JINGLE ALL THE WAY: FAMILY FUN EDITION
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
Arnold Schwarzenegger as HOWARD LANGSTON
Sinbad as MYRON LARABEE
Phil Hartman as TED MALTIN
Rita Wilson as LIZ LANGSTON
Robert Conrad as OFFICER HUMMELL
Jake Lloyd as JAMIE LANGSTON
Directed by: Brian Levant
Studio: 20th Century Fox
BY KEVIN CARR
When “Jingle All the Way” came out a decade ago, it was quickly forgotten (although it was still considered a hit at the box office). Since then, it has been much maligned, especially by the Arnold impersonator on Conan O’Brien’s show.
I’ll admit that when I first saw “Jingle All the Way” on video after it was released, I was unimpressed. I quickly forgot about it, only to reflect on it when I pondered the casting of Jake Lloyd as the young Anakin Skywalker in the first “Star Wars” prequel.
Now that it’s out in an extended director’s cut, I have had a chance to revisit the film as it was meant to be seen – with a family. The story follows a workaholic dad who is trying to secure the hottest toy of the season for his son on Christmas Eve. Of course, all the stores are out of it, and he is fighting with other parents to find the last remaining Turbo Man action figures in the Twin Cities.
“Jingle All the Way” is never going to go down as a perennial holiday favorite like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Miracle on 34th Street.” But it isn’t bad t watch with the kids. In fact, I had a lot of fun watching it with my six year old and my four year old while we cooked pancakes on a lazy Saturday morning. “Home Alone,” this is not, but for a family Christmas movie, it’s surprisingly fun.
The DVD comes with what is advertised as 20 minutes of new footage. However, the “extended” edition only runs a few minutes longer than the theatrical version. Truthfully, there’s not that big of a difference between the two cuts (which is actually a good thing considering a two-hour-plus version of the movie would be tedious), so it’s not worth purchasing again if you already have a copy. But as a rental or a new buy for your family collection, you can do a lot worse.
Other DVD features include a moderate and lengthy set-top game in which you can guess what’s in wrapped gifts as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette. If you get into these sort of things, there is a mediocre in-character mockumentary about the “real” Turbo Man as well.