Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa Claus - The Movie (1985)

Christmas Movie #5 (I can’t believe a store really wanted $20 for this Christmas clunker)

Synopsis: Ever wanted to see a Santa Claus origins story that mirrors Superman’s, right down to the Fortress of Solitude, and battling a Lex Luthor-type rich industrialist? Alexander Salkind made your movie. 

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “The legend of Santa Claus comes to life in this enchanting, heartwarming tale that the whole family will cherish year ‘round!” 

What Did I Learn?: All throughout the ages, up to and including the 1980s, kids really, really, really loved hand-crafted wooden toys and sculptures. 

You Might Like This Movie If: You don't watch very many documentaries.
Really?: 1) See “Synopsis” (I just found it funny how the names “Jesus” and “St. Nicholas” were never once mentioned). 2) See “What Did I Learn?” 3) You know, I could totally go to town in this section, but I’ll merely ask a question: does it seem appropriate to end a children’s movie with a man drifting helplessly into space? 

Rating: Santa Claus the Movie is a bad film, but it isn’t absolutely awful. David Huddleston does a great job as Santa, Dudley Moore is a likeable bloke as Patch the elf, and John Lithgow nearly steals the movie as an evil toy industrialist (the scene of him squirming during a Senate sub-committee hearing into dangerous toys is hilarious). 

Unfortunately, Santa’s sleigh takes a nosedive during the second half of the movie, when Patch leaves the North Pole and makes a deal with Lithgow’s character. The plot stops making sense, characters start behaving irrationally, the special effects are less-than-spectacular, and there’s never any real conflict. Meh. 5/10 stars. 

Would It Work For a Bad Movie Night?: Probably not, but take a drink every time a little kid says “wow!”

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