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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Luke explains it well. The special effects look clunky today but they were mind-blowing and innovative at the time.

It was also cool that it wasn't set in the future, but "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away."

I still haven't seen Orca.

As someone that prefers Godzilla being a guy in a rubber suit I have no problem with "clunky" effects. I prefer them over a Hulk that looks like a 3D cartoon.

Somewhat off-topic, but here's the way I explain the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars.

Star Trek is science fiction.

Star Wars is science fantasy.

At some point soft science fiction has become another name for science fantasy. Sci-fi, which is supposed to mean bad science fiction, is being used for anything sf related. Asimov for instance.

Don't tell the folks at the Sci-Fi Channel.

Star Trek started as science fiction. As RM said, the boundaries, in pop-usage, tend to be less strict in any case.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

Somewhat off-topic, but here's the way I explain the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars.

Star Trek is science fiction.

Star Wars is science fantasy.

"Don't tell the folks at the Sci-Fi Channel."

CORRECTION: "SyFy." :P

I've watched a zillion movies this year, so here's the documentaries and one "based on a true story" drama:

Dear Zachary (2008): Heartbreaking, gut-punching documentary. When a young doctor is murdered, his friend, an aspiring filmmaker, decides to document his life for the benefit of his infant son. The killer has other ideas. The filmmaker originally intended it as a private film. Due to the way events developed, he released it. Profits go to fund a scholarship.

Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015): Fascinating look at a teen girl in the 1970s, and not for all tastes. I’d forgotten how messed up the 1970s could be. Not for all tastes. I don’t doubt that anything in this movie could have happened in real life. "Loosely inspired by the author's life," and based on the author's book, which is a combo novel/graphic novel. So it's even comic-book related. Also, note for all tastes. Did I mention it may not be for all tastes?

In the Realms of the Unreal (2004): fascinating documentary about insider-artist/writer Henry Darger, who lived a life of obscurity and poverty, and became posthumously famous when his (frequently disturbing) art and writing were discovered.

Man on a Wire (2008): a brilliant and heart-accelerating account of Philippe Petit's tight-rope walk across the twin towers of the TWC in 1974. Watch it.

Searching for Sugar man (2012): if you haven’t seen it, and you decide to see anything from this list, see this one. It’s a documentary about the search for an American folk singer whose career tanked in the U.S. but who was a huge hit in South Africa and inspired those performers who opposed Apartheid. You really have to see it to understand why it’s so compelling.

The Hunting Ground (2015): A disturbing look at sexual assault on college campuses. Yes, I know of a whole three men who have been falsely accused of sexual assault, and this is horrible. All three were exonerated. I have lost track of the number of women I know who were sexually assaulted.

The only one of those I've seen is Man on Wire, and it's every bit as breathtaking as you say. 

I've had a number of people recommend Searching for Sugarman, so I definitely need to get going on that. 

I got to review the new Frank Zappa documentary, Eat That Question, earlier this summer. Short version: It's a doc with no narrator -- just Zappa's public appearances and interviews and performances, presented unadorned. I really liked soaking in it, and if you have any interest or curiosity about Zappa, you probably will, too. Long version is online here.

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