Saw a Takashi Miike picture called The Great Yokai War. "Yokai" is a Japanese term for monsters from folklore, as opposed to the more familiar kaiju. It's a kids' picture, about a young boy from Tokyo sent out to live in the countryside with his older sister and his intermittently senile grandfather. When a vengeful spirit appears, the boy gets caught up in a war between warring groups of yokai and must find his courage to become the "Kirin Rider", the hero who will set everything to rights. It's not a bad picture - nothing deep, but an amusing story. Some of the yokai are really trippy, Japanese folklore can get pretty "out there", apparently.

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Last night, my wife and I watched My Summer Story (1994), aka It Runs in the Family. This movie is Bob Clark's followup to A Christmas Story and takes place the following summer. Charles Grodin plays "The Old Man" here. Mary Steenburgen plays the mom, and Kieran and Christian Culkin play Ralph and Randy, respectively. The Old Man steps up the feud with the Bumpuses. Mom is obsessed with collecting celebrity dishware at the movie theater, a plot line that was also in The Phantom of the Open Hearth. Ralph is in search of a killer top to defeat the top of the new bully who has stepped in above Scut Farkas. Jean Shepherd is still narrator.

We also watched the 1955 version of The Miracle on 34th Street. I have seen the original version from 1947, the Sebastian Cabot version from 1973, and the 1994 version with Richard Attenborough. I didn't know until last night that this version existed. Thomas Mitchell, who played Uncle Billy in It's a Wonderful Life, plays Kris Kringle here, and MacDonald Carey plays Fred. It was made as an episode of The 20th Century Fox Hour and runs less than an hour, so the story is very compressed.

I also learned that there was a 1959 TV version starring Ed Wynn as Kris Kringle. This version was done live and in color on NBC, but kinescopes do exist. 

Christmas Eve I watched Them!The Beast from 20,,000 Fathoms and The Thing from Another World.

Yesterday I watched my favorite Christmas movie, Shin Godzilla.

Wonder Woman 1984-- which I thought was better than most DCCU films, but not as good as its predecessor or Shazam! It's a narrative mess, though visually spectacular. WW's b-plot conflict with the Cheetah was more affecting than her a-plot with Maxwell Lord, because the film established some kind of relationship between Diana and Barbara. Characters we care about playing for minor stakes beats characters we don't really care about battling to SAVE THE WORLD!

Me neither!  Now I've got to look for it (but I guess I'll have to wait another 11 months for that).

PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod said:

We also watched the 1955 version of The Miracle on 34th Street. I have seen the original version from 1947, the Sebastian Cabot version from 1973, and the 1994 version with Richard Attenborough. I didn't know until last night that this version existed.

Did you know about the 1959 version?

That's the one I meant.  I was really peeved that I couldn't find the '47 version this year, but I would have been (slightly) consoled to have found a version I hadn't known about.  '94 was playing ad nauseum on FreeForm.

PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod said:

Did you know about the 1959 version?

While easy and simplistic there is something nice about labeling sequels numerically. Since they don't always do that I have watched The Bourne Supremacy one or two extra times, because it just sounds like it should be the third in a trilogy one to me. This morning I finally watched The Bourne Ultimatum, the actual third film. It was alright, it had a decent ending. My only real problem is that it felt like an almost 2 hour chase scene with some dialogue every once in a while. Still worth it though.

The 1955 version of The Miracle on 34th Street is on YouTube.

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

 This morning I finally watched The Bourne Ultimatum, the actual third film. It was alright, it had a decent ending. My only real problem is that it felt like an almost 2 hour chase scene with some dialogue every once in a while.

You say that like it's a bad thing ... 

THE FRESHMAN: Two weeks ago I watched The Godfather. Last week I watched The Godfather Pt. II. Today I hoped to watch The Godfather Coda, but it's been delayed. Over the years, I have met four individuals or couples who enjoyed the "Godfather" movies as much as I. All six of them have seen The Freshman but none of them like it. I think it's delightful. Maybe it's just me.

Love, Actually: Somehow we missed this, uh, seventeen years ago. Amusing British movie, good cast. Hug Grant makes an excellent, unlikely British PM. Parodic views of American and Portuguese culture, even for humorous purposes, wears a little thin, perhaps because it feels out of context in this film.

I rather liked the meta-bit where one of the plots concerns a horrible rendition of "Love is All Around," given that writer/director Richard Curtis's first success was Four Weddings and a Funeral, a great little film that drew flack for its soundtrack's rendition of that song.

I also really liked The Freshman when it was in theaters. As it happens, it's coming out on BluRay in January. Adding it to my collection.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

THE FRESHMAN: Two weeks ago I watched The Godfather. Last week I watched The Godfather Pt. II. Today I hoped to watch The Godfather Coda, but it's been delayed. Over the years, I have met four individuals or couples who enjoyed the "Godfather" movies as much as I. All six of them have seen The Freshman but none of them like it. I think it's delightful. Maybe it's just me.

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