Now that the holiday season is officially upon us, we are being treated to Christmas releases. I’m sure most of you remember “Santa Clause,” the first Tim Allen movie in which he plays a salesman who becomes Santa Claus through some trickery and magic. The sequel, “Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause” unfortunately was not as memorable. In that one he had to find a wife or lose his job as Santa. Well, now there is the sequel to the sequel; “Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.”

“Santa Clause 3” fits in between the first and the 2nd as far as quality. This movie really could have been a lot better if the writing had been up to par with the first.

Tim Allen of course returns as Santa and once again plays the role with wit and charm, but it could have been better if he had been given a better script. Elizabeth Mitchell of “Lost” television fame returns as his wife. However, I was disappointed with the portrayal of her as whiny, spoiled brat. She is pregnant with their child and is due when he must go out and be Santa Claus. She acts like she didn’t know what she was getting into being Mrs. Clause.

Judge Reinhold and Wendy Crewson also return as Santa’s ex-wife and new husband. Thanks to the writers they should have never been around and were unnecessary to the story. Also unnecessary were Ann Margaret and Alan Arkin as Mrs. Clause’s parents. They weren’t funny and brought absolutely nothing to the story.

Martin Short, new to the story, played Jack Frost, the villain. He did manage to have some of the best moments in the movie and for once didn’t seriously overact his part.

“Santa Claus 3: The Escape Clause” is about Jack Frost tricking Santa into wishing he’d never become Santa so he can take his place. This movie could have been better with a decent script and less unnecessary characters. Most of the kids will still like it though, since they love anything that has to do with Santa.

Though this won’t become a classic like the first, it is better than the second movie. “Santa Claus 3” is 98 minutes and is rated G.

Next up is a real Hollywood classic. During the 1950s William Holden was one of Tinseltown’s leading actors. He was handsome, had a good sense of humor and could play both serious and comedic roles. He had an ease that made acting look simple. In 1950 Paramount teamed him up with an older screen star, Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard.”

Holden plays Joe Gillis, a down-on-his-luck writer who has the misfortune of bumping into Norma Desmond (Swanson), an aging silent screen star who isn’t playing with a full deck.

The movie oddly enough starts with Joe’s death, as he is found floating facedown in Desmond’s swimming pool. But in death he tells his story of woe.

Trying to escape bill collectors he literally stumbles onto Desmond’s property. When he meets her he realizes she isn’t all there, but she captures his interest with a story she wants brought to the screen. With his ability as a writer maybe there might be something in it for him. Unfortunately it will be too high of a price.

Truly, these were great roles for both Swanson and Holden. Swanson steals just about any scene she is in and plays her role as a psychotic former starlet perfectly. And Holden, well, he made his role look easy. As I said he had a way that made it look so easy you thought “Heck, I could have played that part.”

“Sunset Boulevard” was filmed in black and white and rightly so. It adds to the impact of the film, and I’m glad to see no one has colorized it. Cecil B. DeMille, Hedda Hopper and Buster Keaton played themselves, and others in the cast with Holden and Swanson were Nancy Olsen, Fred Clark and Jack Webb.

“Sunset Boulevard” won three Oscars and was nominated for eight others, including Best Actor and Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress and Best Picture.

“Sunset Boulevard” is 110 minutes and is not rated.

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