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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PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod said:

ClarkKent_DC said:

Somehow I found myself loading up on Gabrielle Union movies:

 

Ain't nothing wrong with that.

No, indeed. She's charming, she's likeable, she's gorgeous, and she has a very expressive face and a wonderful smile.

Another one I saw was The Perfect Holiday. Here, Gabrielle Union was a divorced mom getting worn down by her constant bickering with her ex-husband, a music producer. It's Christmastime, so her daughter asks the Santa at the mall to say something nice to her. The mall Santa, played by Morris Chestnut, is smitten -- it is Gabrielle Union, and she's gorgeous -- and they soon start going out. Complications ensue because Morris is an aspiring songwriter, and he's trying to sell his work to the music producer. Thus, each of these three people is linked to the other two, without any of them being aware of the other person's tie to the third person. And for some strange reason, Queen Latifah and Terrence Howard are floating around in this movie.

It's a romantic comedy and a Christmas movie. Set your expectations accordingly, and you'll do fine with it. 

I loved her in FlashForward. She almost got me to watch the new Night Stalker series. I may still have to go back to that one. She once played a Klingon in Deep Space Nine.

Then there was Deliver Us from Eva. Another romantic comedy. Here, Gabrielle Union is the eldest of four sisters, who, sadly, were orphaned when their parents were killed in a car crash. As the eldest, she shouldered the burden of raising them to adulthood. which she did successfully. Unfortunately, being the breadwinner for the four of them and being the de facto matriarch of the clan has made her a careerwoman married to her job and bitter toward men -- most particularly the men who are her sisters' husbands and boyfriends.

To get her off their backs, the boyfriends and husbands hire a "player," played by L.L. Cool J, to woo her and dump her. This being a romantic comedy, L.L. Cool J falls for her -- well, it is Gabrielle Union, and she's gorgeous -- so the three guys turn on him to salvage the plan.

This is one of those movies that makes you wish everybody involved was in a better movie. It's got a great cast, including Meagan Good, Essence Atkins and Robinne Lee as the sisters, who are all so beautiful that the husbands and boyfriends cheer for their good fortune and bless their father. And L.L. Cool J and Gabrielle Union have great chemistry. But it's rather weak overall. 

I don't know if we have a thread yet for 47 Ronin, but my wife and I saw it, and we both teared up.

Not exactly family fare, but we all watched Talk to Me, a biopic about Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene, a legend in local radio in Washington, D.C. in the '60s and '70s. An ex-convict with a gift of gab, Greene, played by Don Cheadle, was a political commentator and disc jockey on WOL Radio after he got out of prison.

The movie frames his rise and fall as a partnership with the WOL program director, Dewey Hughes, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. They were an odd couple -- Greene being earthy and street smart, Hughes being educated and buttoned-down -- but the movie presents each man as being envious of the other's qualities. Hughes pushes Greene to greater heights, such as opening for James Brown, a public-affairs TV show, and a round of standup comedy appearances leading to every performer's dream: The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson! Unfortunately, what happens that night marked the end of the association.

Cheadle and Ejiofor are excellent, as is Taraji P. Henson as Greene's loyal girlfriend, Vernell. Martin Sheen and Cedric the Entertainer show up, too. 

My 1st-ever H.G. Wells marathon continues tonight. My TCM copy of THE TIME MACHINE has-- maddenningly-- gone missing, and so far refuses to turn up. Since I still don't have a copy of THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON, that means tonight's film is THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU from Samuel Z. Arkoff. American International (or whatever this is) and Hammer weren't that much different. They tended to have GREAT casts, miniscule budgets, and borderline scripts. This one's actually much better than I remember it. Best way to describe it is "different", the most far afield from the book (I have a book-on-tape, so I know). But I've gotten so much into watching multiple versions of stories in recent years, I'm probably enjoying this more than I did when I taped it (back in the 80s, I think).

What a cast-- BURT LANCASTER as the most "intelligent"-seeming version of Moreau; Nigel Davenport as "Montgomery", the mercenary who's his sidekick; Michael York as Braddock, the main character; Richard Basehart as "the speaker of the law"; and Barbara Carerra as the mystery girl who may or may not be more or less than she seems. This version-- inexplicably-- NEVER makes it clear!

While parts of the film seem "dumbed down", other parts seem more intelligent than the other 2 versions combined-- particularly, any time Lancaster & York on onscreen together.

Tonight's movie (and I use that word loosely)...
 
EMPIRE OF THE ANTS  (1977)


How's this for an "auteur"? WRITER! PRODUCER! DIRECTOR! And Director of SPECIAL EFFECTS!

What's the problem? It's not Stanley Kubruck, folks. It's "Mr. BIG"... Bert I. Gordon! He's teamed with the infamous Samuel Z. Arkoff (AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL) to do a film that is tackier than anything Roger Corman was ever responsible for, and in many ways, far worse than anything from the old days, because this one's from THE 70's!!

It's got 2 STAR TREK alumni in it-- Robert Lansing and Joan Collins ("ASSIGNMENT EARTH" and "THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER") plus a LOST IN SPACE alumni, Albert Salmi ("THE SKY PIRATE" and "PLANET OF THE LOST TREASURE"). It's got some of the WORST writing, WORST directing and WORST acting I've ever seen.

