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Postby Oz » Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:28 am

View Original PostEl Squibbonator wrote:I watched The Wicker Man yesterday. The original, not the remake.


The unofficial rule of the thread is to write about your thoughts on the movie you are posting. It can only be a sentence or two mentioning whether you liked it or not. The point is to write something. The moderation team doesn’t want list threads.



You won’t be seeing me post in this thread for a few weeks because I have now managed to watch all the films I set out to check a few months ago. I’ll be working on my list of the best Japanese films of the new millennium for a week or two. Once it is done I’ll make sure to post it here as well. It is going to be an interesting list for anyone who has even the slightest interest in Japanese cinema.

Eiji Okuda’s A Long Walk: Inspired by Eiji Okuda’s Case of Kyoko Case of Shuichi, I wanted to see more films from the actor-turned director. A Long Walk had also been fairly liked by critics, even winning film festival awards outside Japan. In it, an old man escaping his family problems moves to a new apartment. Soon he notices that the woman next door mistreats her 5 year-old daughter and that the household is full of domestic violence. Reminded me of his own trauma, he soon befriends the abused girl and takes her away for a “walk”. Even though the film portrays the neighbour’s lousiness in an over-the-top way from the beginning I was confident Okuda could turn the film into a good drama given how well his other film fared. However, what I got was an immature clusterfuck. The downfall begins with the depiction of the family with the biggest offender being a scene in which the mother tries to choke the girl to death after she catches the attention of the mother’s boyfriend for a moment. It is not just the handling of the abusive parents that is poor: it also stumbles in its portrayal of the child and the supposed sweetness and righteouness of the old man are also questionable. Midway through the film Okuda also introduces new elements both thematically and plotwise - and none of them quite fit together quite well. In the end A Long Walk is a ham-fisted drama that is riddled by shallow moralizing and odd mood swings.

Kaneto Shindo’s Postcard: The final film of a New Wave veteran looks back on the Second World War. The film is interested in the direct consequences of the war on Japanese families as the tragedy that befalls on the family portrayed in the film forces a woman to restart her life. Tomoko loses his husband in the war. She then marries her late husband’s brother in order to take care of the husband’s family, but he is soon drafted and killed in war. Her father-in-law dies to a heart attack and the mother-in-law commits suicide to ease Tomoko’s burden. Tomoko is left alone with no money. What follows is the actual focus of the film: Tomoko’s husband’s friend comes to deliver Tomoko a postcard her husband had treasured before his death. Both the friend and Tomoko are at a crossroads in their lives and their meeting ends up being the real crux of the film. Surprisingly, Shindo avoids the criticism of Japan unlike his contemporaries - although his criticism isn’t on the surface. Instead he is more interested in the lives and sacrifices of the people who survived. However, Shindo is not satisfied with mere drama, instead he mixes in odd splashes of theatricality and playfulness that sometimes works well with the otherwise archaic form. The result is almost schizophrenic. Especially the acting is all over the place. Even though the story is very personal for its director (since the survivor’s guilt haunts him) he isn’t able to load it with passion that would reach the audience too.

Yoji Yamada’s Tokyo Family: It is always a questionable move to remake old masterpieces, even if it comes from an established film director. I was even more skeptical when I heard that Tokyo Family is a remake of Yasujiro Ozu’s timeless masterpiece Tokyo Story. Its portrayal of generational gap and family doesn’t need a modernized remake and it is hard to escape the looming presence of a master like Ozu whose style was so sophisticated and refined. However, Yamada’s shift of the story from the 50’s to modern day is very clever. It captures the realities and details of modern life exceptionally well. Instead of visiting a remote hot spring, the children of the elderly couple have the two sleep at a luxurious hotel. A guided city tour drives it further home that Japan has changed since the original as it goes through Akihabara while the grandparents look around in awe. Yamada plays around with the viewer’s expectations of the original story in good ways. The modern Noriko is the girlfriend of the youngest son who is a good-willed slacker that didn’t live up to the expectations of his father and avoids his parents as a result. Yamada’s remake has shifted the focus from her to the final act that is significantly longer and more detailed, which makes it seem at first that Noriko is not going to be as central as in the original, but in the end she becomes relevant. Despite the fitting changes that justify remaking the original Tokyo Family does not entirely escape the shadow of the original.
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Postby Blue Monday » Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:08 am

