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.

Views: 48883

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Last night, I saw Belle, which told a little-known story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, back in merrie olde England in the 1700s. I am an American, which means by definition I don't believe in royalty or class distinctions; this movie, however, is all about what a minefield all that nonsense is.

The movie begins with young Belle, who is about 10 years old or so, being delivered by her father to the care of his uncle. Her father is an Englishman of status, and her late mother was a slave. Her father is about to be a captain in Her Majesty's Navy, and a ship is hardly an environment for a girl child, which is why he has brought her to his uncle. The uncle is of even greater status; not only is he Earl of Mansfield, he's Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the very arbiter of all that is legally and socially proper.

As it happens, he's already taking care of another niece about the same age, so he and his wife accept the girl into their home and resolve that Belle and Elizabeth will be raised as equals, but outsiders will be told Belle is Elizabeth's "companion."

Skip ahead a few years to when both girls are of marriageable age, and things really get sticky. It is the custom to arrange to a damsel of marriageable age to be introduced to young swains to bond one family to another. Unfortunately, Belle's father has died -- she hasn't seen him even once since the day he left her there -- but he left her a handsome sum of money, thus making her a desirable marriage prospect, except for the inconvenient fact that she's Black and her parents never married, which puts her in a cruel Catch-22. Her uncle and aunt firmly believe this means no man of the appropriate stature and breeding would want to marry her, and any man who would want to marry her would not be of the appropriate stature and breeding, and probably would just be after her money and title.

Elizabeth, on the other hand, would seem to be a hot prospect, except her dead father didn't leave her a dime. She's White, and a blonde, which is nice, but since all she has to offer is a title but no money, interest in her is rather lukewarm. And yet, there are a pair of suitors after the two of them, and one of them does seem to be genuinely smitten with Belle. Her mother, however, is a bigot and doesn't conceal her distaste for his interest. His brother, who is going through the motions to woo Elizabeth, is worse; he's openly hostile.

In the background is a case the Lord Chief Justice is deliberating on. A ship's crew, citing emergency circumstances and a lack of food and water, has tossed its cargo into the sea in order to save themselves, and the ship's owner has filed a claim with its insurance company to cover the lost value of the cargo. The "cargo," though, is slaves, who where jammed cheek by jowl into the hold, in such close and filthy conditions that most of them got sick. The insurance company is balking at paying the claim, essentially arguing that the ship owner is committing fraud by claiming greater value for the diseased "cargo" than is warranted.

The Lord Chief Justice is being very deliberate in his deliberations; a ruling for the ship owners would codify the slave trade as an legitimate business practice, where a ruling for the insurance company might undermine that industry, bankrupt multiple businessmen, and upset the social order.

Along the way, a young man, John Davinier, makes the Lord Chief Justice's acquaintance. He is the son of a vicar, and as such is treated as though he is barely worthy to breathe the same air as the Lord Chief Justice. But he has aspirations of reaching a higher status; he wishes to study law and enter politics, to make a difference. The Lord Chief Justice is impressed enough take on Davinier as an apprentice. Davinier and Belle, however, meet and become attracted to one another. He's a passionate abolitionist who argues to the Lord Chief Justice that this is no mere fraud case; the greater issue is the fundamental inhumanity of the slave trade. Speaking on these matters to Belle, though, gets Davinier booted out of the Lord Chief Justice's tutelage.

These strands tie together and coalesce at the end with the Lord Chief Justice's ruling -- and the growing attraction between Belle and Daviner.

I've liked Gugu Mbatha-Raw ever since the short-lived Undercovers TV series. And she does fine work here, showing steel when needed and frustration over navigating the petty rules that make her an "equal" and yet not -- for example, Belle is not allowed to dine with the family when guests are calling; only afterward, in less "formal" settings. A fine film, well worth watching.

I have to say that the trailer doesn't do it justice. Sounds like one to see.


This reminds me of the movie Amazing Grace about the British abolition of the slave trade. For those who haven't seen it, the song Amazing Grace was written by a former slave trader, truly a wretch.

I saw that, too. Amazing Grace grappled more directly with the fight to abolish the slave trade, as it showed a push in Parliament to get the votes to outlaw it. Belle might be set earlier in time, when the tide against it was still turning. The Lord Chief Justice does get pressure to rule the "right" way -- that is, one that upholds the social order.

