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

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Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Fri Jun 24, 2005 4:08 am

Hey Ben,


I don't think I will ever get to meet Vicki Zhao. Besides, I have been blindsided by that Globetrekker, Megan McCormick. Megan is not overly attractive, but she has some sort of weird power over me. What that power is I am not sure of. Is it her smile? The way she talks? The turn of her ankle? The poignant vulneralbility of that slender wrist? The way she is so good natured when holding a live octopus or snacking on a jungle rat? What are those elusive, ephemeral things that ignite passion in the human heart. I actually suspect it is her sense of humor. When eating the jungle rat she exclaimed that it tasted so much better then the "Thug Rats" from New York City. I did some investigating and it sounds like Megan is living with someone referred to as her "partner". but not necessarily married to that person and she also had a daughter. Since that is the case I better watch that Korean film :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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Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 11:17 pm

Postby Ang Mo » Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:19 am

I watched "Smoke" directed by Wayne Wang. It is by far his finest film. Excellent cast includes Harvey Keitel, William Hurt, and Forest Whitaker. Extremely well written by Paul Auster. Auster I think won a Pulitzer Prize for a Christmas Story he was commissioned by the New York Times to write. It was called "Auggie Wren's Christmas Story". Auggie Wren is one of the main characters of the film played perfectly by Harvey Keitel. Hurt plays Paul Benjamin (Paul Auster) a writer, who is a lonely widower who is trying to overcome the loss of his wife who was murdered. It is a great movie. I highly recommend it. It is on DVD.
--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 » Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:30 pm

Finally got to watch IL MARE, a Korean movie starring, Jeon Ji Hyun and Lee Jung Jae. Korean title is Siworae. Now I don't wonder why Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are filming the Hollywood version. It's simply a very wonderful movie, there are some things that needs explaining but the best part was the movie never tried to explain it.

It's a love story about 2 lonely people who never really met. They fell in love by way of letters. I'll try to be very vague, so I'll just leave a couple of lines from thier letters.


1st letter (by girl to guy): Dec. 1999

2nd letter (by guy to girl): Dec. 1998

Yup. No typo there, the dates are correct. Curious? Watch it then. ;)
Always look on the bright side of life.

tontamoo
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Postby tontamoo » Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:46 pm

ben wrote:Finally got to watch IL MARE, a Korean movie starring, Jeon Ji Hyun and Lee Jung Jae.


I've been wanting to watch that movie for a while myself. I haven't been able to find a good version yet with English subs though. (By the way, I recognize the gif in your signature: Windstruck. That was a great film.)

Speaking of Asian movies, you guys should definitely watch a Japanese movie called "Nobody Knows". It's about a mother with four children. She leaves her children alone for long periods of time, leaving them some spending money to cover her length of absence, and her eldest son takes care of the family during that time. However, once, the mother is gone longer than she said. The film shows the kids stuggling to exist as their money is depleted. It's definitely not a lighthearted film, but it is beautifully crafted.

ben
Getting Stranger
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Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:25 am

Postby ben » Thu Jul 21, 2005 3:59 am

@tontamoo, yup, my sig is indeed from Windstruck. And she got me hooked. I got my Il Mare from yesasia.com, they ship for free (anywhere). The only thing bad about this is that there are some wrong grammars with the subtitles but it's not really that much and basically very understandable, anyway the movie can make you forgive them for the grammar.

I'm a bit tempted to try out "Nobody Knows" but my experiences with sentimental Asian movies tells me that it gonna be really gloomy and downright too realistic that it makes you say "life is just so unfair". It's gonna be tissues and buckets instead of popcorn and soda with these kind of movies. Makes me wanna pass but I'll give it try if it comes my way.
Always look on the bright side of life.

