Friday, December 19, 2014

Movie Review: "Jack Frost" (1998)

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Movie"Jack Frost"
Director: Troy Miller
Year: 1998
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes

Jack Frost  is the lead singer of The Jack Frost Band as well as a husband and father. He is a good father to his son Charlie (Joseph Cross)...when he's around. Unfortunately, due to his music career, he often is away and regularly disappoints his son when he can't do what he promises. While driving to surprise his family after blowing off the biggest opportunity of his career, Jack is killed when he loses control of his car in a snow storm. The following Christmas, Charlie has been really depressed and rightfully so. One night, he decides to build a snowman like he has so many times with his father and dresses it in his dad's scarf and hat while making a wish on the harmonica his dad gave him. That wish brings his dad back to life as the snowman Charlie had just built, giving Jack a final chance to make things right with his son. 

Before he was pontificating in "Birdman," Michael Keaton was punning it up in "Jack Frost." And we mean PUNNING. This movie is full of them and there's probably not one single scene in the entire film without a really obvious snow-pun related to balls or other December/Christmas tidings. Michael Keaton plays the titular character Jack Frost and comes off as more of a middle-aged father trying to be cool and uses young lingo, frosted tips and a hip dressing style to try and recapture his youth as opposed to being a genuinely cool rock star who happens to be a loving father. The connection between Joseph Cross and Michael Keaton really wasn't there until the end of the movie, though we empathize with Cross and his feelings throughout the movie after losing his father. Once a snowman, Michael Keaton's Jack Frost begins a series of horridly cheese-infested one-liners and engages in silly wintertime activities like a snowball fight with the school's bully and a "radical" snowboarding chase scene down a mountain, which uses some of the worst close-up green screened CGI shots we have ever seen. A lot of people think that the Jack Frost snowman looks horribly executed, but we think it was fine most of the time when you could tell that it was an animatronic. When it ventured into CGI'ed territory, then it got a really bad look. As the reincarnated Jack Frost, he then proceeds to run and hide from his wife for the entire duration of the movie for really no stated reason other than vanity. It seems like Frost was more than willing to allow his wife to think their son was batshit crazy as opposed to revealing his true self to end the argument. Once we get passed all of the father/son bonding play in the snow time, Jack Frost essentially borrows the rest of its plot from "Frosty the Snowman," but with 100 times the snow-puns. This isn't even a movie that adults will really enjoy watching with their kids, though it is tolerable. Though not the worst holiday movie ever made, it's still sort of grating to watch and a shame to see how low Michael Keaton, at one time, was willing to go to stay relevant post-Batman. Overall, while its heart is in the right place when all is said and done, the execution to getting there is sloppy, cheesy, over-thought and under-developed.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 20%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.
One year ago, we were watching: "Miracle on 34th Street"

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