Score : 91/100
Watchable Minutes: 93/93. There aren’t any wasted scenes or lacking areas. The last few minutes have not aged well at all, but it’s very much a product of its time. Definitely would have been left on the cutting room floor if this movie was made today.
Trailer Comparison : I think the trailer for A Christmas Story puts a slightly different tone on the movie. It feels more like a fast paced comedy, while the actual movie is quite a bit slower. Some of the best jokes are in the trailer but that’s typical 80s trailers for ya.
Movie or Film : A Christmas Story is a definite movie for me. There’s nothing to analyze in terms of a message. It’s not my favorite movie but I cannot deny that it’s a good old fashioned holiday story and one of the ultimate classics. A Christmas Story has definitely earned it’s place in the cultural lexicon.
Ralphie Parker wants one thing for Christmas this year : a Red Ryder BB gun. The only problem is that his mother, his teacher and even Santa Claus think he’s going to shoot his eye out! Not one to give up, Ralph spends the last few days before Christmas dragging his brother around, running from bullies and coming up with a plan to get his prized BB gun.
Confession Time :
I’ve got to come clean, right off the top. I’ve never watched A Christmas Story until deciding to write this post and I only agreed to do it because my girlfriend asked me to. I can be a bit of a Scrooge, but I thought if I watched it I could get some brownie points. End of confession and on to the review.
A Christmas Story feels like a classic and there are so many universal feelings about it that make it relatable for everyone. It’s wholesome and sweet. I genuinely can’t find anything wrong with the movie and I had fun watching it. I still don’t love holiday movies, but as far as they go, this one isn’t bad at all. I’ve seen so many bits and pieces of this movie portrayed by other shows and movies that I felt like I’d already seen it before. Still, there are so many iconic scenes and lines that are better now that I have given the movie a chance.
The story scores a perfect 20 points. It’s not complex and doesn’t require a shred of disbelief to watch. Everything about the movie is believable and completely relatable. As kids, we all have that one toy we have to have and fantasize about getting, just like Ralphie. Personally, I relate on other levels, too. For instance, as the eldest of five siblings, I was able to relate to Ralphie and his having to drag Randy around with his buddies. Aside from that, it’s not overly dramatic and keeps the tone light. There isn’t a complicated timeline or anything either. The character development is pretty lackluster but a movie like this doesn’t need to have anything extreme like that so there’s no points off for it.
The mechanics of A Christmas Story are where the points are lost. The directing, editing and acting are all fine. There’s nothing award winning about any of them, but there’s nothing wrong with any of them. The audio and video components of the movie are where it starts to suffer. It looks and feels very, I don’t know, budget production. There isn’t any recognizable score and the overall sound design has that rubbery feeling I mentioned in my Terminator review. I didn’t take off all the available points, just a few. Visually, A Christmas Story has very OK cinematography. The set design and wardrobe match the budget sounding audio. There aren’t many special effects but the ones that are there aren’t bad.
I do have to nitpick the lighting just a little bit though. I’m the type of movie watcher that looks to see if the dead guy on screen is breathing. I look in all the reflective surfaces to see if there’s a camera staring back at me. I’ve found a few errors that make me feel like the CinemaSins guys when I notice them. There’s one shot where Ralphie is doing the blind thing and there’s super obvious studio lighting rigs reflecting in his glasses. I took off 2 points for that just because.
In return for the nitpicky lighting thing, I gave A Christmas Story two bonus points for feeling. I finished the movie feeling happy to have finally seen it and it just made me feel good overall. I’m happy to say I’ve watched it now, and not just because I know my girlfriend is going to see this while she’s proof read this for spelling errors.
If you like this, check out :
- Christmas Who? – Spongebob S02E08
- Die Hard – It’s not really a Christmas movie, but it’s fun to watch and pretend it is.
- Home Alone – duh
- National Lampoons Christmas Vacation – also duh