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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According to Wikipedia Cassidy's Wild Bunch was a different gang to Doolin's, and active after it.

Doolin's gang has also been called by other names. I don't know which was the best-known at the time.

I'm ashamed of having writing the train set is impressive. According to a comment at the IMDB the filmmakers used the turntable at Railtown (this place, I assume). I think the sequence is a combination of location shots and close-ups shot on stages.

I finished watching Beau Ideal (1931), starring Lester Vail. This is an adaptation of one of P. C. Wren's sequels to Beau Geste. The first film version of the latter was a hit silent film, and a lost sequel, Beau Sabreur, appeared in 1928. Beau Geste wasn't remade until 1939, so Beau Ideal was the first sound movie in the series. It was made by a different studio, RKO rather than Paramount.

When the Geste brothers and John Geste's fiancée Isobel were children they were friends with an American boy, Otis Madison. Otis loves Isobel and comes to England to find her. She tells him John has been sentenced to ten years in the punishment battalion for killing Lejaune in Beau Geste. Otis joins the Foreign Legion to rescue him.

The Foreign Legion aspects are well-done. Paul McAllister is good as a kindly officer. And I like the opening, in which Madison is one of a number of prisoners abandoned and suffering terribly in a desert grain silo. But the flashback structure is awkward,(1) the hero is too purely noble,(2) the villains are stock villains, and the post-flashback section is stock stuff.

The story movies briskly. I think more time should have been spent depicting life in the Foreign Legion.

According to Wikipedia the film was a failure. It says it's in the public domain in the US.

(1) Beau Geste was told in flashback, but the opening was a tease for the climax. That's not the case here. The part depicting when the characters were children is twee. The court martial part is a flashback in a flashback. 

(2) Wikipedia's synopsis says the film ends with John releasing Isobel from their engagement so she can marry Otis. The version I have ends with Otis's joy at learning he won't have to marry the femme fatale. I doubt there was ever anything more.

Annihilation (2018)

Alex Garland's follow up to Ex Machina is another solid piece of science fiction with a little bit of a horror element dropped in to the mix.  I really enjoyed this one.  Natalie Portman heads up a mostly female cast.  I didn't realize that Garland had also worked on 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd.  Pretty impressive resume if you ask me.

I've been watching Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), starring James Garner. This is a likeable comedy Western with a zany streak.

Garner's character comes to a gold mining town with the aim of prospecting. When he finds out how expensive everything is he takes the job of sheriff, which is open because no-one else wants the job. The cast includes Harry Morgan, Jack Elam, Bruce Dern and Walter Brennan. Joan Hackett plays the mayor's spinster daughter.

I didn't realize he'd worked on those other movies, either. And I liked them -- as well as his novel, The Beach. (Didn't see that movie, though.)

I loved Annihilation too. It had a really strong cast, and so many fantastic, puzzling sequences. Have you seen Andrei Tarkovsky's movie Stalker? I saw it last summer, and MAN, are there some incredible similarities. It feels like certain shots were lifted directly from that movie. 

There's a movie podcast, The Next Picture Show, that looks at a new movie in the context of an older movie, and two of their most recent episodes deal with Stalker and Annihilation. Well worth a listen if you get a chance. 

I also saw Logan Lucky this weekend, and it was a fantastic send-up of Soderbergh's own Oceans 11 movies, but also an entertaining heist movie in its own right. Highly recommended, and streaming on Netflix.
 

Detective 445 said:

Annihilation (2018)

Alex Garland's follow up to Ex Machina is another solid piece of science fiction with a little bit of a horror element dropped in to the mix.  I really enjoyed this one.  Natalie Portman heads up a mostly female cast.  I didn't realize that Garland had also worked on 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd.  Pretty impressive resume if you ask me.

I recently watched Support Your Local Sherriff also. Bruce Dern plays a dimbulb bad guy. Garner's character convinces him to sit in an unfinished jail without bars by quietly convincing him that if he tries to walk out he'll shoot him.

SWAMP THING TV SERIES – Season Two:

This isn’t a movie, but it started out with a movie… two, in fact. We’ve been watching the two season DVD set for a while now, but it’s been a pretty tough slog. It’s crap, for one thing, but it’s not entertaining crap (such as Superboy). What made it worse was that the second disc (of four) was somewhat defective, causing roughly every other episode to stick. Once we finally got past that disc, things moved a little faster.

There was a cast shake-up between seasons ne and two. Season one had a juvenile protagonist Tracy could not stand. He was replaced in season two, with no explanation, by a hunky 20-something and a gorgeous chick. Actually, Tracy learned online that, in the last episode of season one, Jim was abducted by a South American child kidnapping ring… or something. Turns out that was one of the defective episodes we could not watch. Too bad. That’s one I would have liked to have seen.

She also learned there a 50 episode third season. (Fifty? Really?) The remaining episodes are split up on two sets; the first set is available but the second ne is not. We won’t be watching any of those. Or next “project” is a slew of vintage Disney cartoons we bought a while ago.



Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Have you seen Andrei Tarkovsky's movie Stalker? I saw it last summer, and MAN, are there some incredible similarities. It feels like certain shots were lifted directly from that movie. 

I haven't seen that yet. I'll see if I can track it down.

I am told that "There are hardly any people in the show that can act".

Jeff of Earth-J said:

SWAMP THING TV SERIES – Season Two:

This isn’t a movie, but it started out with a movie… two, in fact. We’ve been watching the two season DVD set for a while now, but it’s been a pretty tough slog. It’s crap, for one thing, but it’s not entertaining crap (such as Superboy). What made it worse was that the second disc (of four) was somewhat defective, causing roughly every other episode to stick. Once we finally got past that disc, things moved a little faster.

There was a cast shake-up between seasons ne and two. Season one had a juvenile protagonist Tracy could not stand. He was replaced in season two, with no explanation, by a hunky 20-something and a gorgeous chick. Actually, Tracy learned online that, in the last episode of season one, Jim was abducted by a South American child kidnapping ring… or something. Turns out that was one of the defective episodes we could not watch. Too bad. That’s one I would have liked to have seen.

She also learned there a 50 episode third season. (Fifty? Really?) The remaining episodes are split up on two sets; the first set is available but the second ne is not. We won’t be watching any of those. Or next “project” is a slew of vintage Disney cartoons we bought a while ago.

I've been watching Posse from Hell (1961), starring Audie Murphy and John Saxon. The script was written by Clair Huffaker, from his novel. 

A gang murders a marshal and other men and robs their town. Murphy's character leads a small posse of unsuitable men in pursuit of the murderers. The weaknesses of the men and the cunning of the gang whittle the posse down.

The movie is solidly-done and holds the attention. Tarzan fans might enjoy comparing it to Tarzan the Magnificent (1960).

"I am told that 'There are hardly any people in the show that can act'."

Certainly not amng the regular cast, but guest stars incuded Roscoe Lee Brown and Tyne Daley.

The DVD "extras" included an 8 minute interview with Len Wein and a 10 minute interview with Dick Durock (who playted Swamp Thing). Durock was a regular stunt man for Irwin Allen on all of his TV shows.

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