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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Whatever Happened To Baby Jane. When I saw it the first time a few years ago it really creeped me out. Not so much on my second viewing. Knowing what was coming ahead of time made the shocks and twists less effective.

We watched Mission: Impossible IV and V Sunday. We’d gotten our second booster shots Saturday and felt too lousy to do anything but watch TV.

Ghost Protocol was the better of the two, thanks to the skyscraper-climbing scene, which was a heart-stopper. We also liked Paula Patton as the female member of the team. She looked convincing in the action scenes, but according to Wiki wasn’t available for the next movie. (Or VI or VII, apparently.) Also, we recognized the female assassin, who played Bond’s gf in SPECTRE and No Time to Die.

Rogue Nation was adequate. It felt like we’d seen some of the beats before, like the IMF being dissolved. Or maybe it was my condition, not the content.

ATOMIC RULERS OF THE WORLD: "The Earth is threatened with atomic destruction if the people of Mirapolia are not allowed to rule the planet. Observers from a distant planet, far off in space, have been observing the Earth and see the peril its facing. Hoping to offer aid to the citizens of Earth, the benevolent aliens send their champion Starman to face off against the leaders of Mirapolia and take care of their atomic weapons."

This is the first of four movies edited together for American television from (episodes one and two of) the 1957 Japanese short film series Super Giant. Next up (in sequence) is Invaders from Space (episodes three and four), which I do not own.

ATTACK FROM SPACE: "The Earth is threatened by the forces of the evil Spherions, an alien race out to conquer the universe. The Spherions are aided in their attempt to take over the Earth by some of the world's top scientists. Standing in the way of the alien invaders and their traitorous allies is Starman, mighty interplanetary champion sent to Earth to defend the planet against galactic menaces."

This is the third film in the series (parts five and six of the original Super Giant series). These movies are fun... not great examples of cinematic art, but rather a strange blend of futuristic science fiction and super-heroics. The highlight of this one is the battle at the end in which Starman fights off, I don't know... thirty? forty? fifty?... men for a full 13 minutes without interruption. There's something to be said about the choreography there. The fight takes place on a elaborate set and the director makes full use of it. The fight scene also includes several "effects" shots, such as running the camera backwards to achieve a certain end, for example, kicking one of his defeated opponents up a flight of stairs. Starman also uses guns... not ray guns, but guns that fire actual bullets. He kicks the $#!t out of them for a while, then he shoots a couple, then he goes back to kicking their @$$e$. The fight scene ends with five minutes left to wrap up the plot.

The final film in the series is Evil Brain from Outer Space, but because we've already watched that one some weeks ago we've not going to re-watch it now. But if we ever score a copy of Invaders from Space we may just binge the whole series. 

WEREWOLF WOMAN (Italian, 1976): "A young woman suffers from the delusion that she is a werewolf, based upon a family legend of an ancestor accused of and killed for allegedly being one. Due to her past treatment by men, she travels the countryside seducing then killing the men she meets. Falling in love with a kind man, her life appears to take a turn for the better [until] she is raped and her lover is killed by a band of thugs. Traumatized again by these latest events, the woman returns to her violent ways and seeks revenge on the thugs."

If you have ever seen The Big Bang Theory, this is exactly the kind of movie I would expect Penny to make; if you haven't, it's a good example of a drive-in sexploitation flick with lots of gratuitous nudity aimed at randy teenagers. Apparenlty the director set out to make a "serious" film about lycanthropy. That's too bad.

I never went to the drive-in in my town but the ads in the local paper were soooo suggestive.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

WEREWOLF WOMAN (Italian, 1976): "A young woman suffers from the delusion that she is a werewolf, based upon a family legend of an ancestor accused of and killed for allegedly being one. Due to her past treatment by men, she travels the countryside seducing then killing the men she meets. Falling in love with a kind man, her life appears to take a turn for the better [until] she is raped and her lover is killed by a band of thugs. Traumatized again by these latest events, the woman returns to her violent ways and seeks revenge on the thugs."

If you have ever seen The Big Bang Theory, this is exactly the kind of movie I would expect Penny to make; if you haven't, it's a good example of a drive-in sexploitation flick with lots of gratuitous nudity aimed at randy teenagers. Apparenlty the director set out to make a "serious" film about lycanthropy. That's too bad.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Sorry for the short notice but I only just discovered this flipping through the guide myself, but The Best Years of Our Lives with be aired on TCM today at 3:45P (CT). 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

It doesn't look as if we're going to get any more participation so, without further ado, the winner is...

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES

The Best Years of Our Lives won five Acadamy Awards in 1946, including Best Picture, but it has not remained popular. According to Lucy Shelton-Caswell: "[It] tells about three soldiers who return to civilian life in a small city after World War II. The problems of a banker returning to his job, a sailor who lost his hands in the war, and a pilot who finds himself unemployable and his marriage disintegrating are depicted in the film. the 'America' values of work, patriotism and home and family are emphasized as the plot unfolds. This was the only film for Harold russell, a veteran who had lost both hands during World war II, and he won an Acadamny Award for his remarkable performance." 

I was aware that this was coming up on TCM. If I had known there was interest I would have posted about it.

A few years ago, when I saw this movie for the first time, I was surprised that a 1946 movie was so frank about the physical and mental issues faced by veterans of the war that ended only the year before.

Finished the existing Mission: Impossible movies Tuesday night with Fallout.

