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Deck 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.

Naughty: Nice:


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.

Naughty: Nice:


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 neighbourhood".

Naughty: Nice:


By 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.

Naughty: Nice:

The list continues here

By Gabriel Chong
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