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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Miller's Crossing is one of my all-time favorite movies.  Awesome dialogue and a great plot. 

I watched The Artist last night (last year's best picture winner).  It was very enjoyable. 

I saw "The Master" yesterday.  It is a fascinating movie.  Not so much for the story, but the performances. 


It is a story of a man (Joaquin Phoenix) that is damaged.  At the start,he is serving in the Navy during the last days of WWII.  He is "sterno drunk" that makes his own alcohol.  After the war he is released in the world and floats along on the wind. 

He ends up stowing away on a boat that has the Master (Philip Seymour Hoffman) on board.  The Master is a leader of what can only be called a cult 

The two of them become ying yang for each other. 

The director, Paul Thomas Anderson, gives rich visuals.  But the story is hard to follow at times.  But I liked the attempt. 

George Poague Johnson is right!

I've just seen the 1977 Japanese horror film HAUSU or "House." A Japanese schoolgirl is preparing for summer break when her widower father tells her he's about to remarry. Upset, she contacts her aunt and invites herself and six classmates to visit the aunt's home in the country. Soon after they arrive, one girl disappears, and the elderly aunt appears rejuvenated, even rising from her wheelchair. One by one, they continue to disappear or meet grisly ends. The special effects are oddly simplistic--some of it's even line animation. It gives the film an appearance similar to the drawings of a small child. The music is definitely of the '70s. I'd recommend this movie only as a curiosity. You can see a trailer here. It may be NSFW.

BLAZING SADDLES reference, right?

Mike Parnell said:

George Poague Johnson is right!

Yes, and it goes back at least two iterations of this forum.

...I saw the new DREDD movie , as I mentioned otherwheres ! :-)

PowerBook Pete (aka Tim Cousar) said:

I saw the 80s MANIAC at a drive-in and left after the shotgun and windshield scene.

 

I've just read that Tom Savini played the victim in that scene.

Henry R. Kujawa said:

 

I can honestly say that in my entire life, I have NEVER yet walked out on any movie . . . .

 

 

I did, once.

 

My mother was a huge Clark Gable fan.  Gable and singer Vaughn Monroe were the only two performers I ever saw make her act like a squealing, trembling teen-age girl.  Among my earliest memories are those of her extolling at length about what a great film Gone with the Wind was.  There wasn't a chance for me to see it, though.  The movie hadn't been re-released for several years.  And, in those early days of television, a virtual Iron Curtain existed between the two media.  Cinema studios weren't about to put their huge money-making epics on the small screen, where people could watch them for free, for crying out loud.

 

Then, in 1967, MGM re-released Gone with the Wind in an 70 mm. version with Stereophonic sound.  The studio launched a fresh publicity campaign, touting the sharper detail of the picture and the higher sound quality.

 

I grew up in northern Ohio, and at the time, I lived in Elyria.  Elyria had only two movie theatres.  There was the Capitol, which showed the important films, the spectacles, the A-listers, like Ben Hur and Judgment at Nuremberg.  And then there was the Lake Theatre, which ran everything from the B-to-Z lists, where, for a dime, a kid could take in such classics as The Three Stooges Meet Hercules and Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.

 

Guess which house was showing Gone with the Wind back in '67?

 

The Capitol itself befit the image of a theatre that featured grand, distinguished films.  You don't see moviehouses like the Capitol, anymore.  An arched proscenium, flanked by heavy velvet drapes; detailed filigree on the moulding; a mezzanine and box seating.

 

Since I had heard Mom talk so much about Gone with the Wind, I decided to see for myself was all the ballyhoo was about.  Saturday afternoon, I went downtown and plunked down one of my hard-earned quarters---yes, the admission charge for Gone with the Wind was a whole twenty-five cents, as befit the re-release of such a classic work of cinema---and found a comfortable seat.

 

I really didn't know what to expect.  A tale set against the fall of the antebellum South didn't rank very high on the radar of a kid who spent every Sunday morning watching re-runs of Bowery Boys shorts on television.  But the movie got my attention fast with opening scene which featured Vivian Leigh, Fred Crane, and---George Reeves!  There was more than one youngster's muffled cry of "It's Superman!" emanating from the audience.  I was sure hooked.  Much of the undertone of the film was lost for me, since I was spending most of my time watching for Reeves's scenes (which were scant and over by the first half-hour).

 

However, the superficial plot was interesting enough.  At least, I paid sufficient attention to follow along with what was going on.  But, perhaps, if I'd been keeping track of the character sub-plots, I might not have done what I did.

 

Those of you familiar with the film of course remember the spectacular burning of Atlanta scene in which Rhett Butler helps Scarlett, her sister, and her sister's newborn baby escape the city.  Then, Butler leaves to join the Confederates in their last, doomed stand, leaving Scarlet, Melanie, and the baby to make their difficult odessey back to their home, Tara.

 

They arrive to find their land devastated and barren, but the house, Tara, itself, still stands.  Having gone for days with no food, Scarlett sees a single rancid turnip left in the ground.  She plucks it out of the earth and eats it voraciously, though she winds up spitting most of it out.

 

That point marks a turning point in her character.  No longer a daughter of the South as spoilt as the turnip, she finds resolve and determines to restore herself to wealth and privilege.  She stands before the ruins of Tara and swears forth:

 

. . . I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry, again!  No, nor any of my folk.  If I have to lie, steal, cheat, or kill!  As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry, again!

 

And then the screen went black.

 

Now understand, I was a youngster.  I had never heard of a film having an intermission.  The Three Stooges and Ghidorah didn't have intermissions.  Nothing on the screen even said, "Intermission".  All I knew was the people in the house were getting out of their seats and walking out.  I didn't realise they were just heading back to the concession stand to get more popcorn or to the rest rooms to make a head call.

