Christmas Marathon: Home Alone The Holiday Heist (TV 2012)

I’m finally getting ahead with this Christmas/Holiday marathon business.  Its been a while and I don’t guarantee that I can keep it up although I’m trying really hard, especially since I set up a whole rundown and all but Netflix is adding more movies that interest me so who knows, maybe it’ll change.

This weekend, I got in 1 and a half movie.  Well, the other one, I fell asleep halfway and will wrap it up tonight but last night, I watched Home Alone The Holiday Heist.  It was direct to TV so please lower those expectations a little.  I really thought this was the fourth one but apparently this is the fifth one.  How far has this gone since the original with Macauley Culkin, right?

I’ve actually reviewed the first three so feel free to check those out if you’d like: Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Home Alone 3.

Now we’re going to skip the 4th because I don’t know where to find it but here’s the 5th one called The Holiday Heist. After the 3rd one, lets say I didn’t have high expectations on this one, if any…

home alone holiday heistDirector: Peter Hewitt

Cast: Christian  Martyn, Jodelle Ferland, Malcolm McDowell, Debi Mazar, Eddie Steeples, Ellie Harvie, Doug Murray

The Baxters move to Maine from California due to mom Catherine’s (Debi Mazar) new job.  They buy a new house for an exceptionally good deal.  Reluctantly, their kids: teenage daughter Alexis (Jodelle Ferland) and son/video game addict, Finn (Christian Martyn) are dragged along.  When they arrive, Finn hears stories about the haunting of their house and he sets traps as precautions.  One night for a Christmas party, their parents end up stranded on the other side of town while him and sister are left to defend themselves against what turns out to actually not be hauntings but three thieves on a heist for a hidden painting.

Home Alone The Holiday Heist really goes a little farther from Home Alone but surprisingly, I enjoyed it more than I expected.  The beginning is really not that great but once the heist actually goes underway, it does start being a little funny.  Its a little modernized version of Home Alone and you know right away that somehow the kid Finn’s video gaming life will contribute to it. There’s a whole lot exaggerated acting and the “final battle” or trap or whatever you call it doesn’t really make any sense even but I believe in the process of building up being good.

home alone holiday heist

The sister is possibly THE most annoying ever but I guess it was portraying the modern teenage obsessed over their technology and whatnot.  Other than that, the parents, although a little over-exaggerated in certain parts kind of does make it really funny at times also.  This movie has a lot of pretty silly characters.  It does feel a little dumb at times (man, I haven’t said that word in so long).  Except, Finn does have some nifty tricks up his sleeves and he really isn’t too bad.  I mean, he’s obsessed with video games.  I can picture a million other things that he could be bratty and stupid.

home alone holiday heist

The bad guys, sad because they never will hit that bar of Marv and Harry, aren’t all that bad.  The sidekicks are little useless because they really don’t do anything except for get caught in traps and worry about their own petty problems.  Its a way to add in humor, I guess. The two are lead by a much better actor in Malcolm McDowell.  I can’t really remember if they impacted me or anything.  I’m actually already starting to forget the movie.  The funny stuff was not even how they fell for the traps because the outcome was a little too over the top and not so believable but rather, it was the whole interaction of his parents and Finn and the sister.

I really have nothing much to say about Home Alone 5.  Its nothing special and I’m pretty sure it’ll vanish from my mind by the end of the day or before even.  Toss out logic and it could still be a little fun and entertaining.  Its better than I expected so that’s already a plus but I’ve also said that my expectations are low so interpret it the way you want. Anyways, enough of this negative, it was fun..thats what matters.  Just do what I do and have a glass of wine and a very nice dinner beforehand 😉

Are you a fan of Home Alone? Have you seen this fifth one?

Halloween Marathon: Would You Rather (2012)

Originally, I was going to post the next part of Halloween, but I realized, as I was writing up the review for that one, that I had actually watched the 6th one instead of the 4th.  Which explained the lack of continuity that lunged forward in storyline and skipped a whole generation. I was going to just post it and backtrack but I wanted to do it right, it’ll be postponed till possibly next week. I apologize for that.  So now, I am on a last minute search for the 4th and last night, after some decision making at 11pm, I decided to watch this horror thriller, Would You Rather on Netflix.  Lets see what thats all about…

would you rather posterDirector: David Guy Levy

Cast: Brittany Snow, Jeffrey Combs, Jonny Coyne, Enver Gjokaj, Sasha Grey, John Heard, Charlie Hofheimer, Eddie Steeples, June Squibb, Robin Taylor, Rob Wells

After her parents had died, Iris (Brittany Snow) is left to take care of her sick brother and to manage the debts, bills and find the money for a bone marrow transplant at the same time. At this time, her doctor, Dr. Barden (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) introduces her to a wealthy philanthropist Shepard Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs) who runs a foundation for the more unfortunate and invites her to join a dinner party to play a game that if she wins, would give her enough money to get her out of this situation and save her brother. Once she decides to go, she sees seven other guests and once the dinner is over, they realize they enter a game of Would You Rather with a sick twist monitored by Lambrick, his son Julian (Robin Taylor) and his butler Bevans (Jonny Coyne).

would you rather  dinner party

Human nature is a scary thing and Would You Rather is a horror thriller that uses this as a focal point to bring this story to life.  Seven people with a desperate need for money who needs to do what it takes, overturn their ethics in certain situations and make tough and timely decisions to either stay alive or die.  Every decision has its consequences and that’s essentially what all this is about while entertaining the sick pleasures of the wealthy.  What works for this movie is that its never extremely gruesome even if the choices seemingly are but at the same time, it makes the audience wonder if they were put in that exact same situation, what would be their choice? Would you choose to protect yourself or

would you rather amy

Would You Rather is actually a pretty suspenseful and dark horror thriller.  It doesn’t scare you with mystical creatures or beasts or the paranormal, but with how someone’s choice is out of your control and simply those of another stranger.  What they do is based on their character and how their values affect what decision they make.  With that said, the characters of this flick are the stars.  I’ve always liked Brittany Snow as a young actress when she started in teen flicks.  I’m one of those that enjoyed her in Hairspray and John Tucker Must Die.  I’ve never seen her in the horror genre and let me tell you, she’s was convincing as Iris. The other actor that made me want to watch this was Enver Gjokaj since I’ve recently seen him in Dollhouse.  The first full length that I saw him in was quite good also.  However, there is no doubt that Jeffrey Combs in the star here and carries the calm sort of sadistic crazy really well.  He was downright scary and authoritative, maybe manipulative and of course, cruel wrapped into the body of his character Shepard Lambrick.

would you rather lambrick

When it comes to horror movie, I’m still a beginning but I like horror thrillers a lot because it makes us question whats going on.  I like the whole cerebral activity going on, which I tend to lack when I’m watching predator/creatures/slasher horror flicks.  Thats probably why I watch those when I’m alone so that I don’t end up staying up all night.  Don’t get me wrong! I didn’t stay up for this one but I like conceptS like these where its an exchange; a decision with consequences; tough choices, etc.  It makes a movie more powerful and the intensity increases.  I doubt anyone will find this movie perfect but I found it really good: the acting was pretty convincing, the focus wasn’t on gore and blood but on the idea of choices and what a person views as the lesser evil.

To me, I’m not sure I’d give this a second viewing any time soon but I think its done well enough.  The deal with this is how well you learn about each of the characters and that’ll determine how surprised you will be on the choices they make as the movie progresses.  Some parts may be predictable but there’s always two ways that it could go, so this gave me a late night full of nerves and chills.  I’d recommend it just so you can give it a chance 🙂