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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Did the soundtrack include the Simon and Garfunkel song of the same name?

It did. That's the closing credits song.

Alien Covenant (2017)

I'm a big time Alien fan. Love the first two. Like Resurrection ok.  When Prometheus cam out I had really high hopes that the franchise was being rejuvenated and going in a fresh direction. Unfortunately, Prometheus seems to have been an anomaly. Covenant returns to the same old tired formula that's been used in countless copy cat movies over the last few decades. Not only that, it seems intent on undoing or wiping away most of what was so interesting about Prometheus. Production values are high and the cast is good but overall, I thought it was uninspired. 

Saw War for the Planet of the Apes over the weekend. I particularly liked the call-backs to "Nova" and "Alpha/Omega." I've heard this is the last of a trilogy, but I hope the franchise goes on beyond this. There's still the missing spacecraft from the Mars mission to be dealt with, after all.

I went to the drive-in* for the first time since, I think, the mid-1980s, and saw Atomic Blonde** and The Dark Tower. The first is visually fascinating, but I couldn't connect with the characters. The second is a mess, stuff from Stephen King forced into a YA movie.

*Under unusual circumstances

**Review here

The Dark Tower is getting really vicious reviews. I was not inclined to see it anyway, as I gave up on the book midway through. Was it that bad?

Also, my wife and I watched Mulholland Dr. I'd already heard how great it was, and I did enjoy Blue Velvet by David Lynch (although I gave up on Twin Peaks fairly quickly). So when I saw it was available on Netflix I jumped on it.

My wife's opinion was that it was stupid. I agree, and will go farther: I think it insults the audience.

 photo spoiler-1.gif

For those who don't know, Mulholland Dr. was shot as a 90-minute TV series pilot. It didn't sell, so Lynch tacked on an unhappy ending, and established the first two-thirds of the movie -- what he had originally planned as an ongoing TV series -- as a dream sequence. Not all of the plotlines were dealt with, and a lot was left hanging.

Critics called this "brilliant." I called it "a sloppy way to turn a buck."

Naomi Watts was really good, though. Laura Harring didn't have much to work with, but was eminently watchable. Interestingly, both were playing twentysomething ingenues, but Watts was 33 and Harring was 37.

Captain Comics said:

The Dark Tower is getting really vicious reviews. I was not inclined to see it anyway, as I gave up on the book midway through. Was it that bad?

I also gave up part way through the first book, and there were eight books. I have always enjoyed Stephen King, but IMO his fantasy stories don't stack up well with his other work. I think one of the criticisms of the movie is they are trying to cram a very long story into a very short movie.

After I gave up on Dark Tower, I read an interview which probably explained my dissatisfaction. Evidently, King had no structure in mind when he began the book; he just started riffing and planned to tie it all together later. That probably was the root of my dissatisfaction, that it seemed virtually random. Because it was.

Just watched the 1964 movie Kitten with a Whip*, starring Ann Margret as an almost-legal delinquent creating chaos everywhere she goes. Pretty darn good. 

* Not a whip in the entire movie

This would explain why she wasn't invited to join the Angels.

It was featured on Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

I think I'm speechless.

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