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THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan


Bam Margera - interesting guy. I wouldn't want to spend five minutes in his company, yet I admit to being embarrassingly well acquainted with his work. The reason why I wouldn't want to hang out with him is simple: he constantly seems to be tormenting everyone around him, destroying their belongings, and creating often painful-looking mischief. Then again, that's got to be a put-on, at least to a degree, right? I mean, no one could act that way all the time and still have friends. But he does. They all appeared with him on his now-defunct MTV show "Viva La Bam." The dude's parents have not disowned him. Heck, he even has a wife.

I guess what I'm saying is that, beneath his extreme impishness, there is more depth than you'd guess. In addition to being a successful skateboarder and a Jackass star, Bam (who, incidentally, resides less than three hours away from me) is also a shrewd businessman who knows what his audience craves and how to deliver it. His latest product is the DVD entitled Bam Margera Presents: Where the #$&% is Santa? Shot in the semi-scripted, semi-improvisational style of "Viva La Bam," the movie - which hits stores on Dec. 2 - defies traditional review. If you've enjoyed the guy's other work, you'll be sufficiently amused by this as well. If not…hey, have you seen Polar Express?

The opening scene is pure Bam. He dumps a ton of snow on a friend snoozing peacefully on a couch. The victim screams and shivers and calls Bam an a-hole. Then the plot kicks in. It is almost Christmas and Bam wants to find the perfect gift for wife Missy. He decides that he and his motley crew will travel to Finland, find the real Santa Claus, and return him to West Chester, PA. But Santa lives at the North Pole, his friends tell him. Shut the #$&% up, reply-eth Bam.

If you are really interested in the plot, this review will be of no interest to you whatsoever. The plot doesn't matter. Anything Bam does is basically a glorified excuse for him to indulge in his essential Bam-ness. Trekking through Finland, he turns a high-powered snow blower on his colleagues as they sleep in tents (do I detect a theme here?), insists that a buddy get a crudely drawn map of the country tattooed on his chest, and goads someone into eating a local delicacy, namely a reindeer's eyeball. One has to wonder why anyone would agree to accompany him on such a voyage. If he asked me to travel to Finland with him, I'd probably quake in fear of the condition I'd come back in.

The pranks and stunts are real; the rest is scripted. Since nobody in this movie is a competent actor, it's painfully obvious when the shifts are occurring. Again, doesn't matter. If you watch a Bam Margera movie for the acting, you deserve to have a Christmas tree dropped on your car. Oh yeah, that happens too.

Perhaps the most amusing scenes take place back home, where one of Bam's socially inept friends - a guy who appears way to old to be hanging out with the Margera crew - awkwardly attempts to pick up women at a local pub, while Bloodhound Gang lead singer Jimmy Pop looks on. Watching dorky guys strike out is always good for a few laughs, right? So is watching Bam goad his poor parents. It's hard to feel sorry for them; after all, they raised him. (They also are the ultimate good sports.) His mother's horrified reaction to her son's antics never ceases to amuse.

I'm not going to say that Where the #$&% is Santa? is a good movie. Somehow, I think Bam Margera would disapprove. There's also the little fact that it's not a good movie. Once more, doesn't matter. Something like this isn't defined by concepts of "good" and "bad." A movie like this only has to be true to itself; in other words, it has to be true to Bam. And it is. If you watched his show and find yourself amused by his antics, the film gives you exactly what you think it will, and you will come away reasonably satisfied.

Where the #$&% is Santa? is not for everyone, but if there's a Jackass on your Christmas list, he/she will likely thank you with an affectionate and loving punch in the nuts. For those of you who don't know, that's Bam's version of a handshake.

DVD Features:

Bam Margera Presents: Where the #$&% is Santa? hits DVD on December 2, in widescreen format. The disc includes about 25 minutes of additional scenes, which provide more of the patented Bam madness. There is also a photo gallery of still shots from the production.

Check out the official website: Bam Margera: Where the #$&% is Santa?

Or purchase it online here

Bam Margera Presents: Where the #$&% is Santa? - Own it on DVD December 2

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