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Mon Jul 25, 2005 6:14 am

I definitely want to see "Nobody Knows". I have read some good reviews on it. This week I watched "March of the Penguins" and it was pretty amazing to see just how incredibly tough Emperor Penguins are. They are the stud muffins of the animal world. The movie begins with the male and females doing a seventy two mile march to the breeding grounds. The female has one egg. Because she has lost nearly half her body weight by going through this physically draining process she has to march 72 miles back to the sea and feed or she will die. The male is a good parent also. He recieves the egg from the female when she leaves to feed and he makes sure it is protected and hatched. Now these male penguins have not eaten for four months and are at half their body weight when the females return to feed the newly hatched chick. Now it is the males turn to do his 72 mile march to the ocean and feed or he will die. Needless to say there is a certain amount of attrition due to cold weather, old age, and predators. Seals have a sweet tooth for penguins and birds have a taste for their young. I really admired their toughness. An animal that chooses the harshest place on earth to live and has flourished.
--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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Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:25 am

Postby ben » Tue Jul 26, 2005 7:29 am

One thing about documentaries about animals that really amazed me is the people filming them. I bet these guys actually follow those penguins doing their 72 miles hike. I've ounce seen a documentary about a couple of cheetahs, the people actually spend about 3 or 4 years filming them from cubs until adulthood. And the film only lasted less than a couple of hours.
Always look on the bright side of life.

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:41 am

Hey Ben,

Yeah they photographed these birds in all kinds of weather. At one point the males were all huddled up like Rugby players in the middle of a scrum because they were exposed to 80 degree below zero temperatures and 100 mph winds. Some of the Penguins got blown over and lost the eggs they were trying to protect and keep warm. It really made you sympathetic towards their situation. They did a good job of covering the whole experience.
--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
Tengster
Posts: 1661
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 11:17 pm

Postby Ang Mo » Sun Jul 31, 2005 7:45 am

Watched Mad, Hot, Ballroom which is a documentary about young kids in a dance competition in New York. Various schools have a program where young students compete against each other in various forms of dance. It was a great documentary and I guarantee you will walk away from this one feeling better about the world.
--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
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:25 am

Postby ben » Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:13 am

Last year, albiet quite late, I saw a French movie directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring the very lovable Audrey Tautou in the title role of Amelie (2001). It was a comedy... a very brilliant comedy at that. Very artistic with the both the story and filming technique. It's about a young lady finding a long forgotten treasure of a once little boy. Treasures not of riches but of fond memories. She tracked down the boy who is now in his 50's or 60's. And the sensation of having to be a do-gooder just strucked her that she sort of devouted her life to continue such acts of kindness. And so her adventures begin. A very feel-good movie that I highly recommend to all.

A couple of nights ago, albiet late again, I saw the follow-up movie of Jeunet and Tautou... A Very Long Engagement (2004). This time, it's a romantic drama set in WWI. Still a very creative movie and what a great story. Gets you pretty involved in some sleuthing activities, personally, while I suspect the inevitable happy-ending, I was simply unable to fathom how it's gonna turn out. The story was about Mathilde (Tautou), a polio sticken 19 year old lady looking for her fiancee who was sent to war. The fiancee, only 20 years of age, unable to cope with the horrors of war, subjected himself to "self-mutilation" as a ticket to get home. Unfortunately, he was sentence to die along with 4 other with such offense. News of his death was already presented to her but certain evidences and events made her believed otherwise. Her stubborness would then take us to a very nicely weaved adventure filed with witty situations and mind boggling incidents that leaves us hoping for the best or guessing what really happened to her fiancee. Another highly recommended movie.

Several actors from Amelie were also cast in A Very Long Engagement. Jodie Foster also stars in AVLE.
Always look on the bright side of life.

ben
Getting Stranger
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Postby ben » Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:28 pm

Remember Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai? How about the Magnificent Seven with Yul Bryner? Hong Kong also got theirs. In the tradition of The Seven Samurai, Warriors of Heaven and Earth (2003) is a story about a few good men fighting for a cause.

Here's a link to it's official web site... Warriors of Heaven and Earth ...ooops, looks like tailored for Ang Mo. :lol:

Sysnopsis (from WoHaE website):

In the tradition of Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai", "Warriors of Heaven & Earth" weaves a thread of battle, comradeship and honor.

