Not one to be left out of a good blogathon, Crystal, from In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood, crashes our Christmas in July party with her review of The Man Who Came to Dinner. Head over to her blog to check it out!
Thanks for joining in, Crystal. 🙂

In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood.

“Is there a man in the world who suffers as I do from the gross inadequacies of the human race?”

giphy (21)

For millions of people world wide Christmas is the happiest time of the year, but for some families the highly celebrated annual tradition can suddenly turn into a disastrous affair.


The famed movie family named the Stanley’s endured nothing but turbulence one snowy Christmas in Ohio when their home became a place of recovery for the acidic tongued radio personality, Sheridan Whiteside who dominated the household and controlled the first floor of the luxurious dwelling.

Annex - Davis, Bette (Man Who Came to Dinner, The)_NRFPT_01

This bizarre situation is extremely rare in real life, but in the 1942 film, The Man Who Came To Dinner, the family were struck with the troubles and frustrations that Moss Hart experienced when the renowned writer and broadcaster, Alexander Woollcott spent a catastrophic weekend at his house. Moss Hart would later describe the incident as…

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Christmas in July Blogathon 2018 Wrap-Up

Hello, friends!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the fifth annual Christmas in July Blogathon here on DMR. In case you missed any of the entries, here they are:

Krampus Review (Tom)
Lethal Weapon Review (Craggus)
5 Movie Scenes Involving Christmas Trees! (Kim)
Death Race Podcast episode (Movies and Tea)
Cartoon Comparison: 3 Godfathers (1948) / Tokyo Godfathers (2003) (SG)
Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie? (Allie)
The Man Who Invented Christmas Review (Rob)
Elf Review

Now, let’s get to the most important part of the blogathon: our holiday party. Every year, we have a holiday party where we invite celebrities to join us. Here is this year’s guest list:

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of mistletoe to go around. 😉

And with that, the 2018 Christmas in July Blogathon is concluded! I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all of the participants. Your enthusiasm always makes this blogathon worth while. 😀 I’d also like to thank those of you who read, liked and commented. I hope you found some new bloggers to follow.

Traditionally, I would roll right into my week-long anniversary celebration next. However, this last month or two has been very busy for me. I bought a house and have spent much of my free time readying my new house, packing my old house, and transporting said stuff (I didn’t use movers). Oh, and I’m currently in the middle of a much needed vacation (thank you WordPress post scheduling). Once I get things back to normal, I’ll have that celebration. I’m not sure exactly when that will be so be on the lookout for that announcement.

Until next time, cheers!

Elf Review: Christmas in July Blogathon 2018

Well, here we are. We’ve reached the final entry of the 2018 Christmas in July Blogathon. I may be biased, but I can’t think of anyone better to conclude this year’s festivities. This concluding review comes from non-other than someone you all know and love: me! Yoy might’ve guessed that I would be reviewing Elf if you follow my twitter. Elf is always at the top of my list of things to watch during the holiday season. I’m surprised it took me this long to review it. It’s been long enough, let’s get to it already!

Elf movie posterSynopsis
Buddy (Will Farrell) learns that after growing up at the North Pole, he is not an elf. He heads to New York City in hopes of reconnecting with his biological father (James Caan).

In talking to people, Will Farrell seems to be one of those actors that either you like or you don’t. I haven’t meet anyone who was like “He’s ok.” However, at the same time, I haven’t meet anyone who didn’t like Elf. Ferrell’s unique personality and comedy is the perfect fit for Buddy, an elf who is a fish-out-of-water in New York City. He wonderfully portrays Buddy’s innocence and unfamiliarity of being in a big city. As delightful as Ferrell is, he doesn’t outshine the rest of the cast. Zooey Deschanel is a treat as Jovie, beautiful and sweet, seeing that Buddy is someone special. Veteran actors James Caan and Mary Steenburgen are great together, easily pulling off being a married couple. Daniel Tay as Buddy’s half-brother Michael might just be the most underappreciated character of the film, possessing as much heart and love for others as Buddy.

Christmas films tend to have a similar message about caring for others and showing that love in meaningful ways. Elf is no different but it does so in the classic comedy way of dropping the main character in an unfamiliar environment. And Buddy is someone worth rooting for. You want to see him succeed because, at his core, he is a good person. As a result, he brings a lot of heart to film. Which in the end is why this film is so beloved, despite mixed feeling towards Ferrell’s comedy, and instantly became a holiday staple.

I thought Elf was GREAT 😀 Regardless of your feelings on Will Ferrell, chances are you’ll enjoy this movie. Luckily, Ferrell doesn’t carry the movie alone and the supporting cast around him all give extraordinary performances. Filled to the brim with heart, you’ll have no trouble finding this easily quotable film on many people’s must-watch list during the holiday season.

