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Is ''Bad Santa'' worth the upgrade?

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Is ”Bad Santa” worth the upgrade?

A midnight-black twist on the traditional Christmas flick, this Billy Bob Thornton pic mixed unabashedly crude comedy with Hollywood sweetness. Did a new director’s cut jingle our bells?

ORIGINAL
Neither initial ’04 DVD release (the R-rated Bad Santa or the unrated Badder Santa) had much involvement from director Terry Zwigoff. They made do with a cursory making-of, some deleted scenes (the best being a Sarah Silverman cameo as a ”Santa trainer”), and a fistful of set outtakes.

REISSUE
With its ”director-approved” seal, this DVD offers a ”more emotionally truthful” version of the lowbrow Xmas flick, as Zwigoff says on a new commentary with editor Robert Hoffman. Ironically, the director’s cut is three minutes shorter than the theatrical.

VERDICT
Worth the upgrade? Not really. There are interesting nuggets on the commentary — ”Grandma” Cloris Leachman wanted to play her role in the nude — but despite Zwigoff’s complaints about studio interference, his drier, darker director’s cut just isn’t that different from the original. Save your holiday bonus for something else.

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