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The kid sitting next to me—age 10 or 11 at the oldest—is one tough critic. Sinbad gets kicked in the balls and Junior doesn’t even chuckle. Ah-nuld bare-knuckle boxes with a maniacal reindeer, but from our diminutive filmgoer, not even a snicker. Only when a midget Santa catches an accidental haymaker from a Herculean Santa and goes flying through the air like a squealing sack of mangoes does the kid let loose the faintest of violence-is-cool chuckles. This lack of reaction from its target audience does not bode well for Jingle All the Way, the holiday suckfest—directed by Brian (The Flintstones) Levant—about two negligent fathers, Sinbad and Herr Schwarzenegger, trying to find a Turbo Man action figure (presumably sold out across the universe) for their sons on Christmas Eve. While the premise has promise (better suited for a younger John Hughes, perhaps), and the Terminator mugs his heart out, Jingle is awash with piss-poor acting, horrendous editing, and jokes that never come close to amusing (including downright nauseating gags involving Rodney King and letter bombs). Very few youngsters displayed much emotion during the screening of Jingle I attended (although one little girl did whimper at the singing Raisinets in a pre-movie ad), and the only adults who enjoyed themselves are a couple of white-trash winners for whom the description “hillbilly” would be an upgrade. As the two Hatfields exited the theater, Pa said to Ma, “Yup, looks like Arnie has got another hit on his hands.” For the sake of humanity, I hope not. At area theaters; see Showtimes for venues. (Sean Daly)