Friday, December 31, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Movies - Jingle All The Way

Spoiler Alert. (I have done my part. If you haven't seen this movie and reading this ruins it for you it's your own damn fault)

"12 Days of Christmas Movies" continues....still. It's has been 7 days since Christmas, so it makes sense that day seven's movie is posted today. None of the ones have been "bad" movies so far, but today is a little different. I watch this movie every year without fail and it's pretty messed up and insane. Sometimes Christmas needs a little of that. Ladies, Gentlemen, and the fine people of Denmark, What time is it? Turbo Time!

Jingle All The Way

The Plot according to j.Bowman:
"Arnold Schreqeoiwnegger plays a negligent father who is so wrapped up in work he forgets to buy a toy for his son and loses his integrity, decency and dignity trying to buy his kid a doll". How this wasn't the tagline for this movie, I'll never know. The movie starts with Howard Langston (Arnold) working late at the office while his wife and terrible actor son get ready to go to the kid's karate class. Moments within meeting this kid you hope the karate class was just him getting the shit kicked out of him. You will be disappointed.

(It's going to be a long 97 minutes...)

So Howard apparently has a history of being a workaholic and breaking promises to his family. Off to a great start so far. He PROMISES his wife he will be at their sons karate thing, and because he is shitty he loses track of time. We see intercut scenes of the karate deal and him working and then he realizes he is breaking a promise so he hustles and tries to make it on time. Keep in mind, the karate thing has already started and chances are good he doesn't work next door. He gets pulled over for speeding, but after he still tries to make it to the school on time. So after he gets pulled over for breaking the law, we see him rushing into the school, bursting through the doors and discovering:

The gym empty, the lights mostly turned off and a sole janitor pushing a broom. Holy fuck, how late was he? Everyone had already left?! Events like this always seem to have those straggler parents that just hang around forever talking to the coach or other parents, but the place was completely empty. By my estimation, Arnold was about 2 hours late, and he is kinda dumb to think it would still be going on. Although this probably made Jake Lloyd cry, so I'm cool with it.

(Me and Arnold react the same way when Jake Lloyd cries)

During the apology, he asks his son what he wants for Christmas (a great thing to do on Dec. 23rd) and apparently forgiveness and his son's love is gonna cost Arnold 1 "Turbo-Man" doll. The kid totally could've asked for him to stop being suck a prick and actually keep his promises, but he elected to ask for a plastic doll instead. Priorities, dude! Fuck.

While bragging to his wife that their son has forgiven him already, Arnold mentions the Turbo-Man doll, and his wife reminds him she told him to buy it, and I quote, “2 weeks ago”. Based on how popular the doll is, I have my doubts they would have had some even then. Their neighbor (the always amazing Phil Hartman) claims he bought his son's Turbo-Man, and I quote, "months ago". A store clerk later confirms that it’s the hottest selling Christmas toy ever. As far as I see it, the wife also dropped the ball on this. 2 Weeks? Fuck off! She should not be free from blame. And you know what, she isn't going to be. I got this.

(Blame! Blame! Blame! Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame! her)

The next day (Christmas eve) Arnold sets out to find the doll and cover...both their asses. His son notices him leaving and gets upset because Arnold might miss some fucking parade. Arnold, having not learned a damn thing, makes a promise to his kid to be in time for the parade. You’d think based on his track record he’d stop making even minor promises. You can't break a promise if you don't make one.

(No! Stop! Idiot)

So Arnold starts hitting the toy stores and malls looking for this impossible to find doll. He forms a rivalry with a mailman, played by Sinbad (who apparently was someone who existed in 1996)

(History tells us as the credits rolled, he stopped existing)

They go to a mall and a toy store has a "numbered ball raffle" for a couple of the dolls. The crowd starts taking balls out of a bucket and then things get the slightest bit hectic and the clerks just throw the balls into the throng of bloodthirsty negligent parents. Nothing says Christmas like forcing a bunch of grown adults to brutalize each other for a toy. Arnold even gets maced at one point AND assaults a child. A girl no less. Protagonist?

 (Mall Brawl)

He even tries to buy a black market Turbo-Man for $300 from a bunch of shady Santas operating out of a warehouse by the docks. Wish I was making that up. He ends up fighting them too, because no sequence in this movie can end without violence.


Then him and Sinbad meet at a shitty coffee shop and swap stories about what bad fathers they are. There is only one other person there, the server, but he DOES NOT disagree with them once (nor should he). Sinbad tells a story about how his dad didn't buy him the Christmas gift he wanted so his life took a turn for the worse and he ended up a postman. As if this wasn't enough of a "fuck you" to the US Postal Service, Arnold then imagines that his kid will end up a drunk postman and be a huuuuuuuge loser. Instead of getting an older actor to act out this hallucination, something awesome happens instead.

