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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Cyborg 2087 is a 1966 science fiction film directed by Franklin Adreon and written by Arthur C. Pierce.[1] The film stars Michael Rennie, Karen Steele, Wendell Corey, and Warren Stevens.[1] It was part of a series of nine low budget films produced by United Pictures Corporation. The films were intended for TV distribution, but they had theatrical releases. The writer and director's next film, Dimension 5, also featured time travel.

I was looking at some old TV guides on line and I saw the movie listed. It’s on YouTube.


Captain Comics said:

Michael Rennie? Good lord, when was this made? And how come I haven't heard of it?

Thomas Lupo said:

Cyborg 2087.

A cyborg (Michael Rennie) takes a time machine back to the 1960s to see a professor (Eduard Franz) and change history.

All the President's Men.  If you had asked me before, I would have told you that I'd seen it before, but so long ago that I couldn't remember exactly when.  Now I'm not so sure.  It felt like I was watching it for the first time.  And I liked it so much that it's hard to imagine I wouldn't have a much more vivid memory of it.

I was just watching Johnny Reno (1966). It's a tense, satisfying low-budget Western starring Dana Andrews. The cast includes Jane Russell and Lon Chaney Jr. Lyle Bettger is particularly good as the villain. The plot involves a guilty secret and siege.

...Severak weeks back, I saw,  theatrically,  and neglected to post it here...THE 2018 ACADEMY AWARDS ANIMATED SHORT SUBJECTS NOMINEES show, which let non-biz people see the 5 nod-ees for the Best Animated Short Subject Oscar together  in one program,  in a theater,  with couple more " Runner-up " animated shorts and some interstitial linking animation taking it to feature-lengrh.

  I saw it prior to the Oscars.  The Kobe Bryant-Glen Keane basketball thing that won the Oscar led the show off,  but I missed a tiny bit of it. 

Just watched Last Flag Flying, about three Vietnam veterans played by Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne and Steve Carell. It's a period piece* set in 2003. They were together in a Marine unit in Vietnam and now the Navy corpsman's son has died in the Iraq War, in what turns out to be a different action than the official version. Very well done.

* Kinda sad that we now have to portray my fellow Vietnam veterans in a movie set 15 years ago if you want to have less-than-geriatric actors play them.

I've been watching Jonah Hex (2010).

I've not read all that much Jonah Hex, and none of the John Albano issues, but I admire the original comic's hard-bitten realism. The movie depicts the Old West as grungy, as they usually do these days, but it's otherwise a fantasy film. Hex has the power to talk to the dead, and the plot involves an attempt to destroy Washington using a superweapon designed by Eli Whitney. The film is recycled and clichéd.

Hex is handled like a superhero when he fights groups of men in the action scenes. His superskills desert him when fights the main villains individually, so they get to shoot him and beat him up. (He defeats both in the end.)

If you leave aside the closing credits the film is only 70 minutes long. I didn't know movies that short still got released. Presumably a lot more was shot and discarded. It's my guess the sequence where Hex is saved by Indians after being shot was intended to be the first time this happened to him, which gave him his ability to speak to the dead.

I would've preferred the film to have no fantastic elements at all, but it might have been a good one if it had been all about the supernatural stuff. The bit where the crow of death escapes from his mouth is the best sequence in the film.

In the film Hex was branded on the face by the villain, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). He removed the brand by heating up an axe. So he was partly responsible for his own scarring! I think that a wrong-headed detail.

The most interesting performance is Michael Fassbender's as Turnbull's Irish lieutenant, Burke. He comes across as a dangerous man who likes being violent.

I've often wondered whether the mediocre quality of films like Fantastic Four, Get Smart or John Carter should be blamed on the filmmakers or the property. I hereby resolve to never accept blame-the-property explanations again. There's no way on Earth it's impossible to make a good film about a scarred bounty hunter of the Old West, and that's all a film has to be to be a Jonah Hex film. This one's makers just didn't manage to.

Luke Blanchard said:

I've not read all that much Jonah Hex, and none of the John Albano issues, but I admire the original comic's hard-bitten realism. The movie depicts the Old West as grungy, as they usually do these days, but it's otherwise a fantasy film. Hex has the power to talk to the dead, and the plot involves an attempt to destroy Washington using a superweapon designed by Eli Whitney. The film is recycled and clichéd.

