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Showing 1-10 of 61 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on December 25, 2014
I teach at a bilingual school and like to put the subtitles on in Spanish for my students who can't always follow along in English. The posting clearly listed the subs titles were in several languages, but they don't appear when you play the DVD. Very disappointed!! Debating if it's worth the hassle of returning.
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on December 25, 2014
Stupid movie but fun for children. Will Ferrell is my favorite comedian and he shines in this cute CHRISTMAS film about re-capturing the Christmas spirit.
It's just not as good as other movies that compete in the same vein.
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on January 1, 2014
There are a few funny moments in this movie, but mostly it seems slapped together from a couple of half-hearted ideas.

I especially didn't appreciate the whole "misplaced orphan" story line. On one level, it's just a little insulting to people who're involved in adoption.
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on December 19, 2012
Love this movie and loved the price for a BluRay disk. Picture is great and definitely BluRay quality but the sound is very low/muted. We typically watch our LCD tv at a volume of about 25-30....with this movie we have to turn it up to around 80 for it to be the average volume we would watch any other BluRay disk. Not a huge deal but I was disappointed with the sound quality. It also scares the hell out of everyone when you forget to turn the volume down when switching back to tv programs!!!
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on January 3, 2014
While I definitely don't find Will Farrell as funny as many people do, I was curious to watch Elf, as I'd heard that it had been done well; I'm also a fan of John Favreau, and hey - it's got James Caan and Bob Newhart, classic actors who don't make many films any more! Should be good... right?

Caan is fine, and Newhart's droll delivery is nice for nostalgia critters, but Farrell's optimism and good cheer is not really infectious. I found it dull and un-funny, although the back story is heart-warming enough - boy tries to re-unite with his emotionally numbed father. Perhaps because the rest of the film was so bland and uneventful (and at times painfully awkward, even creepy, like when Buddy tries to expose the "fraud" Santa), I found the final battle surprisingly good, making Elf an inversion of what regularly happens: the majority of the movie it great, but it all falls apart at the end when it ties up all-too- neatly. As a comedy, it wasn't too funny, and the only part where I really had to laugh was Buddy's snowball fight, where he uses skills he picked up as an elf in the North Pole to his advantage - he pummels his opponents cruelly. Not bad.

This is an infinifilm version, which means it comes loaded with all sorts of software and gimmicks and activities (elf karaoke, make your own storybook, be an elf photo activity, etc), but none of the behind-the-scenes and bonus material that films buffs want.
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on December 16, 2012
Will Farrel is at his best in a part like Ron Burgundy. I love the video with Will and Pearl the landlord. As good as Will is he can't carry this flat comedy. There are some good physical gags and who wouldn't like to fantasize about spending time in Gimble's "North Pole" at Christmas? Maybe young children will enjoy this but it doesn't make my Christmas classic's list along with "Christmas Story" and "A Griswold Christmas"; two must see movies during the Christmas season. More Ron Burgundy will, PLEASE! Ho-Ho-Ho!
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on December 4, 2014
Picture quality was horrendous. Everything looked horrifically CGI because the motion was off kilter. Tried to adjust our TV settings, despite never having an issue, and it did nothing. Wish we got SD instead.
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VINE VOICEon February 6, 2006
I remember all the hype that surrounded "Elf" when it was released a couple of years ago. I finally watched it yesterday and I was disappointed. The premise of the film is funny enough: Will Ferrell plays Buddy, an elf from the North Pole who can't help noticing that he's "different" from all of Santa's other helpers. One day Buddy finally learns the truth about his background: he's not an elf at all, he's actually a human being. His real father (James Caan) is a publisher in New York City who also happens to be on Santa's "Naughty List." Buddy journeys to Manhattan to find his father, who has a wife and another son, and all hell breaks loose when Buddy's elvish ways clash with his father's Scrooge-like attitude and big-city lifestyle.

