Case Number 15348


Fox // 1990 // 103 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // January 5th, 2009

The Charge

Kevin McCallister: I made my family disappear.
[thinks back to family members saying bad things about him]
Megan: Kevin, you're completely helpless!
Linnie: No, Kevin, you're what the French call les incompetents.
Buzz: Kevin, I'm going to feed you to my tarantula.
Jeff: Kevin, you are such a disease!
Kate: There are 15 people in this house and you're the only one who has to make trouble.
Frank: Look what you did, you little jerk!
Kevin: [gleefully] I made my family disappear!

Kevin McCallister: This is extremely important. Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back. No toys, nothing but Peter, Kate, Buzz, Megan, Linnie and Jeff. And my aunt and my cousins. And if he has time, my Uncle Frank. Okay?

Opening Statement

Well folks, here we are again with yet another Home Alone release. But given this is the first release of the film in HD, is it worth the dreaded double-dip? Yule (sorry!) have to wait and see.

Facts of the Case

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself at the receiving end of both every kid's wildest dream -- being left alone to do whatever he wants -- and every kid's worst nightmare -- being left behind by their parents. Throw in some great performances by Macaulay Culkin, Catherine O'Hara, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Candy, and John Heard, and a memorable John Williams score and of the best family films of the 90s and a solid John Hughes/Chris Columbus collaboration.

The Evidence

Home Alone has become fairly synonymous with Christmas and lands on many "must see" Yuletide viewing lists. The odds are pretty good that you've seen it by now. Whether you saw it in theaters when it premiered in 1990, or on one of the many home video releases from VHS to DVD, you're likely quite familiar with the plot, the high points, the cast and some of the film's more memorable moments. I won't rehash what many others have already said...this is a fun little film that's definitely worth your time.

The real question is that with so many previous home video releases, is there any way to justify yet another purchase, now that the Home Alone: Family Fun Edition has come to DVD? The image is a tiny bit soft throughout, but this doesn't take away from the fact that this is an excellent 1080p transfer of an 18-year-old film. The colors really pop and shadow quality is also fairly dark, providing nice contrast. Home Alone in HD is pretty darn impressive and is a noticeable improvement over the standard definition Family Fun Edition released on January 1, 2007. The audio mix is pleasant and well balanced, with great use of surround channels for John Williams' enchanting score, atmospheric sounds and effects. Dialogue is also impressively well produced, with no noticeable signs of hiss or distortion.

All the extra features from the previous edition are here, though not in HD. I agree 100 percent with Judge David Packard's comments on the bonus features, so rather than duplicate that content, feel free to read his review for more detail.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

It seems a shame to go to all the effort of releasing Home Alone yet again while not bothering to add in any new BD features or extras. Even Ebenezer Scrooge would be disappointed!

Closing Statement

There are a lot of abysmal holiday-themed films that have been released over the years and while many of us would like to pretend its sequels never existed, Home Alone is still a classic nearly 20 years after its release. Delivering a nice mix of comedy, drama and Yuletide sentimentality, the film deserves a place on any movie fans shelf. Now on Blu-ray, the film looks and sounds just that much better, and will hopefully be around for generations to come.

The Verdict

If, for some reason, you've waited until now to purchase Home Alone, it's easy to recommend that you bring this new HD release into your home this holiday season. But while delivering a solid and noticeable improvement in both picture and sound quality over previous releases, Home Alone arrives on Blu-ray with no new features of any kind, so that may make an upgrade a bit harder to justify.

Review content copyright © 2009 Kent Dixon; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 85
Audio: 90
Extras: 85
Acting: 90
Story: 90
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile
Studio: Fox
Video Formats:
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p Widescreen)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (French)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (Portuguese)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

* English
* Cantonese
* Korean
* Mandarin
* Portuguese
* Spanish

Running Time: 103 Minutes
Release Year: 1990
MPAA Rating: Rated PG

Distinguishing Marks
* Commentary
* Featurettes
* Deleted Scenes / Alternate Takes
* Blooper Reel

* IMDb