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

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ben
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Postby ben » Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:23 am

Finally saw Curse of the Golden Flower. I'm not that impressed with the story but it doesn't mean to say that it was bad. I'm more impressed with the visuals, the preparations and the sheer number of extras. It's actually the first movie I've seen or know where you see a "sea of cleavages". :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: Really, it's a nice film.

Also got to watch Pan's Labyrinth. Jade can take the credit, her post peaked my interest. The movie reminds me of Jennifer Connely's The Labyrinth from way back in the 80's. But this one's so much better... in so many ways.
Always look on the bright side of life.

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:58 am

Watched a film called The Pianist. Based on the real life story of a Jewish composer and pianist named Wladyslaw Szpilman, who was taken prisoner in Warsaw, Poland during World War II. The film chronicles his years of struggling to survive, with the interesting twist of being helped by a sympathetic Nazi soldier who helps feed him and keep him hidden near the end of the war. A very good movie but very difficult to watch in places due to the cruelty of the Nazi's.

Well Ben, your comments on The Curse of the Golden Flower have been noted and I will wait to watch it when it comes out on DVD.[/b]
--the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved once and for all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?

rahau
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Postby rahau » Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:22 am

ben wrote:Finally saw Curse of the Golden Flower. I'm not that impressed with the story but it doesn't mean to say that it was bad. I'm more impressed with the visuals, the preparations and the sheer number of extras. It's actually the first movie I've seen or know where you see a "sea of cleavages". :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: Really, it's a nice film.


I liked it, too. Big surprise - I enjoyed a Gong Li film. :wink: One reviewer said the story was "operatic." No kidding. It was damn near Wagnerian.

Ben's right, the visuals were impressive: The photography, the art direction, the battle scenes, and especially the costumes. Why, I had no idea the push-up bra was invented in 10th century China! Gee, the things you learn at the movies ... :)

Gong Li's latest movie is the new Hannibal Lecter film. Don't think I'll see it, though. Too gory. Given a choice between gory violence and cleavage, I'll take the latter anyday ...

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:29 pm

Given a choice between gory violence and cleavage, I'll take the latter anyday ...


Amen! Especially if it is in a business suit! :lol:
--the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved once and for all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:02 am

Watched a terriffic old movie. It was part of the Paul Newman DVD collection. It is a box set of seven movies. I spent a small fortune obtaining this box set because it had my favorite detective film Harper in it.

However, I watched one of the others called The Young Philadelphians and it was one great movie. Newman plays an attorney who has grown up around the rich and powerful and tries to keep himself independent from their powerful and cruel influence. He does a good job of cutting his own path and ends up saving the life of his friend played by Robert Vaughan who has been charged with murder. Tremendous eye candy in this film as well. That Barbara Rush is one incredibly hot woman and looks beyond magnificent in a business suit or anything else. If I were one of those self righteous tv evangelists and needed to be tempted into sinning, then let the temptation come in the form of Barbara Rush...........it would help if she brought some diet coke too....... :wink:
--the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved once and for all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?

Jade
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Postby Jade » Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:06 pm

Most recently I watched The Cat Returns, which is a Studio Ghibli film (best known for animated films directed by Hayao Miyazaki, including My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away). This was not, however, a Miyazaki enterprise but one directed by a new first-time director. I think they have a long way to go before they find the next person to fill Miyazaki's shoes, but regardless, the movie was very enjoyable and magical as can be expected of a Studio Ghibli film.

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:55 am

I just watched
Spartan
with Val Kilmer. A superb espionage thriller by David Mamet.

A very good film. It was the best performance I think Val Kilmer has ever given. I am suprised this film was not mentioned or noticed before.

Now I am starving to death and I have to wait till the morning to eat.
--the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved once and for all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?

rahau
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Postby rahau » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:14 am

Ang Mo wrote:Watched a terriffic old movie. It was part of the Paul Newman DVD collection. It is a box set of seven movies. I spent a small fortune obtaining this box set because it had my favorite detective film Harper in it.


Good call ... "Old Stick." :)

Chinatown is still my favorite detective film, but Harper has its points: Sharp dialogue, moral ambiguity, and Pamela Tiffin lounging poolside in a bikini. Pamela could give Barbara Rush a run for her money ...

William Goldman tells some very entertaining, behind-the-scenes stories about Harper in his book Adventures in the Screen Trade. Definitely a must-read.

A few months ago, I saw the original, 1924 version of The Thief of Baghdad, starring Douglas Fairbanks Senior and Anna May Wong. Great film. I have to admit, though, I had mixed feelings about Wong's role, the "Chinese Slave Girl." It was one of those wretchedly stereotypical parts she had to play in the twenties. On the other hand, she damn near set the theater on fire, as this photo shows.

I saw the film at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont, California. Great place. It's housed in a building that was one of the original Edison Theaters on the west coast. They have something cool going on every week. One more reason to love the Bay Area.

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:26 am

Good call ... "Old Stick."


