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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Oh man -- I'd forgotten that Le Pew was modeled on Chevalier! I'd never seen one of his movies before. 

The Love Parade was the first of four movies in a Criterion box set of Ernst Lubitsch musicals. The other ones are Monte Carlo, The Smiling Lieutenant, and One Hour With You, none of which I've seen yet (and at least a few of which star Chevalier). I bought it after falling head over heels for a later Lubitsch film, Trouble In Paradise, which is one of my favorite romantic comedies ever. The Love Parade is a bit more primitive -- I think it was Lubitsch's first talkie, and I think I read it was the first musical that wasn't a revue -- but it still has that winking adult humor that I love.  

The cartoons of the '30s and '40s sometimes used movie stars as models, and while the audiences of the day enjoyed the joke, the cartoons were later re-run to young audiences on TV in the '60s (like me) who weren't familiar with the movie stars in question. It's a testament to the quality of those cartoons that often they held up without needing the audience to be familiar with the source material.

As I grew older, I became aware of actors who informed the cartoons, especially Peter Lorre. That added an extra layer to cartoons I had enjoyed in my youth. I loved playing pop culture archaeologist, tracing topical jokes back to their origin in the pop landscape.

I remember once as a child watching a cartoon where Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck (I think) ran through the Hollywood Canteen. I didn't know what the Hollywood Canteen was, but everybody was in uniform, so I assumed (correctly) the cartoon was made during World War II. The camera lingered over just about every face, so I guessed (again correctly) that they were movie stars of the time that a '40s audience would know. The only ones I recognized were George Raft (although I didn't know his name, I just knew the gangster schtick), Jimmy Cagney ("Ya dirty rat, ya killed my brother, see? See?" -- everybody always did that on Johnny Carson) and Clark Gable. I made a vow then to watch that cartoon someday in the future and know everyone they showed.

I forgot all about that vow, but years later I did see that cartoon, and I did know all the stars. It was just chance, but sometimes the universe circles back.

It's interesting that James Cagney is remembered for saying you dirty rat when the closest he came was "You dirty yellow-bellied rat", while Edward G. Robinson and Boris Karloff both actually did say "you dirty rat" on film.

"Baby's just gonna have to have a ham sandwich."

Ronald Morgan said:

It's interesting that James Cagney is remembered for saying you dirty rat when the closest he came was "You dirty yellow-bellied rat", while Edward G. Robinson and Boris Karloff both actually did say "you dirty rat" on film.

One night a long long time ago, I was at a friend's house and saw the James Cagney movie Each Dawn I Die, in which he plays a crusading newspaper reporter who gets too close to the truth about a crooked district attorney. Consequently, some goons set up our reporter, staging a drunk-driving accident -- they clobber him, plant him in the driver's seat of a car, break a bottle of whiskey on the steering wheel and sent it off. The car crashes and kills three people, and our reporter is promptly sent to prison for vehicular manslaughter. 

In any event, Cagney himself doesn't say "You dirty rat" in this movie, but somebody says that to him -- twice. Maybe that's where the legend comes from.

I'm not the first to note that the scene in "What's Up Doc?" (1950) where Fudd passes by various out-of-work caricatures and selects Bugs Bunny as his new partner actually holds up, since Bugs remains the most widely-recognized of the lot today.

Captain Comics said:

The cartoons of the '30s and '40s sometimes used movie stars as models, and while the audiences of the day enjoyed the joke, the cartoons were later re-run to young audiences on TV in the '60s (like me) who weren't familiar with the movie stars in question. It's a testament to the quality of those cartoons that often they held up without needing the audience to be familiar with the source material.

CRY WILDERNESS (MST3K): This is the second offering of the new Netflix MST3K. It’s about an eleven year old boy and his relationship with Bigfoot. The boy’s dad is a forest ranger who has a Native American pal and a woman friend with long braided hair. Something is killing animals. Is it the Bengal tiger that escaped from the circus, or the local Sasquatch? As in Jaws, conflict arises when the local mayor and sheriff apply pressure to the ranger to solve the problem before tourist season starts. Also, a big game hunter is brought in to supply further conflict.

As the movie begins, the boy runs away from boarding school when Bigfoot mentally contacts him to warn him that his father is in danger. The boy and Bigfoot became friends the previous summer when the boy plied Bigfoot with Cokes and junk food. He also gave him a transistor radio so Bigfoot could listen to rock and roll music. Walking through the forest in this movie is like walking through a zoo, with dozens of animal species, seemingly mere feet from each other, as the movie intersperses scenes of the main cast walking past obviously tame animals juxtaposed with stock footage.

This movie just begs to be made fun of. Jonah and the ‘bots do a god job of riffing on the movie itself, but more impressively, they do a good job of inventing jokes during quiet moments. The jokes are fast and the jokes are funny. Tracy and I both agree this one is better than Reptilicus (but Reptilicus is pretty good, too).

Is anyone else here watching the new MST3K?

I would, but I don't have Netflix.

Some of the ‘bots’ voices have changed (particularly Gypsy’s). Deep 13 has moved to the Moon and is now “Moon 13.” The new “Mads” are Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day), daughter of Dr. Clayton Forrester, and Max (Patton Oswalt), “TV’s son of TV’s Frank.”



Jeff of Earth-J said:

Some of the ‘bots’ voices have changed (particularly Gypsy’s). Deep 13 has moved to the Moon and is now “Moon 13.” The new “Mads” are Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day), daughter of Dr. Clayton Forrester, and Max (Patton Oswalt), “TV’s son of TV’s Frank.”

I have read about it - I gather all of the Bots' voices have changed, there's no one on-screen from the old show, although occasional cameos are expected.  I shall try and see it if/when I can.

I wasn't certain. Crow's voice sounds similar, but he was originally voiced by the same guy that used to play Dr, Forrester, right? I noticed yesterday that Joel Hodgeson is credited with a role in the credits, but I have no idea who he is or if he's even been shown on camera yet (if he's in make-up or something).

Yeah, Crow was voiced by Trace Beaulieu (also Dr. Forrester)  during the KTMA/Comedy Central years.  Bill Corbett (Observer) voiced Crow during the Sci-Fi years, and the character is now voiced by Hampton Yount.

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