Last Movie You Watched

A subforum for discussions about Film, TV, and Videos.

Moderators: New Moderators, Board Staff

movieartman
Pilot
Pilot
Age: 28
Posts: 2116
Joined: Feb 24, 2014
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby movieartman » Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:27 pm

View Original PostSquigsquasher wrote:. I honestly enjoyed this a lot more than the 2014 version- whilst Godzilla 2014 was basically an action movie with Big G in it, the original has a surprising amount of depth to it

Which Is ironic to say considering the mass complaint about the film was that it did not have a hundredth the action people apparently wanted.

(Regardless of depth level the 2014 film was not a DUMB action movie at any point)

Bagheera
Banned
User avatar
Posts: 18626
Joined: Oct 15, 2010

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Bagheera » Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:45 pm

View Original Postmovieartman wrote:Which Is ironic to say considering the mass complaint about the film was that it did not have a hundredth the action people apparently wanted.

(Regardless of depth level the 2014 film was not a DUMB action movie at any point)


The nuke subplot was dumb as hell, but the claim that it didn't have enough action is bogus. Its action scenes were magnificent, and in terms of quantity they're par for the course for Godzilla flicks.

I do think Chuckman made some good observations on some of the frankly disturbing imagery in such scenes, though.
Last edited by Bagheera on Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

movieartman
Pilot
Pilot
Age: 28
Posts: 2116
Joined: Feb 24, 2014
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby movieartman » Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:43 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:The nuke subplot was dumb as hell, but the claim that it didn't have enough action is bogus. It's action scenes were magnificent, and in terms of quantity they're par for the course for Godzilla flicks.

I do think Chuckman made some good observations on some of the frankly disturbing imagery in such scenes, though.

The nuke thing was dumb but not a dumb aspect of the film the film intentionally presented that it was a dumb decision by the military.
No it's not bogus YES the final fight was magnificent but it was not enough and was 2 late I LOVE the build up to the airport attack but it was a CRITICAL mistake to cut away from it.
I can not make a topic on any of the fourms I go on (but on here thankfully) without people tearing the film apart for the lack of godzilla. Come across tons and tons of articles of people claiming they did not get what they wanted from the film.
Quantity.... it is close to some of the older ones but that's besides the point people today won't tolerate that wait for any films in the theater that claim to be sifi action films.

I like the FILM a lot, even love it but these points are far to prevelant to be invalid.

Bagheera
Banned
User avatar
Posts: 18626
Joined: Oct 15, 2010

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Bagheera » Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:53 pm

View Original Postmovieartman wrote:The nuke thing was dumb but not a dumb aspect of the film the film intentionally presented that it was a dumb decision by the military.


I didn't get that impression. The film didn't seem to be that self-aware to me.

No it's not bogus YES the final fight was magnificent but it was not enough and was 2 late I LOVE the build up to the airport attack but it was a CRITICAL mistake to cut away from it.


I disagree. I think that was both gutsy and effective.

I can not make a topic on any of the fourms I go on (but on here thankfully) without people tearing the film apart for the lack of godzilla. Come across tons and tons of articles of people claiming they did not get what they wanted from the film.


The fact that people whine does not make them correct. This is a magnificent Godzilla film by any metric; anyone who claims otherwise simply has not been paying attention.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

Squigsquasher
Banned
Age: 23
Posts: 3673
Joined: Feb 09, 2013
Location: The bonus 10th level of hell
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Squigsquasher » Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:18 pm

It's also kinda funny that the original '54 movie didn't actually show Godzilla until quite late in the film, and the focus is very much on Dr Serizawa, Emiko and the other characters.
Here lies Squigsquasher.
2013-2017.

Trajan
Test Subject
Test Subject
User avatar
Age: 25
Posts: 2838
Joined: Dec 19, 2010
Location: Tamriel
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Trajan » Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:22 pm

Captain America: The Winter Soldier - It's got a pretty unique atmosphere as far as superhero films go, almost like a cross between a Jason Bourne movie and your traditional genre fare. The action scenes were well done, Chris Evans and Scarlet Johansson did a great job with the lead roles, and Robert Redford did a nice job playing against type as the main villain.

Sunset Boulevard - I love the acting, I love the direction, I love the way it's shot, I love the lighting, I love how meta it is regarding the nature of film, the dichotomy between illusion and reality, and I adore the dialogue. My favorite Billy Wilder film and one of my favorite films from the classic era of Hollywood.
Movin' Right Along
"Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it." - Confucius
"All styles are good except the tiresome kind." - Voltaire

Blue Monday
Angel
Angel
User avatar
Age: 30
Posts: 3360
Joined: Jun 17, 2012
Location: Earth-33

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Blue Monday » Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:24 pm

Super 8 (2011): It's like if Stephen King wrote The Host by way of Close Encounters. Even though the watermarks of Abrams' direction are unmistakable, I have to say that this is the film of his that I actually like and enjoy the most. The casting is particularly well done, and even though it didn't quite go some places I wanted it to, Super 8 is surprisingly a delightful monster flick.


