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The Gift That Keeps On Giving
September 10, 2012 9:08 AM   Subscribe

What do you do when you own the IP to a beloved 28-year old family classic widely regarded as one of the finest Christmas movies ever? Why you make a sequel of course.

(via)
posted by The Whelk (174 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
posted by kmz at 9:08 AM on September 10, 2012 [39 favorites]


It's a Wondeful Life remake staring Jim Carrey.
posted by Artw at 9:10 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I saw this last week and cried. I can't believe that let George Lucas direct it.
That IS what happened, right?
posted by Seamus at 9:10 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


If there's one thing A Christmas Story is rememebered for, it's the Wa-ha-haky Hijinks!
posted by muddgirl at 9:11 AM on September 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


Not only is it a sequel, it's a direct to DVD sequel.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:11 AM on September 10, 2012


And to think, I used to scoff at the idea of a War on Christmas.
posted by Drastic at 9:12 AM on September 10, 2012 [33 favorites]


the Official sequel too, not that other movie based on the same writings
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 AM on September 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


B-b-b-b-b-ut it's the *official* sequel!



This Christmas I will honor the memory of Darren McGavin and watch episodes of Kolchak: The Night Stalker instead.
posted by mazola at 9:13 AM on September 10, 2012 [20 favorites]




I think I'd rather watch BMX Bandits again. And yes, I have seen BMX Bandits, so I know of what I speak.
posted by AugieAugustus at 9:15 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


That shit will warm your heart.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:15 AM on September 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


If there really is a War on Christmas, these people are going to the Hague.
posted by mhoye at 9:16 AM on September 10, 2012 [33 favorites]


Oh, ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge

(Only I didn't say 'fudge')
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:18 AM on September 10, 2012 [50 favorites]


Sorry, but I'm feeling obligated to mention that the schoolyard scenes from the orginal movie were filmed right down the street from my house.
posted by davebush at 9:18 AM on September 10, 2012


I liked the part when I thought it was a joke.
posted by psylosyren at 9:18 AM on September 10, 2012 [25 favorites]


I hope and pray that at some point in this film, Ralphie directs someone to "talk to the hand."
posted by Greg Nog at 9:18 AM on September 10, 2012 [16 favorites]


that other movie based on the same writings

Hey, I started an old-timey spinning top battle fad in my 5th grade class because of that movie
posted by theodolite at 9:19 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Citizen Kane 2: 2 Rich 2 Nostalgic
posted by Algebra at 9:20 AM on September 10, 2012 [63 favorites]


They missed a great opportunity when they didn't have Todd Solondz direct.
posted by rocketpup at 9:20 AM on September 10, 2012 [20 favorites]


D-Daniel Stern? Oh my god I'm sorry. This shame falls upon me as upon us all. We as a nation have failed you.
posted by Iridic at 9:21 AM on September 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


NOTAFINGA!

will I lift in an effort to see this film
posted by delfin at 9:24 AM on September 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh my God, it's a damn good thing I live in a country where this isn't a Christmas tradition. Because, otherwise, EVERYONE would be getting this for Christmas.

EVERYONE.
posted by Katemonkey at 9:25 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


[insert "rather shoot my eye out" joke here]
posted by infinitewindow at 9:28 AM on September 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Citizen Kane 2: 2 Rich 2 Nostalgic

I know it won't be, but I really really really want the next Bourne movie to be 2 Bourne 2 Furious.
posted by kmz at 9:28 AM on September 10, 2012


Alright, humanity, it's been a good run, but time to pack it in.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:29 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


abolish christmas
posted by ninjew at 9:29 AM on September 10, 2012


I thought there was already a sequel. My Summer Story / It Runs in the Family. Whichever you want to call it, I guess. Same director, same writer, same family. Not the same magic.
posted by The Deej at 9:29 AM on September 10, 2012


That shit will warm your heart.

Billions of years of evolution have given me a heart that is kept regulated at the optimum temperature. Please do not attempt to change this temperature.
posted by Egg Shen at 9:31 AM on September 10, 2012 [28 favorites]


It's a Madder Madder Madder Madder World
posted by KingEdRa at 9:31 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


The tremors emanating from an epicenter at Sanibel Island are believed to be caused by Jean Shepherd spinning in his grave.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:32 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Citizen Kane sequel should be a Kinkade-flavored prequel about Kane's childhood, about his young discoveries about life and love and loss. That first nickel. That first kiss. Learning that sometimes, growing up means letting go.

Citizen Kane: Rosebud Days
posted by cortex at 9:33 AM on September 10, 2012 [19 favorites]


Should have just remade it with Megan Fox as the lamp.
posted by subtle-t at 9:35 AM on September 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


Maybe we can get Rupert Murdoch to fund that if we convince him it's about really him. Or just makes Charles Foster Kane Australian.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:35 AM on September 10, 2012


With Glenn Beck as the dad?
posted by munchingzombie at 9:36 AM on September 10, 2012


Does the family rescue Christmas from being stolen/destroyed by evildoers? 'Cause all sequels have to fight bad guys.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:36 AM on September 10, 2012


Watching that trailer made me glad that I have never seen A Christmas Story because as I watched it, I could feel an alternate me in a parallel reality experiencing what it's like to have their fond childhood memories get run over by a planet made of shit.
posted by Kattullus at 9:37 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


