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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"...perfect sense..."

How about some bad movies?

Uh-Oh! Chongo! Someone assembled the entire Danger Island serial from The Banana Splits into an overlong movie. It was the coolest thing ever when I was in kindergarten and Grade One, but seeing it now, I can't believe how incredibly dumb it is. I'm also intrigued by the character of Morgan. Did his presence in the show happen by accident, or did someone realize the desirability of a highly competent non-white character in a serial that otherwise features white heroes (with one racialized comic sidekick who talks like a monkey) and a range of non-white villains shaped by the racist tropes from an even earlier era?

Leprechaun (1993): I missed this idiotic horror-comedy when it came out.  Jennifer Aniston stars, pre-Friends. Useful tips: if you're ever attacked by a murderous leprechaun, throw shoes at them (they get distracted by shoes) and find a four-leaf clover (it paralyses them). I'm not certain if it helps to have a camera regularly pointing at your legs or butt while you do these things, but the director of Leprechaun apparently thought so.

The film had the gall to have sequels and develop a cult following.

I recently saw the original Leprechaun on streaming. Not inspired to see the sequels.

THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN: The second "Pink" I saw, the second in the theater. I pair it in my mind with "Return." 

I keep forgetting to mention: "The Phantom" returned in The Return of the Pink Panther as well, but this time he was played by Christopher Plummer rather than David Niven. 

The diamond being stolen in the first movie was called The Pink Panther. I'm guessing they used the name in the second sequel to remind people of the first movie. Did the title A Shot in the Dark confuse moviegoers and affect box office? The earlier posters did not use the panther cartoon character or even Inspector Clouseau's name. Also, some of the posters said it wasn't suitable for children.

"The diamond being stolen in the first movie was called The Pink Panther. I'm guessing they used the name in the second sequel to remind people of the first movie."

The same diamond was stolen a second time in Return of the Pink Panther. A glove embroidered with the letter "P", the Phantom's calling card, was found on the scene, but the real Phantom, Sir Charles Litton, did not commit the crime. The plot involves both Litton and Clouseau trying to solve the crime.

"Did the title A Shot in the Dark confuse moviegoers and affect box office?"

I have no idea. It was only the second movie. Presumably, Edwards could have continued with a whole series of non-Pink Panther Inspector Clouseau movies.


Jeff of Earth-J said:

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD: I haven't seen this yet; it hasn't even been released. It's a unique documentary using retstored footage of WWI soldier interviews by Peter Jackson. It will be on limited release, so I wanted to mention it here in hope that no one interested would miss it.

Here is a review and discussion.


Jeff of Earth-J said:

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD: Saw this yesterday. It was magnificent. I kept trying to remain aware of the technical expertise which went into restoring the footage, but it was impossible. I kept getting draw into the experience. If such things interest you, though, do stay for the documentary about the making of the documentary afterwards.

Ever since I saw this movie at the theater I've wanted to own it on DVD but, for whatever reason, it had only been available for "Region 2" players for the past two years. From time-to-time I check to see if a "Region 1" version has become available (just as from time-to-time I check if the price of Texasville has come down), and, finally, it has. I just watched it for a second time and was just as impressed as I was the first.

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLDI saw this on streaming a while back. It is amazing. Those of us who live bookended by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans don't appreciate how much death and destruction was visited upon the people of England and France in the two world wars. My father’s oldest brother died in a German POW camp in 1918, before his nineteenth birthday. Almost an entire generation in those countries perished.

The big joke in the U.S. was (or is) that France always surrenders. (By the way, if not for France the USA might not have come into existence or would have been delayed.) In WWII France was outflanked by the Germans, who figured how to defeat their Maginot Line. They should have died to the last man? Been there, done that.

REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER: These sequels are growing increasingly silly. This one has "Pink Panther" in the title, but nothing about the Pink Panther diamond in the plot. Herbert Lom returns once again as Chief Inspector Dreyfus. A more appropriate title might have been "Revenge of Inspector Dreyfus" (actually, that would have been a better title for the previous one, Strikes Again).

GODZILLA vs. MOTHRA: By this point, it doesn't really matter so much if this takes place on "Earth 1" or "Earth 2" or "Earth 2.1" because, apart from the continued presence of Miki Saeusa, the continuity with previous outings is not strong. This movie does, however, owe a lot to Indiana Jones. Mothra's "evil twin" Battra is introduced. I find the Cosmos' singing to be soothing; I wish I had a whole disc of it (as opposed to just a few songs). 

I saw Laura (1944) the other night, with Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews. 

So glad I finally saw this movie, one I've wanted to see since I'd read an article about Twin Peaks mentioning Laura was who Laura Palmer was named after. (So that's maybe 30 years of meaning to get around to this.)

The four central characters are well cast: Gene Tierney is captivating as Laura, playing her with confidence and independence that can only help to draw the other three to her. As Lydecker, Clifton Webb is snobbish and savage with his criticisms -- he views Laura as a possession, at one point saying she's "almost as famous as his walking stick." Carpenter (Vincent Price, in an early role before finding his "type") sees her as a pretty meal ticket. And the detective, McPherson (Alan Ladd), sees her as dead, lost to him forever -- the one that got away.

Of course, there's more to Laura than any of them imagine.

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The Justice League comes to an end in 'Justice League' #75

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Joshua Williamson & Rafa Sandoval Team up for the Final Issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE out on April 19…



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