A Movie For The Scrooge in Us All
Written: John Requa,
Directed: Terry Zwigoff
Thorton, Bernie Mac, John Ritter, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly
you've seen an ad or a preview for Bad Santa then I already know what you think
of it. It looks freaking terrible. To make matters worse take a look at the synopsis
their putting out about it:
It's the height of the festive holiday season
and merry shoppers have begun their yearly pilgrimages to their local malls. Among
the drove is a pair of con men, on a decadent road trip, posing as Santa and his
trusty elf. Rather than spreading good cheer, the duo's motive is to rob each
shopping establishment along the way. Their savvy strategy, however, becomes complicated
when they encounter a precocious 8-year-old who ends up teaching them the true
meaning of Christmas.
Jesus Christ that looks terrible. I hate it when
movies don't know how to promote themselves. Check out the poster as well. Even
the title is insipid and uninspired.
This is also John Ritter's last movie.
Generally actors' last movies are terrible or embarrassing. Check out Raoul Julia's
flying car thingy in Street Fighter, Orson Wells' tepid and board delivery of
Unicron in Transformers the Movie, or Jack Lemmon mucking it up with Walter Matthau
in The Odd Couple II. But in this case the actor who started his career in one
of the most embarrassing jokes of a role gets to go out in a blaze of comic brilliance.
Maybe that's a bit much, 'comic brilliance,' but the movie is damn fine.
reason why the trailer sucks so much is because the movie is about %80 swears.
All of the great writing is swearing, almost all of the funniest moments involve
Billy Bob spewing forth the nastiest possible phrases to an eight year old fat
kid. You can't put that in a trailer for a Christmas movie. The movie disspells
the feel-good aura that the trailers cast before the credits even start to roll
and from there it only gets dirtier and funnier. I'm tempted to ruin the funniest
lines, but I won't.
Yes, despite everything that's riding against it, Terry
Zwigoff , who directed Ghost World and Crumb, delivers a smart, well written movie
with some of the crassest dialogue I've ever seen. Don't get me wrong here, overall
it's a pretty dumb movie, with only one real note of comedy. But that note is
rung perfectly, the joke never really gets old, and in the end I haven't laughed
this much in a movie theatre this year (except maybe at The Matrix: Revolutions).
And that's what it really comes down to, isn't it?
One Razor Sharp Sling Blade
have to love Billy-Bob when he's doing his thing well. This movie wouldn't work
if it weren't for his perfect comic timing. This is a role that only he could
play. No one else can curse as well as he does while simultaneously making you
empathize with him.
One Dead Comedian
work, Jon Ritter, you and Bernie Mac made a great team. I'll miss you.
two Christmas comedies out there right now (excluding The Cat In The Hat which
doesn't really qualify as a movie, does it?) Some of you should probably just
go see Elf so your holiday sensibilities don't get all trod upon, but everyone
else should see Bad Santa. I guess this goes to show that you can't always trust
your gut or a movies trailer. Sometimes you just have to believe.