It’s the holiday season, and after all that’s happened this year you deserve your share of holiday cheer. And what better way to get into the spirit than by kicking back and watching a movie?
If you enjoy films that celebrate the magic of Christmas, then it’s a certainty that you have to add two Netflix offerings to your regular list: The Christmas Chronicles 2, with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn and Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey featuring Forest Whitaker.
Settling in to chop it up about both films for this edition of the Cassius Holiday Movie Guide are Jameer Pond, Gray Rizzy and Stefon Bishop.
The Christmas Chronicles 2 is directed by Chris Columbus, who knows a thing or two about these kinds of movies thanks to his turn directing Home Alone and Home Alone 2. The sequel to the popular film that has real-life couple Russell and Hawn as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus who again come to the aid of young Kate Pierce (Darby Camp), who’s still cynical despite hanging out in Cancun with her mom (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), her brother Teddy (Judah Lewis) , her mom’s new boyfriend (Tyrese Gibson) and his son (Jahzir Bruno).
Gray Rizzy noted Kate’s continuing cynicism. “I mean, at least they’re in Cancun for the holidays!”, he said. Stefon did point out that being in Cancun at Christmas time seemed like a weird flex. Jameer spoke on how much he liked Tyrese’s performance in the film. “I’m just so used to seeing him in films like Fast and The Furious, so to see him playing a genuine good guy was nice.”
The confrontation of Belsnickel (Julian Dennison), an underhanded Christmas elf with a grudge against Santa also caught the guys’ attention, right down to one scene that prompted Jameer to note one reindeer that was missing. “He got at my man Dasher? Where was Rudolph in all of this?!”
Jingle Jangle, directed by David E. Talbert, is a musical Christmas fantasy that tells the story of Jeronicus Jangle (Whitaker), a renowned inventor and toy maker who is one piece away from completing an invention that would have he and his family set for life. Unfortunately, he’s betrayed by his assistant Gustafon (Keegan Michael-Key) who rises to riches and fame as Jeronicus finds himself down on his luck and estranged from his daughter, Jessica (Anika Noni Rose). Jessica’s daughter, Journey (Madalen Mills) clamors to see him and though Jeronicus is disinterested, Journey’s spirit and heart moves him and together they set about defeating Gustafon.
The fellas note how the movie begins with Grandmother (Phylicia Rashad) telling the story in a way that sets up the entire movie as a classic Christmas tale, and applaud Netflix’s commitment to making the film true to the director’s vision, which was also written by him and his wife Lyn Sisson-Talbert. “Shout out to Netflix for following through on having such a diverse cast”, Rizzy stated.
Find out more about how the guys really enjoyed both films, right down to their hilarious observations about holiday trips to the outer boroughs of New York and the need for better hairlines for the male actors of color in the full Holiday Movie Guide video above.