A wonderful story; at least for those of us who fondly remember the 80’s. To those criticizing this for ripping off A Christmas Story: What you call ripping off, I call “paying homage”. In much the same way that Stranger Things paid homage to movies like E.T., 8-Bit Christmas lovingly and respectfully honors ‘A Christmas Story’ by setting it in the late 1980’s and making it a far more relatable tale for those of us who grew up during the video game revolution. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen all year.
Here some 8 Bit Christmas Review Reddit
I was 11 in 1988. My sister got a Cabbage Patch Kid that Christmas, and I didn’t get my NES. lol My 9 yr old daughter is asking me for a smart phone this year. (Which she isn’t getting. lol) Lastly, my father passed away from cancer a few months ago.
This movie hit me pretty hard at the end. Made me cry. I loved it. Today, (Thanksgiving) was my first major holiday without my dad. We loved to watch “A Christmas Story” during this time of year. I would’ve loved to watch this with him…
First, sorry about your father. Sucks, lost mine to sudden brain aneurysm a few years back.
Second, you just described why this hit me as well. I was 13 in 1988. Got my first NES then, but did have to compete with my older sister on presents.
My 8 yr old daughter watched this with me the other night. She too has been asking for a phone for the last year. Sadly we are caving. More for security reasons and she's pretty well adjusted and has earned our trust. That said, I got a pretty good idea on lock down for it (as much as possible).
Anyways your post made me smile and it was pretty much why I loved this cheesy "Christmas Story" remake. My dad would have loved watching it with me and my daughter. Somehow I think he might have been. Or at least I like to think that.
I am so sorry for your loss..
I understand where you are coming from in a way, I loss my dad to a massive heart attack a few months ago and the ending to this movie crushed me. I would have loved if he could have watched this, I would have loved hearing him laugh about this movie.
I hope you are doing okay and I wish you the best this upcoming season.
We had my MILs funeral the week before we watched this movie and I cried at the end. My 9yo is wanting an oculus which he definitely isn’t getting bc he already has a switch. This movie made me feel better about not getting it for him.
Between the diarrhea song, fuckface Billy Ripken, the power glove sucking, and King of the Mountain, this was a very enjoyable 80s kid movie.
King of the Mountain brought it BACK for me. I was telling my kids about it. Nothing even remotely like that happens in their cohort of kids.
I totally forgot about King of the Mountain. Whenever the trucks plowed the snow, we climbed atop it and repeatedly threw each other off till recess ended. haha
Practically the same movie, in a different era. The Donkey Kong bully is Scut Farkus, the boots were the bunny suit...
Even the "weird kid" at recess is the "I like the Wizard of Oz" kid.
I'm watching it right now, and enjoying how blatantly its a modernizing of the same story.
This is all true, but I will add that my childhood had all these things. The bully who was bigger and older than everyone because he failed a couple times. The weird kid. The douche bag who owned a Nintendo and invited everyone to his house but would hardly let anyone play.
Steven Spielberg Enthusiast
I think Steve Zahn can play great dad characters and this furthered that belief. But wow, this movie hit me in the feels at the very end.
Pleasant surprise and very entertaining
I loved the reprisal of the manic Frank Heffley character. When he punched the elf and casually threw him off the escalator I got a big belly laugh.
Favorite quote: "If life was fair, it would be... a fair. Okay? But I don't s... I don't, see any carnival rides around here, do you?"
Agreed. I knew him from That thing you do and he basically played that guy for years and I never liked it, but he plays a family man very very well.
When I first saw him in the movie I kind of scoffed. I was bracing for his comedy that I was familiar with and when it never came I was left a fan.
I was surprised he didn't turn into a little boy once the kid stood up to him. I assumed him being a 19-year old was the kid's exaggerated imagination, like when the bag exploded, and standing up to him would have reframed the bully in the kid's mind as just another little kid like him.
My whole family laughed when they were crowded around the radio listening to all the counties that were getting snow days, we literally did the exact same thing growing up
Also, the mom not letting anyone eat the cookies set aside for relatives was perfect
I really loved David Cross’ role in this, Steve Zahn was great too.
I’ve always loved Christmas and the movies about the holiday since I was a kid, probably the most lenient I am with forgiving flaws and just having a good time of any sub genre. Like that Christmas morning sequence with Sleigh Ride playing and the dad recording, them opening presents is so my shit. I had a really fun time with this. The humor’s hit or miss but it had more moments than I was really expecting, in particular the whole thing about bribing the rich kid to play Nintendo with gifts and the one school coach being there was a good gag - and then him just going fucking crazy and destroying his tv and almost killing his dog had my jaw on the floor. I appreciated that they managed to cast a bunch of kids that both talked and felt like real friends, and it maintains the heart you would always want out of a holiday movie like this. The ending was a bit shoehorned in just to really tug on them heart strings one last time but I still thought it was a sweet moment, definitely needed and should’ve been foreshadowed up until that point would’ve made for a much more natural and effective moment at the end there.
It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it’s a very standard Christmas movie - but honestly I don’t feel like we get enough of them anymore. It’s a welcome and fun little addition to the Christmas movie catalog. I’ll probably grow to like it more and more if I continuously watched it every year.
Wow, was not expecting that. Just finished watching this. I planned to watch it with my 2 kids, 14 YO boy and 12 YO girl. My daughter ended up having a sleepover at her friends so it was just me and my son. As a single dad I almost lost it at the end. I didn’t think they made Christmas films like that anymore. This will be rewatched for many years to come.
