HBO Max’s 8-Bit Christmas is a nostalgic holiday comedy that will make you laugh and pull at your heart strings. Check out the details in my parents guide movie review.
HBO Max’s 8-Bit Christmas drops on the streaming service today, November 24th. The film stars Neil Patrick Harris and Winslow Fegley and will bring back all the ’80s nostalgia for those video game lovers out there. The new movie has a very “A Christmas Story” feel to it and will make you laugh one minute and pull at your heart strings the next. Check out all the details in my parents guide movie review.
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8-Bit Christmas Parents Guide
In 1980s Chicago, a 10-year-old embarks on a quest to get the latest and greatest video game system for Christmas.
8-Bit Christmas Age Appropriate Parents Guide
Let’s take a look at what parents need to know before letting their kids watch 8-Bit Christmas.
Language: 8-Bit Christmas contains mild language, but there are some lookout words parents should be made aware of. Those words include: d*mn, cr*p, idiot, sucks, jerk, moron, tool, dumb dork, and phrases like “shut up” and “butt face.”
Mature Content: The film contains some mature content that may not be appropriate for all ages. There is some potty humor, which includes farts, diarrhea, and there is even a diarrhea song. There is one scene which includes an elf being punched and the bullying of kids, which may be triggering for some children. There is also a theme that surrounds the socioeconomic status of “rich” kids.
The best part about 8-Bit Christmas is the nostalgia and childhood memories it evokes, as Jake dreams of a Nintendo and does everything in his power to make those wishes a reality. The film is a fun, nostalgic romp through the days of Christmas past. Along with his wishes for a video game system, we also have his little sister, who has an unattainable Christmas wish item herself, a Cabbage Patch Kid. The movie has the vibes of Jingle All The Way, the Arnold Schwarzenegger film where the father goes through leaps and bounds to obtain a Turbo Man for his son, and A Christmas Story, where Ralphie dreams of waking up Christmas morning to an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.
Like A Christmas Story, the 8-Bit Christmas movie is narrated by the older “version” of the character protrayed in the film. In this case, the narration is done by Neil Patrick Harris. Harris is no Jean Shepherd, the narrator of A Christmas Story, but he does an okay job of giving it the old college try. And unlike Sheperd, who is never seen in the film, Harris is seen throughout the movie as he recollects the story for his daughter Annie. The way the scenes pan back and forth from the story to Harris is much like in The Princess Bride, when Fred Savage would at times interject throughout the tale, creating fun little breaks at the most intense moments.
And yes, things do get intense at times for Jake, played by Winslow Fegley. All sorts of schemes ensue in which he plots and fails time and again to obtain his Christmas wish with the help of his friends. While it doesn’t quite end up as you think, this movie does exactly what it sets out to do, which is to impart that sense of nostalgia for those who grew up in the era. Its template was many other movies, mostly holiday-themed, that evoke memories of yesteryear and use their successes as a blueprint to hopefully find their own.Yes, 8-Bit Christmas is a “Franken-movie,” but somehow it still manages to find its own footing nevertheless. It has been far enough removed from many of the referenced films at this point to assume most of the kids watching it will have a great time, and the adults watching it will undoubtably notice the similarities, but will still be able to enjoy the cleverness of the subject matter on its own merits.