David: Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We are finally starting to get some passes to movies in advance - which of course gives our faithful readers a chance to hear some about the movie before it comes out (not always important, but still). The movie in question is Bad Santa 2, which premieres on Thanksgiving, right in time for the holiday movie season, along with the Canned Film Festival at Wehrenberg Theaters on 03 DEC (bring 5 cans and see a movie free!).
Shannon, you went into this with a lot less knowledge than I did - what were your initial impressions of BS2?
Shannon: Bad Santa 2 is definitely not my type of humorous movie, so the one liners and vulgar language did not impress me whatsoever. The story itself isn’t too bad, in the sense that they are trying to steal money from a charity at Christmas time while their consciences may or may not be in play by the end. The way the ending panned out though was yet another thing I wasn’t too fond of in this movie. I mean, really? Sorry - no spoilers here!
I have not seen the first movie, but after reading the synopsis while waiting in line for seats, it seemed that Bad Santa and Bad Santa 2 have pretty much the same story-line, just years apart. Do you agree with that statement? What did you think of the actors in their roles and are they comparable to the first movie?
success of the recent “Bad” phase of movies (that I talked about in my Bad Moms post), and make a bit more money. This is a bit ironic, because Bad Santa arguably helped kick that off. Using the same characters was good - Billy Bob could read a menu and still be watchable - but it limited some of the humor that other characters could use. Marcus had scenes that were literally pulled from the first movie, and that is a shame, because a lot of things his character did could have been much funnier had they come from a new, more original place.
The inclusion of Willie’s mom (played by Kathy Bates) was predictable, and simply is trying to play on holiday expectations. I didn’t really care for her character, and the normally fantastic Bates sank quite a bit for me. She somehow allowed herself to sink to low heights of comedic delivery - delivering stale lines in a stale manner, and hoping for people to laugh.
A bit of the draw of the Bad Santa franchise is the brash humor. I think a lot of it is rather funny, if regrettable after you find yourself smiling (like most overtly dirty jokes). What did you think of the humor presented in the movie Shannon?
Shannon: I didn’t think it was funny at all. Normally, if many of the people in the theater are laughing, I tend to laugh too. But for this movie, not at all. I found almost all of the jokes to be way too vulgar and for the most part disgusting. I am not really sure how this can be funny to some people, but to each his
them all and probably had the most vulgar jokes possible. I can totally see what you mean by sinking to low levels of the comedic delivery. It just didn’t do anything for me. I spent most of the time cringing at all the lines they had.
I’m not really sure what else I can say about this movie. What other topics do you want to touch on about Bad Santa 2?
David: For me a lot of the time, it’s not necessarily the material of the lines themselves, but the manner in which they are delivered. Slipping in an occasional vulgar joke to emphasis the comedy of the scene, or delivering a particularly dirty line with special gusto is what can take comedy to new heights, particularly if it is something that you can relate to (see many scenes from the first Hangover film). However, if the only point in saying the lines is to get the gasp factor from the audience, or as you so wonderfully stated, the cringe factor, I don’t really see the point either.
I thought Thurman was pretty funny too - often stealing the show by doing nothing besides walking around and speaking - a lot of which reminded me a bit of Buddy the Elf from the holiday classic Elf. And, as I stated, I enjoyed Billy Bob, if only because he can deliver lines like almost no one else can.
To continue to talk about this movie wouldn’t really be worth much. The plot is a heist, there are vulgar jokes, the end. I’m not saying that people who enjoyed the first one (as I alluded to in the beginning) won’t find value in the movie - I’m sure there will be moments where they laugh out loud, just like much of the crowd surrounding us. However, I think a lot of it was simply “Group Speak” and not true laughter. What are you going to rate the movie Shannon?
Shannon: This movie gets a “Hated It” from me. What’s your rating?
David: I’m going to give it a “D”.
David and Shannon write about movies.