Favorite Quote
Buddy: You sit on a throne of lies.


Cast & Crew
Jon Favreau – Director
David Berenbaum – Writer
John Debney – Composer

Will Ferrell – Buddy
Zooey Deschanel – Jovie
James Caan – Walter
Mary Steenburgen – Emily
Daniel Tay – Michael
Bob Newhart – Papa Elf
Edward Asner – Santa
Amy Sedaris – Dev
Andy Richter – Morris
Kyle Gass – Eugene
Michael Lerner – Fulton
Faizon Love – Gimbel’s Manager
Peter Dinklage – Miles Finch

As I’ve mentioned a few time before on this blog, I play a lot of Overwatch. I also have been following the Overwatch League (OWL) as best I can (the season 1 grand finals start tomorrow, btw). So this year, I am inviting OWL personality Soe Gschwind-Penski to our holiday party.

That’s the wrap! Tomorrow, I will have a summary of this year’s entries and party guests. Thanks for hanging about during the blogathon!

Until next time, cheers!

The Man Who Invented Christmas Review: Christmas in July Blogathon 2018

Hello, friends!

Welcome to the final day of the fifth annual Christmas in July Blogathon! Over the last several years, several bloggers have become regulars of my festive annual blogathon. None more so than Rob from MovieRob, who has participated all five years! If you are unfamiliar with Rob and his blog (which I don’t know how you can be), he has a vast library of film reviews, totaling in the thousands! Really impressive work that you have to see to believe. Head over to his site to see what I mean. Today, he adds to his colossal archive with a fresh review of a more recent Christmas film: The Man Who Invented Christmas.

The Man Who Invented Christmas“Humbug!” – Scrooge

Number of Times Seen – 1 (18 Jul 2018)

Brief Synopsis – As famed author Charles Dickens’ attempts to write a new novel, he is struck with writer’s block and must find a way to come up with an extraordinary idea for an original story.

My Take on it – What better choice for a film review for Christmas in July over at Drew’s then perhaps a story about the events and man who helped make Christmas as festive and joyous as it is.

This film is based on the premise that Charles Dickens needed to search his innermost self in order to find the right elements to create one of his most popular novels: A Christmas Carol.

This film weighs heavily on information included in that novel, so it probably is more helpful for the viewer to understand this film much better if they already have a familiarity with that story (or some version of it since there have been so many over the years).

Dan Stevens does a pretty good job in the lead but he is outshined by Christopher Plummer who plays Scrooge.

Stevens manages to do a fine job showing an author trying to find his way through the maze of plot and characters in order to create something comprehensible and plausible.

The fact that he gets advice from his characters along the way is a great touch here.

The story itself works well to show us the inner workings of the mind of a literary genius while at the same time showing that there is a fine line between truth and fiction that gets very blurred during such an exhaustive writing process.

Bottom Line – Very interesting idea that works better for those who are more familiar with Dickens’ take A Christmas Carol. Steven does a nice job in the lead and manages to give us the feeling of an author trying to create a great story yet needs help from his characters to help make them seem plausible.  Plummer is wondrous as Scrooge and steals every scene that he appears in. The story works quite well as a way to perhaps see into the mind of a celebrated author while at the same time understand how the lines between truth and fiction can be blurred during this process. The give us a great look into how (possibly) the holiday of Christmas became so much more festive and joyful due to the themes of this book. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – At 87 years old Christopher Plummer is the oldest actor to ever play Scrooge. In fact Scrooge is apparently elderly in the book while in the previous films Scrooge is played by various middle aged actors. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

For our little party, Rob has invited Mary Stuart Masterson!

Mary Stuart Masterson

Lovely pick, Rob!

And that’s it for my guest participants! Later today, I conclude the blogathon with a review of one of my favorite Christmas films. I’ve dropped a few hints on my twitter so head over there if you want a peak at which one.

Until next time, cheers!

Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?: Christmas in July Blogathon 2018

Closing out the penultimate day of the Christmas in July Blogathon is the Christmas uber-fanatic Allie from Often Off Topic. Allie has been a Christmas in July Blogathon mainstay for the last several years and is always the most eager participant. Over on her site, Allie reviews films and gives regular insights into her life, which has only become more crazy now that she has a baby daughter. Recently, Allie heard that Bruce Willis weighed in on whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not and has decided to share where she stands on the matter. Let’s see what she has to say about the topic.

Opening my laptop this morning, trying to decide what to write about for Drew’s annual Christmas in July blogathon (which I am once again fashionably late for) I was horrified to read the news title “Bruce Willis CONFIRMS Die Hard is not a Christmas movie”. Aca-scuse me?!

