Christmas Story, A

Featured In Issue 117, February 2007

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Home Video
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Not Indicated
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Bob Clark
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"A Christmas Story" is based on the novel "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" by humorist Jean Shepherd. It is a whimsical and slightly twisted tribute to the traditional all-American Christmas. Set in Indiana during the 1940s, the film follows the adventures of nine-year-old Ralphie Parker (Billingsley) as he pursues his happiness in the form of a genuine Red Ryder Two Hundred Shot Range Model Air Rifle. (Gary Reber)

After the forced ad, the special features are the same as those found on the standard-definition 20th Anniversary Disc and include: audio commentary by Actor Peter Billingsley and Director Bob Clark, a semi-hidden script of a deleted scene, the theatrical trailer, a 19-minute interview-laden (with the director and the kids in the movie) Another Christmas Story, a Triple Dog Dare quiz, a Radio selection in which Jean Shepherd reads excerpts from his book, a quote-scene match Decoder game, a fun five-minute history on the Daisy Red Ryder, and a humorous five-minute look at the making-of the leg lamp.

Both the 1.78:1 Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD image is often shrouded by a hazy glow and details are often too soft. Colors are desaturated, and blacks are more a milky gray. Differences between the two versions are not recognizable. (Danny Richelieu)

The Blu-ray Disc's Dolby® Digital "1.0-channel" mono soundtrack is actually 1.1 channels, with the LFE channel receiving a very, very low-level copy of the center channel up to around 500 Hz. Fidelity is limited, and distortion is noticeable. The HD DVD's Dolby Digital Plus 1.0-channel encoding is properly produced, but is also slightly more revealing of the soundtrack's many anomalies. (Danny Richelieu)