a series of games. The original game was a computer game, no less, with seven sequels. Yes, that's correct. The game Elf Bowling has seven sequels.

Because this concept definitely needed seven fucking sequels.

But computer gamers weren't the only ones who had this tossed their way. No, handheld gamers got Elf Bowling games too on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS systems. This meant that rather than playing the game at home, you could now have it going as you wandered into traffic seeking to end the horrifying pain of your tormented existence of playing these games. The games are notoriously bad and I for one am not at all shocked to learn that, because it's a game about bowling for elves. I'm sorry, NStorm, but if you want to truly make me care about elves then your game better involve Nazis and Grizzly Adams. Honestly, if the movie was actually about Dan Haggerty tossing bowling balls at Nazi elves then I would immediately proclaim it a cinematic masterpiece. But it's not. There is no Haggerty here to save this movie.

Haggerty, hallowed be thy name. Amen.
Our movie, because I still have to talk about it, begins with Santa proclaiming that the audience doesn't really know the true story of him. Oh joy, so this is the true story, eh? So, tell us, what was Santa's origins? He was a pirate. Santa Claus was a pirate whose name is actually Santa Maria Clausawitz Kringle. Also, he steals toys and delivers them to orphans, because making toys isn't piratey. Yarrrrrrr. He gives the toys to the orphans in the most sensible way possible too...by sticking them in the ocean with notes pinned to them. Good job, Santa. I'm sure those orphans got every single toy. Or maybe, you know, none of them. We also learn that he has a brother, named Dingle....Dingle Kringle. Alright, now hold up, you can't just do this to me, movie. You can't just go naming one of your central characters fucking Dingle Kringle! I am going to put my head through my desk, because I can't handle this shit right now. I can't.

I GOING TO BREAK ALL OF THE THINGS! ALL OF THEM!!! I AM NOT OKAY!!
After calming myself with some meditation, deep breathing exercises, and screaming directly into my mattress for about 10 minutes straight, I resumed. So yeah, Santa has a brother...Dingle...and they also seem to love bowling. Santa even has an entire section of his quarters dedicated to his love of bowling that features trophies and the like. Because that's what I think of when I think of pirates. Bowling and giving presents to orphans. What do you think of? Rape, murder, pillaging, lice, scurvy, and various sexually transmitted diseases? Now who's being silly here, really? Santa decides to call the crew together for some of their favourite pastime and the best line in the movie is uttered. There's not actual scene to couple it with, so I just chose a random cap from the movie to go with it. Enjoy.

"DON'T FORGET TO GRAB YER BALLS!"
That just happened. Sure, it was Dingle that said it and not Santa, but still. Remember, kids: always grab your balls. It's important. So Santa beats his crew and they apparently had a wager on the outcome, as he demands they pay up, but the parrot opens its mouth and declares that "Dingle cooked the books" which I guess means there was cheating afoot. The crew turns on the brothers as they turn on one another and they end up overboard. This results in them being frozen into large blocks of ice and dying. The end! Alright, no, they live and keep arguing through their frozen prisons as they float towards the North Pole. At the North Pole, an elf that looks like Lance Bass finds them and his hideous elf friends tell him not to thaw them out. But thaw them out he does, because this piece of shit needs a plot. It's declared that Pirate Santa is the prophesied Whitebeard. The two idiot brothers resume fighting while the idiot elves comment, ultimately breaking into song as Santa's ass gets set on fire.

Why does this movie exist? And why does that elf look like an angry Ross from Friends?
The Kringle brothers play along with the Lance Bass elf, learning where they are and all that bollocks. It seems the elves already have a factory and they make dooblebobbins. What are dooblebobbins? They're toys. The elves call toys dooblebobbins. I hate this movie. Santa asks what they do with the toys (because I am not calling what they call them) and they say the play with them and store them. So wait, let me get this straight. The elves make toys for themselves, then pack those toys away, then make more, and keep doing it. No, no, that's fine. It makes perfect sense. I have no issue with this idea at all that the elves as some kind of magical hoarders perpetuating an existence that will ultimately end up in them having no room. I'm not angry at all. Nope. Nope...

