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Deck The Halls [2006] (DVD)

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Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 2006 / Actors: Matthew Broderick, Gary Chalk, Kristin Davis, Kristin Chenoweth, Alia Shawkat / Directors: John Whitesell.

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    11 Reviews
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      05.01.2011 07:57
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      A good festive film about a man going over the top with Christmas lights

      FILM ONLY REVIEW

      Steve Finch is a regular man who loves the holiday season, he has everything running to a schedule much to his families dislike and he is even in charge of the town decorations and festive activities. His world is about to be turned upside down when a new neighbour moves in.

      Buddy is a salesman and has a crazy wife and two daughters. He is happy with life but usually ends up being loud and over the top. When his daughters discover that their house s the only one in the street which cannot be seen from space Buddy decides that he is going to light it up so it can be seen from space.

      A row between Buddy and Steve starts as Steve thinks Buddy's decorations are horrible and very over the top but Buddy loves them and so to do the rest of his family and the surrounding neighbours. Buddy is having to go to extreme measures to get his house seen from space but can he achieve this goal when Steve is trying to put a stop to it and what will become of the families of these two men at war?

      I had no real idea what this film was about before watching but as it looked very festive I decided to give it a go. The story was good and very fun, a little daft at times but it was very enjoyable and easy to watch. I found the whole concept behind the story was good but it did at times remind me of other films and did not seem very original. The acting was good and we did have a lot of laughs throughout the film.

      The role of Buddy was played by Danny DeVito and he was great. He played a loud and over the top man who was actually quite lovable. He clearly cared for his family and wanted to do right by them but at times when his mind was set on something they did fall to the wayside. He was strong and hard and loved his fighting with neighbour Steve. There were a few times in the film when he was daft and gave us some daft faces which to me were not needed and it seemed as if they were trying slightly too hard on the comedy front but he did have good comedy timing for the other gags and he came across perfect with the spoken one liners. He had a great chemistry with neighbour Steve. They bounced off each other with ease and the arguments were fun to watch. Steve was played by Matthew Broderick and he was the complete opposite of Buddy. He was a respected man in the town and loved being in charge, he ran things to a schedule and hated having to change his plans. He was loving and in control of his family and at times I really wanted to smack him and tell him to give the family a break. He was easy to get to know and understand and the background we got on his character made me understand why he was like he was.

      We had a lot of good support roles in the film. Personally I found the two suffering wives to be great roles, they were played by Kristen Davies and Kristen Chenoweth. They handled the husband very well and bought some much understand comedy to the film. Other good role included appearances from Kelly and Sabrina Aldridge, Dylan Blue and Jorge Garcia.

      The film is funny and there are a lot of good laughs throughout. The majority of them are spoken gags but we do have the odd visual one. The actors bounced off each other and the comedy timing was great. I found there were some parts of the film which seemed to take the comedy over the top and came across more as daft but I can forgive these are there were only a few moments like this. De Vito was by far the funniest role in the film.

      The film was set in America in the present day so no real effort was needed for the sets or costumes. We did have some crazy Christmas jumpers though and they were actually good to look at. The props were all good and in keeping with the film. I did find that some of the special effects were poor, we had a good scene involving a sledge and Steve but the backdrops were so clearly added it did spoil the funny side of this for me. The remainder of the effects were better and seemed to fit easier into the film. The music was good and it most definitely had a Christmas feel to it, we had a lot of the old familiar Christmas songs and a few carols included and it did fit very well into the film and story and help to give it more of the festive feel.

      This is a film only review so there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 93 minutes and there is actually no rate on the film which I can see. I would say this film would be fun and enjoyable for people over the age of 10 years. The DVD can be bought for under £5 now which I feel to be a good fair price.

      I am happy to give this film 4 stars. It had a good story and great acting and it was very funny. I feel this is a film which is best watched around the festive period when you are in need of a good laugh.

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        06.11.2010 12:01

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        A great film to start the Christmas season with

        This is great Christmas film.

        It stars Danny Devito as Buddy Hall who moves into a small town in America at the start of the Christmas season with his family. Upon moving in he meets his neighbour Steve who is played by Matthew Broderick and his family. Steve instantly takes a dislike to Buddy but Steve's wife Kelly and Buddy's wife Tia hit it off. Buddy decides to put lights on his house and wants to make it seen from space so adds more and more lights and special effects to the house much to the annoyance of Steve but both Buddy and Steve end up driving their families away in their petty feud.

