A Christmas Story: Ultimate Collector’s EditionWarner Bros. (Blu-ray)
The Christmas spirit isn't served up with more heartfelt warmth or observant hilarity that in this beloved adaptation of Jean Shepherd's holiday story. In 1940s Indiana, nine-year-old Ralphie dreams of his ideal Christmas gift: a genuine Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Air Rifle. But when gruff dad and doting mom regularly respond with "You'll shoot your eye out!" Ralphie mounts a full-scale, hint-dropping, Santa-begging campaign. He also endures all kinds of childhood calamities from snowsuit paralysis to the yellow-eyed Scotty Farkus affair to the dreaded tongue-on-a-frozen-flagpole gambit. We triple-dog-dare you to unwrap a more welcome Yuletide classic.
It just wouldn't have been Christmas without this one. The best Christmas comedy out there in my opinion (well, I am a bit of a sucker for Home for the Holidays too) A Christmas Story has become a bit of a tradition around my household. Full of great humor and unforgettable lines, this one is a must-own. Warner had already released this one on Blu-ray before and this edition really isn’t any different. This time around you get a cookie tin, some lamp string lights and cookie dough though.
I didn't think this film would look that great in HD, and it really isn't any great shakes. The difference between this and the special edition DVD release of a few years ago is almost trivial. The transfer is a bit cleaner, and some of the fine detail is lost on the DVD, but overall I didn't see a striking difference. The film had a muted style that keeps it from really shining.
The audio is big fat mono and delivered at a really low bitrate (192 kbps). Fidelity is lacking for the most part, and there is that constant thin sound that I've come to almost expect from it. Maybe someday this will be re-mastered to at least a stereo mix.
Extras on the disc are identical to the previous release and include a commentary, a new documentary on the film, two featurettes, and the trailer.
If you already own this one in HD there is no real reason to pick it up again. The same disc is in the package. But this would make a great present for the holidays for fans of the film that may not have it.