Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Deck the Halls

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
3 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG

Starring:
Danny DeVito as Buddy Hall
Matthew Broderick as Steve Finch
Kristin Davis as Kelly Finch
Kristin Chenoweth as Tia Hall
Alia Shawkat as Madison Finch
Dylan Blue as Carter Finch
Sabrina Aldridge as Ashley Hall
Kelly Aldridge as Emily Hall
Jorge Garcia as Wallace
Fred Armisen as Gustave
Gillian Vigman as Gerta
Ryan Devlin as Bob Murray
Sean O'Bryan as Mayor Young
SuChin Pak as Herself
Jackie Burroughs as Mrs. Ryor

Special Features:
Commentary with John Whitesell and Danny DeVito
Construction of the Homes
Lighting Design
Winterizing/Shooting a Christmas Movie in July
Dylan Blue Cast Interviews
Deleted Scenes – 3 scenes
Bloopers – individual bloopers
Trailers

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1) and Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 93 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

"Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito are hilarious as two neighbors trying to put the 'win' in 'winter' in one of the year's funniest comedies! Determined to unseat Steve Finch's (Broderick) reign as the town's holiday season king, Buddy Hall (DeVito) plasters his house with so many decorative lights that it'll be visible from space! When their wives (Kristin Davis and Kristin Chenoweth) bond, and their kids follow suit, the two men only escalate their rivalry ­ and their decorating. It's anybody's guess whether the holidays will wind up jolly or jostled in this wild and woolly laugh-fest that the whole family will love!"

"Deck the Halls" is rated PG for some crude and suggestive humor, and for language.

Mini-Review:
"Deck the Halls" is one of those films that's downright painful to watch. It features a poor script, weak acting, and absolutely nothing original. It's one of those holiday movies that attempts to emulate classic holiday films like "A Christmas Story" or "Christmas Vacation" but ends up only being a poor imitation.

It starts out by setting up a rivalry between DeVito and Broderick. It's a battle similar to those seen in a million other films where neighbors fight an all out battle between each other. That sets up one stunt after another where Broderick faces repeated embarrassing mishaps. From sled stunts to over the top Christmas lighting, it's the usual fare. Everything leads up to the inevitable reconciliation between the characters at the end… all in the name of the Christmas spirit. Bleh.

The acting is rather unremarkable. Matthew Broderick is extremely wooden as Steve Finch. The older he gets the less I like him as an actor. Danny DeVito is his usual self as Buddy Hall. He inexplicably has a hot wife and two hot twin daughters. (I guess the casting director never studied genetics in school.) Even Jorge Garcia from "Lost" has a brief cameo but he's quickly forgotten.

The only notable thing about this film is the production design. The lighting for the house, covered in LEDs, is pretty amazing. The house literally becomes a massive video screen. I'm sure it will inspire some home decorators this year.

My recommendation is that you pass on "Deck the Halls." Get your holiday movie fix by watching … well… just about anything else this year.

Not only do they include widescreen and fullscreen versions of the film, but a bunch of bonus features are included, too. It's your standard offerings of making of videos, deleted scenes, and bloopers. Oddly, they break out every single blooper scene into its own video. It was quite bizarre.

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