There are definitely some funny moments in this film. Ferrell is at his best when he's doing slapstick comedy, but this movie primarily relies on stupid humor and unnecessary crudeness. (Do we really need the 45-second belching scene? Why are there people who actually find that sort of thing funny? It's disgusting!) The scenes between Ferrell and Caan are definitely the best moments in the film. They have a great on-screen chemistry, as do Caan and Mary Steenburgen, who plays his unbelievably patient wife.

Overall, I didn't think this movie was very funny. Of course, I didn't think "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" was funny, either, so that should tell you something about the kind of movies that appeal to me. If you're a fan of Ferrell and enjoy nonsense humor, you'll probably like "Elf." However, if you're like me and do not enjoy stupid humor, you should probably skip this one.
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on December 8, 2014
Interesting premise; however, the execution could have been much better. One reviewer suggested a young Robin Williams in the title role would have worked, a concept that I can imagine going over well.

It's just too silly. Utterly preposterous.

The inclusion of Bob Newhart and Ed Asner in the cast provided some interest.
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on December 28, 2014
The fact that this movie is called a must-have Classic by some reviewers only emphasizes the dreary landscape of contemporary Christmas movies and how starved audiences are for even average holiday entertainment. When "Elf" came out, Will Ferrell was still fresh. The references to 1960's TV specials, like the stop motion snowman and the imagery of Buddy floating away under the Northern Lights, were well crafted. Well-loved veteran actors like Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, and James Caan added to the overall sense of goodwill ala "I want to like this movie." Not to mix meat metaphors, but outside the theatre this flick is a ham handed turkey.

It starts out strong with the aforementioned nods to Rankin Bass TV specials and the genius delivery of Bob Newhart in the opening monologue. Buddy the "fish out of water" is introduced in a humorous montage of 6 foot plus Buddy growing up in a elf-sized world before his lack of toy building acumen leads him to run away from home in search of his real Dad.

Once Buddy hits Manhattan, this flick fizzles. His gleeful consumption of used gum from under the subway station railing is a high point, as is his interaction with the staff of Santa's workshop in a fictionalized version of the long defunct Macy's competitor, Gimbels. The department manager, who feels threatened by Buddy's overzealous reactions to all things Christmas, is very funny and he has some of the best lines. Zooey Daschenel is gorgeous and I love her voice, but the romance between her and Buddy's freaky man-child stretches believability.

One of my biggest problems is with the main conflict of Buddy trying to establish a relationship with his Dad, who turns out to be not very cuddly. The conceit of framing James Caan as some kind of Scrooge stand-in is weak. Supposedly a jaded and cynical children's book publisher (!), his lack of morals is illustrated by his insistence that kids won't notice missing pages in one of the books so he wants to sell them anyway. He also tries to repossess books from what appears to be a nun who runs an orphanage. Other than that, he is more or less a just a harried and stressed out executive who feels pressured to perform and take care of his family. The fact that he doesn't immediately embrace as his beloved long lost son a grown man in an elf costume also is supposed to show that Dad is a grinch. Nevertheless he immediately allows Buddy to move in with hardly any protest and only seems mildly exasperated as Buddy destroys his home and jeopardizes his carreer.

The movie really loses steam when Santa crashlands in Central Park and needs an infusion of Christmas Spirit to get his sleigh back in the air. The Central Park rangers are a supposedly threatening group of mounted police who threaten to, I don't know, brutalize Santa and Buddy for some reason. In a drawn out scene, these overwrought parodies of the LOTR ring wraiths pursue Santa till Zooey and a suddenly softened James Caan save the day by getting with the Christmas Spirit, which apparently just requires singing Christmas carols.

This movie wastes a few modestly funny lines and broad physical comedy bits by allowing Jon Favreau to indulge in his characteristic hammy, forced directorial instincts. James Caan never seems like someone needing Christmas-fueled redemption; he just portrays a guy who needs a nice family vacation or a date night with his wife. The adorable Zooey would easily bag someone with less psychotic behavior than Buddy, and no way would she bear his children. Test before buying because this goofy movie is not nearly as funny as you have heard, and it doesn't belong on the same shelf as "Scrooged" or "A Christmas Story".
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