Regarding Godzilla films; the 1954 and 2014 movies are my top two bar none.
"Eva(Geeks) is a story that repeats."
Warren Peace, #643919

movieartman
Pilot
Pilot
Age: 28
Posts: 2116
Joined: Feb 24, 2014
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby movieartman » Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:46 pm

View Original PostBlue Monday wrote:Super 8 (2011): It's like if Stephen King wrote The Host by way of Close Encounters. Even though the watermarks of Abrams' direction are unmistakable, I have to say that this is the film of his that I actually like and enjoy the most. The casting is particularly well done, and even though it didn't quite go some places I wanted it to, Super 8 is surprisingly a delightful monster flick.

Super 8 was indeed awesome.
where you a fan of Abrams mission impossible 3?

Oz
Finland Miracle
Finland Miracle
User avatar
Age: 28
Posts: 4840
Joined: Aug 02, 2009
Location: Finland
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Oz » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:30 pm

View Original Postsoul.assassin wrote:This could be worthwhile to watch, for all I know is that the current justice system there has some of the highest conviction rates of any country; the state prosecutors really do slam-dunk the cases straight in to keep the rate high.

That is mentioned in the film. It is one of the things that it explores and criticizes.

---

Shunji Iwai’s Hana and Alice: The plot summary for Hana and Alice is long, but bear with me because I’m writing all of it for a reason: Two friends, the girls of the title, come across a boy on a train platform. Hana has a crush on him. The boy hits his head and Hana tricks him into believe he has amnesia and that they dated. The boy hesitates. To make the lie even more real, Hana asks Alice to act like she had also dated the boy. But the result isn’t as simple as Alice also develops a crush on the boy and the boy’s memories and feelings are getting completely mixed up. As you can see the scenario is incredibly convoluted. The main storyline is a bucketul of second-hand embarrassment and silly hijinks. If one is willing to play along with them, the film is entertaining. Even though the film begins on a lighthearted note, the film takes its childish scheme and its consequences seriously as the lie begins to go out of control. As the trio continue revisiting places of fake memories, the film enters its own fantasy that is laden with a dreamlike atmosphere. If the film was all about this bizarre love triangle, it would be a nice, compact film, but the film crafts sub-storylines of the two girls that don’t really add up to the main story, but serve as further characterization. Some parts of them almost feel like a completely different film, but I don’t really mind it that much as Iwai is a master of enthralling the audience with his frantic and restless but lyrical form. As much as I may nitpick about the scenario’s silliness the film does develop its characters and portrays them vividly with genuine emotion. It is a shame that despite its long running time the film just seems to peter out without a proper ending.

Takashi Miike’s Crows Zero: Based on the manga series of the same name, Crows Zero follows the absolute standard of delinquent school stories - the kind that Cromartie High School parodies. The teacher are non-existent while all the boys fight it out to figure out the school hierarchy. Given that Miike’s adaptation had a huge budget the cast is full of pretty boys trading blows in blockbuster action scenes. In Crows Zero’s case they are so badass they can hold off the yakuza and police without much trouble. And as usual, all the characters dream of being “the top” of the school and all the tools of the cliche storage are used: burning passion of the youth, childhood friends settling the score, noisy instrumental rock tunes, yakuza mingling in the matters of the students, slow-motion punches and theme tune power-ups. What I did not expect was that the story would also grab elements of the so-called cancer dramas. It became hilarious as the final climactic battle that struggled to tie everything together ended up throwing in footage of a surgery with the same instrumental rock tune blasting in the background that was used for the fight itself. I have never seen anything as awkwardly bizarre before. Almost as if the film had not enough of showing how commercial the project is, they had to throw in 2 out of place pop song performances from the love interest. Now that I have got my gripes out of the way, I can say that in the end it is a decent film that serves its purpose as run-of-the-mill entertainment. However, there is not really much room for Miike to do his own stuff - although his crazy humor pops up here and there.

Koji Maeda’s Cannonball Wedlock: It is always very satisfying to find a film that completely betrays your low expectations and turns out to be a gem. Cannonball Wedlock’s premise sounds like any average romantic comedy made only to grab money from the masses of movie-going women in Japan: Yuriko Yoshitaka plays a woman who has 5 boyfriends and after her friend marries, she begins to wonder which one of her men she will choose. Will she choose financial security or not? I have to admit that the only reason I decided to watch this film was Mark Schilling’s high praise for it (he even selected it to his list of best films of 2011). Actually watching the film proved it was almost the opposite to what I expected: it is not that romantic in the sense one would usually the word when talking about films and while it has its share of humor, it plays out more like a serious character study more than anything else. The heroine feels like a real woman with her own quirks and downsides. She believes she doesn’t want to settle down and marry. She keeps pretending that having many boyfriends is the most effective and logical thing to do. She even goes as far as to number the keys of the men’s apartments and lists each one’s pros and cons. In clever and sneaky ways, the film depicts how she doesn’t even understand or doesn’t want to admit that she is seeking something else. She’s living in contradiction and her unhappiness builds up leading to the explosive finale that is much more mature and ground-to-earth than what run-of-the-mill romantic comedies offer. Yoshitaka’s lead performance is a blast: at this rate she may end up being my favorite actress of her generation - especially after her charming performance in Story of Yonosuke. The director Koji Maeda is also a talent worth keeping an eye on: his form is very refined even though it was his debut. I especially liked his use of music: the wisely selected pieces of opera music and classical punctuated the film incredibly well.

