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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Finally saw Suicide Squad. I thought it was pretty good.

Yeah? That's good news. We have it on one of to-watch lists or other. As soon as it's free, we'll be on it.

The Baron said:

Finally saw Suicide Squad. I thought it was pretty good.

I saw The Nice Guys last night, with Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. I loved it. Really great 70's noir film that is about 3/4 detective movie, 1/4 comedy.



Captain Comics said:

Yeah? That's good news. We have it on one of to-watch lists or other. As soon as it's free, we'll be on it.

The Baron said:

Finally saw Suicide Squad. I thought it was pretty good.


I thought it was pretty entertaining too. Mostly because of Margot Robbie.

SPOILER WARNING*********

One thing I thought was pretty strange. Amanda Waller sort of strongarms the government into authorizing the Squad by demonstrating what Enchantress can do and explaining that the Squad will be needed to take care of next level threats. Then the first next level threat turns out to be the Enchantress. So, in creating the Squad, Waller basically accidentally creates the threat that is then used to justify the Squad's existence.

Last night I watched the 2010 film Supēsu Batorushippu Yamato (i.e., Space Battleship Yamato), a live action film adaptation of the old cartoon series Uchū Senkan Yamato, better known to those of us of a certain age as StarBlazer". An entertaining enough film with pretty good special effects. A few things switched around - for one, the Gamilas (a.k.a. the Gamilons) are now a non-humanoid collective intelligence, For another , the girl (Yuki (a.k.a. Nova), who only seemed to exist to fret over Our Hero in the old days, is now an ace fighter pilot. The doctor who was always toting around a bottle of "mineral water" (Yeah, right!) is played by a woman in this one. In fact, here are more women in general in the crew, which is fine. (When I was a kid, I used to worry about poor Nova apparently being the only woman on a shipload of men going off into who knows where! How times have changed!) The score is good, too, using many themes from the old series.
 
All in all, worth a look if you get the chance.

 

We saw Hidden Figures, the little-known story of three Black women who were mathemeticians in the early days of NASA, whose responsibility was to do the geometry that got the Mercury 7 flights safely off the ground and back again. A wonderful, inspirational story that sells how important math is -- John Glenn would have been a pile of ashes if any of those calculations were off -- coupled with the personal stories of people who are brilliant but underappreciated because of their skin color. Good for the whole family, too.

We also saw Fences, the movie adaptation of the Broadway play, featuring pretty much the whole cast from the Tony winning production of a few years back -- led by Viola Davis and Denzel Washington, who also directs. The acting in this movie will knock your socks off, and the writing brings out multiple themes of frustration, the death of dreams, the difficult relationships between fathers and sons and husbands and wives. Go see it.

Watched "The Kennel Club Murders" the other night, mainly because I thought it was a Thin Man movie for the first few minutes. Turns out it bears some similarity to one, with William Powell playing Philo Vance in much the same way he plays Nick Charles. He even has a dog, although it's a Scottie and not Asta.

It was a typical whodunnit of the era, so if you like those, you'll like this. What really makes it worth mention, though, is a cantankerous medical examiner who says the following two lines:

"I'm a doctor, not a magician!"

"I'm a doctor, not a detective!"

Could this be Leonard McCoy's great-great-great grandfather?

Philip Jose Farmer could spin a whole book out of that, proving that Nick Charles and Philo Vance are secret twins or identical cousins (all the way).

Interestingly Powell played Phil Vance several times before moving to Nick Charles. Perhaps he liked dogs in real life and looked for parts where his character owned one. I saw that film a few years ago and those two lines are the only thing I remember about it.

Farmer intended to make a sequel to the last Doc Savage novel, Up From Earth's Center, where Doc runs away from what appeared to be actual demons, having him return with his full crew (only Monk and Ham were with him in the original) and discover what was really going on, along with several other Doc adventures, but only ended up writing Escape From Loki, telling how Doc first met the Fabulous Five. 
 
Doctor Hmmm? said:

Philip Jose Farmer could spin a whole book out of that, proving that Nick Charles and Philo Vance are secret twins or identical cousins (all the way).

Watched The Road last night. Incredibly depressing.

Some thoughts:

* I've snarked before about post-apocalypse stories, especially nuclear ones, that things are too rosy. A nuclear war would make the whole world uninhabitable for human beings, possibly all life. It doesn't matter if you don't get hit by the bomb, or the firestorm, or the shock wave -- the entire ecosystem will be poisoned. Food will completely disappear, which won't matter, since everyone will be dying of radiation poisoning. The Road is the most realistic depiction of a post-nuclear war I've seen (although the cataclysm in the movie isn't specified).

* This movie depicted post-apocalyptic life far more realistically than anything in The Walking Dead. Viggo Mortensen does not heroically save other people.

* I never really bought into the reasons given for the Termites to become cannibals. In The Road, I don't see any alternative.

* I've heard people in my office say that if they woke up in The Walking Dead, they'd commit suicide. Some people don't think living like that is worth the struggle. In The Road, they depict that very thought process.

* I didn't know Charlize Theron was in this movie, but she was. And I didn't recognize Robert Duvall at first, but he was there, too.

A couple of movies I've seen: 

808 a documentary on the Roland 808 which was used on so many hip-hop tracks, and other popular songs in the 80s. Which is still in heavy used today. It was interesting, but definitely not a must-see in my opinion. A lot of interviews from musical acts and producers who use(d) it. The best part to  me was the ending that included the founder of Roland who talked about the 808. I would recommend it if you are a fan of that era's music.

I also saw War on Everyone, its about two corrupt cops who run up against an international criminal. This wasn't bad, I don't think it was quite there if that makes sense. It is supposed to be a comedy (I think), and while there are some funny moments there weren't enough of them. I thought the 2 leads were great. It includes Michael Pena who is one of those people that even if I don't like a movie I always like him. He plays the intellect of the duo with Alex Skarsgard they tough guy. Another one I would call a must-see

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