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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Couldn't agree more -  I was 21 when Star Wars premiered and had much the same impression. I really didn't become a Star Wars geek until Empire Strikes Back debuted three years later.

I think the Expanded Universe of novels and comic books contributed to making Star Wars too serious for its own good.



Captain Comics said:

Star Wars was a movie serial, with a lot of scenes lifted straight from 1940s or '50s Westerns. The Cantina scene was a saloon scene, and I'm a little surprised a barroom fight didn't break out. Luke and Leia swung across the canyon -- I'm sorry, a big ditch in the middle of a space station. Because the bridge was out! Scene changes used the old serial method or irising in and out. And so forth.

They lifted from newsreels, too, with World War II dogfight footage used as the basis for the outer-space dogfights.

There wasn't a single unique thing about Star Wars to me in 1977 -- I thought it a little juvenile, to tell you the truth, and I was all of 19. But I enjoyed it anyway, as the sappy popcorn fare it was. And, God, I was so starved for SF/fantasy. I didn't care if it was a puppet show, if it brought science fiction back to TV and movies.There hadn't been anything to feed my inner geek except comic books since Star Trek went off the air in 1969. There was nothing but Westerns and private eyes on TV, and damn few movies I had any interest in watching. So glad to see Star Wars, and gladder still to see it become popular.

The mistake the prequels made -- well, one of them, anyway -- was trying to turn it into something serious. It's not. Economic arguments in the Senate have no place in a movie serial.

doc photo said:

Couldn't agree more -  I was 21 when Star Wars premiered and had much the same impression. I really didn't become a Star Wars geek until Empire Strikes Back debuted three years later.

I think the Expanded Universe of novels and comic books contributed to making Star Wars too serious for its own good.

That could be why I've had less than zero interest in the newer Star Wars movies. I just can't muster the energy to care about them, and maybe because instead of just being fun escapist fare, its now like homework. 

I was at just the right age when Star Wars came out.

I can only enjoy the prequels if I think of them as a reboot (i.e., not in the same continuity). The "William Shakespeare" versions do a good job of smoothing out the discrepancies.

I'm losing interest in the new ones as the original characters are killed off. Of the new characters, Rey is the only one I like.

Rogue One sucked; no way can it supplant the pre-movie chapters of the NPR radio serial. If you want to find out how the rebels really acquired the plans to the Death Star, track that down.

I have little interest Butch & Sundance Han & Chewie: The Early Years, but will probably see it eventually.

Over saturation may have something to do with the lack of enthusiasm for the last couple of Star Wars films. Lucas produced six films over a span of 22 years, Disney has had the franchise for less than four years and has already released four films. Me thinks they may run it into the ground.

doc photo said:

Over saturation may have something to do with the lack of enthusiasm for the last couple of Star Wars films. Lucas produced six films over a span of 22 years, Disney has had the franchise for less than four years and has already released four films. Me thinks they may run it into the ground.

Deadline Hollywood Daily has a piece where it says a studio analyst blames Solo's relative flop on poor marketing: "‘Solo’ A No-Go Due To “Poor Marketing,” Not Franchise Fatigue, Ana...

Lots of people are comparing the diminishing results for the Star Wars films versus the steady success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I saw another piece that said the Star Wars movies keep treading the same ground with the same characters, but what the Marvel Cinematic Universe does works, because it does three movies, tops, with its headliners -- Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, the Black Panther -- and has them and the second-tier characters all guest star in each other's films and in the team films. That keeps things fresher for the viewers.

There was a news story, I think, yesterday. People who buy year passes to Disneyland in California are complaining that available days are being restricted because the new Star Wars exhibits/land is bringing in so many fans.



Detective 445 said:

Another Earth, The Sound of My Voice, The East

Three films starring the great Brit Marling.  She is doing some really interesting work. I recommend all three. Novel spins on the subjects of a parallel earth, a mysterious cult, and an eco-terrorist group.

Little did I know, when I posted this a couple years ago that Marling was working on a Netflix series called The OA at the time.  And man is it good!  Just started binging on it last week and I hear they're now working on Season 2.  Really looking forward to it.

We watched the first couple of episodes, and my wife lost interest, and I haven't gotten back to it yet.

Same here, Pete. We tuned out after three episodes or so..

A few days ago I watched the movie Diablo (2015) on a rental disk. It was promoted as being about a veteran of the Civil War who is suffering from what we now call PTSD, who is trying to save his kidnapped wife. It stars Scott Eastwood and Walton Goggins. Scott Eastwood had a bit part in the movie Suicide Squad and I wasn't sure what I thought about his acting. Walton Goggins I love from Justified and The Hateful Eight, so I was hopeful. I can generally find something redeeming in any movie. Not this one.

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I turns out that the character isn't a victim of PTSD. He's a psychotic killer who kidnaps women to become his "wives." The men shooting at him are the relatives of his latest kidnap/rape victim. When they are finally all face-to-face, the six-shooters and repeating rifles of what we now know are the good guys apparently are only capable of firing a single bullet, which of course misses, followed by a long pause. Eastwood's character, of course, dispatches ALL of them with a single shot after this long pause. Once his character has been revealed to be a monster, Eastwood contorts his face oddly. Walton Goggins’ character shows up a couple of times, is mysterious and deadly, and ultimately seems to be a hallucination of Eastwood’s character, who is nicknamed Diablo. The only scene remotely suggesting PTSD is his character being confronted by a walking, talking corpse in a Union Army uniform, apparently shot in the face by his own brother. We never see any battle flashbacks, probably because they would have cost too much. Implying that PTSD turns people into psycho killers reminds me of how popular culture treated Vietnam veterans (and sometimes treats today's veterans). This movie has absolutely no redeeming qualities.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Deadline Hollywood Daily has a piece where it says a studio analyst blames Solo's relative flop on poor marketing: "‘Solo’ A No-Go Due To “Poor Marketing,” Not Franchise Fatigue, Ana...

I haven't seen any of the Disney cycle since The Force Awakens, as I'm not a moviegoer.

It may simply be that what people loved was Harrison Ford as Han Solo, rather than Han Solo.

Second, it may have been like doing the Thing without the rest of the Fantastic Four. Part of the interest of ensemble casts is the relationships between the characters.

Third, it's my guess continuity inserts have less appeal than next chapters. The box office figures at Wikipedia for Rogue One and The Last Jedi seem to bely this: the latter film did better, but the former wasn't far behind. But it's still what I'd expect.

When I saw John Carter I wanted to know why it bombed so badly. But that was because I loved the books as a boy; I didn't think it was all that great. It was a good-looking so-so film. So was The Legend of Tarzan.

The first Fox Fantastic Four movie was also so-so. Captain America: The First Avenger entertained me more deeply. Some movies reach you that way, and others don't.

I once read a remark somewhere that audiences are good at figuring out what they want to see. Not having seen Solo I don't know if it's a so-so film or a real gem. But if it's the former the people who didn't go didn't make a mistake.

The Disney report counters the argument that Solo came out too close to The Last Jedi by saying if that were true "Marvel would be having even bigger problems, with four Marvel-branded films having come out in the last six months". That strikes me as fallacious. The Marvel film series are semi-separate.

I'm also not happy with the argument "If the franchise was able to survive Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, we have a hard time believing Last Jedi could have done that much damage". Both films had good stuff mixed with their dross.

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