My Summer Story/It Runs in the Family wasn't the only Ralphie sequel. Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss was done as a co-production of they Disney Channel and PBS (yes, such a thing happened) in 1988 with Jerry O'Connell as Ralph.
posted by inturnaround at 9:37 AM on September 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


The one-eyed 37-year-old Ralphie Parker seeks revenge on the thugs that killed his family on Christmas day.
posted by Zed at 9:37 AM on September 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


is danny devito still alive? cause he should be in this
posted by facetious at 9:38 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's good that movie studios only read Reddit, or we'd be neck-deep in shitty sequels. Besides those Warner Direct-to-DVD movies. And Disney's in-house knock-offs.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:39 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Part way through the trailer, I started to think that this couldn't possibly be real. It had a be a parody or some lame Funny or Die sketch. But...this is actually a real movie that got made. I'm going to go and shoot out my eyes so that I never have to watch that again.
posted by asnider at 9:39 AM on September 10, 2012


Thanks, but I'll wait for A Christmas Story: The XXX Parody.

"You'll shoot yer eye out, kid"
posted by item at 9:40 AM on September 10, 2012 [18 favorites]


The one-eyed 37-year-old Ralphie Parker seeks revenge on the thugs that killed his family on Christmas day..

I'd watch the sequel only if it turned out that "A Christmas Story" was a prequel to The Dark Tower.
posted by inturnaround at 9:41 AM on September 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


I guess I don't really feel like my childhood memories were 'raped' or 'run over' or anything - the trailer is so laughably off-base that I can't imagine that anyone who made it has ever even seen the original movie.
posted by muddgirl at 9:41 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


They actually released this film in theaters overseas. It was somewhere in Italy. Fragile, I think.
posted by nushustu at 9:42 AM on September 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


D-Daniel Stern? Oh my god I'm sorry. This shame falls upon me as upon us all. We as a nation have failed you.

People can only watch so much Macauley-torturing and Yeardley Smith-impregnating before they just turn on a guy.
posted by anazgnos at 9:42 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The one-eyed 37-year-old Ralphie Parker seeks revenge on the thugs that killed his family on Christmas day.

If this is a True Grit crossover that climaxes with Ralphie charging a group of school bullies dual-wielding Red Ryder BB guns, I'm all over it.

"Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!"
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:43 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


362 likes, 7,522 dislikes

And people say the masses have bad taste.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:44 AM on September 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


I can't imagine that anyone who made it has ever even seen the original movie

Maeby this is why...
posted by Talez at 9:44 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Deej: "I thought there was already a sequel."

Don't forget the "sequels" that actually preceded it, produced by PBS for their series American Playhouse.
They're all on youtube: Shep is the narrator/chorus for all of them.posted by namewithoutwords at 9:46 AM on September 10, 2012 [16 favorites]


I liked the part with the soft filter lens.
posted by obscurator at 9:49 AM on September 10, 2012


A Christmas Story always made me feel incredibly uncomfortable as a kid and a teenager. I could never pinpoint what it was -- the department store Santa clearly working for a few bucks and not for the magic of Christmas, the overprotective but also oddly aloof mother, the tactless and tasteless father, the old joke that only Chinese restaurants were open on Christmas Days being so dated at the time that I watched it....it took me, I believe, until college to watch the movie in its entirety. And I still just didn't get it.

I'll probably give it another go this year, but it seems a movie for which a sequel is long past it's due date that it would have been best to just write the idea off entirely.
posted by zizzle at 9:51 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


it would have been best to just write the idea off entirely.

I'm sure that will be coming this next tax year.
posted by mazola at 9:53 AM on September 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


A Christmases Story
A Christmas Story 2: The Wassailing
Christma' 2: Electric Boogaloo
I'll Always Know What You Did Last Christmas
X2mas
2 Festive 2 Storied
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:53 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


the trailer is so laughably off-base that I can't imagine that anyone who made it has ever even seen the original movie.

Funny, my response was pretty much the opposite; I think they saw it and studied it but more as an artifact than as a film work. Because almost everything in that trailer, like at least eighty percent of the stuff we're shown, is direct nods to scenes from the original in a way that's really sort of interesting in a horrible way. Like they literally, for lack of a better idea, sat down and just wrote scene-by-scene Ten Years Later callbacks. Ralphie in a bunny suit? Randy in a sailer suit. Dad curses at crappy furnace? Do it again. Lamp? Lamp. Santa? You better believe Santa's back.

Just bam bam bam down a checklist. It's the part that had me most wondering and hoping and believing this was an incredibly dry Funny Or Die sketch, because the trailer is structured for all the world how I'd expect a sketch comedy mocking the idea of a sequel to work. It's bizarrely on the nose. And for all I know the film in toto isn't so shamelessly derivative; it's probably crap but crap that at least tries to tell more of a story than "hey remember that one scene" twenty times in a row, but you can't sell nostalgia without reference and so we get this trailer that just reveals the darkest, most shameless face of this regurge monster in hopes of trading on some fond memories.
posted by cortex at 9:55 AM on September 10, 2012 [33 favorites]


I actually don't like A Christmas Story — there were some really good moments in it, but as a whole it's kind of disappointing. This sequel didn't look all that much worse.
posted by orange swan at 10:00 AM on September 10, 2012


Thanks, but I'll wait for A Christmas Story: The XXX Parody.

