Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas 2012: "Unnaccompanied Minors"

Hello a welcome to The Very Special Cinema Won Christmas Extrava-Christmas. Everyday until Christmas, there will be an all new Christmas-related by either me or The Undefined Gamer. And then on Christmas, something really special and awesome will happen! And to kick things off I review the 2006 film Unaccompanied Minors! What a way to kick things off...

    What's It About?
    Unaccompanied Minors follows Spencer (Dyllan Christopher, not Jesse Eisenberg) and his sister (Dominique Saldana), who get stuck in a airport on Christmas Eve due to a major snowstorm. Spencer teams up with rich girl Grace (Gia Mantegna), uptight Charlie (Tyler James Williams), tomboy Donna (Quinn Shephard) and quiet Beef (Brett Kelly) to have some fun in the airport. However, when they get caught by Airport-People-Manager-Thingy Mr. Porter (Lewis Black!), they are forced to stay the night at the airport while the rest of the kids go to a nice lodge. They make multiple attempts to escape, with Porter and his right-hand man (Wilmer Valderrama) in hot pursuit. Oh, and Rob Corrdry is also in this. Don't ask why, just accept the blessing.
How's The Cast?
    The cast is overall fine. Look, there's a reason that most of these kids didn't have another major starring role. Nobody is really bad (Except for Saldana, who falls into the annoying little kids category), but nobody is really that great either. They are all energetic, so when they get to run around and dance and have fun they look like they're running around and dancing and having fun like normal kids do. But when the big emotional scenes come around the corners (This is a Christmas movie after all!) they just don't have the chops to back up the scenes.
    And then there's the strange talented comedian vortex this film seems to have. Valderrama, Corrdry and even Rob Riggle are all super funny and they're in this movie. And they're not the funny in this movie. I don't quite get that math. Valderrama is stick as the straight man to Black and the kids and Riggle is stuck in a dead-end side character role as a security guard. Only Corrdry seems to be having fun as Spencer's dad, who's trying to get to the airport in time for Christmas.
    And then there's Lewis Black. Black has done children's film's since this, but this was his first major children's film. And boy does he seem to be bored! It's seriously like someone took A lion and declawed him and then put a Santa hat on him for good measure. And then locked him in a cage. Ya, it's still a lion, but it's in a cage. And in a Santa hat. He's so held back and restricted that even Black can give this film some much needed laughs.
I'd look like that too if I was
in this movie.
How is the Movie?
    Not very good. Look, no one's gonna fault Unaccompanied Minors for what it is. It's a Christmas movie made for kids. It really doesn't get any more harmless than that. Your kids will love this movie. I loved it when I was 10. The film has got all of the pratfalls and silly jokes and stereotypes that kids love. Unfortunately it has all the pratfalls and silly jokes and stereotypes that kids love. And as well all know, kids have terrible taste. Except for me. I always had great taste in film.*
    Adults won't find much greatness in this film. I can't remember laughing once and I never really liked any of the characters in this movie. The film also can't seem to decide when it wants to end. The kids escape the airport about 4 times in the film, but they always come back for... reasons. But one little joy of this film is seeing all the big, famous comedians, especially Black, reduce themselves to the childrens' humor Unaccompanied Minors loves.
    And there is one saving grace for this film. Unaccompanied Minors is so sincere in it's love of Christmas. The film never really delves into crude humor (Except once or twice). The kids are all nice, well-behaved good kids just trying to have a nice Christmas. The adults are all nice, well-behaved good adults that are just doing their job. The kids are trying to save Christmas, the adults just want the kids to stay put. It's also so harmless. Seriously, this is one of the least-offensive children's films ever. That's some points right there.
Economy Class.
What is the Verdict?
    Not that bad. Look, Unaccompanied Minors is not a film adults will want to watch on their own. It's cliched, not particularly funny and really silly. But, if my adopted Venezuelan nephew Hank wanted to watch this film, I wouldn't mind sitting through it again. It's completely harmless, soaked in Christmas spirit and it's funny watching famous comedian like Lewis Black embarrass themselves. And isn't that the true meaning of Christmas?
Unaccompanied Minors gets 2 and a half Christmas ornaments out of 6.

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