        This is a really good Christmas film because it really gets me in the festive spirit. The lights on the house are fantastic and so colourful and fun and this film is really funny the whole way through. Both Danny Devito and Matthew Broderick are really good in their roles in this film and definately suit each role. Matthew Broderick plays the well educated proper to do family man and Danny Devito plays the loveable rogue.

        This is a film for all the family and I think children will enjoy it as much as adults. It is a bit different to the usual Christmas films as there is no focus on Santa Claus in this film but that makes it more unique and is not boring at all.

        I would definately recommend watching this film when you are putting up your decorations. It will inspire you to create a huge light display.

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        02.01.2010 17:35
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        A Great Christmas film!

        I love Christmas time. The tree , the presents , the snow , Christmas songs , jolly moods and the delicious food...but without one thing...Christmas is incomplete. There has to be Christmas movies!

        One of my favourite Christmas films is Deck The Hall. I bought this DVD a few weeks back to get me in the mood for the ever-so-fast approaching festive season. The DVD cost me £5.99 from play.com
        Deck The Halls is an American family comedy film. It was released in the United Kingdom on the first of December 2006. The movie was directed by John Whitesell. Running time of the movie is ninety three minutes.

        Steve Finch wants his kids to have the best ever Christmas. So when his daughters discover My Earth (which is the same as Google Earth I suppose) , they find out that their house is missing from the map that shows up everything from Space. So , Steve has a plan. He decorates his house with as many lights and decorations as much as he can. Will the 'Space Map' pick up his house now ? Watch Deck The Halls to find out!
        This is one jolly Christmas film ; one which I thoroughly enjoyed watching ; as did the whole family. It's a real fun film to watch with the family and you can guarantee that everyone will be lost in the whole festiveness of it all. Kids will love it as well as adults.

        I have read a few reviews regarding how poor this movie is. I can't disagree more! What is there not to love about this film ? It's Funny ,it's heart-warming and above all it's Christmassy. What more could you want from a Christmas film ? Some people have called this movie 'predictable' but to me , so what , it's a Christmas film!
        One criticism I have is that Dani De Vito's character is a mechanic in this film , and so I kept thinking I was watching Matilda (for those of you who havn't seen Matilda , De Vito's character owns a garage). Although I preferred his character in this movie a lot more than his character in Matilda : he isn't so mean!

        This is a great film to watch in the run up to Christmas! Adults and Kids alike will love it!

        Thanks For Reading!
        January 2nd 2009
        Xdonzx

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        08.12.2009 01:14
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        A good comedy

        I am a big big fan of Christmas films, here's my opinion on yet another festive flick!

        Deck the Halls is a 2006 festive comedy starring Danny DeVito, who I think is such a funny man!

        It is a PG rated movie, I wouldn't really call it a family film, in my opinion it's not aimed at children.

        I have read lots of bad reviews about this film; however, I don't think it's that bad, I think that some bits are very funny indeed.

        ~~~~~~~~~~

        The Story:

        The movie is set in Cloverdale, Massachusetts where Steve Finch the local optician and the villages face of Christmas lives with his family.

        Steve's perfect Christmas comes to an end when car salesman Buddy Hall, played by Danny DeVito and his family moves into the street.

        Buddy gets the idea that he wants to put enough lights on his house so that it can be seen from outer space. He gets this idea after his daughters have been on the internet on a made up version of Google earth called MY Earty and they moan that they can't see their house. (They probably couldn't use the Google brand.)

        There are lots of fun and games as the two head into full on Christmas war!

        Buddy ends up with his house covered in Christmas lights which are also synchronized to music. Steve is being kept up all night with the bright lights, therefore he seeks revenge buy buying illegal fireworks to fire at Buddy's house.
        It all backfire and Steve ends up setting fire to his own house.

        The two families have had enough of their husband's childish Christmas feud and decide to leave them, therefore Buddy and Steve forget their feud, and build a magical walkway home with all of Buddy's lights to lure their family's home.

        The house is eventually seen from space and Buddy and Steve become friends.

