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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Deck The Halls'
(Danny DeVito, Matthew Broderick, et al / DVD / PG / (2006) 2007 / 20th Century Fox)

Overview: 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!

DVD Verdict: Watching "Deck the Halls" is like getting a lump of coal in your stocking. Except receiving a lump of coal takes only seconds, while this awful movie goes on for an hour and a half. Its stars are not worthy of this junk, but here they are anyway, collecting paychecks from another terrible box-office hit (all Christmas movies make money -- even the bad ones -- especially those released around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Here's Matthew Broderick as Dr. Steve Fincher, who serves as a sort of "Father Christmas" in his home town, where he leads the annual Christmas celebration. His new neighbor Buddy Hall (Danny DeVito), who arrives in the middle of the night (why?), is an annoying sort who works as a car salesman.

Buddy interrupts Steve's organized life in nearly every way. Finally, Buddy decides that his new goal is to decorate his house with so many lights that it can be spotted from outer space. Steve hates the crowds of people who gather at Buddy's house and the ear-splitting music in synch with the lights, so he decides to sabotage Buddy's plans. In the meantime, the wives of the two men become dear friends who can't understand why everyone can't get along.

Well, I can. In this film, the jokes are mean and cheap, as are the characters. The humor most often is crude -- do I really need to see someone get a face full of camel spit? The "character development" is set in motion only to move along the show's whisper-thin story line, while the director joins the other characters in ogling the cleavage of the female performers. This show boasts the highest sleaze factor in any PG-rated movie in recent memory.

DeVito and Broderick are wonderful performers, but there's no way that they could save this insipid script. This lifts plot lines from "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" and even "Cheaper By the Dozen 2." There's not one glimmer of originality, fun or holiday cheer in this junk.

That is, except for the filmmakers, who can buy as many gifts as they like this year. Because they're wallets certainly will get fatter off this garbage as families seek holiday entertainment that will entertain both kids and adults. This is nothing but a waster of time. If you want to see original, delightful entertainment, stroll on over to "Happy Feet." This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Commentary with John Whitesell and Danny DeVito
Dylan Blue cast interviews
Deleted Scenes
Construction of the Homes Featurette
Lighting Design Featurette
“Winterizing/Shooting a Christmas Movie in July” Featurette