Jingle All the Way appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While the picture generally seemed good, a few nagging issues caused it to fall short of greatness.
Sharpness offered a slightly mixed bag. Most of the movie came across as accurate and distinctive, but some exceptions occurred. At times, the film seemed mildly ill-defined, particularly in wide shots. The softness didn’t appear heavy, but it created some minor distractions. I discerned no moiré effects or jagged edges, but light edge enhancement popped up throughout the film. Print flaws were absent.
Colors seemed acceptable. The era’s film stocks could be a bit flat, and that came over here, but the tones were mostly pretty good. Black levels were adequately deep and rich, and shadow detail was appropriately clear but not excessively opaque. No significant problems marred Jingle, but enough small concerns popped up to knock my grade down to a “B-”.
Comedies don’t usually provide much in the audio department, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Jingle All the Way fell into line with expectations. The soundfield seemed oriented toward the front, but it seemed to be fairly engaging nonetheless. The forward channels presented a reasonably clean and engaging atmosphere, as the audio created a believable sound space.
The music showed good stereo presence, and elements moved smoothly across the forward spectrum as they blended together neatly. Surround usage appeared fairly minor. For the most part, the rear speakers provided little more than reinforcement of the forward image. A few shots used the surrounds more actively, like during the opening episode of Turbo Man and the fight at the end, but those occasions occurred infrequently.
Audio quality appeared fine. Speech remained natural and concise, with no signs of edginess or problems connected to intelligibility. Music showed nice range and clarity, and the bass response demonstrated a reasonably solid punch, though some disappointments occurred; for example, during the Santa fight, the big Santa’s foreboding footsteps lacked much presence. Nothing about the soundtrack stood out as exceptional, but the mix seemed decent for this sort of flick.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the prior DVD from 2007? Audio added a little pep, while visuals seemed cleaner and tighter. The movie’s era-related restrictions limited how much better the Blu-ray could be, but it still offered the superior experience.
Expect the Blu-ray to reproduce most of the DVD’s extras. The disc includes both the film’s theatrical version (1:29:31) and an extended edition (1:33:44) of Jingle.
If you want a list of the differences between the two cuts… look elsewhere. I only saw the theatrical cut once and that was years ago, so I couldn’t determine changes other than the addition of a scene with Yeardley Smith as a woman who bilks Howard for a Booster doll. I can say that the longer cut works no better or worse than the theatrical version. Both have the same pros and cons, so don’t expect the added material to make a difference.
If you want to see the added material on its own, go to Extended/Deleted Scenes. This 20-minute, 36-second compilation features “Howard Buying Doll from Woman on Street” (5:18), “Howard and Mall Santa in Car/Mall Santa Breaks into Song/Howard and Mall Santas Fight” (9:12), “Howard and Myron in Diner” (3:45) and “Howard Riding Home with Tow-Truck Driver” (2:22).
Since the Extended Cut of Jingle runs only four minutes longer than the Theatrical Version, that tells you that most of the deleted/extended scenes collection gives us material from the latter. The scenes offer some mild moments of interest but never become especially memorable.
Three featurettes follow. The Making of a Hero goes for 15 minutes, 29 seconds and includes info from director Brian Levant, Turbo Man designer/supervisor Tim Flattery, producer Michael Barnathan, and actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dan Riordan. “Hero” looks at the design of Turbo Man, the creation of the live-action costume, and shooting the superhero scenes. The show offers a surprisingly tight little look at the Turbo Man topics. It turns into a fun and informative view of those subjects.
Super Kids lasts eight minutes, 12 seconds and presents notes from kids of varying ages from four to 14. They tell us why they like superheroes and what powers they wish they possessed. It’s a pretty pointless piece.
Finally, Turbo Man: Behind the Mask fills eight minutes, 17 seconds. It offers a faux documentary that pretends there really was a Turbo Man series in the mid-1990s. It’s cute but not particularly interesting, especially since it wants us to believe Turbo Man really existed.
The disc ads for Alvin and the Chipmunks, Home Alone, Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Eragon and Night at the Museum. No trailer for Jingle appears here.
I suppose its creators hoped that Jingle All the Way would become a holiday classic. Instead, it turned into little more than a footnote on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s résumé. The movie presents the occasional laugh, but a muddled story and too much easy emotion drags it down to the level of impotent tripe. The Blu-ray brings us generally positive picture and audio along with minor supplements. Jingle isn’t an awful movie, but it’s mostly pretty weak.
To rate this film, visit the original review of JINGLE ALL THE WAY