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Bad Santa

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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | October 13, 2006
Terry Zwigoff may be the secret weapon of American cinema in the 21st century. Moving from the devastating documentary Crumb (1994) to the now-classic growing-up-absurd feature, Ghost World (2001), he brought the humor of the American dropout to the screen in pure and profane form. The instinctive skeptic, the doubting Thomas or Thomasina, and the authenticity freak who can't stand commercialism as a value or sanitized comfort as the measure of a good existence: These are the characters who find their voice in Zwigoff's movies.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2008
theater Stoop Holiday Hoopla: Sheila Dixon will be one of seven storytellers this week at the popular Stoop Storytelling Series, which has moved to bigger digs at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. We can find out which treats Bawlmer's top politico leaves out for Santa and vice-versa. Stoop Holiday Hoopla: A Charm City Seasonal Spectacular is 7 p.m. Monday at the Meyerhoff, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets $20. Call 800-838-3006 or go to stoopstorytelling.com. Mary CaroleMcCauley art 'Strange Bodies': Creations by Jean Dubuffet, Willem De Kooning, Philip Guston and Franz West are among more than 40 works featured in Strange Bodies: Figurative Works From the Hirshhorn Collection, which opens today and runs through early 2010 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street S.W., Washington.
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FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 26, 2003
Bad Santa is gloriously funky in the good old meaning of the term. Its vulgarity may be offensive, but it's also pungent and real, and it fuels some ferocious humor. Far from chic and more than merely irreverent, it taps into the rip-it-apart spirit of anyone who's ever gotten sick from the forced good cheer of "the holidays" or the empty politeness that reigns in mall culture for the rest of the year. Its antihero, Billy Bob Thornton's Christmas-hating Santa, is in a funk that never lifts.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | November 9, 2007
Sibling rivalry replaces the romantic triangle as the pop-culture mainstay in the week's most-hyped openings - a botched Yuletide comedy and a deliberately excruciating thriller. In each, a roly-poly brother who appears to have his life and career under control ropes his scrawnier, seedier sibling into an insane enterprise that threatens to go kaput long before the final curtain. Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (THINKfilm) Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Albert Finney.
FEATURES
By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 7, 2006
It doesn't pay to be a film fan these days - not when DVD distributors keep releasing new versions of the same movie, forcing cinephiles to pay again and again for much the same material. You can buy multiple versions of The Wizard of Oz, Some Like It Hot, the Star Wars films and all three The Lord of the Rings movies. Each version is a little different because of additional scenes, added commentary or new extras. George Lucas is even going so far as to make available the original versions of his first three Star Wars films, the versions people saw in theaters before he started tinkering with them years later.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John Anderson and John Anderson,NEWSDAY | July 21, 2005
One tends to forget, but before he was a movie star - and he is - Billy Bob Thornton was a writer. He put himself on the map with the original script for George Hickenlooper's short film Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade, and won an Oscar for adapting his script into the feature version (Sling Blade, which he directed and in which he starred). Before that, he co-wrote the Carl Franklin film One False Move, and later The Gift, which starred Cate Blanchett. Lately, though, he has been the moviegoer's favorite reprobate - namely as Bad Santa and now the coach of Bad News Bears in Richard Linklater's remake.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2008
theater Stoop Holiday Hoopla: Sheila Dixon will be one of seven storytellers this week at the popular Stoop Storytelling Series, which has moved to bigger digs at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. We can find out which treats Bawlmer's top politico leaves out for Santa and vice-versa. Stoop Holiday Hoopla: A Charm City Seasonal Spectacular is 7 p.m. Monday at the Meyerhoff, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets $20. Call 800-838-3006 or go to stoopstorytelling.com. Mary CaroleMcCauley art 'Strange Bodies': Creations by Jean Dubuffet, Willem De Kooning, Philip Guston and Franz West are among more than 40 works featured in Strange Bodies: Figurative Works From the Hirshhorn Collection, which opens today and runs through early 2010 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street S.W., Washington.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW | November 25, 2005
On the one hand, we have Christmas perennials like It's a Wonderful Life, which seem ubiquitous every Yuletide. These have come to include naughty anti-Santa spectacles like Bad Santa - my favorite in the have-a-caustic-little-Christmas vein - and Gremlins, best-loved for Phoebe Cates' show-stopping monologue about a fatal incident involving Santa and a chimney. On the other hand, there are movies that use a Christmas backdrop as instant irony for mayhem, like the first two Die Hard movies.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | November 9, 2007
Sibling rivalry replaces the romantic triangle as the pop-culture mainstay in the week's most-hyped openings - a botched Yuletide comedy and a deliberately excruciating thriller. In each, a roly-poly brother who appears to have his life and career under control ropes his scrawnier, seedier sibling into an insane enterprise that threatens to go kaput long before the final curtain. Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (THINKfilm) Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Albert Finney.
