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 watched Fantastic Beasts (courtesy of an HBO trial on Sling TV). I liked it, but I have seen the Harry Potter movies, and read the books. I think it assumes that you know that world--although none of the details of the stories, since it's a prequel. I can see how it would not make much of an impression viewed on its own.

Captain Comics said:

I love Life of Brian, but it was none too popular here in the Bible Belt. JD, I nearly busted a gut in the "individuals" scene. "We are all individuals" is contradictory on its face, followed by the one guy who says "I'm not," saying he is not an individual by being an individual, being the one guy who didn't follow the crowd in saying "we are all individuals." That's just brilliant writing.

"... an area of London inhabited almost entirely by red herrings." Hahahaha! That's brilliant writing, too!

My wife and I have been inundated with Peak TV, so we haven't seen any movies lately. I will contribute by asking a question.

We have twice tried to get through Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Both times we got a little bored (and tired) and went to bed. My question is: Does it get better? Is there a reason to try a third time when there's so much material out there I know I will like?

It should be noted that we have seen no Harry Potter movies, nor read any Harry Potter books. (Unless you count Vertigo's Books of Magic, which covers much the same ground.) Beasts seems a pleasant enough fantasy movie for children, but we found it lacking for adults. Is it something more and we just haven't gotten far enough along? We were trying to watch it because a sequel is out this year, but maybe it's just a franchise too far for us.

When I watched Fantastic Beasts..... I enjoyed it. I haven't read the books but I've seen all of the Potter movies (once each). I especially liked the variety and imaginative looks of the Beasts in this movie and the guy getting in and out of the suitcase. . I really let it wash over me and didn't try to follow the story.

Thanks guys.

Watched Rodan the other day. Not sure if I watched it as a child -- probably not, because I think I"d have remembered it. Much better than expected.

I didn't expect much on the FX front, and yeah, that was pretty bad.The Rodans flew without flapping their wings, which is silly, and when they did flap their wings, it looked even sillier. There's a scene where both Rodans are underground and the mountain's being bombed so they show one Rodan in a cave opening with dirt falling in front of the opening, and to show the other one in a similar situation, they just flopped the same footage and used it again.

And the young couple falling in love -- apparently a prerequisite -- were so pro forma and underdeveloped that my wife kept asking "Who are they?" "The young couple in love." "Oh yeah."

But those are the downsides. The story was pretty well-written, with some genuine tension and drama (like the fate of the miners). The ending was a bit heavy-handed, but still, more thoughtful and generous to the monsters than I would have expected.

For some reason, I expectyed the giant, destructive worms to be Rodans in larval form, but evidently they were food. That was interesting. Part of the prehistoric eco-system apparently surivived.

And looking at the effect of the Rodan wings, it was inarguably supposed to look like the shock wave of an atomic bomb. Like Godzilla, another metaphor for the perils of the Atomic Age.

Glad I watched it.

It's neither as good as the original Godzilla nor as bat-guano bizarre as Mothra, but Rodan manages to stay aloft. The effects, as you say, look silly now, but the film has a great set-up, and I've always felt the meganulons (the giant insects) had a certain low-rent nightmarish quality.

Captain Comics said:

Thanks guys.

Watched Rodan the other day. Not sure if I watched it as a child -- probably not, because I think I"d have remembered it. Much better than expected.

I didn't expect much on the FX front, and yeah, that was pretty bad.The Rodans flew without flapping their wings, which is silly, and when they did flap their wings, it looked even sillier. There's a scene where both Rodans are underground and the mountain's being bombed so they show one Rodan in a cave opening with dirt falling in front of the opening, and to show the other one in a similar situation, they just flopped the same footage and used it again.

And the young couple falling in love -- apparently a prerequisite -- were so pro forma and underdeveloped that my wife kept asking "Who are they?" "The young couple in love." "Oh yeah."

But those are the downsides. The story was pretty well-written, with some genuine tension and drama (like the fate of the miners). The ending was a bit heavy-handed, but still, more thoughtful and generous to the monsters than I would have expected.

For some reason, I expectyed the giant, destructive worms to be Rodans in larval form, but evidently they were food. That was interesting. Part of the prehistoric eco-system apparently surivived.

