Movies You've Seen Recently...

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Fri Oct 03, 2003 6:35 pm

So I saw American Splendor last night and I thought it was pretty good. I agree with Neil's comments on it. The actors did a pretty good job, and it was great seeing the real people in there to compare and contrast. Not so big on the direction, though. It felt like the filmmakers didn't have quite the same voice that Pekar did, whereas in Crumb, director Zwigoff being Robert Crumb's best friend helped bring some of the same feelings you get from the comics into the film itself. American Splendor, while it was pretty good, still felt a little too cute and polished for me. On the same note, however, it was pretty charming.

The Rundown is good? That's what I keep hearing. Peter Berg does seem to be a capable director, too. I'll try and check it out, but the next film on my to-see list is Whale Rider.

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Thu Oct 16, 2003 5:50 pm

I just saw Kill Bill last night and loved it to bits (no pun intended). I also see how some people could HATE it. Tarantino is such a good filmmaker, that despite his film's Grindhouse cheesy cinema origins, he still gives you real characters who feel pain and convey oodles of emotion. Some people may have been tricked into thinking this was a serious movie. Once you realize the only thing it's serious about is having fun, then you will really enjoy this film. And I'm sure you've heard from everyone already, but the soundtrack kicks ass.

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Post by Kean » Fri Oct 17, 2003 10:08 pm

Just saw Kill Bill tonight. T'was quite a flick.

...Though, I have some issues with Uma being able to wield a sword, but I was very impressed at how the editing made her look much more proficient than she probably was. Certain long angles showed her swinging her sword very wide and un-gracefully, instead of the precise, measured strokes of a real master (this coming from someone who has had only a year of training in Haidong Gumdo, but that's another matter).

All in all, a great movie. Some parts dragged (yeah, it's Sonny Chiba. He's cool. You didn't need to drag out the scene, Tarantino.), many cool nods to past kung fu flicks (Shaw Scope? Funny. Bruce Lee's tracksuit from Game of Death? Sweet. And I'll always have a soft spot for falling snow in a Japanese garden.), and anytime The RZA scores any movie (even a Tarantino flick with its 'found' soundtrack), it's a good thing fer us music geeks.

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Post by neil » Tue Nov 11, 2003 10:00 pm

Kill Bill - A fun, exhilirating pastiche; Kazu's got the right idea. I was disappointed by its incompleteness, but I'll be there for Volume 2.

The Animation Show - I already mentioned seeing this in the other thread, but I wanted to reiterate how good it is!

The Human Stain - Based on the Philip Roth novel about an african american who decides to pass for white for the rest of his life. This one has some really amazing performances--Anthony Hopkins's reaction to being invited in by Nicole Kidman is worth the price of admission alone.

Winter Light - My favorite Ingmar Bergman film, about a pastor dealing with the loss of faith, and getting dumped by his girlfriend. I saw this a few years ago on a crummy VHS tape, but the spiffy new Criterion Collection DVD is, ironically, like proof that god exists and wants us to be happy!

Sylvia - A really dreadful biopic about the poet Sylvia Plath, starring Gwenyth Paltrow (!). The wall-to-wall music and tense looks made me feel like I was watching a B-grade melodrama from 50 years ago.

Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself - A pretty engaging farse about a hip suicidal guy, until it degenerates into cloying-for-sympathy illness-movie cliches.

The Matrix: Revolutions - I needed some dumb movie therapy, and pleasantly got exactly what I paid for (well, except for that woman who shoved me in the line). There are some semi-important Asian and Indian characters, which was nice to see... Although the Asian guy is a Kung Fu stereotype who never takes off his sunglasses.

Up next: My new DVD of Yasujiro Ozu's "Tokyo Story," and at the theater, "The Triplets of Belleville"

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Post by dan » Sat Nov 22, 2003 12:17 pm

I saw Gothika last night. Man, that was pretty good for the first hour....but the last hour was riddeled with shabby acting (Halle Berry) and a shoddy story "twist" that i pointed out in the first 15 minutes.

Don't waste your money.

Kill Bill was fantastic.

Dan

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Sat Nov 22, 2003 12:24 pm

I was actually hoping the film would be decent. It is directed by Matthieu Kassowitz, who did a pretty good job on Hate, and he also played Audrey Tautou's love interest in Amelie.

Actually looking forward to seeing Master and Commander...