It would be a lot easier to film an XXX parody of Bad Santa.
posted by slkinsey at 10:02 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


If they got that weird "I like the Tin Man" kid to do a cameo, I might actually pay money to see this.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:04 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I somehow missed out on the original as a child and didn't see it until I was in college. I think it's a cute movie, but I guess I missed the boat on it being a "Christmas classic."

I'll stick with Gremlins.
posted by brundlefly at 10:07 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Christmas Story always made me feel incredibly uncomfortable as a kid and a teenager. I could never pinpoint what it was -- the department store Santa clearly working for a few bucks and not for the magic of Christmas, the overprotective but also oddly aloof mother, the tactless and tasteless father, the old joke that only Chinese restaurants were open on Christmas Days being so dated at the time that I watched it....it took me, I believe, until college to watch the movie in its entirety. And I still just didn't get it.

Same. It wasn't until I was well into my 20s that I actually liked it. The problem is that it's marketed as a "family movie", but it's really only for adults. Watching it as a kid is like watching "Office Space" if you really do work in some cubicle-farm corporate software development purgatory. Some things are only what you can appreciate with distance.
posted by deanc at 10:07 AM on September 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think I'd rather watch BMX BANDITS again. And yes, I have seen BMX Bandits, so I know of what I speak.

Allow me to speak of what I also know.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:09 AM on September 10, 2012


slkinsey: "Thanks, but I'll wait for A Christmas Story: The XXX Parody."

Funny you should mention that, because Scott Scwhartz (Flick, the kid whose tongue gets stuck to the pole) went on to have an adult film career.

links SFW
posted by namewithoutwords at 10:09 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think they saw it and studied it but more as an artifact than as a film work

Yeah, I kept thinking that the trailer had a distinctly cargo cult flavor, a sort of soulless Friedberg/Seltzer pastiche.

That said, the acting does look better than most of the direct-to-video horror movies on Netflix.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:11 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


"It's the most beloved Christmas movie ever made..."

...and we're going to totally fucking ruin it for you forever.
posted by bondcliff at 10:15 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Watching it as a kid is like watching "Office Space" if you really do work in some cubicle-farm corporate software development purgatory. Some things are only what you can appreciate with distance.

Hey. Office Space is a story of hope and redemption! You'll never take that away from us.
(says the cubemonkey)
posted by Seamus at 10:16 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


"It's the most beloved Christmas movie ever made..."

Don't be ridiculous, that's Die Hard.
posted by elizardbits at 10:16 AM on September 10, 2012 [32 favorites]


namewithoutwords: Funny you should mention that, because Scott Scwhartz (Flick, the kid whose tongue gets stuck to the pole) went on to have an adult film career.

Oh, Scotty Scwhartz, you get your tongue stuck in the most interesting ways and places.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:17 AM on September 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't dislike A Christmas Story, but it never really occurred to me to like it, either. It's as much part of modern Christmas in my family as turkey is at Thanksgiving, it's just part of the event. And it's part of the event because it has a huge amount of nostalgia value for my father, who actually grew up in the period the movie is set in. Without that, I don't think the movie would have a lot to offer, since it doesn't ping any particular memories for me. (Although I suspect in the future, I'll probably watch it for the sort of secondary nostalgia of having watched it as part of the Family Christmas Routine.)

But that just leads to the question of who they're making this movie for. I can't imagine anyone who liked the original movie for its portrayal of some indeterminate, prewar or just-postwar, middle-class Christmas would really be dying for a remake starring a snotty teenaged protagonist. Maybe they figure people will give copies of the DVD as gifts by mistake?
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:18 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mom: A Red Ryder BB gun? You'll shoot your eye out!

Jar-Jar: Meesa no shoot eye out! Meesa be bery-bery caaareful!

Jar-Jar turns, smacks head into a doorway.

Jar-Jar: OW, meesa eye!
posted by PlusDistance at 10:19 AM on September 10, 2012 [14 favorites]


Funny, my response was pretty much the opposite; I think they saw it and studied it but more as an artifact than as a film work.

That's the most horrifying aspect to me. They obviously watched it. They watched it, and watched it, and were utterly resistant to all of the magic of it.

They're like alien robots. They found a cute puppy, disassembled it into its component parts, and analyzed them carefully. Then, they reassembled the parts into a puppy-shaped pile of meat, and carefully placed it into a box for us to enjoy.
posted by CaseyB at 10:23 AM on September 10, 2012 [18 favorites]


slkinsey: "Thanks, but I'll wait for A Christmas Story: The XXX Parody."
Holy crap I don't want to see this scene...
posted by cyclotronboy at 10:24 AM on September 10, 2012


It's a Madder Madder Madder Madder World

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World II: The Madder, Madder, Madder, Madder, Maddest, Maddest Maddening!
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:25 AM on September 10, 2012


Network II: Basic Cable
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM on September 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


What they don't tell you in the trailer is that in A Christmas Story 2 it is revealed that Ralphie grows up to become Citizen Kane, thus this movie is the mortar that glues together THE GREATEST CINEMATIC TRILOGY OF ALL TIME
posted by oulipian at 10:27 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't wait until Ralphie loses his virginity to a Christmas Pie...
posted by stifford at 10:32 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Shep is the narrator/chorus for all of them.