I enjoyed it, but couldn't help noticing that A) we had the same team as last movie (for the first time), B) we had the same villain as last time (for the first time) and C) the CIA was trying to undermine/dissolve the IMF (for the third time). That's a little too much repetition for my taste, but the next movie doesn't feature Blofeld Lark and that was the part that bothered me most.

Not that the plot repetition really matters, because who's there for the plot? The stunts were heart-stopping, as usual, and vertiginous, as usual. (The jokes are about Tom Cruise always running in his movies, and he does, but in the M:I movies he also does a lot of dangerous climbing in very high places.)

Tom Cruse has been doing this for 26 years now. How many of his stunts he's still doing I don't know, and my wife says he's had some "work" done. *shrug* Fallout looked good.

Speaking of the next movie (Mission: Impossible -- Dead Reckoning Part 1, 2023), it doesn't have Angela Basset repeating as the CIA director, so maybe we won't have a fourth bout of CIA vs. IMF. That's a huzzah from me. But it does have a ton of familiar faces, so many I can understand why it's going to take two parts to service them all. There's Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter herself), Shea Wiggins (also in Agent Carter, plus Boardwalk Empire and Perry Mason), Pom Klementieff (Mantis in the MCU), Charles Parnell (Top Gun: Maverick, Spiderhead, Constantine), Cary Elwes (the Dread Pirate Roberts, Glory) and the ubiquitous Indira Varma (Rome, Game of Thrones, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kama Sutra, Human Target and a jillion other things).

The regular team of the last two movies returns (Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson). The "White Widow" (Vanessa Kirby) repeats, threatening to become a regular.

Watching Saving Private Ryan, which, somehow, I've never managed to do before. It's as jaw-dropping as it's been made out to be.

Captain Comics said:

Stumbled across “Road to Perdition” on Netflix the other night, one of those movies I always intended to watch but never remembered to look for. Not only is it adapted from a graphic novel, but everyone says it’s a very good movie.


Turns out that everyone is right. The tone is perfect, the acting impeccable, the period effects overwhelmingly convincing. Tom Hanks can say more with a look than most actors can with three pages of dialogue. (Which is necessary, since nobody in this movie says one more word than they have to.) it’s one of those films you wake up thinking about the next day.

It also turns out there’s a bonus for missing a movie for 20 years, which is that almost everybody in this movie was somebody then or became somebody after. Paul Newman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds, Stanley Tucci, Jude Law, the list goes on. I almost fell off the couch when I realized that Tom Hanks’ character’s son was played by a pre-adolescent Tyler Hoechlin (you know, the current Superman on The CW). I swear, I was recognizing guys with no speaking lines who were holding coats for the bosses.

Good movie.


Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Tom Hanks’ character’s son was played by a pre-adolescent Tyler Hoechlin (you know, the current Superman on The CW)"

I did not know that!

It's been a while since I last watched Road to Perdition (or read the graphic novel). Actually, I gave my copy to a friend as a gift 1) because I thought he would enjoy it, and 2) because I wanted to upgrade my personal copy. After 20+ years, I doubt my friend has even read it (or the first volume of Lone Wolf & Cub I gave him in hardcover), not have I replaced my personal copy. There is one particular image from the comic book I remember vividly of the kid looking out a car window with skyscrapers reflected in it. I think that shot was reproduced in the film, but of course that's relatively easy. 


Mark Sullivan (Vertiginous Mod) said:

That is amazing. I should re-watch at least a bit of it for that. 

I don't own the original graphic novel, but I have both of the sequels in my reading queue. Actually bought the first one in physical form, along with some late Vertigo comics I never got to. First comics I've purchased that were not e-comics in some time.

I've never seen Road to Perdition the movie, but I've got and have read all the illustrated spinoffs, On the Road to Perdition and Return to Perdition. (I have not seen or read the prose spinoffs, Road to Purgatory and Road to Paradise.)

The three On the Road to Perdition spinoffs, Book 1: Oasis, Book 2: Sanctuary and Book 3: Detour, fit within the middle chapters of Road to Perdition and are drawn by José Luis García-López, so of course they look fabulous. Return to Perdition, however, is drawn by Terry Beatty and it looks terrible and amateurish (and not just in comparison to García-López, but in its own right). 

THE NIGHTMARE NEVER ENDS (1980: "The investigation into the mysterious death of an aging Nazi war criminal hunter brings a surprising revelation to the cop working on the case. It appears the old man was actually following an individual with ties to the Nazis, who seems to have not aged in appearance in spite of the passage of over 30 years. The policeman and some other individuals decide to track down the mysterious individual to find out his horrifying secret."

I don't know wrote these summaries, but that one doesn't even mention the two main characters. Faith Clift is a devout Catholic doctor who experiences a flashback to WWII during that act of a fake clairvoyant in Las Vegas. None of the acting is very good in this movie, but the others actors' performances shine in comparison to hers. Her delivery is so wooden it comes across as a first-time read-through. Richard Moll (with a full head of hair) plays her atheist/author husband; his book God Is Dead has just been published. The bit about the Nazi hunter is incidental. The Nazi himself is a worshipper of Satan with cloven hooves instead of feet. It's not worth watching, but I thought someone should at least get the details right.

I plan to watch THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES over the weekend. 

For anyone who doesn't want to miss a movie on TCM, their TCM Schedule will let you look a month ahead:

TCM Schedule – Daily and Weekly Movie Schedule - Turner Classic Movies

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