10/30/2014  
Reno 911!: The Complete Series on DVD Nov 4Merlin: The Complete Series on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 4Maleficent on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Nov 4My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 28Cook's Country: Season 7 on DVD Oct 28Zombie Hood VOD & Limited Edition DVD Oct 21An Evergreen Christmas on DVD Nov 4

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Reno 911!: The Complete Series on DVD Nov 4...
Merlin: The Complete Series on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 4...
Jay and Bey get 'royal' treatment at 'Nightcrawler' pre...
Maleficent on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Nov 4...
My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks on Blu-ra...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

MZ Mark Zimmer

STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

RR Rich Rosell

LES VAMPIRES (BLU-RAY)...
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE (BLU-RAY)...
EXORCISMUS...
THE DEVIL'S ROCK...
THE NESTING...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
Star Trek: The Motion Picture...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Dimension Films presents
Bad Santa (Director's Cut) (2003)

"You people are monsters."
- Willie (Billy Bob Thornton)

Review By: Jon Danziger  
Published: October 23, 2006

Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Lauren Graham, John Ritter, Bernie Mac
Other Stars: Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom, Cloris Leachman
Director: Terry Zwigoff

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, strong sexual content and some violence
Run Time: 01h:28m:27s
Release Date: October 10, 2006
UPC: 786936702477
Genre: black comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A-BB C+

DVD Review

If you just love trimming the tree and the smell of freshly cut pine in the family room, if you adore those cute carolers and give them each a mug of cocoa, if you need a little Christmas right this very minute, stay far, far away from this movie. For the rest of us, though, Bad Santa is almost a call to arms, the polar opposite of It's a Wonderful Life—it will be a family favorite only if everyone in your family is alcoholic, dysfunctional, brimming with rage and spewing a Tourette's-like torrent of profanity. It's a riot, really, a holiday movie in which nothing is sacred, and just crammed with stuff that's hilarious and in fantastically bad taste.

Billy Bob Thornton is the title character, more or less—Willie is the worst department-store Santa imaginable, swilling rotgut liquor and grabbing a drag on a smoke between swearing at the bright-eyed, soon-to-be-disillusioned children who have queued up for a chance to have their photo taken on Santa's lap. But this job is only the most pathetic cover for him—he and Marcus (Tony Cox), his sidekick elf, have their annual scheme worked out: they get work at a mall, spend the holiday season casing the joint, and then on Christmas Eve rip off the place, with Marcus grabbing all the loot he can from the store displays as Willie cracks the safe. This year's mark is in Phoenix, and some of the images alone are priceless—seeing Santa with a butt and a pint with a corrupt dwarf on the sweltering Arizona tarmac as Dean Martin sings carols on the soundtrack is the appropriate revenge for all the God-bless-us-every-one drivel we've been forced to stomach for generations.

Director Terry Zwigoff is relentless in finding the comedy and in making no apologies, and his movie runs like the wind. Thornton is kind of spectacular as Willie—he's almost irredeemably loathsome, and the casual way with which he violates every possible rule of propriety is a hoot. Cox is great too—he's the brains of the operation, angrily presiding as his Santa gets, amazingly enough, even more sloppy, urinating in the red suit, cursing out and slugging papier maché donkeys in the manger, nearly blowing the whole gig. Little people like Cox are almost always used only as sight gags, and you can sense him reveling in getting a proper part to play. The late John Ritter, such a great foil for Thornton in Sling Blade, is neurotically funny as a mall manager in way over his head, and Bernie Mac is on fire as the head of mall security who gets wise to their plan.

Bizarrely touching and quite surprising is Willie's relationship with a kid in the neighborhood, played by Brett Kelly—he's overweight and frequently gets beat up, he retains his child's belief in Santa, and he seems almost borderline autistic in taking everything at unblinking face value. Willie crashes out at the kid's house, and Zwigoff never even gets close to sentimentality, but it's a dimension of Willie's character that we might not have thought possible. Always good for a laugh is Cloris Leachman as the kid's stone-deaf grandmother, and Lauren Graham is a pip as a bartender with a thing for a guy in a Santa suit.

The score makes use not just of Christmas carols to provide counterpoint, as you might expect, but also of familiar arias from Carmen, and watching this movie now it's hard not to think of the next project for the leading man and the screenwriting team of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, their Bad News Bears remake. A dollop of the Christmas spirit might creep in toward the very end, but it's soon eradicated, as well it should be in a movie of this sort. It's not one for roasting marshmallows and curling up with the family, but any holiday hostility you may harbor will be vastly rewarded by this movie.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Occasional discolorations mar the transfer, but overall the presentation looks pretty reasonable.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: A little overmixed on the 5.1 track, and occasionally the carols are cranked up for a little too much counterpoint; but you'll be able to discern every last four-letter word.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 19 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Keeping Up with the Steins, Lost: The Complete Second Season, Kinky Boots
4 Deleted Scenes
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Terry Zwigoff and editor Robert Hoffman
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. outtakes
Extras Review: This director's cut is the third DVD release of this title—the theatrical cut is five minutes longer, and the unrated Badder Santa cut is five minutes longer than that, but I will leave it to some future Bad Santologist to puzzle out the differences between them. Zwigoff and editor Robert Hoffman provide a commentary track that's sporadic but has some interesting stuff in it, especially regarding the participation of Joel and Ethan Coen, who came up with the idea and served as executive producers on the film. There are the usual details about location shooting, which becomes a memory tour of the malls of Southern California.

The best of the four deleted scenes features Sarah Silverman as a Santa trainer; also very funny are Thornton's improvs with the actor playing a mall security guard shaking down Santa for shoplifting. A behind-the-scenes piece (09m:29s) is pretty ordinary stuff, including interviews with cast members, Zwigoff, and the film's producers—most notable is a tribute to Ritter. And the outtakes (04m:00s) are little more than actors cracking up or forgetting their lines.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

An unholy riot of a holiday picture, the movie closest to capturing the spirit of David Sedaris's lunatic Santaland Diaries. If you're worried about people taking the Christ out of Christmas, you won't even make it through the opening credits, but for those of us less pious, it's highly recommended.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

comedy, fantasy, celebrity, jay z, byonce, amc loews lincoln square, nightcrawler, jake gyllenhaal, rene russo, animation, kids, television, reading rainbow, lavar burton, kickstarter, seth macfarlane, family guy, movies, ouija, keanu reeves, john wick, fury, brad pitt, gone girl, box office, cooking, music, cream, jack bruce, eric clapton, ginger baker, sunshine of your love, holiday, movie, birdman, michael keaton, edward norton, alejandro ganzalez inarritu, babel, 21 grams, biutiful, emma stone, zach galifianakis, comedy-drama, crime, thriller, renee zellweger, kathie lee gifford, nicole wallace, surgery question, foo fighters, wrigley field show, chicago, sonic highways, hbo series, mystery, world war ii, logan lerman, shia lebeouf, jon bernthal, michael pena, war, documentary, warner bros, 10 super hero movies, jason mormoa, aquaman, ezra miller, the flash, batman v superman: dawn of justice, internet, cbs all access, $5.99, hbo, web-delivered television, oscars, neil patrick harris, host, the academy of motion pictures arts and sciences, tonys emmys, abc, out of the woods, good morning america, 1989, jack antonoff, bleachers, yamaha dx7, minimoog voyager, superhero, robert downey jr., captain america 3, marvel studios, chris evans

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store