This doesn't make any sense without him. A Chrismas Story was basically an anthology of a bunch of his radio show/standup act stories that were more or less based on his childhood. So it's like someone else writing a sequel to his autobiography.
posted by octothorpe at 10:32 AM on September 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I won't watch this without a double dog dare being invoked.
posted by tommasz at 10:36 AM on September 10, 2012


Not to get all hipster, but I liked A Christmas Story before it became a holiday staple and TNT started playing it 24 hours a day--i.e., before the culture industry sucked the life out of it like it does with everything that displays any bit of brilliance. Now it looks like WB is reanimating the corpse so it can shamble about in the bargain bins of Wal-Marts and Best Buys across the nation. Just remember, MeFites, this holiday season, aim for the head.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:36 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


A shameless cash grab in the form of an unnecessary sequel to a popular Christmas-themed movie, starring actors who should know better but apparently really like money? It's hard to imagine that happening.
posted by delfin at 10:40 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's as much part of modern Christmas in my family as turkey is at Thanksgiving, it's just part of the event.

You've just reminded me of something I read in passing in an interview with Peter Billingsley - this was back when he was in college, and had mentioned that he'd come home for Christmas with his family and was with all his extended clan in the same house, and he said that there was a good day and a half while he was there during which, every time he walked into a room with a TV set in it, there would be someone from his family in that room watching A Christmas Story. He was both amused and stunned, it seemed.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:41 AM on September 10, 2012


I liked A Christmas Story before it became a holiday staple and TNT started playing it 24 hours a day--i.e., before the culture industry sucked the life out of it like it does with everything that displays any bit of brilliance.

You can like something while still being disappointed and dismayed at what has been done with it (or to it, as the case may be).

For example, this sequel look terrible. Someone has done something terrible to A Christmas Story by making this sequel; that doesn't mean that I no longer like the original movie.
posted by asnider at 11:00 AM on September 10, 2012


It seems to me like some group of writers were tasked with writing the sequel script, but they'd never seen the whole movie, just bits and pieces on TBS, so they pooled their knowledge like, "Wasn't there a scene with Evil Santa Claus?" "His Dad curses at the boiler, remember?" "What's a boiler?" "I don't know, let's just cover him in coal dust, that's comedy!"
posted by muddgirl at 11:04 AM on September 10, 2012


The Taking of Pelham 124.
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


(uses a rejected Speed 4 script)
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on September 10, 2012


It's A Wonderful Afterlife
posted by Sys Rq at 11:13 AM on September 10, 2012


A Miracle on 34th Place, No, Not Street, It's the Next One Down, By Th—Yeah, Yeah, Keep Going, It's After The Bodega, It's—Right, Right, The Culdesac
posted by cortex at 11:17 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


(This thread is just like being at a party with a bunch of people talking about a shared experience which you haven't had. It's kind of fun to listen to and clearly funny things are being said, but about 90% of the jokes and tales lack any context or meaning.

The flip side is maybe I did finally pass through into a parallel world, though why this bathrobe and the fucking cat came with me, I have no idea.)
posted by maxwelton at 11:21 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Citizen Kane sequel should be a Kinkade-flavored prequel about Kane's childhood, about his young discoveries about life and love and loss. That first nickel. That first kiss. Learning that sometimes, growing up means letting go.

Citizen Kane: Rosebud Days


I was gonna go with: Citizen Kane: The Days of twine and Rosebud
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:23 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


East Side Story
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on September 10, 2012


It's a clinker!!!!

As the mefite who was born and raised and unfortunately still lives in Shepard's hometown of Hohman Hammond, Indiana and fellow Hammond High alum, I disapprove. I wonder if they'll show this at movie night at the Jean Shepherd Center? (shudders).
posted by AstroGuy at 11:24 AM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Sound of Music II: Electric Boogaloo
posted by Artw at 11:25 AM on September 10, 2012


A football? What was I doing? Wake up stupid, wake up!

No, no! I want an Official Gene Shepard A Christmas Story Two Direct to DVD Combo Pack!

You'll rip your eyes out, kid! HOOOO HOOOO HOOOOO.
posted by condour75 at 11:25 AM on September 10, 2012


Jean, rather.
posted by condour75 at 11:25 AM on September 10, 2012


A Christmas Carol
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol Part II
Scrooge III
Scrooge
posted by Sys Rq at 11:28 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Electric Boogaloo 2: The Sound of Music
posted by mazola at 11:28 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I won't watch this without a double dog dare being invoked.

Is double dog dare some kind of code for a large caliber handgun pressed against the side of your head? Because if it is, we're in perfect agreement.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:29 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Starring Mondo?
posted by bq at 11:31 AM on September 10, 2012


I heard "Ralphie's best pal Flick" and shut that shit down. Because that is just ... no. What the actual fuck kind of nonsense is that?
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 11:35 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


And where is the Star Wars Christmas special sequel?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 11:35 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"It's the most beloved Christmas movie ever made..."

Don't be ridiculous, that's Die Hard.


AHEM. The Muppets would like a word
posted by litleozy at 11:37 AM on September 10, 2012


Anyone for Santa Claus Conquers the Martians?
posted by crushedhope at 11:37 AM on September 10, 2012


A dead Martian is found: I HAVE A MACHINEGUN NOW
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on September 10, 2012


I heard "Ralphie's best pal Flick" and shut that shit down. Because that is just ... no.

Flick was Jean Shepherd's best friend in the stories, and Ralph's best friend in the movie. Is it the cloying cutesy phrasing you're objecting to, or are you confusing Flick with Scut Farkas or Grover Dill?
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:42 AM on September 10, 2012


Of course the folks at FlickLives.com don't think much of this.