Shoko Kimura’s The End of Puberty: A high school girl is madly obsessed with her incompetent teacher, rapes him and their genitals switch places. That’s how weirdly The End of Puberty begins. I was thinking that I am witnessing the birth of a new weirdo director who would rival the likes of Takashi Miike and Sion Sono. It doesn’t really help that the soundtrack is comprised of 8-bit music and the film uses weird 8-bit sound effects here and there. But the weirdness and manga-like exaggeration lasts only for the first third of the film and then the film changes gear for more serious business. To my surprise, The End of Puberty turned out to be rather good and fascinating in the end. While watching the film I was wondering what is the thematical goal of the weird scenario. Is it about reversed gender roles? Is it about the explosive emotions and sexual uncertainty of puberty? Is it about confusion of sexuality and gender in general? Well, it turned out to be about all of them, more or less. The two escape into an empty house in the countryside to figure out what has happened and the film mixes in the girl’s best friend and the friend’s boyfriend who have their own problems with their sex life. The mixture results in a rollercoaster of soul-searching, self-disgust, gender confusion, sexuality questions and a touch of body horror. The film’s original Japanese title, Koi ni itaru yamai, literally means an “illness attained by love” which is a pretty good summary of what the film explores. For a film that seemed like a mere crazy curiosity at first The End of Puberty is surprisingly imaginative and sophisticated.
"I'd really like to have as much money as you have, Oz" - robersora
"No you wouldn't. Oz's secret is he goes without food to buy that stuff. He hasn't eaten in years." - Brikhaus

"Often I get the feeling that deep down, your little girl is struggling with your embrace of filmfaggotry and your loldeep fixations, and the conflict that arises from such a contradiction is embodied pretty well in Kureha's character. But obviously it's not any sort of internal conflict that makes the analogy work. It's the pigtails." - Merridian
"Oh, Oz, I fear I'm losing my filmfag to the depths of Japanese pop. If only there were more films with Japanese girls in glow-in-the-dark costumes you'd be the David Bordwell of that genre." - Jimbo
"Oz, I think we need to stage an intervention and force you to watch some movies that aren't made in Japan." - Trajan

Bomby von Bombsville
Test Subject
Test Subject
User avatar
Age: 102
Posts: 2905
Joined: Aug 18, 2009

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Bomby von Bombsville » Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:44 pm

View Original PostOz wrote:Shunji Iwai’s Hana and Alice

There's a really great buried somewhere in there. Unfortunately it's padded out by uninteresting scenes. Like, if you cut it down to the best 80 or 90 minutes, you could have something really good. At least that's how I've always felt about it.
The Skirt-Chasing Mafioso of EGF
"we have Bomby, voted by People magazine as the sexiest man alive." - TehDonutKing
If you let me, here's what I'll do: I'll take care of you.

StarShaper7
Arael
Arael
User avatar
Posts: 859
Joined: Mar 28, 2014

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby StarShaper7 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:13 pm

Finally watched Guardians of the Galaxy. Had a really fun time. Great group of characters, awesome visuals, blah, blah, blah, it succeeded at exactly what it was trying to be and I enjoyed the hell out of it.
8/10

More of my thoughts here.

Bomby von Bombsville
Test Subject
Test Subject
User avatar
Age: 102
Posts: 2905
Joined: Aug 18, 2009

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Bomby von Bombsville » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:23 pm

Last Hurrah for Chivalry
Holy mother of exploding ninjas! I've seen well over 100 martial arts films, and this immediately ranks in my top ten... as of today, at least. Once I got used to the overly noisy sound design, everything became impressive. I'm talking goddamn swordplay, crazy twist-tastic plot, creative enemies and fight concepts... like, for real. Everyone and their mother knows that John Woo is an expert at crafting gun fights but who knew he was just as adept at swordplay?

10/10 would watch again and again.
The Skirt-Chasing Mafioso of EGF
"we have Bomby, voted by People magazine as the sexiest man alive." - TehDonutKing
If you let me, here's what I'll do: I'll take care of you.

Ray
Banned
User avatar
Age: 26
Posts: 6638
Joined: Feb 10, 2014
Location: USA
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Ray » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:17 pm

The Original Sci Fi Horror Movie
Alien(1979)

What can I say that hasn't already been said? Its a good movie.
I’ll escape now from this world, from the world of Jean Valjean, Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begin!
Avatar: "There's a Starman, waiting in the sky. He'd like to come and meet me, but he thinks he'd blow my mind."
Phew, I’m not tense anymore… now I’m just miserable.
People say "be yourself" but that's bad advice, if we were all to "be ourselves" many of us would stop wearing clothes. -Chuckman

Xard
Sex God Bastard
Sex God Bastard
User avatar
Age: 28
Posts: 14187
Joined: Jan 03, 2008
Location: Finland
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Xard » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:50 pm

View Original PostOz wrote:Shunji Iwai’s Hana and Alice


"Wait what but kinda awesome" news of the week: Iwai is directing anime feature film prequel for this.