Set in the ferocious Gobi Desert, the story follows two protagonists, Lieutenant Li (Jiang Wen) and Japanese emissary Lai Xi (Nakai Kiichi) - both first-class warriors and master swordsmen. After decades of service to the Chinese Emperor, Lai Xi longs to return to Japan, but is instead sent to the West to chase wanted criminals. His only passport back to Japan is to capture and execute Lieutenant Li, a renegade soldier wanted for leading a violent mutiny when he refused orders to kill female and child prisoners.

Li and Lai Xi battle, but finally agree to delay their final personal fight until the caravan carrying Wen Zhu and a Buddhist monk is brought to safety. The monk, however, is carrying a sacred and powerful pagoda that attracts the attention of the region's ruthless overlord, Master An (Wang Xueqi). Lai Xi and Lt. Li, accompanied by Li's former posse of soldiers, who have forsaken their peaceful new lives to return to his side, must face the cruelty of the desert, the region's barbaric bandits and the brutality of the overlord's men before they can finally face one another.



The story was nice, but I'd say the movie would appeal more to those who craves for actions. I loved the movie almost all the way... until something mystic was injected into it. But overall, it's a great watch.
Always look on the bright side of life.

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:03 am

Hi Ben,

During my time of Zhaoism, as I was in monastic retreat, watching all of her films I could possibly get my hands on, I was able to watch Warriors of Heaven and Earth. I was not overly impressed with this film. It had some very fine actors in it, and it had potential, but it didn't seem to have any substance to it. Some of the dialogue seemed cliched (I can only read the English subtitles so perhaps it was the poor translation of the original Chinese dialogue, I am not sure) In watching the director's interview of the film on DVD, he admitted he had been rushed by budget and extremely harsh weather to finish up the film. Vicki Zhao looked beautiful, but she really didn't get to do much in the film, so she was more like an ornament. (A very fine ornament in that bathtub scene I must admit. Something any man can appreciate while in monastic retreat :lol: )
The lead actor, Jiang Wen was very good. In fact, he was the lead actor who teamed up with Vicki Zhao in "Green Tea" which I think was a far superior movie. His character in Green Tea was very cool. He really cracked me up because he was so sarcastic and clever, but in a likeable way.
I also saw Vicki in Shaolin Soccer, which she did a very fine job in.

If you want an action film, I thought the Korean movie "Musa" was far superior. Based on a true story.
--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
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:25 am

Postby ben » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:21 am

Like I said, it appeals more to those who loves action. Shaolin Soccer was really a great laugh. Stephen Chow is a god when it comes to slapstick comedy. And it was really funny with what they did to Vicky Z in that movie. If you loved Shaolin Soccer then Kung-Fu Hustle is a must, also Stephen Chow. I'll try to look for that Korean "Musa".
Always look on the bright side of life.

Ang Mo
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 11:17 pm

Postby Ang Mo » Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:44 am

I watched Kung Fu Hustle. It was very strange and funny in parts, but I think I liked Shaolin Soccer better overall.

What else have you watched?
--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
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:25 am

Postby ben » Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:32 am

I've watched Suspect Zero starring Ben Kingsley and Aaron Eckart, it's about tracking a serial killer. It had a twist but was revealed quite early, supposed to be a good movie but I'm not exactly that interested in it. Come to think of it, you might actually enjoy it as it seems we have different views on the last couple of movies. :lol:

Not sure if I've mentioned this but you might want to try another Korean movie called JSA (Joint Security Area). It's about friendship between North and South Korean soldiers assigned to watch each others border. If you're familiar with the tension between NoKor and SoKor, then you might sense that "friendship" is not something normal... especially between soldiers. If I remember correctly, the language is mix, as in having some English but majority is in Korean, subtitle available. The main characters have great acting skills, while you'll also see some paltry actings along the way.
Always look on the bright side of life.


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