Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Unhappy New "Year"

I misprogrammed my VCR Monday night and managed to record only the first hour of NBC's remake of The Year Without A Santa Claus. After watching it, I could see my mistake for the blessing in disguise that it truly was. This overblown, cynical, embarassingly awful live action updating of the beloved classic children's animated holiday special that led to thousands of red headed boys being saddled with the nickname "Heat Miser" is simply unworthy of even that much of my time.
There's really barely enough substance to Year's story to fill even the original's one hour running time, let alone twice that, which is likely what led to introduction of the new character "Sparky," played by the insufferable Chris Kattan. As for the rest of the cast, putting Eddie Griffin in anything is almost always a mistake, and Ethan Suplee essentially plays a pointy-eared version of his My Name Is Earl character as elf Jingle (or maybe he's Jangle, not that I really care). Had her role been better written, Delta Burke would actually have made a fine Mrs. Claus, and John Goodman is actually a great choice as Santa. I hope he gets the chance someday to play the part in a better film. The only small bright spot was Michael McKean's re-creation of Snow Miser's introductory song, which, unfortunately, was accompanied by Harvey Fierstein's ridiculous butchering of Heat Miser's companion piece.
All in all, this was one of the most unnecessary and unoriginal remakes I have ever suffered through half of.

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