(Best part of the movie? Nope not yet)

(BOOM! There it is)

So even though they are kinda bonding over how dumb it is to be fighting to get a stupid toy, they find out where another one might be and then the movie's "no scene ends withouth violence" edict comes back into play.
(Not pictured: Grown men)

The film ends up at that parade Arnold promised to be at, and then wasn't. His son was mad at him (or at least I think so because that actor cannot convey any emotion other than awful) and Phil Hartman uses this opportunity to try and nail Arnold's wife. Merry Christmas indeed. Arnold, on the run from the law, ends up in some prep area for...something. A bunch of people put a costume on him and talk to him about a jetpack. Depending on who you are, this is where the movie gets awesome/insane/ridiculous/fucked right up. Turns out Arnold is now playing Turbo-Man in the parade and he gets to give away a special doll to a kid in the crowd.

(Thank god he had the physique of an Austrian powerhouse)

He picks his son to get the doll because of course he does. However it turns out Sinbad still exists (he's got about 11:23 left before he fades away forever) and he dresses up like Turbo-Man's archenemy and tries to steal the doll from Arnold's kid. You might think this is just a simple tug of war and then Arnold beats his ass down, but you'd be wrong. Why you gotta be so wrong? Sinbad chases him up the side of a fucking building to a nearby rooftop, while the crowd cheers on, not realizing this isn't part of the show (the kid's shitty acting shoulda tipped them off). Arnold goes to save him and activates his jet pack, which of course sends him spiralling into the air and flying uncontrollably through the city. He also flies through a bunch of buildings and not only does he learn how to fly the jetpack, he does it while probably having a concussion. I don't think jetpack aviation is a "learn by doing" kind of skill.

("Don't worry. I'll do it on the night")

So he manages to learn how to fly the thing just in time to save his son when Sinbad's greed causes him to fall off a building. He then lands, and the kid gets his doll back. He then proceeds to give it to Sinbad because he feels...sin-bad for him I guess. Then this exchange happens: (Keep in mind Sinbad is in handcuffs and presumably going to prison for trying to drop a 7 year old off a building for a toy)

Sinbad: Sorry about that little tension we had on the roof up there.
Jake Lloyd: It's cool.

NO IT ISN'T! You stupid little twerp. He almost just murdered you! You know where you'd be if your dad didn't learn how to fly a jetpack in 3 minutes? You'd be fucking dead for the stupidest possible reason. No big deal though, "it's cool". Idiot.

So the family has a lovely Christmas, and then Arnold's wife says:

"If you went through all that trouble for Jamie, I can't wait to see what you got me"

(Twist ending, he was ALSO a shitty husband)

I am still awaiting the sequel "Jingle All the Way to Divorce Court". Let's go to the breakdown and get the hell out of here.

What solidifies it's status as a Christmas movie?
Celebrates the rampant consumerism and desperation that plagues the malls every December and teaches us a valuable and heartwarming Christmas lesson: If you don't get your kid the hottest toy, you are a shitty parent.

Key Christmas Moment:
As great as it is watching Arnold slug it out with a army of Santa's, I prefer to see him punch a reindeer in the face. Who wouldn't prefer that, really? (except for PETA)

Key Christmas Quote
Huge Santa: I'm gonna deck your halls, bub

Favorite non-Christmas Quote
Howard: Put that cookie down! NOW!

Game Ball Goes To.....
Ted Maltin (Phil Hartman). If for no other reason than he was played by the late Phil Hartman who as I've point out on the blog before, was a comedy genius.

Most Hated Character?
Jake Lloyd. No surprise here. I don't even care what his characters name was. The actor made me hate him. Maybe he turned into a good actor, I don't know. All I can tell you is that he was bloody awful as a kid and I'm pretty sure even as a fetus I was a better actor than this kid. And I had trouble hiding my fetus accent.

(Ruined Star Wars. "Look what you did, you little jerk")

The Movie Wouldn't have happened if...
Arnold was built like John Goodman. He would have never fit into the suit but I think he would've found another way to get that toy.

("This isn't 'Nam, Smokey. This is Christmas. There are rules")

Day 7. The one week of Christmas movies mark. This movie is so shitty it's good. The rest of them will just be good, if not great. However they won't feature anything as messed up as this:

The List so Far:
Day 5: Home Alone
Day 7: Jingle All The Way
Thanks for Reading


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