        ~~~~~~~~~~

        My opinion:

        This is not one of the best Christmas films out there, there's no magic and sparkle, however I think that there are some very funny parts in this movie and Danny DeVito plays a great part as always!

        ~~~~~~~~~~

        The Cast:

        Danny DeVito as Buddy Hall
        * Matthew Broderick as Steve Finch
        * Kristin Chenoweth as Tia Hall
        * Kristin Davis as Kelly Finch
        * Alia Shawkat as Madison Finch
        * Dylan Blue as Carter Finch
        * Sabrina Aldridge as Ashley Hall
        * Kelly Aldridge as Emily Hall
        * Jorge Garcia as Wallace
        * Jackie Burroughs as Mrs. Ryor
        * Fred Armisen as Gustave
        * Gillian Vigman as Gerta
        * Jill Krop as Herself
        * SuChin Pak as Herself
        * Shannon Ostrom as Bystander
        * Vu Huynh as Kid Next Door
        * Kal Penn as MyEarth Specialist (cameo appearance)
        * Sean O'Bryan as Mayor Young
        * Gary Chalk as Officer Dave
        * Nicola Peltz as Mackenzie

        * ~~~~~~~~~~

        The Cost:
        This DVD is available from play.com for £5.00 with free delivery.

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          12.07.2009 16:22
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          I think I'd give it a miss in future.

          I know its not Christmas, and so this film really is not in season, but last night I was sitting in my living room, it was 1am, and there was nothing on TV, I wasn't tired so I thought I'd look for a film. This was the only thing that was on, and so I thought why not give it a go. It was something to watch, and so what if there are still 5 months until Christmas time comes around again!

          The film stars Matthew Broderick and Danny De Vito in the main parts as Steve and Buddy.

          When Buddy and his family move in opposite Steve at the most important time of the year, Christmas...the dynamics of all of Steves life completely changes. Christmas has always been Steves "holiday", he's been Mr Christmas since he can remember, he leads the carol service, and he has hundreds of traditions which the familyn follow every year, he even has his christmas trees for th next five years lined up and growing in a field!!

          But when Buddy comes along with his dream to get his house seen from space this Christmas, things all start to go wrong! Buddy is a screw up, he can't stay in a job, or a house for more than a few months, always messing up and moving his family around from place to place, but this year he thinks he's found his calling. His big plan is to put so many Christmas lights on his house that it will be visable from Space. And so he gets to work putting hundreds and thousands of lights on his house!

          But the lights are disrupting Steves family over the road, the constant light through his window, the constant sound coming from the house! And so Steve goes on a mission to get the lights down. But he always ends up two steps behind Buddy.

          Will Buddy get his house seen from space? Will Steves status of Mr Christmas be relinquished...and will Buddy drive he and his family away from their home this Christmas!?

          The film has sone funny little parts to it, some of the things that happen are pretty funny, but all in all the film isn't really very good, the storyline isn't particularly good, and is a bit boring. Its a very unbelievable story, for a start I don't really think it would be possible to get a house seen from space no matter how many lights you put on it, so that in the first place is abit of a stupid storyline, even the most dumb of people would see this as a pretty un-doable task...even Buddy...!

          All in all, the film is ok to watch and I suppose at Christmas it would get you in that holiday mood, but to be honest, it's not really a very good film. And there are much better Christmas comedies out there!!! :)

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            27.01.2009 16:42

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            Two neighbours attempt to out-do each other at Christmas.

            Directed by: John Whitesell
            Written by: Matt Corman & Chris Ord
            Genre: Comedy - Family
            Country: USA
            Certification: PG
            Language: English
            Released: 26th November, 2007 (DVD)


            MAIN CAST:
            Danny DeVito (Buddy Hall)
            Matthew Broderick (Steve Finch)
            Kristin Davis (Kelly Finch)
            Kristin Chenoweth (Tia Hall)
            Alia Shawkat (Madison Finch)
            Dylan Blue (Carter Finch)
            Sabrina Aldridge (Ashley Hall)
            Kelly Aldridge (Emily Hall)

            Buddy Hall is a devious little man who is incapable of holding down a job and is constantly searching for happiness, for a way to leave his mark. He is fed-up of always being underestimated and over-looked, and wants to find a way to become 'visible'.