The Lord Chief Justice is shown as someone who thinks there must be a legal justification for his ruling, where Davinier -- who is the son of a vicar, after all -- argues forcefully for the moral case against the slave trade. As Davinier put it, it is wrong to place monetary value on human lives, because humans are priceless and all are equal in the sight of God. And having Belle in his household makes the Lord Chief Justice understand that following the oh-so-proper rules gets difficult when they contradict.

The Lord Chief Justice chose to take Belle in and raise her as his daughter, because he understood that to be his family obligation. But he could just have well denied her, as she was Black and the issue of an unwed mother, and been just as "correct."

But yeah, the trailer for Belle makes it look like Sense and Sensibility or Howard's End or Downton Abbey or one of those stuffy costume dramas, and not something with some real meat on the story.

...I did not see AMAZING GRACE . The film was , IIRC , made/backed by the company that also made the Narnia films and RAY , a company backed by Philip Anschutz , that billionaire who used to own the SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
 , and THE WEEKLY STANDARD , media ventures-wise .

  I have more to say but I wish to do some research before I say more but I do want to get these basics up !

   

 



ClarkKent_DC said:

I saw that, too. Amazing Grace grappled more directly with the fight to abolish the slave trade, as it showed a push in Parliament to get the votes to outlaw it. Belle might be set earlier in time, when the tide against it was still turning. The Lord Chief Justice does get pressure to rule the "right" way -- that is, one that upholds the social order.

The Lord Chief Justice is shown as someone who thinks there must be a legal justification for his ruling, where Davinier -- who is the son of a vicar, after all -- argues forcefully for the moral case against the slave trade. As Davinier put it, it is wrong to place monetary value on human lives, because humans are priceless and all are equal in the sight of God. And having Belle in his household makes the Lord Chief Justice understand that following the oh-so-proper rules gets difficult when they contradict.

The Lord Chief Justice chose to take Belle in and raise her as his daughter, because he understood that to be his family obligation. But he could just have well denied her, as she was Black and the issue of an unwed mother, and been just as "correct."

But yeah, the trailer for Belle makes it look like Sense and Sensibility or Howard's End or Downton Abbey or one of those stuffy costume dramas, and not something with some real meat on the story.

...Here's the link to Wikipedia's article about the film , which points out some historical inaccuracies ~ And , at the bottom of the Wiki-piece's links list is a link to a review of the film from The New York Review Of Books by Adam Hochschild which points out considerably more inaccuracies and argues that the film greatly overcredits William Wilberforce , its central character , as the primary force behind British abolition of slavery and follows an overly standard biographical picture " One great man " template , also doing some kinda-dissing of Anschutz:

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Grace_(2006_film)

I saw the film yesterday as well, with a meet up group.  A couple of members of the group thought that Davinier was a little too perfect a character and that there would likely have been more negative reaction to his hugging and kissing Belle in public after the victory in court.  I concur with the latter point but not knowing anything about the historical Davinier would hesitate to speak on whether he really was too perfect as I suspect modern movie goers are so used to everyone having a "dark" side that when presented a character who seems genuinely passionate about a good cause we tend to react with cynical suspicion that there must be something rotten about that person and if the film doesn't play out that way we feel cheated.  Overall, though, I enjoyed the film even if it was essentially a "costume period-piece drama".
 
ClarkKent_DC said:

Last night, I saw Belle, which told a little-known story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, back in merrie olde England in the 1700s. I am an American, which means by definition I don't believe in royalty or class distinctions; this movie, however, is all about what a minefield all that nonsense is.

The movie begins with young Belle, who is about 10 years old or so, being delivered by her father to the care of his uncle. Her father is an Englishman of status, and her late mother was a slave. Her father is about to be a captain in Her Majesty's Navy, and a ship is hardly an environment for a girl child, which is why he has brought her to his uncle. The uncle is of even greater status; not only is he Earl of Mansfield, he's Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the very arbiter of all that is legally and socially proper.

As it happens, he's already taking care of another niece about the same age, so he and his wife accept the girl into their home and resolve that Belle and Elizabeth will be raised as equals, but outsiders will be told Belle is Elizabeth's "companion."

