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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For Christmas I had considered watching O. Henry's Full House (1952). One of the five O.Henry stories portrayed is "The Gift," which is the story of the couple who give loving gifts that turn out to be ironic. Instead I watched A Christmas Story (1983) featuring Ralphie, his family, friends and enemies. It never disappoints.

A VIEW TO A KILL: Although this is the last Roger Moore Bond film, it sets the expectations for the rest of the decade. After that, there was a whole lot of hand-wringing in certain circles because all of the Fleming titles had been used up. Honestly, even some of the later Connery films had little to do with the books after which they were named, so I didn't see what the big deal was. that ship had sailed a long time ago, and the movies might well have been titled anything that evokes the general mood of a Bond film (as, indeed, happened). 

Case in point: A View to a Kill. The movie had nothing to do with the collection of short stories upon which it was based after which it was named. The villain is Max Zorin (Christopher Walkin), the "Bond Girl" is Stacy Sutton (Tanya Roberts) and Grace Jones pulls double duty as both Zorin's chief enforcer as well as the femme fatale. None of those characters are from any of the books. Like Moonraker, though, the plot (about a shortage of microchips Zorin engineered) is somewhat prescient. 

Although From a View to a Kill is better than most of Roger Moore's oputings as Bond, after watching his third through fifth and seventh recently I can confidently state that For Your Eyes Only is the best of them. The Bond movies wouldn't get truly good again until the mid-'90s. 

I saw that picture at least six times when my family first got cable, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was about.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

A VIEW TO A KILL: Although this is the last Roger Moore Bond film, it sets the expectations for the rest of the decade. After that, there was a whole lot of hand-wringing in certain circles because all of the Fleming titles had been used up. Honestly, even some of the later Connery films had little to do with the books after which they were named, so I didn't see what the big deal was. that ship had sailed a long time ago, and the movies might well have been titled anything that evokes the general mood of a Bond film (as, indeed, happened). 

Case in point: A View to a Kill. The movie had nothing to do with the collection of short stories upon which it was based after which it was named. The villain is Max Zorin (Christopher Walkin), the "Bond Girl" is Stacy Sutton (Tanya Roberts) and Grace Jones pulls double duty as both Zorin's chief enforcer as well as the femme fatale. None of those characters are from any of the books. Like Moonraker, though, the plot (about a shortage of microchips Zorin engineered) is somewhat prescient. 

Although From a View to a Kill is better than most of Roger Moore's oputings as Bond, after watching his third through fifth and seventh recently I can confidently state that For Your Eyes Only is the best of them. The Bond movies wouldn't get truly good again until the mid-'90s. 

Silicon Valley produces 80% of the world's microchips. Zorin produces the other 20%. Zorin's plan is to set off a bomb near the San Andreas fault which will flood Silicon Valley and give him control of the global supply of microchips. 

I just remember Grace Jones looking scary as all get out.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Silicon Valley produces 80% of the world's microchips. Zorin produces the other 20%. Zorin's plan is to set off a bomb near the San Andreas fault which will flood Silicon Valley and give him control of the global supply of microchips. 

Star Trek: Insurrection

Star Trek: Nemesis

Matrix: Resurrections - Save yourself 2 1/2 hours, it sucks. That makes four Matrix movies, and one was good.

Spider-Man: No Way Home - I really liked this one, a definite watch.

Runner, Runner - This is one of those movies were the main character makes so many stupid decisions you don't really feel bad for him when everything goes sideways. Justine Timberlake plays a stockbroker who lost his job and money in the crash. Now he is back at Harvard to earn his Masters degree. After being busted for promoting gambling on campus, he tries to earn his tuition playing online poker. He then loses it all, and later discovers a player is cheating. Somehow he is able to afford a plane ticket to go down to Costa Rica to confront Ben Affleck who owns the company. When he does Affleck gives him a job, and you know the rest. Everything is great at first, but more and more Affleck does something disturbing. Also, the FBI tries to recruit Timberlake to help take Affleck down.

Best of the Best - This is just about the most cliched 80s martial arts movie of all-time. The main bad guy even wears and eye-patch.This is about the US entering a martial arts tournament against the Koreans in Seoul. You get everything you can want: a bar fight, training montage, flashback scenes, a hurt child, one guy gets fired which is what brings the team together to convince their coach (James Earl Jones) to let him back in, and another dude quits the team once he quits holding back and hurts one his teammates (of course he comes back after reliving a flashback).

Hollywood did a better job of making me believe "a man could fly" than they did of convincing me Chris Penn is one of the 5 best fighters in America. There was only one decent fight scene, and that was between the two at the end, and I found out they are brothers in real life. But hey, at least you get a lot of shots of Eric Roberts running, and see his flowing mane of hair wave around.

STAR TREK (2009):

The Baron said:

Overall: In my opinion, this was a good but not great picture. It was well-cast and well-shot, with some great flashy effects. But to my mind, Nero wasn't that great of a villain, and in the final analysis, the film suffered from having more style than substance.

 

What he said.

STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS: This is a perfect example of what the Star Trek movie franchise has become: a flashy superhero movie with no exploration of strange new worlds and no hard science fiction. Also, because J.J. Abrams keeps rehashing Star Trek tropes (notably, in this movie, Khan), Star Trek has become less about free will than it has destiny. This is a popcorn movie, but it doesn't aspire to be anything other than a popcorn movie. After the third of these and the Discovery television show, I seriously doubt we'll ever see Star Trek in the "classic" vein ever again. 

Discovery has grown into a series that often features classic Trek tropes, but it took them a couple seasons to get there, and it's not consistent. The rebooted popcorn movies-- yeah, agree there. The first one is fun in its own way, but the first online discussion I stumbled upon concerning its forthcoming sequel centered on the weighty SF question of what "villain" should appear in the next Star Trek movie.

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