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 really don't like that re-design of Captain Marvel's uniform, and I really, really don't like the image on that cover.

Fair enough.

Did you see the the new hardcover collection of the 1973 Shazam! series (first 18 issues)?

I bought that one. It has a new introduction written by Jerry Ordway.

I'd seen that it was coming. I will buy it, but I haven't seen it yet. I hope there's a second volume collecting the rest of Shazam! and what was in World's Finest and Adventure Comics.

One other thing about the Shazam! movie: I don’t like that when Billy is transformed into his heroic persona that he remains mentally immature. Included among his powers is supposed to be the “Wisdom of Solomon.” He was never portrayed as childish in the comics (childlike, maybe, but not childish).

100% agree with you on that one.

I watched The Box last night. I had never even heard of this, but I was familiar with the Twilight Zone episode on which this movie is based, "Button Button."

This movie was interesting. Definitely not a great film, but it did toy with some concepts that were not in the TV episode. It went in some new directions; in fact, the end of that episode is sort of the launching point for most of the movie. It's not what you'd expect, but I do think that most people on this board will find it far more fascinating than I did.

After a long week at work and a long and eventful first half of my weekend, I have taken advantage of the start of my solitary time by watching a film I've never seen before, Planet Terror. I love the way Robert Rodriguez took advantage of the Grindhouse theme and used all of those silly film shortcuts and embraced them. Sure, if this movie hadn't been featured in such a celebratory 70's manner, it would have seemed cheap. But I loved it for everything that it was. Zombies, scientists, militaristic bad guys, and the hodgepodge crew of fighters that brought the trophy home at the end of the day--they made this film work in a great, entertaining way.

Now I'm watching the second part of the Grindhouse feature, Death Proof. This is an awesome duo of movies.

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GREY (1945): Despite it being adapted in Dark Shadows and "Oscar Wilde" being a main character in Cerebus, I have never read the book nor seen this movie until last night. It's sort of "thinking man's" horror, very well directed. It's in b&w, but every once in a while a close-up of the painting is in technicolor. A stiking effect! Best known in the cast today would be Angela Lansbury and Donna Reed.

We saw The Sun Is Also a Star and really enjoyed it. Most of it takes place over one day in New York City and, as it opens, Natasha Kingsley is all nerves and urgency. On the morrow, she and her family are to be deported to Jamaica. As she has lived in the States half her life, since the age of 9. New York is the only home she knows. Her parents are resigned to the deportation, but she wants to stay and fight, and has a meeting with an Immigration and Naturalization Service officer to plead for some kind of last-ditch intervention.

Daniel Bae has an appointment too, with a Dartmouth alum who can give him a favorable admissions recommendation. He's a lot more leisurely about it, mostly because he doesn't really want it; going to medical school is his family's dream, not his.

Natasha's and Daniel's paths cross on the way to their respective appointments, and he is instantly smitten  Natasha is charmed but afraid, knowing tomorrow really is not promised to her. The INS agent can't help her, but he does pass along the business card of a lawyer who specializes in cases like hers. On that slim hope, Natasha and Daniel make their way around town and into each other's hearts

Natasha is Yara Shahidi of black-ish and grown-ish, and of course Daniel instantly falls for her -- she is warm, personable, and exotically beautiful. Daniel is Charles Melton, whom we know as Reggie on Riverdale. He is charming and earnest as he tries to win Natasha over. 

This is one of those kinds of movies where New York is, as they say, another character in the story. Fully half the budget must have gone to establishing shots of various neighborhoods and the city skyline from different vantage points. The movie revolves around different vantage points; there are even consultants on Korean culture and Jamaican culture listed in the credits. 

It's a pleasant love story, well photographed and told.

This weekend, I continue my Robert Rodriguez kick, watching both Machete and Machete Kills. For a franchise based on a fake trailer, this is relentlessly entertaining, big dumb fun.

BREAKING AWAY (1979): Wow! I really liked this movie. It's been some time since I've seen it, but I probably liked it more this time than before. If you like Hoosiers, you'll probably like this Indiana-set film, too, maybe even more. Dennis Christopher plays recent high school grad, Daniel Stohler, who is unsure about his future but is obsessed with the Italian cycling team to the point he adopts an Italian accent and sings Italian as he bikes through town. He and his three friends, played by Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, and Jackie Earle Haley, run afoul of some Indiana University students and get an opportunity to race in the University Foundation's "Little 500."  Barbara Barrie is very good as Daniel's mom, and Paul Dooley pretty much steals the movie as his dad.

MEET JOE BLACK (1998): This may have been a pretty good movie, but the music was so overdone that it drowned out the dialog.

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