Fred Claus Cover Did you know that Jesus had a younger brother called Clive? Yeah. Straight up. He was once an accountant for a thrift store based in Colorado, and... and... err? No. Wait a minute. That wasn't Jesus’ brother. That was Dionysus’ mother! God damn! I always get those two confused. Just like I did when I watched the following 116-minute movie made in 2007. It was Directed by David Dobkin; and Starred: Vince Vaughn, Kevin Spacey, Paul Giamatti, Kathy Bates, Elizabeth Banks, with Rachel Weisz.

Fred Claus

Hey, Fred (Vince Vaughn)! Do you remember as kids how our parents would drum it into our heads how we should always stick together? Well, as I've just stuck by you, by bailing you out of prison after you got into that mess with the Salvation Army, I think it's about time you stuck by me as well.

You see, recently my superiors have hired an efficiency expert called Clyde Northcutt (Kevin Spacey), so that he can make sure everything is working OK at my base of operations. And as I've just been good enough to help you out with your situation, I was hoping you can now do the same thing for me.

After all, I am your older brother! Santa Claus (Paul Giamatti). Plus I think you spending some time with me and my elves up at the north poll will make you see things differently. 

But please remember, Fred, that whilst you're staying with us you mustn't slap any of the elves. Where as you should be on your best behavior when I have Mum and Dad (Kathy Bates and Trevor Peacock) over for dinner. OK? Cause if you don't. Clyde will kick my ass from here to Easter.

Then again, that's most probably why what next transpires all goes Yoe-Ho-Ho when you say to me, 'Sure, bro. I see what I can do. Although I don't think my girlfriend Wanda (Rachel Weisz) will like it one little bit'. As two brothers have a rather decisive spat - Saint Nicolas gets very-very fat - you can always smell a low down dirty rat - and at the end of the day, the face of Christmas wears a brand new hat.

Now for me to be able to review a film such as ‘Fred Clause’, I have to base my findings on the following four family-friendly-festive-factors’. *Cough!
  1. Is the film fun to watch over the holiday season? Yes. I suppose it is because it has a nice quirky quality to it which isn't too difficult to follow. 
  2. Are the actors involved any good in it? Yes again. On the whole they all seem to do what they all do best, and they seem to have fun doing it as well. 
  3. Does the film look festive enough to be a Christmas type movie? Yes, to the power of three. All in all I'd say this is a very polished looking film that looks like its come fresh out of a Hallmarks greeting card. 
  4. Do you get to see Elisabeth Banks tits in it? Yes. But not enough. 

Fred Claus Film Poster Starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti,
OK. I know that in the past a lot of people out there in reviewer-land haven't been too kind about this comedy. Stating things like, ‘it’s crap’, as well as, ‘I will never get the time I wasted watching this sh*t back again’. But I have to say that from my own point of view these so-called experts are all talking out of their mistletoes, dear reader. From my perspective this film wasn't a bad film at all. And do you know why? Well, because it possessed two very nice messages that defined the philosophy behind it. Those two being, 'don’t blame others for your own wrong-doings', as well as, 'don’t judge another persons actions unless you have walked in their shoes'. Also, I did find it's Yuletide vibe quite charming as it had that obvious ‘cash in on Christmas’ type tone that didn't seem to take itself too seriously. 

Now don't get me wrong. Not everything about this flick was all Donna and Blitzen. As much as I did like watching all of the performances, on the flip side of things I wasn't very keen on how certain elements impeded the basic flow of the overall narrative. For example, as much as I did enjoy those scenes with Elizabeth Banks, John Higgins, Rachael Weis, and Bobb’e in them, in the same breath these said-same scenes did come across rather ‘character exposition heavy’, thus diluting the whole concept behind this message movie. What's more, in around about way this is also a very formulaic movie too. One where we see our pal Vince doing what he normally does best. You know. That ‘good guy / bad guy’ thing in which he manages to win at the end of the day, complemented with all of those ‘loose plot threads’ being resolved very nicely, blah-blah-blah, yawn-yawn-yawn, same-old / same-old. 

Fred Claus Starring The Sexy Elizabeth Banks

Fred Claus Starring The Sexy Elizabeth Banks and Rachel Weisz
Still. What else would you expect from a film such as this one? Macbeth? Bah! Or what about the following filmic-facts? (1) 'Warner Bros.' first released this production in America the 3rd of November, 2007, and eventually clawed back $93 million dollars at the box office. (2) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'The Brother of Santa' in Peru, Greece, and Argentina, where as during pre-production it was given the working title, 'Joe Clause'. (3) The majority of this movie was shot at 'Pinewood Studios', Buckinghamshire, England, as well as on location throughout the American city of Chicago, Illinois. (4) To follow on from my previous fact, you might like to know that this comedy showcased other such locations as: Athens [Greece], Moscow [Russia], London [England], Rio de Janeiro [Brazil], Machu Picchu [Peru], The Taj Mahal [India], Cairo [Egypt], Hong Kong [China], Sydney [Australia], Paris [France], New York [New York], Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], Seattle [Washington], Cape Elizabeth [Maine], San Francisco [California], and Mount Rushmore [San Diego]. (5) One of the taglines used to promote this picture, was, 'Fred Rocks The Toy Shop'. (6) Some early release prints shipped this production under the assumed name, 'Brotherly Love'. (7) Vince Vaughn had custom-made '501 Levi Jeans' manufactured for him to wear whilst making this movie. (8) After this flick pulled a cracker, Vince Vaughn starred in the seasonal-comedy, ' Four Christmases'; Paul Giamatti starred in the comedy-adventure, 'Pretty Bird'; and Rachel Weisz starred in the rom-com, 'Definitely, Maybe'.

Fred Claus Starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti,

Overall I'd say 'Fred Claus' is a very nice and enjoyable family Christmas comedy. Granted, it is somewhat formulaic in execution, and it does feel a bit too cosmetic on screen. But at the same time it does have a charm and congeniality about it that's very pleasant to behold.

Merry Christmas. Now piss off. Nuff said. 


FRED CLAUS FRED CLAUS Reviewed by David Andrews on December 16, 2014 Rating: 5
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