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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll shoot your eye out
I was almost finished recording "A Christmas Story" on last Christmas morning. Fifteen minutes before it ended, my father walked in and said that we would get the special edition soon.

That I didn't go postal at losing an hour and a half of my favorite holiday on something that would shortly be redundant shows how much I love "A Christmas Story." This 1983...
Published on Sept. 15 2008 by E. A Solinas

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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, awful fake widescreen DVD.
Many fans of this movie expressed their concern when it was originally released on DVD as a 'pan-&-scan' only version. After a few years, and lots of complaints, WB finally gives us the widescreen version ...NOT!
This DVD actually contians the 'pan-&-scan' fullscreen version, and it includes a fake 'matted' widescreen version.
Matted-widescreen means...
Published on Oct. 8 2003 by Quasimort


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll shoot your eye out, Sept. 15 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
I was almost finished recording "A Christmas Story" on last Christmas morning. Fifteen minutes before it ended, my father walked in and said that we would get the special edition soon.

That I didn't go postal at losing an hour and a half of my favorite holiday on something that would shortly be redundant shows how much I love "A Christmas Story." This 1983 classic is not just a heartwarming little story about a loving (if bickery) family in the dour America of the late 1940s, but a hysterical comedy about what it's like to be a kid at Christmas.

Ralphie Parker's (Peter Billingsley) Christmas wishes are simple: a official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass and a "thing that tells time." But his mom says he'll shoot his eye out. So Ralphie begins a quiet crusade to get it as a present -- he writes an essay on it and even asks Santa, only to get the same terrible reply: "You'll shoot your eye out."

As the days tick down to Christmas -- with no sign of an air rifle -- Ralphie hits other obstacles when he clashes with bullies, says "the mother of all dirty words," and watches his parents battle it out over a tacky "major award" (leg lamp). But there are surprises in store for the Parker family on Christmas morning -- and some of them involve smelly bloodhounds.

Yes, the plot is pretty simple -- it's the delivery that makes it special. It's narrated by an adult Ralphie who offers his slightly sardonic take on everything ("We plunged into the cornucopia quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice"), mingled with a hint of nostalgia. And it's completely tuned in to how kids think, and how a toy can seem like the most important thing in the world.

Fortunately the scriptwriters never condescend to the audience by adding some kind of syrupy message about love and family and all that -- after all, real life doesn't work that way. Instead there are all sorts of classic moments -- the leg lamp, Chinese turkey, the terrifying visit to Santa ("HOOOO HOOOO HOOO!"), and Ralphie's fantasies of defending his family with "Ol' Blue" against a bunch of inept, unarmed bandits.

And Jean Shepherd -- the co-writer and narrator of the movie -- deserves especial credit for bringing this movie to life with his slightly stressed-out delivery. He covers the movie with a snowstorm of one-liners and hilarious dialogue: "Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap." "He looks like a pink nightmare!" "Oh FUUUDDDDGGGE!" and others. McGavin gets many of the best ones, though ("FRA-GEE-LAY... that must be Italian!").

Billingsley is a little stiff as Ralphie, but gives the portrayal of this everykid his charming, slightly frenetic best. He's never oversmart or annoying, ever. Melinda Dillon and Darin McGavin are the comic geniuses here, with their slightly kooky but loving parents (one of the highlights is Dillon's "show me how the piggies eat!" scene, and McGavin's revolted response), and there's an array of very convincing bullies and classmates too.