            Steve Finch is the type who thinks he knows it all. His idea of Christmas, which can be found between the covers of 'Good Housekeeping' and 'Vanity Fair', is so rigidly and meticulously planned that it becomes a chore.

            In an effort to be the town's 'Mister Christmas' the two men, whose ideas of Christmas are in opposition, undermine each other at every turn.

            'Deck the Halls' is one of those holiday season movies that is spit out, with dozens of others, every year by movie studios hoping to make a quick and easy buck. I'll tell you, out of the dozens released every Christmas, only one or two are worthy of attention... this definitely isn't one of them.

            This movie is absolutely boring... in fact, it's more than boring... it's downright painful to watch, like a sore tooth, it just makes you want to hit your head against the wall until you pass out!

            The acting is absolute rubbish, and the storyline - I don't even want to go there - but I must! So here goes; detestable Buddy Hall wants his house to be seen from outer space so he goes overboard with the Christmas decorations, while as obnoxious Steve Finch, who hates the 'kitschiness' of the decorations, wants them removed. The entire movie relies on the inane gags and the special-effects - which are NOT funny and definitely NOT entertaining. Please, someone... tell me the studios didn't make money with this one! I can't bear the thought! Never in my life have I actually hated the main characters... so much so, in fact, that I have sworn to never again watch a movie with either Danny DeVito (whom I always find obnoxious) or Matthew Brodderick (who should have retired ages ago). Nasty? Maybe, but so was this movie!

            Steer clear of this one... it is total rubbish.

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            12.12.2008 10:11
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            A disappointing festive film

            Carrying on my attempt to review only Christmas related things in the month of December on Dooyoo, I saw this film in the library and thought it looked like it would be a fun, Christmassy film to enjoy of a cold winter evening. There seemed to be mixed reviews on it, so I tried to go into with an open mind fully expecting to enjoy it because I generally love all Christmas films, but of course there's always a first time for everything. I really tried to like it, I honestly did but unfortunately I failed. So here is my review of a disappointing Christmas film 'Deck the Halls'.

            In his neighbourhood, Steve Finch is known for being the towns "Christmas Guy" - the one who organises the towns Christmas tree and their carol concert. He's also determined to give his family the best Christmas experience he can, starting December 1st. But his plans are turned around when Buddy and his family move in across the street. Buddy immediately endears himself to the neighbours but not to Steve, and decides his house has to have the best Christmas lights, and also be seen from space. Steve isn't happy and sets about thwarting Buddy's plans with funny consequences. But are both men about to take their plans too far and lose everything important to them just before Christmas?

            The initial premise of a man wanting his house to be seen from space seems somewhat ridiculous, and thats actually what the entire film is - ridiculous. When I read the plot summary, it immediately reminded of that ITV show from a few years ago with Robson Green and that guy from the Nationwide telly ad, and wondered how it would fare against that. As I said, I really do try to like all Christmas films, but this one just annoyed me somewhat from the start and I just didn't get into it at any point. It did have a quite good cast, boasting the hilarious Danny DeVito, Matthew Broderick and Kristin Davis, so you'd expect good performances all around but I felt they were all just lacklustre in this film, definitely not delivering their best performances by far.

            Broderick really made me want to turn off actually. I can't put my finger on exactly why I didn't like him, he just really annoyed me on screen and I couldn't believe his character at all. His character of Steve Finch just seemed too goody-goody and was a bit sickening to be honest. His wife Kelly was played by Kristin Davis, who starred alongside Broderick's wife in Sex and the City, put in an okay performance but didn't really seem to have any on-screen chemistry with Broderick at all, and conseuquently the family dynamic and their relationship just fell flat, seeming totally false. DeVito and his on-screen wife Kristin Chenoweth on the other hand played their parts with good comedy and seemed totally unlikely as a couple, but for some odd reason it did seem to work!

            Don't get me wrong - there were some funny bits in the film and they actually quite funny, but it just wasn't enough to save the film for me. The idea of 2 men being so obsessed with beating each other that they'd do it at the expense of their own families at Christmastime was a bit ridiculous, and just didn't seem believable, particularly because of the back story created for Steve Finch, Broderick's character. DeVito's character Buddy had different motivation for his house being lit up so much but even so it seemed to just come out of the blue and not really have a decent enough reason to be plausible. To be honest, it just kept annoying me throughout and there were several times I wanted to just switch off - especially towards the silly climax.

