Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fred Claus

Fred Claus
Blu ray and DVD. 

Vince Vaughn stars as Santa's older brother Fred, who is tired of having to live up to his example. Paul Giamoti plays Santa and because he is a saint no one in his immediate family (or their spouse) dies. So the story starts hundreds of years ago when Santa was born and after a showing how the rift between the two started, picks up in modern times.

Fred is a wheeling, dealing, friendly con man who has no one left to borrow money from to open a betting parlor. So he turns to his brother, who uses tough love and makes him work for the money at the North Pole. 

His arrival coincides with Kevin Spacey who is sent to see if Santa's whole setup is worth the trouble anymore. And in the typical Spacey way turns out to be diabolical and wants to shut down the North Pole. 

One of the funniest scenes I have seen in a movie was when Fred goes to the "living in my brothers shadow" support group. Frank Stalone talks about losing his identity when the Rocky movies came out. Then Roger Clinton talks about being brothers with Bill. Fred mouths off and upsets Stephan Baldwin who calms down by stomping the floor and reminding himself "he's not Alec."

Kathy Bates and Rachel Weisz play Fred's mom and girlfriend but they could have been played by anyone.

All in all this is your basic unethical guy learns a powerful lesson and saves Christmas movie. But it is fresh, updated and a little in your face funny. 

Every December, while going through Christmas boxes I inevitably find the list I made comparing my father to Santa Claus. 
1. Both are old. 
2. They both eat all the milk and cookies, leaving none for anyone else.
3. They both have big, food catching beards.
4. Both have bowls full of jelly. 
5. Both work about a day a year.

7 out of 10

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