I confess to being a huge Jean Shepherd fan despite his creepy sexism-bordering-on-misogyny and his horrible choices in his personal life (particularly as a parent and spouse, or should I say as not being a parent and spouse). It is rare that I adore someone's work so much while finding them personally reprehensible, but Jean Shepherd, Henri de Montherlant, and Evelyn Waugh are all in that category for me.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:46 AM on September 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, it's no Ghostbusters 2.
posted by zarq at 11:52 AM on September 10, 2012


Kadin2048: "I can't imagine anyone who liked the original movie for its portrayal of some indeterminate, prewar or just-postwar, middle-class Christmas would really be dying for a remake starring a snotty teenaged protagonist."

"Director Bob Clark stated in the film's DVD commentary that he and author Shepherd wished for the movie to be seen as "amorphously late 30s, early 40s," but a specific year is never mentioned." saith Wikipedia. The Od Man's car is a 1937 model.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:52 AM on September 10, 2012


This sequel is a Bad Idea, but honestly, even good Christmas movies have that sickly-sweet sprinkling of goo on them that you both find yourself indulging in (hey, it's Christmas) and hating yourself and the movie characters for (Jesus, George Bailey, you are such a whiny putz, and if you can't bother to put a condom on, stop blaming your wife for all the kids).

So while I end up watching the original Christmas Story every few years or so, much as I end up drinking something with Kahlua in it every few years or so, both experiences end up making me just the slightest bit nauseous.
posted by emjaybee at 11:54 AM on September 10, 2012


The Old Man's car is a 1937 model.

Which could mean it was any year up to 1949, given the Old Man's canonical proclivities for used cars.

However, "Little Orphan Annie" was only on the radio from 1931 to 1942.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:58 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, can Whelk or a mod add a "Jean Shepherd" tag so this will turn up in search under the correct spelling?

And I assume everyone in this thread knows that "A Boy Named Sue" was inspired by a conversation with Jean Shepherd about his gender-neutral-at-best name?
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:00 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know it won't be, but I really really really want the next Bourne movie to be 2 Bourne 2 Furious.

I'm pretty sure it's called Bourne: Hawkeye's Undercover Identity
posted by straight at 12:13 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


If there really is a War on Christmas, these people are going to the Hague.

Woah woah woah, you leave us out of this. We have enough bizarro Christmas insanity to last several lifetimes already.
posted by 1adam12 at 12:13 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


This might be one of those things where everyone who was involved with this movie wrapped it up, saw it go straight to DVD, and said, "I think we've made a terrible mistake."
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:20 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This would be a good place to link to one of my favorite of Shepherd's short stories from the same anthology that A Christmas Story is pulled from, "The Endless Streetcar Ride into the Night, and the Tinfoil Noose."
posted by octothorpe at 12:21 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


well... looks like what Lucas started... these fucks finished

.

(my childhood)
posted by mrgroweler at 12:23 PM on September 10, 2012


Don't pin this one on me, Jack!
posted by George Lucas at 12:25 PM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


"It's the most beloved Christmas movie ever made..."

Don't be ridiculous, that's Die Hard.

AHEM. The Muppets would like a word


No, no, no. Good movies all, but the Ultimate Christmas Movie is, of course, The Poseidon Adventure.
posted by JoanArkham at 12:26 PM on September 10, 2012


Several years ago I attended an event where various local (Chicago) celebrities were invited to introduce a screening of their favorite film. Studs Terkel chose
Kurosawa's
film Ikiru ("To Live") which bears some superficial resemblance to "It's A Wonderful Life". In the question-and-answer period after the film, someone from the audience remarked on this similarity, to which Studs, with his 90-year-old cigar-smoker's voice, just gruffly replied: "Let me tell you - I hate that fucking movie!". Since then, I can't see IAWL or hear any reference to it without remembering that irreverent remark and chuckling a bit. (And, I happen to agree with Studs on this one...).
posted by crazy_yeti at 12:36 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for the sequel to "Titanic."
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:47 PM on September 10, 2012


Wait no longer.
posted by mazola at 12:51 PM on September 10, 2012


Y'know, I still haven't seen A Christmas Story. I'd heard about it from time to time, and some of my close friends talked about how great the movie was... I just never got around to seeing it.

But when I was a kid, I somehow wound up with a copy of In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash. I read the hell out of it and loved the hell out of it.

I never had any idea that the two had anything to do with each other until I saw this Penny Arcade strip.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 12:52 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for the sequel to "Titanic."

Here you go.

You're welcome.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 12:54 PM on September 10, 2012


War on Christmas 2: Zwarte Piet Fights Back.

Which wasn't as good as War on Christmas 3: Krampus 3-D, sadly.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:56 PM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


My favorite reading of It's A Wonderful Life is that it is a grim Existentialist, almost Beckettian, comedy about how deeply fucked George Bailey's life is, kind of an Endgame about codependence.

I mean, George Bailey is fucked, y'all. He's everyone's doormat. He wanted to travel the world and not run the fucking bank and clean up after everyone else's incompetence but he had to because otherwise terrible things might have happened, right? There is no Clarence, it's just George Bailey's suicidal codependent imaginings.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:59 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


And where is the Star Wars Christmas special prequel?

