TL;DR – A thoroughly charming film when it is working and a bit overwrought when it is not.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There are mid-credit scenes
Disclosure – I paid for the Stan service that viewed this film.
Christmas Ransom Review –
It is the time of year when Christmas films are a plenty. Indeed 5 Christmas films got added to a streaming service just today. But if I am to dive into what can be a mess of sentimentality, I want to spend some time with a local production. Well, it is good timing because the Stan Christmas film just dropped, and it is time to find some joy in the world.
So to set the scene, at Harrington & Sons toy store run by Clarence Harrington (Cleave Williams) and famous all through the country and the place to visit for toys. But as time marches on, Clarence’s son Derrick (Matt Okine) now runs the store. Christmas does not hold the joy it once was after doing it alone for so long, and even Gladys (Miranda Tapsell), the store’s security guard, can see something missing from Derrick’s life. Even more so given the store is about to close because of a lack of finance. But once the store is closed for the evening, we discover that not everyone has left. Two members of the naughty list, Wombat (Evan Stanhope) and Brady (Tahlia Sturzaker), are here. But before Gladys can finish integrating the little brats, two actual crooks, Nan (Geneviève Lemon) and Shez (Bridie McKim), come into the store with guns. Soon all the staff are tied up with tinsel, a ransom call has been made, and the question is, who can save them?
TL;DR – It shows why casting is so important because if you cast a divorced couple, picking good friends that swing for the fences helps sell everything.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.
Ticket to Paradise Review –
Many components go into making a film. Might you need to dress up one location to look like another? You might need to manage a large crowd in the background. Maybe make a set look like it is outside while filming it on a soundstage. Yet you could have the locations, script, and crew, but if you get the chemistry with the cast wrong, it could all fall apart. Today we look at a film that nails all of those factors you need when your main protagonists high-key hate each other.
So to set the scene, there was one time when David (George Clooney) and Georgia (Julia Roberts) were deeply in love, but that was a long time ago, and unfortunately not in a galaxy far, far away when they had to come into contact with each other at their daughter Lily’s (Kaitlyn Dever) graduation. Wanting to get away from the stress of the upcoming job in a law firm in Chicago, Lily and her friend Wren (Billie Lourd) head out to Bali to chill for a couple of weeks. But when they get left behind by the boat in the middle of the ocean and get rescued by the charming Gede (Maxime Bouttier), Lily thinks there may be more for her here in the country. Hearing of the pending nuptials, David and Georgia dash out to the country and put aside their differences for their daughter’s sake, but it is hard to let bygones be bygones.