National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation VHS
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Make merry as Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid and an ensemble of comedy favorites strive to gift-wrap the "perfect Christmas" for the Griswold family. The most successful of the three vacations. Year: 1989 Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid,
You know exactly what you're getting in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: another goofball, slapstick comedy of chaos and catastrophe with Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and family. This time, there's no traveling involved: Clark and Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) prepare for a nice Christmas with the kids (played by none other than Juliette Lewis and Roseanne star Johnny Galecki), when their home is invaded by backwoods cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his brood, along with assorted other crazy and/or stuffy relatives. Complications, of course, are inevitable. The film is preceded by National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) and followed by National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation (1997). Directed by Jeremiah Chechik, who went on to do Benny & Joon and the Sharon Stone remake of Diabolique. --Jim Emerson
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So imagine when I popped the disc into my PS4, and realized the technical specs did not match - DTS-HD audio instead of Dolby Digital? No French dubs? Did I buy the right disc? (Yeah, I guess I pay closer attention to these things than the average moviegoer). Upon further research, I realized I had in fact purchased the 25th Anniversary Edition, but in standard edition packaging. Confusing? Yes, but since the 25th AE is no longer being sold at default, I welcome the fact that at least we are now getting the "better" version at a decent price. Anyway...
As far as the disc goes, the picture quality is fine for a late 80s film, it's a little dark and hazy at times, but exhibits some nice color during interior scenes and the Christmas light display. The sound is 2.0 Stereo Surround, which is fine for a comedy with few sonic moments to speak of. Of note, the sledding scene actually set off my subwoofer for a brief moment, but other than that, everything else comes through clearly and without issue. Extras are only a trailer and a cast/crew commentary from the original release. Given that the film has gained a following since it's release as a holiday classic, it's unfortunate Warner couldn't drum up a few extra supplements.
Still, for the price, and being one of the funniest Christmas films of recent, this new edition is completely serviceable. Warner should really update the packaging, though.
This film as popular as it is has never had a great DVD or Blu-Ray Release. There is plenty of cutting room footage that has never seen the light of day. If Warner Brothers wants to release a new set they should include a CD of the Soundtrack The CD has been out of print for years and I see illegal copies for sale all over the net. If you have the older blu-ray release then you will notice the picture here is better but if you DON'T have a huge screen you will not notice the difference. Save your money..
I hope one day Warner Brothers decides to put more of an effort behind a release. This film is a classic and a family tradition to watch for many people. In case you do not know the story in a nutshell "Clark" is having a big old fashion Family Christmas. Not only is his parents coming for Christmas but so is in-laws. Other guest arrive as well. This is a laugh a minute. Yes it is over the top at times but it works! The story-line is actually well grounded and there is someone in this film everyone can relate too.
Chevy Chase at his finest. I don't think the "Vacation" series gets any better than this. I'm glad to have this in a streaming format ... now I can weird out people at the airport with my sudden obnoxious belly-laughter while wearing my headphones and choking back tears.
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