Movies take years to be made, so it’s just a coincidence…but a good one…that on the heels of over 18 months of family bonding and staying close to home, studios are bringing 80’s Christmas memories to the big screen. It’s a perfect time for a dose of nostalgia and family humor, and the new 8-Bit Christmas from HBO Max makes for the perfect family movie night.
Christmas memories came flooding back when we watched 8-Bit Christmas. I was one of those kids hoping to get the latest and greatest of video game machines, “8-bit” entertainment that was state-of-the-art for our day…and we all wanted to be the first to get it.
The 8-Bit cast has quite a few familiar faces: Neil Patrick Harris, Winslow Fegley, June Diane Raphael and Steve Zahn, for starters. Neil Patrick Harris’ list of prior work is too long to list, but you’ll recognize all of them. June Diane Raphael is from one of my favorite comedies, Grace and Frankie; her sarcastic portrayal of Brianna is one of the reasons I watch the show, and I was glad to see her in something new.
But first, the 8-Bit Christmas trailer…
The movie’s got a slightly predictable story line that will bring you little bits of flashbacks to some other popular 80’s Christmas movies (and 90’s) about holiday shenanigans that seemingly unsupervised children get into. However, it still finds ways to be unique and provides a lot of laughs. It’s got a little crude humor but nothing over the top.
In short, young Jake Doyle wants the new Nintendo gaming system, something his parents didn’t want him to have. The story is told by the adult Jake Doyle, whose kids don’t quite believe his quite possibly exaggerated rendition of what really happened, but it makes for a good time as he embellishes the adventures that ensued in his quest to get a hold of the coveted 8-bit entertainment system.
You’ll need to see the movie to find out if he gets it or not, but that’s easy, because it’s now available on HBO Max. If you get it through your cable company, you’re ready to go; alternatively, you can subscribe to HBO Max for $14.99 per month or $149.99 for one year upfront.
If you were an 80’s kid, a lot of this movie will resonate. There was something about that era that is unlike any other, and will lead us parents telling our kids about things they’ll never understand. “It was the 80’s” didn’t become a popular phrase for nothing. A favorite line was Doyle telling his daughter about how he never had snow days as a kid, and instantly, there I was, back in NY and wondering why we were still loading onto the bus with two pairs of mittens in what felt like sub-zero temps. Snow days weren’t nearly as common as now!
Then there’s the recognizable objects that were so iconic in the 80’s, including the infamous Trapper Keeper notebook, THE school supply you just HAD. TO. HAVE. And the candy!
Speaking of the candy, thank you to HBO Max for sending us this box of 80s goodies!
There was a little “I got dibs!” and “No, that’s MINE” going on…which will all <hopefully> get worked out when we settle in for the movie as a family on Friday night! (Now if it would just drop below 80 so we can wear the hats!)
80’s Christmas memories come alive in this movie. Lloyd’s parents try hard to give their kids the necessities and to fill the gaps in a way that makes them feel as though they’re not missing anything, and it’s admirable. And relatable. If it weren’t for the neighborhood rich kid who has the Nintendo first, it might be something they can all get past. But they can’t, so you’ll need to stream the movie to see if he gets what he covets or not.