I WILL MAKE THE WORLD BLEED FOR THIS TRAVESTY. I WILL NOT BE DENIED.
Ahem, moving on. Santa inadvertently teaches the elves about bowling, which he calls elf bowling for some fucking reason, and he meets some Heidi Klum elf who serves him strudel. Later she'll be servicing him in a different way, judging from how they seem to bond over this, so I am assuming she's going to be Mrs. Claus. He then follows this up by shooting down Lance Bass' idea about giving kids free toys, even calling kids brats, but is ultimately convinced to go along when he's offered free room and board if he delivers them on one day a year. The tradition of Santa delivering presents and giving joy to children was the idea of an annoying elf who thawed out two pirates who tried to kill one another and made a career out of stealing toys. Great idea. So....why did they need Santa? Seriously, he has no actual magical powers here, he's just an asshole pirate who likes bowling.I think the elves could've done this without him and his clearly evil brother.

"Stop pointing out plotholes in our shitty movie, matey!"
Then there's a song all about how the elves need to be happy, otherwise they won't work. Also we learn that Santa can't sing worth a shit, which nearly causes the elves to strike. Good job, Santa. He promises never to sing again and we see him narrate about how things went well over time as we see him get married to his elf bride and also see that his brother kept being an douchebag over the years. He even says he had to bail him out of jail more than once. That leads us to present day, where Santa gives the elves their own bowling alley and Mrs. Claus lays down the law, demanding that his mooch of a brother gets a place of his own. His brother tries to guilt him but Santa points out that he's been sleeping on his couch for 600 years. Yeah, it's time to cut the cord. Of course, this leads to Dingle deciding he needs to take over Christmas, because why not? He also has penguins he call imbeciles. That's a thing. The brothers duel via bowling, resulting in Santa winning. But Dingle tricks him afterward, making friction start happening between Santa and the main elf, and Santa ends up being frozen. Which just begs the question as to why the idiot didn't do this in the first place. He writes a fake letter from Santa to the elves where it details how he hates the elves and is leaving the North Pole. Because the elves are idiots too, they fall for this.

Are you surprised? I'm not surprised. I wish I could be surprised.
The toy making machines get destroyed via sabotage and Dingle convinces the elves to go with him to Fiji to build a new place. Also he sings about this. Because we needed a song about bowling in Fiji with elves. They board a plane and we're informed that the in-flight films will be Gremlins, Gremlins II, and Grizzly Adams. The elves cheer for Gremlins and Gremlins II, which makes sense. How can you not enjoy those Christmas classics? Then they immediately boo Grizzly Adams...

I'm getting upset.
After that rampant fuckfest, we see Dingle hook up with a woman who is into him because apparently being in charge means he's going to be rich now, then another stupid song happens. Yay. But Mrs. Claus manages to find her man frozen in ice eventually, leading the two to go try and save Christmas from his brother.Because I can barely stand this much longer, I will now sum up the remainder of the film: Dingle hypnotizes the elves, Santa reverses this process, Christmas gets saved, everyone eats strudel, and Toaster Strudel stock skyrockets as a result.

I'm sure that makes this creepy little bastard overjoyed.
 Do you want me to make a verdict on this movie? Do you need me to? Really? Okay, alright, I'll do it. Just...it was shit. This movie was complete and utter shit. The animation was awful, the story was stupid, the characters were annoying, Tom Kenny was wasted, and I had to watch this heaping pile of excrement because I came up with the idea to talk about Christmas movies in January! *inaudible screaming* In closing, this movie was bad and you probably shouldn't watch it. I know I wish I hadn't. And while I was watching it my computer had a heart attack and I was worried I wouldn't get to write about how much I hate this movie, because I can't leave you guys with nothing, so here I am suffering for your amusement and I really need a hug right now. So, until the Toaster Strudel kid eventually shows up to choke down my soul, I'll be here weeping in the corner as I try to wash this movie off. Later days, bleeders.

"FOLLOW ME INTO THE ABYSS."

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