Fantasy Land and Anime Lounge host. Fan of a wide variety of film, literature, games, and music. Husband, father.
1/15/23, Available free with ads on YouTube. https://youtu.be/_IjO0SZw70Y Cats Don't Dance was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I feel that it's always been underappreciated, with larger than life musical numbers, excellent humor, and an effective allegory for discrimination in casting in Golden and Silver Age Hollywood, as well as the cutthroat competition in the film industry.
Cats Don't Dance
Movies | Animation
The first hour of this film is a competent thriller-drama with some humor and over-the-top characterization. The last thirty minutes or so is made up of the teased gunfight and its ramifications, which ends up being TREMENDOUSLY anticlimactic. Throughout the movie, it's teased that Chris Cringle has some superhuman abilities, but these aren't showcased in the confrontation, which is a Western-style shootout, when it comes down to it. There is a good message about taking the time to focus on your purpose when you feel burned out, but it plays through entirely in that first hour. Worth a watch, but not an every year thing.
Movies | Action
In some ways, this is better than the original. Kris Kringle is depicted as a little less violent in this one, which makes sense. I also like the parallels drawn between faith in Santa, faith in people, and religious faith. The original places a lot of emphasis on belief in Santa, which is a silly moral for a movie to have. This remake seems to say, "You have to believe in something," whereas the original is focused entirely on cynicism against Santa. The final courtroom argument in this remake is much better, and less of a Deus ex Machina than the postal defense of the original. The romantic drama, however, is unrealistic, introduced all at once, and resolves just as suddenly for no apparent reason. As much as I love an anti-corporate plot, the corporate espionage and sabotage angle of this version convolutes the plot and makes the attacks against Kris more impersonal than the similar jabs of the staff psychologist from the original. The final scenes make jolly old St. Nicholas's meddling a little creepy. Not to mention, getting married without talking to or involving your kid is a jerk move. In terms of general artistry, the original is superior, as well. All in all, this one's worth a watch, especially if your kids' eyes glaze over whenever they see monochrome. My overall preference is for the original, though.
Miracle on 34th Street
Movies | Fantasy
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Just finished re-reading this one last night. It's not so much a Christmas story as it is a story about looking back on who you've been and what's happened to you, reflecting on why you are the way you are, and considering the kind of person you'd like to be and the legacy you'd like to leave. A lovely read written in Dickens' meandering, conversational style.
Books | Christmas Books
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