Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: Saving Christmas (2014)

You see this movie? Yeah, either you're heard of this movie and its reputation or you haven't. If you fall into the latter, prepare for a wild ride. But, before we get into the movie, let's talk about the man who is responsible for this movie. Let's talk about Kirk Cameron. When I was a kid he was just that older brother character on Growing Pains, a subpar sitcom from the 1980s that honestly felt like it was a strange blend of other more successful sitcoms. I never watched it, mostly because I didn't see the appeal. It didn't make me laugh, offer anything different, or really stand out in any way. And it's not because I hated sitcoms, as I loved Perfect Strangers and Family Matters, but this one just seemed especially bland. The only thing I really remember even vaguely is that Cameron's character once made out with a girl who was supposed to have been a transsexual. Yes, because that's the sort of story that you'd want Kirk Cameron involved with. Well, actually, I did watch the Leonardo DiCaprio episodes when it ran on Disney Channel, because Leo made me want to.

I liked him a lot more in Critters 3 though, a movie I wish Kirk Cameron had been in so I could've seen him get eaten.

Getting back to our leading man here, Cameron was a minor teen heartthrob during his time and, rather than taking that success to build a credible career, he instead converted from his atheist beliefs and turned himself towards Christianity. Now, I have no issue with his beliefs or Christianity. Sure, there are some seriously terrible Christians out there, but it's not all the practicing Christians' faults. No, the problem is that he let his faith essentially define his career to an extreme degree, focusing only on acting in heavy handed Christian films that usually were made for television. Now I know I'm skipping over some other things there, but this isn't a biography on him, this is a movie review. So yeah, he became known as the guy who made bad Christian films and it ended being a sure-fire sign that if his name was attached to a film, people would roll their eyes immediately. That brings us to the recent past, when a rather moronic statement was made that caught on a lot among the more idiotic people in the faith: there's a war on Christmas.

Thanks for the honesty, John.

Now, ignoring the fact that Jesus has been shown to have actually been born closer to Easter rather than December, this statement is so inaccurate it boggles the mind. Christianity is the biggest, most successful religion in the world and Christmas is probably the most popular holiday. Probably because it's a day where people get to eat a lot of food and get free shit. The "war on Christmas" originates from the idea that by asking people to show a bit of sensitivity by acknowledging that other religions exist that have their own non-Jesus related holidays around the same time is somehow taking away from Christmas and Christianity as a whole. That's fucking stupid. Our man Kirk Cameron took this idea and made a movie based around it. He made a movie based on the idea that Christianity and the most popular holiday in the world were somehow in danger because other religions want to be acknowledged. It's nice to know that the collective ego of Christianity is so fragile that it needs saving. This resulted in me seeing this movie and now I get to talk about it. Yay.

Please don't make me do this...
Since this is technically my job I guess I have to do this... The movie isn't too complex in its set-up. There's a big party being thrown by Kirk's sister. Oh, did I mention he's not playing a character? Yeah, he's playing himself....greeeeaaaaaaat. But yeah, big party, sister, blah, blah, blah. Suddenly he finds out from his sister that something awful has happened! Something that rocks him to his very core!! An event of such drastic proportions that it means that Christmas itself is in danger of being lost forever!!! She tells him her husband, Christian, is really not really feeling in a very Christmas mood. GASP!!!!!! Oh yeah, that's a great set-up. I know I'm excited for this gripping tale. I really wish I still drank at times like these.

Pass the bottle, Santa, because I may need some liquid strength for this one.
Now, you'd think I couldn't try and explain the plot here, as you already know what it is. I mean it does go about how you'd expect. Kirk hears Christian isn't happy, drags him away from his funk to try and help him find the true spirit of Christmas, and this eventually leads to Christian behaving like a brainwashed twat who took some uppers from his brother-in-law so he could appreciate the nice party his wife is throwing. But no, there is all the bullshit in the middle. And it really is just that. Bullshit. Cameron basically ignores the very credible doubts his brother-in-law has in favour of preaching materialism throughout the film. Buy things bigger and better, because that's what matters, right? Kirk takes every little thing about the holiday and talks about the roots and talks about it as if his word is the final word on it, when in reality many Christians still debate on a lot of this shit. He somehow takes fucking Santa Claus...SANTA CLAUS....and ties him directly to the Bible as if it should be obvious.

I'm pretty certain Doug Walker and his brother, Rob, created Santa Christ, Kirk.
This movie is complete and utter shit, offering such a glouriously fictionalized (and skewed) vision of the holiday and it's religious background that I half expected Elmer Fudd to show up and shoot someone in the face, because clearly this needs something to laugh at it in it for it to be called a comedy. It serves no real point beyond saying that it's okay to be a remorselessly capitalistic twat who only cares about things at face value. It's honestly ironic that Cameron has this attitude that somehow his brother-in-law is a jackass for thinking about how he could be helping others rather than enjoying not being poor, because fuck poor people, right? That's a great Christian message. All Cameron does is lecture and expectorate a solid long string of never-ending bullshit that made me feel puncturing my own ear-drums more than once simply so I could escape his smug attitude.

Maybe I can hide under the tree. Surely he won't find me there.
Calling this a movie feels like an outright lie. This isn't a movie. This is Kirk Cameron on a bender. This is him attempting to create his own offshoot of Christianity. This is a waste of film and of everyone's time. The verdict? I hated it. Of course, I fucking hated it. At least God's Not Dead had an actual story and characters. Sure, it was full of bullshit too and a blatant propaganda piece that seemed to exist in the same reality that Reefer Madness existed as a true story. Saving Christmas isn't even enjoyable as being so bad it's good, as it is such a chore to sit through. Do not watch this movie. Don't watch any of his movies. Kirk Cameron is a loud smug asshole who makes Christians look like the same by proclaiming himself their unofficial spokesperson by starring in these Christian films. He should be locked away and forgotten, because he is damaging the brains of everyone who sits through his shitty movies.

It feels like he's trying to do more damage to Christmas rather than saving it.
I know, I didn't give a long in-depth description like I normally do and I spent more time talking about how horrible the movie is, but there's good reason for that. I don't want to talk about the movie any longer than I absolutely have to. It doesn't deserve the a fleshed out analysis, because it isn't even a little bit deep. The Care Bears films have more depth. Please, heed my advice and avoid this movie. And if you do want to watch it, for some reason, do not pay money for it. Do not give Kirk Cameron your money. If you do...he's just going to make more movies like this. Only you can prevent that. So, until the Rapture happens and Kirk Cameron is left in a brutal world where he dons bondage gear and a metal hockey mask to chase down Mel Gibson, I'll be here hoping that this year is a lot less awful. Later days, bleeders.

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