FEATURES
July 7, 2007
Critic's Pick -- Celebrate Christmas in July as Billy Bob Thornton stars in the raunchy black comedy Bad Santa (8 p.m., Comedy Central).
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | October 13, 2006
Terry Zwigoff may be the secret weapon of American cinema in the 21st century. Moving from the devastating documentary Crumb (1994) to the now-classic growing-up-absurd feature, Ghost World (2001), he brought the humor of the American dropout to the screen in pure and profane form. The instinctive skeptic, the doubting Thomas or Thomasina, and the authenticity freak who can't stand commercialism as a value or sanitized comfort as the measure of a good existence: These are the characters who find their voice in Zwigoff's movies.
FEATURES
By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 7, 2006
It doesn't pay to be a film fan these days - not when DVD distributors keep releasing new versions of the same movie, forcing cinephiles to pay again and again for much the same material. You can buy multiple versions of The Wizard of Oz, Some Like It Hot, the Star Wars films and all three The Lord of the Rings movies. Each version is a little different because of additional scenes, added commentary or new extras. George Lucas is even going so far as to make available the original versions of his first three Star Wars films, the versions people saw in theaters before he started tinkering with them years later.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW | November 25, 2005
On the one hand, we have Christmas perennials like It's a Wonderful Life, which seem ubiquitous every Yuletide. These have come to include naughty anti-Santa spectacles like Bad Santa - my favorite in the have-a-caustic-little-Christmas vein - and Gremlins, best-loved for Phoebe Cates' show-stopping monologue about a fatal incident involving Santa and a chimney. On the other hand, there are movies that use a Christmas backdrop as instant irony for mayhem, like the first two Die Hard movies.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John Anderson and John Anderson,NEWSDAY | July 21, 2005
One tends to forget, but before he was a movie star - and he is - Billy Bob Thornton was a writer. He put himself on the map with the original script for George Hickenlooper's short film Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade, and won an Oscar for adapting his script into the feature version (Sling Blade, which he directed and in which he starred). Before that, he co-wrote the Carl Franklin film One False Move, and later The Gift, which starred Cate Blanchett. Lately, though, he has been the moviegoer's favorite reprobate - namely as Bad Santa and now the coach of Bad News Bears in Richard Linklater's remake.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 26, 2003
Bad Santa is gloriously funky in the good old meaning of the term. Its vulgarity may be offensive, but it's also pungent and real, and it fuels some ferocious humor. Far from chic and more than merely irreverent, it taps into the rip-it-apart spirit of anyone who's ever gotten sick from the forced good cheer of "the holidays" or the empty politeness that reigns in mall culture for the rest of the year. Its antihero, Billy Bob Thornton's Christmas-hating Santa, is in a funk that never lifts.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | May 16, 2006
The cops thought they were going to help someone who was hurt. Instead, they found Bad Santa." MICHAEL LEHR, who lives in a Manhattan, N.Y., building where a suspected burglar tried to flee down a chimney; police officers found him after a resident called to report that she heard whimpers and faint cries for help
FEATURES
November 25, 2005
WE KNOW, WE KNOW. You don't always agree with the critics. So here's your chance to weigh in on movie topics and issues. Each week on this page, we'll ask a question. After we gather your answers, we'll publish the best of them. The current question: From now through January, holiday films - good, bad, offbeat or indifferent - will be everywhere. But which holiday chestnuts are so universal in their message (It's a Wonderful Life) or so funny (A Christmas Story) or askew (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Bad Santa)
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