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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A good companion piece to NETWORK is THE HOSPITAL, from the same writer.

I remember watching Network and laughing at the exaggerated absurdity. Little did I know ...

Paddy Chayefsky was a very intelligent, intense writer. I can tell as I've seen 3 movies he wrote, each one focusing on a particular place or theme, a set of twisted values & principles, and at least one really disturbing woman character.  NEWTORK had Faye Dunaway (she's NEVER played any level-headed characters, has she?) while THE HOSPITAL had Diana Rigg.  The 3rd movie, by far the most obscure one, is THE BACHELOR PARTY (no relation whatsoever to the Tom Hanks comedy!!!).  If you like any of these,m you owe it to yourself to check out the others.

Last weekend I attended a school function and went to the movie Frozen. It was really pretty good. I like how they pointed out how stupid it would be to get engaged to someone you've known for one day. I also liked the effects of the Snow Queen when she's creating her castle. I found Anna and Kristoff to be really likeable characters, and I think Kristoff is the first "Disney Prince" to be a fully developed character since Aladdin.

You can watch his speech and feel like it was written yesterday.

Captain Comics said:

I remember watching Network and laughing at the exaggerated absurdity. Little did I know ...

I saw some PHILO VANCE movies on TCM today. They were barely an hour long each and were obviously filler. However the first one I saw, The Kennel Murder Case, was very good. Mostly because it starred Nick Charles and Friar Tuck! I mean, William Powell and Eugene Pallette. They also showed the later remake Calling Philo Vance which contained much of the same dialogue but none of the charm. The Dragon Murder Case wasn't bad but Warren Williams is no William Powell!

My wife and I watched The King's Speech on Netflix. It was a very well done movie, but the more I thought about it in the days to follow, the angrier I got that this guy -- who has lived in the lap of luxury his entire life -- is regarded as heroic for ... giving a speech. That's it. Yes, he had personal struggles and crippling speech impediment. So it was good that he dealt with that to serve his vague function to help with morale. Charming. But NOT heroic. The RAF pilots dying in droves, THEY were heroic. The boys in North Africa trying to slow Rommel, THEY were heroic. Even Churchill, constantly exposing himself to attack in London and traveling to meet with FDR, even THAT could be considered to be heroic.

But a pampered poodle developing sufficient backbone to give a speech? That is not heroic. It simply isn't.

And I'm afraid it got my American egalitarian instincts all in a twist. Especially since the royal family tended to treat commoners rather poorly, by our standards.

PHILO VANCE suffered more than most because no studio could ever seem to get more than 2 of them done in a row with the same actor.

...Philip , Henry , of course , Ogden Nash said...........

  " Philo Vance/needs a kick in the pance " !!!!!!!!!!! :-)

My wife and I watched The King's Speech on Netflix. It was a very well done movie, but the more I thought about it in the days to follow, the angrier I got . . .

You should give it more thought. I don't think the movie asks us to think about Bertie as a hero. It asks us to put aside his position as King (a position he never asked for and never expected) and think of him as a person with all his flaws. The heart of the movie is the relationship between Bertie and Lionel. It breaks down the barrier between classes and it shows the benefit of therapy. Many people suffer similar problems and they identify with the central struggle in the movie.

If you really want to think about King George a bit further, you should read up on World War II and how the British people looked to him for leadership in troubling times. George and Elizabeth participated in the same rationing that all Londoners endured during the war. They stayed in London during the blitz and Buckingham Palace was struck by the German bombs while they were in residence. 

My parents were both in the Royal Canadian Armed Forces during the war and they've always talked about the King and the Queen with the greatest respect for all that they did during wartime. King George visited France, Malta, Italy, Normandy between 1939 and 1944 ( the war began in 1939).

The King didn't just give one speech. He gave several--in a time when radio was the most effective way to communicate with the people in the Empire. He conducted weekly, private meetings with Churchill that went on for over four hours where they discussed the prosecution of the war.

After the war, at the first assembly of the United Nations, the King made a speech that asserted "our faith in the equal rights of men and women and of nations great and small."

If you think about egalitarianism in practice and not just in word, based on their history, I question why Americans think they are more equal than the rest of us. 

His daughter, Elizabeth II, worked as an army auto mechanic during the war.

I just finished watching The Man Who Could Work Miracles, a 1936 film from Britain's London Films which was based on a story H.G. Wells. I didn't like it as much as Things to Come, which appeared the same year and was made by the same studio. That has its longueurs, but for me its look and scope makes up for them. Miracles lacks the other film's visual style. It's a brisker, more character-based film, with a prominent comedic element. It doesn't get the most out of its premise, which the title sums up, and is at best mildly amusing. But there are some good moments (notably a bit where the protagonist tries to use his powers to make a shopgirl he's interested in love him) and funny lines (Policeman to magistrate: "There's been a serious outbreak of miracles in the district, sir; quite beyond anyone's experience.") The film portrays different British types of the day, with an element of caricature. I particularly liked Ernest Thesiger as a intellectual minister who wants to use the protagonist's power to create a utopia. Some online reviewers say the special effects stand up well, but I didn't think so. The title character is played by Roland Young.

This post displaced the thread What Comic Books Have You Read Today? from the home page.

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