Fixed!
posted by Drastic at 1:00 PM on September 10, 2012


bq: Starring Mondo?

I think you mean, "Starring Mongo?"
posted by wenestvedt at 1:09 PM on September 10, 2012


Can this be the thread where I just talk about how much I love Jean Shepherd, kind of apart from how much I like A Christmas Story (which is a lot)? I went through an odd phase of reading all of his books at 18. They were a really unique mix of cynical humor and poignant emotion and I wish his stuff had longer legs besides A Christmas Story. There's a lot of potential material there.

Also this bit he did on the highway where I grew up is one of the only things I've ever seen that captures its magic.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:12 PM on September 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


This doesn't make any sense without him. A Chrismas Story was basically an anthology of a bunch of his radio show/standup act stories that were more or less based on his childhood. So it's like someone else writing a sequel to his autobiography.

Well, he always said that while his life was used as a seed, these were mostly works of fiction.

"People are always trying to make me sound like I'm just writing what happened to me. You know, I'm a humorist and a filmmaker. I don't think my stuff is any more autobiographical than, say, Woody Allen's is - or anybody who is involved in making serious films."
posted by inturnaround at 1:20 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having seen this trailer, I feel like I will now be able to point to the exact moment I lost my last shred of belief in the inherent decency of mankind.
posted by webmutant at 1:34 PM on September 10, 2012


Are we sure this isn't part of the Cremaster Cycle?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:42 PM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


what's the deal with ralphie prime's nose? did the actor only agree do this if he could be in some kind of witness protection program?
posted by joeblough at 1:49 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was confused because the trailer said "The most beloved Christmas story of all time" and it wasn't about Die Hard or even Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. To be honest, I figure A Christmas Story at somewhere around Jingle All the Way.
posted by ckape at 1:54 PM on September 10, 2012


I always thought the most beloved Christmas movie of all time was Eyes Wide Shut.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:14 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


it really showcases the spirit of the season.
posted by The Whelk at 2:19 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


litleozy: "AHEM. The Muppets would like a word"

I don't know how it happened but your link got borked. Mods, I'm sure litleozy meant to link to this, so if someone could fix that please...
posted by radwolf76 at 2:20 PM on September 10, 2012


Don't pin this one on me, Jack!

So in this version, Ralphie doesn't shoot first?
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:36 PM on September 10, 2012


MetaFilter: reanimating the corpse so it can shamble about in the bargain bins of Wal-Marts and Best Buys across the nation.
posted by rdone at 3:02 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


How on earth can they make a sequel when the voice of the narrator, Shepherd himself, is long gone? Without that voice it's impossible to continue.

A Christmas Story is very good, even if the music is a little cloying in places. It Runs in the Family/A Summer Story is very good too, maybe even slightly better because it has a better story arc and instead of meandering it has more of a point, even though nearly every character is played by someone different from the original. Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss is extremely slow getting started and ends on a weird uncertain note, which is a shame because I really wanted to like it.

Shepherd is a strange figure. He had a long-lived radio show and cultivated an audience of nocturnal misfits he called "the night people," that I can appreciate. But he didn't seem altogether comfortable with his place in the world, and his personality wasn't always that great.

To be honest, I figure A Christmas Story at somewhere around Jingle All the Way.

Over the years its stature has grown, thanks in part to the Turner empire's relentless flogging of it every year, part because it's a great movie that's always been a bit underrated, and the rest because it brings us a Norman Rockwell-like portrait of a time that still lurks deep in the national psyche, even though Christmas hasn't looked like that for decades. I wouldn't be surprised if a century from now people will still be pining for the store display of long-vanished Higbees department store, and wishing fervently for Red Ryder air rifles to fire out from their hemispherical dwellings on Mars.
posted by JHarris at 3:34 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


To every hipster who buys horrible movies so they can ironically enjoy them:

BEHOLD WHAT YOU HAVE WROUGHT, AND DESPAIR
posted by Riki tiki at 4:14 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


(ironic despair doesn't count)
posted by Riki tiki at 4:16 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if a century from now people will still be pining for the store display of long-vanished Higbees department store

I made my (raised Jewish) husband watch it for the first time last December, and he enjoyed it to some extent, but when he saw the Higbees signs, he let out a delighted cry of "HIGBEES!" because he grew up in Cleveland.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:23 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw this last week and cried. I can't believe that let George Lucas direct it.

Maybe we'll get a Plinkett review, at least.
posted by homunculus at 4:34 PM on September 10, 2012


This is one of the few things the Whelk has posted that I 100% hated.
posted by bibliogrrl at 4:47 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Christmas Story 2: The Quest To Agree With YouTube Commenters
posted by mintcake! at 4:55 PM on September 10, 2012


Ghost Protocol
posted by mintcake! at 4:55 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Christmas Story Into Darkness
posted by brundlefly at 5:04 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


homunculus: "Maybe we'll get a Plinkett review, at least."

Oh, I would so pay to see that.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:39 PM on September 10, 2012


I don't dislike A Christmas Story, but it never really occurred to me to like it, either. It's as much part of modern Christmas in my family as turkey is at Thanksgiving, it's just part of the event.

Recently I showed A Christmas Story to my wife, who is Japanese and had never seen it or heard of it. So she came to it fresh. And when you watch a movie with someone who's watching it fresh, you, magically, see it from a different perspective as well. And this last time around--probably the 20th time I've watched it--I noticed the lightness, the patchiness, the low budget. It seemed to zoom by and was over really quickly; when I was a kid this was a movie to sort of get lost in, but now it's kind of...just another movie, and that's kind of sad.

