Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, John Michael Higgins, Miranda Richardson, Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates, Trevor Peacock, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Elizabeth Banks, Christian Hansen, Kevin Spacey, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Allan Corduner, Frank Stallone, Roger Clinton, Stephen Baldwin
Written by: Dan Fogelman, based on a story by Dan Fogelman, Jessie Nelson
Directed by: David Dobkin
MPAA Rating: PG for mild language and some rude humor
Running Time: 116
Date: 11/03/2007
IMDB

Fred Claus (2007)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Polar Frere

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Vince Vaughn stars as Santa Claus's older brother who lives in Chicago, alienated from his family. Desperate for money, Fred calls on St. Nick (Paul Giamatti) for help and winds up with a job at the North Pole. A cleverer movie would have focused more on the differences between the brothers and their two opposite worlds, but Fred Claus instead introduces a ridiculous villain (Kevin Spacey) bent on shutting down Christmas. Moreover, Vaughn must eventually transform from his regular, cynical character to a good-hearted, noble one, and the result just isn't that funny. David Dobkin directs with some sparkle, but without the sustained energy he brought to Shanghai Knights (2003) or Wedding Crashers (2005). Disturbingly, John Michael Higgins and Ludacris are digitally re-interpreted as elves.

DVD Details: Warner Home Video waited an entire year to release Fred Claus on DVD for the 2008 holiday season, but the trouble is that most people forgot completely about it during that time. It comes with an optional director commentary track, plus optional French and Spanish language tracks. There are also optional subtitles in all three languages. Then we get about 25 minutes of deleted and extended scenes. Plus, the widescreen version is on one side, and the pan-and-scan version is on the other, and a digital copy is available to PC users (but not Mac users). And that's about it. Hopefully someone will get some holiday cheer out of this. Also available on AskMen.com: Fred Claus

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