The Dwight Troy character was incredibly cruel and always had that sarcastic smile on his face. Near the end of the film where he is burning Julie Harris's feet with a cigarette and torturing her, he lets up a little bit to let her think about telling where the money is and when she refuses he is all smiles and says to her, "This next little trick is just gorgeously unendurable". They don't show where he placed that cigarette but by her screams you know it was incredibly painful. Needless to say you don't feel too bad when Paul Newman rushes in and shoots him.

I watched Chinatown and I found it interesting, but it just didn't please me the way Harper did. Chinatown had a very depressing ending, where Harper had sort of a melancholy ending with a twist of dark humor. I felt sorry for the Jack Nicholson character because he didn't quite succeed in saving the girl. The John Houston character was vile.

I agree wholeheartedly about Pamela Tiffin. She was one of the prettiest actresses of all time, especially in that film. Looks great in a business suit, bikini, burlap bag, etc.

Watched Sayonara with Marlon Brando. Just a great, great movie. Brando playing a southern redneck soldier who totes the line about GI's not marrying Japanese women and then crossess over the line when he falls in love with a Japanese woman. This is based on true story where American soldiers were forbidden to take Japanese brides. Over 10,000 soldiers disobeyed this law and finally congress did away with the rule.
Red Buttons, normally a comedian, took the role as the enlisted soldier who defies the rule and marries Miyoshi Umeki who was the first Asian actress to win the Academy Award with a win for best supporting actress and Red Buttons won the award for best supporting actor. It is really a great film, ahead of its time. Brando was amazing in his prime.
--the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved once and for all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?

rahau
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Postby rahau » Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:21 am

Yesterday I caught an interesting new independent film called Once that’s been gathering quite a bit of critical acclaim. Writer-Director John Carney, a former bassist for the Irish rock band The Frames, calls it “a new type of musical.”

The story takes place in modern-day Dublin. James Joyce would have a tough time recognizing the place. The Irish economic boom has transformed Dublin into a bright, prosperous town. But the rising tide has not lifted all boats. The main characters, known simply as The Guy and The Girl, are among the bottom feeders. The Guy is a singer-songwriter, who ekes out a few pence singing on the streets. When not singing, he works at his father’s vacuum cleaner repair shop. The Girl is a recent Czech émigré, and is also a singer-songwriter. She plays piano, but is too poor to buy one. The owner of a small music store allows her to drop in during her lunch hour to play the pianos.

The Guy and The Girl meet while he is singing on a street corner. He soon accompanies her to the music store, and the two take turns singing and playing. Within a short time, they are collaborating, both as performers and songwriters. And they’re falling in love.

Rather than casting actors in the leads, Carney cast musicians. Glen Hansard, former lead singer of The Frames, is The Guy. The Girl is played by Czech singer-songwriter Margeta Irglova. The two wrote and performed all of the music in the film. Unlike conventional musicals, where the singing is contrived, the full-length musical numbers are natural and organic elements of the story.

Despite their lack of acting experience – or maybe because of it – Hansard and Irglova turn in wonderfully unaffected, effortless performances. Hansard brings a lanky, shaggy charm to his role, and Irglova is both street-smart and vulnerable. There are several memorable scenes of the two of them walking the streets of Dublin, with their drab clothes in stark contrast to the brightly-lit shops full of colorful goods neither can afford. This photo is a good example. Carney shot most of the scenes with hidden cameras and long lenses, giving the film a gritty, cinema-verite look. (Carney reportedly shot the film on a budget of $175,000.) The music is terrific. By the way - last summer, Hansard and Irglova toured with Damien Rice, and sang many of the songs in the film.

I had just one problem with the film – it made me physically ill. In one scene, Hansard sings a song about his ex-girlfriend while watching home videos of her. The “home videos” feature several minutes worth of shaky, unsteady camera shots. As irritating as that is on television, it’s literally sickening in a theater. After the first few minutes, I had to cover my eyes. Just as I started to recover, The Guy and The Girl trooped into a recording studio to cut a demo, and Carney starting whipping the camera around, almost as if it were attached to the end of a rope he was twirling. Imagine watching Chairman Mo’s avatar on a movie screen for five to seven minutes at a pop, and you’ll have a good idea what it was like. The headache and queasy stomach stayed with me for hours after the film ended.

That said, I’ll still recommend Once. It’s beautifully written and acted, and Carney’s vision of a new type of musical is intriguing. Just remember to bring some Dramamine.
Last edited by rahau on Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:17 am

.........I just got back from my Ultimate Fighting Tournament. I decided to retire from the sport. I was knocked out in five seconds...................but that is a long story for another time.................

I have been watching old movies during my recovery and I particularly enjoy watching this classic film called Laura starring the incredibly hot Gene Tierney. She was simply mezmerizing. Anyhow, she plays the role of Laura, who everyone at the first of the movie, believes to be murdered.(A shotgun blast to the face) The police detective on the case after reading her personal letters, interviewing her friends, and of course staring at her incredible portrait on the wall ends up falling in love with the deceased young woman. One night while staring at the picture he falls asleep and when he awakes, there is Laura, alive and well, staring at him and asking him what he is doing in her house. Of course he is startled and taken aback, but at the same time overjoyed to discover it was some other woman that had been killed in the apartment. Directed by Otto Preminger it is classic film noir at its best. Lots of great reviews at IMDb
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037008/
I wish Vienna would play that "Laura" theme song some time. David Raskin did a terrific job composing that. Sounds great on the piano.

