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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Finally saw The Producers with Gene Wilder. The remake changed a lot. I found the original more fun to watch.

Currently watching Little Shop of Horrors. Virtually a scene by scene remake of A Bucket of Blood, and the only person that can act, Jack Nicholson, just gets a bit part as a masochistic dental patient. They should have made him the guy that grew the plant.

Ron M. said:

Finally saw The Producers with Gene Wilder. The remake changed a lot. I found the original more fun to watch.

The original is hard to top. Zero Mostel was terrific also.

Ron M. said:

Currently watching Little Shop of Horrors. Virtually a scene by scene remake of A Bucket of Blood, and the only person that can act, Jack Nicholson, just gets a bit part as a masochistic dental patient. They should have made him the guy that grew the plant.

I haven't seen A Bucket of Blood. It sounds like something I'd enjoy. I guess Roger Corman doesn't have to apologize for copying his own movie, if that's what he did. I have seen the original Little Shop of Horrors and the movie musical plus the stage version of the musical (in a 50-seat theater!). Loved them all in different ways.

Instead of a guy in a flower shop raising a weird plant, A Bucket of Blood is about a would be scupltor who actually can't sculpt, but finds if he covers someone in clay he can make a very realistic statue. Otherwise pretty much the same story. I think the flower shop and the beatnik cafe were the same sets.

Wilder and Mostel made a good team. Pity they didn't work together more.

Sounds like Bucket of Blood was "inspired by" House of Wax.

Which was a remake of Mystery of the Wax Museum, which was filmed in color in the 30s. I've read that over the decades the colors washed out. All the reds are now pink.



ClarkKent_DC said:

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:


Also That Guy...Who Was in That Thing. ClarkKent DC if you haven't seen this yet, I think you would love it. It is a documentary with a bunch of character actors and their struggles trying to make a living in Hollywood. A bunch of funny moments, and the realization just how hard these guys hustle out there. This one I do recommend highly. i saw that you can watch on the IMDB website.

Thanks for the tip. I'll have to check it out. After all, I'm a champion of The Legion of "Hey, It's That Guy!" Character Actors.

Also, I didn't know you could watch movies through IMDB.

We watched That Guy ... Who Was in That ThingGreat fun, and lots of interesting insights from these journeymen actors. Like the comment from one that he liked having a type: If you need The Lawyer Who Is Going to Lose the Case, or The Psycho Killer Hiding in the Attic, that's when his phone starts ringing. Funny thing -- the very next day, I saw him on Law & Order as The Reluctant Witness Who Doesn't Want to Testify at the Trial.

Another funny thing: They made a point of saying everybody's been on Star Trek, but nobody mentioned Law & Order. This movie must have been made in California, because EVERY actor in New York has been on Law & Order.

It's also interesting how these guys have tasted various levels of success, the entire range from TV commercials to bit parts in movies or TV to frequent guest star to series regular to being a lead in a movie (but who remembers Bruce Davisonin Willard?). And they have to hustle, because it's feast or famine. One guy mentioned how he got six really good gigs in a row, and then didn't work for three years. Another mentioned how he saw collecting unemployment as a good thing, because it meant he worked at least 17 weeks -- enough to be eligible for unemployment.

And even though these guys -- I do have to quibble that it was only guys being profiled -- are usually unsung, at least one, Željko Ivanek, won an Emmy in 2008 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in Damages. Commander Benson would remember him from Law & Order as Phillip Swann, a jailhouse lawyer who gave EADA Ben Stone fits. I remember him best from Homicide: Life on the Street as Baltimore City States Attorney Ed Danvers. Ivanek has this really nerdy, nebisshy look, but in recent years has played lots of nasty government bureaucrats, like on Suits as the corrupt head of the Securities and Exchange Commission or his current role as White House Chief of Staff on Madam Secretary.

Thanks for the tip!

There was a point a couple of years ago when Zeljko Ivanek suddenly seemed to be showing up in everything I was watching.

My brother and I call those guys "Perrienels." Back in the '60s there were character actors who showed up on virtually every show sooner or later. Some of them were "types" -- The Blustering Businessman, The TIght-Lipped Government Official, The Gawking Tourist -- but many of them showed up in one show as a cab driver, the next as a bartender, the next as a witness, and so forth. We made a game of catching appearances and calling out their names.

Some of the bigger actors would make the rounds of the cop shows. If a guy showed up on a cop show whose name you knew, it was dead certain he was the killer.

Jack Lord beat up Arnold Schwarzenegger in an episode of Hawaii Five-O.

Dick Van Dyke said he agreed to appear on Columbo because they asked him to be the killer.

Ron M. said:

Dick Van Dyke said he agreed to appear on Columbo because they asked him to be the killer.

Michael Gross, who portrayed one of America's favorite dads on the show Family Ties was cast as an obsessive murdering psychiatrist on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. You could tell how much he relished the role!

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