I didn't like the trailer at all. I thought it would be broad and over the top...
Instead, I got a very thoughtful, super well written and directed Christmas movie that is by far my favorite since probably Elf. Really blown away by this. The kids were all IT-level good, the adults all had quirks (Steve Zahn has turned into a mix of Alan the dad in Boy Meets World and Crispin Glover) that never went too far and always maintained a level tone.
Ending made me teary eyed. Loved the way it looked, loved the music cues, none of the jokes missed for me...damn. I've definitely got a new yearly movie in this one.
The Billy Ripken card was in the 89 Fleer set, though. This movie takes place in '88 (the home videos has the date on it). Disaster.
Well I'll be damned this movie sure as hell knows what my experience growing up in the 80s was. Like, to an eerie degree. Funny because I grew up in Wisconsin and my family was the ones who would have been bitching about Illinois drivers and Bears fans.
Loved it, btw. Felt like A Christmas Story tuned just right for my generation.
The scene where the dad is chasing his kid through the mall made the movie for me. He cold cocks a dude in front of him, gets blocked by a bit and goes "of course, Packers fans". 11/10 moment for me.
I'd go as far as saying that it was one of the bigger surprises of the year for me. Went in knowing nothing about the reception and its story, with relatively low expectations, and what I got was a well-made movie that was funny throughout, with a pretty smart screenplay, full of tiny details that each come into play in different ways later on. And to top it off, they end it in a genuinely poignant way as well. Honestly, I don't have much to complain about. What a pleasant surprise
The cast was great, especially the pathological liar kid, the rabid anti-video game parents, and my Queen, Miss June Diane Raphael. Also it was nice to see David Cross pop up and toss out the moral.
Yeah, it borrows heavily from A Christmas Story. But our generation was due for something like this. I tried to watch a Christmas Story with my daughter last week and realized that she could not comprehend the era or anything else in that movie. Maybe it’s what happens when you get older- you identify less with the kids and more with the parents. I’m glad this movie is out there for my girl and hope she has the same affinity for these characters as I did for Ralphie and his mom and dad.
I'm really glad they went out of their way to say the power glove sucked. They were making it put to be so cool and I was letting my partner know in reality the glove sucked but within seconds they cemented that fact. It was so "bad" it almost killed a dog haha
Movie was real good. Def keeping it in the holiday rotation
Loved it until the ending. Ripped me right out of the Christmas mood and straight into sad city, USA. Not for me. It was marketed as a light hearted throw back type of film and I was not expecting to ugly cry at the end. I feel bamboozled.
So I didn't even know about this movie until today and I only watched it because I saw NPH was in it, I no expectations about it and knew nothing other then the synopses from imdb.
As I watched it I got some Princess Bride vibes from NPH telling the story and the daughter being annoyed at having to listen to the story all the eay to the middle where NPH offered to stop telling it and her saying she wanted to hear more to even at the end when the girl showing she had really enjoyed it.
At the same time there were hints of a Christmas Story as well and possibly more things that I may have missed.
This movie was actually very good and it even tugs at the heart, especially at the end with the big reveal.
I have to say that this is easily a new favorite holiday movie and one that I will enjoy watching again.
I was really surprised at how good this movie was. My family and I enjoyed it from start to finish. There wasn't really any point where it lagged. I was expecting it to be some schlocky modern family movie with dumbed-down jokes and a predictable story, but what we got was tons of likeable characters, smart dialogue, and a really fantastic ending I didn't see coming. The nostalgia isn't heavy-handed or obvious either, especially for us Chicagoans. Sure, this movie has it's fair share of gross-out jokes that are the standard on more recent family movies like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and such, but the story and spirit are a mark above those.
Folks here have compared it to A Christmas Story and Princess Bride, and those comparisons are apt. It's a great new holiday classic for those who grew up in the '70s and '80s. The writing, acting and direction are all way better than what you would normally expect from this type of movie, and even more so than one you would see go straight to streaming. Too bad, because I think this could have been really popular had it been released to theaters as well.
I want to make sure I don't sound hyperbolic - this is no Citizen Kane, for sure - but I could see it becoming a holiday classic in the same sense that Elf became, in that I see it aging very well in the years to come.
Also I did not know this was based on a book that came out a few years ago.
Definitely worth it for that ending, but it was slow going getting there. Some really good gags along the way, but the whole Nintendo story just felt tedious. I think maybe if it was a story narrated with more sincerity by someone who wasn't NPH it could have worked better. The story was funny enough on its own without trying to work in narration jokes on top of it.
Also, I think part of why A Christmas Story worked so well is that the narrator was speaking as if he was there reliving the moment, making expressions that would be going on in the kid's head at the time. This narration felt detached, and I don't think it was only because of the telling the story to his daughter gimmick, but maybe. I think they could have kept that gimmick but improved the actual narration and it would have worked.
Love it! I thought it would be guilty pleasure good like Space Jam: A New Legacy was for me but I instead got something better. I've got a new holiday classic and I wanna read the book now.
I’d like to say that I really enjoyed the film. However, I have a pretty major critique and I’ll use The Goonies to illustrate my dissatisfaction. The entire wreathe selling plot line was completely unnecessary. Now, imagine if the Goonies spent a third of the movie mowing lawns as opposed to hunting for treasure. This film should have progressed to “the plan” sooner and skipped the wreathe selling, imho. It felt more like a meandering television plot line as opposed to a purposeful film. This could have been a classic, now it’s just a really solid movie.