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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. For that reason, I wasn't expecting too much, the first time I sat down to watch JINGLE ALL THE WAY ($35). Sure, JINGLE ALL THE WAY is a Christmas movie designed for kids, but I was actually laughing out loud at much of the time, thanks to the heavy doses of slapstick humor found in the film. The plot of JINGLE ALL THE WAY 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 sonís 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 doesnít 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, who has a number of Wile Coyote moments.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made JINGLE ALL THE WAY available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Both the original Theatrical Version and the Extended Directorís Cut of the film are present on the disc. The 1080p presentation is quite pleasing, and represents a very nice upgrade over SD, but JINGLE ALL THE WAY probably isnít going to make anyoneís list of hi-def demo titles. Still, the picture is very pleasing for a nineties era family comedy. Image sharpness and detail definitely get high marks; although, there are some shots that appear softer. Close-ups and medium look best, providing the strongest amounts of fine detail, as well as clearly defined texturing to objects. Additionally, the picture appears pretty dimensional. Colors appear fairly vibrant and occasionally pop. Flesh tones are generally realistic. The blacks and whites come across just fine. Contrast and shadow detail are all they need to be for this kind of undemanding material. The elements from which JINGLE ALL THE WAY has been mastered do show occasional minor blemishes. Grain is noticeable throughout, but is not excessive to this vintage of film.

JINGLE ALL THE WAY is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. For the most part, JINGLE ALL THE WAY features a fairly standard talky comedy mix. However, the film features more than a few action-oriented moments where the outlying channels engage nicely. The crowd scenes are fairly effective, but the climatic sequence is where one will find some nice panning of effects through the sound field. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. The musical component has strong fidelity and the sound effects are convincing. As for the bass channel, it sees limited activity, but it keeps things grounded. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese and Thai.

Animation and sound have been added to give the interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the following Featurettes: The Making Of A Hero (fifteen minutes), Super Kids (eight minutes) and Turbo Man: Behind The Mask (eight minutes).

JINGLE ALL THE WAY is a fun family holiday comedy. The Blu-ray presentation, while not demo material, is quite pleasing. Recommended to fans.



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


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 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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