P.S. Rahau, my avatar was actually in a Vienna Teng video on You Tube. Hopefully it did not make her or Mr. Cheng dizzy while they drove the van. :wink:
--the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved once and for all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:41 am

Watched Chan is Missing which was the first feature film of Wayne Wang's career. Pretty funny story and well acted by Wood Moy and Marc Hayashi. It's about two chinese cab drivers in Chinatown who are searching for a man who has disappeared with $4,000 dollars of their money in an investment gone bad.

Interesting side story of the contention between Taiwanese immigrants and Mainland China immigrants. Shot sort of like a documentary with a lot of voice over work and the film itself is in black and white.
--the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved once and for all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?

Digital
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Postby Digital » Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:53 am

I'll second the recommendation on Once. Very, very good movie that everyone here should see. I even added it to the other cuisine section.

And I guess to post a movie review, I just finished watching InuYasha The Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass. In Japanese with English subtitles since I find the Japanese voice talent to be more expressive and less "cartoonish" in most cases. In any event, this movie is supposed be watched between the third and fourth seasons of the InuYasha anime series. In this film, our crew of heroes (InuYasha, Kagome, Miroku, Sangu, and Shippo) defeat Naraku but then have to face a new threat - Kaguya. To make it short and not give too much away, the normal stuff happens, we have some readily expected crises, and then it ends like you think it should. All in about 1.5 hours.

If you're watching the InuYasha series, or just love anime, then watch this. If not, go watch one of the high-fallutin' movies listed elsewhere in this thread, maybe something with no audio (better yet, watch one with audio, but mute your tv, and see if you can keep up). If they are too stuffy for you, try a John Wayne or Clint Eastwood western. Always a great "feel good while people get shot" time.

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:41 am

Just finished watching Sicko which is Michael Moore's new documentary on the American Health Care System.

It is absolutely brilliant. His best to date. Universal Healthcare is the way to go. If countries like England, France, Canada, and even Cuba can do it then the United States can do it as well. No wonder the rest of the world looks upon us as being savages and above all AGAINST FAMILY VALUES

The Constitution of the United States of America grants the pursuit of Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Because of the fact that 40% of Americans do not have health care they have been denied their constitutional right to life. The examples in the film illustrate this quite well. I am no religious scholar, but I think I vaguely remember Jesus giving that second great commandment to love your neighbor like yourself. Under our current form of health care I think the words of Jesus have long been forgotten.

I know there are those who think it is socialist, but these same people are the ones who have no qualms with having a U.S. postal service, a government controlled police force and fire departments, public libraries, etc.

If you ever watch the news you never hear or even read about how millions of Canadians are trying to sneak over the border into our country which seems to be the direct opposite of what is happening on our border to the south. Mexico is not renowned for its health care system.
Just something to ponder...............

It really isn't a political film, more of a film of right and wrong.

I highly recommend this film.
--the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved once and for all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?

ben
Getting Stranger
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Postby ben » Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:12 am

It's been a long while since anyone posted here. Hopefully the long absence is not a result of no movies watched.

Here's one I've recently watched.

3-Iron (Bin-Jip) - South Korean film by acclaimed director Kim Ki-Duk. It's about a guy who invades houses while the owners are out on vacation. Except for the food that he eats, he does not steal, he is just there to use the facilities. In return, he washed and iron their clothes, even repair defective stuffs. One time, he happens to invade a rather large house. And unsuspectingly meet the owner, a badly beaten wife. The next day, the husband came home and went back to the process of living his life... beating his wife and practice his golf swing in his garden. The invader decides to do something about it. He rescues the wife and together, they go from house to house. Until they got caught. And things get more weirder. Well, that's how I'd described it.

Actually my second Kim Ki-Duk film. But the first one I've seen, I have no idea it was his and I didn't really liked it either. This guy was pretty much respected for his directing... so I've heard. After watching this film, I understand why Kim's reputation was such. He knows what he is doing and he is aware that not many would understand what he is doing but still does it. The guy is deep. The film, is one that belongs to the Art Film category, not readily acceptable in mainstream. The message is deep, really deep. Even I myself is still wondering what kind of human behavior he wanted to impart. Invasion of human privacy in the very intimate sense. I saw this over the weekend, but until today, I'm still do not know if I liked the film or not. It's eerie how he used silence. The lead female character only had 1 or 2 sentence/s, while the lead male didn't spoke a single word. Didn't even attempt to. While most home owners would panic and call the police should an invader happens to drop into their home. It's fascinating how this battered wife just sat there and observed her uninvited guest. It's also nice to note that our mysterious invader actually takes picture of himself in those houses... souvenirs. The film actually had a boring pace, but for some reason, it made me watched it to the end. There is something that makes you want to see what's going to happen next.
Always look on the bright side of life.


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