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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My review of Godzilla (2014) does ask why a movie featuring a giant monster using state-of-the-art effects needs to take place at night in an alternate universe where no one remembers what a light switch is for. I did, however,  like it better than that strange film from 1997 that called itself Godzilla (Sort of how a friend of mine refers to Riverdale as that show where the people, for some reason, have the same names as characters from Archie comics.YMMV). As for Skull Island being in the same universe, I recall them commenting that they believe Kong is still growing. That struck me as setting up the shared universe with G, who has been upsized with nearly every reboot.

I enjoyed Shin Godzilla. But Forearm Godzilla, on the other hand...

Last night we watched The Blue Dahlia, a noirish murder mystery with Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake -- I think it was in theaters when the Black Dahlia murder happened; the press adapted the name of the movie to sensationalize the killing.

As for the movie itself, it's pretty good, but not spectacular -- the direction is a little lackluster, and at the last minute it shies away from a more interesting climax it's been setting up since the first scene. But Raymond Chandler wrote the screenplay, with some great dialogue, and William Bendix is terrific as Buzz, Ladd's war-buddy best friend, suffering from PTSD. (But god, I wish Chandler didn't have Buzz referring to the swing and jazz music that gives him headaches and upsets him so much as "monkey music" all the time; it's a super-cringey, casually racist term that I'm sure isn't meant to undermine the sympathy we're meant to feel for Buzz, but threatens to nonetheless.)

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

William Bendix is terrific as Buzz, Ladd's war-buddy best friend, suffering from PTSD.

I have to rewatch Blue Dahlia. On DVD and TCM, I've been catching a lot of movies from the 30s, 40s and 50s. I've seen William Bendix in a variety of roles (supporting role guy, good guy, not-so-good guy and psychotic thug guy). He was always great.

We saw Late Night, one of those movies we meant to see but never made it to before it left theaters. Actually, I'm not sure it even got a theatrical release, what with COVID-19.

Anyway, it's a science-fiction story in which Emma Thompson is the host of a long-running late night talk show who finds the network wants to push her out and replace her with a "hip" and "edgy" (translated: crude, crass and foul-mouthed) stand-up comic.

On a parallel track, Mindy Kaling is a show-business wannabe who gets a shot at being a staff writer for said show, right when host Thompson needs to have a woman around. Kaling works at a chemical plant, and her entire comedy experience is reading announcements to the staff. Once aboard, Kaling struggles to fit in as the rest of the team is all white guys and nobody respects her as the diversity hire. Certainly not the boss, but she doesn't respect anybody; she's one of those types who thinks sanctimony is the same thing as demanding excellence.

Of course, they learn how much they need each other. After some stumbles and bumbles, Thompson does realize that Kaling has good instincts and ideas to shake the dust off a show that no one on the team wanted to admit had gone stale.

I call it science fiction because, first, there's never been a woman late night host who's been doing it for 29 years. (Look at what happened to Joan Rivers when she tried.)  Second, our talk host is surprised that the network wants her gone because her ratings have been slipping for 10 years -- a fact she did not know. Nobody who has those jobs does it without knowing or caring what the ratings are. Every one of them makes it their business to know what their ratings are, and the ratings for the competition. 

There is a lot of truth when Late Night echoes the contretemps over Jay Leno hanging on to The Tonight Show past his prime, first not getting out of David Letterman's way, and then Conan O'Brien's. And Thompson and Kaling are both entertaining. I'd say this is one worth watching.

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS: We saw this in the theater but, until we re-watched it tonight, I didn't remember anything about it other than that it starred the little girl from Stranger Thjings. I didn't even remember whether or not it was in the same continuity with the 2014 Godzilla. (It is.) The relationship between Godzilla (2014) and King of the Monsters is similar to that of the original Japanese version of Gojira and the America Godzilla in that one follows the other and it would be possible to watch the second film and not the first. Although I certainly wouldn't recommend that for the originals, it might help here. King of the Monsters is a bit faster-paced, although it's just as dark and it still takes a full 42 minutes before Godzilla is seen full figure. After that he's incapacitated pretty quickly and isn't in much of the film until the end. This movie fleshes out the "mythology" established in Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla (2014), and definitely sets up Kong vs. Godzilla (or Godzilla vs. Kong, whatever). Of the 2K movies, King Kong (2005) and Shin Godzilla are the best.

We might have some problems this spring when the new movie comes out because Tracy is "Team Godzilla" and I'm "Team Kong." (Under any other circumstances, I would be pulling for the "Big G" as well, but when they are pitted against each other, I've got to go with the mammal over the reptile. Sorry.

"Team Kong"??? It's like I don't know you at all. 

As much as I'm rooting for the quasi-dino, the stage is set for a Kong victory. Why? He is "King" Kong, after all.

"It's like I don't know you at all."

Oh? Think of what you refer to as my "monkey movies."

"He is 'King' Kong, after all."

Just to play Devil's advocate, Team Godzilla would respond: "What is a King to a God?" (Plus, "King of the Monsters"...?)

The fact of two edits of the 1962 film (one re-edited and with more "American" scenes added) led to the oft-repeated urban legend that it was filmed with two ending, one where Kong wins and the other where Godzilla is victorious.

It would be kind of fun if they actually released the new film that way, problematic thought that might be from the standpoint of continuity.

I have shelved King Kong (2005) with "Planet of the Apes," but Kong: Skull Island with "Godzilla." (Just thought you'd want to know.) Godzilla vs. King Kong (1962) is, of course, shelved with "Godzilla." 

GODZILLA 2000: After those two "dark" ones, I had to cleanse my visual palate with one in which I could at least discern the action. I will always have a soft spot for Godzilla 2000, it being the first Godzilla movie I saw on the big screen. Plus, itthe first of a new series... AND Godzilla appears within the first four minutes of the film! 

On the old board, our resident Godzilla expert (Hi, Bob!) identified six different Godzilla continuities (plus three distict off-shoots). On that scale, Godzilla 2000 is Earth-4; Shin Godzilla would be Earth-7 and Godzilla (2014) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters would both be Earth-8. 

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