Tag Archives: The Christmas Chronicles

Elvis, Santa, and Kurt Russell

Last week, I read a USA Today review of the new Netflix movie titled The Christmas Chronicles. It stars Kurt Russell, one of my favorites, as a wonderfully different Santa Claus.

Title - Christmas Chronicles

 

But I panicked when the review talked about him zooming around in muscle cars. I thought, “Ah, man, they’ve got Santa flying in something like the jet sled in my book BIG E and the SANTA MAN.”

Big E and Santa in Jet Sled

 

To my relief, Kurt Russell’s radical sleigh still had reindeer pulling it.

Christmas Chronicles Sleigh with Reindeer

Interesting design, but it can’t fly without reindeer like the Big E’s jet sled can.

 

Santa's Sleigh with Wings

The closest it comes is when the reindeer are accidentally untethered, and wings pop out to glide it down to safety. Unfortunately, one wing clips a water tower, and the sleigh crashes.

You might notice that the next picture shows a different design than the first one. When the sleigh crashed, the elves rebuilt it, and for some unexplained reason, it came out different. That’s why the USA Today writer referred to muscle cars, not just one.

Santa in front of Christmas Chronicles Sleigh

Yes, that’s Kurt Russell as Santa Claus

 

Santa’s sleigh also crashed in my book, and because the elves had just one hour, they did urgent repairs that got it flyable, but looking rather makeshift. After Christmas they rebuilt it just like it had been.

Another interesting comparison between The Christmas Chronicles and BIG E and the SANTA MAN is the people who got to ride in the sleighs/sled so central to the task of saving Christmas.

Santa with Kids on Christmas Chronicles Sleigh

Kurt Russell’s Santa sleigh carries a brother and sister who had discovered it unoccupied while Santa was depositing presents down local chimneys (He doesn’t go down chimneys in this fantasy, but the presents do). The kids climbed in the sleigh and hid in the back. Santa took off without realizing they were there.

In Part 2 of BIG E and the SANTA MAN, two elves get to pilot the jet sled; the oldest elf standing on the seat steering, and the head elf on the floor pushing the accelerator. Deeper into the plot, the old elf gets to fly Santa’s sleigh. One of the cool parts near the ending has him do a buzz dive directly at the bad guy and scare him and his henchmen so bad they run away from Santa’s castle in a frenzied retreat. After that, he was like a folk-hero to the young elves.

Santa's Sack of Presents

Santa’s sack of presents actually factors into the plot of both the movie and my book. When Kurt Russell’s Santa sleigh has its violent crash, the sack is tossed to some unseen place.

But in my story, Santa has lots of sacks of presents and is forced to throw them all out of his sleigh (it’s too long to explain why here). Then, Big E and Santa have to go back in the jet sled to rescue the presents in a race against the villain who’s trying to ruin Christmas.

 

That’s about it for comparisons between The Christmas Chronicles and BIG E and the SANTA MAN. So let’s talk about Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. This is a good photo of him.

Kurt Russell as Santa in The Christmas Chronicles

This is not the popular image of a chubby, ruby-cheeked old Santa. In fact, the USA Today review calls him a “real action hero,” and another review on Polygon.com says “Santa is hot.” They also say, “He’s styled as something of a bearded Elvis, introducing himself by saying, ‘Live and in person, one night only.’”

Santa in Jail singing Santa Claus is Back in Town

In another twist that makes The Christmas Chronicles  unique holiday movie, here we have Santa singing while in a jail cell. You might recognize the tag line as a lyric from the terrific Elvis blues song, “Santa Clause is Back in Town.” The movie soundtrack also includes the Elvis’ classic “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

 

Kurt Russell is 67 years old, and he is terrific as a bearded older Elvis, but look at this:

Kurt Russel in Elvis the Movie

Here he is at 28 in front of Graceland in the 1979 made-for-TV movie that appeared on ABC.

Kurt Russell in Elvis the Movie

 

Kurt Russell Young Elvis

 

Elvis the Movie is available on YouTube if you don’t mind watching it in sections.

The Christmas Chronicles is available on Netflix any time you want to watch it, and I hope you do. It’s a lot of fun, and Kurt Russel is perfect as hot, action hero Santa.

And BIG E and the SANTA MAN is available at Amazon. In my stories Big E is the action hero, and Santa is the willing sidekick.

A strong case could be made that The Christmas Chronicles is the most unusual holiday movie ever made. Well, for three years I have been saying that my book is the most unusual Christmas novel ever written.

And, to make it especially good for you fans, Big E is in it to give you a huge booster shot of Elvis.

Big E Bust

If you have no trouble envisioning Elvis as a brave, daring and resourceful hero, then you will like following Big E in his adventures. This guy is cool, and he and Santa make a heck of a team.

 

Big E and the Santa Man Scroll

 

You also remember me asking for your help by buying copies of BIG E and the SANTA MAN. I’m happy to report your response was so good that the costs of my blog platform and URL have been covered. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

But I don’t see why I should stop promoting my book while there is still time for delivery before Christmas. For one thing, I need to sell seven more books to reach the Amazon threshold for withdrawing my royalty money.

So, could I ask a few more of you to get a copy of my book. It’s a great well-written story, Elvis fans have really liked it, and it costs only ten bucks.

OK, I’m going to do one more last thing about Kurt Russell and Elvis, then hit you with the closing pitch on BIG E and the SANTA MAN.


Many of you already know about this, but for the rest of you, this is young Kurt Russell kicking Elvis in the 1964 movie, It Happened at the World’s Fair.

Kurt-Russell Kicking Elvis in It Happened at the World's Fair

 


 

We’ll end with a pretty low-key final pitch for my book. Maybe just a few more tidbits about what makes BIG E and the SANTA MAN so interesting.

Elves Playing Guitars in Big E and the Santa Man

There are no pictures in my book, but this one comes pretty close to depicting the elves that Big E teaches how to play rock and roll. The four little guys form a tight back-up band and rock out with Big E. You’ll love the concert they put on for Santa and Mama Claus the night after Christmas.

 

Scrooge's Space Station in Big E and the Santa Man

The villain in my story resides in a space station hoovering over the North Pole. His henchmen are bad elves that Santa had kicked out for shoddy workmanship on the presents and constant trouble-making. They hold a grudge and are happy to help in a plot to ruin Christmas.

Big E Close-up

Here is Big E again. Look at his eyes. He’s sending you a telepathic message:

“Buy a copy of this book about me and Santa.
You’ll be glad you did.”

 

Here’s where to get them:

BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Amazon.com webpage

BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2: Amazon.com webpage

 

 

Thank you,

Phil Arnold
Original ElvisBlogmeister (2005-2013)

 

Note: If anyone knows Clay Kaytis, the director of The Christmas Chronicles, please email him a link to this post.