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The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Review


Grim
Of the many things I dislike about the Santa Clause series, the one that bothers me the most, the very very most, is this: Now, whenever any of the critics on this site tries to write the name "Santa Claus" they almost invariably spell it "Santa Clause." That extra "e" is absolutely maddening, and it is everywhere I look, unintentionally.

Against all odds, the e-happy Santa Clause series is back with a third installment, which involves Santa (Tim Allen) facing off against the Napoleon-complexed Jack Frost (Martin Short), who's got his eyes on the prize of being the supremo wintertime icon. His idea is to take advantage of a rare "escape clause" which lets Santa step down willingly if he says a certain phrase, so Frost can sieze the big red suit. Naturally, trickery is involved. Apparently Jack Frost is a very bad boy. You can tell by the fright wig hairdo.

Continue reading: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Review

The Santa Clause 2 Review


OK
Eight years ago, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) inadvertently caused the death of Santa Claus. Ever since, he's been wearing the bright red suit himself, delivering countless toys to millions of children all over the world on one special night a year. This Christmas, however, things aren't going as smoothly for Santa, because he hasn't yet fulfilled an important part of his contract...the part about a Mrs. Claus. Calvin must find a wife before Christmas Eve, because if he doesn't, his duties as the head Claus will vanish forever!

Apart from the North Pole, much has changed since the original Santa Clause. Calvin's son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd), has become an embittered teenager who rebels against society by spraying graffiti on the walls of his school. Charlie's mother and stepfather (Wendy Crewson and Judge Reinhold), blame his misbehavior on Calvin's absence, but Principal Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell) doesn't care about the reasons behind the misbehavior, she just wants it to stop.

Continue reading: The Santa Clause 2 Review

The Santa Clause Review


Good
Attempting to bring the Christmas movie into the 1990s, Disney enlisted drug offender and raunchy stand-up Tim Allen to play Santa Claus based on the strength of his TV show Home Improvement. Funny then that The Santa Clause would indeed become a minor classic of the genre considering its iffy pedigree.

Credit that to a clever script that has Santa falling from a roof on Christmas Eve (and presumably dying in the process -- be ready to explain that to the kids) and Allen's Scott taking up his job after donning the Santa suit. Scott then has a year to prepare to take over the job full time. This mainly works out to Scott's putting on a ton of weight and growing a Santa-style beard, all the while denying he is becoming Mr. Claus.

Continue reading: The Santa Clause Review

Joe Somebody Review


Grim
The premise for Joe Somebody could fit on the back of a Cuban postcard. But here's the long version: Allen plays Joe Scheffer -- a poster boy for cubical bleakness -- who works as a video editor at a generic pharmaceutical company in Minnesota, who spends his days cutting together ridiculous ads for nameless health products. Joe's divorced, has an annoyingly clever pre-teen daughter, and dresses like a substitute teacher. One day, while parking his tan sedan in the "10-year associates" parking lot during family day at the office -- don't ask -- a confrontation occurs between Joe and salesman named Mark McKinney. No kids, not the guy from Kids in the Hall who crushes heads with his thumb and index finger, McKinney is played by Patrick Warburton, who stars in yet another bad movie role. After getting bitch-slapped in the most unbelievable scene in recent cinema memory, Joe retreats into a state of drunkenness, ashamed of failing in the eyes of his daughter and getting further pummeled by McKinney.

After emotional prodding by the company's "wellness director" Meg Harper (hotcake Julie Bowen), Joe is awakened from his corporate stupor and challenges McKinney to a rematch to regain his honor. In the process, Joe gains the admiration of the entire company, as everyone in the place appears somehow pissed off at him. On the road to recovery, Joe lands the promotion he always wanted, kicks ass at squash, leads fellow co-workers in karaoke, and eventually evolves into the kind of generic corporate schmuck that we all hate far worse than any big league bully.

Continue reading: Joe Somebody Review

The Santa Clause 2 Review


OK
Eight years ago, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) inadvertently caused the death of Santa Claus. Ever since, he's been wearing the bright red suit himself, delivering countless toys to millions of children all over the world on one special night a year. This Christmas, however, things aren't going as smoothly for Santa, because he hasn't yet fulfilled an important part of his contract...the part about a Mrs. Claus. Calvin must find a wife before Christmas Eve, because if he doesn't, his duties as the head Claus will vanish forever!

Apart from the North Pole, much has changed since the original Santa Clause. Calvin's son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd), has become an embittered teenager who rebels against society by spraying graffiti on the walls of his school. Charlie's mother and stepfather (Wendy Crewson and Judge Reinhold), blame his misbehavior on Calvin's absence, but Principal Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell) doesn't care about the reasons behind the misbehavior, she just wants it to stop.

Continue reading: The Santa Clause 2 Review

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