            This was a real disappointment for me, and certainly won't be making its way into my coveted Christmas DVD collection. The cast really don't work that well together and don't seem believable, the plot errs on the side of utterly stupid, and the whole thing just did not work for me at all. I didn't warm to Broderick and consequently I think this didn't allow me to enjoy it that much as I felt he was just awful! DeVito and Chenoweth do the best with the awful script they've been given but its not enough to rescue this one. Not recommended - there are plenty of better Christmas films out there for you to watch, don't waste your time on this!

            Main Cast:
            Danny DeVito ... Buddy Hall
            Matthew Broderick ... Steve Finch
            Kristin Davis ... Kelly Finch
            Kristin Chenoweth ... Tia Hall
            Alia Shawkat ... Madison Finch
            Dylan Blue ... Carter Finch
            Kelly Aldridge ... Ashley Hall
            Sabrina Aldridge ... Emily Hall

            Available on Amazon for £4.98.

            Thank you for reading!

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              07.12.2008 11:46
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              Not worth it.

              In the film, a new neighbour moves into the street but he is completly different to the rest of them. He deceides that he needs to decorate his house so it can be seen from space. The men start to have a rivalry while the women and children form a friendship. They end up testing the patience of the whole town. The story is very entertaining but the cast does a bad job. They don't deliver the laughs.

              The picture and sound quality of the DVD is ok. The film is the same all the way through with no original moments. This film fails to bring people together and won't put you in the festive spirit. It is very funny and the jokes are just silly. If you want a good Christmas film, watch National Lampoon or another film. The film is also very predictable and has nothing to keep you coming back for more. It cannot be watched over and over again.

              The DVD contains no extras.

              All in all, this film isn't worth it. There are much better films for Christmas and this has bad acting and isn't entertaining. Just buy another film and don't waste time and money.

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                30.12.2007 18:57
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                A movie about Cristmas rivalries.

                I appreciate that as we enter the New Year I have kind of missed the season where this movie would be most appreciated. I originally planned to watch it around the20th, with my other half saying "Don't watch this, it would be great for Christmas Day"; then looking like a slapped backside on the big day having realised that one of its main cast was Matthew Broderick. Being Matthew Broderick is not a crime, those old enough considered him a hero 21 years ago when Ferris Buellers Day Off became a teenage favourite.

                Deck The Halls is not a new concept in film making, in fact it's a tale that we have all seen a hundred times before, it largely bases its story around neighbouring rivalry and bad feeling in the season of joy. Steve Finch (Matthew Broderick) the dentist and Mayer of a small snowbound town is preparing for that very special time of year, a time of year he looks forward too for eleven months. But things are not going to be quite the usual contained standard that Steve desires this year; Buddy Hall (Danny DeVito) has just rented the house next door and about to turn this Christmas upside down.

                Deck The Halls is far from viewing rocket science, its plot is simple its jokes repetitive and old. But what the movie does have is certain innocence for Christmas. It avoids near the knuckle humour never once even getting close to delivering risqué scene, or a swear word. And in a world where you can't switch on your TV without hearing a word that 20 years ago would have caused complaint. You can watch the movie as a family, or perch the kids in front of it without fear of them being introduced to a concept you never wanted them to know about for years.

                The story has some big flaws in particular the main issue of the story The Halls (do you see the humorous reference here? Or at least attempted one) desire for their house to be seen on Google Earth. Anyone familiar with Google Earth will know that its satellite images are delayed sometimes up to two years out of date. As a result when Buddy does not see his increasingly illuminated house (which he adorns with Christmas lights) it fails to show up on Google Earth, it's almost a forgotten aspect of the story, and certainly a missed joke.

                As strains between these two rival neighbours' strains each one goes out of their way to either perform a bigger and bolder stunt, or get a better revenge. Broderick's character more and more often on the losing side, even when initially he seems to be winning. Devito obviously has an initial disadvantage due to being the new guy in town, with Broderick being a popular character around town. It's not long before the townsfolk take a big shine to the Halls, and forget their long term popular town leader.