Skip ahead a few years to when both girls are of marriageable age, and things really get sticky. It is the custom to arrange to a damsel of marriageable age to be introduced to young swains to bond one family to another. Unfortunately, Belle's father has died -- she hasn't seen him even once since the day he left her there -- but he left her a handsome sum of money, thus making her a desirable marriage prospect, except for the inconvenient fact that she's Black and her parents never married, which puts her in a cruel Catch-22. Her uncle and aunt firmly believe this means no man of the appropriate stature and breeding would want to marry her, and any man who would want to marry her would not be of the appropriate stature and breeding, and probably would just be after her money and title.

Elizabeth, on the other hand, would seem to be a hot prospect, except her dead father didn't leave her a dime. She's White, and a blonde, which is nice, but since all she has to offer is a title but no money, interest in her is rather lukewarm. And yet, there are a pair of suitors after the two of them, and one of them does seem to be genuinely smitten with Belle. Her mother, however, is a bigot and doesn't conceal her distaste for his interest. His brother, who is going through the motions to woo Elizabeth, is worse; he's openly hostile.

In the background is a case the Lord Chief Justice is deliberating on. A ship's crew, citing emergency circumstances and a lack of food and water, has tossed its cargo into the sea in order to save themselves, and the ship's owner has filed a claim with its insurance company to cover the lost value of the cargo. The "cargo," though, is slaves, who where jammed cheek by jowl into the hold, in such close and filthy conditions that most of them got sick. The insurance company is balking at paying the claim, essentially arguing that the ship owner is committing fraud by claiming greater value for the diseased "cargo" than is warranted.

The Lord Chief Justice is being very deliberate in his deliberations; a ruling for the ship owners would codify the slave trade as an legitimate business practice, where a ruling for the insurance company might undermine that industry, bankrupt multiple businessmen, and upset the social order.

Along the way, a young man, John Davinier, makes the Lord Chief Justice's acquaintance. He is the son of a vicar, and as such is treated as though he is barely worthy to breathe the same air as the Lord Chief Justice. But he has aspirations of reaching a higher status; he wishes to study law and enter politics, to make a difference. The Lord Chief Justice is impressed enough take on Davinier as an apprentice. Davinier and Belle, however, meet and become attracted to one another. He's a passionate abolitionist who argues to the Lord Chief Justice that this is no mere fraud case; the greater issue is the fundamental inhumanity of the slave trade. Speaking on these matters to Belle, though, gets Davinier booted out of the Lord Chief Justice's tutelage.

These strands tie together and coalesce at the end with the Lord Chief Justice's ruling -- and the growing attraction between Belle and Daviner.

I've liked Gugu Mbatha-Raw ever since the short-lived Undercovers TV series. And she does fine work here, showing steel when needed and frustration over navigating the petty rules that make her an "equal" and yet not -- for example, Belle is not allowed to dine with the family when guests are calling; only afterward, in less "formal" settings. A fine film, well worth watching.

Like many films, characters are combined for the sake of a story. I don't think either of these films pretends to be a documentary.

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

.... the film greatly overcredits William Wilberforce , its central character , as the primary force behind British abolition of slavery ....

The Land Unknown (1957)

I'm amazed that I've never seen this one before (Thank you, Svengoolie), since I generally gobble up "lost world" flicks like popcorn.  Its "special" effects are jaw-droppingly (and, I gather, famously) awful, but if you can get past that, its got the script of a solid, if largely unoriginal, B-movie.  Henry Brandon, as the long-stranded Dr. Hunter, is assigned the role usually played by Horny Caveman in this subgenre.

I tried to look up the actor Horny Caveman in IMDB and came up empty.

Excellent!

Last night Bridesmaids was on, so I watched it to see what all the hype was about. I didn't like it much. I've never been one for gross-out humor, so the whole business of the bride and bridesmaids suffering the effects of food poisoning at the dress salon was lost on me.

Plus, I could empathize with the lead character only to a point. She wasn't exactly a whiny, useless slacker -- more of a wounded bird still grieving over the losses of her start-up bakery business and a long-term relationship, which both ended about the same time -- but she wore out my patience along with the other characters in the story. Half the problems she had in this story were her own fault. 

I finally saw Iron Man 3 yesterday. I was fairly unimpressed, and pretty bored a lot of the time.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2021   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service