Jessie Nelson, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Ann Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Little Mix - English singer songwriter and producer Labrinth hosted the Raymond Weil Pre-BRIT Awards dinner which was held at The Mosaica in London, United Kingdom - Thursday 12th February 2015
One scene will stay with me for the next six Christmases. Vince Vaughn, playing Santa Claus' dishonest brother Fred, attends a support group for second-banana siblings. Frank Stallone is there, sheepishly admitting that his faith in brother Sylvester faded with each new Rocky movie. Roger Clinton explains how difficult it was being "the First Brother." Fred tries to get a word in edgewise but ends up shouting at Stephen Baldwin (who is great, though we also would have accepted Daniel or Billy in the part).
Fred Claus needed two or three more thinking-outside-the-box scenes like this to help it become more than what it actually is: a fragile premise stuffed with hollow Christmas jokes that would collapse in a holiday heap if not for Vaughn's demonstrated charms.
The disgruntled older brother of jolly old St. Nick (played with warmth and patience by Paul Giamatti) isn't a character so much as the Vaughn persona we've seen in Wedding Crashers, The Break-Up, Old School, and Swingers. Dan Fogelman's script imagines an excuse to get Fred to the North Pole -- he needs $50,000 to open a bar, but Santa refuses the loan unless Fred works a few shifts in the family toy factory. Once in the winter wonderland, Fred avoids his judgmental mother (Kathy Bates), coaches an elf (John Michael Higgins) on how to woo one of Santa's beautiful helpers (Elizabeth Banks), and makes life difficult for an efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey) who is threatening to shut Santa's operation down.
Fred falters because director David Dobkin never definitively chooses between making a kid-friendly money maker or an edgy comedy aimed at our inner teenage boy. The PG rating suggests the former, with tall Vaughn looming over pint-sized co-stars and sleeping in undersized beds (too bad his buddy, Jon Favreau, already milked similar visuals with Will Ferrell in the superior Elf). But the concept of sibling rivalry, the outsourcing of elfin labor, and the need for an intervention will fly over the heads of young ones like Santa's sleigh above snow-covered rooftops on Christmas Eve. Ho, ho, oh well. Maybe next time.
Try a Rolaids.
Heathers sashayed into theaters in 1989 and since then, Lehmann has turned in nothing but guilty pleasures and unfathomable duds. In hindsight, one could have never seen the man behind Hudson Hawk, My Giant, 40 Days and 40 Nights, and The Truth About Cats & Dogs also being responsible for one of the most influential films of the 1980's. But here we are: 18 years after Heathers, Lehmann reduces his talent to a spasmodic headache about... sweet Jesus, you got me.
Continue reading: Because I Said So Review
In the film, Sam Dawson (Sean Penn) is a mentally challenged single father raising his daughter Lucy (Dakota Fanning). Sam is a sweet, good-natured man who earns a living by sweeping up at a local coffee store. His mental capacity is that of a seven-year-old, and as his daughter turns seven, she begins to intellectually outgrow her father. Soon, their lives come under the scrutiny of a social worker, who, "for the good of the child," wants Lucy placed into foster care.
Continue reading: I Am Sam Review
Which is a surprise. This is the man who brought us the masterful comedy When Harry Met Sally.... And here we are, with people on couches, talking to the camera about their relationship. Same premise, right? Ohhhhhhh noooooo. The Story of Us can be summed up quite simply: Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer hate each other. They spend two hours yelling, cursing, crying, and pouting. Then maybe they get back together. The end.
Continue reading: The Story of Us Review
Continue reading: Stepmom Review