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    The Santa Clause

    Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 94 mins . G . PAL


    I've been a Tim Allen fan since Home Improvement hit TV screens in Australia I-don't-know-how-many years ago, so when this film was theatrically released, I went to see it in the cinema. I enjoyed it then, and I enjoyed re-watching it now. Being a Christmas film, it is aimed more at children than adults and is a feel-good movie about belief, dreams and innocence of childhood - something we all could probably do with a dose of from time to time.

    On Christmas Eve, Charlie Calvin visits his father Scott (Tim Allen), while his mother Laura goes to dinner with her boyfriend Neal. That night, Charlie and Scott are awakened by a "clatter" up on the roof. Scott goes out side to investigate, and sees a large man, dressed in red, on the roof. When he calls out, the intruder slips and falls to ground, dead. On the body, Scott finds a business card that reads "Santa, North Pole" on one side, and "If anything happens, put on the suit - the reindeer will know what to do." on the reverse.

    Spurred on by Charlie, who was upset that his father had killed Santa, Scott puts on the suit, and the two of them spend the remainder of the night delivering presents to children, before ending up at the North Pole. Waiting for them are the Elves, and their leader, Bernard, tells Scott about the "Santa Clause" whereby he agreed to become the new Santa by putting on the suit, and he had 11 months in which to get his affairs into order.

    After their return home, Laura and Neal are afraid that Charlie has developed an obsession that his father is Santa, and that Scott is not doing anything to help the matter - apparently changing his physical appearance to reinforce Charlie's delusion.

    Of course, by the end of the following Christmas, the truth is known - that Scott is the real Santa, and Laura allows him to visit Charlie whenever he wants.


    Being a film about Santa, you'd expect a lot of colour, especially red - it's there, and it looks great, very vibrant when it should be, without sacrificing detail. It's a pity (from a techie's point of view) that it's only provided in Pan & Scan, but it doesn't really detract from the film at all.


    This movie isn't going to blow your socks off, but then it's not supposed to. All the dialogue is crystal clear, and I don't recall any use of the surrounds or sub-woofer - if they were, it was quite subtle. Left to right spatial separation was accurate, and there was good use of the front three channels for the musical soundtrack - the soundstage really opens up when the music kicks in.


    Like the score says - nothing. Not even a trailer.


    It's a very entertaining film, and a good quality transfer onto the disc. However, given the it's picture format and lack of extras, it seems targeted more at children than adults, something that doesn't seem to go with the standard price tag attached to Australian DVDs.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=196
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    • Surrounds:
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