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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Also Tolkien introduced two Blue Wizards in later works but Jackson didn't have the rights to use them.

They looked for Radagast in the book but found his home empty, his whereabouts unknown. Too much pipeweed and mushrooms, I suspect.

Tom Bombadil and his wife Goldberry (whom I feel wields great power herself) have confined themselves in a relatively small area between the Shire and Bree. They will not leave it. But Ol' Tom was mentioned during the Council of Elrond.

And Gandalf stated that while the great battle at the end of The Return of the King was going on, there was another battle in the north where Sauron's forces were advancing. Though their armies were victorious, King Dain Ironfoot (seen in The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies) and King Brand of Dale (Bard's grandson) were killed.
 
Captain Comics said:



Ron M. said:

Why exactly aren't Radagast the Brown and the rest of that group, or Tom Bombadil, doing anything in the War of the Rings? The world is about to end, why aren't these vastly powerful beings getting involved?


They were hanging out in the same place The Spectre and all of Marvel's pantheons are when the earth is about to destroyed. Slackers!

I do vaguely recall irritation when reading (or re-reading) the books back in the long-before time that sometimes Tolkien would have a character tell the others about some major development (like a big battle), but we wouldn't get to "see" it because, I guess, there were no hobbits involved. And Gandalf was forever disappearing at crucial times, which he would sometimes explain and sometimes not. Regardless, we rarely were treated to Gandalf's solo adventures -- again, I presume, because Tolkien considered the hobbits his stars. But that's just a guess.

Gandalf had to keep disappearing or he'd solve everything too easily, like the way Superman would keep getting sidetracked so Green Arrow would have something to do.

A good example is that in the books we are TOLD about the Fall of Isengard at the hands (branches??) of the Ents which we see in the films.

Then again, the theatrical version doesn't even show us the final fate of Saruman and Grima Wormtongue which was totally different from the book.

Speaking of which, I always thought that "The Scouring of the Shire" would have made a great fourth part of the Trilogy! It would have done wonders for the image of the Hobbits to see them defend and retake their homeland. We would have seen Warrior Merry (in his Rohan armor) and Warrior Pippin (in his Gondorian armor) and Sam reuniting with his Gaffer an Rosie Cotton.

Over break, I've watched Snowpiercer, which was really weird, violent, and okay. I'm really not sure how this was one of the year's ten best films (on at least one list I read recently). Then again, no accounting for taste.

I also watched Chef today, starring John Favreau plus tons of his pals. I would call this movie "harmless and uplifting". It had some rough language, but other than that, I would feel comfortable watching this with a Catholic priest and not be the least bit uncomfortable. I realized that it was directed by Favreau, which explained why it also starred Scarlett Johansson (in a very non-Scarlett role) and Robert Downey, Jr., but also rounding out the cast are Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Sophia Vergara, Bobby Cannevale, and John Leguizamo. Great feel-good movie, even if it is missing a twist somewhere in there.

One of the Hobbit movies should have played Leonard Nimoy's song during the closing credits.

Except for Dustin Hoffman and the two Avengers I have no idea who those people are.

They are mainly small-budget film mainstays. (Although Sophia Vergara is the trophy wife of Jay "Al Bundy" Pritchett on Modern Family.) The two Avengers are the only comic book movie people that I know of, but I thought I'd mention the others nonetheless.

Ron M. said:

One of the Hobbit movies should have played Leonard Nimoy's song during the closing credits.

Except for Dustin Hoffman and the two Avengers I have no idea who those people are.

Does this wife feed him?

As a fun exercise I looked up the actors in question.

Bobby Cannavale has a part in the 2015 movie Ant-Man.

John Leguizamo played Clown/Violator in the live-action Spawn (1997) and had a part in Kick-Ass 2.

Oliver Platt played Hades in the 2009 animated movie Wonder Woman and had a small part in X-Men: First Class.

Wow, that's more comics connections than I realized! Thanks, Richard!

Richard Willis said:

As a fun exercise I looked up the actors in question.

Bobby Cannavale has a part in the 2015 movie Ant-Man.

John Leguizamo played Clown/Violator in the live-action Spawn (1997) and had a part in Kick-Ass 2.

Oliver Platt played Hades in the 2009 animated movie Wonder Woman and had a small part in X-Men: First Class.

Proves the six degrees of  separation theory. You've connected the Avengers to Wonder Woman, Spawn, and Al Bundy in a couple of steps.

Last week, I saw Selma, the depiction of the civil rights marches (plural) for voting rights. First-rate in every way.

Last night, I saw Annie. It was entertaining enough, but no great shakes. I hadn't seen either of the two previous versions (there was a theatrical film and a TV movie remake) so I wasn't terribly familiar with the story.

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