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Bad Santa (review)

So, when I attended a screening on November 14, I was already primed for *Bad Santa,* the meanest, curmudgeonliest, blackest holiday movie I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen most of ’em. It’s like, How much more black could it be? And the answer is None, none more black. I haven’t laughed at film this hard all year, and maybe not last year, either. And much of that laughter sprung from shock: I spent half the film saying to myself, ‘Holy crap, I can’t believe they did that!’ and ‘They did *not* just do that!’ It’s hard to be shocking in the era of the Farrelly Brothers, but *Bad Santa* is shocking partly because it’s so unrepentant and unapologetic. There’s no attempt to infuse the film with heart or soul or sweetness or light. *Bad Santa* unrelentingly twisted. And that’s just wonderful.

The Santa Clause and Jack Frost (review)

Little did I know when I reviewed Jingle All the Way that it is part of a trend in 90s holiday movies in which inattentive, workaholic Boomer dads go all out in attempts to win back the affections of their young, ignored sons. But while Jingle’s Arnold has to resort to a girly endeavor like shopping in the effort to appease his spawn, The Santa Clause’s Tim Allen and Jack Frost’s Michael Keaton have a much cooler alternative: magic. Allen deals in white magic; Keaton’s, unfortunately, is of the darker variety.