Let me put it this way... earlier today, I was watching a SLASHER movie from the late 70's.. and it had MORE style and better writing & directing than this thing.

One of the dumbest bits on the whole film-- a group of tourists run headlong thru the jungle to escape death. Abruptly-- for no damn reason-- an elderly couple stop, and change direction. "Let's go THIS way!" Within 5 minutes, THEY'RE TOAST.

Anyone who thinks the later non-Corman POE films from A.I.P. were bad, believe me, those things have nothing on this ALLEGED "H.G. Wells" film.

I just realized there was one more person in this film I recognized-- but halfway thru the film, I didn't remember who she was-- Jacqueline Scott, who, on THE FUGITIVE, played Richard Kimble's sister!
 
Joan Collins is AWFUL in this thing! Her character's a real cranky B****, a few minutes running the the jungle and she looks horrible, and even HER acting is terrible. "I don't care what the rest of you are doing, I'M going THIS way!" 5 seconds later, she stops dead in front of some ants, and starts screaming.
 
While they were in the jungle, it hit me, this is like JURASSIC PARK (or maybe J.P. 2 or 3) only with NO budget.

...Just Joan Collins Kevin Bacon-ing , Henry , recently , in the hospital I saw on a lil' portable player:

THE OPPOSITE SEX , an MGM 50s musical with Collins second-billed to June Allyson

THE MACK ~ You know , IIRC no-one ever used the phrase " pimp " in the dialogue of this'n !!!!!!!!!

ON THE ROAD That adaptation of the Kerouac novel .

  I could give a reason as to why I disn't see it theatrically that would sound like I was trying to be a Kerouac character !!!!!!!!! But I won't .

  As I'd read , sorta a semi-biography of Kerouac and his buddy as an adapt. of the novel itself _ I haven't read it in a long time , so...Pretty colors/location footage , anyhows .

  ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL ~ I saw this theatrically when It was first out . OK . Sorta .

Henry R. Kujawa said:

Tonight's movie (and I use that word loosely)...
 
EMPIRE OF THE ANTS  (1977)


How's this for an "auteur"? WRITER! PRODUCER! DIRECTOR! And Director of SPECIAL EFFECTS!

What's the problem? It's not Stanley Kubruck, folks. It's "Mr. BIG"... Bert I. Gordon! He's teamed with the infamous Samuel Z. Arkoff (AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL) to do a film that is tackier than anything Roger Corman was ever responsible for, and in many ways, far worse than anything from the old days, because this one's from THE 70's!!

It's got 2 STAR TREK alumni in it-- Robert Lansing and Joan Collins ("ASSIGNMENT EARTH" and "THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER") plus a LOST IN SPACE alumni, Albert Salmi ("THE SKY PIRATE" and "PLANET OF THE LOST TREASURE"). It's got some of the WORST writing, WORST directing and WORST acting I've ever seen.

Let me put it this way... earlier today, I was watching a SLASHER movie from the late 70's.. and it had MORE style and better writing & directing than this thing.

One of the dumbest bits on the whole film-- a group of tourists run headlong thru the jungle to escape death. Abruptly-- for no damn reason-- an elderly couple stop, and change direction. "Let's go THIS way!" Within 5 minutes, THEY'RE TOAST.

Anyone who thinks the later non-Corman POE films from A.I.P. were bad, believe me, those things have nothing on this ALLEGED "H.G. Wells" film.

I just realized there was one more person in this film I recognized-- but halfway thru the film, I didn't remember who she was-- Jacqueline Scott, who, on THE FUGITIVE, played Richard Kimble's sister!
 
Joan Collins is AWFUL in this thing! Her character's a real cranky B****, a few minutes running the the jungle and she looks horrible, and even HER acting is terrible. "I don't care what the rest of you are doing, I'M going THIS way!" 5 seconds later, she stops dead in front of some ants, and starts screaming.
 
While they were in the jungle, it hit me, this is like JURASSIC PARK (or maybe J.P. 2 or 3) only with NO budget.

One of my favorite Joan Collins roles was when she played the 2nd wife of Max Sheffield's father (Robert Vaughn) on THE NANNY.  She gave Fran a bit of advice at the end, "You might want to lay off the chocolates."

Max hadn't gotten along with his father for many years, but suddenly realized they might have more in common than he realized, as his father had fallen in love and married a woman who started out working for him.

I watched Network for the first time this weekend. I really enjoyed it. It was a dark, sometimes humorous and probably truthful tale of the media. Great performances all around by the cast. The story is applicable still to our time, I believe. If you haven't seen it, I would recommend seeking it out. While it has an important story to tell it's still very entertaining.

I really like Network, too. The strange thing about it that you may not realize is that when it first came out all these crazy things were speculations on the future of TV. They mostly came true later, so it seems like a commentary on today's TV.

Jason Marconnet (Pint sized mod) said:

I watched Network for the first time this weekend. I really enjoyed it. It was a dark, sometimes humorous and probably truthful tale of the media. Great performances all around by the cast. The story is applicable still to our time, I believe. If you haven't seen it, I would recommend seeking it out. While it has an important story to tell it's still very entertaining.

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