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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Oh, I did catch North by Northwest last Wednesday at The theater. I liked, except two things bothered me. Apparently is Hitchcock's world you can get a taxi anywhere in the world. I live in a big metropolitan and it still is hard for me get one easily. Also during the last chase scene, why did the bad guys follow them down Mt. Rushmore? They could have just driven down and waited for our protagonists. Still, really good.

...Henry , one NBC Mystery Movie series I'd like to see again is B

" BANACHEK " , with George Peppard .

  On , IIRC , CBS series that was made and shown in the Mystery Movie format from that era though it has a bad reputation is the " SHAFT " series , which apparently has a baaaaad (shut yo' mouf !) - um , rep for watering down the concept from the movies , but , still...

SHAFT on TV...  SHAFT was run by the CBS FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE, in a 90-min. slot. The actual film is over 2 hours long. You figure how much they cut out.

SHAFT'S BIG SCORE was never run on CBS. My local ABC affiliate (Channel 6) ran it at Midnight.

SHAFT IN AFRICA was never even run by a local station here. I got it off a cable station, who ran it at 2 AM. Do you sense a pattern here?

Some other cable station ran the SHAFT tv-movies at 4 in the morning.  Good grief. I set my VCR to grab one, and so was able to at least check it out, decades after-the-fact.  It's bad. I mean, it's AWFUL. The local newspaper TV magazine did a cover story on it when it first debuted. It was entitled, "You can't put THAT John Shaft on TV!" Apart from Richard Roundtree, not one other actor or character from any of the 3 films turned up on the TV-movie series.  Shaft no longer wore his trademark leather coat. All his friends seemed to be WHITE. He drove a boring-looking car. The story I saw (in which he was the ONLY black character!!!) was so dull, boring, "generic"... The whole time I was watching, I kept thinking, it's like someone wanted to KILL the entire "Blaxploitation" fad, they went after the #1 target, sabotaged it by putting a stop to the movie series, moving it to TV, and then doing the WORST-POSSIBLE, most completely UNINSPIRED job possible on it. And then, to make sure they killed it, they put the CBS MYSTERY MOVIE cycle directly opposite the already-established and successful NBC MYSTERY MOVIE cycle. Anyone who liked the NBC movies probably would have wanted to see the CBS movies, too. But you couldn't without a VCR or two.

It's like scheduling BUCK ROGERS opposite THE INCREDIBLE HULK (didn't that happen, as well??).

Meanwhile, every time I see it, SHAFT'S BIG SCORE gets better and better... and it's already my favorite SHAFT film. What a shame they didn't do a whole lot more just like it. Can you picture a film where they'd sent Shaft to Las Vegas? Sex, violence, and more sex.

My 1st exposure to MIKE HAMMER was the 1st Stacy Keach film. About 15 minutes in, I realized that John Shaft was clearly a "black" variation on Mike Hammer.  (You know what's funny?  Both Mickey Spillane and Ernest Tidyman, at different times, worked for Martin Goodman!)

I want to see that one. It probably won't be in Tallahassee until it makes it to DVD. Our indie theater closed down a year ago and recently was demolished to make way for Whole Foods.

George Poague said:

"SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED": Quirky indie comedy-drama, loosely based on a real event: an ad seeking a companion for time travel, that someone placed in a newspaper years ago. Obviously a low-budget film, with a half-baked subplot about a character trying to hook up with an old girlfriend. It succeeds mainly thanks to the charisma of its leads, Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass.

Good to see someone as offbeat as Plaza (in both looks and personality) getting a starring role. I hope she gets more, but she may be too quirky for Hollywood's idea of a leading lady. They prefer to hire blondes named Jessica.

I'm sure a lot of people will hate the abrupt ending, but it worked for me. I like endings that leave loose ends dangling and questions unanswered. Gives me something to think about.

...Jason:
Expensive indie food , not cheap indie movies , eh ?????????

" House " of Usher ? Where he leaves all his pulled-down trousers ? ( Or throws 'em to the " laid-eees " - ! )

George Poague said:

Henry Kujawa wrote:

Here we go again...

"Is there no end to your horrors???"

"None.  None whatever."

(Anyone care to take a guess?)

The speakers are Mark Damon (question) and Vincent Price (answer), and the movie is "House of Usher."

I did catch Savages last week while down in Miami. It's a well made flick with entertaining supporting performances from Travolta, Hayek, and Del Toro. With that said I didn't love it. I didn't really connect with the main characters at all so I was left with a good looking movie with some fun parts but not much else. My brother, sister-in-law and her co worker saw it the next day and loved. So your mileage may vary.

Last Sunday I did see Big Year on HBO. It's a pretty low key flick. Not particularly laugh out loud movie even with Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. It's a decent way to spend a few hours.

This past Sunday I did see Dark Knight Rises. I loved that one.

...I read the novel of Savages , thought of , but probably won't , see the movie...There's some decided spoiling involved , I would like to talk about it a lil' !!!!!!!!!!!  ( I know - I think . - both the book and the movie's endings . )

I did like Taylor Kitsch's character in Savages. I think he's actually a good actor and hope he lands him on the map. The other two Blake not-lively and the dude from kick ass were dull.

I watched The Social Network last night. I had seen it once before, and I liked it even more this time. Aaron Sorkin did well here. I really really like Jesse Eisenberg, also.

True. I actually liked John Carter and am disappointed that it was a failure. I don't really have a desire to see Battleship. He may be in a few years he'll be the next Jeremy Renner. A long time actor who finally landed a solid lead role in a sleeper hit and then landed some strong supporting parts in bigger films.

George Poague said:

"I did like Taylor Kitsch's character in Savages. I think he's actually a good actor and hope he lands him on the map."

Yes, Kitsch did a better job than his two co-stars. He may have a future in movies, despite the high-profile failures of "John Carter" and "Battleship."

He's an okay actor (I liked him as Gambit in Wolverine: Origins) but a big blockbuster is usually more about name recognition than acting ability. 

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