Tag Archives: Vanessa Hudgens

The Knight Before Christmas

We know Brooke (Vanessa Hudgens) doesn’t believe in fairy-tales because that’s what she flat-out tells a student at the very top of the movie. Making such bold and inflammatory statements practically invites the supernatural, so when a knight from 700 years ago suddenly turns up in her life, it’s pretty much her own fault.

Sir Cole (Josh Whitehouse), the transplanted knight, was just going about his 1300s life when he meets an “old crone” (not my words, believe me, and not exactly an accurate description either, even, I suspect, by 1300s relativity) in the forest who gives him a quest to be completed before midnight on Christmas Eve. Next thing he knows he’s in Ohio. In the winter. He pops up in the middle of a Christmas village where his armour seems like it might just be another merry costume, and the fair Brooke doesn’t think much of her run in with him….until she later hits him with her metal steed car and has to take him to a hospital, where his ye olde claims of identity are mistaken for head trauma.

Brooke does what any intelligent young woman would do when she meets a crazy homeless person: she invites him into her home, to stay. You have to be quite a handsome crazy homeless person to merit such an invitation, I’d imagine, armour or no armour. Only her trusty best friend (and possibly her sister?) Madison (Emmanuelle Chriqui) is the voice of reason here, but she is too easily hung up upon, if you ask me.

Meanwhile, Sir Cole (as he insists on being called) gets his 21st century lesson from – where else? – the magic picture box, ie, Netflix itself, which continues to astound me with its ability to be, um, self-referential (by my count he watches Holiday In The Wild and The Holiday Calendar…had he kept scrolling he might have run into last year’s Vanessa Hudgens holiday offering, The Princess Switch; watch for its sequel, The Princess Switch: Switched again, a real honest to goodness thing, I kid you not, in 2020).

What will happen, then, when they inevitably fall in love? I mean, these two are kneading bread together in a way that makes me blush. Guys, I must be slipping. It is WAY too early in the Christmas season (in fact, I’d argue that it isn’t even the Christmas season yet) for me to feel this benevolent toward a holiday romance. Have I gone soft as the marshmallows in my hot chocolate?

The answer may be yes: I am an ooey-gooey puddle of movie-watching goodwill and kindness. I may have lost some self-respect, I may have lost your faith, I may have to change the title of this site, but the truth of the matter is: I didn’t fully hate this movie.

Second Act

I didn’t expect to like Second Act. I didn’t expect Second Act to be good. But I definitely didn’t expect Second Act to be so monumentally stupid.

It shouldn’t be too much to expect the writers of a big studio release to do some research and get at least up to a basic level of knowledge on the major plot points of their film. But that clearly IS too much to expect, because Second Act, a film about an outsider crashing the 1%’s corporate party, literally gets everything wrong about business when, after taking some creative liberties with her online profiles, Jennifer Lopez’s character, an assistant manager at a grocery store, secures a consultancy at a fake multinational company. A fake multinational company which seems to have its own skyscraper in Manhattan and which has made numerous questionable decisions, including having its R&D located in the same Manhattan skyscraper at its executive offices, categorically banning the use of non disclosure agreements, and making product decisions based on thirty-second presentations from two teams of four pitted against each other in a spontaneous three-month-long competition at the insistence of Lopez’s main rival. None of those things would or could ever happen because they are insane, but they happen in Second Act because that’s what the plot requires.

If that wasn’t infuriating enough, Second Act ALSO gets everything wrong about parenting, teen pregnancy, abortion and adoption, which should probably be tagged with a spoiler alert if I thought anyone would care.

And just in case I hadn’t been turned off by those shortcomings, Second Act throws in some needlessly cheap “comedy” including Jennifer Lopez taking a tumble during what should be a triumphant exit, and an exploding flock of doves released during Team Lopez’s product presentation.

Please don’t reward Second Act’s laziness and idiocy like I accidentally did after failing to find something for us to watch on Netflix earlier this week. I know you are better than that and will continue to say “no” to monumental stupidity. Say “no” to Second Act.