"On the one hand, 8-Bit Christmas is a very nostalgic 80s and even reminiscent of early 90s kids' spoof film"

I thought the trailer was quite geeky and a bit try hard with the modern tropes and comedic style from today's films spliced in. But in an unexpected twist, 8-Bit Christmas is a movie that I believe will stand the test of time for audiences young and old.

In a very basic non-spoiler summary, 8-Bit Christmas tells the story of young Jake Doyle (Winslow Fegley), the quintessential "80s Kid" who only wants one thing for Christmas in 1988. Just as Ralphie goes after his beloved Red Rider, Jake makes a plan (often in the presence of his classmates for dramatic effect) to see if the coveted NES is under the tree on Christmas morning.

On the one hand, 8-Bit Christmas is a very nostalgic 80s and even reminiscent of early 90s kids' spoof film. It's full of references to specific time periods, settings, costumes, languages, and more. Luckily, it's not too cheesy or cliché. Director Michael Dowse did a great job capturing the essence of the era. It often reminded me of when I got my 1st NES aged 5 as a kid!

Nevertheless, I firmly believe that people not born after 1980-1990 can still enjoy this film. The whole plot is basically a fantastical framed story told by Old Jake (Neil Patrick Harris of How I Met Your Mother fame) and features some of the best performances by Young Jake's parents (Steve Zahn and June Diane Raphael) in all of the film. Despite some decidedly silly or crazy content, the film has a poignant family message about the holiday season.

Up until the very last 10-15 minutes I felt like rating this 7/10. But the last scene; It's more poignant and meaningful than any vacation movie I've ever seen, so increased it a point or 2 easily.

As for how popular culture functioned in the era depicted, here lies a former 10-year old's window for all of us viewers; to the most relevant time in boom tech and excitement for gaming. For anyone born after the 90’s this is to show children of today "what it was like back then." And what’s all the hoo-ha, we can play games on our TV, phone, watch and fridge now; big deal about a basic console with crap bitty graphics.

But it was so much more than that pre-smartphone and internet age. Even if you don't quite understand the excitement of Super Mario and Zelda, the desperation of the Power Glove and attempt at VR (finally they got it right in 2010), or ever had to sell items door-to-door for school prizes, the overall message of "An 8-Bit Christmas" can still excite and bring out the geek in non-gamers alike. At the very least today's “zoomers” can maybe stop to think just how lucky and how rich they are, with access to entertainment and information at their very fingertips. With 8-Bit Christmas, you finally feel like “now you’re playing with power” (like the famous wacky 80’s NES adverts)!