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Satires are hard to come by. Good satires are much more rare. Satires
that fooled everyone, from the audience to the actors playing in the
film are toughest to find. Jingle All The Way achieves just that. By
throwing a social commentary joke over the heads of audiences instead
of into their minds, and then by delivering a biting message that
stands just as true today as it did when it first came out, Jingle All
The Way went from disappointment to one of the most realistic holiday
films ever, despite its lack of realism. The hypocritical statements
are flying in this first paragraph, but the truth is almost everyone
missed the joke, the main picture. What looks like pure family fun
turns into commentary with an attack on commercialism and the American
public buying into the scheme. Even if you don't want to look into the
deeper details, why skip out on Sinbad and The Terminator going at it?
Jingle All The Way follows a workaholic dad by the name of Howard who disappoints his wife and son year after year. After missing another karate practice, Howard promises to not only show up at the parade the next day, but also get his son the TurboMan doll that is based off Jamie's favorite television show, favorite cereal, and favorite hero. The catch is simple: it is impossible to find the doll since it's a massive hit. Not only that, but most shipments are not arriving on Christmas Eve (notice the setting getting a bit dangerous), therefore increasing the supply-and-demand. Howard is still determined to find the doll and not disappoint again. Christmas Eve turns into D-Day on the shores of stores across the nation.
This sort of idea has always been present in television shows everywhere, but to take a simple concept and stretch it into a full-length motion picture is a challenge to the utmost level. Thankfully, we have good writing by Randy Kornfield, decent direction by Brian Levant, and the supervision of Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter, Mrs. Doubtfire, Adventures in Babysitting). Looking past the seemingly heavy dosage of criticism against American society and Big Business, we see the cast throw our victim fathers into every possible awful and unfortunate scenario possible, and the range of ideas presented are amazing.
Arnold Schwarzenegger must have a sense of humor, because he isn't afraid of embarrassing himself by getting beat up and pulverized by the holiday rush, a bitter mailman, and a Santa Claus that can scare blind children. His performance by no means is Oscar-worthy, but we see him with his determination like in his usual action films, but in a whole new arena, a totally different atmosphere, and that just adds a dosage of humor to the entire film. To see an action star have to claw his way out of a melee of people trying to get bouncy balls is priceless. Almost as rare as Schwarzenegger looking wimpy is Sinbad in a superb film. His performance as the disgruntled mailman just matches him perfectly, and his determination to get the doll is just as bad. Rounding out the cast is a bunch of underrated and/or B-list stars like the brilliant Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Robert Conrad, and James Belushi.
Why in the world would anyone want to skip a movie in which we see a rumble involving an angry dad and a bunch of Santa Claus frauds running an illegal toy-manufacturing/distributing operation (Best scene of the movie for sure)? Why miss out on The Terminator take on a raging reindeer? Why skip out on a mailman posing as TurboMan's villain and flipping the bird to spectators during a family parade? With an endless amount of silly, over-the-top, brilliant moments in which represent Christmas at its truest, Jingle All The Way stands as the most realistic holiday movie ever, since it really shows what its all about. Forget the sappy messages you see in Christmas movies, it doesn't matter what you did, what illegal things you performed, how many assaults you have committed, as long as you get that gosh-darn toy for your child in Christmas, it will all be forgiven.
Everything in this film, whether unintended or intentional, downplays the meaning of Christmas and all that goes on. There isn't a single decent Santa Claus in the film; they are all corrupt human beings with a different agenda. The stores are not trying to please anyone; they just want money for themselves and enjoy seeing people scrap for chances of earning a doll like starving dogs fighting over a hunk of meat. The main child doesn't say he wants his dad to stay home for Christmas, he says he wants a certain doll, and even recites the entire commercial, including the final words "Batteries Not Included." Nobody is helping each other; everyone is fighting, pushing people towards aisles and toy displays. While the entire thing is comical, it truly does happen in the real world. There was even one pivotal scene in which Byron the mailman discusses the importance of getting that special gift; he compares himself to another child that got the hot item on a certain year. Byron is disappointed, grows up to become a loser; neighbor that gets the doll becomes a multi-millionaire.
Can a Christmas without material possessions scar you and turn you into a loser? Or is it Commercial America making it seem that way? Is this film a perfect satire or did it accidentally become that way? While the clues are pointing towards lampoon, Levant looks like he really aimed for the heartfelt, emotional Christmas movie with the bittersweet ending. Instead, we get a film that predates (and apparently predicts) the Tickle Me Elmo, Pokemon, Playstation, and Furby holiday horror stories. From the campy introduction to the hysterical final showdown, it's a great movie for what it is, and after aging like fine wine, becomes something moreaccidental or not.
