Jingle All the Way: Christmas in July Blogathon 2021

Hello, friends!

It’s the moment I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for: my entry in the 2021 Christmas in July Blogathon! As usual, I am wrapping up the blogathon and this year. For the closing entry, I am reviewing a guilty pleasure Christmas film of mine: Jingle All the Way.

Jingle All the Way movie posterSynopsis
Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger) sets out to buy his son the popular, and nearly impossible to find, Turbo Man action figure for Christmas.

Do you have a film that you really enjoyed when you were younger, then when you watch it when you’re older you recognize all the flaws in the film but you still enjoy it anyway? That’s Jingle All the Way for me. I’d be lying if I said my enjoyment from this these days didn’t stem from my nostalgia of watching this in my younger years. Watching it now, I can see why it isn’t always regarded in high esteem. But you know what, I don’t care because I have a blast. An action star like Arnold Schwarzenegger going through hell just to buy a toy for his son (Jake Lloyd, aka young Anakin Skywalker) is a recipe for absurd entertainment. The underground Santa Claus counterfeit ring stands out in particular to me. I know it makes no sense but the visuals of the the different statures of the Santas always makes me laugh. Of course, it helps that Schwarzenegger is great here. He is having fun and his scenes with Sinbad are particularly memorable.

In a way, this reminds me of Christmas Vacation. Now before I lose you, I’m not saying this is as good as Christmas Vacation, far from it, but both films take some part of the holiday season and exaggerates it for comedic effect. Christmas Vacation views the extended family coming to visit for the holidays and amps it up. Here, forgetting to buy a specific Christmas present for someone and having to do last minute shopping to find it is something many of us can relate to I’m sure. While what we go through is not as extreme as what Howard (Schwarzenegger) goes through, we can relate to his struggle. And really, relatability is what makes a film enjoyable.

I thought Jingle All the Way was GOOD πŸ™‚ Is it the perfect film? Absolutely not. Is it a guilty pleasure of mine? Absolutely. A nice, healthy guilty pleasure is what we all need and I can always count on Jingle All the Way to scratch that itch


Cast & Crew
Brian Levant – Director
Randy Kornfield – Writer
David Newman – Composer

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Howard Langston
Rita Wilson – Liz Langston
Jake Lloyd – Jamie Langston
Sinbad – Myron Larabee
Phil Hartman – Ted Maltin
Justin Chapman – Billy
Robert Conrad – Officer Hummell
Jim Belushi – Mall Santa
Martin Mull – DJ

My guest to the holiday party is known more for her television roles than her film roles. She was also featured on my list of five favorite redheaded actresses. Jane Levy is my plus one.

Levy was in two fantastic television series, Suburgatory and most recently Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, both of which ended too soon.

And that’s the final entry of the eighth annual Christmas in July Blogathon! Stop by tomorrow for the wrap up post, where I’ll share the full list of entries and final guest list to our imaginary holiday party.

Until next time, cheers!

Lightning Review: Black Sheep

Black Sheep movie posterSynopsis
Mike Donnelly (Chris Farley) wants to help his brother Al (Tim Matheson) win the election for the governor of Washington. Al assigns Steve Dodds (David Spade) to keep Mike occupied so he doesn’t ruin his election campaign.

Chris Farley and David Spade made such a great pair in Tommy Boy so it was only right that they would team up again. Black Sheep has the same heart but it doesn’t doesn’t hit the same highs as their first film collaboration. Both Farley and Spade play similar characters with Farley being the goofball screw up and Spade being the β€œresponsible” one to look over him. It’s a dynamic that works for these two. However, the film is written in a way that the jokes feel few and far between. Several scenes last too long, seemingly simply to fill the runtime, which is a brisk eighty-seven minutes. There are moments that are genuinely funny but the time between them isn’t really worth the wait. Besides Farley and Spade, the rest of the characters don’t do very much and none of them were particularly enjoyable besides Gary Busey, whose character is as Gary Busey-y as you would expect.

I thought Black Sheep was OK :-|. Its heart is in the right place and Chris Farley and David Spade once again make a great comedy pair but the material isn’t there for them to really play off each other to their best abilities.

Favorite Quote
Motorcycle Cop: Now, I don’t know how you do things up in β€œBuckleytown” but down here we are protective of the other drivers on the roads.
Steve Dobbs: [High in the back seat] Ro-ads. Rooooads.
Mike Donnelly: [Imitating a police officer] Quite back there! Taken enough guff from you for one day, raving psycho. Butchered 400 chickens and screwed a beagle. Taking him back to Nevada where he is wanted for banging horses.
Motorcycle Cop: Good, God! Can you get him through the state a little faster than seven miles an hour, officer…?
Mike: Uh, Mehoff. Jack. [Turns to Steve and mouths] Jack me off.


Cast & Crew
Penelope Spheeris – Director
Fred Wolf – Writer
William Ross – Composer

Chris Farley – Mike Donnelly
David Spade – Steve Dodds
Tim Matheson – Al Donnelly
Christine Eversole – Governor Tracy
Gary Busey – Drake Sabitch
Grant Heslov – Robbie Mieghem
Timothy Carhart – Roger Kovary
Bruce McGill – Neuschwander
Michael Patrick Carter – Scott Colleary
Boyd Banks – Clyde Spinoza
David St. James – Motorcycle Cop