Candy Cane Lane... Reviewed!

Story: Candy Cane Lane, is a heartwarming holiday film directed by Reginald Hudlin, evoking this sense of nostalgic charm reminiscent of Eddie Murphy's comedic genius. The plot, starting with a seemingly innocent friendly rivalry between neighbors vying for the best Christmas decorations, takes an unexpected twist as a mischievous elf plans to turn Christmas nut... Chris Carver (Eddie Murphy) into something... festive. This playful concept piqued my interest and set the tone for this comedic adventure.

I challenged myself to actually approach this film without thinking of Eddie's body of work because a number of younger viewers don't know how awesome he is as an actor (including my 6-year-old daughter). It honestly didn't matter, because this film has a nice amount of depth and pulled me in based on the story and things that a number of adults can relate to. I couldn't help but think about some of his previous work though... because... there was a scene that immediately pulled me into Beverly Hills cop (when he was at work). They set the plot up nicely before the crazy began. It gave Chris the motivation that justified the circumstances that landed him in hot water.

Candy Cane Lane effortlessly captures the spirit of Christmas but I could watch this off-season (to be honest)... similar to Home Alone movies. Outside of the zany action, this film also pushes the importance of embracing teamwork and working together as a family, which allowed the Carver family to eventually flex the power of their family unit. It illustrates how a common goal can bring people together, transcending differences and fostering a sense of togetherness that isn't delivered in a way that only fits one age group. Minus the use of swearing when all hell broke loose at school (which was said once)... it's a family film, which if your children have seen Home Alone films... they've heard a certain three-letter word before. By the way, this film is rated PG.

Overall, Candy Cane Lane is a solid film with a nice cast, but I do have a few things to critcize. D.C. Young Fly was also in the film... basically as himself, and while it worked for the most part... I want to see more of his range as he moves forward. Another thing was a few of the scenes that didn't make sense to me, like when Nick ran off and went to the school's music room. I understand why he ran off, but... that was just weird that he'd automatically go to the music room. They made it cohesive with the drama that unfolded on the field, so I shrugged it off and kept it moving. In addition, another scene that threw me off was when Holly went outside after the family went on lockdown. She turned off the alarm and everything, and I was like... "Where in the heck are her parents? No one is hearing this?!", but luckily these scenes didn't send the film rolling into the Christmas lights. Pun intended.

Visuals: Going into the film, I didn't know what to expect visually, but when I noticed that they were going in this over-the-top direction... it excited me. The story pulled me in before I saw the Kringle's store, but then I was like... "Oooo, what is this?". There is a nice mix of great-looking shots that married the real world and the magic eventually rained upon it.

The scene below features Chris' wife, Carol Carver at work... and looking stunned as something lands on her vehicle. I won't tell you why, but... you get visuals from various angles in this film to cover the action. Birds eye view, worms eye view, mids, highs, and more. One of my favorite shots was a big closeup, it looked great and should turn heads in regards to fans of animation. By the way, I'm not referring to Peppermint's team, although the good guys and baddies looked great. The only thing that didn't look as realistic to me was the milk blast, but other than that... no complaints.

The porcelain people really brought this film to life along with their mixture of personalities, and that's on top of the things that occurred before this set of characters were introduced (they were a surprise scoop of ice cream that was served alongside an unexpected slice of cake).

In addition, the bright and colorful Christmas decorations, coupled with the cozy neighborhood setting, create a magical ambiance that immerses viewers in the holiday spirit. The attention to detail in the special effects adds an extra layer of whimsy, seamlessly blending fantasy elements that maintain the Christmas spirit.

Audio: The audio in Candy Cane Lane is lively and enhances the various scenarios that take place. Each scene has sound effects that get in where they fit in, whether it's suspense, competition, the sounds of clinging porcelain, and the list goes on. The music works well for this film as well, and outside of the music tucked into certain scenes, there's also a track compliments of Nick based on his music aspirations. It's cohesive. One thing I couldn't determine in regards to the audio... is the audio technology. I didn't find a listing regarding Dolby or DTS, but... I was able to enjoy surround sound audio in 5.1 channel. It would be nice if Amazon listed this information, but they probably assume that it's pointless.

Price: If you have Amazon Prime... Candy Cane Lane is free to enjoy with your subscription. So what can I say, even if you aren't into holiday films (that would be me), this one may be up your alley a tad more than the traditional ones. I'd put this in a category with Home Alone, Jingle All the Way, Elf, The Christmas Chronicles, and films like that. It delivers action-packed fun with a Christmas theme. So grab some hot cocoa, kick back, and let this cheerful tale take you on a laughter-filled journey through the whimsical world of Candy Cane Lane.

Story 5

Visuals 5

Audio 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

 + Sophima 

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