I saw this because it was one of the last films Robin Williams made. And I would say that if you are thinking of doing the same, don’t. It’s just not worth it.
The concept is almost good. There is a guy, Henry Altmann (Robin Williams) who is totally angry all of the time. Then he is told by his doctor’s fill-in, Dr Sharon Gill (Mila Kunis) that he has a brain aneurism (true) and has ninety minutes to live (false), and he storms out, threatening to sue. So while he runs around trying to reconcile with his estranged son and distant wife and figures out how much he has messed up his life, she is trying to find him, and has his family looking for him. See, almost good. Actually, not even almost.
And the film is not even saved by the amazing cast – Robin Williams, of course, plus Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, Melissa Leo, Hamish Linklater, James Earl Jones, Richard Kind… but they cannot save it. I love your low-budget type dramas and the like, but this just doesn’t work.
Do time travel storylines do your head in? Then this may not be the best film for you. Because I love time travel stuff, but I drifted off for a moment in this and suddenly was totally lost.
Essentially, it starts in a future where everything is a bit crap, with bad guys coming from everywhere and the X-Men can’t cope. So, somehow (mutant skills. Don’t question it), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back into the past to change history. And things get awesome.
There are all of the usual fighting and explosions and all of that stuff. Plus the older X-Men folks and the younger ones – we got them all. Really, if you are a fan of the X-Men films, I think you’ll like this. Be hard not to.
X-Men : Days of Future Past was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Santa (Edward Asner) made a bit of a mistake and brought a human baby back to the North Pole. Rather than returning him to the orphanage from whence he came, the baby, Buddy, is adopted by a senior Elf, Pappa Elf (Bob Newhart) and raised to be another Elf. But things are not smooth sailing, and eventually, Buddy must learn the truth. Discovering that his mother has passed away but his father, Walter (James Caan) is still alive, adult Buddy (Will Ferrell) goes to New York to find him, and find a new life.
Around Christmas time there are always a lot of lists about best Christmas movies. I usually ignore them – I’m not really into Christmas films. There seem to be increasing numbers of houses with light displays each year in Melbourne, but regardless of complaints about the commericialisation, we don’t have the insanity that Christmas in these movies seems to have. I don’t mind a film with a bit of schmatlz or corniness, but I do find a lot of Christmas films a bit hard.
Elf is great. It’s really funny and great for kids without getting too racy, but it is not stupid. It is made very easy to totally buy into the innocence and naivety of Buddy, and how difficult he may find fitting in to modern New York. I doubt a total scrooge would enjoy it, but me? Bring it on.