Judd Karn & Shahyan Pour Teimour
Online Editor & Staff Writer

Shayhan and Judd were asked to review the same movie with the same questions.

Credit: HBO Max

     Shahyan’s Review:

8-bit Christmas: It’s a Bit Dull
We’ll just make a Christmas movie who’s entire structure is based off other Christmas movies and hope the nostalgia saves us – 8-bit Christmas movie writers

What do you think the movie did a good job at? What do you think the movie did a poor job at? The Acting? The Story? The Cinematography? The Pacing?
          8-bit Christmas is a movie that is enjoyabl for almost all age groups. With the timeline set to the late 1980s, and the main character being a 10 year old kid, director Michael Dowse was able to capture the attention of adults and children.

     Additionally, the pace and acting in the movie were up to the mark with a traditional, cliche Christmas movie. With little to no parts that are slow or will bore you, and exceptional acting from Winslow Fegley (Jake Doyle), Neil Patrick Harris (Adult Jake Doyle), June Diane Raphael (Kathy Doyle), and others, this is definitely the movie for the younger generation.

     However, with these pros come some cons to the movie, such as originality. Even though almost all Christmas movies have some similarities to another Christmas movie, this movie tried to incorporate and cultivate too many cliches. Some examples include, “Once upon a time,” the basic storyline of a young kid who wants nothing more than this one thing for Christmas, and more.

    The cinematography was very bland, except for one or two scenes of a kid throwing up CGI spaghettios, which I’m guessing was thrown into the movie for the amusement of children.

What did you see as the message for this film?

     Even though the plot of the story follows young Jack Doyle on his quest to attain a Nintendo system, the underlying message for the film is about fatherhood. When Jack Doyle was a kid, his father was very strict with him, and showed some favoritism towards his younger sister. Now that Jack has his own daughter, he learns to become a good father around Christmas time.

How would you rate the movie out of 10?

     I would rate this movie a 5/10. It is a good Christmas movie, but there is nothing super special or that stands out about it. I would recommend this movie to families with young kids who don’t pay attention to plot, cinematography, etc.


     Judd’s Review:

    8-bit Christmas: A Classic? No, But It Sure Tried To Be.
    Hey let’s make an amalgamation of a Christmas movie that relies heavily on nostalgia – 8-Bit Christmas Writers

    What do you think the movie did a good job at? What do you think the movie did a poor job at? The Acting? The Story? The Cinematography? The Pacing?
    The movie did a good job at pacing, not feeling slow ever ever, the narrative is a run of the mill kid wants something Christmas story (think Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Jingle All The Way). The cinematography is nothing special, there are a couple shots that try to deviate from the mold but, once again, nothing too special.
    The movie feels like an amalgamation of a bunch of different Christmas tropes, you see the classic, “Once Upon A Time…” cliché with the fully grown Jake Doyle (Neil Patrick Harris) narrating his adventurous story of acquiring a Nintendo Entertainment System.
    They did not know who this was for though, maybe they were trying to get both the parents and the kids? It is a nostalgia bait with many, “back in my day” remarks. Which at times feel a bit unnecessary but understandable because that is a big draw in for parents. However, unlike other movies, it actually uses these nostalgia bait items as plot points; the war on Video Games, the NES, and Cabbage Patch Kids were all used tastefully instead of just stating that it was a thing in the time only for nostalgia purposes.
    It also has a kid vomiting. Why did they need that, why did they decide to add CGI vomit and show it on screen for 30 seconds? I guess they were trying to appeal to kids because haha funny vomit? I guess.
    One thing I did like is the way they initially displayed narrative bias with a little glitch effect, not only cementing narrative bias but also incentivizing the viewer to have some suspense of disbelief.
    What did you see as the message for this film?
    The movie had a pretty clear message of value what you have throughout it, with the entire movie being a quest to acquire the almighty ‘Nintendo’ but he was too focused on that to look at what he already has; not a bad message but not profound in the slightest.
    How would you rate the movie out of 10?
    I would say this is a perfectly middle of the road movie. It used nostalgia well, it is a perfectly fine narrative, but it is nothing innovative and nothing special. 5/10
    So with all this being said, should you watch this movie? If you’re looking for an edge of the seat thriller, this wouldn’t be the movie for you. But if you’re looking for a good family Christmas movie that isn’t bad, but also isn’t particularly good, this would be the one to watch. A perfectly decent movie.