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Oh boy! Another sequel!

Review by Jim Clavin

"A Christmas Story" came out in 1983 and it wasn’t until over 10 years later that it caught on and became a favorite holiday classic. As always, where there is success, there’s a sequel. But someone came up with "A Christmas Story 2" in 2012 which Shepherd himself would have proclaimed as "a turkey" after muttering "Oh, Fudge" in disgust.

Come 2022, Peter Billingsley teams up with Clay Kaytis, Nick Schenk, Vince Vaughn, and most of the primary cast from the original (Darren McGavin having passed away, and Melinda Dillon not available) to put together yet another sequel.

The Book on which the movie is based'
Much our surprise, and relief, Peter and the gang have pulled it off with the release of "A Christmas Story Christmas" taking a giant leap over the 2012 turkey. Let the Bumpus hounds take care of that one, or do they even have the appetite! Peter and his team recreated much of the same feel as the original movie while advancing the storyline further into the future. Ralph is now married with 2 kids of his own and living in Chicago, planning a visit back to Homan Indiana where he grew up to spend Christmas with his folks. They built the entire Cleveland Street block, houses and all, bringing it back to life and updated to December 1973.
This Hat is familiar'
One of the trees in front of the house has been cut down and is just a stump. All the neighborhood has paid their condolensces donating bowls of food labeled with their names. All these names are are familiar to Shep fans. They are friends, teachers and neighbors from his childhood and use in many of his stories. Flick is running his fathers bar - "Flick's Tavern" and has an assortment of reminders of the past on the back bar including a sign "In God We Trust - All others pay cash, The aviator hat Flick wore as a kid, and how about the photo of the WWII aviator?
Is this the real Paul Schwartz?'
Is that the real Schwartz? A tribute to a fallen member of the military? Scut Farkas is now a police officer! Then there's the attic filled with memories, a Lamp Shade, a bowling ball, bunny pajamas.
Memories in the Attic'
Ralph even takes the family for a Christmas tree - guess where? The Chinese restaurant is still there next to the tree lot! Randy calls from Burma, where on November 19, 1964 Shepherd did a radio show talking about Randy in Burma. And of course, there's the trip to Higbees. Lots of memories woven into the storyline, but not overdone. The only letdown I had was with the passing of the old man, (Darren McGavin having passed away in 2006) they could have paid tribute to him by mentioning the old furnace. Replaced or even sitting in the Bumpus' back yard on a heap! Oh, yes, the publisher Ralph goes to see is Dalphie Publishing. Dalphie is actually in charge of Shepherd's estate.

There's lots more to see and the movie is pretty good overall. Congratulations to Peter and the gang for a job well done. Now perhaps Ralphie could go to New York and get a job on radio or how about Ralphie in the army or. . .

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