Winter Bizarre

Book Reshorts: Partial Recall 4: More Forgetting

This week Danielle gets her revenge on Sam by asking him to recap the previous Winter Bizarre episode Snowmageddon. Listen as Sam remembers a series of non-snow related disasters, but literally nothing else that happens in this SyFy movie. While his recall fails, Sam does take the opportunity to accidentally make Snowmageddon a better movie by misremembering events as being more exciting than they actually were. Is his half-remembered version better than the original? You decide!

The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star

For part two of this year’s Winter Bizarre Danielle brings the third installment of the Netflix film series with The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. Margaret is the queen of the small European country of Montenaro who happens to have two identical doppelgängers: Former Chicago baker now princess Stacy and Fiona, her cousin and former kidnapper of Stacy. Montenaro is hosting an international Christmas festival (which is, apparently, a thing) and the Vatican has loaned them the Star of Peace, a relic belonging to St. Nicholas. Due to security that can charitably be described as “utter clown shoes” the star is immediately stolen. Under the threat of excommunication, Margaret commutes her felonious cousin’s sentence so she can tap her criminal network to track down the star. Fiona puts her large network of one person to work and identifies that the star is being held by a nefarious hotelier. Instead of informing Interpol—who are investigating—of this development, Marget, Fiona, and Stacy plan a comically amateur heist that involves flirtation, sexy laser dancing, and, of course, lots of switching. The consequences for failure are almost certainly death at the hands of the villainous hotelier, which Sam thinks is a fair bit worse than excommunication for not heisting the star back. Throughout all of this, Sam has serious questions on the state of the Montenaro monarchy, which seems rife with nepotism, incompetence, and princess switching. Despite that, Danielle and Sam come up with a pretty good pitch for The Princess Switch 4, so Netflix, if you’re listening, call us!

Christmas Bounty

Sam kicks-off this year’s Winter Bizarre with 2013 ABC Family/WWE made for TV movie Christmas Bounty. Tory Bell is an average private elementary school teacher living in Manhattan and dating a handsome, wealthy man named James. All this changes when she gets a mysterious phone call from a gangster threatening her for putting him in jail years ago. So Tory bails on her boyfriend to return to New Jersey to seek the help of her family, all of whom are bounty hunters, to bring this gangster back to justice. This includes working with her ex-bounty hunter partner and former boyfriend Mikey Muscles (a.k.a. Beefcake). Somehow, this family of professional bounty hunters cook up the dumbest plan, which involves finding someone named Big Donna at a mall and putting a brick-sized GPS tracker in her purse. Against all reason, this works and they find the gangster in the only location this movie seems to have paid for: A dingy warehouse. Through a series of circumstance too contrived to relate, James shows up in this warehouse, and Tory scrambles to hide her bounty hunter past from him, for some reason. Eventually, after a shootout at a Christmas tree lot (yes, really) James is kidnapped and Tory must risk crashing a mob wedding to save him. Also, this whole time Mikey Muscles has been pursing Tory, never having gotten over her, even though she’s dating what is possibly the best man in the world. It’s no spoiler to say Tory returns to her small-town roots and boyfriend, though what is a surprise is that she does this in just the worst way imaginable. James, we’re sorry, you’re a prince and you deserve better.

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Serendipity

In the final installment of this year’s Winter Bizarre, Danielle brings out the big guns with the John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale rom-com Serendipity. A chance encounter in a New York department store brings Sara and Jonathan together. Even though they’re both happily seeing other people, Jonathan seems determined to find a way to be with Sara. Sara dodges his advances by setting up elaborate tests of fate that will tell them if they are meant to be together. Sam has exactly zero patience for Sara’s fate-based abdication of personal responsibility, Danielle, meanwhile, is mostly just amused by his frustration. Regardless, see our “heroes” eventually brutally dump their perfectly lovely partners to be with each other because apparently fate told them to. Danielle and Sam are forced by this movie to grapple with some existential questions that are, honestly, pretty stupid. Luckily, the leads have enough charisma and charm to make everyone forget the bad philosophy and enjoy their lovelorn shenanigans.

Pottersville

This week’s Winter Bizarre lives up to the name as Sam explains the 2017 movie Pottersville. If you love holiday classics like It’s a Wonderful Life then Pottersville really wants to trick you into thinking it’s going to be your new favorite. Maynard Greiger is a general store shopkeeper living in Pottersville, a small, economically depressed town. When he discovers his wife is having an affair, of sorts, Maynard deals with this in the only rational and healthy way possible: By dressing up as a Sasquatch to try and win her back. The side-effect is that now the town’s prospects are looking up as news spreads and Bigfoot tourists roll in. Maynard must struggle to keep the ruse up to save the town, and maybe his marriage, as more attention, and monster hunters, focus-in on him. What, exactly, this has to do with the holidays, or really anything, is spectacularly unclear. Just remember: Whenever a bell rings a Sasquatch gets its feet.

Snowmageddon

Danielle kicks off this year’s Winter Bizarre with the Syfy original film Snowmageddon. A mysterious steam-punk snow globe, which has a perfect representation of their home town, is left at the door of a rural Alaskan family. Abruptly, a lava spewing chasm opens in the middle of the town, and in the snow globe the same chasm appears in miniature. Soon ice shards are raining from the sky, people are trapped on an electrified school bus, and a hunky snowboarder sees his friend killed in an avalanche, but isn’t that bothered about it. How the snow globe is responsible for all these non-snow related disasters remains unclear to the characters, our podcast hosts, and likely the film’s writers as well. The solution to all these problems lies with a poorly named board game that is a ripoff of The Lord of the Rings and also, somehow, Pandora’s box. Sam demands more murderous snow and less nonsense; he is disappointed.