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've not seen any of the Lone Wolf films. Warren William and Eric Blore also appeared as Lanyard and Jamison in an episode of the radio show Suspense titled "Murder Goes for a Swim". It can be found here at Internet Archive.

TiVo keeps recommending Lone Wolf movies to me, lately.  Haven't watched any yet, though.

I saw The Raid: Redemption today. Ultraviolent. It was pretty good, but it was very violent. A lot of blood, shootings, stabbings, punchings, kickings, impalings, and cuttings. Oh, and I saw the subtitled version, not the dubbed one.

Been watching the 1936 epic Things to Come, H.G. Wells' adaptation of his own The Shape of Thimgs to Come. It presents the devastation and aftermath of a Second World War as Wells then imagined it. It comes across as a sort of much more intense version of World War One, and then moves into a post-apocalyptic world in which aviators impose world peace.   It's very good in parts - some of the scenes set during the war are fairly graphic for a 30's picture. Of course, knowing what the actual Second World War was like, there's a certain mausement value in seeing what they got wrong.  Raymond Massey plays the initial protagonist, John Cabal, and later this character's great-grandson, Oswald Cabal.  Ralph Richardson is good as The Boss, grandfather to the post-nuclear warlords of The Road Warrior and its ilk.

Watched Män som hatar kvinnor (2009), the Swedish film that was re-made as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  I haven't seen the American version yet, but I found the Swedish version to be an enjoyable adaptation of the book. Naomi Rapace plays Lisbeth Salander pretty well, I thought.

I saw The Wiz yesterday. I had forgotten most of it ... it's an interesting, but well-meant, train wreck.

 I had forgotten most of it ... it's an interesting, but well-meant, train wreck.

 

Wow, that pretty much sums up my whole life.

It wasn't as bad as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band! Thank (Oh) God for George Burns!
 
ClarkKent_DC said:

I saw The Wiz yesterday. I had forgotten most of it ... it's an interesting, but well-meant, train wreck.

KILL AND KILL AGAIN  (1981)

Whatta ya know?  An entire feature film scored with KPM production music!


I knew something was funny when I heard an excerpt of "I Gotta Get The World Off My Back" (Alan Hawkshaw / KPM 1015), but then at a particularly tense scene, what turns up but "Trap Door" (David Lindup / KPM 1018), a genuine "Spidey" track.


This was the 2nd of 2 films made in SOUTH AFRICA starring James Ryan as martial-arts hero "Steve Chase"-- who just happens to be a dead ringer for the MIKE ZECK version of "Shang-Chi". I'm not kidding!!! Both films have terrific action and a bizarre sense of humor. It's almost like what you'd get if Roger Corman did a kung fu flick.


Anyway, I also recognized at least one other KPM track, but coudln't identify it. Going to the IMDB, I see they have listed Laurie Johnson, Keith Mansfield, Wilbur Hatch, Igo Kantor, Richard Markowitz & Fred Steiner, all for "Composer: stock music".  I'm afraid that so far, the music part of the IMDB listings is so confusing, even I haven't quite figured out how to make additions, since they're obviously missing at least 2 composers (as noted above).


Like "FORCE FIVE" with Joe Louis, the story structure and some of the characters in this rather closely resemble "THE A-TEAM", only with karate. For some reason, the Wikipedia article on the film spends 75% of its time describing a special-effects shot that was later greratly expanded on in the film "THE MATRIX".  Sheesh.

The Baron said:

Watched Män som hatar kvinnor (2009), the Swedish film that was re-made as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  I haven't seen the American version yet, but I found the Swedish version to be an enjoyable adaptation of the book. Naomi Rapace plays Lisbeth Salander pretty well, I thought.

 

Watched the American version last night - it was OK, but I liked the Swedish version better.  I thought Rapace made a much better Salander than Mara did.

One I haven't seen in ages...

THE OCTAGON

Apparently one of the earliest "ninja"-themed movies, Chuck Norris is forced to confront his step-brother who went totally bad and set up a terrorist training school somewhere in Central America. The entire movie takes itself way too seriously, and the dialogue is so vague and clipped you never get a sense of who most of the characters are or why they do anything. The most outstanding personality, Lee Van Cleef, who heads an anti-terrorist vigilante group (you can't count on the police to do anything) disappears halfway thru once he bumps off someone he's been after for years.

Clearly the best part of the film is the long, protracted action scenes in the last half-hour, when Norris, at first single-handedly, has to take on an endless procession of masked killers, many of them in a complex training arena that gives the film its name. Parts of it look like the writer was very inspired by Moench & Gulacy's MASTER OF KUNG FU. The lead girl reminds me of Leiko (without being Asian) while Van Cleef could be standing in for Black Jack Tarr. Also, the "Octagon" fight scenes look like they stepped right out of "The Devil-Doctor's Triumph" in GIANT-SIZE MOKF #2. But the film feels like it has no heart, no soul. The action scenes are terrific, but you can't help but feel ENTER THE DRAGON was superior on ever single level.

Norris' next film, EYE FOR AN EYE, turned all this around, and was the first time he really exuded "personality" in one of his films. (Plus, it was a lot more fun.)

AN EYE FOR AN EYE

Chuck Norris's 1st really "GREAT" film. He plays a cop whose partner (Terry Kiser) is murdered, suspects a leak in the Police Department and quits when his actions are under suspicion.  When his late partner's news-reporter wife (Rosalind Chao) is also murdered, he teams up with her father (Mako) to track down the killers, and bust the drug-smuggling operation. LICENSE TO KILL with Timothy Dalton had a vaguely similar plot, but this one, while it starts out dark & nasty, is a lot more fun to watch, with just the right mix of action, violence, characterization, humor and a bit of romance. Also in the cast are Richard Roundtree (almost playing the "Capt. Bollin" role from SHAFT'S BIG SCORE), Christopher Lee (more a "Bond villain" here than he was in GOLDEN GUN) and Professor Toru Tanaka as an indestructible henchman ("Odd-Job", anyone?). Yep, when the cops close in on the drug lord's lair at the end, this feels more like a Bond movie than LICENSE TO KILL did!

Norris & Mako made such a great comic team, it's a shame they never did a sequel to this.

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