 

I just saw them leaving and figured the movie was over.  So I left, too. 

 

I went home.

 

Not a bad ending, I thought.  I was savvy enough to have figured out that it was about how this selfish brat, Scarlett O'Hara, had grown up.  When I got home, I didn't tell my mother that I had gone to see it.  I thought it had been an O.K. movie, but nothing to brag about, and I knew Mom would be disappointed that I didn't think it was the Greatest Movie of All Time.

 

Hence, I never found out that I had seen only half the movie.  Not until 1976 when, for the first time, it debuted on television.  In two parts, over two successive nights, on NBC.  Why did NBC need two hours both nights to air it, I asked.  Friends and my mother told me.

 

You mean there's more?, I said.

 

 

Post script. 

 

The Good Mrs. Benson is a Civil-War buff and a huge fan of Gone with the Wind.  Had my mother lived, no doubt they would still be gabbing over the picture.   Worse, I made the mistake of telling the GMB the above story.  Everytime she thinks of it, when she can finally stop laughing, she accuses me of having faked my membership in MENSA.

 

In 1998, MGM released Gone with the Wind yet again.  It was the first time since I had met and married the GMB.  She insisted that we go see it.  Despite the fact that she had it on video tape and we could see it at home whenever we wanted, without the expense of paying for it.  But, as the rest of you married guys know, logic plays no part when the wife wants to do something like this.  So we went to the local theatre (which, incidentally, looked nothing like the Capitol).

 

When the film got to a familiar spot to me . . . .

 

". . . As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry, again!" swears Scarlett.

 

My wife put her hand on my arm.

 

"Don't even think it," she said.

Commander Benson said:

Henry R. Kujawa said:

 

I can honestly say that in my entire life, I have NEVER yet walked out on any movie . . . .

 

 

I did, once.

 

I did, once. The movie was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I was expecting an adventure flick, not a horror movie, and when I got to the part where (SPOILER) a man's heart is ripped out of his chest, I up and left.

I don't recall ever walking out on a movie...but back to the pre-Halloween horror film topic. Available broadcast TV was mostly pretty bad tonight here, so first I watched Dreamcatcher. This is a Stephen King story which I remember seeing on DVD after its release, but I've never seen it. It's kind of an alien invasion version of Stand By Me, and I thought the buddy movie aspects of it were stronger than the alien parts. Not bad, but I can see why I never heard much about it when it was in theaters. Then I saw a Universal picture on Svengoolie on MeTV: The Mole People (1956). This one could define the B-movie, cheesy but fun. After that I went back to my Dracula DVD set and watched Grave of the Vampire (1972). Not about Dracula at all, the lead vampire is named Kroft. The most notable thing about this take on the vampire mythos is that Kroft does not seduce his victims, preferring to take them by force. The one woman who asks him to turn her into a vampire gets her throat slit for her trouble. Pretty weak: the big climactic fight between Kroft and his half-vampire son is mostly just a big fistfight, and the non-ending is a tease.

Robin Olsen said:

To the Commander:congratulations on being a member of MENSA, as for me, I had to ask my wife what MENSA was. I guess they won't be letting ME join!

 

Thank you, sir. But don't sell yourself short.

 

To be sure, there's a certain amount of status in qualifying for MENSA.  One has to possess an intellect in the 98th percentile (the top 2% of measured intelligence) or better.  So it's a nice little distinction.

 

But, also to be sure, MENSA members aren't a bunch of eggheads who spend their meetings sitting around discussing Spinoza, the validity of existence, and the unified field theory.  (Although there are probably a few who do find that sort of thing fun.)

 

While MENSA will accept the results of certain other standardised I.Q. tests, such as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Series, to qualify an applicant, it prefers to use its own battery of examinations.  This is because MENSA can proctor the exams under its own strict guidelines.  And they are strict.  Many national groups permit an applicant to take the test only once in his lifetime.

 

But here's the good part.  The MENSA exams don't test you on what you know, but rather, on how you think.  What's key to passing the MENSA exams is one's ability to apply logical thought, determine patterns, and draw meaning from the absence of information, as well as from what is known.  The MENSA exams gauge the level of one's intellect, or his capacity to absorb knowlege, and not the amount of his knowledge itself.

 

So, you don't have to have a dresser drawer full of graduate degrees or be a past Jeopardy! champion to necessarily qualify for MENSA.  It's not what you know, but your ability to use your brain, that matters.  (In fact, that's why being a member of MENSA is no guarantee of winning on Jeopardy! or even Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?  Those kinds of quiz shows challenge one's stored knowledge and not his capacity for learning.)

 

Now, I'm not saying that the MENSA application exams are a walk in the park.  I'm came out of the three-hour experience feeling like my brain had been drained by some super-villain's fiendish invention.  I never would have dared taken it at all, but the Good Mrs. Benson kept insisting.  I preferred not to make a fool of myself and I had a reasonable excuse in that my duties at the time put me at work on the regular day of the month when the local MENSA chapter held its application exams.

 

Wouldn't you know?  The GMB approached the folks at MENSA and got them to arrange a special testing session just for me.  I couldn't very well back out after she went to that kind of trouble.  And after taking the exams and turning my brain into mush, I was sure that the only thing I'd get from MENSA was a letter reading "HA HA HA HA HA!"  No-one was more surprised than I was, a month later, when I found a nice fat envelope from MENSA in my mailbox.  An envelope filled with my test results, a congratulatory letter, a membership questionnaire, and lots of documents telling me how and where to send my dues.

 

The point of the story is you could very well qualify.  In fact, I'd wager if every member of this board sat down and took the MENSA exams, there would be at least a half-dozen or so to make the grade.

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

 

We return you now to the regular thread topic, already in progress.

 

 

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