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 watched Alice's Restaurant with a friend a few years back and it holds up surprisingly well, for a movie so rooted in a time and place. I recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

The standard trivia must be repeated: the real-life Alice Brock makes a cameo appearance at the wedding scene and, famously, William Obanhein-- "Officer Obie"-- agreed to play himself in the movie, claiming that if anyone was going to make him look foolish in a Hollywood movie, it might as well be him.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

ALICE'S RESTAURANT: One of the things I brought to our marriage from my bachelorhood was an annual listen to Alice's Restaurant on Thanksgiving Day. For the past 10 years we've been listening to it on our annual trek to Austin, but that trip was called off this year. Last year, thinking my wife may be sick of it, I tried to leave it at home, but she rebelled. This year, she surprised me with the movie (which I had never seen before) on DVD.

Last night I watched "The Legend of the Lone Ranger" from 1981. This is one of those films that, even if you paid good money to see it, you probably don't remember it. Neither of the two leading actors, playing the Lone Ranger and Tonto, were credible or convincing. I have to wonder who thought giving the Ranger an '80s style haircut was a good idea. As far as I can tell, there were no blow dryers in the 1800s. Sadly, Christopher Llyod followed suit as much more ambitious than usual Bart "Butch" Cavandish. The one bright spot was the portrayal of President Grant, who far from being a damsel in distress actually assisted in his own rescue, having been kidnapped by Cavendish, in an attempt to blackmail congress into turning Texas over to him, removing it from the Union. Beyond that, there's not much more to say about this film other than that it seemed more like a tv show from the '80s than it did a big screen Western.

That's more about that movie than I've ever heard before. Makes me glad I never saw it (and never will).

Tracy was telling me this morning that Alice Brock has fallen on hard times and has a "go fund Me" page.

ROBOT MONSTER (MST3K version): I liked this one; Tracy didn't. 

JohnD said:

I have to wonder who thought giving the Ranger an '80s style haircut was a good idea. As far as I can tell, there were no blow dryers in the 1800s.

I didn't see the movie, but I've noticed that whatever hairstyle is in fashion seems to be what is used in every movie and TV show, regardless of the year portrayed, from King Arthur's time to futuristic science fiction.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

That's more about that movie than I've ever heard before. Makes me glad I never saw it (and never will).

If you want to know more about The Legend of the Lone Ranger, here's Commander Benson's musings about it from a few years back, here. (You may have to scroll down on the page to see that entry; this is from the earliest setups on this version of the Comics Cave).

Ah, yes. I remember reading that, but it's just as enjoyable a second time around.

You know, the only way I would consider ever watching The Legend of the Lone Ranger is an MST3K (or "Film Crew" or whatever they're calling themselves these days) version. 

JohnD said:

I have to wonder who thought giving the Ranger an '80s style haircut was a good idea. As far as I can tell, there were no blow dryers in the 1800s.

Richard Willis said:

I didn't see the movie, but I've noticed that whatever hairstyle is in fashion seems to be what is used in every movie and TV show, regardless of the year portrayed, from King Arthur's time to futuristic science fiction.

Back when I used to care about Star Trek, I read David Gerrold's* book The World of Star Trek, and he cited some actor on some cowboy show once showed up on set sporting a period-appropriate mustache and got laughed off the lot.

Gerrold's point: Whether it's historical fiction or science fiction, TV is about putting contemporary man in a setting to see how he copes. 

* Gerrold's first sale as a TV writer was "The Trouble With Tribbles" episode, and his book by the same title about the writing and making of that episode is a fun read. 

I remember that Gerrold reference. He's writing about a different era, when Kirk went back in time and we weren't supposed to notice his haircut matched the present era's, or that the extras on Hogan's Heroes, if they weren't in uniform, frequently sported anachronistic costume.

Now, we'd note the era-appropriate cowboy mustache and applaud it.

We still want to be able to relate to the character, however. I sold a story some years back which had only alien characters. The first draft was rejected because the characters weren't human enough. I tweaked it to make them more relatable, and then it sold.

The 70's haircuts on M*A*S*H were hard to believe, especially when B.J. Hunicut showed up.

As for relating to characters, I don't think the Green Lantern Corps all being aliens (which they should be) hurt the Green Lantern movie. I think that all of them being CGI did hurt it.

JD DeLuzio said:

I remember that Gerrold reference. He's writing about a different era, when Kirk went back in time and we weren't supposed to notice his haircut matched the present era's, or that the extras on Hogan's Heroes, if they weren't in uniform, frequently sported anachronistic costume.

Now, we'd note the era-appropriate cowboy mustache and applaud it.

We still want to be able to relate to the character, however. I sold a story some years back which had only alien characters. The first draft was rejected because the characters weren't human enough. I tweaked it to make them more relatable, and then it sold.

"Gerrold's first sale as a TV writer was "The Trouble With Tribbles" episode, and his book by the same title about the writing and making of that episode is a fun read."

I remember reading Harlan Ellison's vitriolic origonal script for 'City of the Edge of Forever" (half the book was a diatribe against Gene Roddenberry) and telling a friend of mine about it. He loaned me a copy of "The Trouble with Tribbles" and you're right: it was a fun read. 

"The 70's haircuts on M*A*S*H were hard to believe..."

...especially when Hotlips sported a haircut from the eighties. MAD magazine even made a joke about it (in one of their later parodies, not the original).

The first two seasons of Happy Days, pre-studio audience (mostly), when Richie and Joanie still had an older brother named Chuck, really tried to look like the 1950s, if a nostalgic version of them. That deteriorated starting about season three, with clothing and attitudes and hair that belonged to the then-present era. Chachi sported a 70s 'do, and no one seemed to notice.

But throw an anachronism now into, say, Stranger Things, and the web will beat a path to your door and complain.

Tomorrow morning (12/1/20), Turner Classic Movies is showing Zero Hour (1957). This movie with its reluctant pilot and food poisoning was an inspiration for the movie Airplane. I've always wanted to see it and it's not on DVD.

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