Jingle All the Way (1996) - Family Fun Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Comedy / Family
Fox || PG - 94 minutes - $34.99 || December 2, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-12-20


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Brian Levant
Writer(s): Randy Kornfield (written by)
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Jake Lloyd


Theatrical Release Date: November 22, 1996


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Extended Director's Cut
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • The Making of a Hero
  • Super Kids
  • Turbo Man Behind the Mask


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Thai

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.::THE FILM::.

[Note: This review covers the “Extended Director’s Cut”.]

When we look back on (Governor) Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career, I’m sure Kindergarten Cop (which I actually did like), Junior and Jingle All the Way will rank right up there with T2... Well, not quite.

This 1996 modest hit ($97m adjusted for inflation) stars Ahnold as Howard Langston, a father so consumed with work that he forgets some of the most important moments in his son’s (Jake Lloyd, yes that annoying brat from Star Wars: Episode I) life. To make it up to him, Howard promises to get him the toy he really, really, really, wanted for Christmas: the Turbo Man Action Figure. Problem is, not only is it Christmas Eve, it’s also the hottest commodity of the year and every store is sold out.

During his search through the entire city, Howard meets Myron (Sinbad), a mailman in the same predicament. It’s not long before the two compete with one another to get the toy for their respective sons. On the home front, he must also keep an eye on his overzealous and obnoxious neighbor (Phil Hartman), who seems to have a thing for Howard’s wife (Rita Wilson). Hilarity and hijinks ensue...

Jingle All the Way, for a film now 12 years old, has held up well... but for all the wrong reasons. I’m all about consumerism, hell I’d be a hypocrite to say I wasn’t given my movie collection, but Jingle presents what is so wrong about American’s fever for shopping during Christmas. One instance of this is when a mob breaks through a door, pushes an employee to the floor, trampling him. Of course, this was all done for comedic effect but given what happened this year (2008) to a poor Wal-Mart employee, it was a little disturbing.

Aside from that, the movie also has a simple message about a dad doing whatever it takes to keep a promise to his son, but this too wasn’t the best of messages. Sure, it would be too much of a cliché to say the most important part of Christmas is being with family rather than fighting for a doll, but apparently that was the point.

The cast is, well, fine for their roles. Ahnold is Ahnold and Sinbad is Sinbad, not much else to them, though it goes without saying one can’t exactly buy Ahnold as this regular old dad, but whatever, it is a family/fantasy/comedy after all.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The Blu-ray contains the Extended Director’s Cut and Theatrical Version. The extended cut contains about 4 minutes of extra footage. All these features have been carried over from the 2007 DVD release.

Deleted and Extended Scenes (20:36) - If you don’t want to watch the extended cut, you can watch what was added via these deleted/extended scenes.

The only other items on this disc are 3 featurettes: The Making of a Hero (15:29) with new interviews from various members of the crew intertwined with some great looking behind the scenes footage; Super Kids (8:12) is a simple featurette where some kids explain why they love superheroes; and Turbo Man Behind the Mask (8:17), a mock documentary about the rise and downfall of Turbo Man.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The video transfer for this Blu-ray disc (50GB Dual-Layered) isn’t anything special. Sure, it looks nice but it doesn’t have the “wow” factor I look for from my high-def movies. The transfer itself, in its 1.85 OAR, looks good as I didn’t notice much in the way of dust or scratches.

Fox presents their usual DTS-HD Master Audio track. Like the picture quality, the audio isn’t that impressive, satisfactory, but unimpressive none-the-less. Other than some Christmas music, everything was flat in some spots and didn’t have the impact I expect, even for a 12 year old film.



.::OVERALL::.

Jingle All the Way is, at times, enjoyable enough but even so, it’s a film that has aged all too well with today’s shop-aholic society. Even ignoring a deeper message, I’m not a fan of Schwarzenegger in these kinds of kid-friendly roles. He’s at his best playing an action hero rather than a family man (same goes for Vin Diesel...). As for this Blu-ray release, it’s yet another shelf filler title that isn’t worth the upgrade for those who already own this edition.