Fred Claus

release year: 2007
genre: comedy
viewing setting: home DVD, 12/21/08

synopsis: Santa Claus' brother, who's grown up to be a procrastinating scammer who hates his family, ends up at the North Pole helping his brother prepare for Christmas.

impressions: This was an entertaining Christmas comedy centered around the concept that somehow, a toy factory at the North Pole reads the letters of every kid in the world, builds toys for them, and sends one man to deliver those toys in a single night. It's all running fine until the "efficiency expert" shows up to evaluate the operation, and Fred becomes a bit of a problem due to his laziness and his arguments with family.

something this movie has that no other movie has: "Santa's Little Helper" - a young blonde woman who wears provocative outfits and keeps the toy-production/delivery operations on schedule.

acting: Vince Vaughn is Fred, who changes his ways once he finds something worth doing in life. Paul Giamatti is a weary Santa Claus. John Michael Higgins , who looks a lot like Joe Pesci, is one of the head elves. Elizabeth Banks is Santa's Little Helper. Kevin Spacey is the evil numbers-cruncher. Rapper "Ludacris" is the elf DJ.

final word: A good little Christmas-oriented PG-level comedy, should be fine for older kids.

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