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Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
DVD disk
Nov 26, 2007 By: Jason Adams
Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause order
Director:
Michael Lembeck

Actors:
Tim Allen
Martin Short
Elizabeth Mitchell

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Santa Claus has a lot on his mind this holiday season; nosey in-laws visiting the North Pole, evil Jack Frost trying to hijack Christmas for himself, and a Mrs. Clause who’s expecting a baby at any moment.

That’s right; fat old St. Nick plowing Juliet from LOST and knocking her up…now there’s a great Christmas visual for you.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Like all kids my age, I enjoyed the first SANTA CLAUSE movie when it came out. But now I’m 23 and enough is enough. This third installment is a case of going back to the well, finding it dry, and still digging up spoonfuls of dirt to force-feed the audience.

It’s obvious nobody cares about the SANTA CLAUSE franchise anymore. Tim Allen doesn’t bother making his usual wisecracks; the makeup department couldn’t even get the Jolly One a decent fake moustache; they bring back pretty much everyone from the previous movies (and add Alan Arkin and Ann-Margaret) and then don’t use them. But the most noticeable defect, however, is that the story is wafer thin and the script by Ed Decter and John Strauss (THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY) seems to have been written in 15 minutes on a beer can label. I know this is aimed solely at kids, but that doesn’t mean you can make it stupid without trying. Children deserve better than farting reindeer and two minutes of anti-materialist message.

Being the third entry in a series, you’d also think they’d bring in some secret weapon to draw in the crowds. Instead you get Martin Short. And save for a for a guest appearance on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, the man hasn’t been funny since the mid 80s. (Does anybody remember CLIFFORD?!?). In SANTA CLAUSE 3, Short hasn’t gotten any better and makes each scene painful to watch. And dare I mention how terrible his character looks? Jack Frost dressed up as Santa Claus is one of the scariest things you could ever show to a child. It’s like Liza Minelli after a botched face lift in a Santa outfit.

Those hoping for a good holiday movie for the family will be saddened to find things like a little girl defeating the bad guy with a magical hug, or Tim Allen’s rear catching flame, coupled with the line “Fire in the hole!” Choose something else if you need to fill your Christmas quota, or show your children the first SANTA CLAUSE movie and pretend like nothing happened after that.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by director Michael Lembeck: All I heard was useless facts and trivia (“This shot is the same as an earlier one; we just flipped it and no one noticed!”), and no apology or offer to refund my time/money. Therefore, thumbs down.

Blooper Reel (2:59): About as funny as the movie itself.

Alternate Opening (3:34): Offers a recap of the first two movies and more of Abigail Breslin’s thirty second appearance.

Jack Frost and Mrs. Claus: A Very Different Look (4:03): Two days into filming director Lembeck realized the look of the Jack Frost and Mrs. Claus characters weren’t working and started from scratch. He should’ve taken it as a warning sign and scrapped the entire movie.

The New Comedians (3:00): They obviously meant to title this “The Old and Washed Up Disney Comedians,” since it centers on Tim Allen and Martin Short.

Creating Movie Magic (4:04): I think we’re using the word “magic” a bit lightly here; this VFX doc centers on the Hall of Snowglobes scene, which is just a room with floating snowglobes.

Christmas Carol-oke (6:25): Sing along to a number of holiday tunes.

Aly and AJ “Greatest Time of Year” Music Video (3:18): Two underage female faux-rockers…I don’t know whether I should be aroused or annoyed.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
SANTA CLAUSE 3 is proof that the titular red suited man is not real. Because if he was, he surely would’ve used his magical powers to smite down everyone who ran this franchise so far in to the permafrost. And with no Santa to stop the evil powers-that-be, I’m sure another sequel is on the way.

Extra Tidbit: The fact that this is one of Peter Boyle’s last films makes me sad.
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