Features: English Dolby soundtrack.
Codec / Resolution: VC-1 / 1080p
Movie File Size: 13.24 GB
Average Bitrate: 18.2 Mbps
Distributor: Warner Home Video
Movie Release: December 1, 1989
This Release: December 5, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hr 37 mins
Current Price: Check Price / Purchase (HD DVD)
Current Price: Check Price / Purchase (Blu-ray)
Cons / Disadvantages
- Good video quality
- Colors are ok but still muted in most of the film
- Still a classic for the holidays
- Audio quality could have been better
- Grain is present and could be distracting for new HD adopters
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation comes with English Dolby Digital Plus (192 Kbps) and a French and Spanish mono track at an amazingly low 64 Kbps. I'm rather surprised about the low audio quality, as there are several instances in the movie where a nice dynamic and full soundtrack would have been great. Why didn't Warner Brothers add a lossless track? Well, they decided to put the movie on an HD-15 disc.
If you look at the specs in this review, there just isn't any room for anything else. Whether there is actually a better soundtrack available is not known, but there has to be something better than a soundtrack which appears to have been squeezed into a midrange frequency spectrum for simple effect.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation looks good, but I think it could be better. And like I mentioned above, this is an HD-15 disc, which wasn't that great of an idea. Colors are dull in many areas and scenes, and oh yes, there is grain. But even with grain present, it's much more natural than some of the grain I've seen in the bigger blockbusters with 10-times the budget and resources of today.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation doesn't have a in-depth story line, and why should it. It's meant for mindless entertainment with a few morals to be instilled in viewers. John Hughes does this effectively. This is certainly a must-see in my movie collection, and I bring it out every year for a few views (or more).
It is unfortunate National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation takes a beating in the overall review ratings, because the movie is just a real classic for the holidays. I still RECOMMEND it, but with a MINUS. The minus is to put a few people on guard for not expecting the best transfer for an HD disc. I doubt if we'll see a better transfer in the future, and this is a shame. However, on the more positive note, it's certainly better than any DVD available.