Blu-rays For the Weekend: Classic Christmas with a modern glow

The holidays wouldn’t be the same without our favourite heart-warming Christmas classics to evoke some good old fashioned festive cheer. And now on Blu-ray viewers can enjoy crisp detail and bright festive colours like never before. This year, you can absolutely have your cake and eat it.

So if you’re looking for some inspiration on what to watch, why not check out one of the these:

MuppetsThe Muppet Christmas Carol

A beloved Christmas classic, The Muppet Christmas Carol is the 1992 adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol – interpreted with an odd mix of offbeat humour and delivered with aplomb by our verdant friend Kermit the Frog, the tenacious Miss Piggy and their merry band of muppets. Michael Caine gives a performance that’s anything but “bah, humbug!” as greedy, penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge.

One fateful Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Together with kind, humble Bob Cratchit (Kermit) and his family, the Spirits open Scrooge’s eyes — and his heart – to the true meaning of Christmas.

Poignantly the film was released after the deaths of Muppets creator Jim Henson and fellow puppeteer Richard Hunt. The film is dedicated to their memories.

The re-mastered Blu-ray edition serves-up this Christmas carol of choice with strong and lovely colours, clean and clear detail and refined textures. Luxuriate in the fur, hair and felt like never before.





WonderfulIt’s a Wonderful Life

Would any Christmas be the same without this perennial classic? The story is a familiar one that never fails to enlighten and uplift.

George Bailey is a small-town man whose life seems so desperate he contemplates suicide. He had always wanted to leave Bedford Falls to see the world, but circumstances and his own good heart have led him to stay. As he prepares to jump from a bridge, his guardian angel intercedes; showing him what life would have become for the residents of Bedford Falls is he had never lived.

Almost from the get-go, Parmaount’s transfer is nothing short of wonderful. The image is consistently sharp, clear, and wonderfully detailed. But particularly excitedly is the opportunity to watch the film in colour. Disc two presents this film in a whole new light. The colours are vibrant from the beginning, from the Heavens above to the fresh white snow and everything in between. It may not appeal to the purists, but the colour version could make for a unique holiday treat for those who are willing to venture beyond the original black-and-white version.






MiracleMiracle on 34th Street

The 1947 original is a firm Christmas favourite which at its very centre, speaks to the power of faith. Kris Kringle – unbeknownst to cynical, market-minded adults, the real Santa Claus – is hired to play himself at Macy’s Department Store, New York City. His gentle, joyous spirit and magical powers soon transform those around him, including a little girl and her world-weary mother.

The film won Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Edmund Gwenn), Best Writing, Original Story (Valentine Davies) and Best Writing, Screenplay. It’s quite a feat that this black-and-white old movie has transferred to Blu-ray so successfully.

Enthusiasts may also want to watch the revamped original alongside the 1994 remake – also on Blu-ray. Clearer in one’s memory, the updated version equally enthralled its audience. Richard Attenborough and Elizabeth Perkins provide delightful, unforgettable performances. Who would have though it – two Santas for two generations, so crisp and clear you can almost touch their big buckle belt and bobble ball hat.

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