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

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Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Sat Sep 19, 2009 5:06 am

Good Bye Solo

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1095442/

Exceptional hidden gem of a film which was filmed in Ginny's favorite place: Blowing Rock, North Carolina

A must see just for that. Blowing Rock is actually the key to the film as well as the legend behind it I think.
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

Walking Stranger
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Postby Walking Stranger » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:37 am

THE FOUNTAIN (2005)
Scénario : Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel.
Musique : Clint Mansell.
Réalisation : Darren Aronofsky.

A poetic movie with a sad but beautiful love story mixed with a reference to the Tree of Life namely Yggdrasil
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Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:13 am

Sharpe's Peril

The seventeenth installment of the Sharpe series with Sean Bean reprising his best role as Richard Sharpe. Set in India, the movie has a great story and a fairly happy ending.
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

ben
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Postby ben » Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:22 pm

It's been a long time since I've posted a movie review, I think I'll start again.

LET ME IN, with Chloe Grace Moretz (500 Days of Summer, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Kick @ss), Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road) and Directed by Matt Reeves.

This is one great vampire movie. You've probably haven't seen one with this kind of plot or story... that is if you haven't seen the original Swedish Let The Right One In. I personally saw Let The Right One In last year and had been eagerly anticipating this remake. It's a good remake, it did the original a lot of justice. Moretz and Smit-McPhee were great. Actually, the film and acting and directing didn't deviate much from the original at all. Such that if you haven't seen the first one, this would be a very original vampire movie. But for those who have seen the first one, it begs them to ask what is the point in doing this remake. Of course, that is aside from Americanizing it. But honestly speaking, it becomes an unnecessary watch... unless you're watching just to nitpick.

The movie is about Owen (Smit-McPhee), a 12 year old kid who is the favorite victim of 3 school bullies. And Abby, a 12 year old (for a long time now) vampire who just moved in next door to Owen. They soon become friends. And Owen suddenly discovers Abby's true identity. But you have to marvel at what a pure innocent love can do. How Owen had come to accept her for what she truly was. And willingly accepts his fate.

This ain't no action vampire movie, it has it's classic horror-film elements such as lots of blood, viciousness, horrible deaths, innocence under pressure and it's fair share of drama. Well, a little more than it's fair share of drama actually. So if you're expecting something along Van Helsing or Underworld type of vampire action, you'd be disappointed. But the best thing about this movie is that the vampire don't sparkle under the sun. Neither human nor vampire is vain and while a love triangle does exists, it doesn't involved any werewolves. So no need to choose what team you are. Obviously I'm no Twilight fan. :lol:

If you haven't seen the Swedish Let The Right One In, then I highly recommend this one. If you have... it's your money.
Always look on the bright side of life.

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:29 am

Treeless Mountain an interesting Korean film, made in Korea, but directed and written by a female Korean American. The story is about two young girls whose lives are turned upside down when their mother leaves them in the care of her sister in law. The little girls are thrown into a loveless environment and have many struggles. There one focus in life is to fill a piggy bank with money that their mother left them. The mother had told them "when the piggy bank is full I will be back to get you". The young girls roast grasshoppers and sale them as snacks to raise money to fill the bank. Eventually the sister in law can't care for them and turns the girls over to the grandparents out in the country. There they receive love and instruction from the grandmother. The two young girls are natural actors and do a terrific job for their first time on film. Asobi Seksu, a band from New York City have one of their songs on the movie soundtrack.

The film is entertainment for the whole damn family. All ages could watch and get something out of the movie. There is not a lot of violence and action, but the story is very realistic and those kids are amazing. You really hope for them to be happy and safe.
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

ben
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Postby ben » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:39 am

One of the very few movies that I remembered watching when I was around 5 or 6 was this HK martial arts/drama film called The 14 Amazons. While I don't remember much of the film, I do remember the main story and that awesome human bridge they did. Although the human bridge thing does border ridiculous but hey, fight scenes from Hero, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Curse of the Golden Flower were ridiculous but immensely entertaining and skillfully done. So it was a joy for me to find out that Jacky Chan was actually producing a remake of that film. And not only was he producing but was literally throwing in the money. News was Cecilia Chung (Ang Mo's former idol) was given NT$30M (New Taiwan $) for the job. So this was really going to be a movie of epic proportion.

These movies were based on the Chinese folk tales about the Yang Clan Generals. It's about the mother, sisters and widows of the warriors of the Yang Clan taking arms to defend the borders of their state during the Sung Dynasty. Greatly outnumbered and pressured by a corrupt officials, they fought and won. It actually had a very unique story as some of us knows that women are not regarded highly during those periods. And having them as the heroins of stories pass down from generation to generation is something to marvel at.

