Fred Claus

DVD Reviews | Nov 24th, 2008

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Starring Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, Kevin Spacey, Miranda Richardson, Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins
Written By: Dan Fogelman
Directed By: David Dobkin
Studio: Warner Bros
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Fred Claus is the under-achieving older brother of world renown Santa Claus. A tough task to follow, and for his whole life has had difficulty trying to outshine or even match the level of generosity and a successful career as his younger brother Santa a.k.a. Nicholas a.k.a. Saint Nick. Fred moves from one failed job to the next trying to take advantage of the less fortunate. When its only Santa who can help out Fred in his latest misadventures, Santa makes Fred come to the North Pole to repay his debt, and it could come down to canceling Christmas. Fred Claus is a good Christmas movie but it fell short overall.

Vince Vaughn plays his usual character in the movie. Grumpy, crass and obnoxious character that generally can be funny but sometimes falls flat. His girlfriend, Wanda, is tired of his antics and has given up on him. Fred lands in jail after one of his failed attempts to land some money, and the only person he can turn to is his brother, Santa Claus. Of course, Santa helps him out, but under the condition he comes to the North Pole to help out with Christmas. For everyone at the North Pole, they need to stay on schedule and need all the help they can get. It doesn’t help that Santa now has been getting overseen by an efficiency expert, played by Kevin Spacey. It’s just a reminder to everyone during these tough times that even Santa Claus is at risk of downsizing. How depressing. Fred Claus doesn’t exactly follow orders and ends up getting Santa in trouble and is forced to close the shop just in time for Christmas. Somehow Fred gets the shop working again to build simple toys and he goes out in Santa’s place to save Christmas. Kevin Spacey’s character comes off like the villain of course because he stopped Christmas.

Although there was a very good collection of actors, the story was a little weak but it’s fun for the kids to watch and get into the holiday spirit. After seeing the film, the whole “efficiency expert” storyline dawned on me and how realistic it could be in today’s world where the economy is suffering and even Santa Claus has to worry about risk in his business. I’m sure many parents don’t want to watch that and be reminded about that while watching a holiday film. A few laugh-out-loud moments in the film redeem the sometimes silly plot. There are only a few extras on the disc, with some worthwhile additional scenes, other than that, just the standard fare for a DVD.

– Commentary By Director David Dobkin
– Over 25 Minutes Of Merry Additional Scenes

Widescreen 2.40:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Standard 1.33:1 Color

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

English, Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: Salvation Army Santas chase Fred, Fred goes to Brothers Anonymous, Fred saves Christmas
Rating: PG
Running Time: 115 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: