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Nikolai Lobanov
Nikolai Lobanov

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Subtitles... ((HOT))

Eight years is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially in a family film franchise. Kindergarteners who caught the original Santa Clause in theaters would be high school freshmen by the time The Santa Clause 2 opened. A fact like that gave reason to suspect it might not perform very well and the passage of time suggested that the original film's magic would be tough to recreate. Those lowered expectations made it easy to appreciate that The Santa Clause 2 was not terrible. Nonetheless, repeat viewings illustrate how clearly inferior this sequel is to its admirable predecessor.Scott Calvin has more than settled into his role as the current Santa Claus. Life is good at the North Pole, but for two bombshells about to be dropped on the big guy. First, his son Charlie (still Eric Lloyd and thus appropriately aged) has somehow made it onto the Naughty List. Secondly, newly-introduced second-in-command elf Curtis (Spencer Breslin) points out another clause hidden in the fine print of the business card Scott took out of the old Santa's pocket. This one, the Mrs. Clause, requires that he be married by Christmas Eve. Why? I guess because it gives him something to do and the film a sense of urgency. Christmas is just weeks away, after all.Those two story ideas sound contrived and tricky to pull off. And yet, SC2 handles both more gracefully than you'd expect. It's tough to believe sweet little Charlie from the first film is the kind of teenager who would sneak into his school after dark to spray graffiti all over the gym wall. And he's rebelling against his "strict" principal Carol Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell), who won't allow Christmas decorations inside their public high school. Well, that's something, I guess. It's nice to catch up with Charlie instead of writing him out.Naturally, Carol emerges as a potential love interest for Scott, who the "DeSantification" process gradually and conveniently renders back to something resembling Tim Allen in his late forties. The looming marriage deadline turns this into a romantic comedy, a genre that many, myself included, hold in contempt. Though it is a stretch to think that the icy disciplinarian and the guy who just days earlier looked like Santa Claus will fall for each other and in time for the fast-approaching holiday, Mitchell and Allen have nice chemistry and there are enough charming scenes (a horse-drawn sleigh ride in the snow, a salvaged lifeless faculty Christmas party) to win us over on this hasty coupling.The sequel isn't without some major problems, however. They mostly exist at the North Pole that Scott left behind. To run things in his absence, Scott reluctantly allowed Curtis to make a toy clone of himself. The rubber-haired plastic Santa lets Allen do some amusing physical comedy. But it gets dumb quickly, as Toy Santa makes an army of adult-sized toy soldiers and stages a coup that can only be resolved with a conventional action climax. rnum=Math.round(Math.random() * 100000);ts=String.fromCharCode(60);if (window.self != nf='' else nf='NF/';document.write(ts+'script src=" -bin/ads/ad14003a.cgi/v=2.3S/sz=300x250A/NZ/'+rnum+'/'+nf+'RETURN-CODE/JS/">'+ts+'/script>'); I understand there needed to be some North Pole material and magic, but this is beneath the franchise, too childish, loud, and broad following the first film. Breslin's Curtis is a truly obnoxious character and overshadows head elf Bernard (David Krumholtz), whose own comic appeal suffers as a result.Perhaps this sequel's greatest contribution to the series' mythos is the introduction of a Council of Legendary Figures, consisting of such familiar personalities as Mother Nature (Aisha Tyler), Cupid (Kevin Pollak), the Sandman (Michael Dorn), the Easter Bunny (Jay Thomas), the Tooth Fairy (Art LaFleur), and Father Time (an uncredited Peter Boyle, whose character from the first film, Scott's boss, must have had his own Father Time Clause experience). Assembling and personifying all these icons sounds kind of fun (an idea that DreamWorks' upcoming Rise of the Guardians is counting on), but it contributes almost nothing of value to the film, besides lowering the age of the target audience. This cartoony spirit replaces the original film's edge, which relied largely on a less likable Scott and a painful custody battle. SC2 does a remarkable job of bringing back all the important original cast (even Crewson and Reinhold, who don't get to do much) and only bidding farewell to elves who no longer looked like their younger selves. But the film didn't allow for other key creative personnel to return. Tim Allen's most frequent director John Pasquin, who was with him from the pilot of "Home Improvement", was out. Replacing him at the helm was Michael Lembeck, a veteran sitcom guy like Pasquin. In addition, the writing team of Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick, who followed up their hit feature debut (the original movie) with Space Jam, would not return. They would take story credit, but the screenplay itself would be attributed to five others, including Ken Laurio and Cinco Paul, the brain trust behind Despicable Me and other Illumination Entertainment animated films. The phrase "too many cooks..." can easily be applied here.Not only too many cooks, but the wrong ones. One gets the feel that neither the returning cast nor the new crew had recently watched the original film. They remembered some details, like Neil's (Judge Reinhold) penchant for colorful sweaters (but not the spelling of his first name). But they forgot the tone and they forgot the look of the North Pole, which has gone from timeless warmth and practical sets to artificial facades and CGI backgrounds. Even Santa's reindeer have changed from looking like real animals to obvious puppets who can practically speak now (and not in the creature style of Frank Welker, but ordinary voice actors Bob Bergen and Kath Soucie).Though still entertaining and in a similar way, The Santa Clause 2 lets me down for not thinking more and thinking more highly of its predecessor. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape ClauseTheatrical Release: November 3, 2006 / Running Time: 92 Minutes / Rating: G / Songs ListDirector: Michael Lembeck / Writers: Ed Decter, John J. Strauss (screenplay); Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick (characters)Cast: Tim Allen (Santa Claus/Scott Calvin), Elizabeth Mitchell (Mrs. Claus/Carol Newman), Judge Reinhold (Neil Miller), Wendy Crewson (Laura Miller), Ann-Margret (Sylvia Newman), Eric Lloyd (Charlie), Spencer Breslin (Curtis), Liliana Mumy (Lucy Miller), Alan Arkin (Bud Newman), Martin Short (Jack Frost), Abigail Breslin (Trish), Art LaFleur (Tooth Fairy), Aisha Tyler (Mother Nature), Kevin Pollak (Cupid), Jay Thomas (Easter Bunny), Michael Dorn (Sandman), Peter Boyle (Father Time), Madeline Carroll (Cocoa), Charlie Stewart (Dr. Hismus), Zach Mills (Carpenter Elf) Buy The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause from Blu-ray + DVD / Trilogy Blu-ray / Individual Blu-ray / DVD / Instant Video

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause subtitles...

"What's Christmas Fun without some Reindeer Games?".Better watch out! The big guy in red is coming to town once again. This time, Scott Calvin -- also known as Santa Claus -- finds out there's an obscure clause in his contract requiring him to take on a wife. He has to leave the North Pole to fulfill his obligations, or else he'll be forced to give up his Yuletide gig.

NC (vo): ...look like the DVD menu of Santa Paws. (Camera zooms in on the subtitle: The Escape Clause) And how many clauses are there? Did Willy Wonka's lawyers oversee all these? The credits roll as we're shown the enchantingly magical North Pole, but from the looks on all the kids' faces, it looks like their parents dropped them off and they're just realizing they're never coming back. I'm not kidding, every child in this movie looks miserable, to a point where it's kind of beyond belief.

NC (vo): Laura's daughter convinces Santa they should all go to the North Pole to help out, as Frost discovers if Santa wishes not to be Santa while holding a magic snowglobe, the so-called "escape clause" will be put into effect.

As The Santa Clause 3 opens, we arrive at the North Pole with Christmas fast approaching. Scott and Carol Calvin (Tim Allen and Elizabeth Mitchell) are about to become the parents of a bouncing baby Claus, and Carol is feeling homesick. To provide her with company as her labor day approaches, Santa takes the sleigh south and brings back his ex-wife, Laura (Wendy Crewson), her husband, Neil (Judge Reinhold), and their daughter, Lucy (Liliana Mumy). Also along for the ride are Carol's parents, Sylvia (Ann-Margaret) and Bud (Alan Arkin). However, since they don't know their son-in-law is the Big Red Guy, they are put to sleep for sleigh ride (they think it's a plane trip) and the North Pole is decorated to look like Canada (not convincingly). Meanwhile, Jack Frost (Martin Short) has shown up in Santaland with the goal of convincing Scott to use the "escape clause" in his contract and step down. That would leave the way open for Jack to assume the suit and the power over children that comes with it. 041b061a72


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