Yes. Iwai is directing anime film.

It is prequel to this.

Make of this whatever you want, it's pretty crazy anyway. Last time predominantly live action director dabbled in anime features we got Kenya Boy!

View Original PostTrajan wrote:Sunset Boulevard - I love the acting, I love the direction, I love the way it's shot, I love the lighting, I love how meta it is regarding the nature of film, the dichotomy between illusion and reality, and I adore the dialogue. My favorite Billy Wilder film and one of my favorite films from the classic era of Hollywood.


That film is undisputable masterpiece though I slightly prefer Some Like It Hot. Only bit I wouldn't necessarily completely sign would be loving direction bit. It's good and I find it agreeable but Wilder was the ultimate script first acting second everything else distand third type guy among Hollywood masters. He wanted to keep form as simple and straightforward and conventional as possible so that it wouldn't distract people from the screenplay, after all.

While there's no denying it worked well for the guy my tastes and priorities are really different. I enjoy bold experimentation and stylizing from my directors and I have rather stubborn formalist streak in evaluation of art in general.
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
Mugwump: Goddamn it, Xard! Take me in your arms, you magnificent sex god bastard!
And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
Eva Yojimbo: You really are the Otaku equivalent of a Catholic and Jew rolled up into one giant dakimakura of guilt.
Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.

Trajan
Test Subject
Test Subject
User avatar
Age: 25
Posts: 2838
Joined: Dec 19, 2010
Location: Tamriel
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Trajan » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:10 am

That's still an example of good direction in my opinion. Sometimes a director just needs to step out of the way and let the script and the actors do their work. Fancy camera work or stylistic flourishes can be distracting if not done well or moderated in their use, even by great directors. I love Billy Wilder films because he's more concerned with telling the story rather than presenting it in some dynamic way.

The Mummy (1932), Boris Karloff is reason enough to see anything and the film does a very good job at developing atmosphere that is refreshingly distinct from the usual Universal Gothic flair. It's also remarkable how sophisticated the camera work is for a film made in 1932. The film does, however, suffer from the unique problem of both being too short (74 minutes) and moving slowly. The romantic development between the two leads comes out of nowhere, the scene transitions are awkward and some things are glossed over regarding the lore surrounding this story. Any scene without Karloff tends to be a bit of a waiting game until he shows up and suffers the problem that most 30s films suffer, being talky and set-bound.

It's still a good movie, but probably the least impressive of the classic Universal horror movies. That opening scene is worth the price of admission alone though.
Movin' Right Along
"Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it." - Confucius
"All styles are good except the tiresome kind." - Voltaire

Oz
Finland Miracle
Finland Miracle
User avatar
Age: 28
Posts: 4840
Joined: Aug 02, 2009
Location: Finland
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Oz » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:47 am

View Original PostBomby von Bombsville wrote:There's a really great buried somewhere in there. Unfortunately it's padded out by uninteresting scenes. Like, if you cut it down to the best 80 or 90 minutes, you could have something really good. At least that's how I've always felt about it.


I don’t know. The only part you could edit out of the film would be Alice’s acting career and the scenes with her mom - although you would have to leave something for extra characterization. Hana’s rakugo scenes are too essential for the film’s main storyline and I don’t think they really inserted anything unnecessary with the main storyline either. In my opinion the main problem with the film is how the story just dies down at the end. The whole love triangle is just sort of forgotten and the main focus ends up being Alice’s ballet scene. It is a fine scene in itself, but as the ultimate climax of the film it just leaves the viewer feeling “so what”. It is a shame since the story builds up so well up until the last 10 minutes or so when it just peters out.

View Original PostXard wrote:"Wait what but kinda awesome" news of the week: Iwai is directing anime feature film prequel for this.

Yes. Iwai is directing anime film.

It is prequel to this.

Make of this whatever you want, it's pretty crazy anyway. Last time predominantly live action director dabbled in anime features we got Kenya Boy


I am not really sure how a prequel to Hana and Alice would work. If it is even remotely as druggy as Kenya Boy I’m all for it. Too bad I have a feeling that it won’t be anything unusual and given Iwai’s decline after All About Lily Chou-Chou, I’m not expecting it to be that good either. The curious thing about Iwai is that in the 10 years since he directed Hana and Alice he has only made one full feature film (that hasn’t been screened barely anywhere) that is not a documentary, short film or something else he made for NHK.



Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Real: Kiyoshi Kurosawa has always been interested in the insides of the human mind. Most of his films revolve around the mysterious and dark aspects of human psychology. In Real, he literally explores the insides of the human mind as a man uses experimental medical technology to enter the mind of his wife who has been in coma for a year after a suicide attempt. The more he spends time in her mind, the more both of them begin to lose grip on what is real and what is not (hence the name of the film). There is a trauma behind the dramatic scenario, but I couldn’t help feeling ambivalent about it and the characters. Neither of them feel tangible: I can’t help thinking that the trauma is nothing but a plot device and the characters never appear to be feeling human beings. Nevertheless Kurosawa excels in what he has always been good at: creating haunting imagery. He plays around with cinematography, special effects and places that make the world seem artificial. Some of the images he crafts in Real recall his masterpieces although some of the special effects are just awkward and blurry instead of being menacing. As a result the film itself feels awfully artificial. More like a cold construction than a human mind. It also doesn’t help that the entire film is laden with a way over-the-top soundtrack that ruins the mood right from the get-go. The flat acting performances from the leads are also annoying in key scenes - although that may have something to do with the sluggish script. In the end, Real being like a cold construction is not an entirely bad thing, but it isn’t really much more than a straighforward puzzle for the viewer to solve.

Yong-hi Yang’s Our Homeland: The more I watch films about Zainichi Koreans in Japan, the more I begin to understand the deep tragedy of the minority. While Yukisada’s Go tackled the questions of nationality, identity and racism, Yong-hi Yang’s Our Homeland focuses on a completely different subject. North Korea has had a tradition of encouraging the Zainichi Korean to have their offspring move to North Korea, leaving behind their families. Our Homeland portrays a man who left Japan when he was 16 as he returns to Japan 25 years later to receive medical treatment for an illness that cannot be cured in North Korea. The story is based on the real life experiences of the director who seems to have put her own thoughts in the man’s little sister who has grown up in Japan. The film opens with the man’s arrival in Japan - the joyful reunion is portrayed with so much subtle tension and deliberation that the atmosphere is almost ghastly. The man remains distant and mysterious to his family and old friends - and to the audience. It takes some time to figure out what sort of feelings are going through his mind as the camera follows him and his family closely as they struggle with the pressure and emotions that have been piling up for 25 years. Furthermore, they are constantly under surveillance and the presence of their homeland is inescapable. Our Homeland is a touching and chilling portrayal of human tragedy under circumstances determined by nations and politices. It is a tragedy that digs deep into the minds and hearts of individuals who are powerless to change their heart-breaking situation.

Ryuichi Hiroki’s Yellow Elephant: I often wonder when I watch films adapted from novels that I do not know if I’m missing out on something or setting my expectations falsely because I do not know the original story. It is a thought that passed my mind while I was watching Yellow Elephant. In it, a sweet, loving couple are living in the countryside. The wife is something of an odd bird: after having been hospitalized for a long time as a kid, she developed the ability to talk with rain, plants and animals. Although she lives in her own imaginary world she handles her alright even though her novelist husband constantly observes and tends to her needs. At first the film seems as if it is centered around the quirky wife whose mood swings stem from something deeper in her past. The film slows down to her pace, portraying the world as she sees it with mood lighting and very theatrical cinematography. I figured the film is more or less slice of life of her life with a cast of odd people around them: a demented elderly couple and a kid who is surprisingly mature for his age. But the film switches gears during the later half for a portrayal of crisis in their marriage as they are emotionally trapped in their pasts and other people. The film took me by surprise when it moved forward to explore the story’s real meat. Even if I consider that not knowing the story in advance may have distorted my experience I still think the dramatic turn has its iffy moments. While everything is tied up smoothly (even all of the side characters have a purpose) I can’t help thinking the odd domestic violence scene and the emotional pay-off in the climax don’t really fit in with the rest of the film. It is almost as if the film was a compromise between downbeat emotional realism and sweet mainstream romp. Yellow Elephant is at its best when portraying the carefree although moody everyday life. The latter half of the film isn’t exactly bad, but it could have been better.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Bright Future: Kiyoshi Kurosawa is a rare director in that he is very persistent in challenging his audience - even when you are used to his enigmatic style of filmmaking. Bright Future is a film that I was ready to heavily criticize when I had finished watching it, but I was so lost about what the film had actually intended that I ended up reading lots of reviews of the film. Piece by piece, I began to put together Kurosawa’s point and it actually makes a lot of sense. Bright Future follows two anti-social friends who look after a poisonous jellyfish. After one of them murders the family of their boss, the other one is left drifting while struggling to keep the jellyfish alive. It is easy to put down the film as a depiction of Japan’s alienated youth, but Kurosawa does something different with the often explored theme. With an arsenal of bizarre metaphors, plausible doppelgangers and lots of jellyfishes he captures the emotions of the disconnected youth looking for a bright future and their parents’ feelings of responsibility over how the youth have turned out. Oddly enough, the film feels both optimistic and cruelly ironic at the same time - and the combination doesn’t even feel that weird most of the time. Kurosawa takes a break from his usually meticulous style and instead employs grainy digital video, less clinical framing and a much faster pace. Bright Future covered in 90 minutes what many other films would have covered in twice as much time. The film feels like a bullet train rushing to its menacing and inevitable destination - the looming threat of death is always present in the film. It is nevertheless a problem that the film is so damn cryptic. I don’t think rewatching it is going to change my mind that much since the film is so all over the place that the themes remain obscured even when you know what to look for.
"I'd really like to have as much money as you have, Oz" - robersora
"No you wouldn't. Oz's secret is he goes without food to buy that stuff. He hasn't eaten in years." - Brikhaus

