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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The 1st time I saw 2001, there was an intermission.  But, remind me-- where was it?

After Dave and Frank are in the pod talking about HAL, and we learn that HAL can read their lips.

Henry R. Kujawa said:

The 1st time I saw 2001, there was an intermission.  But, remind me-- where was it?

Intermissions in long movies were standard back then. When I saw M*A*S*H in 1970 it had an intermission right after Nurse Dish flies off in the helicopter. I believe theaters were used to having double features, with another opportunity to sell popcorn, etc. I don't think the theaters ever cared about patrons' bladders.  The longer movies started the trend away from double features, so the intermission was mainly for the snack bar. There was some talk recently that some of the longer movies today should have intermissions.

"After Dave and Frank are in the pod talking about HAL, and we learn that HAL can read their lips."

Yes, the next scene starts with Frank out in space, about to get killed-- right?

Watching my tape, for awhile, I used to think the break was earlier, when HAL said, "Just a moment.... just a moment..."

Back in 1968 was the ONLY time my Dad ever took my brother & me to Philadelphia to see a movie.  I guess he knew we liked sci-fi (FIREBALL XL5, LOST IN SPACE, STAR TREK).  We went to the theatre and got tickets in advance. Then we walked to Philadelphia City Hall and rode up the elevator to the observation deck, just under the huge statue of William Penn.  But Dad's watch had stopped, and we wound up being late to the start of the movie!  When we walked in, there were these apes onscreen, and for a moment or two, I thought it might be some kind of short nature film.  Until it hit me, there was something really WEIRD about this film.

The theatre was set up to show CINERAMA.  They had a projection booth in the middle of the theatre, and a very wide, curved screen.  But I recall Dad saying it "wasn't real Cinerama".  Decades later, I had this confirmed, reading online (I think).  Original Cinerama had 3 projectors, but this was a newer version using some kind of lens that compressed, then expanded the image, so you only needed one projector.

The theatre had reserved seats, even thought it was mostly empty.  At the intermission, the usher in the lobby told us we could sit anywhere we wanted, so we moved up to about the 5th row from the front.  Which had some real impact when the "star gate" sequence started.  Midway thru that, I looked around.  3/4ths of the audience that was there had WALKED OUT.  They couldn't take it!  We stayed to the end, of course.  I was only vaguely sure of what the hell we'd seen, which was exactly what that whack-job, Kubrick, wanted.  He not only did a "space" film, he did a "psychedelic" film, since after all, it was 1968.

Shortly after I read Clarke's novel (novelization?), which was quite different in spots, as he eventually gave up trying to follow all of Kubrick's repeated changes.  It sort of made more sense to me.  To this day, the beginning of the "star gate" scene strikes me as BADLY shot, as there is simply no F****** way to know what the hell just happened, unless you already know, and even then, you realize, the visuals don't do it justice.  Kirby's version is easier to follow (heehee).

In the 70's, they got into the habit of reissueing the film about every 2 years, and I went every time!  It got to be a regular habit at the Moorestown Mall "Eric PLAZA", the biggest room in the area (at the time), and, the only one back then with STEREO sound.  During the "dawn of man" sequence, for example, you could hear a lion offscreen, BEHIND you. That same theatre also came in handy in 1980 when THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK played there.  You could actually hear spaceships flying OVER your head from one side of the room to the other.  Tragically, by 1983 (and JEDI), the room had been cut in half, into two LONG, THIN corridors. Criminal.  It's about 8 small rooms nowadays, with confusing corridors to reach each one. It's so much better when they build a multiplex from scratch, isn't it?

I remember seeing 2001 in the theater when it came out. I would''ve been about five or so. I had no idea what it was about, but it had space rockets and ape men, so I was content.

I saw Les Miserables with my two sons last weekend.  Don't know what to say about it, as I don't have a great fondness for musicals.  The movie was well produced, with a talented cast, but I wouldn't begin to know how to evaluate it, as I have seen fewer than four or five musicals in my life.  The last one prior to Les Miserables was West Side Story, seen at the local drive in roughly fifty years ago.

     Allen Smith

Of course, that's discounting the Beatles movies like Help! and A Hard Days Night.  Would they be considered musicals?

Allen Wayne Smith said:

I saw Les Miserables with my two sons last weekend.  Don't know what to say about it, as I don't have a great fondness for musicals.  The movie was well produced, with a talented cast, but I wouldn't begin to know how to evaluate it, as I have seen fewer than four or five musicals in my life.  The last one prior to Les Miserables was West Side Story, seen at the local drive in roughly fifty years ago.

     Allen Smith

Yes, as would THE BLUES BROTHERS.

"it had space rockets and ape men, so I was content."

An idea just flashed in my head.  Ape men piloting space rockets! That's the kind of movie we need...

Not really. I'd call them films with a pop music soundtrack. A musical as a genre is where the music and lyrics are part of, and written into, the narrative, as in Opera. The Beatles films were not exactly West Side Story or even Summer Holiday.

Allen Wayne Smith said:

Of course, that's discounting the Beatles movies like Help! and A Hard Days Night.  Would they be considered musicals?

Henry said:

Yes, the next scene starts with Frank out in space, about to get killed-- right?

Correct.

I read quite a bit about the movie since it is always slow at work after New Year's. I found it interesting the novel and movie were being made at the same time. From what I read Kubrick changed the ending to 2001 because the original ending would have been too much like Dr. Strangelove.  Also, that Kubrick was supposed to get a co-author credit on the novel, but had his name taken off. Thinking it might take away from the movie (I don't understand that, but Kubrick was out there).

Some good reading on the movie if you have the time.

I saw Streets of Fire (1984). I've wanted to see this film since it first came out, and, well, now I've seen it. A former soldier returns to his hometown, at the request of his sister, to save his ex-girlfriend, who is now a popular singer, from a biker gang. Michael Paré--remember when he was supposed to be the next big thing?--plays the soldier, Tom Cody. Diane Lane plays Ellen Aim, the singer, looking like a cross between Joan Jett and Lisa Marie Presley and Marie Osmond and sounding like a Jim Steinman-produced Bonnie Tyler. Willem Dafoe is the leader of the biker gang, appearing Twilight-ish vampiric. Rick Moranis is the manager and new boyfriend of the singer. Amy Madigan plays another ex-soldier helping with the rescue. Bill Paxton is a bar tender and friend of Cody's. Deborah van Valkenburgh is Cody's sister, Reva.

If I recall correctly, the soundtrack was more popular than the movie. The title comes from a Springsteen song that was supposed to appear on the soundtrack, but Springsteen withdrew it when he found out the producers wanted a cover instead of his version. Jim Steinman did write two songs on the soundtrack. Diane Lane's singing is dubbed by Laurie Sargent and Holly Sherwood. Sargent's bandmates in Face to Face, a Boston band who had a couple of hits in 1984,  play Ellen's band, the Attackers. Another singing group appearing in the movie is the Sorels, played by Stoney Jackson, Grand Bush, Mykelti Williamson, and Robert Townsend, just before his big break. Jackson's singing voice is dubbed by Winston Ford, and they perform the big hit from the soundtrack, Dan Harman's "I Can Dream about You."

Also of note in the film is the dancer in the biker bar. She's Marine Jahan, who was Jennifer Beals' body- and dancing-double in Flashdance.

Like I said above, now I've seen Streets of Fire. It was interesting, but not a great movie. The best things about it are the mix of 50s and 80s designs and the soundtrack.

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