"A Christmas Story" didn't get much notice when it came out in 1983. But now it's one of the quintessential holiday movies, and a must-see at Christmastime. HOOOOO HOOOOO HOOOO...
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, awful fake widescreen DVD., Oct. 8 2003
By 
Many fans of this movie expressed their concern when it was originally released on DVD as a 'pan-&-scan' only version. After a few years, and lots of complaints, WB finally gives us the widescreen version ...NOT!
This DVD actually contians the 'pan-&-scan' fullscreen version, and it includes a fake 'matted' widescreen version.
Matted-widescreen means they took a 'fullscreen' copy of the movie, and added black bars to the top & bottom of the picture to 'simulate' a widescreen version of the movie. As a result, not only are we missing the left & right side of the picture, now we are missing part of the top & bottom as well. What the hell is wrong with Warner Bros, MGM and Universal?!?
When movie buffs and DVD fans demand a 'widescreen' version of the movie, they are demanding the ORIGINAL WIDESCREEN VERSION of the movie, not some fake matted print that simply simulates the original aspect ratio. We want the entire picture, not a picture that has been SHAPED using black bars to fool the consumer into thinking this is the whole widescreen picture as it was originally shown in theaters.
Basicly, these companies are using a play on words, and instead of spending the time to restore the true 'widescreen' print, they are just slapping some black bars on the fullscreen print that was used to make the pan-&-scan version, so it has the same aspect ratio (shape) as what we asked for.
This is an ignorant business practice, and false advertising. Granted, some movies were released in theaters fullscreen, then matted in the theater to make it widescreen to fit on their screens, but this movie is not one of them. So the matting they did on it is unjustified. They are just lazy, cheap and greedy.
I am returning my copy and I will wait (likely forever) until these companies decide to give us what we actually ask for, not some crappy 'matted' version we have to settle for...
Dont belive me? Watch both version, see how much is missing from the top & bottom of the widescreen side compared to the fullscreen side.
Decision makers at WB should be taken out and shot. Why? Because they act like they rerelease movies such as this one to 'please the customers', but thats not it... its about getting your money, and spending as little effort and resources as possible in doing so.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll shoot your eye out!, Feb. 22 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
I was almost finished recording "A Christmas Story" on this Christmas morning. Fifteen minutes before it ended, my father walked in and said that we would get the special edition.

That I didn't go postal at losing an hour and a half shows how much I love "A Christmas Story." This 1983 classic is not just a heartwarming little story about a loving (if bickery) family in the rather dour America of the late 1940s, but a hysterical comedy about what it's like to be a kid at Christmas.

Ralphie Parker's (Peter Billingsley) Christmas wishes are simple: a official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass and a "thing that tells time." But his mom says he'll shoot his eye out. So Ralphie begins a quiet crusade to get it as a present -- he writes an essay on it and even asks Santa, only to get the same terrible reply: "You'll shoot your eye out."

As the days tick down to Christmas -- with no sign of an air rifle -- Ralphie hits other obstacles when he clashes with bullies, says "the mother of all dirty words," and watches his parents battle it out over a tacky "major award" (leg lamp). But there are surprises in store for the Parker family on Christmas morning -- and some of them involve smelly bloodhounds.

Yes, the plot is pretty simple -- it's the delivery that makes it special. Narrated by an adult Ralphie who offers his slightly sardonic take on everything ("We plunged into the cornucopia quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice"), it's completely tuned in to how kids think, and how a toy can seem like the most important thing in the world.

Fortunately the scriptwriters never condescend to the audience by adding some kind of syrupy message -- after all, real life doesn't work that way. Instead there are all sorts of classic moments -- the leg lamp, Chinese turkey, the terrifying visit to Santa ("HOOOO HOOOO HOOO!"), and Ralphie's fantasies of defending his family with "Ol' Blue."

But Jean Shepherd deserves especial credit for bringing this movie to life, with a constant snowstorm of one-liners and hilarious dialogue: "Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap." "He looks like a pink nightmare!" "Oh FUUUDDDDGGGE!" and others.

Billingsley is a little stiff as Ralphie, but gives the portrayal of this everykid his charming, slightly frenetic best. Melinda Dillon and Darin McGavin are the comic geniuses here, with their slightly kooky but loving parents (one of the highlights is Dillon's "show me how the piggies eat!" scene), and there's an array of very convincing bullies and classmates too.

"A Christmas Story" didn't get much notice when it came out in 1983. But now it's one of the quintessential holiday movies, and a must-see at Christmastime.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Acquired Taste, Dec 14 2004
By A Customer
When I was a kid, they used to make us watch this movie at school every Christmas, and I HATED it! I used to dread the last day of school before Xmas break, when I'd have to hear "Show me how a piggy eats!" However, as an adult, I have come to love this movie for the Christmas classic it is--it is right up there with "Rudolph". That said, if you are looking for a schmaltzy, syrupy sweet holiday movie, "A Christmas Story" is NOT for you. I mean, my favourite scene is when you get to hear poor Schwartz get beaten by his mom over the phone ("What'd I do?! Ow! Ahhh!"). If, like me, your list of good Xmas flicks includes things like "Christmas Vacation", or even "Gremlins", you may appreciate this movie. By the way, did anyone notice a grown up Peter Billingsley as an elf in the movie "Elf"?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ho ho ho!, Dec 11 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: A Christmas Story (DVD)
I was almost finished recording "A Christmas Story" on last Christmas morning. Fifteen minutes before it ended, my father walked in and said that we would get the special edition.

