Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Get Santa (2014)

Back in the first days of streaming, life was good.  More specifically, the selection was good.  The studios had not yet realized how popular the service would be and allowed Netflix and other providers to stream movies at a low cost.  By the time the contracts had expired, the studios found themselves in a position to charge more.  The result seemed to be that Netflix limited the number of bigger (read: expensive) movies. They still had plenty of lesser-known movies that I imagine cost less, but would still allow Netflix to claim to offer more titles over the Internet.

I have found a few good movies streaming.  I’ve found a few bad ones, too.  Get Santa is somewhere in between.  I knew coming in to the movie that it was probably going to be nothing spectacular.  It’s about a father-and-son team that has to come to Santa’s rescue.

The movie starts with Steve getting out of jail.  He wants nothing more than to see his son, Tom.  Meanwhile, several reindeer are wandering around London.  Santa has crashed his new sleigh and has found his way to the garage of Tom’s mother.  When Steve arrives, he chases off this weirdo that’s talking to his son.  He has enough to worry about with mandatory visits to his parole officer.

The next, Steve picks Tom up for a day together.  All Steve can think about is helping Santa, who has ended up in the very same prison that Steve just got out of.  The reindeer have been taken, as well.  So, it’s up to Steve and Tom to get Santa out of jail and get his sleigh in working order.  Oh, and since Steve had to trespass and miss his very first parole meeting, he has the police and his parole officer after him, not to mention Tom’s mother since Tom didn’t get back on time.

The movie is pretty much what you’d expect.  The film is British, but I could see the Hallmark Channel airing something similar.  It seems somewhat formulaic.  You have someone claiming to be Santa and seems crazy.  You have someone who has a low tolerance for trouble that finds trouble.  You also have someone who Santa mistakes for an elf who is, in fact, not an elf.

Santa having to prove his identity wasn’t as played up as much as I would have expected. He’s able to tell people things about their childhood.  The police find someone who bears a resemblance, but it’s not explained if this is the same person or if it’s a coincidence.  (The person was arrested 20 years prior, making it look like someone who hadn’t aged.)  Then again, how do you prove that you’re someone who the world regards as fictional?

The movie is rated PG.  It is a kind of dark movie, mostly due to prison scenes.  Santa has to get a lesson on how to act among his fellow inmates.  IMDb has it listed as a comedy and a family movie.  I’m not entirely certain about either.  The movie is probably safe for teens and above.  I don’t know that younger children would understand certain aspects.  It also wasn’t particularly funny.  There were a few good lines, like Steve pointing out how useful one of Santa’s tools would be to Steve’s friends.  That was about it.

I’m hoping that Netflix rotates their steaming selection soon.  I’m kind of running out of movies to watch.  I understand that they have to keep financial concerns in mind, but I’ve noticed that I’m watching some of the more mediocre films here.  This is definitely one of them.

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