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 been watching quite a few movies this weekend. I already posted about Inglorious Baterds.

Friday night I watched National Treasure Book of Secrets. Not as good as the first one. Still it had it's fun moments.

Then I watched Beerfest. I had never gotten around to seeing it. It was amusing but nothing great. At least I know how to drink beer out of a shoe now.

Saturday night I watched Watchmen. Just the regular cut. The redbox didn't have the director's cut available.

Then I watched a movie called Gigantic. It stars Paul Dano (brother from Little Miss Sunshine) and Zooey Deschenel. It was kind of charming and entertaining to watch. But still sort of odd. I'm not sure what the point the film makers were trying to get across with this one. there was a disturbing subplot involving a homeless man played by Zach Galafinakis, that was never really explained.
Saw the Wonder Woman animated movie. You know, it wasn't that bad. Had some humor in it. Steve Trevor getting the lasso treatment on Paradise Island had me chuckling.

Flags of our Fathers was so-so. If true, the whole story of how politicians used the Iwo Jima photo and soldiers to get people to buy Bonds was more eye-opening than the combat scenes! The movie didn't exactly portray Truman in a nice light, which totally threw my impression of Harry Truman out the window!

Eagle Eye was a good action movie. Some of the things the characters did really didn't make sense but in terms of just watching a good, senseless action movie...good stuff.
Last night I watched L: Change the World, which is a sequel of sorts to the two live-action Death Note films, Death Note, and Death Note II: The Last Name. It features the super-detective "L", trying to track down a gang of eco-terrorists who plan to save the Earth by decimating the human population with a genetically-engineered virus. It's actually very little to do with the main Death Note story, and the other Death Note characters only make tangential appearances in the film. Nevertheless, I found the film quite enjoyable. L's an interesting character, despite - or perhaps because of - his brilliance, he's pretty poorly-socialized, and comes across as quite odd. If you're at all into the Death Note, I'd give the live-action films a try.
I've been on a Quentin Tarantino kick of sorts after seeing Inglorious Basterds. Last night I watched True Romance (a film QT wrote) with my friend who has never seen it. It's a great flick with some memorable small performances by big time actors. The scene between Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper is one of my all-time favorite movie scenes.

Tonight I'll be watching Jackie Brown. This has been my favorite of the Tarantino directed films. I know a lot of people disagree. I might have to give Inglorious Bastereds another viewing because, it could replace Jackie Brown as my favorite, though.
I caught the last 20 minutes of the 1934 version of The Scarlet Pimpernel on TCM the other day, and now I really want to see the whole thing. Leslie Howard is a wonderful Sir Percy, and Raymond Massey a great Chauvelin. Just on the basis of that 20 minutes, this may already be my favorite Pimpernel.
The Baron said:
I recently picked up a copy of the 1931 Fritz Lang film, M. Without giving too much away, it features a young Peter Lorre as a serial killer who terrorizes a German town when he begins murdering small children. (That's not a spoiler, by the by, his identity as the killer is revealed to the audience very early in the picture.) The suspense in the picture derives from the massive manhunt as the police desperately try to uncover and capture him. The police crackdown disrupts the criminal element so much that the local syndicate launches their own hunt for the killer, and Lang makes good use of showing the comparison and contrast between the "legitimate" and "illegitimate" segments of society. This was apparently, Lang's first sound picture, but you'd never've known it, he uses sound very well.

Lorre is unbelievable in this picture. It occurred to me me while watching that I've more imitations of Lorre, than I have films with him in them. But this picture by itself would establish him as a top-level actor. You really believe in Lorre's character as someone capable of doing unspeakable things. There's next to know overt violence in the picture, but Lang uses suggestion so well that you shudder watching this film. The cover copy describes this picture as the seminal psychological thriller movie, and I can believe it.

The picture is in German with subtitles - I mention that only because I know a number of people that can deal with subtitles.

Also, there's at least three guys in this picture who sort of vaguely remind me of Kenneth MacDonald, the guy who was always playing the Three Stooges' crooked lawyer. Must've been a common look back then - I keep waiting for someone to say, "The estate of Uncle Ambrose Rose - and we thank you."

Anyway, I heartily recommend this picture - both as an "historical document", and as a very interesting movie to watch.

I don't know if anyone's mentioned it, but there's a John J. Muth adaptation of this movie. It was first published in the late 80s, early 90s when I was in college, but it recently was reissued in a lovely hardcover edition.
I watched Serpico last night. Not a particularly exciting movie. But a good one nonetheless. A great performance by Pacino.
Jason Marconnet (Lime_Coke) said:
I watched Serpico last night. Not a particularly exciting movie. But a good one nonetheless. A great performance by Pacino.

Not an exciting movie? I fell asleep the first two times I tried watching it.
Travis Herrick said:
Jason Marconnet (Lime_Coke) said:
I watched Serpico last night. Not a particularly exciting movie. But a good one nonetheless. A great performance by Pacino.

Not an exciting movie? I fell asleep the first two times I tried watching it.

Last night I fell asleep watching "Great Wrestling Stars of the 90's".
The Baron said:
I recently picked up a copy of the 1931 Fritz Lang film, M.... Anyway, I heartily recommend this picture - both as an "historical document", and as a very interesting movie to watch.

You might like The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, in which Lohmann returned. The film was a sequel to one of Lang's silent hits (Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler, which I haven't seen).
I watched Paris je T'aime last night. It's a collection of short films by top directors all involving love stories set in Paris. Overall it was enjoyable. Some of the films were better than others. I think my favorite was probably the one starring Elijah Wood.
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