December 1st, 2009
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Christmas. I Christmas so Christmas Christmas. [beat] CHRISTMAS!!!
(NC lip-syncs "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams)
NC: I love Christmas! To me, there's only two times of the year: Christmas, and fuck you when the hell is Christmas! So, to celebrate this wonderful holiday, I am going to review something Christmas-related every week of December. So, let's not waste any time, let's get started with our very first one, Jack Frost.
(The title of the film is shown followed by clips from the movie while the song "How" by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories plays)
NC (voiceover): Poor Michael Keaton. How could such a good actor on top of the world stoop to such a low as this film? You were the Caped Crusader, now you're...this hideous thing! What the hell happened?
NC: Well, let's go ahead and find out. Get on your snow boots, we're walking through a pile of shit! This is Jack Frost.
NC (vo): So as the credits roll, we see that Mr. Jack Frost, and yes, that is his real name, is the lead in a band simply titled, the Jack Frost Band.
(The Jack Frost Band plays a rock version of "Frosty the Snowman" on a stage in a bar for the entire scene)
Jack Frost: [singing] Frosty the Snowman was a jolly, happy soul. He was smoking his pipe, his two eyes were made of coal...
NC (vo): Jesus, these guys are making Christian rock look butch.
Jack Frost: Frosty the Snowman was as bad as he could be, and the children say he could laugh and play just the same as you and me...
NC (vo): Okay, guys, this is something you would play at a Kindergarten assembly. I don't think many adults would be getting into this. But then again...
Guy on phone: It's the Jack Frost band, they're diggin' it! They're lovin' it! We gotta sign these guys!
NC: These guys are the hottest things since Raffi!
NC (vo): They're really trying to pass this off as hardcore rock? What other kid's songs you think are given the Jack Frost treatment?
[The famous guitar riff from "Bad to the Bone" is heard as NC sings in a blues tone]
NC: [singing] I'm a little teapot, short and stout. [Guitar riff] Here's my handle, here's my spout. [Guitar riff] When I get steamed up, hear me shout! [Guitar riff] Pour me over, tip me out. Hail Satan!
[Dances along to the "Bad to the Bone" music. Back to the movie]
Jack Frost: Frosty the Snowman is a fairy tale, they say...
NC (vo): I don't know why, I just really have a hang-up that this band would be successful. I mean, they really think this would span out through a large audience?
NC: Yeah, right, and I'm in this month's issue of Entrepreneur! [Holds open issue to reveal that, he is in fact, in that month's issue of Entrepreneur. He then turns the magazine around in a hurry and sees his picture. He drops the magazine] Well, they'll print anything these days.
NC (vo): We then cut to his son named Charlie, who's just leaving school to partake in...
(Camera angle changes to reveal various kids playing around in the snow. There are sounds of helicopters and bombs being dropped being heard)
NC: Vietnam flashbacks...
[Charlie struggles to dodge the flying snowballs being thrown at him]
NC (vo): What is this, Apocalypse Plow? Saving Private Ryan wasn't this intense.
(The scenes of the children's snowball fight are interchanged with images from Saving Private Ryan. Charlie eventually sees a bully, Rory Buck)
Charlie: Rory Buck.
NC: And it looks like he's smoking a Virginia Slim Jim.
Rory Buck: (to lackeys) Load me up!
(He then slides down from the hill he was on and confronts Charlie)
Rory: I got a present for ya. Can you say, brain freeze?
(Rory turns to his friends on the hill. Charlie then hits him with snow)
Charlie: Brain freeze.
NC (vo): Motherfucker.
(The other children start jeering Rory)
Rory: (to other children) Shut up! (Turns towards Charlie) This isn't the end of it, Frost!
(A clip of General Zod from Superman: The Movie is shown)
Zod: You will bow down before me!
NC (vo): So after he walks home through this...live-action Christmas card, we see his father finally return to his family.