I've read all things Jonah Hex, from the John Albano All-Star Western/Weird Western Tales issues through the Michael L. Fleischer run through Hex!, which plopped our scar-faced bounty hunter into a Road Warrior-like scenario through the Vertigo miniseries by Joe R. Lansdale and Timothy Truman through the more recent revivals of Jonah Hex and All-Star Western. I found the movie to be a great disappointment.


Luke Blanchard said:

I've often wondered whether the mediocre quality of films like Fantastic Four, Get Smart or John Carter should be blamed on the filmmakers or the property. I hereby resolve to never accept blame-the-property explanations again. There's no way on Earth it's impossible to make a good film about a scarred bounty hunter of the Old West, and that's all a film has to be to be a Jonah Hex film. This one's makers just didn't manage to.

As I said over here:

ClarkKent_DC said:

It really galls me how bad Jonah Hex the movie was, because at heart, Jonah Hex the comic is a spaghetti Western on paper. How hard could it be to take that and make a spaghetti Western on screen?
..." TICKET TO WRITE The Golden Age of Rock Music Journalism "was a documentary runabout the beginnings of " serious " rock bags, starting with two 1966 magazines iut our by people who had our out SF fanzines, then the beginnings of Rolling Stone magazine, much about Creem magazine and Lester Bangs, and so on. I lived this subject! Fairly minimal as a film, almost enrich talk g heads interviews with the now fairly aged survivors of that era with old covers and clippings interspersed

I've been watching Rio Lobo (1970), starring John Wayne. This was directed by Howard Hawks and co-written by Leigh Brackett. The film is described at Wikipedia as a remake of the same team's Rio Bravo (1959), which they remade as El Dorado (1966). It has parallel characters and moments, but a different plot.

In this one Wayne and friends break up a criminal gang that has been running a Western town. I didn't buy the standoff scenes - I thought the villains would've tried something - but it's a lot of fun.

Jack Elam is particularly fun as a farmer who's been targeted by the gang and enjoys getting his own back (=the parallel character to Walter Brennan's in Rio Bravo. I can't call him the hero's older assistant as he was over a decade younger than Wayne.) Jennifer O'Neill is charming as the most prominent of three young female characters.

This post displaced the thread DC announces 'Black Label' line from the homepage.

Just watched a DVD of the film noir movie Desperate (1947). It's short but they pack a lot into it. Steve Brodie and Audrey Long play earnest young marrieds who are sucked into a situation of having to run from a vicious mobster who is motivated to save his own kid brother from execution. The mobster is played by pre-Godzilla, pre-Perry-Mason Raymond Burr. He's convincing, threatening to disfigure the young wife and threatening to beat up her elderly uncle and aunt. There are a lot of interesting, quirky characters and clever dialogue. I highly recommend it.

I watched The Cimarron Kid (1951), starring Audie Murphy. The director was Budd Boetticher.

Murphy's character is the historical Bill Doolin. Early in the film he joins the Dalton Gang and takes part in the Coffeyville bank robbery. After the robbery goes wrong he becomes the new leader. The gang successful for a time, but constantly hunted by the authorities.

The film is loosely based on history. Most of the outlaw characters are historical. The Coffeyville bank robbery is historical, but Doolin may not have taken part. He subsequently led the Wild Bunch. The gang's near capture in Ingalls (a showpiece sequence with an impressive rail yard set) is an unhistorical version of the Battle of Ingalls. The members of the gang mostly came to violent ends, but not as depicted.

The Wild Bunch name isn't used in the film, and Wikipedia's entry on Doolin doesn't indicate the Cimarron Kid nickname is historical. Rose and Bittercreek are Rose Dunn and George "Bitter Creek" Newcomb.

One of the associates of the gang in the movie is a black man named Stacey Marshall, played by Frank Silvera. He gives a dignified performance.

Murphy had previously played Billy the Kid and Jesse James.

When they made Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, they had to call the gang the Hole in the Wall Gang. The Wild Bunch movie had already been made and they were dissuaded from using the name.

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