"A movie is not about what it is about, but about how it is about it. I didn't like this movie merely because it was weird and different; I liked it because it makes no compromises and takes no prisoners. And because it is funny." - Roger Ebert. Brett Kelly is a total match for Billy Bob in this, which is as unexpected as the script's rancorous humor. 3.5 stars
Bad Santa starts off by pretending to just be a typical raunchy comedy about something innocent, but there's more to it than that. It slowly becomes a character study about a truly terrible man living with the awful situations he continues to put himself in. Billy Bob Thornton brings some heart into this bad man and it makes things a lot more interesting. However, enough of the humor feels too forced to be better.
Bill Bob Thornton is a crass cyclone of self-destruction that is impossible to turn away from, and his very blunt friendship with nebbish stalker Thurman (Brett Kelly) is pretty fascinating upon closer inspection. This is not 'Christmas But Kind Of Raunchy": it is a tale of drowning in self-loathing at the bottom of a toilet bowl existence. But it's also sometimes insightful, sometimes charming, and always funny.
I really enjoyed that. If your form is going to be conventional Hollywood you owe it to the world to populate it with irredeemable characters who reflect us all. Great character acting. The lighting was subtle and appropriate in a way that typical Hollywood movies don't get.