HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Arthur Christmas And A Harry New Year
Year: 2011
Director: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook
Stars: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, Marc Wootton, Laura Linney, Eva Longoria, Ramona Marquez, Michael Palin, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Robbie Coltrane, Joan Cusack, Rhys Darby, Jane Horrocks, Andy Serkis
Genre: Comedy, Animated, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In November in the small Cornish town of Trelew, a little girl named Gwen posted her letter to Santa Claus at the North Pole wishing him well and asking for a bicycle for her Christmas present. All the letters to Santa reach him, though these days the operation is rather more complex and modernised with more children to deliver to than ever before, and Santa (voiced by Jim Broadbent) has a vast staff of elves who assist him, though he is something of a figurehead now as his son Steve (Hugh Laurie) takes care of the management side, with a whole team of troops trained to perfection and a flying saucer sleigh to ensure nothing can go wrong...

But what if all that precision planning had a minor mishap? Because even a minor mishap in the great scheme of things is a major disaster for one little girl, she being Gwen who we saw at the start of the movie, one of British studio Aardman's occasional tries at CGI animation, like their too-minor hit Flushed Away of a few years before this which may have been an indication audiences preferred to watch their stop motion puppetry over their computer generated efforts. Certainly Arthur Christmas was a bigger success than the rat movie, but there were grumbles it was not the full strength experience we might have hoped for from a studio so beloved by animation fans across the world.

Indeed, there was a lot here which verged on the dreaded word generic, not quite suffering comparisons to the endless, cynical cash in TV movies which littered the television schedules where hardly any thought had been put in to the material other than to pile on the clich├ęs and assume it would be watched by those who would see anything Christmassy entirely unironically. But perhaps that was the problem, that Aardman irreverence was toned down as if they didn't want to risk offending anyone by adding anything spicy to the mix, which resulted in a pleasant blandness rather than any particular big laughs. It's not as if the talent behind the scenes wasn't used to taking chances with their comedy, but here the big screen family landscape had smoothed out every rough edge.

Compare this to the considerably spikier and far funnier and more inventive The Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists which arrived the next year and shared many staff with this and you would get a better sense of what Aardman were about than something which appeared to have been thought up as a Yuletide variation of Monsters, Inc only without the inspiration. Pixar wasn't exactly a rival to the Brits, as they complemented one another nicely, but you had to admit the Americans might have had a better handle on the plot here than what seemed to have been inspired by someone's experiences with online shopping and the suspense with discovering whether the postie would deliver the parcel of presents in time.

What of the title character, Arthur himself? He was the other son of the current Santa, voiced by James McAvoy with an English accent, and he works in the mailroom answering all those letters to the boss because he is a timid fellow who doesn't yearn for the adventure of going out with the sleigh on Christmas Eve. However, what do you know, he just might have to when Gwen's gift goes unnoticed and he recruits his grandfather (Bill Nighy), the previous Santa, to take out his old sleigh with proper magic reindeer and get to Cornwall just before the little girl wakes up. This involves the kind of swooping "camerawork" that defined CGI animation of the twenty-first century, which was appropriate to scenes where Arthur, Grandsanta and a random wrapping (not rapping) elf called Bryony (Ashley Jensen) took to the skies. This was one of those innocuous movies you found yourself willing to be better than it actually was, there was nothing wrong with it especially, but it simply refused to take any chances. Not the ones you would have expected from this lot, anyway. Music by Harry-Gregson Williams.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2207 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: