Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kal Penn, John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris, Patton Oswalt, Bobby Lee, Amir Blumenfeld, Thomas Lennon, Paula Garcés, Danny Trejo, RZA, Elias Koteas, Jordan Hinson, Eddie Kaye Thomas, David Krumholtz, Richard Riehle
Written by: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Directed by: Todd Strauss-Schulson
MPAA Rating: R for strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence
Running Time: 90
Date: 11/04/2011

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Christmas Crass

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Simultaneously embracing the American Dream and American outsider status, Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) return in their third movie. They now take on that most schizophrenic of holidays, with its perfect ideal and less-than-perfect reality -- a concept easily applied to White Castle itself.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is nestled somewhere between Miracle on 34th Street and Bad Santa, in a world with the real Santa Claus and the ultimate Christmas gift: the "Wafflebot," but also one with the latest collection of well-crafted R-rated jokes about sex, drugs, bodily fluids, and bodily functions.

It's also one in which Harold's father-in-law (Danny Trejo) brings his own home-grown tree for a holiday visit; without it Christmas is ruined, and he's prepared to get Machete on someone's ass. Estranged at the film's beginning, the newly re-teamed Harold and Kumar must venture into New York City on Christmas Eve in search of a replacement tree. Their holiday miracles range from a game of beer pong to a full-fledged, joyous/ridiculous 3D musical number with series regular Neil Patrick Harris (now out of the closet).

The old pals are the rock solid center of this nutty universe, forever amazed and amused by all the stuff that just happens to them. They keep the tone just right, and the strong, external humor by original writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg sustains it. America, Capitalism, and Christmas may be worthy of satire, but at least we can all be friends, spend the day together, and enjoy fresh waffles.

New Line has released a Blu-Ray/DVD combo set, wherein both are on the same disc (the Blu-Ray is on one side, and the DVD is on the other). It includes an optional "extended" cut, about six minutes longer than the theatrical cut. Extras include several little funny video shorts with actor Tom Lennon, a featurette on the claymation sequence, and about 3-1/2 minutes of deleted scenes.

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