Not everyone feels the same way, of course. Over at The Verge
, writer Jon Porter appeared to be a total wet blanket
about the possibility of this film entering the pantheon of holiday movies, calling it a “bad trailer for a worse movie about Nintendo,” and destroying his bonafides on the topic by writing this:
The trailer sees Neil Patrick Harris narrating a story from one of his childhood winters, in which he and a group of friends compete to win an original NES for Christmas. After all, what could be more festive than a brand-new video game console? And no global chip shortages in sight! Bliss.
(Can you spot the problem with that passage? No? Here, let me lay it out for you: As any die-hard NES fan knows, there was a global chip shortage in 1988
, which particularly affected SRAM chips—a.k.a. the chips used to save games on old NES titles. Part of the reason why the NES was hard to come by, a major plot line in this new film, had something to do with the shortages
Anyway, who cares what Jon Porter at The Verge thinks about this movie? As we all know, holiday films don’t earn their audiences from contemporary reviews, but from repeated mental drillings into our eye sockets by cable channels and streaming services until we’re bludgeoned over the head with nostalgia.
That’s why there is an audience for Ernest Saves Christmas, Christmas With the Kranks, and even all those horrible Hallmark movies starring Dean Cain. Ultimately, critics do not get to decide what people love when it comes to holiday movies—we just hop on the holiday train and hope for the best.
For that reason, I’m optimistic that 8-Bit Christmas might capture even 10 percent of what I felt about being a kid and wanting a Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988. If your hair is starting to gray like mine but you still rock the ironic tees, may you feel the same way.
It may look like a family film, but this one’s for you, just like The Wizard