"Often I get the feeling that deep down, your little girl is struggling with your embrace of filmfaggotry and your loldeep fixations, and the conflict that arises from such a contradiction is embodied pretty well in Kureha's character. But obviously it's not any sort of internal conflict that makes the analogy work. It's the pigtails." - Merridian
"Oh, Oz, I fear I'm losing my filmfag to the depths of Japanese pop. If only there were more films with Japanese girls in glow-in-the-dark costumes you'd be the David Bordwell of that genre." - Jimbo
"Oz, I think we need to stage an intervention and force you to watch some movies that aren't made in Japan." - Trajan

Blue Monday
Angel
Angel
User avatar
Age: 30
Posts: 3360
Joined: Jun 17, 2012
Location: Earth-33

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Blue Monday » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:50 am

Saw Gone Girl yesterday - definitely as good as everyone says it is. I particularly liked Reznor's lush soundtrack and the cinematography, too.

Next trip to the cinema will mostly likely be for Interstellar.
"Eva(Geeks) is a story that repeats."
Warren Peace, #643919

Oz
Finland Miracle
Finland Miracle
User avatar
Age: 28
Posts: 4840
Joined: Aug 02, 2009
Location: Finland
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Oz » Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:54 am

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Pulse: For a director that is considered to be a master of horror, Kurosawa rarely makes films that are clearly horror - and in some cases his films don’t really have anything to do with horror yet they have a creepy atmosphere. Pulse, on the other hand, is the first straightforward horror film I have seen from the director’s filmography. After a man is found hung, his co-workers become haunted by a creepy picture left on his floppy disk. What ensues is a combination of ghosts, spooky Internet and suicides. Pulse really taps into the absurd Japanese phobia of the Internet and computers, but at its heart it is a film in which ghosts become more numerous by every scene. There isn’t really anything beyond its surface. Some scenes seem to imply that the film deals with lack of communication and fear of death, but Kurosawa doesn’t really even attempt to do much with them. We live and die alone. That is pretty much the only thing the film implies in the end. The film is completely bent on terrifying the shit out of its audience, but it overstays its welcome as the ghosts become too familiar a sight and the dramatic soundtrack turns into a nuisance. Even a master of atmosphere like Kurosawa loses his control despite beginning very promisingly with his clever use of sound and haunting imagery.

Eiji Okuda’s Case of Kyoko, Case of Shuichi: It goes without saying that in the past few years Japanese directors have made numerous films about the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Eiji Okuda’s film is less about the disaster and more about the troubled lifes of its two unrelated protagonists who are only connected by the fact that their distant families live in the disaster-striken area. The film begins with the earthquake and then moves onto extensive flashbacks that thoroughly establish the characters. We gradually begin to learn that both of them have led lives out of balance with their unfair share of abuse, family problems and crime. The film wonders whether the two have a chance to restart their lives and atone for their pasts after the disaster. By the end of the film both of them have revisited the wreckage that their homeland is and the answers the film gives are ambiguous, both optimistic and pessimistic at the same time. Nothing is a given. Okuda portrays the gut-wrenching drama in a relentless but sentimental way. He is guilty of overt sentimentality, but it is fitting for the subject that requires the overflowing emotion and sad strings.

Nobuhiro Yamashita’s My Back Pages: The radical student movements of the 60’s and 70’s have recently become a more common subject for Japanese films. Yamashita’s My Back Pages takes an unusual approach to the subject: he portrays a young journalist following a fake movement leader that ends up committing crimes. Yamashita drops his trademark humor for more serious ponderation, but that ends up being one of the factors in his downfall as the film lingers on and on for too long without a change in mood. The film seems focusless for a long time, but in the end it does underline the ambivalent nature of the radicals who made it all up as they went and betrayed each other. With less repetition and a clearer focus from the get-go, My Back Pages could have been an enlightening film of a dubious era. At two and half hours it ends up being too self-indulgent and loses its dramatical potence. Especially the first half of the film feels empty, but the film picks up (and begins to make sense) during the final half as the film finally makes it clear what it wants to express. Even the great performances of the two leads can’t lift the film up to what it should be.

