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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We just saw the Coen Brothers' remake of True Grit yesterday. It was fantastic.
Jason Marconnet said:
I remember this one was always on Disney when I was a kid. I remember it being funny. Is this the one where someone stick a chocolate bar in the glove box and they never found out who did it? I also didn't realize it was the same family as a Christmas story.

PowerBook Pete said:
Tonight, it was Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss, another story of Ralph Parker and his family. This time, Jerry O'Connell plays 14-year-old Ralph as he, Schwarz, and Flick get jobs in a furniture and appliance store. James Sikking of Hill Street Blues and Star Trek III plays the old man, and Dorothy Lyman plays mom. Jean Shepherd is once again the narrator as well as Mr Scott, the boys' boss. Randy is whinier than ever in this one, which is not as good as My Summer Story but still entertaining.

Yes, it was the one with the chocolate bar in the glove box.

Having watched Lethal Weapon 1 the other night I decided to watch the rest. I've seen part 2 once, never part 3 and only parts of 4.


Lethal Weapon 2- This is a worthy successor to the first film . Lots of action and laughs, I also like the addition of Leo Getz.

Lethal Weapon 3- This was pretty bad. There are a few moments here and there but it felt like they just let Glover and Gibson do their thing and try to structure a story around it.

I haven't watched 4 yet. Probably tonight.

I finished up my Lethal Weapon viewings by watching Lethal Weapon 4. This one was better than I thought it was would be.  There was more of a story this time around.

Watched all 7 of the British "Up" documentaries on DVD. In case you're not familiar with them: Every seven years, director Michael Apted has been interviewing a group of 14 people who are the same age. They were 7 years old in the first documentary (called "Seven-Up"), in 1964. They were 49 in the most recent one ("49-Up").


It's fascinating to watch these people age before your eyes, something made possible by back-to-back viewing on DVD. None of them had particularly dramatic lives (i.e., they didn't serve in the military or fight in any wars, or commit any serious crimes), but their lives are still engrossing. I highly recommend them all. If you don't understand the British class system -- and I'll admit I didn't -- these films will open your eyes.

I watched Charade last night. It was a pretty good story but felt kind of silly at times. I think I would have liked it better if they kept the humor to a minimum.

Last night, my wife and I watched The Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters, another adventure of Ralph Parker and his family. This time, Ralph, played by Matt Dillon, plays the Sousaphone in the marching band and goes on a blind date with Schwarz's cousin, the Old Man (James Broderick) works on his fireworks display, Mom answers a chain letter, and Randy decorates his bicycle for the 4th of July parade.
I don't think I ever knew that there were movie follow-ups to A Christmas Story...let alone so many! That boggles my mind just a little bit...
The Great American Fourth of July aired on PBS in 1982, the year before A Christmas Story was in theaters. The Phantom of the Open Hearth, which we may watch tonight, aired on PBS in 1976.

We watched The Phantom of the Open Hearth last night. It's the first film appearance of the Parker family. Ralph (David Elliott) is a junior in high school, trying to work up the nerve to ask his dream girl to the prom. The Old Man (James Broderick) wins a "major award" from the Nehi soda company. Mom (Barbara Bolton) has a problem with dish night at the Orpheum. Randy doesn't whine in this one. The "major award" storyline is, of course, redone in A Christmas Story. The dish night storyline is retold in My Summer Story. Both the parents here played the same roles in The Great American Fourth of July.

"The Fighter," and excellent new fact-based drama (with unexpected comedic elements) with Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams. Expect some Oscar nominations for this one.
Just watched Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, a documentary about, basically, a year in the life of Joan Rivers. It's a very interesting insight into the world of a comedy icon who is both groundbreaking and who doesn't get the recognition she feels she deserves.

If you're a comedy geek at all, it's definitely worth checking out.

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