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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Jeff of Earth-J said:

First, some old business...

"[Roger] Moore, I must say, is far superior as the second Jacques Clousteau (or third, if you count Alan Arkin) then he was as the second James Bond."

It occurs to me that Roger Moore is actually the third James Bond, following George Lazenby, so he is the third Clouseau as well as the third Bond. Alan Arkin is the George Lazenby of the Pink Panther movies. Moving on...

If you want to get technical, he was the fourth James Bond, since Barry Nelson played James Bond in the 1954 TV adaptation of Casino Royale (below-- Peter Lorre plays Le Chiffre).

Of course, Casino Royale (1967) further complicates the numbering.



I don't count Barry Nelson. "Technically," I was referring to the actors who played James Bond (and Inspector Clouseau) in the movies.

Before getting to the end of your review I figured out you were talking about Skidoo (1968), since I remembered Jackie Gleason acting out an acid trip. I see that it came out just before Christmas in 1968. If I saw it first-run it probably means I saw it at the Army theater* for 25 cents (worth every penny). Of all the actors that appeared i remember Gleason and Frank Gorshin best. Gorshin's character, another gangster on LSD, was an over-the-top version of the Riddler. I think all the actors had fun, probably more than the audience.

*This is where I first saw The Graduate (1967, not first-run). Loved the movie and Simon & Garfunkel so much that I watched it twice back-to-back for a second 25 cents.

JD DeLuzio said:

I saw this yesterday. I'm surprised I'd never heard of it before. I'm going to repost my review in full.

RETURN TO OZ: We subscribed to Disney+ a while ago, but so far haven't gotten much use out of it. Last night, after watching the first two episodes of The Mandalorian, we decided to see what else might be available. "Return to Oz," Tracy noted. "What's that?" I told her about it and we watched it on the spot. 

In his book, Kalat notes all of the logical problems the "plan" created that Jeff mentioned above, but concludes that "If you are looking for logical story-telling and narrative realism, though, the world of Japanese monster movies is probably the wrong place to go hunting."   

The Baron said:

I'm not entirely sure that I have made perfect sense out of the mess that GvKG made of Heisei continuity.

A perfect segue into...

GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II: This is not a sequel (as the title may suggest); it is a reboot. I suspect that the reason it was not included in The Toho Godzilla Collection Vol. 1 was to avoid confusing the (mythical) casual fan. I cannot imagine anyone watching this movie and thinking, "What about Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla I?"  Actually, there is much stronger continuity between it and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah than any other two movies included in the set. And when they remade Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla yet again in 2002, did they tile it Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla III? No, they did not. It goes like this...

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (2002)

I had a kind of crazy idea while watching this movie last night. What if... the time shenanigans in Godzilla vs. King Ghidora actually restored the original timeline? That would relegate only the Return of Godzilla (a.k.a. Godzilla 1985), Godzilla vs. Biolante and the first half of Godzilla vs. King Ghidora to "Earth-2" continuity. Granted, that idea falls down under even the slightest scrutiny, but it doesn't make any less sense than the canonical timeline of Godzilla vs. King Ghidora

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, with the introduction of Baby Godzilla, also begins what I like to think of as "The Lifecycle of the Godzillasaurus" trilogy.

And why is Rodan all of a sudden called "Radon"? Or is that just faulty dubbing?

"Radon" was always the Japanese version of the name, from  "PteRAnoDON". I'm not sure why they changed it to "Rodan", I've heard different stories over the years.

Hmm... I did not know that. Thanks!

Lady Lytton in The Return of the Pink Panther was the amazingly lovely Catherine Schell. She appeared in a number of genre roles: she was the female lead in Moon Zero Two (has anyone else seen that?), one of the brainwashed women in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the shape-shifter Maya in the second season of Space: 1999, and the Countess Scarlioni in the Doctor Who story "City of Death".

 Moon Zero Two   was featured in the first season of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Luke Blanchard said:

Lady Lytton in The Return of the Pink Panther was the amazingly lovely Catherine Schell. She appeared in a number of genre roles: she was the female lead in Moon Zero Two (has anyone else seen that?), one of the brainwashed women in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the shape-shifter Maya in the second season of Space: 1999, and the Countess Scarlioni in the Doctor Who story "City of Death".

"Catherine Schell.. the shape-shifter Maya in the second season of Space: 1999"

I didn't realize she was in OHMSS or Doctor Who, either. 

(Never seen Moon Zero Two.)

Last night I watched Ed Brubaker's film The Angel of Death on Crackle. When it was released in 2009 I remember it only being available on a cable service I didn't subscribe to, so I forgot about it. It's not a great film, but I recommend it to fans of Brubaker's crime noir comics.

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