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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The Big Trail (1930)

The story of a wagon train's journey along the Oregon Trail. A young man agrees to scout for the caravan when he learns it's to be led by a man he suspects of murdering his friends.

The film was directed by Raoul Walsh. It was a big-budget movie, and the recreation of the wagon train is spectacular. The scout was played by the young John Wayne. It was his first starring role. He looks not fully grown-up, and isn't impressive.

Hell-Bent for Leather (1960)

Western starring Audie Murphy. A horse-trader is mistaken for an outlaw. A marshal knows he's the wrong man, but pursues him with a posse with the intent of killing him because he wants the prestige of having stopped the outlaw.

This is a good pursuit movie, largely shot outside.

A Town Called Hell a.k.a. A Town Called Bastard (1971)

In the early 20th century a widow arrives in a Mexican town controlled by bandits seeking the murderer of her husband. Later government soldiers take over the town seeking a revolutionary leader called Aguila.

This is a British/Spanish co-production in the style of a Spaghetti Western. It's not entirely coherent, but pretty good of its kind. The cast includes Robert Shaw, Telly Savalas and Martin Landau.

The Hanged Man (1974)

Western TV movie starring Steve Forrest. A gunman is hanged and pronounced dead, but afterwards found to be alive. After he recovers he moves on, and helps a young widow who a rich man is trying to force off her land.

Forrest had an intense stare that worked for gunman roles. It's indicated early in the movie his character can read minds, but this idea isn't used once the main plot starts. According to Wikipedia the movie was intended as a possible series pilot.

Johnny come lately here finaly got around to seeing Antman & The Wasp (which I'm sure is discussed elsewhere, but my limited technology couldn't find the thread). All that aside, this was an enjoyable film. It's not as well done as Marvel's other action comedy series, Guardians; and, it seems frivilous after Infinity; but, it was well worth the ticket. The pacing and background made suspention of disbelief more difficult than it is with the former. Infinity set the bar for a serious threat, the lack thereof allowing for more focus on real world comparisons (Just what was that lab made of that it maintained structural itegrity while being treated like a football?). Once I silenced the real world, I genuinely enjoyed the film. And, was it just me, or, did anyone else think of the Micronaut's Hydrocopter when Hank Pym headed into the Quantum Rhealm?

We saw The Shape of Water over the weekend. This is one I wanted to see at the theater but didn't get around to for whatever reason. It's kind of a mixed bag (in terms of wild flights of fancy juxtaposed with scenes of violence and torture), but I really liked it.

Doctor Hmmm? said:

Incredibles 2.  Nailed it.


Captain Comics said:

Yeah, Incredibles 2. Nothing more to say than "go watch it."

Yeah, Incredibles 2 was good, but I do have a bit more to say about it ....

Clearly, the story's sympathies are with Mr. Incredible, just as in the first one. There, he was basically the aging jock who doesn't know what to do with himself in retirement. Here, he's the aging jock whose wife goes back to work and leaves him with the kids, and he doesn't know how to handle it. Nice touch that he had kids at three distinct stages to cope with: a perpetually surly teenage daughter, a rambunctious tweelln son and a baby going through the terrible twos a year early, but to the power of 10. Hoo boy!

Incredibles 2 continued the argument on whether and how much people should depend on superheroes, with no better conclusion on that than the first one gave. I thought the villain's argument that we spend too much time on our devices to be a bit undercooked; that needed to be developed more. 

Overall, though, I was pleased. I was happy to see these characters again, it was great fun, Edna Mode, as always, is alone worth the price of admission ... but did anybody notice that the Underminer still got away? Maybe they'll catch him in the next sequel, which I hope won't take 14 years to come along.

Watched Jumanji:Welcome to the Jungle over the weekend. It was much better and funnier than I expected. The Rock is especially good playing a young teen boy trapped in the body of the hero within a video game.

I've fallen out of love with Jack Black, and I'm familiar enough with Kevin Hart's schtick to know what to expect (and that I'll probably like it). How was Karen Gillan? I'm only familiar with her work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Nebula, although I hear she was in Doctor Who.

doc photo said:

Watched Jumanji:Welcome to the Jungle over the weekend. It was much better and funnier than I expected. The Rock is especially good playing a young teen boy trapped in the body of the hero within a video game.

She was fun.  I enjoyed this one way more than I expected to.  Not a great movie, but an enjoyable popcorn timewaster.

