This week's Movie review......

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cmooreNC
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Postby cmooreNC » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:08 pm

Ang Mo wrote:Chris,

Aren't you suppose to stay on topic and keep yammering on about the sex scene in Lust, Caution? :lol:

The biography probably did not state he grew up real poor either. :wink:

I will have to scan through his book and see for myself. :lol:



Well, I haven't seen the sex scene being discussed, so I don't feel qualified to chime in on that topic.

And actually the description of Barack's days in the Philippines sound pretty poor. Not that he ever cries "Oh, we were so poor....", but he has definitely had his "below average" moments on the economic scale while growing up. So I think of all the candidates he can best identify with "average Americans".

Please do scan the book. It's a very interesting read.
Chris

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Postby Scot » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:57 pm

So, I saw Lust,Caution and The Drummer yesterday as part of a local
Chinese New Year movie festival. The Drummer was a very good movie
with nice camera work and scenery. The drumming, naturally, was great.

Lust, Caution was not as dramatic/disturbing as I expected it to be based
on the discussion here. I do wonder why every shot of the sex scenes
were considered necessary, but they were very powerful if you allowed
yourself to get in the heads of the two players and think about what they
were thinking about during those scenes. The violence was certainly
rough to accept. But the best thing I can say about the movie is that despite
its close to 3-hr length, it did not seem long at all. This must mean it was
captivating and it flowed well. Of course there wasn't a happy ending, but
then I wasn't expecting one.

s
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Postby Ang Mo » Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:10 am

Well, I haven't seen the sex scene being discussed, so I don't feel qualified to chime in on that topic


I haven't either, but I still yammered on. :lol: I did read on a review board that the female actress was not allowed to shave her armpits for authenticity. The critic said he did not like that much realism to a scene like that. Not to split hairs, but I probably agree with him. :lol:

Hey Scot,
The lack of a happy ending kind of kills my desire to watch it. I hate downer films where everybody dies or ends on a hopeless note.
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

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Postby ben » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:47 am

Last night, I saw FATAL ATTRACTION for the first time. It made me wonder why it's a suspense-thriller, I mean it should be categorized as a horror movie. Heck, it scared the wits out of me. :D Boy, I know I'm about 20 years late with this film but wow! Glenn Close did a heck of an acting there.
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Postby Ang Mo » Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:29 am

I watched another great classic:Plunder in the Sun with Glenn Ford.
About a man who is hired by an unscrupulous antiquities dealer to smuggle a stolen artifact back into Mexico from Cuba. The artificact is key to finding a buried Aztec treasure. Watched it on Apple TV. The film looked brand new, even though it was black and white. Apple TV is a great way to go. You can order a lot of movies and the picture quality is amazing.
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

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Postby rahau » Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:40 am

Two of my all-time favorite films are from 1996: Big Night, by Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci; and John Sayles' Lone Star.

For his latest film, Honeydripper, Sayles seems to have borrowed the basic plot device from Big Night: The owner of a failing bar/restaurant bets everything on the appearance of a Major Star, in the hopes that the star will bring in enough customers to save the business.

Danny Glover plays Purvis, a former blues and jazz pianist who now owns the Honeydripper, a roadhouse in 1950 Alabama. His roadhouse features live blues singers, but they have become passe in the early fifties. A competing roadhouse, with nothing more than a jukebox playing rhythm and blues, draws much bigger crowds. Purvis is deeply in debt to both a black loan shark and the white sheriff. Desperate, he books up-and-coming rhythm and blues performer "Guitar Sam" for one night, despite his low opinion of rhythm and blues in general and guitarists in particular.

Glover turns in the performance of a lifetime. At times all world-weary resignation, his character of Purvis still occasionally finds the tenacity and determination to survive in 1950 Alabama. Stacy Keach has a wonderful turn as a thoroughly corrupt but somehow human sheriff. Keb Mo is both hilarious and touching as a blind blues singer who acts as the film's Greek Chorus. Writer-director Sayles still has his pitch-perfect ear for dialogue, and an uncanny ability to capture the bleak soul of a small southern town.

Much like John Carney's Once, Honeydripper is a musical of a different sort. There are several full-length musical numbers, but they are an organic part of the story and setting. The music itself is worth the price of admission.

There have been several films about musicians. The bad, phony ones far outnumber the successes. Honeydripper will be remembered as one of the best of all time.

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Postby rahau » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:03 am

I just got back from the San Francisco International Asian-American Film Festival, where I saw two extraordinary films.

Frosted Yellow Willows is the long-awaited documentary about Anna May Wong, the first true Asian-American movie star. Like many other pioneers, Wong was ahead of her time, and paid a heavy price for it. Indescribably beautiful, she was also brilliant and talented, but had to slog her way through several wretchedly stereotypical roles. Worse, the challenging roles she craved, such as O-Lan in "The Good Earth," always went to white actors. During tonight's screening, the audience laughed bitterly every time these white actors were shown in - to use the term of that time - "yellowface."

But the best film of the night was "Long Story Short," a delightful documentary about Larry and Trudie Long, an Asian-American husband-and-wife song and dance team from the forties and fifties. The film is narrated by their actress daughter Jodi, and directed by Christine Choy ("Who Killed Vincent Chin.")

The Longs worked for several years on the Chinese club circuit when they finally got their big break. They were booked onto the Ed Sullivan Show in 1954. They knocked 'em dead with their dancing, singing, and especially their comedy, which both played to and skewered the prevailing stereotypes.

