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     " Makes me think about offing Santa to get off unemployment once and for all. "

      Title: The Santa Clause Special Edition by Buena Vista Home Video

      Format: Family Christmas Film

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: Back when Tim Allen was on top of the world he made this fantastic little family flick. Now it's back in Special Edition DVD. Interested in hearing about it? I guess you must be because you're reading this review…

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Story and Acting: You ever wonder how Santa's managed to live for hundreds of years and not just drop dead of old age? No, he's not a vampire (even if his name is an anagram for Satan) it turns out there's magic afoot! With that magic is a perpetuation of the Santa Clause, a contract that states that when one Santa dies another takes his place (kind of like a twisted take on Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Well, when the current Santa slips on Scott Calvin's (played by Tim Allen) roof and falls to his death, Calvin unwittingly signs on to the clause and becomes the new Chris Cringle. Much hilarity ensues as he goes through both the physical and professional changes that make him good St. Nick.
          Really, this flick is head and shoulders above the competition as far as good family holiday movies go. It's smart, it's creative, and it's honestly funny. Also surprising is Tim Allen in his first motion picture role (well, so far as I know anyway) who, while yes, essentially playing himself manages to be convincing through the emotional range of the character's journey. From slightly schmucky father to father Christmas. 4 out of 5

      Action: Lots of funny stunts and watching Santa fall to his death. 4 out of 5

      Visuals and Directing: Bright, vivid, and as enticing to the eye as a mall on Christmas there really is a genuine Christmassy feel to the flick. The effects aren't bad most of the time (though certainly aren't good either) and the directing really does keep the film moving at a crisp pace. 3 out of 5

      Sound Track: It sports a nice, Christmassy score that is filled with all the touching and exciting moments you would expect but is certainly unremarkable on its own. Then again, as I have often argued, often the best soundtrack is the one that doesn't distract from the film. 4 out of 5

      DVD Extras: This was a bit confusing to me. The DVD is listed as "Widescreen Special Edition" but actually only has 3 real features: a trivia game, a short featurette, and a snack recipe segment. While that's better than a lot of movies come with I hesitate to say it's enough for a "Special Edition". Still, it is some fun stuff and also included with the flick are some DVD-ROM extras, info on the sequel, and a movie ticket to see it. Maybe that's what makes it "Special Edition". That it get you into the sequel. 4 out of 5 for saving you seven bucks to see #2 if nothing else.

      Value vs. Price: Hitting a 25ish price point it's a bit more than I'd like to spend but gives you more than enough to justify it…especially if you're going to use that extra ticket. 4 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       There aren't a lot of genuinely fun holiday movies and it's nice to have one or two on hand that you can watch with little siblings, nieces and nephews, etc. Better yet, The Santa Clause is actually good enough that you may well watch it all by yourself.

      The Good: Funny with an original concept.

      The Bad: "Special Edition" is pushing it.

      The Overall Ugly: Makes me think about offing Santa to get off unemployment once and for all.

      What it's Worth: Market

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