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I have never been too big on Arnold Schwarzenegger's comedies; I've always found his action movies far more satisfying. That is why I wasn't expecting too much when I popped a copy of JINGLE ALL THE WAY ($30) into my DVD player. Sure, JINGLE ALL THE WAY is a kid's Christmas movie, so how much fun could it be for adults? I hate to admit this, but I was actually laughing out loud at much of the slapstick humor found in the film. The plot is as predictable as a fiber rich diet, but there is a certain goofiness to the film that is akin to watching a live action Roadrunner cartoon. In JINGLE ALL THE WAY Arnold portrays Howard Langston, a workaholic father who turns up MIA for just about every event important to his young son Jamie (Jake Lloyd). To make up for missing Jamie's karate exhibition, Howard promises to get his son anything he wants for Christmas. Of course, Jamie wants the Turbo Man action figure- the hottest selling toy of the Christmas season. Howard goes shopping for his son’s gift on Christmas Eve, and as anyone with half a brain might expect, there isn't a single Turbo Man action figure anywhere to be found.

This doesn’t stop Howard from trying to keep his promise to his son. To make matters worse, Howard soon finds himself in direct competition with another father trying to acquire the elusive Turbo Man. Sinbad plays Myron Larabee, a somewhat deranged postal employee who will stop at nothing to get his hands on that all important Christmas present for his own son. Much of JINGLE ALL THE WAY follows the cutthroat competition between the two fathers who take every opportunity to trip up each other. The cast of JINGLE ALL THE WAY also features Phil Hartman as Ted, the lecherous next-door-neighbor, Rita Wilson as Howard's put-upon wife Liz, James Belushi as the corrupt Mall Santa and a surprisingly hilarious Robert Conrad as Officer Hummell.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made JINGLE ALL THE WAY available in the Letterboxed format only. The Letterboxed presentation is quite close to the film's full 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio and looks well balanced. However, the DVD does not contain the anamorphic enhancement for wide screen televisions. Despite the absence of the anamorphic enhancement, JINGLE ALL THE WAY looks very good. This presentation is crisp and well detailed. Colors are very vibrant and reproduce on DVD without a hint of chroma noise or distortion. A superior authoring job hid virtually all traces of digital compression artifacts.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack has a surprisingly active mix for a screen comedy. Sound effects shoot out of all of the discrete channels and bass reproduction is strong. Dialogue is focused in the center channel and reproduces with a natural timbre that is never overpowered by the effects channels. A matrixed Dolby Surround track has been included on the DVD, as have French and Spanish language tracks. English and Spanish subtitles have been encoded into the disc.

The interactive menus are fairly simple and offer the standard language and scene selection features. A theatrical trailer, plus biographies for a select few cast members has been included as supplement.


Jingle All the Way



DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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