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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...Didn't doo much for Ringo Starr's movie career , I have been reminded (Got him a Missus , though)...

Captain Comics said:

Maybe actors avoid putting "Horny Caveman" on their resume for fear of getting typecast,

Richard Willis said:

I tried to look up the actor Horny Caveman in IMDB and came up empty.

And it got heavily advertised on tv too.

But then so did Hercules Goes Bananas. Doubtful Arnold puts that down on his resume.

Just watched Parkland (2013), an excellent retelling (and in some cases first telling) of the people and events directly affected by the assassination of John Kennedy. I highly recommend it.

Earlier this year I saw a movie about Hercules which I had thought would be the worst movie I'd see all year -- until I saw the latest Transformers movie last night.  I wasn't all that enthused to see it anyhow but a friend of mine wanted to and to be sociable I went with him.  Oh, splendid special effects but atrocious acting, cliched scenarios and more absurdities than in your average sci-fi fantasy epic.  My friend still liked it, though -- and he turns 59 years old next week!

I got a Stanley Kubrick Blu-ray triple pack recently. Last week I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey (I recently finished reading the book for the first time). Still stunning visually, dated only by the psychedelic effects at the end. Reading the book was a tremendous help towards understanding the opening and closing scenes. By themselves they're ambiguous, to say the least.


Last night I watched A Clockwork Orange. I remember being really shocked by the violence in it when it came out. I suppose it's a measure of how violent movies have become in the interim that I wasn't nearly as shocked last night. It's still pretty powerful, though. And the warnings about government becoming increasingly totalitarian ring just as true. If anything that paranoia seems even more justified now.

Saw most of the Charlie Chan movies on youtube (for some reason they seemed to only have copyright trouble getting one or two films up there.) The series starts out okay, becomes excellent, then starts to deteriorate, especially after switching to a cheap studio that decided to turn it into a bad comedy series.

The last two years of the series, Sydney Toler, who was past 70 and had cancer, made eight films. While the cause of death was listed as the cancer, I'm sure overwork contributed to it. Didn't the original Captain America actor die right after finishing the serial?

I've been watching quite a few movies lately including:

Thor: Dark World - This was really good, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Although when I think Thor I think fantasy, and there was too much sci-fi for me. Still, I liked it, and it was tons better than the last Iron Man movie.

After the Sunset - This was a movie from 2004 for starring Pierce Brosnan, Woody Harrelson, and Salma Hayek (who I would watch clipping her nails). This takes place after the old cliche of the thief who retires after one last big score. Brosnan is that thief and he has retired to the Caribbean. Woody Harrelson is the FBI agent who was after him, he believes that Brosnan is going to steal another gem from a luxury liner anchored near-by. Salma Hayek plays Pierce Brosnan's girlfriend. I liked this one a lot, and there was a really nice piece of foreshadowing.

History of the Eagles Part 1 and 2 - This was put out from Showtime recently, and I found it fascinating. A lot of the early info on the Eagles I had know idea about. It made me want to put on my Eagle CDs after I was done watching. Clocks in at around 3 hours for both parts. Part take you to the 1980 break-up and part 2 takes you to the present.

Justice League: New Frontier - This was okay, but there was a certain something missing. Maybe I was hoping the style would be closer to Darwyn Cooke's art. This looked like every other DC cartoon. Not bad, but could have been better I think.

Elysium - The Matt Damon sci-fi flock from last year. It got some bad reviews, but I didn't think it was that bad at all. I liked it, but then my expectations were pretty low.

The family wanted to see a movie, but with three minds considering choices, found it hard to reach consensus ...

How to Train Your Dragon 2 got no interest from anyone.

Transformers: Age of Extinction? If you've seen one Transformers movie, you've seen them all.

22 Jump Street? Two of us were interested, having seen 21 Jump Street the movie -- one in theaters, the other on TV just the previous week (which, he is given to understand, is a very watered-down version). But still there was hesitation.

Think Like a Man 2? One of us was interested, because this is a cast full of talented, appealing actors. Unfortunately, they've all been in better movies, and this movie only makes you wish this was one of them.

