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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I used to empathize a little with people who had ancestors in the Confederate service. They didn't want to think of their ancestors as being wrong, let alone evil. I got smarter. I found out that Nathan Bedford Forrest, and probably other commanders, murdered captured black U.S. troops and even invaded U.S. Army hospitals, murdering wounded black soldiers. He ordered it done, and they did it! Theoretically, the concept of an illegal order didn't exist then, but they must have known better. Once a black man took up arms he was treated like a rabid dog. Then Forrest went on to found the KKK! 

Caps passionate review brings to mind the remake of True Grit. Rooster and LaBeaf bicker constantly over wether or not Quatril ( leader of Quantril's Raiders, and Jesse James Civil War commander) was a patriot or a traitor/butcher.

Quantrill was a thief, cattle rustler and murderer before he started raiding and killing with the Raiders. The Raiders were more bandit gang than guerrillas, and included "Bloody Bill" Anderson, Cole Younger, Jesse James and Frank James. There are no doubt statues of Quantrill somewhere.

I do apologize for getting political in the review. This is not the place for that. I've toned some of it down. But I have had my fill of Confederate sympathizers and Southern apologists, and will call it out wherever I see it.

It's been a long while since I heard of it, but I finally watched 50 Years of James Bond -- The Supercut.

The gimmick here is that it's a feature-length film that's stitched together from five-minute chunks of all the James Bond flicks from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace, in sequence -- that is, minutes 1-5 of Dr. No, minute 6-10 of From Russia With Love, minute 11-15 of Goldfinger, minute 16-20 of Thunderball, etc. 

It's interesting to watch in a weird kind of way. It starts with the assassins in Dr. No and you follow along as James Bond chases around the world after a McGuffin, and isn't that really what James Bond movies are all about? 

Throughout, there's a caption in the lower right corner that lets you know which movie is on screen at any given moment, which is helpful. It's really amazing, though, how the transitions from one movie to another aren't that jarring.

For example, the bit from On Her Majesty's Secret Service has George Lazenby's James Bond in a office building, cracking a safe (and reading a Playboy magazine to while away the time while the safe-cracking machine does its work). He's wearing a light grey suit with a white shirt and black necktie, and when the scene ends, he enters an elevator ... and then we're in Diamonds Are Forever, and Sean Connery's James Bond -- also wearing a light grey suit with a white shirt and black necktie -- is in an elevator with some goon, fighting for his life. More than a few of the transitions come together neatly like that.

I was surprised to see how frequently Q (Desmond Llewelyn) got out of the office and into the field. I wish there was a classic "My name is Bond ... James Bond" moment, but it does get said.

Unfortunately, very few of the stunts James Bond movies are known for are not included, although we do get the woman gilded to death in Goldfinger and Roger Moore's James Bond fighting Jaws, the big man with the metal teeth, in a cable car, in Moonraker. And there's Daniel Craig's James Bond in Venice, fighting to rescue Vesper Lynd through an army of gunmen while the building they're in sinks into the sea.

Give it a look:

Tried to watch Each Dawn I Die. I taped it because it had George Raft and James Cagney in it, and I never knew they were in a movie together.

It starts out as crusading newspaper reporters trying to bring down the local gangster chief, but very quickly it turns into a prison movie. Cagney is supposed to be a crusading reporter, but he comes across as a gangster, because he apparently just can't help himself. Then, when he goes to prison (he is framed), he buddies up to George Raft.

Or, I presume he will. That's obviously where the movie was going, and I didn't care to see it go there. (I'm guessing Raft and Cagney will buddy up, then escape, but Cagney will be cleared, and then Raft will die, because he's a bad guy, but he will have an emotional scene with Cagney when he does it. If I'm wrong, feel free to tell me so.) I mean, they were hammering the audience with the direction this movie was going to go. I just wasn't interested.

I will say that I found it funny that Raft and Cagney were supposed to be these super-bad gangster types, but in every scene they were both very tiny, whereas the character actors and extras loomed over them as the large men that gangsters generally are. It made me laugh sometimes, when they were the "tough guys" when everybody else in the scene could step on them like bugs.

Captain Comics said:

Tried to watch Each Dawn I Die. I taped it because it had George Raft and James Cagney in it, and I never knew they were in a movie together.

It starts out as crusading newspaper reporters trying to bring down the local gangster chief, but very quickly it turns into a prison movie. Cagney is supposed to be a crusading reporter, but he comes across as a gangster, because he apparently just can't help himself. Then, when he goes to prison (he is framed), he buddies up to George Raft.

Or, I presume he will. That's obviously where the movie was going, and I didn't care to see it go there. (I'm guessing Raft and Cagney will buddy up, then escape, but Cagney will be cleared, and then Raft will die, because he's a bad guy, but he will have an emotional scene with Cagney when he does it. If I'm wrong, feel free to tell me so.) I mean, they were hammering the audience with the direction this movie was going to go. I just wasn't interested.

I will say that I found it funny that Raft and Cagney were supposed to be these super-bad gangster types, but in every scene they were both very tiny, whereas the character actors and extras loomed over them as the large men that gangsters generally are. It made me laugh sometimes, when they were the "tough guys" when everybody else in the scene could step on them like bugs.

I saw that movie a long long time ago. I believe this is the source of the legend of James Cagney saying "You dirty rat." Not because he says it himself in this movie, but because it's said to him, at least twice. 

Another source often cited as the origin of Cagney's immagined statement "You dirty rat" is "Blonde Crazy", wherein Cagney does say "Why, that dirty, double crossin' rat".

All in all, its an entertaining film about two cons (Cagney and Joan Blondel) who team up for a big score. Cagney falls for Blondel, who for her part plays it as all business. SPOILER ALERT- In the end, Cagney takes the fall for con gone bad (hence the aforementioned quote) and goes to prison. No, Blondel is not the rat, there's a third party involved. In fact, it's only at that point that Blondel expresses any sign of interest in Cagney. The final scene has Cagney laughing at the seeming irony of the outcome. As with most films of this nature, I couldn't help feeling as if Cagney should have come out on top.

"It's been a long while since I heard of it, but I finally watched 50 Years of James Bond -- The Supercut."

That sounds very cool. We'll watch it this weekend.

Never seen a Cagney movie.

You're missing out

"Top of the morning, Ma!"

Did you mean " TOP OF THE WORLD MA!" to the tune of a tommy gun?

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