So without further adieu, I saw Legendary Amazons last night. I'm guessing that from my intro, some of you would be interested. But... don't keep your hopes up. If I have to describe this movie in one word it would simply be "sucks". Of course, you'd ask what part sucks. The answer can be summarized in one word... "everything". Script, directing, acting, fight choreography, warfare strategies, production, editing, special effects, story telling, sound, and I don't believed I was drawn to any of the OST either. And oh, to be fair, the armors were pretty awesome, the amazons looked all pretty and dandy in armor suits but it's so unrealistic that those armors remained like new even after several fight scenes. The film was just unintentionally hilarious. I thought Cecilia Chung's character was laughing when she was crying. There was a scene wherein a battering ram that's a large as a Grey Hound bus with about 2 dozen warriors pushing it was blown back by a gale of wind but all those ladies just stood their ground... incredible! The "human bridge", what they did here was pure stupidity and a great insult to the original one. Absolutely no creativity. Another incredible thing that happened was the "epic battle" scene, you can actually see numerous phalanx of soldiers simply standing there doing nothing, perhaps sunbathing. What a strategy. Would you believe that discreetly spreading ants is an amazing tactic to disable a whole troop of soldiers? And would you believe that major characters can shoot 2 arrows at any given time and both arrows would hit their targets. Giving it a 3 out of 10 rating (10 as the great) is being generous. As of writing, I chance upon my signature... I guess this film is hilarious. But that would be subjective because it's either you laugh so hard or you bang your head on the wall out of disappointment. This film was supposed to be an epic historical film but turn's out to be an epic fail.
Always look on the bright side of life.

aaparallel
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Postby aaparallel » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:00 am

ben wrote:
These movies were based on the Chinese folk tales about the Yang Clan Generals. It's about the mother, sisters and widows of the warriors of the Yang Clan taking arms to defend the borders of their state during the Sung Dynasty. Greatly outnumbered and pressured by a corrupt officials, they fought and won. It actually had a very unique story as some of us knows that women are not regarded highly during those periods. And having them as the heroins of stories pass down from generation to generation is something to marvel at.

This film was supposed to be an epic historical film but turn's out to be an epic fail.


I love the story of the Yang clan. The first period drama series I ever watched was Heroine of the Yangs with Amy Chan and Vincent Jiao. I also have The Yang Saga mini series with the "5 Tigers" Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Felix Wong, Michael Miu and Ken Tong. Both are great. Now I'm sad that this movie turned out to be horrible. More people should have the opportunity to see a good version of this story.
"Drowning my pain in lemonade. . . Singing along to 'feelin' alright'"

ben
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Postby ben » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:42 am

@aaparallel, it's a shame that Legendary Amazons was made in such a horrible way. To add insults to injuries, I'm a Yang myself and those amazons are probably my ancestors... or responsible for protecting my ancestors. Hehe.

Anyway, I just saw The Flowers of War last night. Another film by one of the best Chinese director, Zhang Yimou and based on the novel 13 Flowers of Nanjing by Geling Yan. How was it? After watching the acting of NT$30M Cecilia Chung in Legendary Amazons, I'd say any of the lead actors here deserved NT$90M for their performances. Ni Ni (the lead female actor) making her debut acting was better by leaps and bounds compared to the veteran Cecilia Chung. I just feel so bad that I still had to rant about how horrible Legendary Amazons was. Moving on. :D

This film was a drama but not before showing us a couple of action scenes which I'll discuss later on. About an American mortician named John Miller (Christian Bale) in war-torn Nanjing (aka Nanking), China. Historically, this is set on the Nanjing Massacre also known as the Rape of Nanjing incident. Circumstances forced Miller to pretend to be the head priest of a convent for Catholic girls. At the same time, a group of prostitutes who holed up in the church cellar also wanted him to help them escape from the city. Bale was just so good when acting out scenes where he had to pretend that everything was going to be alright when he knew inside that things won't. You'd probably chock on your saliva trying not let those tears fall from your eyes. His character started out as selfish bastard who magically transforms into a selfless hero. One may think that's a tricky scheme to pull but then near the end, Miller says something about his past and with just a few sentences it all falls into place. Pretty nice subtle explanation. Huang Tianyuan who played George Chen, a 16-ish orphan adopted by the head priest was just dandy in his role. This is one dedicated kid, annoying in some ways but truly dedicated. He did some really emotional and realistic acting too. And then there's Tong Dawei, who played Major Li, the leader of the remaining defending Chinese soldiers. He didn't say much but his attitude was worthy of a true hero. Loved how he carried himself in the midst of the prostitutes. He is a major character but like his rank, it's not high enough. Nevertheless, I liked his character. And then there's the new Mou Girl, Ni Ni, strange name if you're not used to Chinese names. Only on her first movie and she shown a lot of potentials. Given more projects, we'd all probably get comfty with her name like the other 2 Mou Girls, Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi.

