8-Bit Christmas: Directed by Michael Dowse. With Winslow Fegley, Neil Patrick Harris, Steve Zahn, June Diane Raphael. In 1980s Chicago, a 10-year-old sets out on a quest to get the Christmas gift of his generation: the latest and greatest video-game system.
A movie about the crass commercialism, family obligations, video game systems and cabbage patch dolls. “8-Bit Christmas” feels like a modern mash up of ‘A Christmas Story’, ‘The Princess Bridge’, and a couple other sappy nostalgic films that you’ll surely recognize. There’s a bunch of personally familiar things here, like losing my sister in a mall, or losing my retainer under penalty of death, and having a slide projector go absolutely nuts. I’m actually surprised that my parents didn’t fall into the same kind of panic shows up here about how video games will rot your brain and make you a hyper violent person.
It’s much better than I was hoping for, and while we’re past the holiday season if you’ve ever yearned for a specific thing for x-mas and never got it, this is your movie.