The terrible statement was made during his appearance on his very own Comedy Central Roast. Come on, Bruce! This is something us movie fans have been arguing about for years, in fact, YouGov even ran a poll on it, in which over 50% of people also claimed Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie.

If you haven’t guessed, I am firmly in the Yes camp. In fact, I only watched Die Hard for the first time fairly recently, because I’d been told it was a Christmas movie and so it felt wrong to watch it in any month other than December. In my eyes, any movie that takes place during Christmas counts. That’s why you’ll find me rewatching Love Actually, Just Friends, and Bridget Jones’s Diary every single year.

I’d really love to settle the debate once and for all so please let me (and Drew!) know – is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

Now, the best part of Drew’s Christmas in July blogathon is the after-party. We’re allowed to bring 1 guest of our choice. My previous guests have been Dan Stevens, Oscar Isaac, and Chris Pratt. I would bring Bruce Willis this year but there’s no chance now he’s trying to ruin my festive spirit so his invite is in the bin. As I still have another year and a half to wait to see him again in Star Wars, I’ll bring Adam Driver with me this year! Drew can you make sure the heating is on, please? He’s decided to come shirtless!

Classic Allie. Once again, inviting a Star Wars actor. I’m not complaining, though. 😉

I myself definitely consider Die Hard a Christmas film. What do you have to say about it?

Tomorrow, the person who has participated in the Christmas in July blogathon the most kicks off the final day (and it’s not me).

Until next time, cheers!

Cartoon Comparison: 3 Godfathers (1948) / Tokyo Godfathers (2003): Christmas In July Blogathon 2018

Hello, friends!

Today’s first entry marks the beginning of the second half of this here blogathon! Starting the day is a regular in my blogathons. If you are looking for a unique blog, look no further than SG and Rhyme and Reason. SG combines his love of poetry and movies to create interesting and one-of-a-kind posts. I highly recommend giving his site a visit. For this year’s Christmas in July Blogathon, SG is comparing two films: 3 Godfathers, a John Wayne western, and Tokyo Godfathers, an early 2000s anime. Let’s get to it!

Life can embitter you
As you permit her to;
Always and never you’re in her control.
And as her aggressions
Leave deeper impressions,
We’re quick to forget that we each have a soul.

So often confronted
By cynics and hunted
By worries we parry were never our fault,
We grow disenchanted,
Breaths taken for granted…
Until we recall such is not our default.

Some innocent virtue,
A love that won’t hurt you
Can work wonders on a soul starved for such things,
And maybe awaken
Faith formerly shaken
That sees goodness in the unseen angel’s wings.

MPAA rating for 3 Godfathers: Passed (PG is fine)
MPAA rating for Tokyo Godfathers: PG-13 (for subject matter and some nudity with breastfeeding)

I’m thrilled to be back for Drew’s Christmas in July Blogathon. For my entry last year, I made up a list of non-obvious Christmas movies, and I added 3 Godfathers and Tokyo Godfathers as runners-up, despite knowing them only by reputation. Now that I’ve watched both, they seemed perfect for one of my Cartoon Comparison posts, as well as for Christmas in July. Both movies are about a trio of unlikely “godparents” stumbling upon a needy baby and protecting the infant around Christmastime, except 3 Godfathers is a John Wayne western and Tokyo Godfathers an anime film.

Let’s start with the first film, 1948’s 3 Godfathers, which isn’t quite as outwardly Christmas-y as its animated counterpart. The setting is all sun-stark Arizona desert (some of it evidently shot in Death Valley), but there are several mentions of Christmas approaching and some clear yuletide themes. John Wayne plays the head of his small posse, which includes Harry Carey, Jr. and Pedro Armendáriz (who was apparently a famous Mexican actor and ought to be better remembered), who together ride into the town of Welcome, become acquainted with the town sheriff, and then rob the bank. They escape with the lawmen in hot pursuit, but as they come to terms with their desperate lack of water, they discover a covered wagon where a dying mother is about to give birth. Once the trio is alone with the baby, the seemingly hardened outlaws do their utmost to protect their new godson.

I’m by no means well-versed in John Wayne or John Ford’s body of work, but I’d consider 3 Godfathers one of their best, the main weakness being a few too many scenes of monotonous walking across the desert. Its characters aren’t as iconic as in True Grit, and its scope isn’t as epic as The Searchers, but its story is strong in its simplicity and eventual sweetness. (Ford had already made an earlier silent version called Marked Men in 1919 with the senior Harry Carey, to whom 3 Godfathers is dedicated and who was also in a 1916 version based on a novel. Oh, and there was also a 1936 version with Walter Brennan, so this story has seen some mileage.)

