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 wanted to give a shout-out to B&B, a movie I reviewed last week (listed here, the third review down). It's a really good thriller in the classic Hitchcokian style...only the protagonists are a gay couple who've returned to an English B&B after successfully suing it in a discrimination lawsuit. When they get there, it looks like the only other guest is a Russian neo-Nazi that means them harm. One of my favorite little thrillers this year...and it stars (as the inkeeper) former Eighth Doctor Paul McGann!



Jeff of Earth-J said:

Is there a particular one of the various alternate endings you prefer (and why)?

Personally, if you are that big a fan of the original I think you owe it to yourself to see the sequel. I think you'd like it.


Good question. I guess the ending of the theatrical version is the one that I consider the "real" ending because I saw that version several times before I became aware there was another version. But I have to admit that Ridley Scott's preferred non-happy ending is more consistent with the rest of the film. And the fact that it is much more ambiguous does lend some extra layers of depth to the rest of the movie. Especially if you believe Scott's claim that he intended Deckard to be a replicant.

Your recommendation is nudging me off the fence a bit. Maybe I will give it a shot next weekend.

Well, be sure to let us know what you think of it here if you do.

Last night I watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (finally got through the library hold list). Lots of fun, although I don't think it was quite as good as the first one. They sure had fun with the closing credits this time! In addition to several extra scenes, they kept substituting "I am Groot" for words in the credits, then replacing it with the translation.

Saw a sharp recent thriller/horror film on Netflix, The Invitation (2015). The main character gets invited to a party at his old house thrown by his ex and her new husband. As the night goes on things seem stranger and stranger. Comes out that his ex belongs to some kind of New Age cult, and he suspects they mean to do harm to all of the guests. Great buildup of suspense, and good ensemble acting, plus a chilling twist at the very end. I liked it so much I may watch it again, even knowing the surprises in advance.

I think I'll check out The Invitation.



The Baron said:



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The Baron said:

Saw Saw (2004). See. Saw. See?

Saw Saw II (2005), too.

Saw Saw III (2006).

Saw Saw IV (2007).

Saw Saw V (2008).

Saw Saw VI (2009).

Saw Saw 3-D (2010), a.k.a Saw: The Final Chapter and Saw VII.

Saw The Great Dictator (1940).

Finally saw Kingsman: The Golden Circle yesterday.  More of the same, but that's what I was paying for, so I was satisfied.

Who knew Matthew Vaughn was a student of Chekhov ...



Doctor Hmmm? said:

Finally saw Kingsman: The Golden Circle yesterday.  More of the same, but that's what I was paying for, so I was satisfied.

Who knew Matthew Vaughn was a student of Chekhov ...

Looking for The Ray (which evidently won't come out until after he appears in the Arrowverse crossover) on The CW Seed I stumbled across the DC animated adaptation of Justice League: The New Frontier. I saw it when it first came out, but had forgotten it for the most part.

I'd forgotten how dopey the central threat was. If you've forgotten, too, it's a flying island that sweats out dinosaurs. Evidently it pre-exists other life on the planet and decides in the 1950s to wipe out humanity. Why it waited so long, or how it flies, or where the dinosaurs come from, or pretty much anything about what it is or how it works is never answered. It's just an ex nihilo plot device to bring all the characters together. 

I did like how Superman referred to Wonder Woman as "my best friend," which makes more sense than Batman, who references keeping kryptonite around just in case. He also dopes out Martian Manhunter's John Jones disguise and lets him know he's being watched and can be stopped with "a 5-cent book of matches." Batman also fights the dinosaurs with an electrified Batplane. Who rigs his airplane to deliver electric shocks? Batman, of course. That depiction is on the money.

Strangely, Ace Morgan isn't one of the Challengers of the Unknown, but is instead Hal Jordan's mentor in the Air Force. The Challengers show up here and there, but never long enough for me to get a head count. I guess they could still be a four-"man" team, with June Robbins.

The movie glosses over Hal Jordan refusing to fire his guns in the Korean War. Because that was really stupid in the original. If he wouldn't fire his guns, he'd be a liability and a danger to his wing mates. He'd never get in the air.  There's an oblique reference, but that's all.

I'd forgotten Superman was taken out early. I guess it's the old story of sidelining the big gun so others have a chance to shine.

Green Lantern really saves the day, and at its core this movie is really his origin story. It's theoretically the Justice League origin story, but we never see the team actually form, nor why some people became members, but others (like the Blackhawks and the Challengers) did not. So the JLA origin is only implied, whereas the GL origin is front and center.

Overall it's good, but it didn't give me the thrill the comic book did. Probably because you can't have the thrill of novelty with the same property twice.

"If a phaser is on the mantelpiece in Act One ..."

The Baron said:



Doctor Hmmm? said:

Finally saw Kingsman: The Golden Circle yesterday.  More of the same, but that's what I was paying for, so I was satisfied.

Who knew Matthew Vaughn was a student of Chekhov ...

We just watched All Through the Night (1942), starring Humphrey Bogart. It concerns German spys and has murder victims, but it's funny. According to IMDB, it was released the month after Pearl Harbor, so it obviously was completed before that. It features Peter Lorre and Conrad Veidt as heavies and has the very young Jackie Gleason, Phil Silvers and William Demarest in supporting roles. Only Silvers is out-and-out comedic, but many characters have amusing parts. I recorded it from Turner Classic Movies but it's also on DVD.

I watched it back in the 80s. I particularly remember the car chase, the scene where the heroes fake being Nazis, and the axe in Hitler's portrait. It was Bogart's next film released after The Maltese Falcon, so he'd only just become a major star.

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