Turn Back the Clock/Holiday DVD

A Christmas Story

Disturbed By: WB

Reviewed by Ismael Manzano


Being that the Christmas season is upon us, I thought it fitting to do a Christmas movie review.  But since most of the new releases out there at the moment are either stupid, slapstick, Christmas clichés or—in the case of Black Christmas—completely inappropriate for the season, I decided to go back to the vault and pick a movie that truly encompasses this season.  I didn’t have to look long or hard to find the right movie.  A Christmas Story is one of my all time favorite movies, since as far back as I can remember, and so it was with little thought that I picked this gem out to rewatch and review.

The main plot of the story revolves around nine-year old Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) and his obsession with a specific type of air rifle—the Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Air Rifle to be specific.  As the title suggests this movie—which is set in 1940’s Indiana—centers on Christmas time and Ralphie is hoping to use the holiday tradition to get someone—anyone—to get him this toy.  A simple enough request that isn’t so simply granted, as everyone he asks about the air rifle tells him the same thing: “You’ll shoot your eye out!

Discouraged but determined, Ralphie drops hint after hint, and tries everything from school reports to asking good old Saint Nick.  But this comedy movie is more than just a boy’s quest for a brand new toy gun.  Through Ralphie’s eyes, you experience the joys and woes of Christmas and the follies of family and friends.  From bullies to kid brothers in overstuffed winter clothing, to horrible gifts from clueless aunts, to triple dog dares that can not be ignored, this movie is filled with iconic scenes that will sure to have you chuckle.  Although the comedy in the movie isn’t like the laugh-out-loud comedy of today, it still manages to make you smile with subtler jokes and real-life situations.

The movie was pleasantly and humorously narrated.  Through the narration, we hear inside Ralphie’s head, learn his thoughts, get drawn into his wild imagination and share his ideals for what Christmas should be and his quest for the perfect gift.

I loved this movie as a child and watching it again as an adult, nothing much has changed.  This movie is still a holiday classic and it still manages to make me smile.  Unfortunately, the DVD offers nothing as far as special features, which is a disappointment to say the least.  Even without the special features, however, the movie is certainly worth owning and definitely worth watching.  If you hadn’t already seen it, rent it or buy it today; it just wouldn’t be Christmas without it. 


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