[Jack approaches his wife, whose name we don't announce until the end]
Jack: Hey, listen. My car broke down back here and, I was just wondering if I could borrow a couple of bucks until I get to a gas station.
Mrs. Frost: Money? Oh, I'm sorry, my husband's a musician.
Mrs. Frost: Uh-huh. (positive response, i.e. yes)
Jack: Is he any good?
Mrs. F: Well, yeah.
Jack: Really? You know, I also left my lip-balm in the car. So I'm out and I think I'm feeling a little...
Mrs. F: Chapped?
Jack: Chapped. So I was wondering...
NC: Will you just do each other already?!!
NC: Good enough.
(Inside the house, in a "living room" possibly, in front of the fireplace, Charlie is asleep on the couch. Jack approaches him)
Charlie: I was just resting my eyes.
Jack: You were?
Jack: Wow. Looked like you were sleeping. (To Mrs. Frost) Didn't it look like he was sleeping?
Mrs. F: You look like you were asleep, Charlie.
Jack: It looked exactly like you were asleep, Charlie.
NC (vo): SHUT UP! It's a family of sarcastic time-wasters! [Cut to Jack and Charlie playing outside] So he spends quality time with his son, as they build, what else, a snowman in the front yard.
Charlie: Nose, c'mon, nose.
[Jack breaks a twig for the nose, but places it near the snowman's crotch]
Charlie: Dad, I said nose! [Laughs]
Jack: Oh, I thought you said hose!
NC: (As Charlie) Why, Dad, you perv.
NC(vo): After that, he (Jack) tucks him into bed and says goodnight.
[Both Charlie and Jack lie on the bed, at opposite ends. Note: Only Charlie is under the sheets]
Charlie: Is there anything you need to show me?
Charlie: Like presents. [Makes shape of a large box with his arms in the air]
Jack: Oh, you mean, like, from the gig?
Jack: You mean like those plastic swords they stick through the olives and the onions?
Charlie: Oh, yeah, like for the Martini's that mom packs in my lunch?
Jack: Oh, mom's making you Martinis for lunch?
NC: OH, MY GOD! Is every bit of dialogue just FILLER?! TALK ABOUT SOMETHING!!
Jack: I brought you this.
NC (vo): FINALLY!
[Jack reaches into his pocket and pulls out a blue box. Cut to Charlie with the now open box and a gold harmonica inside]
Charlie: Whoa, one of your harmonicas?
Jack: It has magic powers.
Charlie: Yeah, right.
Jack: Yeah, right? I'm serious. When you play that, no matter where I am, [Touches his ear] I can hear it.
NC (vo): (As Charlie) That's pretty retarded, Dad. Where'd you get that from? (As Jack) I read it in "Chicken Soup for the Soul".
[Jack leaves. Cut to a bathroom]
NC (vo): So we hear Jack promise that he's going to be at his son's hockey game. (Now in their bedroom) Right before he makes whoopie with Susie Snowflake here.
NC (vo): (As Jack) What do ya say you...get undressed and I slip into my Batman outfit? (Note: Michael Keaton played Batman and Jack Frost)
(Cut to outside the house and a lingering shot of the snowman)
NC (vo): Well, I have to give this movie credit. It's not using the typical film clichés, but...it's not really replacing it with anything else either.
(Cut to hockey game, intertwined with shots of The Jack Frost Band in a recording studio)
NC (vo): Ah, here's our first standard plot point: a busy father breaking his promise because of work. You see, he misses his son's hockey game to record... (Pop music plays in background) music that could upstage the Full House opening.
(Cut to later, outside their house)
NC (vo): But it gets even worse. Jack promises to take his family on a Christmas trip to the mountains, but is called in on a gig that could either make or break his career. So what does he do? Go to the gig, of course.
Jack: You know what, I'm gonna miss Christmas Day for sure, I mean...
Charlie: Here. [Hands Jack the golden harmonica from earlier]
Jack: Charlie, what's this? I gave this to you.
Charlie: I don't want it. [Throws the box on the ground and runs off]
NC (vo): Um...wasn't there a retarded snowman in this movie? I mean, I never thought I'd actually be asking for that, but this opening is busting my yuletide chops!
(Cut to the band in the car, with Jack and his keyboard player. The keyboard player is driving. Jack realizes something)
Jack: What am I, crazy? I got a great wife, I got a great kid. I'm not living this life anymore. I'm goin' home.
NC (vo): So Jack turns around and decides he wants to spend Christmas with his family, but unfortunately, a bad storm starts to block his vision.
[The music from "The Shining" plays as Jack, driving his car, gradually loses more of his vision due to the winter storm. Then he drives off a cliff. We cut to black as a loud crash is heard. Jump cut to Charlie leaving school. A caption appears onscreen that says "One Year Later"]
NC (vo): Oh! Okay! I'll guess we'll just assume the worst.
NC: I mean, good Lord, that was terrible! Where'd they get the transitions from, Cast Away? (Poster of said movie appears onscreen) I mean, that was kind of a huge leap, movie. W-w-what, you just trying to brush death off like a lot of those awkward Disney films?
[A clip of Jack driving off the cliff plays again, which is followed by a happy meadow and joyful singing (from Bambi after Bambi's mother is shot)]
(A depressed Charlie is shown walking home after school across the ice)
NC (vo): So, obviously, Charlie is very bummed about his father, which results in him breaking off all contact with his friends.
("Cheer Up, Charlie" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory plays as he walks home. Next, we see his mom getting out of her car, presumably after seeing him walking home forlorn)
Mrs. F: Charlie? Charlie? Charlie? It's okay, it's okay, it's okay. [Both cry] I miss him, too. I miss him, too.
[They both hug and cry for a bit as the camera backs away]
NC (vo): Okay, seriously. Did Ang Lee direct this or something? I mean, we're, like, 35 minutes in and I haven't seen one wink of Frosty T. Blowman. What the hell is taking him so long?!
(Cut to them having dinner in the house)
Mrs. F: Want a marshmallow? (Note: They're drinking cocoa)
Mrs.F: What do you want, one? [Puts one in] Two? [Puts another one in] Maybe, uh...500? [Pours the entire jar of mini-marshmallows in]
Charlie: Thanks, Mom. [Mrs. F ruffles his hair]
NC (vo): (As Charlie) So when do you think Dad is getting back from his business trip? (As Mrs. F) You know, we should have a talk.
(Cut to the front yard, where Charlie is building another snowman on his own)
NC (vo): So Charlie makes another snowman, I guess, in his father's memory, as something whimsical happens after he plays his magic harmonica.
(Cut to outside, where the camera spins quickly around the snowman while snow and yellow and blue lights fill the air)
NC: I think I'm gonna hurl!
[The snowman suddenly comes to life, blinks his eyes, and speaks in Jack's voice]
The Snowman: I'm home.
[NC is shocked and appalled, with his mouth and eyes hung open]
NC: I think I'm gonna hurl!
NC (vo): So...yeah! This is the snowman. Pretty fucking creepy, isn't he? I mean, that's gotta be the nastiest piece of shoveled shit ever. It doesn't even look like he wants to play with Charlie as much as fucking eat him!
Jack The Snowman: Charlie, it's me, It's Dad!
NC (vo): So Charlie hears noises outside when he...wait a minute. [A record scratch is heard] What in holy hell... [Something in Charlie's room is shown as NC describes it] Is that a chained-up Superman with Batman's head?
NC: What...twisted, weird ass thought that up? [Looks down, then looks back at camera and points his finger] Michael Keaton should have come back as that!
NC (vo): How much cooler would this movie be if he came back as that friggin' monstrosity?
NC: I could just see it now. All the kids would be running up to him and be like...
