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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NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION: Tracy was in the mood to watch a Christmas movie, and this is the only one we could agree on. 

Well, that sounded sad. I wanted to watch a movie we hadn't seen in years that was different from the usual animated movies I love at this time of year. I could hear my dad laughing in my memories and that was joyful. <3 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION: Tracy was in the mood to watch a Christmas movie, and this is the only one we could agree on. 

A CHRISTMAS STORY CHRISTMAS (1922): After watching Christmas Vacation Tracy was still in the mood for another Christmas movie. (Can you believe it?) By the time the original was released (1983), I had long since outgrown Christmas. I hadn't even heard of it until after we were married. I don't think I've eve seen the whole thing from start to finish, but I know I've seen it all in bits and pieces. They used to run a 24-hour marathon on Christmas day (and maybe still do for all I know). Tracy gave me four Christmas movies to choose from, and this sequel seemed the least objectionable. 

The original Die Hard is often called a Christmas movie.

I recommend Reindeer Games (2000).

IMDB’s summary is only a hint of what’s going on:

“After assuming his dead cell-mate's identity to get with the other man's girlfriend, an ex-convict finds himself a reluctant participant in a casino heist.”

Directed by John Frankenheimer, it stars Ben Affleck (as the ex-con), Charlize Theron, Gary Sinise, Isaac Hayes, Danny Trejo, Clarence Williams III,  Donal Logue, James Frain and the great Dennis Farina.

Not a cheerful movie, but a fun tongue-in-cheek movie that has zero actual good guys and lots of mayhem.

"The original Die Hard is often called a Christmas movie."

Whereas Diehard is definitely a Christmas movie, my objection is that it screwed up the term "yippie-i-oh-ki-ay" for an entire generation. My two favorite Christmas movies are Diner and Eyes Wide Shut

Jeff of Earth-J said:

A CHRISTMAS STORY CHRISTMAS (1922): After watching Christmas Vacation Tracy was still in the mood for another Christmas movie. (Can you believe it?) By the time the original was released (1983), I had long since outgrown Christmas. I hadn't even heard of it until after we were married. I don't think I've eve seen the whole thing from start to finish, but I know I've seen it all in bits and pieces. They used to run a 24-hour marathon on Christmas day (and maybe still do for all I know). Tracy gave me four Christmas movies to choose from, and this sequel seemed the least objectionable. 

Yes, the annual Christmas Day A Christmas Story marathon took place again this year on TNT and TBS. One year I watched the movie, once. I never need to see it again, as I don't get the appeal.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"The original Die Hard is often called a Christmas movie."

Whereas Diehard is definitely a Christmas movie, my objection is that it screwed up the term "yippie-i-oh-ki-ay" for an entire generation. My two favorite Christmas movies are Diner and Eyes Wide Shut

I don't get why there's an argument over whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie. It's set on Christmas Eve, and that's enough. 

I saw a long thread on Facebook that flatly declared Die Hard isn't a Christmas movie, despite its being set at an office Christmas party on Christmas Eve. One argument was that it isn't a Christmas movie because everything that transpires could have taken place on any other day. That is irrelevant and immaterial. That's like saying Platoon isn't a Vietnam movie because it could have been set during World War II. Or Saving Private Ryan isn't a World War II movie because it could have been set during the Afghanistan War. Or that It's a Wonderful Life isn't a Christmas movie because nothing in it had to be at Christmas. Or "Jingle Bells" and "Jingle Bell Rock" aren't Christmas songs because they don't actually mention Christmas in the lyrics.

Stuff and nonsense.

The appeal for me of the original A Christmas Story* (1983) is the kid's POV. I haven't seen the new one yet but will. I haven't seen any of the other existing sequels but won't.

* I watch it on DVD every year or so, not as part of a marathon with commercials.

Lots of Christmas stories could take place at other times — old mysteries would use Christmas as an excuse for the house party at the country mansion, snow cutting everyone off and One Of us Is A Killer. They're Christmas stories, which is to say I agree with you.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"The original Die Hard is often called a Christmas movie."

Whereas Diehard is definitely a Christmas movie, my objection is that it screwed up the term "yippie-i-oh-ki-ay" for an entire generation. My two favorite Christmas movies are Diner and Eyes Wide Shut

I don't get why there's an argument over whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie. It's set on Christmas Eve, and that's enough. 

I saw a long thread on Facebook that flatly declared Die Hard isn't a Christmas movie, despite its being set at an office Christmas party on Christmas Eve. One argument was that it isn't a Christmas movie because everything that transpires could have taken place on any other day. That is irrelevant and immaterial. That's like saying Platoon isn't a Vietnam movie because it could have been set during World War II. Or Saving Private Ryan isn't a World War II movie because it could have been set during the Afghanistan War. Or that It's a Wonderful Life isn't a Christmas movie because nothing in it had to be at Christmas. Or "Jingle Bells" and "Jingle Bell Rock" aren't Christmas songs because they don't actually mention Christmas in the lyrics.

Stuff and nonsense.

I watched a new film called A Christmas Mystery and enjoyed it. Very Nancy Drew in having an  11-year-old girl track down her town's stolen McGuffin right before Christmas. Also very warm-hearted.

"I don't get why there's an argument over whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie."

I think it stems from It's a Wonderful Life(1946), which is decidedly not a Christmas movie. It's one of Frank Capra's populist films and only the movie's final scene takes place over Christmas (and the very beginning, I guess).  It has much more to do with Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and Meet John Doe (1941) than it does with Christmas. Watch It's a Wonderful Life in conjunction with those and see if you don't agree. If you want to see the best Frank Capra movie (my favorite, anyway), watch It Happened One Night, starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. 

And no, before anyone brings them up, Meet Me in St. Louis and and Holiday Inn aren't Christmas movies, either, based on a single scene each. By that metric, Rocky is a Christmas movie. 

I watched Shin Godzilla (2016), as I have every Christmas since I got the movie on DVD.  I like to think of it as the least faithful adaptation of A Christmas Carol ever made.

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