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A Christmas Story 4K UHD Review

“A Christmas Story” is simply one of the best films. 

You all know the story of 1983’s “A Christmas Story.” It follows the Parker family (Mr. and Mrs. Parker and their 2 children Ralphie and Randy) in small town Indiana as they navigate the hectic holiday season. Really though, it’s a story about childhood told through the eyes of the Red Ryder BB Gun coveting Ralphie (and PERFECTLY narrated by Jean Shepherd the author of “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash” of which the film is based off of). 

In light of “A Christmas Story Christmas” being released on HBOMax (which is well worth watching by the way), it seems only fitting to be reviewing “A Christmas Story” today. Truth be told, it’s a bit strange for me to review this film having seen it well over 100 times. It’s also been one of my favorite films since childhood. It’s an utterly relatable story about the ups and downs of youth, family, and the Christmas season. The characters are all perfectly realized, the comedic misadventures of the family have you grinning from ear to ear, the script by Bob Clark, Jean Shepherd and Leigh Brown is endlessly quotable and note perfect, and the direction by Bob Clark is assured and intimate. It may be just a movie, but it looks and feels like an authentic story from small town America. Sure, it may be set decades ago, but it has always felt timeless.

And who could forget the cast? It’s not often you see a film with so many perfectly cast child actors. Peter Billingsley had the tough task of carrying the narrative and the movie but he does it with ease. He manages to be charming while also delivering a heartfelt performance. Ian Petrella doesn’t have much to say but he manages to steal nearly every scene he’s in as Randy. Darren McGavin gives the film’s finest performance as Mr. Parker AKA The Old Man. He’s grouchy, strict but ultimately a loving father. Melinda Dillon gives a sweet performance as Mrs. Parker. She has real chemistry with the entire cast. Zack Ward is perhaps one of the big screen’s most legendary bullies as the yellow eyed Scut Farkus. Tedde Moore (Ms. Shields), Scott Schwartz (Flick), R.D. Robb (Schwartz) and Jeff Gillen (the nightmarish Santa) are also unforgettable in their roles.


Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p. How does it look? Having seen the film countless times on numerous mediums, this is the best the film has looked. It’s slightly better than the Blu-ray release. but there’s not a huge difference between the 4K and the Blu-ray (although some of the exterior shots look noticeably sharper).

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A nice sharp 2.0 track. 

* Commentary by director Bob Clark and star Peter Billingsley (on the 4K and Blu-ray)
* Digital copy
* Blu-ray copy
* Archival Blu-ray extras- Theatrical trailer, 2 segments of Jean Shepherd’s original radio reading, deleted script pages of a “Flash Gordon” scene, a faux Leg Lamp ad, “Christmas In Ohio: A Christmas Story House” featurette, “Another Christmas Story” (which features cast interviews), “Daisy Red Ryder: A History” (a featurette on the history of the air rifle), and “Get A Leg Up” (another faux piece on the Leg Lamp).


November 18, 2022 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , ,

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