Yimou just won't disappoint those action junkies. Despite the fact that this was a drama film, he did inject a couple of really exciting battle scenes that's enough make a war-movie fan satisfied. The first battle scene was a straight up shoot out between the defending Chinese soldiers against the invading Japanese soldiers. Think Saving Private Ryan's battle scene near the end. The human-shield shoot in slow motion was really something to look at... with matching emotions. And then there's the Enemy At The Gate-ish battle scene. Pacing was dropped a couple of notches down, it's a brilliant sniper against a whole squad (or platoon or whatever). I'm guessing real soldiers would be able to point out some ridiculousness in these 2 scenes but I just loved them.

A word of caution, there are a few gores and disturbing scenes. But it is a war movie so these were expected. The one thing I felt that was kind'a of was that with all the activities going on, I know I would be physically drained. But none of the characters here showed any of that. But I'm just nit picking.

Conclusion... watch it! It's a film that wins movie awards.
Always look on the bright side of life.

Ang Mo
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Re: This week's Movie review......

Postby Ang Mo » Tue May 01, 2012 3:47 am

A documentary called Dr. Bonner's Magic Soapbox. In the early 70's my family and I would go on backpacking trips. One of the items we always took was a biodegradeable soap called Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap and the label on the bottle had all these zany religious comments such as "For on God's spaceship earth, with Bomb & Gun we're All One or None. All One! All One! Anyway Dr. Bronner was a college professor and an escaped mental patient from Illinois. He actually escaped a mental hospital and ran off to California where he started making his Pure Castille Soap. (He was a Jewish German who fled Nazi Germany, but his family had made soap for many generations) Anyway it is a wondeful product. You can bathe with it, wash your clothes with it, and clean with it, and it does not harm the environment. Although Bronner was a major anti-communist and sort of a right winger (the FBI kept a file on him), he was embraced by the liberal students of Berkeley who loved using the soap because it makes you tingle and it was not harmful to the environment. Anyway the film is a wonderful documentary that tells the story of his life, his children who still run the soap business, and what a great company their father created. It is an inspirational movie about a family that had been through a hell of a lot but managed to weather the storm and give back to the community.

After watching the film I went to the local REI and purchased a bottle of the Peppermint Soap. Once that tingle hits, you can't help but scream, "Unite spaceship Earth, all one, all one. It is truly a great product!
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

rahau
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Re: This week's Movie review......

Postby rahau » Wed May 23, 2012 5:21 am

Over the past two weeks, San Francisco's Roxie Theater has held its semi-annual Film Noir Festival. Two glorious weeks of gritty black and white cinematography; edgy, jazzy, avante-garde music scores; tough-talking detectives and tougher-talking dames; passion, betrayal, impending doom, despair, and totally cool forties and fifties-era cars. Life is good.

Some of the classic Noir films I've caught: Two Nicholas Ray/Humphrey Bogart masterpieces, Knock On Any Door and In A Lonely Place; The Big Combo with Cornell Wilde and Richard Conti; the low-budget classics Detour and The Scarf; and Mark Robson's unjustly forgotten Edge of Doom.

After viewing these films, I've developed what I call Rahau's Rule: Any film submitted for consideration as a Noir film should have at least one '49 Ford, preferably a '49 Ford cop car. Exceptions can be made, of course, as in the case of Detour's '41 Lincoln convertible, or In A Lonely Place's 1949 Mercury convertible driven by Humphrey Bogart.

ben
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Re: This week's Movie review......

Postby ben » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:36 am

Saw PROMETHEUS last night. The highly anticipated Alien "origin" movie by Ridley Scott.

