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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BELUSHI: This is not a movie but a documentary (on Showtime, I think). It's made up almost entirely of audio interviews played over still photos, silent home movies and some original animation, supplemented by personal letters (read by an actor) in his own hand. It reminded me of everything I know about John Belushi, plus told me a whole lot I didn't know. Very sad. Very poignant. A tragic figure. Worth watching.

I've encountered people in their mid-twenties who have no idea who Belushi was.  Makes me feel old.

I watched this last night. It is very close to Airplane! There are lines in it that made me laugh out loud because they were exactly the same lines, delivered in a serious movie.

Richard Willis said:

Tomorrow morning (12/1/20), Turner Classic Movies is showing Zero Hour (1957). This movie with its reluctant pilot and food poisoning was an inspiration for the movie Airplane. I've always wanted to see it and it's not on DVD.

JD DeLuzio said:

I remember that Gerrold reference. He's writing about a different era, when Kirk went back in time and we weren't supposed to notice his haircut matched the present era's, or that the extras on Hogan's Heroes, if they weren't in uniform, frequently sported anachronistic costume.

Now, we'd note the era-appropriate cowboy mustache and applaud it.

Another thing I recall from one of those David Gerrold books (don't remember which one): the Star Trek haircuts were supposed to be futuristic, but the actors complained (rightfully, in my book) that hey, we have to live in the here and now! 

The compromise was that their sideburns were shaved to be pointy.

I had been curious about the appeal of the swimming star/actress Esther Williams, so was interested in watching the 1949 movie Neptune's Daughter, which, like Zero Hour, isn't currently on DVD or streaming. Like Zero Hour, it turned up on TCM. Esther Williams was a decent, if not great, actress. The movie, however, was a gem. A pleasant mistaken-identity farce, it has Red Skelton(!) Ricardo Montalban(!) Mel Blanc(!) and Betty Garrett(!)

Ricardo Montalban had to have his chest waxed (in 1949!), according to the IMDB trivia. Mel Blanc played a Mexican character who wasn't portrayed as dumb but sounded a lot like his later Speedy Gonzalez. Betty Garrett played the younger, dingy sister. You will remember Betty Garrett's much later roles as Irene Lorenzo in All in the Family and as Edna Babish DeFazio in Laverne & Shirley. She had a long and varied career.

This Wiki page has all the major beats of the movie:

I wrote about Neptune's Daughter earlier in the thread here.

Saw a few movies lately. Via the Noir City Film Festival, I saw:

Panique: a French film about a murder in a small town, and how everyone starts to think a social misfit did it.  

Leave Her to Heaven: a pretty chilling romantic noir, about a beautiful woman (Gene Tierny) who marries a popular novelist and becomes obsessively jealous about him.

The Housemaid: a South Korean movie about the perils of getting frisky with a live-in-maid when she's CR-A-A-Z-Y.

Les Doulos: Literally "the hat" in French, it's slang for informer. A heist gone wrong, and someone ratted them out. But who? A lot of honor-among-thieves stuff here.  

I really liked them all, but for me the standout was The Housemaid. Maybe it's the amount of Dark Shadows I've been watching, but my acting-meter is set to "melodrama" right now, and The Housemaid delivers. Just when you think it's reached peak crazy, it goes further. And further.

Also, we just watched Warm Bodies, a fun little zombie rom-com from a few years ago. A nice take on Romeo and Juliet: There's a balcony scene, the characters are named Julie and R (or "Arrrr..."), and in my favorite touch, Julie's best friend wants to be a nurse. 

Also in the mix: My Blue Heaven, a lighthearted witness protection comedy starring Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, and Joan Cusack. Or as I call it: "Goodfellas 2."

Oh, and one more I forgot: Back to noir with D.O.A., a movie I'd heard about ever since I saw the remake with Dennis Quaid in 1988. This one didn't do a lot for me. Edmund O'Brien didn't do a lot for me as the lead. I liked the movie more in the first third, when I was waiting for him to get poisoned. The rest of the movie has pretty much nothing to do with anyone he meets in that first third, who I was watching intently...and he races around from place to place, following leads on who could have killed him, but for some reason it never really added up for me.

I just re-read your post. Unlike you, I neglected to mention the song Baby, It's Cold Outside*. I agree that referring to this as sexual harassment was quite a stretch. It's a mutual attraction thing, and cute. Nothing more.

*It was pointed out on IMDB that (1) they originally were going to use I Want to Get You on a Slow Boat to China, but the powers that be thought "get" referred to having sex and (2) Baby, It's Cold Outside was originally a song sung by composer Frank Loesser and his wife at private parties. When it was nominated for an Oscar some tried to say it wasn't an original song. It was in fact an original song since it was never previously performed professionally.

PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod said:

I wrote about Neptune's Daughter earlier in the thread here.

I also really liked Warm Bodies

We finally got around to watching Her.

Just like Joker, Joaquin Phoenix carried the  entire movie on his shoulders, appearing in virtually every scene. He's an interesting actor, but I can't think of anyone I really want to watch for two hours straight. Not unpleasant, but it went on too long.

Hearing but not seeing Scarlett Johansson was a mildly interesting experience, like meeting, dating and breaking up with someone on the phone or online. I learned two things about ScarJo A) she has a perpetually raspy voice, and B) she can't sing a lick.

I had noticed the raspy voice before, but assumed it was just a bad day, if I thought about it at all. Not being distracted by her physical presence, I had to focus on the voice, and it is definitely raspy all the time. It made me think of some of my sisters friends when they were cheerleaders in high school and college. Some had raspy voices like that because they had permanently damaged their vocal chords from so much shouting. Whenever I meet a girl with a raspy voice I always vaguely wonder if they were cheerleaders at some point.

Her had a number of famous actors who weren't famous yet. Amy Adams appeared in Man of Steel the same year (which is when I became aware of her), but seemed much heavier in my memory of that movie. She was so skinny here I almost didn't recognize her. Might be a faulty memory, though. Mara Rooney played the lead character's ex-wife, and I honestly didn't recognize her. Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader did voices, which I did recognize. Chris Pratt played the pudgy, generally buffoonish, reg'lar guy character he usually did before he buffed up for Star-Lord. 

The most memorable non-Phoenix actor is probably Olivia Wilde ("Thirteen" on House), who played the sort of unhinged blind date that some of us have experienced in real life. 

All in all it was an interesting idea, but in excecution made me impatient for it to end. And since that ending was kinda downbeat, it left me in a "Well, that happened" mood.

Captain Comics said:

We finally got around to watching Her.

Just like Joker, Joaquin Phoenix carried the  entire movie on his shoulders, appearing in virtually every scene. He's an interesting actor, but I can't think of anyone I really want to watch for two hours straight. Not unpleasant, but it went on too long.

We watched Her a while ago and had similar impressions, except I thought Joaquin Phoenix looked for all the world like Leonard from The Big Bang Theory with a mustache.

Saw The Hitch-Hiker soon after DOA, and I liked Edmund O'Brien so much more in this one. A great three-hander with William Talman as a hitch-hiking serial killer, and O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy as two old friends who pick him up on the side of the road on their way to a fishing weekend. Lots of suspense, and some great, tense scenes among the three leads.

Director Ida Lupino makes a choice to not subtitle any of the Spanish spoken in Mexico. It's a good move; Talman's killer doesn't speak Spanish, but we can still read a lot from the conversations and body language; it makes it clear why hostages don't try to clandestinely warn someone about what's going on.

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