Sang-il Lee’s Unforgiven: After the west had remade Japanese classics, including Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, a Japanese director has stepped up to remake a western classic: Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven. The scenario is the same as the original: Two old killers set out to collect the bounty for two farmers who violently cut the face of a prostitute. Lee’s transition of the story to the gorgeous landscapes of northern Japan works surprisingly well. Instead of being old gunslingers, the main characters are former bounthunter samurais of some sort who are infamous for their killings. Their way of living has become impossible and the two are pondering on whether they can change themselves. The film is still markedly western in some parts, but the most major difference to the original lies in its portrayal of the Ainu minority and how their conflict with the Japanese was an extremely ugly one. In addition to the protagonist’s character study, Lee also focuses the film on the discriminated: the Ainu and the prostitutes. He is keen on depicting how the society tramples on their traditions and human rights in gruesome detail. Nevertheless at its heart the story is still about old men settling scores with bloody fights while exploring moral grayness and man’s capability to be evil. Even though Lee falls for his major weakness, over-the-top melodrama, at times it is not as distracting as it was in Villain. Lee’s Unforgiven lets the audience feel the heavy weight of the past and sin at the same time as it extends its exploration of evil to segregation that has real historical roots.

Yojiro Takita’s When the Last Sword is Drawn: Hailed as one of the few great modern samurai films, my expectations for When the Last Sword is Drawn were high. Especially rewatching the director’s Oscar-winning Departures I thought this film could be a true masterpiece. But I was badly mistaken. When the Last Sword is Drawn is a prime example of the Japanese trend of producing over-the-top weepy melodrama that doesn’t really reach an audience that doesn’t cry like a machine when it hears sad strings or loudly bawling characters. The film’s story of a poor samurai abandoning his family to join the Shinsengumi to support his family financially ends up doing the opposite of what it sets out do. During its 140-minute running time it spends a great deal of time indulging in old-fashioned and stiff humor, bittersweet celebration of samurai honor and exploration of the protagonist’s family love. Ironically the film ends up being a case study of how flawed the samurai code is and how it leads to nothing but tragedy. Furthermore, the last 40 minutes melodramatically depict how the protagonist loves his family - despite abandoning them to kill people and doesn’t meet them for ages. Other than that, the film takes a fairly neutral stance when it comes to the infamous Shinsengumi and most of the film, prior to the explosion of tears and drama, has refined men of fine character speaking theatrical lines that come across hollow. Combined that with Joe Hisaishi’s overblown soundtrack and wooden acting of some of the star-studded cast and you have a film that could drown in its own schmaltz. For a film that so masterfully recaptures the sprawling life of the tumultuous era When the Last Sword is Drawn feels awfully wrong no matter which storyline or thematic aspect one examines.

Naomi Kawase’s Still the Water: Naomi Kawase’s newest film, Still the Water, was in Cannes this year although it did not receive any awards. It is very much like her other films: a sparse and atmospheric story of love, family and internal turmoil that reach almost mythological degrees in Kawase’s hands. Still the Water follows a high school couple who live on a small island with its own language and traditions. The boy’s parents have divorced and the girl’s mother is dying. At the same time as the two are beginning to understand their feelings for each other, they end up going through difficult patch of life as they need to come to terms with death, loss, parting and parent issues. However, it wouldn’t be a Kawase film if it wasn’t spiritual in some way: the cycle of life and destiny looms over the entire film. While Still the Water isn’t as mythical and enigmatic as Kawase’s earlier films, it is very similar in spirit and atmosphere. Kawase herself believed it was her best film because it expresses her beliefs the best. While it is certainly a very good film (that isn’t as thin on content as Hanezu) it is far from being her magnum opus - there are various themes going on, but in the end the film isn’t really as enthralling and fully realized as the likes of Shara and The Mourning Forest.
"I'd really like to have as much money as you have, Oz" - robersora
"No you wouldn't. Oz's secret is he goes without food to buy that stuff. He hasn't eaten in years." - Brikhaus

"Often I get the feeling that deep down, your little girl is struggling with your embrace of filmfaggotry and your loldeep fixations, and the conflict that arises from such a contradiction is embodied pretty well in Kureha's character. But obviously it's not any sort of internal conflict that makes the analogy work. It's the pigtails." - Merridian
"Oh, Oz, I fear I'm losing my filmfag to the depths of Japanese pop. If only there were more films with Japanese girls in glow-in-the-dark costumes you'd be the David Bordwell of that genre." - Jimbo
"Oz, I think we need to stage an intervention and force you to watch some movies that aren't made in Japan." - Trajan

mechashiva
Tunniel
User avatar
Age: 29
Posts: 181
Joined: Oct 22, 2014
Location: United States
Gender: Female

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby mechashiva » Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:47 pm

Wes Anderson's first movie Bottle Rocket. Its weird given how almost devoid it is of the so-called Wes Anderson movie tropes (close-ups of objects grouped together, twee affectations, bright or pastel colors) except for the vintage soundtrack and composition of shots.
"Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up."-Pablo Picasso

Oz
Finland Miracle
Finland Miracle
User avatar
Age: 28
Posts: 4840
Joined: Aug 02, 2009
Location: Finland
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Oz » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:52 pm

Kiyoshi Sasabe’s My SO Has Got Depression: Based on a manga that was originally based on the author’s real life experience, My SO (Significant Other) Has Got Depression tells the story of a depressed salaryman and his manga author wife and how they dealt with the depression. At its own laid-back pace, the film portrays how he starts to space out, lose his appetite and feel worthless. For such a downbeat subject the film is surprisingly low-key and heartwarming. While the protagonist’s stiffness is sometimes comically exaggerated, the film never fools around and takes itself seriously. The film isn’t just superificially gentle: it doesn’t celebrate the couple as saints (or demonize them), but instead portrays their ups and downs in a very human way. It is an optimistic film that understands that depression is tough for everyone involved, but proposes that recovery is always possible.

