Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic, editor of Movie City News and a contributing editor of Filmmaker magazine. He is also a photographer: his history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images is forthcoming. Check a few signs on Twitter (@chighostsigns) as well as daily photography on Instagram (instagram.com/raypride). Twitter: @RayPride. (Photo: Jorge Colombo.)
If pothead potty humor films seem quaint in this decade, pro-baby messages are never passe. “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” continues the juvenile hijinks of “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” (2004) and “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” (2008), as bud buddies Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) face fatherhood. Along for the ride is an infant getting high on marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy on a long Christmas Eve devoted to finding a twelve-foot fully decorated Fraser fir. Stoner Santa will get stitches for a shotgun wound before sunrise. Returning writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg are gently transgressive. A Busby Berkeley-styled tracking shot of showgirl crotches is punctuated with a cunnilinguating Neil Patrick Harris wiping his mouth on the sleeve of his tux. An in-your-face claymation erection is a boing! gag. Close-ups of the head of a penis frozen to a pole is good for an eek! Director Todd Strauss-Schulson uses 3D to wreathe the audience in secondhand smoke, if not mirth. Clue that one writer went to the U. of C.: a Wall Street protestor uses a square root symbol in his sign to calculate evil. With Paula Garces, Danneel Harris, Tom Lennon, Amir Blumenfeld, Danny Trejo, Elias Koteas, Bobby Lee. 90m. (Bill Stamets)
“A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” is now playing.