Personally, I was disappointed. It's not that impressive at all. They do got some really great eye candies, my favorites were those nature shots at the beginning of the film. The film itself suffered with poor character development, poor writing that led to a lot of inconsistencies and plot holes. Some of the characters who were supposed to be brilliant scientists, archaeologist, and the likes were rather stupid than brilliant. I mean, how could the guy who made gadgets that creates a 3 dimensional digital map of cavern-like structure that's several miles in diameter in a few hours get lost when he is wearing the monitoring device on his hand. And that's just one of it. I spent more than 2 hours watching one character getting killed after another and I just didn't really care at all. I didn't even care if they all died 1 hour into the film. And when this spaceship rolled over one of the character, I actually felt that I was more concerned to see a cat getting rolled over by a car than that character. The characters just didn't connect with the audience... at least not with me. I didn't like the pacing either. I found myself starting to get bored at certain points.

But the good news is, I do know some folks did enjoy it. And if you don't care much about nitpicking or over-analyzing scientific and logical details (which I did primarily because it is a Sci-Fi pic), you'd probably enjoy it. I mean that spaceship crashing down and rolling was something... not to mention the operation was suspenseful.
Always look on the bright side of life.

Ang Mo
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Re: This week's Movie review......

Postby Ang Mo » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:58 am

After consuming nearly my entire body weight in Green Bean Chicken, I decided to watch The Appaloosa with Marlon Brando. In his prime he was a great actor. I love this film and most importantly the film has a very happy ending. I even use part of the dialog during job interviews that are not going well. It is always fun to pull a giant sombrero out of my gym bag, place it on my head, take a quarter out of my pocket, flip it at the person conducting the job interview and say,
and that is for the pulque amigo!
and then just walk out. They look perplexed and I am laughing like a hyena. I really need to stop drinking that diet coke. Here is the clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyPrJ1k65as
Now I'm hungry for Chicken Mole. :lol:
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

cmooreNC
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Re: This week's Movie review......

Postby cmooreNC » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:23 am

Hmmm.... I wonder if I could try that? Although I must admit that it has been several years since I've been out on a job interview (fortunately) and my interviewing skills are quite rusty.....
Chris

Ang Mo
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Re: This week's Movie review......

Postby Ang Mo » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:32 am

Never give up the faith and if you are asked the dreaded Google question, "How many cows are in Canada?" you calmly reply, "Soylent Green is people"
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

rahau
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Re: This week's Movie review......

Postby rahau » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:40 am

I've seen four films this year that made quite an impression. The first, The Wrecking Crew, is a documentary about the brilliant but anonymous recording session musicians from the fifties, sixties, and seventies. You hear them on any number of hit songs. Quite often, they were the reason a song became a hit. They backed up any number of big name singers, and often played in place of the band members. Back in the sixties, The Monkees took some flak over rumors they were not actually playing their own instruments on their records. Turns out, quite a few of the bands recorded their vocal tracks, then left the instrumental work to The Wrecking Crew. It's a fascinating, behind the scenes look at a memorable time and place. Chris Tedesco, the son of legendary Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco, made the film on a shoestring budget. He premiered it several years ago at film festivals, but could not get a distribution deal because he didn't have the legal clearances for the songs. A recent Kickstarter campaign raised the cash for the clearances. The film has since been on HBO and several other channels, and can be streamed on Amazon.

Tom Hanks' son Colin told a closely related story in the film, All Things Must Pass, about the rise and fall of Tower Records. The story began inside the Tower Drug Store in Sacramento. The owner's son talked his father into letting him sell records in the store. Eventually, Tower Records branched out across the nation, and to Japan,Britain, and several other countries. Common knowledge says the internet killed Tower, but Hanks makes the case that it was a much more complex set of circumstances. I saw it earlier this year at the San Francisco Film Festival. The film goes into general release in September. Well worth seeing.

A few weeks ago, I saw The Curse of Quon Gwon, a 1915 film that seems to be the first made by Asian-Americans. A 20-year old woman named Marion Wong wrote, produced, and directed the film, and also designed the costumes and played the villainess. Her stunningly beautiful sister-in-law Vivian Wong played the heroine. The film was quite sophisticated, considering it was the work of a 20-year old neophyte. But Marion never managed to get a distribution deal, and the film's master copy languished in her home. Now, only about a third of the film remains. The other film canisters were lost over the years. That's a shame, because the film showed some real promise.

Last week, I saw The Best of Enemies, the story of the hostile relationship between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley. ABC hired both to provide commentary during the 1968 presidential nominating conventions. But the two spent most of their time attacking each other. Things culminated in a spectacular blowup, with Vidal calling Buckley a "crypto-Nazi," and Buckley responding with a gay slur and a threat to punch Vidal. The film captures the time and mood of the sixties, and suggests this encounter led to the sad state of television we now see, with shouting matches replacing any sort of thoughtful discourse.
Last edited by rahau on Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.


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