From a one-eyed musician to a time-traveling spy: movies viewed (#SFWApro)

KUBO OF THE TWO STRINGS (2016) is an excellent animated fantasy in which the eponymous one-eyed pre-teen discovers he’s actually descended from the Japanese gods. Unfortunately, the rage grandfather Ralph Fiennes felt over his mother marrying a mortal (Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey respectively) has now descended on him full-force. Great to look and completely absorbing; Rooney Mara plays an ominous auntie. “If you’re going to blink, do it now.”

The Korean film MOTHER (2009) is a too-familiar crime drama in which a mother struggles to prove her mentally handicapped son didn’t murder the woman he was out with last night. I gave up on this one midway through — not really bad but nothing that demanded my interest either.

COME BACK TO ME (2014) has a young woman trying to make sense of her night terrors by videotaping her room at night, only to discover her weirdo teenage neighbor is using his death-cheater powers to kill, rape and resurrect her night after night. One I think I watched partway through while working on Now and Then We Time Travel but stopped after I was satisfied the protagonist’s issues weren’t time-travel related. I can’t say watching the whole thing adds anything to my wellbeing.

DIMENSION 5 (1966) is the Bond variation in which “Espionage Incorporated” agents  Jeffrey Hunter and Frances Nuyen use their time-travel belts to stay one step ahead of Chi-Com spymaster Big Buddha (Harold Sakata) while thwarting his plot to nuke LA unless the US pulls out of Southeast Asia. What makes this distinctive isn’t so much the time-travel element but how limited our heroes’ use of it is — a kind of crystal ball (see Big Buddha’s next move and counter it!) or make a fast escape from a danger zone, rather than, say, going back after a defeat and fixing things. Though as you can see, the poster plays up that as the distinctive angle, along with Nuyen’s looks and the presence of Goldfinger brute man Sakata (clearly they thought they’d grab more eyeballs than Hunter). “You can always quit and raise coconuts.”

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