homealonebluWhen it comes to Christmas there is a set of films that we view religiously every year. While some enjoy films like ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, we enjoy ‘A Christmas Story’, ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’, and ‘Home Alone’ in my household. John Hughes’ ‘Home Alone’ is a very popular holiday film that can be enjoyed by the whole family. This is one family film that is rather simple from start to finish that works so well. The beauty is that the story is not over complicated and something that even the younger kids in your family can understand and enjoy. With a $533 million dollars box office world wide gross ‘Home Alone’ was a widely successful holiday film.

As I mentioned earlier, the story of ‘Home Alone’ is rather simple. Eight year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is left home alone by his family as they wake up rather late to get to the airport. While the family is rushing around to get their luggage together they make it on the airplane with five minutes to spare. They are headed to Paris to visit some relatives for the Christmas holiday, but little does any of them realize that they have left Kevin behind. Kevin is left home all by himself as he awakes from a nice nights sleep to notice that nobody else is home. He tends on throughout the day like nothing is the matter.

Then enter Harry (Daniel Stern) and Marv (Joe Pesci), who Harry likes to refer to them as the wet bandits. These guys are a bunch of goofball, bumbling, and most incompetent robbers you will ever meet. Both Harry and Marv have been scoping out the neighborhood for the last few weeks having hit a few of the neighbors. Marv was at the McCallister’s home the day before dressed as a police officer scoping their home out. This is when he found out that they were leaving for Paris as there was pure chaos going on at the moment.

Harry and Marv finally get the chance to rob the McCallister’s house once the family has left for Paris. They don’t know that a little eight year-old menace is on the loose in the house. He will do everything he possibly can to defend his house. Harry and Marv have their work cut out for them as Kevin uses a BB gun, pours water that turns to ice on steps, marbles, and many more household items to hurt the wet bandits.

‘Home Alone’ is a very fun movie for the entire family with the possibility of Pesci and Stern possibly frightening the kids. Other than that, this is a family fun movie that could be enjoyed during the holidays and even non-holidays. This was the breakout role for Macaulay Culkin in Hollywood until he disappeared in 1994 after ‘Richie Rich’ to return in 2003 with ‘Party Monster’.
Movie Content: 4.5/5

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Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p AVC MPEG-4 with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colors are washed out throughout the film. There were multiple scenes later in the film where colors came out looking a bit deeper than the first part of the film. Blacks are also soft which hurts the print a tad bit. Details are also fairly good even though colors and blacks don’t jump off of the screen. A lot of this is due to the original source of the way it was filmed. Grain is very subtle throughout the entire print. I can not complain here as the film on Blu-ray looks better than the last two DVD releases.
Video Quality: 3/5

Audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1. The audio experience is actually fairly pleasant for a film that is more about the dialogue. The film’s soundtrack does take advantage of the rears in the soundfield. The score is done by John Williams, better known for the ‘Star Wars’ score. The soundfield also takes well advantage of special effects. It brings the special effects to life much more than any of the DVD versions ever did. Dialogue comes through the center very clear with no apparent issues.
Audio Quality: 3.5/5

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Special Features

  • Feature Audio Commentary By Director Chris Columbus And Macaulay Culkin
  • 1990 Press Featurette (3:53)
  • The Making of Home Alone (19:25)
  • Mac Cam: Behind The Scenes With Macaulay Culkin (4:46)
  • How To Burglar-Proof Your Home: The Stunts Of Home Alone (7:02)
  • Home Alone Around The World (3:55)
  • Where’s Buzz Now? (3:02)
  • Angels With Filthy Souls (2:07)
  • Deleted Scenes/Alternate Takes (16:28)
  • Blooper Reel (2:05)

All the special features are presented in standard definition. This is kind of disappointing that these features weren’t available in high definition. All of the ‘Family Fun Edition’ DVD extras are all available on the Blu-ray version.
Special Features: 3.5/5

Final Thoughts:

‘Home Alone’ is an excellent film that the whole family will enjoy. The picture quality is a mixed bag due to the lighting at the beginning of the film over exposing colors making them look very soft. With good audio quality and all the special features of the ‘Family Fun Edition’ DVD, I highly recommend the Blu-ray version as a nice upgrade since it is an overall better package.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 (Purchase)