But this was in the pre-VCR era. The Longs never saw their performance. Larry, a superb dancer and singer, was later cast in the original Broadway version of "Flower Drum Song," but was soon (unfairly) fired. A short time later, the Longs' marriage collapsed. Larry went back on the road, and later remarried.

Larry finally gained some measure of redemption when Jodi got a part in the Broadway revival of "Flower Drum Song." Better yet, Jodi tracked down a kinescope recording of their Ed Sullivan appearance. The most moving segment of the film shows Larry and Trudie finally seeing themselves on the Sullivan show for the first time. But they watched the clip separately. The two were not on friendly terms. They finally came to a reconciliation of sorts on - of all things - the night of their daughter's debut in "Flower."

I'm glad I had the chance to see this film with the SFIAAFF crowd. When the kinescope of the Sullivan show came on screen, showing Larry's world-class dancing and singing, the audience stood and cheered. Great moment. When the movie ended, Elaine Mae Woo, Christine Choy, and Jodi and Trudie Long came onstage for a Q&A session. The audience was so enthusiastic, the theater management practically had to evict us.

I chatted a bit with Christine Choy afterwards. She told me there is no deal - yet - for a DVD. Keep an eye out for it in your local art-film theater. It's one of the most enjoyable non-fiction films I've seen in years.

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Postby Ang Mo » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:51 am

Watched No Country for Old Men which had a very traumatizing scene featuring a viscious pitbull. Very depressing film with a confusing downer ending. Received a lot of awards which only convinced me that the movie business is going to hell.

On a sad note, Richard Widmark, died at the age of 93. I enjoy watching his movies a lot.

Saw a film called Blue State which was entertaining and managed a happy ending. The premise is about a John Kerry supporter who decides to move to Canada after Bush won his second term. It had some funny scenes in it.
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

byranbu
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Postby byranbu » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:18 am

I watched “No Country For Old Men” a couple weeks ago and thought the movie was very good right up until the end. When it ended all I could say was “What the ##*!! :shock: ?” The end can sometimes make an average movie a great movie. I enjoy an unexpected ending even when all do not live happily ever after but, this ending was just, terrible. I agree with you, the movie business is going to hell.
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Postby Ang Mo » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:28 am

Yeah, the movie business is just becoming terrbile. I watched the Darjeeling Limited with Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody, and Jason Swartzman. It was the usual weird Wes Anderson film that is enjoyable in parts and painful in others. It did manage a somewhat happy ending however and I really liked the soundtrack, especially the Indian Music.
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

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Postby ben » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:41 am

"No Country For Old Men" felt like "Babel" to me... over-rated. The acting was good but frankly, the story, plot, cinematography and some other technical stuff are simply common or boring. I would have agreed that the movie business is heading for hell but having watch "There Will Be Blood", "Michael Clayton", "Before The Devil Knows You're Dead", and "The Kite Runner" makes me decides otherwise. These aren't exactly movies that hits you with a big bang but they do show a lot of quality and brilliance.
Always look on the bright side of life.

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Postby Ang Mo » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:49 am

Watched another classic called Adventures of a Young Man which is several adapted stories by Ernest Hemingway in semiautobiographical form. Exceptional film dealing with Hemingway's earlier years, his involvement in World War 1. A huge string of great actors including a cameo by Paul Newman in nearly unrecognizeable form. Beautiful musical soundtrack with a unique use of the flute and the cinematography is perfect. Hemingway was signed on to be the narrator of the film but committed suicide before the production began. Very sad.
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

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Postby ben » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:52 am

Saw Wong Kar-Wai's (Happy Together, In The Mood For Love, 2048) latest movie, My Blueberry Night. It co-stars Jude Law, David Strathairn, Rachel Weisz, Natalie Portman and guess who? Norah Jones as the main character. This is WKW first full-length English feature movie. Like most of his films, it touches the sad part of peoples life and most often leaves you hanging and thinking just what he meant. Here, the ending doesn't leaves you sobbing and best of all, none of those fitting-in-the-pieces-of-the-puzzle moments. Each issues had been concluded pretty well. The story or stories were not the best but not bad at all. As for the acting, Jones was effective, it didn't require her to do anything exceptional though. The film is basically to to showcase the talents her co-stars. And they delivered.

Not exactly my favorite WKW film, but watching this gives me great satisfaction. A good watch, well worth the DVD. And if your into Jazz, the OST is a great one.
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Postby Skysong » Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:55 pm

Has anyone seen The Orphanage yet? Produced by Guillermo del Toro a la Pan's Labyrinth. The main plot isn't wholly original, but the actual film is gorgeously creepy and made me jump on more than one occasion.

Definitely well worth seeing!

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Postby rahau » Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:25 am

Earlier in this thread, I mentioned the film Long Story Short, a delightful documentary about Larry and Trudie Long, an Asian-American husband and wife song and dance team from the fifties.

A heads-up for those of you who live in the New York area: According to the film's web site, Long Story Short will be featured at the New York Asian American International Film Festival next month.

My two cents: Make every effort to catch this film. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cheer. Just a great, great film. It's still not on DVD, and there is no deal in the works, so this might be your rare chance to see it. And even if it were out on DVD, you'll still prefer seeing it in a theater with an appreciative audience, and possibly with Jodi and Trudi Long in attendance. I was lucky enough to be in the audience the night of its world premiere at the SFIAAFF, and had a terrific time.


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