Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Special: Jingle All the Way

Jingle All the Way (1996)


Howard Langstone (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has promised his young son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas, unaware it's the season's hottest-selling toy. And so begins a frenzied quest that pits Howard against a stressed-out mailman (Sinbad), a sleazy Santa impersonator (James Belushi) and every other harried parent in town.

My Thoughts
This is another one of those movies that I really liked when I was younger, but I'm not sure why. I remember it being hilarious and very family friendly. Plus, seeing Arnie play one of these roles is probably worth it, and teaming up with Sinbad and Belushi makes it a fairly entertaining 88 minutes.

The Turbo Man intro tends to remind me of the original Power Rangers shows, with the idiotic minions and the weirdo villains and Turbo Man having all the cool toys to save the day...The pink Big Foot side-kick is new, though...Oh, and the awesome catch phrases. "You can always count on me." Even Arnie has a catch phrase: "Don't forget, you're my number one customer." That's a good one...what every wife wants to hear when she calls her husband...

And you always see the crazy company Christmas parties in movies...Do those parties really happen? Is it a big company thing? I've never really heard of anyone I know going to a 'company party'. Maybe I just don't know the right kind of people...

Here we have the ever-present storyline of the ever-absent father missing big life events and then spending the rest of the movie trying to accomplish the impossible in order to make up for it and win his son's love back...and dealing with an extremely annoying neighbor the whole time...I don't know why parents feel the need to always say "I promise," when it's not 100% sure. Just makes life sooo much more difficult. But they always come through in the end, at least in the movie.

It's not every day you get to see Arnold Schwarzenegger play the loving father role, and his ninja skills have really improved...Maybe not, maybe that's why he switched to just punching people in the face and shooting them with big guns...He probably could've used a big gun or two trying to get a popular toy on Christmas Eve.

Arnie v. Belushi...That's a fight I'd like to see live.

The radio D.J. with the ponytail is Principal Kraft from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch! Haha...I just noticed and it brought back memories...he looks sooo weird with a ponytail, though!

Hours and hours of being laughed out of toy stores, a mall brawl, a bunch of purse-slinging moms, a black market police sting, fighting a postal postman, a radio contest, running from the cops, a war of conscience, an angry charging reindeer, a wife-stealing neighbor, a couple tears from the governator, the invasion of Turbo Man, and some teary-eyed reunions make for a great family film if you ask me (and it's my blog, so you did). The son is super cute, but his acting wasn't the greatest. Again...Christmas it's basically corntastic, but I think it's entertaining and watching Arnold play the bumbling family man is pretty different from most of his roles.

Also, there's a clip at the end of the credit, just so you know :-) It may not be super awesome, but if you're curious it's worth a peek.

Random Facts
The Christmas parade was filmed at Universal Studios, Los Angeles, in the middle of May.

The story is based on the 1980s shopping frenzy over the Cabbage Patch dolls.

Minneapolis does have a winter parade every year during the Christmas season. It's known as the Holidazzle parade, but it is held in the evening, not during the day as shown in the movie.

In March 2001, a U.S. District Court jury in Birmingham, Michigan, ruled that 20th Century Fox stole the script idea from Detroit High School biology teacher, Brian Webster. The studio was ordered to pay $19 million (reduced to $1.5 million). Webster submitted the script, then named "Could This Be Christmas?", to the studio in 1994 and never received payment or credit despite the film making $183 million. Fox appealed and the verdict was reversed, since Webster's script was submitted after the studio had already purchased a treatment (summary/outline) of what would become the film's script. The court acknowledged that it is not difficult to believe that two writers can independently create a plot using similar inspiration/experience.

Randy Kornfield wrote the film's original screenplay after witnessing his in-laws go to a Santa Monica toy store at dawn in order his son a Power Ranger. (Which might explain the similarities I mentioned between Turbo Man and the Power Rangers.)

While admitting to missing the clamor for the Cabbage Patch Kids and Power Rangers, producer Chris Columbus experienced a similar situation in 1995 when he attempted to obtain a Buzz Lightyear action figure from the film Toy Story, released that year.

Sinbad missed the audition due to his appearance with First Lady Hillary Clinton and musician Sheryl Crow on the USO tour of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but Columbus waited for him to return to allow him to audition and was given the part. He improvised the majority of his lines in the film, and Schwarzenegger also improvised many of his responses in his conversations with Sinbad's character.

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