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 watched St. Vincent (2014). As often happens, the marketing portrayed this as silly Bill Murray and silly Melissa McCarthy movie. It isn't.

Bill Murray plays a man who is a lot more than his bad first impression (and his bad second impression). Melissa McCarthy plays a mother going through a divorce fighting for custody of her son. The chameleon-like Naomi Watts turns in yet another fine performance. It's streaming on Netflix now, and probably easily available elsewhere being a 2014 movie.

Today I watched Everybody Wants Some, the latest movie from Richard Linklater. I thought it was pretty much exactly like Dazed and Confused in that it is sure to become a cult classic just because there are so many potentially classic moments. Very enjoyable, and something that anyone who has gone to college will be able to relate to.


Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:
Today I watched Everybody Wants Some, the latest movie from Richard Linklater. I thought it was pretty much exactly like Dazed and Confused in that it is sure to become a cult classic just because there are so many potentially classic moments. Very enjoyable, and something that anyone who has gone to college will be able to relate to.

Yeah, I really enjoyed it too. Definitely a worthy sequel to Dazed and Confused. You can almost imagine that the character of Mitch from D&C is continuing his arc through Jake in this movie. And Linklater is just so good at creating these distinct and memorable characters. After first viewing, I wasn't sure if there was a Wooderson or Slater in the bunch but now I think there are a few candidates that come close.

This has fast become one of my favorite movies. A lot of the credit goes to Bill Murray, who again shows his range as an actor. As you point out, not at all a silly movie; but, not at all without a sense of humor. The story itself is not complicated; however, it is very well presented.

Richard Willis said:

We just watched St. Vincent (2014). As often happens, the marketing portrayed this as silly Bill Murray and silly Melissa McCarthy movie. It isn't.

Bill Murray plays a man who is a lot more than his bad first impression (and his bad second impression). Melissa McCarthy plays a mother going through a divorce fighting for custody of her son. The chameleon-like Naomi Watts turns in yet another fine performance. It's streaming on Netflix now, and probably easily available elsewhere being a 2014 movie.

I found this movie to be rather slow. It was well acted; however, knowing how it ends, I found myself thinking "just get to the ending already".

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

I watched Joy. I had heard very lackluster reviews on this one, but man, I loved it. It's a movie about perseverance, and I found it to be really inspiring. Great movie. Jennifer Lawrence continues to show her breadth here.

I Was a Teenage Werewolf, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein and The Crawling Eye (aka The Trollenberg Terror), all on YouTube on my 46 inch TV. Great fun.

I finally caught No Country For Old Men, and I liked it quite a bit. Not quite as much as I thought I would though. I guess from all of the buildup I've heard over the years. 

I was off Friday, and decided to catch the movie Hell of High Water. Man, I am so glad I did. It stars Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, and Ben Foster. It takes place in west Texas which is an area I am intimately familiar with. Pine and Foster play brothers who put together a string of bank robberies with Bridges playing the Texas Ranger on the verge of retirement tasked with catching them. Chris Pine and Ben Foster were really great. I loved this flick.

I saw Southside with You, a wonderful date movie. It's about a date -- the first date between an associate at a high-powered law firm in Chicago and a summer intern who spends his off-time being a community organizer.

Yes, its the story of one Michelle Lavaughn Robinson and one Barack Hussein Obama, who had a great future ahead of them, not that they could know this in 1989. The writer/director takes what is known and makes up the rest, aided by winning performances from Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers as you-know-who. 

A couple days ago, I watched Holy Hell on Netflix. It's a documentary about a cult leader told by his victims. It's a very bizarre look at a man who was very clearly a creepy creeper from the beginning, and the people who are so lost that they would follow him for years and years.

I just watched the recent Jungle Book movie with my kids. In spite of all their expressed disinterest, once the movie started, they were glued to it. I was too. Five of five stars. Comments welcomed.

It's interesting that the story, and a jungle adventure story, can still hit kids that way. 

I saw The Legend of Tarzan a couple of months ago. It's respectful of the character, looks good, and has nothing obviously wrong with it, but I thought it wasn't likely to restore the franchise's popularity. I have two ideas about what the problem was.

The first is its the script didn't give the actor playing Tarzan enough memorable moments. I hardly remember the actor's performance, which is not true of the villain, Jane and Samuel L. Jackson's character.

The second is it sticks too to the point. I like adventure movie plots to turn in surprising directions. This one is headed to where it's going from the start.(1) Also, according to the Chekhov's gun principle you shouldn't introduce something that's not going to be relevant later, but I think movies benefit from irrelevant bits. They add colour. The food in the dinner party scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom isn't important to the plot, but it's memorable.

(1) To be fair, Tarzan's conflict Mbonga is resolved in an unusual way, but that part of the plot is less important than the diamond part. Its resolution keeps the diamond plot front and centre.

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