Editor’s Pick: Jingle All the Way

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In 1998, Murray Hill publishing sued 20th Century Fox claiming the film’s concept was stolen from one of their screenplays. They lost.

With the holiday season just around the corner, everyone will begin to dust off their favorite Christmas movies. While the classics such as ElfHow the Grinch Stole Christmas and White Christmas are sure to be shown on a 24-hour loop from now until Dec. 26, I will be reaching for a film somewhat off the beaten path. The ultimate “It’s so bad it’s good” holiday movie is without a doubtJingle All the Way.

Chances are you have seen or at least heard about the flick, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator) as absentee parent Howard Langston who is on a mission to make his son’s dreams come true by hunting down the toy of the season: Turbo-Man. While bumbling his way through clichéd one-liners and traditional holiday antics, Howard teams up with mailman Myron Larabee, played by Sinbad (Good Burger), who is on the same mission to hunt down the coveted action figure.

Along the way, Schwarzenneger runs into a sketchy Santa Claus, played by James Belushi (“According to Jim”) who leads him into the underbelly of counterfeit toys. After he beats up a horde of impostor Santas following a toy deal gone wrong, Howard then . . . you know what, this plot is honestly so ridiculous that it’s just not worth it to go over it piece-by-piece. Instead, just go along for the ride with this motley crew of actors. I promise that you will not be disappointed.

The only thing you need to know is that at the end of the movie Schwarzenneger is wearing a jet pack flying around the city and takes on Sinbad in a fistfight.

While critics chastised the movie for focusing too much on the commercialization of Christmas, I find this movie wildly entertaining. Any kid remembers the one Christmas on which he or she did not get what he or she wanted, either because the request was ridiculous or because they simply asked Santa for it instead of their parents.

My one Christmas disappointment came when my parents did not get me the Food Saver, which was an infomercial product used to vacuum seal foods to help them stay fresh. Alright, so maybe I was a little bit of a weird kid, but I still remember how disappointed I was when I unwrapped all my presents to find I would not have a way to keep steaks frozen for up to two years.

Luckily, my mom redeemed herself by getting me a Food Saver the next Christmas, which made me the happiest kid in the world.

This movie plays off of the idea that parents will do anything to get their hands on a toy. Still, not all parents have to pose as police officers or face a bomb to get their hands on an action figure, which is exactly the type of scenario that our two fathers run into in Jingle All the Way. This film simply proves that when it’s Christmas time, the love  parents have for their children will lead them to do pretty much anything to make them happy.

Whether it’s Sinbad’s rants on how sick the world is, Schwarzanegger screaming, “Put that cookie down!” or just the total chaos of the movie, everything about it works for me. So once you get tired of watching the over-played Christmas movies, grab some hot chocolate and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with Jingle All the Way.