Rodney’s Forgotten Gems: The Santa Clause

Thanks for checking out my review in a feature I like to call Rodney’s Forgotten Gems.

Being the Christmas season, I thought I would write a special Christmas Edition of Rodney’s Forgotten Gems. Granted, this particular flick is hardly forgotten, but it isn’t new either. Today instead of just one film, I want to share a Trilogy of films for the Yuletide. The Santa Clause.

THE GENERAL IDEA

Scott Calvin is the single dad in a separated family who gets his son for Christmas Eve. After hearing such a clatter he runs out on his front lawn to find the real Santa on his roof and startles old Saint Nick, who falls off the roof and expires. He leaves behind his coat and boots, which Scott takes up to investigate the roof. There he finds the reindeer and puts on the outfit and accidentally becomes Santa.

The act commits Scott Calvin to a contract. The Santa .. clause.

So the first movie deals with Scott Calvin coming to grips with becoming Santa Claus. The second film is a further part of the contract, the Missus Clause, which requires Santa to take on a wife. Then finally when life as Santa, and a Mrs. Claus with a baby on the way and Jack Frost infringing on Santa’s season, things gets a little complicated, which introduces the Escape Claus, where Santa can wish he never was Santa.

Never has there been so much fun with puns and Christmas cheer at the same time!

THE GOOD STUFF

Tim Allen has that charm of that Uncle who tries to hard to be funny and hip, and yet somehow manages to be funny and hip anyways. He can toss out a cheesy quip and even though its cheesy you find it amusing. Its almost magical. Which makes him the perfect pick for the jolly old elf himself.

But also, the supporting cast is fun too.

Judge Reinhold plays the former Mrs. Calvin’s second husband and his touchy-feely psychiatry offers up some comic relief and some one-liners mostly revolving around his tacky knit sweaters.

And introduced in the second film is the stern Principal cleverly named Carol who falls for Scott played by Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell. She plays the cold and direct person until Scott comes along and she just lights up. She is infectiously attractive. No she isn’t a supermodel, but she is very appealing.

In the third movie, Martin Short makes a wonderful adversary that throws a wrench into Santa’s plans and he is a witty delight. He also plays that cold demeanor littered with his own dramatic style that makes him both the showman, and the evil manipulator all at the same time.

And I cannot overlook the council of legendary figures. Father Time, Cupid, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Mother Nature. They all get their moment to shine even if the Easter Bunny is a little creepy in part 3.

And the PUNS. The obvious title puns with the legal clauses are fun, but the subtle stuff is great. Mrs Claus is named Carol. And they slip them in subtly so you are not faced with fanfare and a rim shot when you hear them.

THE BAD STUFF

Some things go unsaid, and they gloss over them like they don’t matter. This bugged me the whole time, but I got over it. Its a movie about Santa – there is a forgiveness of reality here. See in part 2, Scott has to take on a wife or he stops being Santa. But in the first movie he sees Santa have an accident where he falls off a roof and presumably dies. Did that Santa not have a Mrs Claus?? The elves are dramatically concerned about Santa facing the plot critical events that might stop him from being Santa, but they are so nonchalant about seeing a new Santa appear in the first movie. Guess the old one died.. oh well. Mrs Claus takes on the standard appearance we have come to accept and magically puts on 80lbs after she marries Santa, but in the third movie she is slender and fit again albeit with a baby bump?

But really the series does seem to peak and fall for me. As an overall story, the first one was great, and I liked the second one even better, but the third movie fell a little flat for me. I really didn’t like the addition of Carol’s parents, but that was because I didn’t like their characters. At all. And David Krumholtz’s Head Elf status is replaced by his eager sidekick Curtis from the previous films as the new head elf. Elves are played by children who are timelessly mature despite their childish appearance, and Spencer Breslin’s Curtis is too old to still play a kid in the last film, but he reprises his role anyways. Kinda awkward. I still liked it, but it just didn’t live up to the first two even though I LOVED Martin Short’s Jack Frost.

OVERALL

A great set of movies for the Christmas season where you can share in that warm fuzzy goodness. Rarely is there a set of movies that all revolve around the Christmas theme so well. Most Christmas movies are one shots, and deserving so. Untouchable classics in their own right that need no retelling. It is refreshing to see a trilogy of films that continue to capture that Christmas message and have some fun while they are at it!

Typically this is where we would write a “Out of 10″ rating, but since all of these Forgotten Gems are going to be what I would rate a 8, 9 or 10, I have made my own rating system.

