I first heard about Bad Santa thanks to Pops about a week ago, and it immediately sounded like something that would be right up my alley.
Roger Ebert’s review has just solidified that. This movie will be seen by me, quite possibly tomorrow. Here’s some random choice snippets from Ebert…
Santa is a depressed, alcoholic safecracker. The kid is not one of your cute movie kids, but an intense and needy stalker; think of Thomas the Tank Engine as a member of the Addams Family. … “Bad Santa” is a demented, twisted, unreasonably funny work of comic kamikaze style, starring Billy Bob Thornton as Santa in a performance that’s defiantly uncouth. … You expect a happy ending, but the ending is happy in the same sense that a man’s doctors tell him he lost his legs but they were able to save his shoes. … There are certain unwritten parameters governing mainstream American movies, and “Bad Santa” violates all of them. … I didn’t like this movie merely because it was weird and different; I liked it because it makes no compromises and takes no prisoners. And because it is funny. … When Billy Bob Thornton got the script, he must have read it and decided it would be career suicide. Then he put the script to his head and pulled the trigger. … What I can’t picture is, who will attend this movie? Anybody? Movies like this are a test of taste. If you understand why “Kill Bill” is a good movie and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is not, and “Bad Santa” is a good movie and “The Cat in the Hat” is not, then you have freed yourself from the belief that a movie’s quality is determined by its subject matter. You instinctively understand that a movie is not about what it is about, but about how it is about it. You qualify for “Bad Santa.”