[Footage of the kids from the snowfight and a Photoshopped image of a chained-up Superman with Batman's head is shown]
NC (vo): (As random kid) Who are you? (As Michael Keaton) I'm chained up Superman with Batman's head.
NC: Holy God, that would be freakin' awesome!
(Back to shot of Jack TS)
NC (vo): But no, we get "Freaky The Snowman" here, as he tries to greet his son, but Charlie is obviously terrified of the freakin' thing.
Charlie: AHHHHHHH! [Runs away from window]
Jack TS: AHHHHH! [Jumps back from window]
NC (vo): So he gets brushed up and shoveled around, pretty much just trying to create more filler for the movie.
[Jack TS was plowed into more snow by a snow plow. Now when he tries to roll out of the snow, his body does, but not his head]
Jack TS: Talk about your separation anxiety.
NC (vo): (As Jack TS) I'll wait a minute for the audience to laugh at that. [Pause] Okay.
Jack TS: (To his body) Hey, you! Don't just sit there, gimme a hand! (Gets back together) Boy, I've had to put myself back together after some rough nights, but this is...this is ridiculous.
NC (vo): Oh, don't worry, audience. There's more puns on the way.
[The mother walks out of the house and sees Jack TS]
Mrs. F: Maybe Charlie's snapped out of it.
NC (vo): (As Ms.F) My, don't you look like my husband...except you probably would've figured out I've been cheating behind his back for years. That's why I had to cut his brakes and send his car flying off that cliff. Well, nice talking with you, inanimate snowman. It feels good to tell the truth sometimes, doesn't it? Bye.
[She walks away, then Jack TS gasps while a dramatic chord plays]
NC (vo): So Jack walks off into the night, trying to figure out why he's there.
Jack TS: Oh, man, why me? Why a snowman? I mean, could the universe really be that unoriginal? [Sighs] I don't know. I mean, is it the name? "Jack Frost"? Because if that's it, that's not even clever.
NC (vo): Actually, I don't think he's acting right now. I think they just left the ADR microphone on and Keaton was rambling between takes.
[Cut to the next morning, where Charlie sees Jack TS again out the window]
NC (vo): So the next morning, Charlie realizes what he saw was real, and tries to run away from the frozen demon. But he then comes across his old snow buddies.
(In the park/wood, Rory and his friends taunt Charlie)
Rory Buck (offscreen): Don't worry about him anymore. He's not even in the game.
[Jack TS throws a snowball at Rory, which hits Rory in the head]
NC: Whoa, Frost is an instigator.
[Jack TS launches hundreds of snowballs towards the kids, who think it's Charlie doing it. They then chase after him]
Rory: Let's get him!
[Charlie runs away from the kids, now throwing snowballs at him. While running away, he nearly falls off a cliff edge, just grabbing hold of a branch]
NC (vo): I'm so glad that Frost is being a good dad now, by starting fights, endangering his son's life and hurting others who don't deserve it. Snow Father of the Year, everybody!
[The branch Charlie grabbed onto breaks off, but Jack TS jumps up and grabs him. They land on an abandoned sledge.]
NC (vo): So they have a little chase as Frost endangers even more little children's lives.
[Jack TS hits a branch but is undamaged as he's made of snow. A child hits the branch and flies off his vehicle. Another child dodges that flying vehicle and bails]
NC: And this is the part I like to call: "Should be Funny, but probably bone-crushingly tragic". ("Should be funny..." appears on screen in text form)
[Jack TS throws a snowball at one kid and he falls off his vehicle. He makes another one veer off the slope and roll down the hill. He makes a "snow-bridge" collapse, causing the kids behind him to fall down and hit their heads. As all this happens, various grunts and screams from other forms of media are heard]
NC: Jesus! Did I rent the "Jack Frost" that has the psychotic killing snowman?