TV – Make a point of watching it if you see it listed on TV.
Rent – Good enough to go out of your way to see it, but not enough to buy it.
Buy – So good. You will watch it again and again. Buy it!

So on a scale of TV, Rent or Buy I suggest BUY!

I bought all of them. My kids love them. I love them.

Grab a cup of hot chocolate (with marshmallows of course) a blanket and cuddle with your little guys while you can. This series will have them glued to the set and believing in Santa all over again.

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26 thoughts on “Rodney’s Forgotten Gems: The Santa Clause

  1. My children were needing AO 398 this month and found a great service that hosts a searchable forms database . If people have been needing AO 398 too , here’s a link “http://goo.gl/XeTpKe“.

  2. I’m truely sorry about this terrible mishap, won’t happen again. (He hasn’t been taking his pills)
    I enjoyed these movies, but I prefer the first one, I remember that I was a younger bloke when I first watched it.

  3. I honestly don’t believe the Fool on the Hill actually believes what he says, but rather just says it to sound negative.

    Fool is consistantly negative just for the sake of being negative. I have not banned him, nor do I intend to, but I have more than once asked him to tone down his antics.

  4. Put up a sign saying “Negative Comments Are Prohibited” and ban Matt(gigan300) and Kristina while you’re at it, they’ve said some negative stuff too.

    @Matt(gigan300)

    How old are you Matt? 12?

  5. Fool on the Hill is a troll. He is deliberately posting nonsense day after day here. If he keeps putting stuff like this up, we might have to start removing his posts or ban him.

    Everything he types is nonsense and I don’t believe he means a word of it.

  6. I thought Tim Allen was pretty great in these movies, especially the second. The fake Santa was freakin’ hilarious!

    The third kinda sucked.

  7. @the fool on the hill

    just b/c they are for kids doesnt mean an adult or teenager cant enjoy them there is no law or rule that states that

  8. Austin…Yeah those three Star Wars movies are really great. I wonder if George Lucas will ever make any more. Nah, it’s best to let the classics lie. Was there a Citizen Kane II? Casablanca Part Two: the Pacific?
    Godfather II…wait…never mind…that one was good!

    Rodney, two other forgotten gems? True Romance (Starring EVERYONE!), and maybe Explorers (1983) starring Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix and the Holodoc Robert Picardo?

  9. @Brandon, if you celebrate Christmas… say Merry Christmas!

    Screw this “politically correct” crap where somehow the word correct says I cannot celebrate a season of good will toward mankind.

    You won’t infringe on me if you celebrate Kwanzaa or Hanukkah and you offer me well wishes.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

  10. I’m a big fan of the first one..the 2nd one has its moments..but I really didn’t like the 3rd one.

    However, I did enjoy this post as I enjoy all things christm…err..holiday! Good work!

  11. Austin has walled himself into a world where sequels he didn’t liked, cease to exist. That’s why he picked out sequels that are largely disliked, such as Spider-man 3 and Indy 4.

  12. @Austin…. I don’t know if you are trying to be funny or what…

    There are sequels to the Santa Clause. I didn’t just make all that up. There are three movies in the series.

    Admittedly the third was not great, but I actually liked the second one better than the first.

  13. Santa Clause 2 and 3? What a magical, mystical world of wonder you live in! Sadly, there are no sequels to the Santa Clause. If only! That’s like saying Sam Raimi got off his ass and (finally!) made a Spiderman 3. Or George Lucas made a fourth Indiana Jones movie. Or… well, you get the idea. The stuff of dreams.

    Though, knowing Hollywood, perhaps it’s for the best. Any sequels they may have made probably would have sucked.

  14. i admit to enjoying the first one but the sequels kept getting more rediculous but since they are aimed at kids im not gonna give it too much hate

  15. “Did that Santa not have a Mrs Claus??”

    Well as we saw in the second movie, he has quite a few years before he runs out of time on the wife thing. Possibly that Santa had not yet gotten his wife, and had not yet reached the time where he needed one.

    “but they are so nonchalant about seeing a new Santa appear in the first movie. Guess the old one died.. oh well.”

    They’re probably used to it, plus the children come before anything else in their eyes, so they need to get the new Santa up and running as quickly as possible, with no delays.

    I do however, agree with Curtis’ age in the third movie. He very clearly got older between the second and third movies. But as I said in my previous post, even though I think the third is the weakest of the three for many reasons, I still really enjoy all of them.

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