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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And two hardboiled eggs.

Make that three hardboiled eggs.

I decided to end my look at the Marx Brothers’ films on a high note, with Groucho’s two favorites, the first two made at MGM, under the aegis of Irving Thalberg.

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA: This one is ranked #2 online (behind Duck Soup). Everything I know about opera I learned from this movie and “What’s Opera, Doc?” This movie features the “contract” scene and the classic “stateroom” scene.

A DAY AT THE RACES: Of the two, I think I prefer this one. It’s not “just” about horseraces (as A Night at the Opera was “just” about the opera; it’s romantic plot was centered arount a sanitarium (a private hospital; the word didn’t have the connotations then it has now). The classic scene in this one is the “Tootsie-Fruitsi ice cream” scene in which Chico cons Groucho into buying a series of codebooks to place a bet on the winning horse.

After Thalberg died, Groucho rubbed Mayer (one of the M’s of “MGM”) the wrong way, and less effort was put into subsequent films. The movies declined in quality from this point, although each of them had classic moments. I prefer the five Paramount films myself, but these follow close behind.

The one spoiler everyone should know in advance:

There's no mid-credit or end-credit sequence! No, some audio from an earlier movie doesn't count!

Unless you really like protracted credit sequences, just head to the washroom.

Otherwise, it's an impressive film, a great "season finale" to this stage of the MCU.

Watched Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Except for the dinosaurs, it was pretty boring. So by-the-numbers that my wife and I were both accurately guessing what would happen next, because it had happened repeatedly in other movies. However: dinosaurs! I love me some dinosaurs. I'd watch these movies with the sound off and not care.

See, I've always been a credits-watcher, since long before the advent of post-credits scenes.  Two people  will always see the third assistant best boy electric's credit - his/her mother, and yer Uncle Bob.  (i.e., me)

JD DeLuzio said:

The one spoiler everyone should know in advance:

There's no mid-credit or end-credit sequence! No, some audio from an earlier movie doesn't count!

Unless you really like protracted credit sequences, just head to the washroom.

Otherwise, it's an impressive film, a great "season finale" to this stage of the MCU.

I always watch credits too. Even if there's nothing happening but a list of names on the screen, the score is still playing, and it's a good way to ease back into the world. And occasionally you find such gems as Dave Bautista's stunt double in Endgame. His name? Rob de Groot.

I imagine him walking around the set, saying only "I am Drax!"

Just saw two films the other night: "Charade" with Audrey Hepburn and Carey Grant, a classic suspense comedy directed by Stanley Donen in which Hepburn's husband is murdered (it's OK, she didn't love him), and Grant is helping her elude the three crooks who are after his hidden money. (Or is he helping at all?) I liked it a lot -- it's effervescent, and Hepburn and Grant are charming together. Plus, Walter Matthau is one of Hollywood's greatest rumpled treasures, as a CIA chief trying to recover the money too. 

Interestingly for us copy-editor types, everywhere on the film and the DVD box, the title "Charade" appears in quotes. One more layer of falsehood in a movie that's full of them.

Also, the movie's due for a review on this week's Filmspotting podcast, which comes out today. This episode also has their summer movie preview. I  haven't listened to it yet, but it's always worth checking out!

Next up I watched A Bucket of Blood, a Roger Corman movie that's basically Little Shop of Horrors in the beatnik art world. Dick Miller plays a coffeehouse busboy who starts getting acclaim as a sculptor when he kills a cat by mistake, and covers it in clay to hide it in plain sight. Like Little Shop, this escalates, and he winds up going on a bit of a killing spree -- unintentionally at first, but by the end he's all-in. (It's also like Little Shop in the fact that it was written and directed by the same people, and was filmed on the same sets, redressed.)

And as fun as it is as low-budget horror, it's also a terrific send-up of the beat poetry scene: "Life is an obscure hobo, bumming a ride on the omnibus of art." Gotta love lines like that! Makes me want to snap along.

My Dinner With Herve: I'm not entirely certain about the take-away, but this odd biopic, which loosely tells the story of Sacha Gervasi's final interview and escapades with Herve Villechaize (played by Peter Dinklage), is strangely compelling.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Just saw two films the other night: "Charade" with Audrey Hepburn and Carey Grant, a classic suspense comedy directed by Stanley Donen in which Hepburn's husband is murdered (it's OK, she didn't love him), and Grant is helping her elude the three crooks who are after his hidden money. (Or is he helping at all?) I liked it a lot -- it's effervescent, and Hepburn and Grant are charming together. Plus, Walter Matthau is one of Hollywood's greatest rumpled treasures, as a CIA chief trying to recover the money too. 

I've seen Charade several times and it never gets old. The only one in the movie who is what she seems to be is Reggie, Audrey Hepburn's character. Hepburn, Grant and Matthau are a joy to watch, and the three former henchmen (played by James Coburn, George Kennedy and Ned Glass) chew the scenary to bits. There's an unattributed quote that this is "the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made". Can't argue with that.

Yeah, it was a real delight. Sometime I'd like to see The Truth About Charlie, an early-2000s remake of this directed by Jonathan Demme, with Thandie Newton in the Audrey Hepburn role, Mark Wahlberg in the Grant role, and Tim Robbins in the Matthau role.  

I watched Stan and Ollie recently; and, I thoroughly enjoyed it. John C. Reilly presents a better than solid performance as Oliver Hardy, presenting Hardy as a bit more reserved, almost too gentle, character compared with Steve Coogan's ambitious, more driven Stan Laurel. Although Coogan tends to over shadow Reilly at times, I can't be overly critical of either performance. The juxtaposition of personalities (the movies have always put Ollie in the drivers seat, as far as I've seen) was an enjoyable, and unexpected surprise to me. This is not to say that Ollie is naïve or bumbling. He's quite aware of the reality of his and Stan's circumstances (particularly towards the end of the film). He simply comes across as having a different perspective than does Stan. In the end, in spite of their differences, this is a story about two genuine friends, that in spite of their differences, remain so to the end.  

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