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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Doctor Hmmm? said:

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (2018) -- I know, I know.  As movies, the Mamma Mia movies are objectively not good.  I like them anyway.  I'm also a sucker for musicals, especially ones where everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.  Some things are just guilty pleasures.  

I like many musicals. IMO, the sudden singing in the middle of a story is, like the radioactive spider, intended to trigger suspension of disbelief. I like ABBA songs, so I liked the first Mamma Mia. I began watching the sequel and (rare for me) gave up and turned it off.

The Lad, who has no trouble watching Fast & Furious and Godzilla movies, draws the line at suspending disbelief when movie characters burst into song. {sigh}

I actually think I enjoyed MM:HWGA more than MMI.  I attribute that to (i) Lily James {sigh} and (ii) a sudden realization of the obvious (to borrow a phrase) that MM:HWGA (hilariously) borrows its story structure from The Godfather: Part II.

Richard Willis said:

Doctor Hmmm? said:

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (2018) -- I know, I know.  As movies, the Mamma Mia movies are objectively not good.  I like them anyway.  I'm also a sucker for musicals, especially ones where everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.  Some things are just guilty pleasures.  

I like many musicals. IMO, the sudden singing in the middle of a story is, like the radioactive spider, intended to trigger suspension of disbelief. I like ABBA songs, so I liked the first Mamma Mia. I began watching the sequel and (rare for me) gave up and turned it off.

Doctor Hmmm? said:

The Lad, who has no trouble watching Fast & Furious and Godzilla movies, draws the line at suspending disbelief when movie characters burst into song. {sigh}

The former youngster in our house also has an abiding dislike of movie musicals. I don't get it.*

* Discretion forbids me from telling a story about Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.

I recommend The Blues Brothers to reluctant musical fans. 

Speaking of Fast & Furious movies, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw was on TV the other night, and I took the chance that my brain was sufficiently healed from binge-watching the Fast & Furious oeuvre to have it on in the background while I did other stuff.*

I'm glad I didn't pay close attention; the mindless shootouts and destruction was only half as tedious as Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham bickering like a pair of 8-year-olds, literally, actually saying to each other and to various other people, "You don't tell me what to do."

IQ points do grow back, don't they? Right?

DOOMED TO DIE (1940): This is the fifth (of five) "Mr. Wong" movies to feature Boris Karloff in the role of a fictional Chinese detective modeled after Charlie Chan. (There was a sixth movie starring Keye Luke in the role.) I posted my comments on the fourth, The Fatal Hour, a few pages back. Both are included in Tracy's 50 movie pack of "Horror Classics" but I'm here to tell ya: just because Boris Karloff is in it doesn't mean it's a horror film. It's not even a very good detective film. Watch Charlie Chan instead. 

The Keye Luke one, however, a sort of reboot/prequel, is actually passable, and one of the few films from the era with Asian-Americans positively depicting Asian-American characters. I've reviewed it here.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

DOOMED TO DIE (1940): This is the fifth (of five) "Mr. Wong" movies to feature Boris Karloff in the role of a fictional Chinese detective modeled after Charlie Chan. (There was a sixth movie starring Keye Luke in the role.) I posted my comments on the fourth, The Fatal Hour, a few pages back. Both are included in Tracy's 50 movie pack of "Horror Classics" but I'm here to tell ya: just because Boris Karloff is in it doesn't mean it's a horror film. It's not even a very good detective film. Watch Charlie Chan instead. 

I saw Heavy Metal (1981) for the first time since I was a teenager. I remember thinking it wasn't all that good but, wow, it's really not that good. A few bits of interesting animation, a decent soundtrack, a few stories with potential, and then a lot of filler shoehorned into a framing story. The critical consensus at RottenTomatoes, I see, reads, "It's sexist, juvenile, and dated, but Heavy Metal makes up for its flaws with eye-popping animation and a classic, smartly used soundtrack." "Makes up" is overreaching. The most interesting bit remains "Harry Canyon," the SF noir pastiche set in 2031 New York. It's also an interesting look at a now-near future. We're in touch with aliens and have cool weapons, but the hero's apartment boasts a circa 1977 stereo, the World Trade Center is of course standing, and... things that look remarkably like drones are omnipresent. Good call on that last one. "So Beautiful & So Dangerous" wastes half the cast of SCTV on a visually interesting, plotless mess punctuated by circa 1981 locker room jokes.

Do you know what I remember most about Heavy Metal? It's that, in the future, the Statue of Liberty's torch, closed since 1916, will again be open to the public.

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925): I've seen this one before, of course; I even still own a copy on VHS. But I've only ever watched it once and it's been some time (and Tracy had never seen it), so we watched it last night. I'm always impressed by the color section in the middle. 

INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN (1956): This is the last "trifecta" film (which Tracy has on DVD, I have on VHS and MST3K has spoofed). An electrocuted criminal is brought back to life by a mad scientist and sets out for revenge against his former partners. It is not Lon Chaney's last film, but I wish it was. 

Joe Flynn is in that picture!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN (1956): This is the last "trifecta" film (which Tracy has on DVD, I have on VHS and MST3K has spoofed). An electrocuted criminal is brought back to life by a mad scientist and sets out for revenge against his former partners. It is not Lon Chaney's last film, but I wish it was. 

Also, Inspector Henderson from Superman, too.

The Baron said:

Joe Flynn is in that picture!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN (1956): This is the last "trifecta" film (which Tracy has on DVD, I have on VHS and MST3K has spoofed). An electrocuted criminal is brought back to life by a mad scientist and sets out for revenge against his former partners. It is not Lon Chaney's last film, but I wish it was. 

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