It’s day 8 and Christmas is right around the corner. Only one weekend left so I hope you got your shopping done! If not, remember, there’s about one day left for Amazon’s guaranteed two day shipping Christmas delivery, so, jump all over that. I have another classic for you today but this one isn’t from the 80’s, it’s from the 90’s and it’s one of the final films from a great comedian and one of the first films for an actor with a very short lived career before a galaxy far far away ruined his life. If you haven’t been keeping up, then here’s the list so far.
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
- A Christmas Story
- Office Christmas Party
- Fred Claus
That’s right folks, Jingle All The Way. This is a movie from 1996 and I got to see this in theaters. I was 13 at the time and I made sure to watch this. I loved Arnold Schwarzenegger but I also thought I was one mature bastards because I watched Saturday Night Live and pretended to get all the political jokes, so I was excited to see Phil Hartman too. I really liked this movie as a kid but as I kept rewatching it as I got older it became less great and turned into a movie that was simply fun. Not good, but fun.
If you ever listen to Future Flicks with Billiam (which you totally should) you’ll know that fun in movies is one of the biggest things I look for. A lot can be forgiven when a movie is fun enough. In this case, what can be forgiven is an over the top plot with two dimensional characters that becomes way more than the sum of its parts.
This movie is about Howard who messed up. His son wants one gift more than anything else for Christmas. He wants a Turbo Man action figure, and so does every other kid. This is a hot toy and the kind that becomes hard to find the closer you get to Christmas. Howard really needs this win because he’s kind of a crappy father. He puts work first before his family and needs to prove that he loves them. What fallows is a quest across the city with a mail man named Myron who is sometimes his friend but mostly his foe. Together to the two search for the ever elusive toy.
This stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (Hercules in New York), Sinbad (Coneheads), Rita Wilson (Sleepless in Seatle), Phil Hartman (Saturday Night Live), Martin Mull (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Jim Belushi (K-9), and Jake Lloyd (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace).
That’s right, before Star Wars killed his love of acting, Anakin Skywalker was in this movie.
I have to be honest. This movie didn’t have a lot going for it. It was an obvious cash grab for the stars. It was written by the same guy who wrote Eight Legged Freaks and directed by the guy who directed the Ice Cube movie Are We There Yet. This is also one of the first movies produced by Chris Columbus, the man who wrote Gremlins and directed Home Alone and The Goonies. That last part is pretty cool, but the lackluster director and writer didn’t stop this film from becoming a classic to many of us 90’s kids. If you’re younger. If the 90’s was way before your time, then you may not like this movie. But for the rest of us, this will be a nice trip down memory lane.
This movie doesn’t make the cut every year. In fact it’s been a few years since I watched it. But I do love to dust if off once in a while and enjoy it. If you’re like and grew up in the late 80’s and early 90’s then you may be looking forward to watching this and in fact it may have already been on your list. Just like all the others, I hope you enjoy this movie and I believe when you’re done you’ll see it the way I do. A good Christmas movie with a good message. It’s also one of the final performances of the late, great Phil Hartman who was taken from us way too soon.
I hope your Christmas prep is starting to finish up and I hope that the rest of the season is stress free for you. Please be sure to check back in the next few days as we wrap up Billiam’s 12 Flicks of Christmas.