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 attended a showing of The Magnificent Ambersons at a local theatre that hosts classic film nights once or twice a month. The movie was Orson Welles follow up to Citizen Kane. According to the emcee, the movie was originally over two hours long but the studio, without Welles' participation or agreement, trimmed it to just under 90 minutes. Unfortunately the film that was cut was destroyed soon after. No chance of a director's cut with this one. If like me you have never seen it, it is worth a watch.

THE RETURN OF THE MUSKETEERS (1989): This is Richard Lester's sequel to his The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers, childhood favorites of mine. I generally like sequels by the same director and the same actors as the original filmed decades later, and this is no exception. It may not be quite as good as the first two, but considering it's more than 30 years old and I didn't even know about it until a week ago I was very excited to see it. In many ways, it reminds me of The Godfather, Part III: it's be the same director/actors, it's not quite as good as the first two, plus it is set against a backdrop of a well-know historic event with previously unknown behind-the-scenes involvement of the main characters (in this case, the Musketeers rather than the Corleones). I have never read Twenty Years After, but I feel I should soon. (Of course, first I'll have to re-read The Three Musketeers). 

Re-watched Destination Moon (1950), an early attempt at a realistic space picture.  It has its goofy moments, but it's not bad.

Corrected and re-posted.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"9150"? What are the special effects like 7000 years in the future? 

EEGAH!: "A teenage girl driving through the desert is confronted by a huge Neanderthal-like man and she returns to the city to share her story with her explorer father and her boyfriend. When her father doesn't return from searching for the creature, the girl and her boyfriend head out to the desert to find him and the girl is taken hostage along with her father. It's up tot eh efforts of the boyfriend to rescue the father and daughter before the caveman can make the girl his mate."

I recognize this one from the "Amazing Colossal Episode Guide" but I have never seen the MST3K version. I really would like to because there are long stretches without dialogue that a continuous barrage of jokes could only improve. The boyfriend is a "rock & roll" musician and the audience must endure several of his songs. The girl and her father have a weird relationship. The cave man (whose name is "Eegah," apparently) isn't particularly threatening, except as he grows increasingly horny. Then he gets a little rapey, but otherwise he is more or less harmless. His actions toward the girl don't seem to bother her father all that much; he keeps encouraging her to "give him something else." She shaves both her father and the caveman. After they all escape, Eegah tacks them back to town, their home and eventually to the country club, apparently by scent. Eegah is played by Richard Kiel.

Eegah!  is one of the most noted episodes of MST3K  and is worth a look if you can find it.  There's a scene where Arch Hall Jr., his girlfriend and her father go to  investigate the giant she claimed she saw and someone yells "Watch out for snakes!", but, due to poor sound editing, it couldn't have been one of the three of them.  The line became a running gag that recurred in MST3K all the way up through the Netflix years.

NINE TO FIVE: This movie was Tracy's choice directly in response to the movies I've been picking lately. Turnabout is fair play, I guess, but if I'd've picked this one, she'd've been up in arms because it's so sexist. I would have been in high school when this came out but I'd never seen it until last night (although I am familiar with the song). I guess this counts as my first "chick flick" that is not a "rom com" (I have seen a few of those). 

I watched The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), a Hitchcock film in which a couple vacationing in Switzerland withy their daughter stumbles across a plot to assassinate a foreign statesman who will be visiting Britain.  When the heels koidnap their daughter and threaten to kill her if they tell the authorities, they try to unravel the plot themselves.

It's a good picture, and well worth a look.  It has some implausible bits (as most thrillers of this sort do), but I enjoyed it.  The highlight for me was the great Peter Lorre as the chief baddie.

Hitchcock re-made this story in 1956 with Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day, but I've not seen that one, so I can't compare them.

COSMOS: WAR OF THE PLANETS (1979): "Mike Leighton and his team of astronauts land on an alien world and agree to help its population battle a cyber entity that has taken control of the planet. the planet is on a collision course for Earth that will spell certain disaster."

This is the dubbed version of the Italian movie Year Zero - War in Space. It is hilariously bad. It is filmed entirely on badly lighted sets, presumably to make it more difficult for the audience to ascertain how bad the special effects are. So bad it's good.

We watched Mission: Impossible (1996) for the first time the other night. (Neither of us a Tom Cruse fan.) It was very James Bond-ian, and at least two of the stunts were jaw-dropping. Now I know why this series has lasted so long (and where a million social media memes came from).

We're halfway through Mission: Impossible II, but it's not nearly as rousing. Maybe there are some super-charged stunts in the back half. One eye-opener: Thandie Newton was a babe.

Watched The Birds (1963), a film which I had heard about all my life, but never gotten around to seeing.  I can see now why people say that this picture is a precursor in some ways to Romero's Night of  the Living Dead (1968).

The Birds left my young self pretty disturbed because of all the unanswered questions. I was also upset because they killed Suzanne Pleshette, who made me feel funny inside! What was your feeling as an adult watching it for the first time?

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