the malls with boughs of holly... then the Orchard with
some candy... add some Hollywood-type jolly... Yes that
appears to be the formula for spreading the Christmas
cheer every year.
Indeed, it is almost as if Christmas will not be complete
without a good ole Hollywood movie about family, Santa
and the like. It’s a big holiday for people in
the States, beginning with Thanksgiving almost one month
earlier. And movie studios know that very well. Just
as Chinese New Year in Singapore brings out a whole
array of CNY-themed movies, the year-end season in the
US is typically host to a slew of Christmas-themed movies.
But before you go out to the stores and grab what’s
on the shelves, let MX help you sift through some of
the more recent Yuletide offerings so you’ll know
what’s gonna taste like eggnog and what’s
gonna end up like (well...) hog wash.
Imagine if Santa Claus had a bitter older brother and
voila! you’ll have Fred Claus. Vince Vaughn plays
the titular character living in New York who is forced
to visit the North Pole and help his brother Nick (played
by Paul Giamatti) in Santa’s Christmas toy-making
rush. How much you like Fred Claus depends on how much
you can stand Vince Vaughn’s fast-talking motor-mouth
routine. Despite an interesting premise, Fred Claus feels
a little too messy and convoluted. An almost Vince Vaughn-vanity
project, Fred Claus is however redeemed by a stellar supporting
cast including Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates and Kevin Spacey.
There’s still loads of fun to be had here- but only
if you like it the Vince Vaughn way.
Skipping a theatrical release in Singapore last year,
this movie should probably be better titled Next Christmas
as it makes its debut here direct to home video only this
month. No big names here (except perhaps Delroy Lindo
and singer Chris Brown), it centres on the Whitfield family’s
first Christmas holiday together in 4 years.
What saves this movie from its Hallmark-movie type plot
and characters is the excellent chemistry between its
stars, most of which will probably not be familiar with
local audiences. If you’re looking for a feel-good
family drama however, you’re still likely to find
this quite a pleasant watch.
THE HALLS (2006)
Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito play warring neighbours
each trying to out-light the other’s house for
Christmas in this comedy set in a small New England
town. Inane? Childish? You said it... There’s
only so much one can take seeing two grown men act like
spoiled children trying to one-up the other. It tries
to be a comedy but it’s surprisingly devoid of
laughs. Oh well...the best thing about this movie is
probably its interesting tagline "there glows the
SANTA CLAUSE: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE (2006)
the time it reached the third, it became apparent that
Disney was simply trying to milk its cash cow one last
time. Tim Allen as The Santa Clause was amusing the
first time round, worth a few chuckles the second time
round, and just plain boring by round three. As if recognizing
this, the producers had to throw in an over the top
villain Jack Frost (played by comedian Martin Short)
but that did little to enliven the proceedings. Perhaps
the best thing you can do is to escape from this Clause.
list continues here