Nice monster movie, funny most of the time, a few good scares, good effects and everything. Full of death and serious situations, but never feels heavy or grim.

GUY is a dim slacker with a young daughter, a drunk college-grad brother, a champion archer sister, and a dad who owns a food stand on the beach, where guy and his daughter also live. One day a legged, tail-swinging fish monster attacks the beach and steals the daughter. After they find out she’s still alive via a cellphone call, they set out to rescue her. Of course the archery will play a part in this, along with a homeless man with a tank of gasoline. The girl actually dies at the end (so does grandpa), but she helps an even younger homeless boy, who ends up living with our guy after the almost-successful rescue attempt.

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Americans are implicated everywhere! First a belligerent US lab guy orders his assistant to dump a whole lot of used formaldehyde down the drains into the river. Then the US forces (which have laughably low security throughout the movie) take charge of hunting down the monster and quarantining the area. Then they apparently lie about the monster being “the host” of a crazy killer virus that never really exists, capturing our guy and extracting tissue samples from his brain! Finally they try to destroy the monster with “agent yellow”, a gas that causes all the cops and student protesters and our family members to cough and bleed from their mouths and ears, but of course doesn’t hurt the monster one bit. One particular American military doctor just looks so ludicrous in close-up that the whole theater was laughing at him. Not such a pro-US film, then… but they take us down in entertaining ways.

A good movie, worth waiting to see in theaters (video has been out for a while). A dysfunctional family teams up to fight a giant monster… sort of Little Miss Sunshine vs. Godzilla.

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The lead guy and his sister starred in Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, and the men of the family were all in Memories of Murder, Joon-ho Bong’s popular 2003 movie.

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Postcolonial Wednesday, part one. I loved everything about the movie, but Katy didn’t like it because of its colonialist politics.

Based on a Rumer Godden novel, and she was on set during filming. Harriet is a young aspiring poet, who thinks she knows all about India… neighbor Valerie is the daughter of a rich American… and neighbor Melanie is half-Indian with an American father (Mr. John) trying to maintain both her American and Indian heritage. One day Captain John shows up and they all fall for him, though Melania tries to hide it. Oh and Harriet’s little brother Bogey has an unhealthy (and eventually fatal) interest in animals, especially poisonous snakes.

A gorgeous movie, looked great on the big screen. Life/death/love/loss themes throughout, all loosely tied (by Harriet more than by the Indians) to the river. The dream sequence told by Melanie (featuring two Indian gods and some dancing) is so great it even impressed Katy. Renoir movies make me feel more alive.

Harriet’s father, Esmond Knight, was in some Powell/Pressburger movies. Most of the other actors were in plenty of other films, except the nanny “Nan” who was in one more IMDB-credited movie… and Harriet, who never was in another movie, and died from cancer in 1967. Her real dad, a comic movie star in the early 30’s, died three weeks later.

CONTEXT: Jean Renoir made The River semi-independently in India after his Hollywood period (Woman on the Beach, Diary of a Chambermaid, etc) and right before his return to France with the celebrated Coach / Cancan / Elena trio. Came out around the same time as Statues Also DieSamuel Fuller was getting started… Bunuel’s Olvidados, Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest… some good sci-fi was out in the States… Fritz Lang was making House by the River and Clash by Night and Ophuls had “Madame de…” and “Le Plaisir“.

Music video director Slade does a fine job here. He should be One To Look Out For in the future. Actually-18-yr-old Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde in X-men 3!) stars with Patrick Wilson (in his second movie featuring pedophilia and castration in a single year, jeez louise), and Sandra Oh has a single scene as a nosy neighbor.

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Great looking movie, candy-bright and colorful, lots of close-ups and private-ryan framing. About a predatory 14-yr-old girl who lets herself get picked up by an obvious pedophile online only to turn the tables, tie him up, torture him, and lead him to kill himself. The spoiler twist is that she’s done this before, and that he and another guy once kidnapped and killed another girl, who may have been our heroine’s friend.

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That’s pretty much the whole thing. A great first half gives way to a not-as-great second half. The ending doesn’t exactly kill the whole movie, but it comes close. I’ll blame the writer. Straightforward. She always seems to be in control, there’s never any question that he’s a pedophile, and he is never sympathetic. The girl calling his ex-girlfriend and pretending to be a cop is the only part that doesn’t quite fit – she’s a little too thorough in her psychological profiling for a 14-yr-old.

Next up for this director, writer and cinematographer: a Josh Hartnett vampire movie set in Alaska! Can’t wait.

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Would Katy have liked it? One day I hope to find out.

Kid has divorced parents, is picked Kirin Rider at an annual festival. Meets a red-faced guy, a cute gerbil muppet, and a hot naked girl:

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Kid must wield the legendary goblin sword and defeat the big evil guy (actor from Loft) and his hot girl assistant:

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Once we have our two opposing hot girls in place, the movie just cuts loose with nutty imagery:

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Awesomely disturbing children’s movie on the level of Neverending Story. Want to some day show this movie to actual children to warp them forever. Will have to narrate the japanese subtitles live, I guess, but it will be worth it. Me, I enjoyed every minute of this cruelly twisted flick.

Katy didn’t watch this one. I don’t know if she would’ve liked it. I guess if she likes children and good photography, it’s a sure thing. Also, Jerri and Jimmy and I liked it, so it has proven widespread appeal among the 25-35 urban-hipster set.

Travelling movie show comes to town with Frankenstein, and two impressionable young girls watch it. Ana and Isabel have spooky eyes and active fantasy lives, but not as visually crazily active as in Heavenly Creatures. The younger (Ana) runs away, gives her father’s coat and some food to a criminal (who is later discovered and killed), eats hallucinogenic mushrooms, dreams her father as Frankenstein, and is eventually found and brought home. She’s been tricked and lied to and condescended to and has grown and gained a healthy distrust of authority. Apparently there’s a lot of political commentary about Spain in here.

Cute fable about a crippled girl (with blind mom) who wants to sell newspapers. Gang of boys makes throat-slitting gestures at her, shoves her off pier and steals her crutch, but never sells any papers themselves. Very good looking movie. Katy had seen it before.

Girl Who Sold The Sun