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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I saw Tron Legacy tonight. I liked it. Not the greatest movie ever but certainly an entertaining couple of hours. I felt like Jeff Bridges was channeling the Dude a few times, which isn't a bad thing.

 

I watched Ronin this morning. I haven't seen it in many years. For those not familiar with this film, it's a heist/thriller film from the late 90's starring Robert DeNiro and directed by the late John Frankenheimer. Surely an underrated film, if I do say so myself. I have noticed that it has been brought up time to time though in reference to the car chase, which is quite great.

Tracy came home with an impulse buy the other day: a three disc set of Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn (Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire) which featured remastered versions of the movie in both black and white as well as color, plus a soundtrack CD featuring all of the musical numbers.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

Tracy came home with an impulse buy the other day: a three disc set of Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn (Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire) which featured remastered versions of the movie in both black and white as well as color, plus a soundtrack CD featuring all of the musical numbers.


I have extremely mixed feelings about this movie. I love, love, love everything about it ... except the jaw-droppingly inappropriate "Abraham" sequence, which makes it impossible to recommend to anyone else.

I saw two the other night, How Do You Know with Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd (and Jack Nicholson) and Tangled.

 

I never noticed before how Reese Witherspoon resembles, in looks and mannerisms, a young Holly Hunter. But this movie gave me a strong Broadcast News vibe, given that they both were written and directed by James L. Brooks. Witherspoon plays Lisa, the star player on the U.S. national women's softball team, and Rudd is George, CEO of some financial firm. The movie begins with them going on a blind date right after they both get life-shattering news: She's cut from the team because the head coach thinks she's over the hill at 31, and he learns he's the target of a federal fraud investigation, and the knowledge that he's the fall guy for someone else's misdoings is no comfort.

 

Needless to say, the blind date does not go well.

 

Through the rest of the story, they stumble and bumble and try to connect. Owen Wilson, as Lisa's boyfriend Matty, is a pitcher for the Washington Nationals, the kind of guy who has a closet full of pink women's sweatsuits in various sizes (with the team logo, of course) so no girl who spends the night with him has to go home wearing the same clothes. He's not a rake; just a charming, if dim, man-child. There's an awkward push and pull between Lisa and Matty as George tries to get close; it seems Matty tries too hard when he isn't trying where George doesn't seem to try hard enough when he's trying too hard, if you know what I mean. It's not a great movie, but it was entertaining enough.

 

Tangled, the retelling of Rapunzel is a classically Disney movie, with Broadway-style show tunes, a wide-eyed heroine, and a charming rogue who is much like Aladdin from Aladdin. Fun for all.

I have extremely mixed feelings about this movie. I love, love, love everything about it ... except the jaw-droppingly inappropriate "Abraham" sequence, which makes it impossible to recommend to anyone else.

That whole sequence had me shaking my head as well. Bing Crosby is about as black as snow... even in blackface, and that costume she was wearing... ay, yi, yi! I've been a fan of the Marx Brothers for almost as long as I can remember, and my first exposure to "Abraham" was a recording of a radio show featuring Chico Marx and his orchestra accompanying a black gospel sing. That version remains definative in my mind, and it was not supplanted in my mind by the just plain embarrassing version from Holiday Inn.
Just got back from seeing True Grit. I have not seen the original film or read the book. I enjoyed the film. The acting takes the forefront here. Jeff Bridges is great as Rooster Cogburn and the young lady who plays the main character is fantastic. I don't remember the actresses name at the moment. She really holds her own against the likes of Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. Once again the Cohen Brothers do not dissapoint.
I have read two reviews of True Grit in the newspaper and heard one on the radio. All agree that the remake is better than the original. I've see the John Wayne version, but I think I'll try to score a copy of the book before watching the remake.
I haven't seen the original film but it was on TCM last night so I set the DVR to record. I'll probably watch it tonight. My friend has the book and is going to let me borrow it. He said it's a quick read so I'll read it this weekend or next week.
I watched An American Rhapsody this afternoon. Nastassia Kinski plays a Hungarian woman who escapes the country with her husband and one daughter but has to leave another daughter behind. The daughter left behind is finally able to come to America about 5 years later. The film explores the younger daughter's problems with fitting in with the family she doesn't remember. As a rebellious teen, the daughter is played by Scarlett Johannsen. It's a pretty good, if slow-moving, film, but Kinski playing Johannsen's mother really made me feel like an old goat.

I was expecting Easy A would be a pretty good movie, and it surpassed my expectations slightly.  I'd rank this just slightly behind Mean Girls in being a witty, thoughtful teen movie.  My only gripe would be the overly witty and flip parents of Olive (though they are deftly played by Stan Tucci and Patricia Clarkson.  They crossed the line from understanding, cool parents into parents who think they are cool at the expense of doing real parenting, though I don't think that was the writers' intent in their portrayal.

Saw "Tron: Legacy" in 3D. Ticket was $10.50 ... at a matinee!

 

My reaction was best summed up by film critic Glenn Kenny, who happens to be my age.

 

On seeing "Tron," he wrote, his 23-year-old self thought: "Goofy, but kinda neat in parts. Cindy Morgan is hot."

 

On seeing "Tron: Legacy," his 51-year-old self thought: "Goofy, but kinda neat in parts. Olivia Wilde is hot."

 

Nuff said.

I saw The Pursuit of Happyness Christmas Eve at my Dad's house. My choice was either either that or Family Man, and I've already seen Family Man. All I thought was, "Man, Will Smith's character sure runs a lot."

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