(Note: He refers to the 1996 horror film of the same name. A poster of it is shown in the review. Back to the film. The kids roll a giant snowball as big as a car down the hill towards Jack TS and Charlie)
NC (vo): Oh, yeah, they just so happened to HAVE a snowball the size of a boulder on standby. You never know when you're going to need that.
Jack TS: Duck!
[They go into a tunnel, which is then blocked by the snow boulder, which means the other kids can't get in or follow them. The two kids who were just behind them are then sandwich'd between two boulders. A high-pitched scream is heard as that happens. Cut to one kid who's chasing Charlie and Jack TS. The kid throws two giant snowballs at him, which hit Jack in the chest and give the allusion of breasts. Cut to the NC, whose expression turns from a smile to an expression of total disgust]
Jack TS: [He weighs the snow breasts] Nah, I don't think so. [Gathers them together into one super-snow boob and throws them at the kid]
NC: Wow. I didn't think anything could top Duck Tits, but that came pretty damn close.
[The chase sequence finally ends]
Jack TS: Woo! Woo! We were really ripping, man!
Charlie: That was so cool!
Jack TS: That was great, right? Did you see me going down? You know, the nice thing about having these big...balls, excuse me...
NC: Ah, good to know you're still a perv.
Jack TS: We could move round 'em, you know, I like the roundness.
[Charlie, realizing that the snowman is his father, embraces him]
NC (vo): So Charlie accepts the fact that his father is now a snowman, even though the audience is nowhere close to accepting it themselves.
Jack TS: You were the one who played on the magic harmonica.
Charlie: WHAT?! Magic harmonica?! I-I-I thought you made that up!
Jack TS: So did I!
NC: But I guess the producers thought it was a good angle, so go with it!
NC (vo): So I suppose they spend time together, or as much time as they can, with him being a snowman, as he teaches Charlie all the things he never taught him when he was alive.
Charlie: Nobody knows about this place. I come here to think.
NC: You don't come here often then, do you?
Jack TS: Let's work on the J-shot. Okay, looks like I'm workin' out by myself. Even though I haven't played hockey in...a year.
[Jack starts skating around the ice, with his face moving close to the camera, annoying NC]
NC (vo): Agh! All right, can you just keep the scary snowman far away from the camera? [Jack TS skates offscreen] Okay, that's good. I can live with tha- [Jack skates onscreen right in front of the camera] Oh, God, take it away!
Charlie: All right! All right!
[Jack and Charlie play hockey with a circular rock and a stick]
Jack TS: I make this little move here. [Hits "puck" into "net"] Oh, yeah!
Jack TS: Now that's a J-shot, dude!
Charlie: But I didn't score.
Jack TS: Hey, life is full of setbacks. Look at me.
NC (vo): [As Jack] I went from Batman to Snowman. You think that's right? DO YOU?! [normal] So he encourages Charlie to rejoin the hockey team and not keep moping around all the time.
Charlie: (To a kid in a car) I'd like to get back on the team.
Kid in car: Go get your stuff.
[They shake hands, pound fists, etc. Charlie looks at Jack, who's standing still]
NC (vo): [Chuckles] You ever notice when he's not moving, it looks like he's trying to take a dump?
[Jack is shown standing still as pooping sound effects are heard]
Charlie: They let me back on the team.
Kid in car: Ha, he's talking to the snowman again. Shake it, Charlie!
NC (vo): (As Jack TS) I'll see you later, Harvey. [Cut to Charlie playing a hockey game] So despite not playing for a year, it seems like Charlie is the best player on the team. Who knew? But unfortunately, the heat is getting worse, and Charlie decides (that) the best thing to do is get Jack to the mountains where it's colder. He tries to convince his mother to take him, but surprisingly, he has a hard time convincing her.
Charlie: The snowman's melting!
Mrs. F: Snowmen melt, Charlie.
Charlie: If you drive us up to the mountains, then he's not going to melt!
Mrs. F: Charlie, I am not driving you and your snowman anywhere. I know this has been really hard for you-
Charlie: You don't understand, Mom. Dad's the snowman.