My wife's verdict? "Meh." She liked it well enough, but I think she was a little puzzled why I was so excited over it. Then again, maybe there's some things lost in translation--not the language per se, but just the cultural touchpoints. Which I will lose when seeing old Japanese movies.
posted by zardoz at 6:28 PM on September 10, 2012


Also there's 'Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra.'
posted by shakespeherian at 6:40 PM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


This makes Baby Jesus cry.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:43 PM on September 10, 2012


I wonder if liking or disliking A Christmas Story depends on when you saw it. I love it, but I first saw it years before it became a holiday staple. When I first saw it, I'd never even heard the name of the movie before, it was just a complete unknown.

zardoz: "My wife's verdict? "Meh." She liked it well enough, but I think she was a little puzzled why I was so excited over it. Then again, maybe there's some things lost in translation--not the language per se, but just the cultural touchpoints."

I highly, highly suspect that's the case. My wife hasn't seen it yet (we're usually in the US at Xmas time, and while her English is OK, it would be a shame for her to see the movie without subtitles and only understand half), but I realize going in that she's not going to like it nearly as much, because she didn't grow up with Normal Rockwell paintings and home Xmas traditions and all the other cultural background that comes with growing up in the US, or Canada, or the like. Sure, she's seen them since, but since she didn't grow up with it, I imagine it will lack much of the emotional resonance.
posted by Bugbread at 8:07 PM on September 10, 2012


shakespeherian: "Also there's 'Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra.'"

I can't tell if you're ironically doing the "all Asians are alike" thing, or if you honestly think a Japanese would be offended at a movie making fun of a Chinese person's English pronunciation.
posted by Bugbread at 8:09 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The most beloved Christmas story of all time is The Lord of The Rings Trilogy.

Note that certain accessories are required. Namely: the wife is still pregnant with the first child and working at the hospital on December 25, which has absolved you from having to travel to some god-forsaken frozen Midwest town to be with family, you just purchased your first HDTV, with extended DVD versions of each film, a roaring fire, 4 bottles of wine, and about eight Percocet. God it's been so long since the luxury of holiday irresponsibility.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:43 PM on September 10, 2012


A Christmas Story always made me feel incredibly uncomfortable as a kid and a teenager. I could never pinpoint what it was -- the department store Santa clearly working for a few bucks and not for the magic of Christmas, the overprotective but also oddly aloof mother, the tactless and tasteless father, the old joke that only Chinese restaurants were open on Christmas Days being so dated at the time that I watched it....it took me, I believe, until college to watch the movie in its entirety. And I still just didn't get it.

Wait 'til you read the books!

I can remember sitting in the theatre in what, 1980? when the trailer for this was shown. I was 10. We thought it looked stupid - I specifically remember doing the eye roll with my best friend who was in the movie with me. It didn't last long in theatres and seemed to disappear from memory for a while.

WE caught it again on some cable channel when I was probably 16 or 17. My parents saw it and loved it. The next time it came on, they made us watch it. I liked it a lot better when I was old enough to enjoy things like irony and wryness and understatement, and understand a little bit about the lens of nostalgia for childhood. Yes, we too liked it before it "got big" (but then, that's how things get big). I love the film with an uncomplicated love, but then we also were brought up to love Jean Shepherd anyway. He was on the radio in our part of NJ, rambling into the night. In God We Trust is largely set on Fort Monmouth, where my parents met. We watched the apparently long-lost film version of Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories on PBS. So it was kind of just an evolution from all that.

This is where I think this sequel thing goes miserably wrong. Jean Shepherd and his odd sense of humor and down-to-earth mix of utterly realistic observation, good-humored acceptance, and twinges of memory for the past were what made A Christmas Story good. If you don't have Jean Shepherd, you don't have a movie. It's not the sets, not the costumes, not the lamp. It's the voice and the sensibility. Which are so painfully missing here that you just wonder why anyone bothered.

Read the books. By the way, there are a lot of great episodes in the books - around the Christmas topic - which didn't make it into the film. One of the best lines was thrown out, too. When we watch it in my family, we put it back in. It's where Ralphie has seen Santa and is disappointed and blown out because Santa told him he would shoot his eye out. His parents pick him up, and Dad asks "Did he ask if you were a good boy this year?" and Ralphie says "no." And Dad says "Don't worry. He knows. He alllways knows." In the books, he mutters after this, in his usual Dad fashion, "....he knows about the basement window, too."
posted by Miko at 9:07 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'll amend that to say, "Read the books out loud."

Trust me.

Shep is best spoken.

I grew up with a an Oldsmoblie that could freeze up in the middle of the Sahara in summer (seriously - 1980 Olds Cutlass Diesel. Total lemon). I grew up with my folks' friends who easily and correctly described a property as a 'Bumpus House'. We joked about gravy boats.

Shep is the master of the overstatement and it best arrives spoken.
posted by plinth at 9:35 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shep is the master of the overstatement and it best arrives spoken.

