SPIRITED MOVIE REVIEW
Every now and then, and not often mind you, someone makes a new Christmas movie that isn’t just a checklist of tropes and cliches. Once in a great while, someone actually creates a unique and worthwhile Christmas movie that dares to be worthy of an annual rewatch alongside the Muppets, Elf, and Die Hard. Rare though it may be, a new Christmas standard CAN be made. And we’re not talking about a groaning submission to your cousin’s insane love of the dead-eyed Polar Express or the TNT forced obligation of A Christmas Story playing in the background for 24 hours. No, we’re talking about what very well might be a new entry into the rewarding modern Christmas movies, like Klaus or Carol. Bradly, Ryan, and T.C. are pleased as peppermint to discuss Spirited, the new Will Ferrell/Ryan Reynolds take on the oft trodden classic Charles Dickens’s 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. For nearly two centuries, Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-To-Come, have led a team of afterlife spirits in helping find and redeem one new human soul or “perp” every Christmas. Christmas Present (Ferrell) has been eligible for “retirement” for decades but refuses to do so, despite being tempted by the promise of settling down and making up for his own failures in his past life. Scoping for a new soul to redeem, the spirits encounter Clint Briggs (Reynolds), a renowned controversial media consultant. Despite Marley’s insistence that Briggs is an “unredeemable” soul, Present is set on him as he believes that his redemption could have a “ripple” effect, making him a force for positive change in humanity. The Ghosts begin a year of research on Clint, preparing for the annual haunt. And if all of that spin on the classic isn’t enough to hoo you, this is a full-blown musical. Gather around the fire and enjoy some hot cocoa with the Squad as they unwrap this new Christmas classic.
DIRECTED BY: Sean Anders
STARRING: Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, Nico Tirozzui, Thomas P. Gillis, Octavia Spencer, Sunita Mani, Patrick Page, Marlow Barkley, Loren G. Woods, Tracy Morgan, Aimee Carrero, Joe Tippett, Andrea Anders, Jen Tullock, P.J. Byrne, Rose Byrne, Gavin Maddox Bergman, Judi Dench, Jimmy Fallon
T.C. De Witt (Screener Squad)
T.C. De Witt is a multi-awarded writer/director originally from Wisconsin and now based in Los Angeles. His life has been devoted to the arts since he was a child. He’s been a stage performer, playwright, stand-up comic, film and television actor, radio DJ, podcaster published author, recorded musician, and comic writer/illustrator. He is now a professional screenwriter and has been thriving for the past decade, regularly offering his talents to production studios in LA, Chicago, Milwaukee, and internationally in Sydney and Poland. He’s provided content for Amazon Prime, Netflix, and several YouTube partners. His films have screened internationally, and his stageplays have been performed across the country. In the last ten years, he has directed 57 films, 23 episodes of his series The One Minute Rewatch, 300+ episodes of podcasts, and his multi-award-winning short film Screen: Righter screened at the Festival de Cannes in 2016. He has released two feature films, The Princess Knight and A Christmas Sunset. He thrives on collaboration and the thrill of sharing stories in all forms.
Bradly Martin (Screener Squad, Eye on the Prize, Breakfast Pub)
Bradly Martin was born in the united states and grew up on a healthy diet of sports, films, and books. A rather shy lad who kept to himself, Bradly soon discovered the best way to know a person was to know what people liked. Throughout the years Bradly became a fan of many things and a fanatic of none. From Doctor Dre, to Doctor Strange and the who’s who of Whos. From Playstation to the Dreamcast and Marvel to DC. From LeBron James to James Bond and Lord of the Rings to Lord Palmerston (or Pitt the Elder if you agree with Wade Boggs) and is a huge fan of dad jokes and randomly obscure Simpsons references. Armed with a vast knowledge of comics, films, and pop culture. Bradly traveled the world making friends and sharing takes. As a young man Bradly married the love of his life young and grew older every year with each new child brought into the brood. If trends continue, Scientists predict that .2% of Canada (where Bradly and family reside) will be populated by Bradly’s children by the year 2029. You can hear him leading and listening to his favorite critics on the Screener Squad and Eye on the prize and maybe even provide some comments of his own.
Ryan Aleck Hill (Screener Squad, Video and Audio editor)
Ryan is a Washington D.C. based filmmaker & video editor who loves watching and talking about movies more than just about anything. He currently works at a creative agency as a director of photography/video editor, and does freelance video editing for Anthony Fantano/TheNeedleDrop. He also has a YouTube channel (Downhill Media) where he works on a weirdo art explainer series called “Artsplained” with his partner Michelle. He was a part of the Spill.com community way back in the day, where he was cursed with an obsession for movies. In an effort to break the curse, he shows up on the Screener Squad podcast every once in a while and edits for One Of Us. Chris Cox claims that this is the only way it can be broken. You can follow him on Twitter but you’ll probably regret it.
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