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Movie Time! Duel of the Santas: Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) and Fatman (2020)
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Movie Time! Duel of the Santas: Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) and Fatman (2020)

The first episode of Popzara’s movie-loving series focuses on two vastly different, yet similar, Santa movies.

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It’s the inaugural episode of Popzara’s Movie Time! Podcast! That’s a lot of exclamation points, but we’ve got lots to talk about as movie nerds Nathan Evans and Ethan Brehm take you on a cinematic journey about some of their favorite movie moments without the snark.

Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith had his dueling banjos, and we’ve got our dueling Santas! On the holiday menu are two diametrically opposed, yet similar Santa-themed films that have more in common than you might think.

The first is 1985’s Santa Claus: The Movie, directed by Jeannot Szwarc (Jaws 2, Supergirl) and starring David Huddleston as the “Chosen One” and Dudley Moore as the troublesome, possibly drunken, Patch the elf. Look for an outrageous mustache-twirling, cigar-chomping John Lithgow as a despicable toymaker eating all the scenery possible and you’ve got all the ingredients for a chaotic, schizophrenic holiday disaster you can’t take your eyes off.

The second is 2020’s Fatman, written and directed by Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms (Waffle Street, Small Town Crime), i.e. The NELMS Brothers, starring Mel Gibson as a grizzled, disenchanted Santa who’s fallen on hard times and is forced to sell out to the US government. Things get really interesting when a very naughty boy hires an obsessed and vengeful assassin (Walter Goggins) to take him out. It’s a timeless holiday classic, with a body count.

So how can two seemingly different takes on the Santa mythology be related? Apart from commentary on corporate greed and the commercialization of Christmas Inc., our hosts discuss what makes both films epic – failures and triumphs alike – and why both are still worth your time. Is Santa Claus: The Movie really just another Superman epic in disguise? Is Fatman really just a modern version of classic western/samurai pictures?

Stay tuned as our hosts discuss other Santa-related favorite films, including The Santa Clause Trilogy, Arthur Christmas, Santa With Muscles (yes, it’s real), Elf, the Bad Santa double-feature and even the most badass Father Christmas of them all in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Who else would weaponize children as they ready themselves for battle? Happy holidays, everyone!

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