Sion Sono’s Kikyu kurabu, sonogo (believe it or not, there is no official English title for this film): After watching Sono’s The Land of Hope I declared that I wouldn’t be watching his films in a long while. I had to make one exception to the rule: Kikyuu kurabu, sonogo (literally Balloon Club, Afterwards). It is one of the more obscure films of the director’s breakthrough era, but the few who have seen it have praised it so I decided to give it a try. The film is about the members of a club (which specializes in hot air balloon rides) contacting each other again after 5 years of separation when the club’s leader dies in a bike accident. What follows is 90 minutes full of fast-paced telephone calls and loud drinking parties as the reckless and young characters remember their youth and try to relive it. Sono likes to play around with storytelling and visual tricks as he freely puts together scenes and jumps back and forth in time. For the first half the film lacks a center of focus as it reveals the many romances love triangles among the group. It is only during the final 40 minutes that the film begins to close up on the dead man whose grand ambition and burning passion for hot air balloons ate away people around him. However, at this point the film has already begun to run dry with a little too much repetition and not enough focus as it strains to fill in the short running time with too much stuff. Sono’s experimentation is fresh and he has a few interesting storytelling techniques up his sleeve. In the end it is a film about young adults leaving behind their youth in the hor air balloon and moving on in their lives. The film is fairly good at depicting the chance and its many causes, but the characters remain a bit too distant even during the ending.

Isao Yukisada’s Parade: Four young unrelated characters share the same apartment. One day a stranger begins to live in the apartment while the residents just assume he is someone’s friend - until they realize that is not the case. Who is he and what is he doing in the apartment? That is how Parade’s exploration of modern day life and “knowing others” begins. The further the film goes, the more obvious it becomes that the residents do not know each other and that all of them have their own adventures - ranging from serious emotional self-reflection to humorous investigation into what is going on in a shady apartment next door. The film investigates what makes the characters tick and that very investigation is somehow very absorbing. Even though I have watched lots of interesting films in the past few months, Parade is one of the few films that have really absorbed me and made me forget the time. The banter between the lead characters is very well written and feels natural. It is just one of the things that makes the characters seem extremely real and multi-dimensional. Once the closeness to the characters has sunk in, the film delivers a real shocker in its climax that points out why the film feels so perversely eerie all the time. In a very unusual but effective way Parade exposes that something is off about modern day values. In its own way Parade is an unsettling film.

Koji Wakamatsu’s Caterpillar: Caterpillar is no doubt the work of a New Wave veteran: its horrifying subject and despise of Japan make it unmistakably New Wave-ish. The “caterpillar” of the title refers to a returning soldier who comes back from WW2 as a sedated deaf-mute with no limbs. To top it off he comes packed with war traumas and an unstoppable sex drive. His wife tends to him out of duty and pride for their nation, but the situation grows more and more unbearable for both of them. The soldier is celebrated and decorated with medals - he is even respectfully called the “War God” among the villagers. All of this is for Wakamatsu’s critique of the nation. He goes to show the emptiness of cheerful patriotism and self-praise that plagued Japan during and after the war. The country’s fixation to prestige and decorating its “heroes” is brought under question as the soldier and his wife need to carry out their duty as the “model couple” for a society that is insanely obsessed with the war. The couple’s dignity and sanity are at stake when the consequences of the war begin to weigh on them. The opening scene of the film pretty well summarizes what the film aims at: a black and white scene of the “great soldiers of Japan” raping Chinese women while cheerful war songs are played in the background. While one could say that Wakamatsu’s condemnation of Japan is quite elemental and childish at times it cannot be denied that the film delivers its point in a brilliant and unsettling way.
"I'd really like to have as much money as you have, Oz" - robersora
"No you wouldn't. Oz's secret is he goes without food to buy that stuff. He hasn't eaten in years." - Brikhaus

"Often I get the feeling that deep down, your little girl is struggling with your embrace of filmfaggotry and your loldeep fixations, and the conflict that arises from such a contradiction is embodied pretty well in Kureha's character. But obviously it's not any sort of internal conflict that makes the analogy work. It's the pigtails." - Merridian
"Oh, Oz, I fear I'm losing my filmfag to the depths of Japanese pop. If only there were more films with Japanese girls in glow-in-the-dark costumes you'd be the David Bordwell of that genre." - Jimbo
"Oz, I think we need to stage an intervention and force you to watch some movies that aren't made in Japan." - Trajan


Return to “Film and Video”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest