Home Entertainment Film & TV

Cinemas - Also Released - 8/12/11


THREE years after Harold and Kumar escaped Guantanamo Bay, the stoner buddies deck the halls with illegal substances in this loud, brash and outlandish escapade directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson.

Christmas is the season of giving so A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas gifts us a familiar array of mishaps, potty-mouthed outbursts and gross-out moments wrapped in festive cheer.

Screenwriters Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg are neither big nor clever, subjecting a baby to nose candy for the sake of a giggle, but for every two or three gags that miss the mark, one hits the sweet spot.

When a Ukranian mob boss and his goons spray bullets into a house party awash with drugs, sending plumes of cocaine into the air, the soundtrack bursts to life with Bing Crosby's White Christmas.

And a fictional kitchenware product called the Wafflebot, which serves up perfectly cooked dough cakes slathered in molten syrup, is surely destined for the high street one day, despite the obvious health and safety concerns with the film's comical prototype.

Harold (John Cho) has lost touch with his buddy Kumar (Kal Penn) and has turned his life around by ditching the reefers, clambering up the corporate ladder and marrying Maria (Paula Garces).

Their attempts to get her pregnant on Christmas Eve are interrupted by the arrival of Maria's father Carlos (Danny Trejo) and the entire Perez clan carrying a 12-foot Douglas fir tree that the formidable patriarch has been growing for the past eight years.

Fate conspires to reunite the estranged buddies and a spark from Kumar's discarded marijuana joint sets the beloved Christmas tree alight.

Determined to impress Carlos, Harold heads into the night in search of a replacement fir with Kumar, buddy Todd (Thomas Lennon), teenager Adrian (Amir Blumenfeld) and Todd's infant daughter in tow.

As midnight approaches, when the Perezs are due to return from Christmas mass, they cross paths with an old acquaintance, actor Neil Patrick Harris (playing himself), who might be able to solve the tree dilemma.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is another hit-or-miss instalment of the comedy series, which would have surely stumbled straight on to DVD were it not for the pointless use of 3D.

The only time the eye-popping format impresses is during a deranged and imaginative claymation sequence, induced by a batch of drugged eggnog.

Penn and Cho revisit their roles without breaking a sweat and, once again, Harris steals every frame, sending himself up with tongue wedged firmly in cheek, including a priceless running joke about his sexuality.

Belly laughs are tempered by sharp winces of pain, such as when Harold gets an appendage stuck to an icy metal pole and Kumar opts to warm up the painful situation with hot coffee.




LAST year, Garry Marshall directed the ensemble comedy Valentine's Day, which followed a series of loosely connected characters as they searched for love and understanding on the most romantic date of the year.

In this follow-up, another starry cast of familiar faces hope to be struck by Cupid's arrow before the clock strikes midnight in Times Square in New York, ushering in a new year.

Randy (Ashton Kutcher) is stuck in an elevator with a beautiful stranger (Lea Michele), while Paul (Zac Efron) agrees to help secretary Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) achieve all of her resolutions in exchange for tickets to the biggest party of the year.

Elsewhere in the city, Tess (Jessica Biel) prepares to give birth and claim the honour of the first new baby of the year, businessman Sam (Josh Duhamel) searches for his soul mate, and Harry (Robert De Niro) bravely battles terminal illness.