Bad Santa Review

Review of: Bad Santa
Film:
Terry Zwigoff

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On May 6, 2013
Last modified:September 19, 2013

Summary:

The Unrated Cut and Director's Cut are now available together on a single Blu-Ray, while the Theatrical Cut is available on DVD. If you can, go for the Blu-Ray, since it's basically two films for the price of one.

Has there ever been a Christmas where you had no family to celebrate with, no sugar cookies to indulge in, and generally felt like crap? Well Willie Stokes (played by who should have been nominated for Best Actor for his role, Billy Bob Thornton) feels this way every Christmas. He is a drunk, and a career Santa Claus criminal, who every year, along with his midget accomplice, Marcus (Tony Cox) play a shopping mall Santa and elf, respectively; and make away every Christmas with all the money in that year’s shopping mall. But Willie comes under some fire when the police raid his hotel room; so he take advantage of a kid who thinks he’s the real Santa Claus, by moving in with him, and his not very “spry” grandma. Meanwhile, the store manager (John Ritter) suspects the duo to be up to no good, so he hires Bernie Mac to keep an eye on them.

This is easily one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, as well as one of my favorite Christmas movies of all-time. It’s both very vulgar and heartwarming. Be warned: this is not a family movie, but feel free to show the more mature kids this hysterical gem. I watch it every Christmas, as well as when ever I feel like it.

There are 3 different versions of this film: the theatrical cut, the unrated cut (Badder Santa), and Terry Zwigoff’s director’s cut. The theatrical cut is 91 minutes long, the unrated cut is 7 minutes longer, while the director’s cut is the shortest clocking in at about 3 minutes shorter than the theatrical cut. The unrated version is basically just the theatrical cut with extra scenes and expletives (though the theatrical cut is no Miracle on 34th Street when it comes to family-friendly dialogue), while the director’s cut is like a totally different movie. It’s a lot darker, as a lot of the comic relief scenes are removed in their entirety. This makes it less of a fantastic comedy, and more of a dark, bleak, comic study of a seriously messed-up cynic. Zwigoff felt that the Bad Santa that made it to theaters was too feel-good, so when the film was a commercial and critical success, he released his intended cut on DVD. It’s interesting to fans of Bad Santa, but is not the definitive version of the movie, and should not be the first cut one sees. My personal favorite is the unrated cut, though the pacing is off compared to the theatrical, so watch the theatrical if you want perfect pacing, or the unrated version if you want more movie; and save the director’s cut for one of those days when you’re feeling TOO great, and need to balance it out.

In any case, if you want a hilarious, and strangely heartwarming movie for the holidays, or today, you owe it to yourself to pick up Bad Santa. This is a movie that never gets old, and is consistently funny whether it be the first viewing, or the 47th viewing.

 

8.7/10

Director’s Cut: 6.4

The Unrated Cut and Director's Cut are now available together on a single Blu-Ray, while the Theatrical Cut is available on DVD. If you can, go for the Blu-Ray, since it's basically two films for the price of one.

James Flaherty

Video Game Reviewer/Critic at Leet Gamers Asia
Two things I love with a passion are video games and writing, and what's a better combination of those two things than being a game reviewer? 'Cause that's what I am. A reviewer for Leet Gamers Asia.

My tastes in games breach all genres, though my fortes are platformers and first-person shooters. My favorite game series is probably Super Mario, specifically the 3D games. I also love Rayman, Hitman, Bioshock, Half-Life/Portal, Uncharted, and Grand Theft Auto. As for my favorite game, it's hard to say: I love Portal 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Half-Life 2, Bioshock, Resident Evil 4, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Rayman Legends, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Grand Theft Auto IV, L.A. Noire, Fallout 3, Journey, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence all so damn much.

James Flaherty

Two things I love with a passion are video games and writing, and what's a better combination of those two things than being a game reviewer? 'Cause that's what I am. A reviewer for Leet Gamers Asia. My tastes in games breach all genres, though my fortes are platformers and first-person shooters. My favorite game series is probably Super Mario, specifically the 3D games. I also love Rayman, Hitman, Bioshock, Half-Life/Portal, Uncharted, and Grand Theft Auto. As for my favorite game, it's hard to say: I love Portal 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Half-Life 2, Bioshock, Resident Evil 4, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Rayman Legends, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Grand Theft Auto IV, L.A. Noire, Fallout 3, Journey, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence all so damn much.

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