You aren't kidding. In the MST3K episode centered around Godzilla vs. Megalon, early on there's a bit where the annoying high-pitch kid's cartoon water toy gets pulled under a lake by a suddenly-appearing funnel of water. Crow channels Shepherd there for the line: "Never before in the annals of kiddom has a toy been sucked into the whirlpool of death!" Always gets me.
posted by JHarris at 11:18 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Be....sure...to...watch...a...christmas...story...two..."

Son of a bitch!
posted by littlesq at 11:37 PM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


So I just finally got around to watching the trailer. I think the best thing that can be said about it is that it makes the original look better by comparison, by showing that there's more going on there than just heartwarming pap.

A few days ago I figured something out, a little truth about our world, and this trailer more or less confirms it. It goes like this: Sooner or later, money ruins everything.
posted by JHarris at 12:00 AM on September 11, 2012


There have been a lot of execrable adaptations of Huckleberry Finn.

It doesn't ruin Huckleberry Finn.
posted by Miko at 6:30 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't tell if you're ironically doing the "all Asians are alike" thing, or if you honestly think a Japanese would be offended at a movie making fun of a Chinese person's English pronunciation.

No actually I was just giving a reason I'm offended.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:34 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


the old joke that only Chinese restaurants were open on Christmas Days

I just reread that and brought me up short. It's not really a joke, it's a period detail. I can remember that being the case - when there was nothing, nothing nothing, open on Christmas Day except Chinese restaurants and maybe Jewish-owned businesses, but Jewish people often just took the day off anyway. I grew up in the NYC area where this was easy to observe. Though the restaurant characters were played for laughs, as was Ralphie's family's lack of experience with Chinese restaurants (or at least ("Chinese turkey"), but the idea that a Chinese restaurant was the only place to eat out on Christmas without reservations, in a midcentury city, is pretty realistic.
posted by Miko at 6:37 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's not really a joke, it's a period detail. I can remember that being the case

Last Christmas, MuddDude and I ate a late dinner on Christmas at a Chinese restaurant in Small Town, USA. It was the only thing open and it was packed.

Although that doesn't excuse the Christmas carol.
posted by muddgirl at 6:54 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


We've often remarked on the many moments of Hollywood racism and xenophobia you get in the holiday classics. Holiday Inn is horrifying (minstrel number), but It's a Wonderful Life, still my favorite movie ever, has some real stereotypes with the housekeeper ("I been savin' this money for a dee-vorce, if ever I get a husband!") and it's odd hearing the Angel Gabriel rejoice about all the "Jerries" brother Harry killed in WWII. To name a few.
posted by Miko at 7:45 AM on September 11, 2012


To say nothing of the treatment of Hans Gruber.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:55 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


You want a sequel, how about Die Hard: Gruber's Story, which reshoots the entire first film from a sympathetic over-Hans'-shoulder perspective that makes him into the Walter White of the hostage-and-terror scene. Just a man forced by circumstance and bad decisions into a dangerous, immoral, profitable world as his last chance to provide for his family. We've already got in Rickman/Gruber a charming, bad-but-very-smart dude who gets visible frustrated when his co-workers aren't as quick on their feet as he is, right? So work that out some. Show us how Hans got here, what odd chances set things up to work out okay and what weird twist complicated it all by putting a cop with a gun on his trail.
posted by cortex at 8:04 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I prefer to think that his years of teaching upstart wizards led him to snap.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:10 AM on September 11, 2012


He got so upset he joined the Galactic Command
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 AM on September 11, 2012


I think that's just Alan Rickman being Alan Rickman. Emma Thompson kept a production diary when they were filming Sense and Sensibility, and she published it in the same volume as the shooting script - and it's FULL of all these Alan-Rickman-being-a-snarkmeister stories.

There's another story I heard where a little kid asked him once why he always played villains - and he just peered down his nose at the kid and said, "I don't play villians. I play very interesting people."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:15 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Raise your hand if you read that exactly in Rickman's voice.
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 AM on September 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Can we have a Galaxy Quest thread now
posted by shakespeherian at 8:40 AM on September 11, 2012


no.
posted by elizardbits at 8:43 AM on September 11, 2012


By Grobthar's hammer, I am saddened.
posted by The Whelk at 8:43 AM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Sidhedevil: "I heard "Ralphie's best pal Flick" and shut that shit down. Because that is just ... no.

Flick was Jean Shepherd's best friend in the stories, and Ralph's best friend in the movie. Is it the cloying cutesy phrasing you're objecting to, or are you confusing Flick with Scut Farkas or Grover Dill?
"

Yes, shit, I was thinking of Farkas. My bad.

Still, no.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 9:53 AM on September 11, 2012


We've often remarked on the many moments of Hollywood racism and xenophobia you get in the holiday classics.

On god. One my favourite Christmas traditions is watching a collection of Disney animated shorts that someone gave my dad as a gift years ago. The DVD has holiday classics like "Donald's Snowball Fight" and "Pluto's Christmas Tree." It's also got a bunch of old school "Silly Symphonies," at least one of which includes hee-larious blackface.* It's deeply problematic, especially because the short that includes the blackface (at about 7:30) is one of my favourites. Even though it is a brief part of the overall film and is pretty tame compared to a lot of what was around at the time, I still find it hard to square my enjoyment of the piece with the blatant racism on display.

*Not actually hilarious.
posted by asnider at 12:12 PM on September 11, 2012


Anyone for Santa Claus Conquers the Martians?

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians 2: Santa Claus Conquers the Venutians
posted by stevis23 at 6:20 PM on September 11, 2012


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