What to do, what to do ... ? After some research (looking at trailers on YouTube), we selected 22 Jump Street, mostly because the main objector to Think Like a Man 2 barely tolerated the first Think Like a Man and felt certain to come away actively offended at the sequel.

And ... we all found 22 Jump Street far, FAR more entertaining than expected! It's as violent and foul-mouthed as expected (gratuitously so), but it is very funny. They know it's the same exact plot as before, and know you know it too, so they make fun of it up front. They really play up the bromance between the leads Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Ice Cube, doing the Harried Police Captain schtick, chews the scenery so hard, you hope there's a dentist off-screen ... but there's a moment when he's legitimately furious at Hill that is bust-a-gut funny when you see why.

Last week wrapped up the last batch in the Cinemark Classic Series. What I watched:

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - Man, this is still a great one. Watching it now was kind of like watching an old WB cartoon. Plenty of jokes for adults that were lost on me as a kid.

The Breakfast Club - Still a solid flick. Probably the one in this block I have seen the most.

Monthy Python and the Holy Grail - Freaking hilarious. It had been way too long since I had seen it. This one had the biggest turn-out.

The Big Lebowski - I had never seen it before, and I know there are some people here who are huge fans, but man I thought it sucked. Not since I saw Clerks II have I never laughed at a comedy. I might have smirked once. I hated every character, and would only have been satisfied if they all died.  If I had known my friend was hating it as much as I was, we would have walked out.

Beverly Hills Cop - Man, it is easy to forget just how funny Eddie Murphy was. The Taggart and Rosewood pair are just so likeable, and funny as well. Ronny Cox as the lieutenant has subtle humor to him too.

I was pretty pleased with this group. I like what the next one looks like too, but they are showing Ghostbusters for like the third time in a year.

The Expendables was on, and I missed it in theaters ... 

I liked the idea of it more than the movie itself, rounding up the top action-movie tough guys -- Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren, etc., etc. -- from the '80s. Problem is, they should have done this back in the '80s, and they knew it, too. To make up for it, they rope in some younger talent -- Jason Statham, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Terry Crews, etc., etc. Plus, there's Eric Roberts playing his patented role as the Corrupt Business Mogul.

Another problem is that they utterly failed to deliver on the promise of that great premise; the grouping of Willis, Stallone and Schwarzenegger shares one scene, jawboning in a church.

And the last 15 minutes or so is just a mind-numbing series of shootouts and explosions. I mean, I know that's what I was getting going in, but it still got pretty tiresome. I could feel myself losing IQ points.

This past week, I saw Woody Allen's latest, Magic in the Moonlight with one friend, and on Sunday saw Frank Miller's Sin City 2 with another. During much of the first half of Magic I began to suspect that Woody had lost his mind, but then it took a major turn that I should have expected and overall I enjoyed it even if it's hardly a contender for one of Woody's best flicks.
As for Miller's latest -- uh, well, I did enjoy the first Sin City, although I hadn't read any of the graphic novels, but this time the whole thing seemed to go too much over the top and the characterizations weren't all that convincing. It wasn't quite as bad as Miller's The Spirit movie, but it did leave me wondering what the hell has happened to Frank Miller? He used to be capable of telling good or even great stories, with characters that didn't seem too far-fetched in the typical superhero comicbook setting. He did great runs, as artist and/or writer on Daredevil and Batman in the late '70s to mid-80s. I haven't read any of his more recent work but from reviews I have read most (all?) of it has been terrible, and then there have been The Spirit and Sin City 2 -- two big cinematic flops for Frank now and mostly due (IMO) to bad storytelling. They both looked great, but Miller seems to put too much trust in visual flair at the expense of telling a good story. Maybe Frank has been whacked in the head a few times too many. Very sad. Early on while watching S.C. 2 I got the feeling I just can't take this seriously anymore -- it's just too ridiculous. Contrary to my experience with Woody's Magic in the Moonlight, Frankie didn't get me to change my mind at any time before the end of his movie.

A couple I've seen lately:

Waterhole #3 - A western starring James Coburn and Carroll O'Connor. A movie that thinks itself funnier than it actually is. It is decent though, but I got through watching it wondering if James Coburn was always grey-haired. The big cliche having to do with stolen gold. Recommended, but not very strong.

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.

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