It’s a holiday tradition, somehow: Every winter Netflix releases a bizarro Christmas movie starring a vastly overqualified legend. Last year it was Pottersville, in which two-time Oscar nominee and anti-Trump quote machine Michael Shannon played a small town man who got drunk on moonshine and pretended to be Bigfoot. This year, Netflix has The Christmas Chronicles, in which Kurt Russell plays a salty St. Nick trapped in Chicago with a broken sleigh.
Actually it’s not bad casting: Russell certainly can grow himself a rad Santa beard. It looks like he never shaved his powerful Hateful Eight super-’stache and just let the rest fill in. (Poor Goldie Hawn, though.)
Then again, what is Snake Plissken doing in a children’s film? Well, that makes sense, too. It’s almost easy to forget this, but the actor is a former child star. In his youth, from the ’60s through the mid-’70s, he was a live-action Disney star, headlining semi-forgotten semi-classics with high-concept premises baked into their titles — movies like The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The Strongest Man in the World, Superdad, and The Barefoot Executive, in which a chimp proves unexpectedly capable at predicting the next television hit. A possibly apocryphal story has it that Walt Disney’s last words before passing were about young Kurt Russell.