                Matthew Broderick shines in a kind of old and crotchety way, sharing his house with Kelly, who is interestingly played by his real wife's work colleague Kristen Davis from Sex In The City. DeVito is more like he was back in the 80's a bit silly but fairly solid. The other supporting roles are relatively good, the kids of both families showing a reasonable amount of contempt for their parents especially Alia Shawcat who plays Broderick's disgusted daughter.

                Deck The Halls is not a movie to write about in any real length, it is what it is, a simple and traditional seasonal movie. No major laughs for adults who will find it a bit silly most of the time, but the kids will undoubtedly take a shine to it laughing their socks off at all the silly old jokes. The film will most likely become the National Lampoons Christmas Vacation for the new generation; a reference which you cannot help but make if you have seen both movies as Deck The Halls borrows largely from Vacation. It is however nice to be able to sit down as a family and watch a movie together, while it might be tired it's certainly tolerable. If kids ae missing from your household however, this movie might prove to be a big mistake.

                The DVD is released by Fox DVD with a Retail Price of around £10, sadly (or I guess not) it has no special features.

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                  24.12.2007 16:15
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                  Worth a watch!

                  Still on my mission to find the perfect Christmas film a couple of nights back I settled down with my warm milk to watch this one!

                  The Plot....

                  Steve and Kelly Finch live in a lovely neighbourhood, living a quiet planned out life, particularly at Christmas time for which Steve wants everything to be perfect for their children, Madison and Carter.

                  Steve is a popular Dental Practitioner in the town and is Mr Christmas himself, having being asked his opinion on all things Christmassy that happen in the town. Life is quiet orderly and everything is perfect and nice!

                  Enter the brash, loud, and thick skinned Buddy Hall and his wife Tia and their gorgeous girls Ashley and Emily. They are loud and gregarious and completely opposite to the anal, nerdy Finch's!

                  Kelly and Tia and all the kids become friends but there's an immediate competitive feeling between the men of the house holds!

                  Buddy is quite a character and it turns out they've moved many times cos Buddy just won't settle and find something that he enjoys doing. His twin girls point out via their computer that their house cant be seen from space where as all the other neighbour's houses can be! Buddy is not happy to be invisible!

                  So Buddy gets on the case! Going to great extremes to light up their house whatever the cost and time to make it as bright as possible. In the meantime he's really ticking off Steve and pushing him over the edge with his light shows and music and being up early in the morning nailing and tacking wires for the lights etc and attracting the town to see his lights at all hours. The problem is that both men are forgetting their families and what is important at Christmastime.

                  So a war of wills happens between the men with both playing dirty tricks on one another in good old slapstick style. To put a stop to the lights Steve launches some attacks to stop the lights from working like cutting off the power to Buddy's house so he can get some sleep and finding out it's his own electric, and launching fireworks at Buddy's house. Most attempts failing of course and usually backfiring!

                  Tia and the girls leave Buddy when he sells something of hers to finance the lights on the house and he loses his job. Poor old Steve never comes off well, actually setting fire to his own house and in the end Kelly and their kids leave and go stay with Tia and the girls.

                  I end talking about the plot there but to say that the film had an ending that I didn't expect and I actually wept! lol

                  My Verdict...

                  This film is really for children. It's perfect for them as its bright and entertaining and the first film I've watched that hasn't had double entenda or foul language! It actually made a pleasant change! The music is lovely a great mix of Christmas tunes and is beautifully shot with plenty of action for little uns to chuckle at.

                  I personally found it very good. After reading another review I did think ah oh but realised from my viewing, more than ever that what we enjoy really is personal.

                  If your expecting an intellectual movie this is not one. It's silly. DeVito is mostly known for his gentle comedy roles and this being a U rated film says it all anyway so I knew what I was going to get.

                  Think Home Alone, Christmas Vacation and your in that genre! Yes the film is predictable, within the first ten minutes you can predict the film but it's quite punchy and I don't think you can fail to laugh at it's silliness.

                  Mathew Broderick is excellent and nice to see Kristen Davies almost playing Charlotte her character out of sex in the city! Funny to see her and Matthew together knowing he's Sarah Jessica Parker's real life husband lol

                  Basically this is a nice family film. With a good message about Christmas and goodwill, friendship and basically to have fun and not let life grind you down. I enjoyed it a lot and I right chilled out watching it (and not just cos of the lovely snow that was on my screen through most of the film!).