That I didn't go postal at losing an hour and a half on something that would shortly be redundant shows how much I love "A Christmas Story." This 1983 classic is not just a heartwarming little story about a loving (if bickery) family in the dour America of the late 1940s, but a hysterical comedy about what it's like to be a kid at Christmas.

Ralphie Parker's (Peter Billingsley) Christmas wishes are simple: a official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass and a "thing that tells time." But his mom says he'll shoot his eye out. So Ralphie begins a quiet crusade to get it as a present -- he writes an essay on it and even asks Santa, only to get the same terrible reply: "You'll shoot your eye out."

As the days tick down to Christmas -- with no sign of an air rifle -- Ralphie hits other obstacles when he clashes with bullies, says "the mother of all dirty words," and watches his parents battle it out over a tacky "major award" (leg lamp). But there are surprises in store for the Parker family on Christmas morning -- and some of them involve smelly bloodhounds.

Yes, the plot is pretty simple -- it's the delivery that makes it special. It's narrated by an adult Ralphie who offers his slightly sardonic take on everything ("We plunged into the cornucopia quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice"), mingled with a hint of nostalgia. And it's completely tuned in to how kids think, and how a toy can seem like the most important thing in the world.

Fortunately the scriptwriters never condescend to the audience by adding some kind of syrupy message -- after all, real life doesn't work that way. Instead there are all sorts of classic moments -- the leg lamp, Chinese turkey, the terrifying visit to Santa ("HOOOO HOOOO HOOO!"), and Ralphie's fantasies of defending his family with "Ol' Blue" against a bunch of inept, unarmed bandits.

And Jean Shepherd -- the co-writer and narrator of the movie -- deserves especial credit for bringing this movie to life. He covers the movie with a snowstorm of one-liners and hilarious dialogue: "Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap." "He looks like a pink nightmare!" "Oh FUUUDDDDGGGE!" and others.

Billingsley is a little stiff as Ralphie, but gives the portrayal of this everykid his charming, slightly frenetic best. Melinda Dillon and Darin McGavin are the comic geniuses here, with their slightly kooky but loving parents (one of the highlights is Dillon's "show me how the piggies eat!" scene, and McGavin's revolted response), and there's an array of very convincing bullies and classmates too.

"A Christmas Story" didn't get much notice when it came out in 1983. But now it's one of the quintessential holiday movies, and a must-see at Christmastime. HOOOOO HOOOOO HOOOO...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seasonal Christmas classic, Oct. 20 2007
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Christmas Story (DVD)
This is a collection of tales as they are recollected by a person thinking back on their childhood one Christmas. It has all the exudations with its ups and downs.

Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) spots a "Daisy Brand Red-Ryder BB" 200-shot Carbine with compass, in the window of a story and fantasizes on how to get it for Christmas. Will he succeed? And if so will he shoot his eye out?

I had one of those Davie Crocket hats when I was a kid. There were lots of other items and actions that I could relate to. However my wife likes the watering method used by Melinda Dillon (mother) around the trophy. And she likes the way the mother conserved electricity by turning it off. I could see her snickering through the corner of my eye. I am not sure I should have bought this one. It may prove fatal to any window plans.

A not on aspect ratio:
There are several aspect ratios and the term wide screen vs. full screen does not begin to address the various widths. And the width is important in many cases however it has no bearing on the number of stars given for the content of the movie. Most sources say that this product was released with 1.85:1 ratio.

