Director: Bob Clark
Cast: Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Peter Billingsley
Release Date: November 1, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
Set in a 1940s-era Midwestern town and told from the viewpoints of a seven-year-old boy, who only wants one thing for Christmas — a Red Ryder BB gun — the episodic tale chronicles not only his schemes to convince his mother and father to buy him one, but also offers a warmly nostalgic look into 1940s middle-class American life. From the stories of, and narrated by, Jean Shepherd.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The beloved holiday comedy ‘A Christmas Story’ follows a young boy and his family in the 1940’s, and young Ralphie only wants one thing this year for Christmas; a Red Ryder BB gun. Unfortunately every time he tells an adult this it’s met with the standard reply of “you’ll shoot your eye out”. Determined to find a way to convince his parents that it’s the perfect gift, he attempts everything from writing a school report about it, to visiting Santa at the mall in the hopes of finding one person who will back up his opinions and help make his dreams reality.
The holiday favorite ‘A Christmas Story’ was first released in November of 1983 and has remained an iconic favorite of folks everywhere in the nearly four decades since (even seeing a new official sequel this year on HBO Max with ‘A Christmas Story Christmas’ which brings back many members of the original’s cast) and still easily delivers a hilarious and heartfelt good time today. Gorgeously directed by Bob Clark from a screenplay by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Clark which was based upon the novel “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash” by Shepherd. The film’s cast includes Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Peter Billingsley, Scott Schwartz, R.D. Robb, Zack Ward and more who each offer fitting and capable performances for the most part in each of their respective roles and do their part to contribute to the fun and humor within.
‘A Christmas Story’ is a somewhat unusual breed of a family comedy and Christmas film mixed with a unique style and offbeat humor that somehow meshes together remarkably well in order to create a holiday film that’s still original in its own way and never seems to get tired or worn down by age. Still offering up all of the laughs, mishaps and heartfelt fun that it did when initially released almost four decades ago, it certainly hasn’t lost its charm with time. If you’ve never had the pleasure of this beloved Christmas movie then I would strongly encourage you to try and make a point of checking it out. It’s a rare gem that’s curiously from the same director as the original ‘Black Christmas’ and never fails to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable, funny and touching experience with every viewing. This one has certainly remained one of the more iconic holiday films over the years, and for good reason.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings the 1983 Bob Clark directed holiday gem ‘A Christmas Story’ home once again, just in time for the Holidays with its 4K Ultra HD debut which should have fans of this timeless classic truly thrilled. Sporting a spectacular and source faithful new Ultra High Definition video presentation with HDR-10 on the feature which breathes some gorgeous new life into the tale, and it’s only further complemented by a solid DTS-HD MA soundtrack and a nice helping of previously released extras in order to deliver a quite rewarding 4K Ultra HD debut of this holiday masterpiece that should absolutely thrill its dedicated fans. If you’re fully 4K capable, a fan of ‘A Christmas Story’ and already considering a purchase, then this release is definitely highly recommended!
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘A Christmas Story’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with HDR-10 presented in its original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful across the board and delivers a clean, sharp and beautifully detailed presentation from start to finish with no unexpected troubles or issues arising throughout. It shows noticeable improvement in detail and clarity to almost every area of the presentation, with character details, car and background elements, along with everything else looking sharper than we’ve ever seen, while the HDR addition only further complements it all by contributing some vibrant and beautiful colors paired with satisfyingly deep blacks. Overall, this is a magnificent new Ultra High Definition video presentation that looks marvelous throughout and should have fans of this Christmas classic ecstatic.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a 2.0 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This two channel soundtrack offers a clean, crisp and problem free audio presentation throughout. It effortlessly juggles the various audio elements within and ensures that all of the dialogue, music, effects and other auditory content is clean, sharp and fully audible every step of the way; never resulting in any simultaneously occurring audio elements or effects clashing with one another or overtaking each other. Overall, this is a fully capable 2.0 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that holds up nicely every step of the way and shouldn’t disappoint.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘A Christmas Story’ includes a nice collection of previously released extras, the majority of which can be found on the combo pack’s included Blu-ray disc. Both discs (4K UHD and Blu-ray) include an ‘Audio Commentary with Bob Clark and Peter Billingsley’, while the Blu-ray disc additionally includes various Featurettes, fun videos and more including ‘Christmas in Ohio: A Christmas Story House’ (running approximately 21 minutes in length), ‘Another Christmas Story’ (running approximately 18 minutes), ‘Daisy Red Ryder: A History’ (approximately 5 minutes), ‘Get a Leg Up’ (4 minutes), along with the ‘”Flash Gordon” Deleted Script Pages’ (3 minutes), ‘The Leg Lamp Spot’ (1 minute) and the film’s ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes). Also included are two ‘Jean Shepherd Original Radio Readings’ (approximately 69 minutes combined).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray disc included in the 4K UHD Combo Pack and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD disc itself and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on the 4K UHD & Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘A Christmas Story’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD & Digital from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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