- Jun 24, 2003
- Real Name
- Michael Osadciw
JINGLE ALL THE WAY
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Film Year: 1996
U.S. Rating: PG
Canadian Rating: PG
Film Length: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio:[*] Side A: 1.33:1 fullscreen[*] Side B: 1.85:1 widescreen enhanced
Audio:[*] English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround[*] English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (default)[*] French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Closed Captioned: Yes
SLP: US $14.90
Release Date: October 12, 2004
Film Rating: :star: :star: :star: 1/2 / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger (Howard Langston), Sinbad (Myron Larabee), Phil Hartman (Ted Maltin), Rita Wilson (Liz Langston), James Belushi (Mall Santa), Jake Lloyd (Jamie Langston)
Directed by: Brian Levant
Written by: Randy Kornfield
Two dads, One toy, No prisoners.
Arnold Schwarzenegger departs from his role of hunting down his enemies in his action-packed films and has a new pursuit instead: an action toy for his son for Christmas. Howard Langston is a busy man like the rest of us North Americans. There is never a moment in the day when he is on time and he tends to forget important things as well. We hear how Howard never makes it in time for important family events and that is evident when we see him miss his son’s karate grading for his purple belt. His son is saddened that his dad never made it, and to make it up to him, Howard goes on the pursuit for Turbo Man, an action figure popular for the Christmas season.
Unbeknownst to Howard, the Turbo Man doll has been sold out for a long time. It’s the day of Christmas Eve and there are very few shopping hours left. Once in line at the mall before the doors open, Howard meets Myron, another father on the last-minute hunt for the same doll. Knowing there are two of them and possibly only one doll, the film becomes a hectic and relentless pursuit in the city for the Turbo Man. Howard must prove to his family that just for once he can be on time and get something done right. He’s being compared to his neighbour Ted who always seems to do better, and Howard will do anything to have his family have faith in him again.
I love these kinds of films. Despite how silly it is, any film that has every possible obstacle for a character to achieve his pursuit is always fun. It’s hilarious to see what people do in desperate situations just to get a doll (or anything we really really want for that matter). Even before the dolls are given out, people are ganging on each other and beating each other up just to get this materialistic toy. It kind of reminds me when I was in a alt.music club one night and the MC was throwing money into the crowd – teasing us and holding it above our heads with our hands in the air, waiting and hoping when he threw it, it would fall in our hands or around us – you can imagine how rocked around we all were one it was let loose. I can’t decide now if I should laugh at the situation or not.
This film also touches upon a sad reality – despite how much time in the year we have to do our Christmas shopping, so many of us do it on the last day at the last minute. When that happens, the gifts are often thoughtless and often enough what we’d really like to give for Christmas, there is no chance at all to get it because of sell-outs or the time it takes to obtain it.
This movie has finally been released after it got tied up with legal problems back in 2001. The claim against the studio was that the script idea wasn’t original to the studio and the writer wasn’t compensated nor credited. We can be thankful for the delay since now we have an enhanced widescreen version of the film instead of the original non-anamorphic treatment on the first disc before the recall.
VIDEO QUALITY :star: :star: :star: :star: 1/2 / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
Finally available in anamorphic widescreen, Jingle All The Way looks very good. Colours are very neutral, if not slightly desaturated. The light output for this film seems perfect, having a nice contrast in both indoor and outdoor scenes. On some occasions, black levels seem a little higher than normal giving the video a slightly washed out look. This happens very infrequently and I’m only nitpicking on this. Resolution looks like most other good looking DVDs and there are very few softer looking scenes due to the photography of the film. Expect a few dirt specs on the print throughout the entire film. They are very small and more than likely won’t be noticeable on a small display, but on my 110” screen I can see them a little more than normal. There appears to be very little edge enhancement in some scenes and its not distracting. Compression artefacts are absent.
AUDIO QUALITY :star: :star: :star: 1/2 / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
Jingle All The Way's box is incorrectly labelled as having only a Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround presentation in English. Don't be fooled like I was, there is a 5.1 surround mix on this disc if you search in the audio menu. The disc also has an English and French 2.0 surround mix, and the Spanish soundtrack the disc claims to have is absent. The disc defaults to the Dolby Surround soundtrack if no audio option is selected. I usually toggle through the audio using the audio button on my DVD player's remote, but this title has that option disabled or else I would have found that audio mix.
In Dolby Surround, the stereo channels provide the ambience for the surround channels when using Dolby Surround or Pro-Logic II. For a non-5.1 encoding, the soundtrack is pretty active. Music provides a bulk of the soundtrack, but there are a lot of directional effects in the front soundstage. Most surprisingly was the amount of bass present in the front three channels. There is directional bass in both left and right channels, and even the center channel has a sizable amount of bass. My Mirage LFX-3 crossover is set to put center bass in my left and right channel subwoofers – and do they ever pound at times! Since there is no LFE channel with Dolby Surround, you can expect a sizable amount of bass in your subwoofer if your speakers are set to “small”.
The audio recording can get louder at the end of the film when the action sequences take place. This gives a very aggressive soundfield that many will enjoy. Schwarzenegger’s voice can be a little heavy sounding at times, and the sound of bass can be a little sloppy in definition compared to other recordings I’ve heard. Cymbals in the music score also sound somewhat splashy in comparison to other recordings.
I'm sure the 5.1 recording has a few separated effects in the surrounds as well as some LFE. Overall, it is an active soundtrack.
SPECIAL FEATURES :star: / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
The only special features here are a theatrical trailer that is open matte and appears to be from a composite source, and a cast bio of three cast members. It’s too bad the three deleted scenes and they alternate ending that appeared on the ABC television broadcast of this film wasn’t included as extras on this disc.
IN THE END…
It’s taken a while for [/b]Jingle All The Way[/b] to make it to DVD. The anamorphic video presentation is excellent, and while some may consider the audio now out-of-date with a matrix surround mix only, there is plenty of audio involvement to make this an exciting viewing. I wish some of the additional scenes were included as a special feature, but I’m not completely disappointed since they proved to not progress the story anyways – still they are nice to have. This disc looks great, so I say run to the store and pick these up before they sell out too!