Blu-ray Review: Surprisingly Funny ‘A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas’

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CHICAGO – It might seem silly to buy a Christmas movie in February but “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” is not your typical holiday flick. And Warner Bros. wisely recognizes that these movies have never done well in theaters but dominate on the home market. In fact, “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” barely made a dent at the box office but was such a huge hit on the home market that it spawned two sequels. It would be easy to say that it’s less risky to get stoned to your favorite pot comedy on your couch but the fact is that these movies tap a young audience that likes to watch them over and over again. And, much to my surprise, the third film in this unlikely franchise shows no sign of a dip in quality. I’d even welcome a fourth. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

One of the main reasons that “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” works better than expected is that stars John Cho and Kal Penn are better actors than when the first film came out. Their timing is tighter and they know these characters inside and out. And the writers know that the only way that these movies work is if they work at a hundred miles an hour, working on a quantity theory of humor — if one joke doesn’t work (and there are many that don’t), it’s mere seconds before another does connect. Every time the film threatens to collapse, the sheer manic nature of the piece saves it.

“A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” is admirably ludicrous. Machete in a Christmas sweater, a holiday number sung by a smug Neil Patrick Harris, Santa with a shotgun wound to the head, a Claymation number — “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” is stupid in very smart ways. It’s an improvement on “Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay” and stands comfortably next to the still-funny first film. Like the first two movies, “Christmas” didn’t exactly set the box office on fire, which means most of you haven’t seen it and were probably waiting for Blu-ray and DVD. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas was released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 7, 2012
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas was released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 7, 2012
Photo credit: Warner Bros

Following years of growing apart, Harold Lee (Cho) and Kumar Patel (Penn) have replaced each other with new friends and are preparing for their respective Yuletide celebrations. But when a mysterious package mistakenly arrive at Kumar’s door on Christmas Eve, his attempts to redirect it to Harold’s house ends with the “high grade” contents - and Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree - going up in smoke. With his in-laws out of the house for the day, Harold decides to cover his tracks, rather than come clean. Reluctantly embarking on another ill-advised journey with Kumar, through New York City, their search for the perfect replacement tree takes them through party heaven - and almost blows Christmas Eve sky high.

Special Features:
o An Extended Cut that runs 6 minutes longer
o Through The Haze With Tom Lennon
o Bringing Harold & Kumar Claymation To Life
o Deleted Scenes
o BD Live Enabled
o Digital Copy Of Feature Film

“A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” stars Kal Penn, John Cho, Amir Blumenfeld, Thomas Lennon, Elias Koteas, Neil Patrick Harris, and Danny Trejo. It was written by Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg and directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 7th, 2012. content director Brian Tallerico

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