Happy Holidays and welcome! We are counting down the days until December 25th and, in that time, I will be reviewing each and every Christmas/holiday film I watch during the month. They’re mostly a selection of films in my own library or films and shows that have been recommended to me.
Please enjoy and leave a comment!
And if you missed any of our past reflections, take a look:
Holiday Inn (1942)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
White Christmas (1954)
Santa Claus (1959)
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
I Believe in Santa Claus (1984)
Lethal Weapon (1986)
Die Hard (1988)
Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Home Alone (1990)
Die Hard 2 (1990)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown (1992)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Our next film is…
WATCHING: Jingle All the Way (1996)
DIRECTOR: Brian Levant who has spent his career making B-movies. He’s most famous for making the live-action The Flintstones (as well its sequel/prequel).
WHAT IS IT?: Jingle All the Way is a movie which wavers between goofy comedy and slightly moving family drama.
THE PLOT: Arnold Schwarzenegger plays “Howard Langstrom”, an insanely busy salesman for a mattress company who works so much that he barely gets to spend any time with his son (Jake Lloyd). After missing one of his Karate showcase following a promise he made to be there, Howard learns that his son’s hero is “Turbo Man”, a character he watches on a kid’s daytime TV show.
Accordingly, his son wants the Turbo Man action figure for Christmas, which Howard sees as his ticket back into his son’s good graces. Unfortunately, the toy is the most sought-after gift of the Christmas season and puts him in an unlikely partnership/competition with a local mailman (Sinbad) who also wants the same toy for his son.
WHAT DID CRITICS THINK?:
WHAT DID I THINK?: If this all sounds trite, it’s because it is. I haven’t watched the movie in quite some time and I think the only reason I did was because I used to work at a video retail store and we’d have it on in the background.
Nearly everyone in this movie is just an awful person. Howard’s a workaholic and naive. His wife, Liz (Rita Wilson), has two expressions: Smile and Contempt. His son Jamie is adorable but on the bratty side, glued to a TV. Myron (Sinbad) goes from a dedicated parent to nearly becoming a villain for the sake of the plot.
Jingle All the Way has small moments that might make you laugh but the movie is PAINFULLY unfunny for the most part. Additionally, Schwarzenegger doesn’t have the range he thinks he does here and it was an odd choice to cast him as the lead.