There was a remake of "A Christmas Story" floating around but it lacks a lot of the originality of this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Moose Hole - The Perfect 'Christmas Story' for Everyone, Dec 28 2003
"You'll shoot your eye out, kid."
With those six simple words not only were dreams of an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle altered forever, so were the normal holiday movie traditions of Americans across the country. As popular as this feature is today, this did not take hold until quite recently. When A Christmas Story opened in theaters back in 1983, the studio that produced the film had no confidence in it, thus launching the film in only 886 theaters. By the end of its run, the film pulled in a disappointing $19 million and its television rights had been sold off quickly without a second thought. It wasn't until the TNT television network began to offer numerous viewings of the classic holiday comedy over the festive season did the film begin to finally be accepted by the masses. Now A Christmas Story has joined the ranks of such other yuletide treasures as It's a Wonderful Life and A Charlie Brown Christmas as a true staple of this special time of year.
The story fellows the adventures of a young boy set against the Christmas holiday in the 1940's as he dreams of the perfect holiday gift. Ralphie Parker is like any other typical young boy in the 1940's but there is something that does set him apart from the rest of the pack. His aspirations for an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, the one item that he believes to be the perfect Christmas present. Unfortunately for young Ralphie, he faces stern opposition from his mother who believes the toy will "shoot his eye out". He receives no help from his father who is too busy holding off the Bumbus hounds or shouting at the furnace, so Ralphie seeks to find higher help for his cause, the big man himself: Santa Claus. But even this last splint of hope is dashed to pieces with those devastating words coming from the "jolly" fat man himself, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid." All hope seems lost for poor Ralphie but if only he knew what Christmas Day would bring! The plot for A Christmas Story is one of the most wonderful concepts ever attempted in a holiday feature film and what makes it so memorable is the fact that many elements, no matter how elaborated, can be related by one family or another in some point in their lives.
The biggest highlight of the comedy has to be how each character is cast perfectly. Peter Billingsley, who takes on the role of Ralph Parker, showcases a delightful performance despite his relatively young age. Many of the funniest moments of the feature come from his reactions alone to certain situations. Melinda Dillion gives a wonderful if not eerily familiar performance of Ralphie's typical 1940's mother. She works perfectly opposite Darren McGavin especially over the battle of the broken leg lamp. McGavin more then likely outshines them all with his over-the-top performance as Ralphie's Old Man. His shoutings of "Don't anybody move!" and "Notafinga!" will likely stand the test of theatrical comedic time but it is his overall good fatherly nature that makes every audience member feel as if they are witness a part of their own familiar past. Though he is not remembered by his name, Jeff Gillen does a hilarious take on the mall-Santa, stingy elfs and all. And Jean Shepard, who wrote the book on which this film is based on, gives a perfect off-beat narration of the film with perfect tones and comments for each situation as it happens in the feature. The narration works almost as well alone as the actions performed in A Christmas Story.
Overall, Can the Christmas season be fully complete without at least one viewing of A Christmas Story? You can try but all bets are that even the "Grinchiest" person can't escape the irresistible personality of this yuletide comedy. There are so many wonderful things going for this film that it is hard to pick out the flaws. If anything, the last portion of A Christmas Story tends to drag a little bit near the end unlike earlier parts where actions were performed in a much quicker pace. In a way like Christmas Vacation, many of the elements within A Christmas Story connect with someone at one point or another based on their own Christmas experiences with their family. Though some would not like to admit some of the more embarrassing memories (aka looking like a pink nightmare on Christmas morning), we can all relate to young Ralphie's blight of getting the perfect Christmas gift when we were his age. But in the end, we realize that family, no matter how embarrassing or bumbling they may be, is what is the most important during the holidays. That is one memory that we should always keep close to our hearts no matter what time of the year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That BB gun.....................,, Nov. 8 2007
By 
Jenny J.J.I. "A New Yorker" (That Lives in Carolinas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The first time I watched this movie was at the age of ten and I love it ever since. Ralphie and his obsession with a Red Ryder BB gun is an annual classic. I think that everyone can relate to Ralphie's Old Man and his mother. Randy the little brother is adorable too. I watch this movie every year during the holidays. I laugh ever time I watch it. I think that everybody should have this movie it makes a very good Christmas present.

Set in the 40s, for those who grow up in the 60s could easily identify with the themes of "A Christmas Story". Contains great lessons for any rambunctious youngsters contemplating sticking their tongues to flagpoles in the dead of winter or playing around with BB guns. Absolutely PRICELESS and a must-have for holiday video collectors. You will laugh yourself senseless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD transfer is extremely poor, June 2 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: A Christmas Story (Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
Although I love this movie I was very disappointed with the DVD quality. The picture appears to wave or undulate back and forth, as if you are looking at it through a haze or gasoline fumes. Very strange! And the sound warbles with these weird waves. I complained directly to Warner Bros. about this and sent the dvd back to them. If your copy is as bad as mine, tell them about it and get your money back or get a different title. They should not be able to get away with releasing such a poor quality product. This movie deserves better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Film Ruined By Horrible DVD Transfer, Dec 6 2002
By 
"stenchcraft" (Philadelphia, PA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Christmas Story (Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
A great film COMPLETELY RUINED by a DVD that does not offer the option of viewing the film in it's original widescreen format.
This is one of my favorite movies of all time, and now Warner Bros. has made me not want to buy the DVD because they were too stupid to realize that you see MORE OF THE FILM when viewing it in the original theatrical format---WIDESCREEN, in other words. Technicians have to cut off the sides of the film and enlarge it to give it that square, full-screen format.
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A Christmas Story (Full Screen) [Import]
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