This film shows the insanity of Christmas. Two parents, who waited untill the last minute to buy a popular gift for their child, spend all of Christmas Eve trying to come up with the toy. They were vicious and violent with each other in their efforts to secure the piece of plastic junk for their little darling. This picture shows just how goofy people act at this time of year. Instead of preparing, most folks wait till it is too late; all in the name of Christmas spirit. Arnold portrayed a man who ignored his boy all year, and then tried to buy his love at Christmas with a pitiful little bauble. How true of real life. A funny movie on one hand, a tragedy on the other. Look and learn.
'Jingle All The Way' is a Christmas story about merchandising and family. A lot of people seemed to really hate this movie, but I did not think it was all that bad. Sure, some of the action and the story was not the best, but I thought it did provoke a lot of laughter. The scenes with Arnie at the warehouse filled with Santas and elves was funny, and it had a good ending with the father becoming the hero after all. It does represent the bad of the holiday season with all the merchandising and the over-emphasis on that one particular toy that kids must get for Christmas, and if they do not receive it, then they are outcasts. Despite its problems, I did find it a funny and worthwhile film.
First of all, let me say I am way easier on Christmas movies than I am
general releases. I don't know why. Maybe its that its the time of the
year, and all the tinsel dust gets settled into my brain until I am in
But this movie is not that bad. If you just look at it as a lighthearted, fun with the family movie, then you will have fun. It does get real, real cheesy at times, but most of the movie is funny and entertaining. That's all you can ask for from a movie. The biggest drawback is Jake Lloyd. I have never liked him as a child actor. You could always tell he is acting, and he always sounds so damn whiney. Heck, behind Jar Jar, Jake Lloyd is the most annoying actor.
Other than that, it is fun. Hey, if it comes on TV, pop some pop corn, grab the kids, and tune in!
Everything about this movie is great. It has a great cast (With a
wonderfully sleazy Phil Hartman). A great script with loads of
It's obviously created as a spoof for the Christmas buying crazes that go on in the world, where everybody must have that one very special toy.
It has the look and feel of a children's movie - but I'm not sure it is, or was ever designed to be.
Don't expect a Schwarzie action movie. It's more a live-action cartoon.
Jingle all the way is a movie I've seen a couple of times now - and I'll watch it again and again. Good fun. 8/10.
This movie is so ridiculous, but so funny at the same time. I watch it
every Christmas just to hear many of the Schwarzenegger phrases like: -
Who told you you could eat my cookies? - Put the cookie down...NOW! -
Nobody likes you Booster (maybe Sinbad's line) - I'm not a pervert...
and the many times he says "Jamie", I hated that darn brat...what a
spoiled kid Anakin was.
But this movie is funny how it shows that parents are crazy to get one toy for their spoiled little brat. Sinbad is hilarious, and I miss him in movies, and it has the good 'ol Phil Hartman.
Arnold faces an army of Santas, which is funny as well as his corny lines I watch this to hear. Although this isn't the best Christmas movie, it's still enjoyable.
JINGLE ALL THE WAY, in my opinion, is one of the best Christmas movies I've ever seen. I thought that Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger) should have paid a little more attention to his family. The one person I really couldn't stand was Myron (Sinbad). This was because of his attitude. Plus, he tried to hurt Jamie (Jake Lloyd). I must say that Howard was very foolish to wait so long to buy Jamie's present. Even my parents have more sense than that! No offense to you, Howard. If you ask me, Liz (Rita Wilson) looked very beautiful in the nightgown she wore. The part that really made me laugh the most was when Howard broke into Ted's (Phil Hartman) house and stole the Turbo Man doll that was supposed to be for Johnny (E.J. De La Pena). This was because Ted's reindeer charged at Howard and caused him to set the living room carpet on fire. That was absolutely hilarious! In conclusion, I highly recommend this holiday smash to everyone... especially all you Arnold Schwarzenegger fans who have not seen it. When you see it, prepare to laugh and have a good time.
