8-Bit Christmas is a 2021 American comedy film directed by Michael Dowse, from a screenplaty by Kevin Jakubowski based on his novel of the same name. The film stars Neil Patrick Harris, Winslow Fegley, June Diane Raphael, David Cross and Steve Zahn. The movie, set in the late 1980s, follows a young boy named Doyle who plans to get a Nintendo Entertainment System before everyone else.
This film is filled with 80s nostalgia from the 80s music and fashion, but mostly from the NES video games and gaming system. It is also filled with several laugh out loud moments and cheesy jokes and mediocre acting. The entire film focuses only on Doyle trying too hard to get his hands on an NES system and not much more. This movie has the feel of A Christmas Story, but is nowhere as funny and almost seems like a 1980s story rip-off, where as instead of a Red Rider BB Gun, it’s a video game system and instead of a pink bunny costume, it’s a set of encyclopedias.
The acting in this film is weak, despite several big name stars. The story, though an original one, seems unoriginal and most of the film just one cheesy line after another. There are scenes that are a bit too slow, making the film not as exciting as it was intended to be. Preteens and teens will probably enjoy it more than young children and adults. There is quite a bit of adult humor, mild langauge and mild violence as well. This seems less like a Christmas film and more like a movie about a kid trying to get the latest toy to be popular.
I found myself bored for the most of this movie. It was funny in a few scenes, but mostly just an immature mess of a film not so much about Christmas, but a video game, adding to the commercialization of a sacred holiday, it does not teach children the true meaning of the celebration at all, but makes them think it is all about gifts. So there is not much heart to this movie, it is very vain in the story of a kid only wanting something for themselves, not considering those who couldn’t even afford a pair of mittens.
There was not much imagination to this story and other Christmas movies will always be more rewatchable and entertaining. This film is falls flat in entertainment, originality, and humor. I don’t understand how such a movie has garnered such good reviews, when I was left unimpressed. I’ll stick with other holiday films from now on and give this one a pass every time. Truly a waste of time. 10+ 1.5/5
One thought on “8-Bit Christmas (2021)”
Yes, you’ll find a LOT of the Christmas films on the U.S. cable channels Lifetime, Hallmark, UP, and ION are knockoffs of familiar, big studio films. The one I always cite — and it actually is a decently made and acted film — is A Very Merry Mix Up. That one is a copy of While You Where Sleeping . . . right down to the romantic lead having a more ambitious brother while he’d rather make furniture in the garage. There was one that clipped Sleepless in Seattle . . . but for the life of me I can’t recall the title or actors at the moment.