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 watched Reign of the Gargoyles, a 2007 TV movie from the Sci-Fi channel. It's a combined supernatural horror/WWII picture. There isn't too much to most of the characters, and it lacks really intense sequences. But it's quite competently put together, and I enjoyed it.
This past Sunday I saw Primer. It's a film that has been discussed in this thread before. It's an interesting flick. The filmaking alone is worth seeing the film. I was impressed that this concept was executed on a low budget and a believable way. It proves that you don't need CGI or special effects upon special effects to get excitement out of a movie.

I also saw New Moon, I'll leave it at that...
I saw Monster X Strikes Back/Attack the G8 Summit, which is a Japanese giant monster parody movie.

It's OK, though the monster action isn't as good (or weird/funny/goofy) as it might be. There's a lot more political satire than I expected with the G8 leaders. Intermittently funny, but always interesting as a window on how Japan sees the rest of the world. (The Japanese PM comes off quite badly, as comically timid and ineffectual) Some of the politicians are clearly based on real-world counterparts (Sarkozy and Merkel, in particular), others less so. The American President looks sorta like Bill Clinton, though he speaks sort of like a Texan, and seems more generically "American" than a parody of a particular president. All the foreign leaders speak in their own language (subtitled on screen for the Japanese audience). I wonder if the English-speakers' dialogue is part of the joke, or just unintentionally bad. The American president is obviously an American actor, but he really over-enunciates all his dialogue, kind of like he's doing a "Super Terrific Happy Let's All Learn English Show" presentation.

The monster is Guilala, an actual off-brand '60s kaiju revived for this movie. I particularly liked the scene where he's given his name by the movie's Kenny. But the actual monster action (with both Guilala and "Take-Majin," a Japanese protector-deity kind of guy) is kind of pedestrian, and not much goofier than what you'd see in the real movies. I'm also curious about whether there's something in the song-and-dance routine to summon Take-Majin that Japanese people would find particularly amusing. To me, it seemed not very different from the "straight" routines for summoning Mothra or whatever.
Saw Dragonball: Evolution, the live action adaptation of the Akira Toriyama manga. It was OK, but it felt kind of rushed. This was one of those rare movies, where I felt it would of worked better if it would of been longer.
I watched Pirate Radio about a week ago. I had a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the music. It was used to really good effect. If you catch the lyrics, you often notice how they reinforce elements in the story. One of the best things was actually the closing credits as they showed a huge montage will all kinds of album covers, including stuff from the '80s, '90s and '00s like Dire Straits, INXS, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lauryn Hill and Jay-Z. If I hadn't enjoyed the movie, the closing credits wouldn't have made up for it. But as it was, the closing credits were like the cherry on top of the sundae.

Also, there was a great cast. Most of the publicity attention is going to Philip Seymour Hoffman, but there's also Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy and Jack Davenport (Norrington from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies).
Earlier I watched Dark Eyes of London (1939). This is a British murder/horror film based on an Edgar Wallace work. It's perhaps on the level of a superior B-movie, but it has some genuinely creepy bits. Bela Lugosi plays the villain.

Right now the TV in the next room is playing Unknown World (1951), which I would think was likely the inspiration of the "Cave Carson" series.
Oh, I never mentioned that I saw Up In the Air the other week. Lovely film: well-written, well-acted, well-directed. The main complaint I hear against it is that it's predictable, and I guess it kind of is, but that seems to miss the point — this movie is very much a character study, so seeing who these characters are, and how the actors bring them to life, is much more important (in my mind) than their surprising us.

I'm still debating how many stars out of five it gets, but it's at least four (and quite possibly all five).
I saw Sherlock Holmes on Christmas day. I liked it but thought the set up for a sequel was forced.

Sunday I saw Up in the Air. I loved it. I thought it was a great movie and great character study.
Saw and loved Sherlock Holmes...Guy Ritchie might be a great Batman director if Nolan wants to step down.

Sherlock Holmes was, really, not beyond what you could imagine Holmes and Watson being like from Sir Arthur's stories if you read a bit between the lines. I think the complainers probably were comparing it more to Basil Rathbone's films (which got Watson horribly wrong) or Jeremy Brett's television series (much, much better Watson) than the original stories. Before Sherlock Holmes' adventures were "literature", they were gothic pulp fun for the masses. To be honest, Jude Law's Watson has to be the best I've seen.
Finally watched District 9 last night. I really liked it.
I just got back from seeing Daybreakers. It has an interesting premise, a slick look, decent action, plenty of violence, and some scares. However the dialogue was rather subpar and a few subplots didn't help the film. It also felt like they packed too much into and hour and a half and didn't develop much of it. Still it was entertaining enough but had potential to be a really great film. I give it a B-.
Last night I watched "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard". It was a comedy that came out in 2009 that didn't stay in the theaters too long. It stars Jermey Piven and a host of other recognizable actors. It's a typical R rated comedy, but I enjoyed it. There were some good laughs. And a pretty good Will Ferrell cameo. I've found that I like Will Ferrell is smaller roles there's not many movies that he's the lead in that I truly enjoy, the exceptions are Kicking & Screaming and Stranger than Fiction.

Then I was "UP". It was a great film. There were some very funny moments but also some incredibly sad ones as well. I still think Incredibles is my favorite Pixar film but this one falls somewhere around Nemo and Toy Story for me.

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