Sometimes critics mistake.This is definitely an example.You see some
movies don't need to be reviewed,you just need to watch them first,and
then judge your feelings. So idea of the movie is great,and its pretty
familiar to EVERY father on Christmas.And that's why people like to
associate themselves with Arnie's character.There are a lot of
misadventures(you wont remember every after ending i promise),but they
actually work out pretty entertaining,sometimes even laughably funny
(Santa's gang scene). Also contains good soundtrack,that includes Chuck
Berry's "Run Rudolf,Run". i also like casting choice for Ted.I don't
like this type of sleazy scumbags,thats why he is so realistically
Not much else to say,WATCH IT NOW.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sigh, Jingle All the Way, how this film has a rating that is above the
4.0's on IMDb boggles my mind. This is one of the scariest films of all
time. First off, we have Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Terminator, he's
playing this wacky almost like 80's silly comedy show type of Father
Knows Best. Second, I think this is the film that just gives up on us,
it goes from alright to stupid to silly to bad to just plain awful.
Third there is nothing redeemable about this movie: the terrible
acting, the lousy story, the crappy moral behind it's shallow message,
and Arnold's accent, granted the accent has gotten him a career, but
still it's disturbing the way he presents some of his lines. Not to
mention that for some odd reason they put Sinbad in this movie, sorry
to say but he is just not funny, actually no body, even one of the best
voice actors of all time: Phil Hartmen... I can't believe he took on
Howard Langston is often busy at his job, and has a hard time finding time for his wife, Liz and his young son, Jamie - especially when compared to next door superdad divorcé, Ted Maltin. After breaking his word again by missing Jamie's karate grading, Howard resolves to redeem himself and his marriage by fulfilling Jamie's ultimate Christmas wish, an action figure of Turbo-Man, a popular children TV superhero. Unfortunately, as is the habit with him, Howard has promised to buy that figure earlier that year and then promptly forgotten about it. To make things even harder, Turbo-Man toys are the must-have gifts of the season, and stocks of Turbo-Man toys are quickly drying up all over the country. Desperate not to disappoint his family again, Howard embarks on an epic city-wide quest to find the toy everyone's looking for. Along the way, Howard encounters Myron Larabee, a postal worker dad with a rival ambition, and the two quickly become bitter competitors in their race for the action figure. The chase begins to arise the ire of a police officer whom Howards keeps running into, and one of the most memorable scenes includes Howard desperately hooking up with a band of brand-spoofing crooks and ending up thrashing them. In addition, Ted attempts to hit on Liz, which she eventually turns down hard. The search climaxes with both dads masquerading as live action stuntman in a department store parade. As the "real" Turbo-Man, Howard uses the opportunity to present a coveted limited-edition Turbo-Man doll to his son in the crowd. But before he can recognize his dad, Jaime is chased around the parade by Myron, dressed as Turbo-Man's arch nemesis Dementor.
Jingle All the Way is just one of those movies that you wonder how in the heck it got green lighted. It's just so stupid, I love how the ending, Myron tries to kill a child to get a stupid toy for his son and all is forgiven so easily. Gotta love how Turbo-Man has an Austrian accent, muscle bound, square jaw, tall... yet his own kid doesn't recognize him at all. Even the one scene that had a great joke, the bomb that was wrapped as a present, they even ruined that with a lousy slapstick joke that I know it was a family movie, but it just was stupid. But give or take, it's not that bad of a movie, there are some good jokes in it. I can't give Arnold a bad review, I just can't, it's not in my blood as a critic. There are some moments that are very funny like Arnold screaming at his neighbor for eating his wife's cookies. Also Arnold is just too likable as well as Phil Hartman. It's a light recommendation, not the worst movie of all time, but just one of the silliest.
Jingle All the Way is far from perfect, but it is fun and worthwhile. The plot tells of an overworked businessman who wants to buy a Turbo Man, the year's hottest toy, for his neglected son. In the title role of Howard Langston, Arnold Schwarznegger acquits himself well, particularly in the action sequences. The soundtrack is awesome, the film is not too bad to look at and the climax is a lot of fun if very far fetched. Sinbad is amusing is Myron, and James Belushi is great as the Crooked Santa. Phil Hartmann(while he has been better) is hilarious as Ted, the phone conversation between him and Howard is a hoot. Rita Wilson does a good job as the mother, and Jake Lloyd is cute as Jamie. The film has some nice messages for kids. While the film is funny in places, the humour is questionable sometimes. The film is also rather short, and perhaps a tad rushed. Also Brian Levant's direction could have done with a harder edge. Still, despite the failings, it is a fun Christmas comedy, that is not really to be taken seriously. I call it a guilty pleasure. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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