                  I recommend it providing you like daft films like me!


                  Rated Pg
                  Duration 95 Minutes
                  Released 2006
                  Director J Whitesell

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                    18.04.2007 19:43
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                    THE worst christmas movie ever made!

                    Deck The Halls is a nightmare of a film. It is everything, and I mean everything, that is bad about mainstream American cinema. The thing that bugs me most is that if the writers had pitched this storyline/idea without having a Christmas connection they would have almost certainly been laughed out of the studio executives' offices. This is a film that really doesn't have any redeeming features at all... yes it is that bad! What possessed Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick to appear in it I really do not know. They are playing caricatures, of themselves and of real people, so much so that they might as well be animated characters.

                    The so called inspired idea behind Deck The Halls is one that is very, very similar to a UK TV show/film starring Robson Greene but with heaps and heaps of brash, childish American humour thrown in to ruin any subtle points about neighbours and keeping up with the Jones'.
                    Danny Devito is Buddy Hall, a loud, outgoing, annoying man who moves into a small, fairly up market little town. He immediately manages to get up the nose of Steve Finch (Matthew Broderick), his new neighbour, with his obnoxious, over the top behaviour.

                    The rivalry between the two gets worse when Buddy starts putting up Christmas lights and decorations around his house. Steve is the towns 'Christmas man', known for arranging Christmas festivities and having the best decorated house, and starts getting rather annoyed at this pushy newcomer trying to take his crown away. Buddy soon has his house absolutely smothered in lights and announces to all that his intention is to get his house seen from space!

                    From that point on all out war almost ensues between the two neighbours as the two men fight each other for the title of best decorated house. Neither wanting to give an inch to the other in any way shape or form.
                    Meanwhile while their animosities grow their families are left to suffer in the wake. The wives and children begin to wonder whether or not their whole Christmas is going to be ruined if their men folk don't come to their senses very quickly.

                    This is possibly THE worst Christmas themed film I have ever seen in my life. It offers absolutely nothing new at all, is predictable from start to finish and even the eventual Christmas message is not only laboured but can be seen a million miles away!

                    Deck The Halls is one of those films that will give any adult seeing it nightmares. The cartoon like, over the top main characters and performances are so bad that maybe only the youngest of children, still in awe about Christmas in general, could actually enjoy it.
                    There may just be a small possibility that children will enjoy the pratfalls, the stupidity, the shouting and the sheer rubbish that Deck The Halls puts onto film but the only thing this offers to adults is possibly a nice nap, bit then at least that will give you a good 90 minutes or so peace from the children, as long as they don't get as bored as this film made me feel.

                    Is there anything good that I can say about Deck The Halls... umm well if I reach far enough I guess it could be said that the two wives and the children are not annoying and do as much as they possibly can with such a bad script, especially one that revolves around the two male leads almost completely. Still that is not a good enough reason to see this, in fact there is no good reason for ever seeing this film!

                    Finally to show you the level of the so called 'comedy' in this film let us take an example directly from the film... DeVito and Broderick are in a crowd watching some girls dressed in Santa outfits are dancing on the stage, back to the audience. The two men are shouting 'Who's Your Daddy' in an attempt to bond... only to realise when the girls turn around that the three girls are their daughters... come the line 'Oh no, I'm your Daddy'... Yes that is the level of the film, and it is also so obvious that you can see it coming like every other joke before the joke has even started.

                    Avoid, avoid, avoid!

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                  • Product Details

                    Good neighbours can be hard to come by and when the flighty Buddy Hall (Danny Devito) moves in across the street from the conservative Dr. Steve Finch (Matthew Broderick), it quickly becomes apparent that the two men are complete opposites. While Finch methodically plans out every minute of the coming Christmas season for his family, Buddy craves freshness and excitement and is seized by an impulsive desire to decorate his house so brightly that it can be seen from space. While the men's wives Kelly (Kristin Davis) and Tia (Kristin Chenoweth) and their children revel in one another's differences and form solid friendships, a rivalry of personalities and Christmas spirit ensues between the two men that will wind up testing the patience and love of every member of both families. This is fun, comical holiday entertainment for the entire family ages 9 and older. --Tami Horiuchi