It may seem odd that three outlaws would care enough to protect a baby with their lives, but it’s a reminder of how different times were when honor could be found even among thieves. The bank robbers aren’t cutthroat psychos, though there’s no hint as to why they committed the crime, and finding the mother and child reveals a different side of them, one of tenderness, panic, and humor that is to be expected with three men and a baby, one scene of which is bound to make your inner parent cringe. As for the Christmas connection, Harry Carey, Jr.’s discovery of a Bible allows him to make an overt comparison between them and the three wise men, and that Bible’s later significance seems to reinforce the reality of Christmas miracles. The ending may border on schmaltzy, but when has that ever been unwelcome around Christmastime?

So what about its anime counterpart Tokyo Godfathers, which must have drawn inspiration from the western based on its storyline and similar title? There are still three outcasts of society who discover a baby, but instead of bank robbers, they’re homeless people: a bearded grump named Gin, a homosexual ex-drag queen named Hana, and a teenage runaway named Miyuki. When they find the baby girl in the trash, Hana names her Kiyoko and sees her as a gift from God and a chance to be a mother, but the trio eventually decides to find the girl’s mother, which is easier said than done in a city as large as Tokyo.

Tokyo Godfathers was directed and co-written by Satoshi Kon, who was known for mind-bending stories of reality merging with fiction. (Paprika is often cited as his best work, but I prefer Millennium Actress or, well, Tokyo Godfathers.) Like his other films, this animated story is clearly not meant for kids, but it is unusual among his work because of how comparatively straightforward it is. There are no time-jumping flashbacks or trippy hallucinations to bewilder the audience, making it easily his most accessible film, but there are still plenty of twists and turns to the story.

In trying to think of how to classify Tokyo Godfathers in style, the best I can come up with is “grotesque magical realism.” The outstanding animation presents the poverty-stricken world of the characters in gritty detail, with some grotesque exaggerations in the faces especially (missing teeth, very expressive mouths and eyes), which also add to the tale’s unexpected charm. The “magical” part stems from the abundance of supposed coincidences the trio encounter, whether it be unexpected run-ins with their past or instances of extreme luck, which are often credited to God’s providence. (At one point, Hana is upset to be kicked out of a store, only for a van to crash into it moments afterward.)

As for its Christmasy-ness, Tokyo Godfathers certainly looks the part, full of snowy cityscapes and a few actual holiday trappings, even beginning with a nativity play and ending with a weird Japanese version of “Ode to Joy.” Beyond that, though, there are subtle themes of family and love for our fellow man. Noticing some strangers’ disapproving glance at them, Hana asks “I wonder how we look to them?” to which Gin replies, “Like a bum, a homo, a runaway, and a foundling.” Indeed that’s all anyone might see from the outside, but the film reveals that each of them has a story worth telling and traumas to overcome. I might not agree with the characters’ life choices, and they’re often berated for their past mistakes, but their desire for a family and belonging is no less real. Despite the constant bickering between the three, they form a dysfunctional, sometimes very funny surrogate family and, like the bank robbers of 3 Godfathers, pour their efforts into protecting their own blessing from God.

Neither 3 Godfathers nor Tokyo Godfathers are likely to be high on anyone’s Christmas movie watch list, but they make for a unique and worthwhile double feature. Both films show how even the rough-and-tumble outliers of society can devote themselves to an innocent life, and both impart some latent yuletide inspiration, even religiosity in spots, sharing a providential deus ex machina in the climax. Whether you prefer westerns or animation, don’t forget about this story come Christmas.

Best line from 3 Godfathers:
(Robert, using only the baby’s first name) “little Robert…”
(William) “Robert William…”
(Pedro) “Robert William Pedro….”

Best line from Tokyo Godfathers:
(Gin) “Even a good-for-nothing father never forgets a child.”
(Miyuki, getting up and deciding to phone her father) “I’m going out.”
(Gin) “What’s the matter with her?”
(Hana) “A child never forgets its parents.”

Rank for 3 Godfathers: List Runner-Up
Rank for Tokyo Godfathers: List Runner-Up

© 2018 S.G. Liput
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And as for my special guest, I wouldn’t mind meeting Emily VanCamp under the mistletoe. It can’t be easy for Captain America to love someone after Peggy Carter, but I think he made a good choice. 😉

Emily VanCamp

Ever since I was introduced to Emily VanCamp in the television series Revenge, I have been a fan of hers. Thanks for inviting her to the party, SG!

Up next is probably the biggest Christmas fan of the entire blogathon. Stop by later to see who it is.

Until next time, cheers!