(Netflix Streaming, December 2019) There are some casting calls that justify an entire movie, and I can easily imagine someone at Netflix going “Kurt Russell as Santa Claus? Here’s your budget!” While The Christmas Chronicles is, at best, a serviceable take on Christmas movies, Russell remains the star attraction here as a gruff no-nonsense Claus explaining how it all works to our two young heroes. Easily recalling Christmas wishes for anyone over the age of four, his Claus rocks a tune, bemoans the portrayal of Santa as fat and jolly, steals a sports car (with the film missing an opportunity to use Brian Seltzer’s “Santa’s Got a Hot Rod”) and isn’t above a few subterfuges in order to teach his charges a lesson in Christmas cheer. Benefiting from mid-budget production values, The Christmas Chronicles turns terminally cute in its last half with the introduction of CGI elves as likable as they are handy (or terrifying) with power tools. It’s generally enjoyable viewing, with a lighthearted self-aware tone throughout and a love for logistical explanations that rivals Arthur Christmas and The Santa Clause. In short, it’s the kind of Christmas movie that household members may watch once they’ve seen plenty of other Christmas movies. Plus, it’s on Netflix, meaning that it’s going to be right there for many subscribers. I’ve seen much, much worse. Plus: having Kurt Russell as Santa means that you also get none other than Goldie Hawn in a late cameo as Mrs. Claus.