DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

A Christmas Story - Blu-ray Review



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Way back in 1983, director Bob Clark (previously responsible for such family friendly features like Porky's and Black Christmas) gathered a motley crew together and on a shoestring budget shot a holiday-themed film based upon a series of anecdotes written by Jean Shepherd. The film quickly came and went with only a marginal spattering of attention during 1984's Oscar season, but it won nothing. This little film wasn't supposed to be remembered. It wasn't even supposed to have worked in the first place, but somehow Bob Clark's A Christmas Story became and remains a modern classic. Quite simply, this is THE best holiday film of all time and now, on glorious blu-ray, it shines as never before.

A Christmas StoryIt's the story of young Ralphie Parker [played by child actor Peter Billingsley (who would later produce of 2008's Iron Man)] and his Christmas misadventures at school, with his parents (played perfectly by Darren McGavin and Mellinda Dillon), some bullies, and friends throughout the town as he pursues his Christmas wish of owning a Red Ryder BB gun courtesy of Santa Clause. His request for the BB gun is always followed by the adult-lead chant of â"You'll shoot your eye out" and yet it never gets tiring to hear. Audiences love and still quote it. Ralphie's brother, Randy Parker (played by Ian Petrella), nearly steals the show (in every frame he is included in) by simply being there bundled in his snow suit or refusing to eat his meatloaf.

There are so many classic moments from this film and so many moments that audiences already are so well-versed in that it becomes difficult to review objectively; the true sign of a classic. Seriously, we are dealing with a film that families enact, nearly line by line, at the holiday season and quote to friends, strangers on the street, and everybody gets it. It is a film that is celebrated throughout America even after the holidays have passed by. Really. I've seen re-enactments in restaurants and on the streets and, according to the features on the blu-ray disc, so has Bob Clark. Last time I was in a long line at a department store, I turned back to the woman behind me and rattled off in a nasally voice, â"I like the Wizard of Oz" and she got it, smiled and laughed.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
5 Stars
5 Stars
DVD Experience
5 Stars

DVD

DVD Details:

Now, on blu-ray, the film really sparkles. Forget the repeated versions broadcast on television this year, spend the money and buy this for the family; the colors are sharp, the details are clear, and the sound is 100 times better than broadcast. This is the version you need and, let's face it, want and no holiday stocking should be without it.

Screen Formats: 1.85:1 (Enhanced Wide Screen Letterbox for 16x9 TV)

Subtitles: Closed Captioned; English, Spanish, French

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital Mono; French: Dolby Digital Mono; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; Commentary; 2 Festive featurettes: Daisy Red Ryder: A History and Get a Leg Up Script Pages
Theatrical Trailer.

* Commentary
o Feature-length commentary track with Peter Billingsley and Director/Co-Writer Bob Clark
* Featurettes
o 20th- Anniversary Documentary - Another Christmas Story
o Daisy Red Ryder: A History
o Get a Leg Up Script Pages
* Previews - The original theatrical trailer

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

{pgomakase}

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