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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Finally watched On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Just about everything I've heard about it is true. George Lazenby wasn't bad, but he was pretty obviously a former model with little acting experience. Diana Rigg was ... well, Diana Rigg, so that's a highlight. There wasn't much in the way of gimmicks and the stunts were practical affairs that were generally pretty well done. And the 1969 clothes, hair and attitudes made me nostalgic. Now I wish there were more old James Bond movies I haven't seen. (There actually are, but they star Roger Moore, who never impressed me.)

Prey, if you haven't heard about it, is a Predator movie set in 1700s North Central Plains (Dakotas, maybe?) where the hunter from the stars battles French trappers and Comanche braves. Well, not only braves -- the star is Amber Midthunder (Legion) who does a great job expressing emotion without a lot of words. (The dialogue is part English, part French and part Comanche, although you can watch the whole thing in Comanche if you want to.) Very well done and recommended.

I Think We're Alone Now is a post-apocalyptic movie we stumbled across on ... Prime, maybe? We have so many streaming services I don't rightly recall. Anyway, it stars Peter Dinklage (which is why we watched it) as Les and Elle Fanning as Grace. It's set in what looks like a small resort town in maybe the Great Lakes area, after a never-explained event kills everybody but Les. Well, that's what Les thinks. He's happy living solo in the library, sorting books by night and "cleaning" houses by day. (He buries the dead and makes a record of who they were.)

If that sounds like a lot of work, it sure looked like it, and I'm not sure it's entirely plausible.

Then Grace shows up, and moves in -- despite Les not wanting her to. She's chaotic good, which disturbs Les' OCD lifestyle, which has its moments. Then the film takes an abrupt sci-fi turn that I won't ruin.

Not that I recommend the movie. Dinklage and Fanning are good, but this is one slow movie. The first bit of dialogue, I am reliably informed, is 13 minutes in. There's lots of slow, quiet scenes which didn't really pay off for me. And almost nothing unexpected happens; even the sci-fi turn follows a predictable path to a predictable ending.

So I'd only recommend this for Dinklage fans (or Fanning fans, I guess) on a rainy Sunday afternoon when you've nothing better to do and don't want to think too hard. Even then I'd recommend A Boy and His Dog, which hit many of these same beats and did it better.

We watched that as well on Prime. I think it works but, as you say, mostly because Dinklage and Fanning make it work. There was some interesting if derivative satire near the ending, and one moderately surprising twist.

Peter Dinklage is one of the great actors of our time. He elevates everything he's in.

Captain Comics said:

I Think We're Alone Now is a post-apocalyptic movie we stumbled across on ... Prime, maybe? We have so many streaming services I don't rightly recall. Anyway, it stars Peter Dinklage (which is why we watched it) as Les and Elle Fanning as Grace. It's set in what looks like a small resort town in maybe the Great Lakes area,

Captain Comics said:

I Think We're Alone Now is a post-apocalyptic movie we stumbled across on ... Prime, maybe? We have so many streaming services I don't rightly recall. Anyway, it stars Peter Dinklage (which is why we watched it) as Les and Elle Fanning as Grace. It's set in what looks like a small resort town in maybe the Great Lakes area,

Adding it to my watch list.

If Sean Connery had stuck around for OHMSS I believe it would be ranked at or near the top of the list of best Bond films. It would have been a much better ending for his run as 007 than Diamonds Are Forever.

Captain Comics said:

Finally watched On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Just about everything I've heard about it is true. George Lazenby wasn't bad, but he was pretty obviously a former model with little acting experience. Diana Rigg was ... well, Diana Rigg, so that's a highlight. There wasn't much in the way of gimmicks and the stunts were practical affairs that were generally pretty well done. And the 1969 clothes, hair and attitudes made me nostalgic. Now I wish there were more old James Bond movies I haven't seen. (There actually are, but they star Roger Moore, who never impressed me.)

OTOH, if Connery had stuck around, Cubby Broccoli might not have tried the "back to basics" approach. As soon as he returned, Diamonds Are Forever was already veering toward the silliness of the Moore years. 

THE CAPTAIN HATES THE SEA (1934): This is the the Three Stooges' first "solo" film, or rather it is the first film in which the Three Stooges appeared without Ted Healy. That is, it's less a Three Stooges movie than it is a movie with the Three Stooges in it. It is not even a comedy, per se. It is more a light-hearted drama about a cruise ship in which the passengers' stories intertwine. The Stooges play the ship's orchestra. They first appear, for about a minute, a half hour in, with no lines. they next appear, about an hour in, and only Larry has lines. The movie itself is an interesting curiosity, but watch it just to see the Stooges or you'll be disappointed. 

Yeah, my brain says cut it some slack, but my heart just sinks at that stuff.

Anyway, I don't think it was while making this movie, but on the set of Sherlock Jr (another good one!) Keaton got hurt in a fall after a rush of water blasted him off a waterspout he was hanging from. He stood up and walked it off, but had awful headaches for the next several weeks. An x-ray 30 years later revealed he'd actually broken his neck in the fall.

Richard Willis said:

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I finished Seven Chances, and there's a lot to like... but it's also got more than a little casual racism and antisemitism, which is disappointing.

It's not overt and it is from 97 years ago.

But that chase sequence is amazing. And watching Keaton run from an avalanche -- that looked real at the beginning, although fake rocks were later added -- all I could think of was how there's an element of Jackass in his work -- just pure amazement at how these stunts happen and that anyone would be foolish enough to try.

There are a couple of scenes in which Keaton and another character appear to be almost hit by a train. Also, at one point Keaton is hanging from (and swinging from) a moving, rotating crane. I hope his hands were securely strapped to it.

It's amazing that a broken neck isn't always fatal. One of Gayle's cousins fell off an excercize bike and, like Keaton, had serious headaches. He had a broken neck, also, and had to wear a so-called halo neck brace, like this one, until it healed.

I should also mention there's a new book on Buster Keaton by critic Dana Stevens, who uses his biography as a launching point to examine filmic and social developments of the 20th century. Stevens is terrific -- she's guested on a few podcasts I follow, and is one of the hosts on the Slate Culture Gabfest, which I also listen to now and then. And the book sounds fascinating: Camera Man: Buster Keaton, the Dawn of Cinema, and the Invention of...  (Review from RogerEbert.com)

ROCKIN' IN THE ROCKIES (1945): Unlike the Three Stooges' previous feature-length films, in this one they have starring roles. Moe is the foreman of a ranch, Larry and curly are two vagrants, all of the ranch hands are aspiring musicians, and there are two girl singers staying there as well. There is just enough plot to link musical numbers (not really "rockin'" but more "western swing"). If you're a Three stooges fan, it's worth watching once; if you are not, give it a pass. 

It's like their Columbia musical shorts of the later Curly years but expanded to triple length. 

Re-watched  Rodan (1956) and War of the Gargantuas (1966),

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