JINGLE ALL THE WAY
1996, 20th Century Fox, 89 min, USA, Dir: Brian Levant

Every year brings a hot new toy that every kid wants for the holidays, and in this family comedy hit, it’s Turbo Man. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad play rival dads desperate to give their sons the sold-out action figure for Christmas, running afoul of cops, counterfeiters and parades along the way. Costars Phil Hartman, Robert Conrad, Rita Wilson and Jim Belushi help supply laughs (as well as some gentle jabs at the commercialization of the season).


DOG DAY AFTERNOON
1975, Warner Bros., 130 min, USA, Dir: Sidney Lumet

Put-upon everyman Al Pacino, squeezed in the vise of pressures from his dysfunctional family and his transsexual lover (Chris Sarandon), finally cracks, robbing an NYC bank with shell-shocked vet John Cazale (THE DEER HUNTER) to finance Sarandon’s sex-change operation. Based on a true story, DOG DAY AFTERNOON is one of director Sidney Lumet’s most acutely observed and compassionate slices of life in the Big Apple. An Oscar winner for Frank Pierson’s original screenplay.


SLAP SHOT
1977, Universal, 122 min, USA, Dir: George Roy Hill

Director George Roy Hill (BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID) and writer Nancy Dowd (Best Screenplay winner for COMING HOME) bring to the screen this incredibly funny and foul-mouthed saga of a has-been hockey team from a dying-on-the-vine Pennsylvania town. Paul Newman is both the team’s coach and a player who strives for a winning strategy. When an atypical fit of violence erupts in the rink, it creates a surprising spike in the team’s popularity, and Newman suddenly has a guaranteed approach to bring in the fans. Co-starring Michael Ontkean as a fish-out-of-water Ivy League player disgruntled by the bad sportsmanship, Strother Martin as the team’s manager, Jerry Houser as Dave “Killer” Carlson and Jennifer Warren as Newman’s long-suffering beautician wife. Reportedly Newman’s favorite of his films. "Easily the greatest hockey film ever made. …Paul Newman stars as the coach/player for a second-rate team who can't win and can't even get arrested until they hire three brothers with Coke-bottle glasses named the Hansons. These three violent goons begin beating other players to a pulp in every game, not only drawing attention to the team but beginning a winning streak. …Irreverent and very funny." - Jeffrey M. Anderson, combustiblecelluloid.com


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