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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I just finished watching The Man Who Could Work Miracles, a 1936 film from Britain's London Films which was based on a story H.G. Wells. I didn't like it as much as Things to Come, which appeared the same year and was made by the same studio. That has its longueurs, but for me its look and scope makes up for them. Miracles lacks the other film's visual style. It's a brisker, more character-based film, with a prominent comedic element. It doesn't get the most out of its premise, which the title sums up, and is at best mildly amusing. But there are some good moments (notably a bit where the protagonist tries to use his powers to make a shopgirl he's interested in love him) and funny lines (Policeman to magistrate: "There's been a serious outbreak of miracles in the district, sir; quite beyond anyone's experience.") The film portrays different British types of the day, with an element of caricature. I particularly liked Ernest Thesiger as a intellectual minister who wants to use the protagonist's power to create a utopia. Some online reviewers say the special effects stand up well, but I didn't think so. The title character is played by Roland Young.

This post displaced the thread What Comic Books Have You Read Today? from the home page.

Last Sunday, I saw About Time -- a movie I never would have given any thought to watching if I hadn't been stuck on a plane for 5 hours.  A very gentle, very English rom-com about a man who just happens to be able to travel  thru time.  I loved it.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon working on the Lego Batcave with Action Lad.  Today, I took him to see The Lego Movie.  I'd carefully avoided reading any reviews since it came out.  If you've seen it, you can imagine what I'm thinking about right now.  I'm not that bad, but I do have to fight against my grown-up instincts sometimes.

I don't plan to see The Lego Movie, but I do have LEGO Batman: The Movie - DC Super Heroes Unite on my Netflix list to watch soon.

A few days back I watched Warm Bodies, which is a zombie version of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo is the zombie and Juliet is the living human. It was clever and funny, with good acting, and redemption. Highly recommended.

I'd like to see THE LEGO MOVIE. It's not something I would've planned to see, but every movie critic seems to love it. Don't know if I actually will see it--since I rarely go to movies anymore.

I think for some adults it brings back warm fuzzy memories of playing with Lego when they were kids. I wasn't one of those kids--I think it must be because Lego cost too much money and my parents couldn't afford it. I recall playing with vague substitutes for Lego.

There was one set where you had to construct buildings which looked like your typical '60s skyscapers with these panels that you had to stick onto plastic girders.It was a lot of work and at the end of the day you had a minature example of banal architecture. It was a really weird experience building those things. I wouldn't say I have warm fuzzy memories--more like pre-fab, post-modernist memories.

I was just watching The Oblong Box (1969), starring Vincent Price (in a sympathetic role). It was possibly one of the inspirations of the Doctor Who story "Black Orchid". Christopher Lee appears as a doctor willing to cover up murder.

I've been trying to adapt a Blu Ray drive to my computer, so I needed a Blu Ray disc for trying out. I found INCEPTION on sale for cheap. I was able to get it to work on my Mac but not my PC. I'd never seen that movie before, but I heard enough about it when it came out that I wasn't really surprised by much. The only thing surprising is that it was so obvious.

Anyone want to blow my mind with a theory about the movie? My theory is it's all a dream. Well, actually it's a movie, but it's a movie that works like a dream.

I think the opinions on Inception are split right down the middle. If you think the top just keeps spinning without end, then it's a dream; if it falls, it's real life.

I've read such comments, in doing searches on the internet after I viewed INCEPTION.

The thing is the "waking world" level establishes that rule about the top, so even if you think the top stops spinning, that only works according to the rule of this "waking world." But in dreams we can establish all kinds of rules and they make sense in the dream. It's only when we're awake that we realize how messed up the logic was.