And looking at the effect of the Rodan wings, it was inarguably supposed to look like the shock wave of an atomic bomb. Like Godzilla, another metaphor for the perils of the Atomic Age.

Glad I watched it.

A few weeks back

I always liked Rodan.  

Captain Comics said:

Thanks guys.

Watched Rodan the other day. Not sure if I watched it as a child -- probably not, because I think I"d have remembered it. Much better than expected.

I didn't expect much on the FX front, and yeah, that was pretty bad.The Rodans flew without flapping their wings, which is silly, and when they did flap their wings, it looked even sillier. There's a scene where both Rodans are underground and the mountain's being bombed so they show one Rodan in a cave opening with dirt falling in front of the opening, and to show the other one in a similar situation, they just flopped the same footage and used it again.

And the young couple falling in love -- apparently a prerequisite -- were so pro forma and underdeveloped that my wife kept asking "Who are they?" "The young couple in love." "Oh yeah."

But those are the downsides. The story was pretty well-written, with some genuine tension and drama (like the fate of the miners). The ending was a bit heavy-handed, but still, more thoughtful and generous to the monsters than I would have expected.

For some reason, I expectyed the giant, destructive worms to be Rodans in larval form, but evidently they were food. That was interesting. Part of the prehistoric eco-system apparently surivived.

And looking at the effect of the Rodan wings, it was inarguably supposed to look like the shock wave of an atomic bomb. Like Godzilla, another metaphor for the perils of the Atomic Age.

Glad I watched it.

Allow me to continue, after that brief intermission. Svengoolie featured Godzilla vs. The Space Monster, aka King Ghidra. I remember longing to see this film as a kid; but alas, basic cable did not permit it (ok, I'm sure it did; but, I missed it every time). Anyway, the whole hidden planet thing seemed to meddle with the whole Earth bound Godzilla syfy genre. As silly as this film was (I know, what did I expect from a movie featured on Svengoolie) I felt cheated, not because of the cheesiness, but because the film felt like space film, not a Godzilla film.

Rodan > The Giant Claw

I've been watching The Light of Western Stars (1940), starring Victor Jory. It's a version of a Zane Grey novel that had already been filmed several times.

The story involves a romance between a rough cowboy played by Jory and a rich woman from out east who buys a ranch on the Mexican border. A local gang is running guns into Mexico through her land, and the sheriff is a member of the gang. Noah Beery, Jr plays a Mexican man who is devoted to Jory's character.

The movie has the feel of a highlights version of its story. I think this probably means it closely followed previous film versions of the story. (I watched a silent version of Riders of the Purple Sage recently, and it was like this too.)

I liked the film, but its staccato nature, and Beery's character, might spoil it for some.

I've been watching Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971), the follow-up to Support Your Local Sheriff (p.271). In this one Garner is a con-man who winds up in a mining town where two mine-bosses are trying to beat each other to the same seam. He capitalises on the situation by passing a cow-hand played by Jack Elam off as a famous gunfighter called Swifty Morgan.

The movie is in the same style as Sheriff, but mostly unfunny-zany and charmless. The best bits are an exchange between Garner and a barber where the barber attempts to cheer Garner up with cheery proverbs and he responds with gloomy ones, and the sequence just ahead of the climax where Elam refuses to run out on a coming gunfight with the real Morgan because it's his chance to be someone.

This post displaced the thread 'Arrow' Season 6 from the homepage.

"Swifty Morgan is bald as an egg". For some odd reason, thats all I can remember of this film.

This is off the topic, but I might as well ask it here as anywhere else. I'd like to identify a Western. It has a sequence where the protagonist is shot in the back with an arrow as he's escaping from Indians in the wilderness. (This is a wooded wilderness, not desert or plains.) He breaks off the arrow, but the arrowhead is left in his back. When he consults someone about it the man presses it further in, and later tells someone else that you can't stand that kind of pain without a lot of courage. I saw these parts of the movie, and nothing else, in the late 70s or early 80s.

This post displaced the thread Moonshine Vol. 1 from the homepage.

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