Captain Comics said:

I've fallen out of love with Jack Black, and I'm familiar enough with Kevin Hart's schtick to know what to expect (and that I'll probably like it). How was Karen Gillan? I'm only familiar with her work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Nebula, although I hear she was in Doctor Who.

doc photo said:

Watched Jumanji:Welcome to the Jungle over the weekend. It was much better and funnier than I expected. The Rock is especially good playing a young teen boy trapped in the body of the hero within a video game.

We saw Won't You Be My Neighbor? the documentary about Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. It was a joy, especially in these times, to see a film about a genuinely good man.

Rogers was ordained as a Presbyterian minister, but decided early on that his path was not to graduate from seminary and become a pastor at a church. He saw that there was a great potential in television to reach people ... and most of it was being wasted on shows full of violence, cheap humor, and frenetic action. So he created his own show, in his own way. 

I confess, I didn't watch Mister Rogers' Neighborhood a whole lot; it wasn't like Sesame Street, with the entertaining Muppets who reached kids and adults alike with their humor. But that's okay; it wasn't about trying to entertain the adults while the kids watched. It was about reaching kids directly, with a clear demarcation between the world in which Rogers welcomed them and the Land of Make Believe -- the documentary notes that Rogers never appeared there.

This isn't a warts-and-all documentary, largely because there aren't a whole lot of warts. It does gloss over Rogers' childhood and his life before he started the show, although it does note that he was teased as a kid for being fat. Consequently, he stayed fit as an adult, particularly enjoying swimming. He maintained his weight at 143 pounds, and the movie tells why that number was significant to him.

The movie shows how the longer Rogers went on with it, the more rigid he was about doing things his way, particularly during his second run on the show. He suspended the show and turned to doing a specials for adults, traveling the country and interviewing people about the things he found interesting. But he went back to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, in part in reaction to things like G.I. Joe and other animated shows featuring superheroes; he found their violent content offensive and bad for children. (The movie uses animation to show Rogers starting off being full of childlike wonder like the character Daniel Striped Tiger; by the end, he had become akin to the inflexible, pompous King Friday XIII.)

About the worst thing the movie says about Rogers is that one of the cast members, Francois Clemmons, who played Officer Clemmons, was gay. Clemmons is interviewed and he said Rogers was unconcerned about that. But when word got to the TV station that Clemmons was seen going to gay bars, Rogers told him he couldn't keep his job if he continued because sponsors would flee. Clemmons married a young woman as a beard, but the marriage didn't last. Clemmons still held Rogers in high regard, as he was always personally warm toward him. There is more than one moment when Rogers washes Clemmons' feet, just as Jesus did.

There is a striking contrast between Rogers' gentleness and the cacophonous world outside. The show debuted February 19, 1968 -- right in the middle of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, when the news was full of images of American troops fighting the war. Late in his life, some idiot commentator on Fox News complained that Mister Rogers Neighborhood ruined kids by telling them they are special and thus making them feel entitled, going so far as to call Fred Rogers an "evil, evil man." Even worse, after Rogers died, the Westboro Baptist Church protested at his funeral.

It's safe to say that Fred Rogers' kindness will be remembered long after that pettiness and ugliness is forgotten. 

Fred Rogers was a great man and the documentary is well worth seeing.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor was so refreshing.  He was human, with human foibles, but he was a genuinely sincere and nice man.  That is so refreshing when, time and again, we find out that people we once looked up to were really monsters.

THE INVISIBLE BOY (ROBBY THE ROBOT):

While watching the Lost in Space season three episode “Condemned of Space” recently, my wife reminded me that she was out of town when I watched season one’s “War of the Robots.” We have seen Forbidden Planet together, but she had never seen Robby’s second movie, The Invisible Boy. I had it on VHS, so we decided to make a double feature of it (with “War of the Robots”). Unfortunately, my VHS was defective, so we ordered a DVD “two-fer” along with Forbidden Planet (which was okay, because my copy of that was on VHS as well).

The DVD had lots of extras, including an episode of The Thin Man featuring Robby the Robot. So we ended up watching The Invisible Boy supplemented by “Robot Client” and “War of the Robots.”

We caught up on some we'd missed:

Darjeeling Limited (2007) (and the weird short film with Natalie Portman that acts as a sort of prologue, made two years earlier)

Fruitvale Station (2013): Powerful, extremely well-acted, plays with the facts but so does every other film "based on a true story."

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