To me the "waking world" is a dream, because it operates in the same way as all the other dreams in the movie do. There are amazing coincidences, people arrive in places almost instantaneously without showing how they got there. The Ellen Page character who is called Ariadne and makes mazes (how realistic is that) accepts everything she's told and instantly becomes accomplished as an architect of dreams in a very short space of time. Everything is highly stylized and fantastic. The idea of entering dreams is supposedly a secret that only a few people know (and it's not real in our waking world, as yet), yet everyone in the movie of any significance seems to already know about this secret process. Besides Ariadne, other characters accept highly illogical arguments without much question. The device that brings characters out of the dream is Édith Piaf singing "Je ne regrette rien" and Marion Cotillard played Piaf in the movie LA VIE EN ROSE. And she's called Mal in the "waking world"--and mal is French for bad.

Everything about the "waking world" screams fake to me--and did throughout the movie as I was watching. So if we're really to accept it as a real waking world, then the movie is stupid to put it bluntly. And I don't want to believe the movie is stupid--so I'd rather think that all those fantastic elements and gaps in logic are traits of its dreamworld.

I have to admit that I'm usually more critical of movies when I watch them at home. So maybe I would have had a different reaction if I saw it in the theatre. I did enjoy it, but it felt at times more like a video game. One thing that took me out of the movie was the Hans Zimmer music. Nothing against Zimmer, but if the same music is playing on all platforms, it kind of takes away from the discrete quality of each dream within a dream. Each dream felt like it was at the same level. To be more effective, I think you would have to design the sound and cinematography to give each level its own identity.

Or maybe the airplane was playing a Hans Zimmer score during the flight and that bled through into every other level of the dream?

The passing of Harold Ramis led me to re-watch Ghostbusters (1984) last night.  Fun picture, has aged well.

He'll always be Moe Green to me.

I only saw the movie in the theater (once), but I have the DVD.  At the time, I thought it was extremely interesting (at least, as a visual exercise), but one that I was going to have to watch again and think hard about.

Interestingly, I was just saying to my wife last night that we should watch this together, as she's never seen it.  (It got a name check in last night's Castle.)  You've given me something to think about as we do.
 
Jimmm Kelly said:

I've read such comments, in doing searches on the internet after I viewed INCEPTION.

The thing is the "waking world" level establishes that rule about the top, so even if you think the top stops spinning, that only works according to the rule of this "waking world." But in dreams we can establish all kinds of rules and they make sense in the dream. It's only when we're awake that we realize how messed up the logic was.

To me the "waking world" is a dream, because it operates in the same way as all the other dreams in the movie do. There are amazing coincidences, people arrive in places almost instantaneously without showing how they got there. The Ellen Page character who is called Ariadne and makes mazes (how realistic is that) accepts everything she's told and instantly becomes accomplished as an architect of dreams in a very short space of time. Everything is highly stylized and fantastic. The idea of entering dreams is supposedly a secret that only a few people know (and it's not real in our waking world, as yet), yet everyone in the movie of any significance seems to already know about this secret process. Besides Ariadne, other characters accept highly illogical arguments without much question. The device that brings characters out of the dream is Édith Piaf singing "Je ne regrette rien" and Marion Cotillard played Piaf in the movie LA VIE EN ROSE. And she's called Mal in the "waking world"--and mal is French for bad.

Everything about the "waking world" screams fake to me--and did throughout the movie as I was watching. So if we're really to accept it as a real waking world, then the movie is stupid to put it bluntly. And I don't want to believe the movie is stupid--so I'd rather think that all those fantastic elements and gaps in logic are traits of its dreamworld.

I have to admit that I'm usually more critical of movies when I watch them at home. So maybe I would have had a different reaction if I saw it in the theatre. I did enjoy it, but it felt at times more like a video game. One thing that took me out of the movie was the Hans Zimmer music. Nothing against Zimmer, but if the same music is playing on all platforms, it kind of takes away from the discrete quality of each dream within a dream. Each dream felt like it was at the same level. To be more effective, I think you would have to design the sound and cinematography to give each level its own identity.

Or maybe the airplane was playing a Hans Zimmer score during the flight and that bled through into every other level of the dream?

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