[The scene is replayed, with the phrases "Lock me up!!!", "Commit me!", "Coo coo!" and "I'm not well!" flashing onscreen. Wacky music plays in the background as well]
NC (vo): When that doesn't work, he comes across the school bully, who, I have to admit, has a really funny reaction to seeing the snowman talk.
Rory: I don't know who's more stupider. You, or your snowman?
Jack TS: Excuse me, did you just say "stupider"? What kind of word is "stupider"?
[Rory, stunned, turns his head away, then looks at Jack again]
NC: [Laughs] That alone is worth the price of admission.
NC (vo): Just the way he's trying to put the pieces together.
NC: That's the look everybody should have in this movie.
NC (vo): But then they ruin it by having him totally gung-ho about the whole thing, never questioning it again.
Charlie: If I don't get him up to the mountains, I'm going to lose him. C'mon, you know what it's like not to have a dad.
Rory: [Understanding] It sucks. It sucks big time.
NC: [As Rory] I do know what it's like. My father came back as a Halloween pumpkin. Since then, I can't look at pumpkin pies the same way again!
NC (vo): So they sneak him onto a truck that drives him up to the mountains, where I guess, somehow, they have a cabin waiting for them.
(Inside the cabin, Charlie is asleep on the couch and Jack TS is tucking him in. Jack TS kneels down to kiss Charlie on the forehead]
NC: Okay, this is looking like a bad Hallmark commercial now.
[The scene is replayed, with the song "Say" by John Mayer playing in the background, the Hallmark logo and a woman saying the Hallmark slogan over the scene]
NC (vo): So Jack calls up Charlie's mother, pretty much explaining how he's back from the dead and has kidnapped his own son, and tells her to come on up.
[The next morning, Charlie goes outside the cabin to see Jack]
Charlie: Merry Christmas, Dad!
Jack TS: Merry Christmas to you, bud. Now, there's something I have to tell you. It's time for me to go.
Jack TS: I will always be there. I promise. As long as you hold someone in your heart, Charlie, you can never lose them.
NC (vo): Wow. Just to top off what a deadbeat father he really is, he's skipping town, simply saying he has things he needs to do. Why do I get the feeling he's not going to pay child support either?
[Mrs. F walks up a hill that overlooks the cabin and she sees Charlie and Jack TS]
NC (vo): (As Ms. F) Ah, I think the Vicodin just kicked in.
[Mrs. F walks down to them]
Mrs. F: Charlie?
Jack TS: Gabby... (Note: Mrs. F's name. Never stated before this point)
[The same snow effect from when Jack first became a snowman re-appears. It turns him back to normal, human Jack]
NC (vo): W-gg-ga-to-wait a minute! WHY COULDN'T HE DO THAT BEFORE?! For a guy who says he has no idea how this works, he sure knows when to leave, how to leave and how to transform back to his human body!
[The snow envelopes him and floats slowly upward]
NC (vo): (In a whisper, as Jack) Just wait until St. Patrick's Day, when I'll come back as a shamrock.
[The ending scenes are shown]
NC (vo): So he gets...beamed up or whatever, and I guess Charlie gets on with his life...OR as best as you can do, having a deadbeat snowman as a father. The camera pans back, the credits roll, I see a descendant of Frank Capra worked on this movie, and I have myself a little cry.
NC: Jack Frost is jack-shit!
[Scenes from the movie play for the last time]
NC (vo): The premise is stupid, the premise is stupid, and, did I mention the little fact that the PREMISE IS FUCKING STUPID?!!! But I will give this credit to the movie. It is, in fact, a very nice-looking film. It's got nice winter colors, good cinematography. Aside from the story, plot, characters, writing and all-around horrible directing, it's not half-bad.
NC: But don't worry, there's plenty of other Christmas terror coming your way this December, so sit back and enjoy. I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.