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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: what would Jesus buy?

Withdrawing from the Christmas shopping craze — which my family did last year, to the general relief of all — has made the holiday season so much more pleasant and relaxing. And it makes witnessing the orgy of consumerism that grips the month of December all the more pitiful to watch. From my review of Jingle All the Way:

Jingle All the Way doesn’t quite send up the kind of mass insanity that grips parents at Christmastime so much as celebrate it. Jamie, at eight or whatever he is, is already the consummate consumer, rising in the morning from his TurboMan-sheeted bed (in which he was reading a TurboMan comic book) in his TurboMan-wallpapered room to munch TurboMan cereal while watching TurboMan on TV. A huge chunk of the film, rather appropriately, takes place at the Mall of America, a veritable cathedral to gimme. The postman Myron Larabee (Sinbad), whom Howard keeps butting heads with over TurboMan dolls, is made to look like an idiot for expressing anti-consumerist ‘tude, as if fighting over toys the little brats are gonna get bored with in a month’s time is not only normal behavior but something to be lauded. Is Jingle All the Way true to life? You bet. That’s the most depressing thing about it.

review of Jingle All the Way, posted 12.06.99

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  • Actually, I think the most depressing thing about it now is realising that if Jingle All The Way was made now, they wouldn’t even bother making up a fictional toy – they’d just use a real toy and say the product placement was “ironic”. I don’t believe that movies necessarily do get worse and worse every year, but some things about them certainly do. Product placement is one of them.

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