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Post by Phil » Sat Nov 22, 2003 12:47 pm

I've heard Mister Commando on the Dark Side of the Whirlpool is better than the trailer, which looks like Die Hard on a boat...

I'll see it next week.

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Post by Kean » Sat Nov 22, 2003 1:03 pm

I saw Elephant last week. I'm still thinking about it after a full week, so it must've done something right. Van Sant kept the entire audience at a distance from all the characters, presumably to let them project their own emotions and conclusions on to the characters. It worked in some ways (I loved some of the long tracking shots that was used constantly throughout the film), but in other ways, it also left me cold -- I wanted to figure everything out, but I just don't think I have the answers yet.

The brutal and completely unglamourized killings worked really well. It's a good movie, if you can stomach it, and aren't looking for any easy answers (are there ever any?).
Kazu wrote:Actually looking forward to seeing Master and Commander...
It sounds like a repressed homosexual romp to me, so yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing it also... :) I have a love for the era of pirates & privateers, but I've never seen a historically accurate film like what M&C could be.

I also love the era of feudal Japan, but I'm afraid that silly-looking bearded white boy will ruin the movie for me.

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Post by neil » Sun Nov 23, 2003 12:55 pm

Interesting stuff, Kean. I can't wait to see Elephant.

The Triplets of Belleville - Fantastic stuff; I think everyone already wants to see this, so I won't reveal much. My friends and I had fun discussing all the details that the others had missed--each frame is jam-packed with loving detail.

The Station Agent - I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into; a movie about a dwarf inheriting a train depot? It was actually a pretty inspired story about isolation, loss, and unlikely friendship, and often very funny.

Tokyo Story - The new Criterion Collection DVD of one of Ozu's most accessible movies is brilliant, with excellent restoration, much-improved subtitles, and tons of extras (a commentary and two documentaries) that Ozu-afficionadoes will love, as should everyone else!

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Disgusting and pointless. See Rob Zombie's "House of 1,000 Corpses" instead.

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:46 am

Man, I just saw Lilo & Stitch for the first time (I know, I know, shame on me) but I totally loved it! What a great family film. While the story is light, it is admittedly so, and relies heavily on the characters to carry the film. However, the characters and the moments they share with each other are really well done; top that off with some really neat animation and cool designs and you have a genuinely fun animated film. Most of the 3D integration worked pretty good, too, though some of the flying sequences could have used a little work. I've been away from movies for a while, so it's nice to see something like this to get back in it.

I love Tokyo Story... Ozu is a master of silent moments.

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Post by peppermint » Wed Nov 26, 2003 4:24 pm

aw, kazu you saw lilo and stitch so i could´t resist to say that i am a fan of this film. It has no intention of being a big epic, but it has a very sweet way to tell a story. everytime i see it i love it more and more- try again and you will see. I think it was written, designed, and animated just for me. That whole hawai story reminds me my sweet hometown, surf and music,and everything. yep- this is one of my favorite animated movies that´s for sure.
but besides that i am a huge fan of chris sanders and deblois. i´ve overheard they´ve close down a studio these days.

3d and japan features are coming along meanwhile.
still have to see Tokyo Story. and the others miyazaki
movies that don´t come here.... a lots of stuff here reminds porco rosso-in a good away.

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Wed Nov 26, 2003 4:37 pm

peppermint wrote:a lots of stuff here reminds porco rosso-in a good away.
Porco Rosso - One of the greatest films ever made. All the things here that remind you of the film are intentional, I assure you. I also hear that they will be releasing that wonderful film in the states. Can't wait to get my hands on a version of it with good color and sound.

You have seen My Neighbor Totoro, right Joana? I know you'd love it.

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Post by douglas a. bot » Wed Nov 26, 2003 4:59 pm

I love Porco Rosso. I have a really bad recording of it on video when our world channel showed it about 10 years ago. It was the first time i was exposed to Miyazaki...and i couldn't believe what i was seeing.
Since then though...i haven't seen any of his stuff available locally here in Australia. Apart from Spirited Away and Mononoke.
Is it available elsewhere in the world on DVD? I think i need to get a multi-region DVD player.

d.

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Wed Nov 26, 2003 5:20 pm

Bootleg DVDs are pretty common. You can find them at collectibles flea markets, conventions and such. When they release the official one here in the states, I'll be at the local store in no seconds flat.

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Wed Nov 26, 2003 6:35 pm

Hey guys, now that I moved this thread into its own forum, go ahead and start new ones up if you want to discuss a specific film. Cool?

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