Christmas Caper (2007)

Genre(s): Comedy / Crime / Family
First Look Studios || PG - 88 minutes - $24.98 || October 28, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-10-23


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: David Winkler
Writer(s): April Blair (written by)
Cast: Shannen Doherty, Ty Olsson, Conrad Coates


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Christmas Caper aired on ABC Family in time for the holidays and for a family movie, it’s OK, I guess, but for those who just generally enjoy holiday films, it’s pretty much a turkey from beginning to the dreadfully obvious end.

Shannen Doherty stars as Kate Dove (how cute) a professional cat burglar whose latest heist with partner/mentor Clive, steals a big diamond -- aka worth an s-load on the black market cheap-looking diamond prop --, but she’s double-crossed when Clive leaves her high and dry with the diamond and her pretty mug is splattered all over the news.

She finds reluctant refuge in her hometown after her sister and brother-in-law are stranded in the Bahamas before Christmas and need someone to babysit their two kids, precocious-clichéd Annie and her trouble-maker brother, Parker. While rediscovering her hometown, she is reintroduced to her high school sweetheart who just so happens to be the town sheriff (“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world”) and finds something special of the small town life she so despised.

Of course, during the duration of the movie she finds that there are more important things than a life of crime, respect for others property, learns the meaning of life and finds the cure for cancer all in a matter of a couple weeks.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the innocence of movies like these -- in fact, I tend to give them slack because they are family friendly in a time when violence reigns supreme --, but this movie was too much for even me, Mr. Lenient, to handle. The writing by April Blair is at times stilted combined with typical child performances (oh look, the little girl who acts like a bit... err, grown woman with an attitude) and some low-budget filmmaking (see: Audio), the movie never recovers and just drags on through the 88-minute running time.

Listen, I love Shannen Doherty. I know she has a reputation and all, which only makes her more attractive, and she was great on shows like “90210” and “Charmed”, but the material did her no favors and she never really felt right for the part. She looks good and all, but it was more going through the motions from one scene to the next. Nothing about her performance, or that of anyone else for that matter, was interesting.

Even ignoring casting shortfalls and cheap filmmaking, for a holiday family comedy, it just wasn’t funny. I guess if you’re struggling to find a safe, family-friendly holiday movie for Christmas, this might be OK, but for others you can pass this one on by.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Just some previews for other First Look movies.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Fairly average video given it was made for television. There’s no visual style and overall it doesn’t have that movie quality either. It’s satisfactory for most people and it is presented in anamorphic widescreen.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track gets the job done, I’ll give it that, but the audio quality at the production level was bad... really bad. The best example was the use of an ADR line that did not match the other pieces of dialogue in that scene. It’s sad but funny at the same time.



.::OVERALL::.

If you want a Christmas movie to watch, you can stay away from Christmas Caper. Sure, for families it might be a safe choice, but I doubt adults will find it as amusing as the kids will (I’m not so sure if kids will adore it either). Shannen Doherty is a talented enough actress but the script gives her nothing to work with and the rest of the cast are 2-dimensional cardboard cutouts of characters we’ve seen many times before. Pass this one on by.