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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While I've always had a fondness for those first Mechagodzilla pictures the ended that Showa Era run, it is a fact that they were running out of steam at this point. Tsuburaya was dead by then, and movies in general were losing ground to TV in Japan.  Budgets were lower, and the films tended to rely heavily on re-using footage from earlier films,  All in all, after Terror of Mechagodzilla, the Big G needed a rest.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA: These late showa era G-movies don't really hold up, and I'm losing steam as I approach the end. It doesn't help that my factory VHS is of worse quality than a dub. At least this one's not a "kiddie" film. It does have King Seesar as well as Mechagodzilla, and some ape-like aliens who look as if they might be related to the Ogrons. 

JD DeLuzio said:

The only thing I really missed was the scale. I feel like Shang-Chi's stakes shouldn't be at the "fate of the universe/earth" level.

Agreed.

ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES: This is the second movie (of five) which hits the "trifecta" of being one of "my" Acme VHS movies, one of "Tracy's" DVD B-movies as well as having been spoofed by MST3K. (The first was Teenagers from Outer Space.) In addition, I have one of those "keep circulating the tapes" dubbed versions that I don't think I've watched since I acquired it. Honestly, I think I was confusing it with Giant Gila Monster, another "trifecta" movie which will be rotating into queue sooner or later. I had pretty much forgotten the plot, but it's pretty basic: monster is discovered; townsfolk hunt the monster; the end. There's also a tawdry little affair to appeal to different sensibilities. 

Watched Body Heat last night, a 1981 neo-noir written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan that was on heavy cable rotation when I was a kid, and yet somehow I never saw. (It might have been on HBO, which we didn't subscribe to, but I'd still see all the ads for.) And it's all that I could ask for -- super steamy, really clever, and smartly acted all around.
And the hosts on TCM shared this bit of trivia about "one of the sweatiest movies ever made" (according to a bar argument in the Cheers pilot) -- although the movie is set during a heat wave in Florida, it was actually unseasonably cold when they shot the movie. They had to regularly coat the actors in fake sweat, and for the outdoor shoots, the actors needed to suck on ice cubes before their scenes...otherwise you'd be able to see their breath.
So extra kudos to William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Ted Danson, Mickey Rourke, J.A. Preston, and the rest, for making a set that was that cold look so damn hot.

"...'one of the sweatiest movies ever made' (according to a bar argument in the Cheers pilot)"

I remember that argument. IIRC, Diane presented the the topic to Sumner for ridicule, but he suggested Cool Hand Luke which was met with general approval. 

Body Heat is right up there on my (non-existent) favorite movies list. The actor in the movie who really surprised and impressed me was Richard Crenna. Before anyone saw him in Rambo, he played a character who is clearly (but understatedly) evil in Body Heat. Being of a certain age, I had watched him play a somewhat silly student in the Our Miss Brooks TV show and a not-so-bad crook in the wonderful Wait Until Dark (1967). He may have done other dramatic parts but I didn't see them. Also notable is the casting of J.A. Preston as the police detective. There is nothing in the story that would indicate that the character is African-American yet they cast him when most movies would have cast a white actor in a non-specific part. Also good (they're all good) is a pre-Cheers Ted Danson in a prominent non-comedic role.

Crenna! I knew I was forgetting someone. It's such a great cast. 

I had forgotten the Cheers discussion of the sweatiest movies. They probably considered having them say that Sam Malone looked a lot like one of the characters in Body Heat. I first saw Ted Danson as the murdered cop in The Onion Field (1979). IMDB tells me that he also appeared in 1979 in the final double episode of the live action Amazing Spider-Man TV show.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Crenna! I knew I was forgetting someone. It's such a great cast. 

GODZILLA: 1985: I skipped over Terror of Mechagodzilla, but I will get to it soon. I have Terror on DVD but 1985 only on a crappy factory VHS, so I'm saving Terror to watch with Tracy. I had intended to watch this one directly after I watched the original a few weeks back (or perhaps after Raids Again to compare the sequels), but I forgot and am watching it now. At this point (or after Terror), I plan to move away from the G-franchise for a time. I've still got three or four other Toho movies in queue, however. 

1985 is not the first Godzilla movie I saw in a theater but it should have been. It is generally lumped in with the "Heisei era" films, although it predates the era itself by some five years. That is because it provides a restart to the franchise and serves as an introduction to the actual films of the Heisei era which follow. I like this film more than [Bob does / you do, Bob]. for one thing, it's a serious film (as these things go); when viewed against the "kiddie" movies of the Showa era (such as Godzilla's Revenge and Godzilla vs. Megalon) there is no comparison. 

Just curious, have you ever seen the original Japanese version of this, Godzilla (1984)?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

GODZILLA: 1985: I skipped over Terror of Mechagodzilla, but I will get to it soon. I have Terror on DVD but 1985 only on a crappy factory VHS, so I'm saving Terror to watch with Tracy. I had intended to watch this one directly after I watched the original a few weeks back (or perhaps after Raids Again to compare the sequels), but I forgot and am watching it now. At this point (or after Terror), I plan to move away from the G-franchise for a time. I've still got three or four other Toho movies in queue, however. 

1985 is not the first Godzilla movie I saw in a theater but it should have been. It is generally lumped in with the "Heisei era" films, although it predates the era itself by some five years. That is because it provides a restart to the franchise and serves as an introduction to the actual films of the Heisei era which follow. I like this film more than [Bob does / you do, Bob]. for one thing, it's a serious film (as these things go); when viewed against the "kiddie" movies of the Showa era (such as Godzilla's Revenge and Godzilla vs. Megalon) there is no comparison. 

"Just curious, have you ever seen the original Japanese version of this, Godzilla (1984)?"

I have not. Is it significantly different? 

Oh, it's only eight bucks!

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