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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It (2017)

I've never read the book, but I really enjoyed the TV mini-series that was done back in the 80s. The movie version, of course, has much better production values and effects (and even has one of the kids from Stranger Things) but it's nowhere near as good as the mini-series.  The much longer TV version allowed for a slow build and space to explore some of the creepier aspects of childhood trauma. Also the flashback style of storytelling in the TV show was more effective in achieving that goal.  The movie saves all of the adult portion of the story for a sequel and tries to make up for the lack of suspense with excessive gore and special effects.  I'd say this is worth a look if you're horror fan and you need some time to kill but nothing special.

The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)

A british zombie film based on Mike Carey's novel of the same name. I'd definitely recommend this to fans of the Zombie sub-genre.  With so many of these movies and TV shows around these days, I'm always looking for a new take on the subject and this movie definitely injects some fresh ideas into the mix while delivering a pretty compelling story and some good performances 

I haven't yet seen the movie version of It, but the TV miniseries is one of my favorites. It does the book justice. Similarly, the miniseries version of The Shining is far superior to the Jack Nicholson movie. The movie played fast and loose with the story while the miniseries was a true adaptation. They probably will never try to remake The Stand, but the miniseries got it right the first time.

 Interesting. I would take a different view. The It miniseries has a better Pennywise, but the acting and handling of the story in the movie generally work better for me. I could have watched a non-horror movie just about these kids doofing around and being kids. The acting in the miniseries was uneven, to say the least, and Richard Thomas never has overcome the ghost of John-Boy Walton, at least for me. Of course, the timing of the miniseries meant they could put the "past" events into an era closer to the book's "past."

Oh, yeah. Production values. As I wrote in a review some time ago, it appears, in the fortune cookie scene, that the characters are being attacked by a novelty prize company. However, we must accept poorer production values in early 90s television.

I look forward to the sequel, which will handle the "present" storyline.

I've read It twice, once at the time, and once in preparation for the movie. Both adaptations miss out on the complex backstory, fragmented time-structure, and developed setting, which to me, are the novel's strengths. On the positive side, both adaptations avoid a certain scene (readers will know immediately which one I mean), which no amount of explanation by King (who was using cocaine quite heavily at the time. He says he doesn't even recall writing Cujo) can ever explain or excuse. It is a monumental horror novel that desperately needed an editor.

Detective 445 said:

It (2017)

I've never read the book, but I really enjoyed the TV mini-series that was done back in the 80s. The movie version, of course, has much better production values and effects (and even has one of the kids from Stranger Things) but it's nowhere near as good as the mini-series.  The much longer TV version allowed for a slow build and space to explore some of the creepier aspects of childhood trauma. Also the flashback style of storytelling in the TV show was more effective in achieving that goal.  The movie saves all of the adult portion of the story for a sequel and tries to make up for the lack of suspense with excessive gore and special effects.  I'd say this is worth a look if you're horror fan and you need some time to kill but nothing special.

Anyone who watched him in the Americans on FX wouldn't confuse Richard Thomas with John Boy anymore.



JD DeLuzio said:

 Of course, the timing of the miniseries meant they could put the "past" events into an era closer to the book's "past."


Ah yes...I meant to comment on the era change as well. I get why the movie takes place in a more recent time period. It's easier for a younger generation of viewers to relate to. But at the same time, I thought the era depicted in the TV series (50s? early 60s?) was more appropriate for the story.

Since children had less of a societal voice, the further back in time you go, it seems more credible that they would go missing or disappear in that earlier era and it wouldn't cause much of a stir. And it made them more susceptible to the various forms of abuse and trauma that "It" (the story) seeks to tap into. The creature relies on people's fears to prey on them but it also takes advantage of the fact that children were marginalized back then a lot more than they are today.

Babel is a complex 2006 film that I somehow overlooked before now (saw it on Amazon Prime). The interlocking story lines take place in Morocco, Japan and Mexico, so there's a large international cast. It's largely about Things Going Very Badly in all of the plot lines, but it does manage a happy ending of sorts.

Also watched The Big Sick on Amazon. It's about Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his romance with his wife. But the title comes from the fact that she spends most of the film in a medically induced coma, while he copes with his feelings and meeting her parents under strange circumstances.

Watched Zoombies, which may be in the top five of terrible movies I have seen. Direction, dialogue, acting, special effects -- it was all really, really awful. Some of it was so bad it was entertaining, but mostly it was just painful. Avoid at all costs!

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