Arthur Christmas (2011)

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Santa’s clumsy son Arthur gets put on a mission with St. Nick’s father to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl in less than 2 hours. (IMDb)
A unique take on the Santa story that cleverly contorts it into the realm of realism; the high-tech vs. old school, productivity vs. personal touch themes that arise from this fun setting make the premise even more engaging (and hilarious; Nighy’s “back in my day” Grandsanta is a riot). A simple adventure plot is constructed from here with more than enough wacky humour and slapstick to keep you smiling, and with fairly nuanced family character studies thrown in to add some heart too.
7/10 (Good)

Wanted (2008)

A frustrated office worker learns that he is the son of a professional assassin, and that he shares his father’s superhuman killing abilities. (IMDb)
The set-up in the first half-hour here is terribly contrived and cheesy, but it leads to an exciting premise capped off by a couple of good plot twists near the end. The over-the-top action along with the abundance of f-bombs and unique slow-motion shots combine to make an entertaining in-your-face experience (the “FUCK YOU” in airborne keyboard letters was particularly cool) but it occasionally feels too try-hard. Mostly bad acting regrettably cements this mixed bag of a film in mediocrity.
6.5/10 (Alright)