Saw John Carter on TV tonight and really liked it. Honestly, the only issue I had with it was the extremely botched pacing towards the end - they probably would've been better off doing that portion in a coda format. Shame we won't be seeing anything in the way of sequels anyway...
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Postby Trajan » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:18 pm

As part of my Halloween Horror movie marathon, I watched the following last night:

Dracula (1931): Each time I watch this film, the more underwhelmed I get with it. It just suffers so badly from that early sound era awkwardness where it feels like the creative staff didn't know what to do when people were talking and how to edit without dialogue cards. It's also set-bound, lacks any sort of scope apart from the opening scenes in the castle and uses long distance shots way more often than it should. It still has Bela Lugosi though, and he along with Edward Van Sloan, Dwight Frye and the production design save the movie.

Frankenstein (1931): This is why a great director matters so much: on a technical level this film is easily more sophisticated than Dracula, better framing, tracking, transitions, and use of sound such as the legendarily thunder effect. The editing is still a bit clumsy at times, but the creation scene and the burning windmill climax are still two of the greatest scenes in movie history.

Bride of Frankenstein: One of the best dark comedies ever made that gets better and deeper the more I watch it. Ernest Thesiger would have stolen the show as Dr. Pretorius if not for Karloff. The effects are amazing for 1935 and the content matter is incredibly daring for the time. There's all sorts of commentary on society, religion, science that goes beyond the simple "science going too far" parable that we saw in the previous film.
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Postby movieartman » Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:53 pm

All the films i watched in october, in order of release date

DRACULA (1931)___first time viewing
- lol the little bug having its own miniature coffin is priceless
- ok i have not watched the spanish copy, but i saw the scene where dracula is introduced to harker and it was filmed much much better (altho the acting was clearly, VASTLY worse)
- sloan was a great van helsing IMO, his confrontation with dracula ending with the cross is great, i heard one reviewer i usually like refer to his acting skills as soft core porn quality, i was at a loss for words to describe how much bullshit that is
- the castle set is magnificent
- the shot of the horse carrage coming over the hill in silhouette is beautiful
- overall... meh, genuine good moments, but out of the universal horror films ive seen so far (wolfman, frank, frank meets wolfman, dracula's daughter, creature from the black lagoon and its 2 sequels, the mummy's hand & tomb) i consider it the weakest easy, cept MABYE revenge of the creature, but not likely

View Original PostTrajan wrote:Dracula (1931): Each time I watch this film, the more underwhelmed I get with it. It just suffers so badly from that early sound era awkwardness where it feels like the creative staff didn't know what to do when people were talking and how to edit without dialogue cards. It's also set-bound, lacks any sort of scope apart from the opening scenes in the castle and uses long distance shots way more often than it should. It still has Bela Lugosi though, and he along with Edward Van Sloan, Dwight Frye and the production design save the movie.

oh good i thought i would be the only one to dislike it (more offen than not) on here

DRACULA'S DAUGHTER (1936)___first time viewing
- sloan is good for what screen time he has, his STOP HIM line is awesome
- holden is very effective as the title vampire
- the lesbian-nistic scene with a young woman she brings to her house to paint, is more unnerving than expected
- marguerite churchhill looks JUST like diana lane

THE MUMMY'S HAND (1940)
- tom tyler may not emote as the mummy as much as channey in the next 3 films but visually i think he is more menacing by a little bit
- the cast has great interaction
- the old school comedic work in this one works more offen than not surprisingly

THE MUMMY'S TOMB (1942)
- thrilling ending in the burning mansion

DRACULA / HORROR OF DRACULA (1958)
- christopher lee in my mind is superior in every way to legosi
- the scene where he introduces himself to harker, and there following conversation is very gentlemenly, very high class, lee oozes likable charisma in this scene makes it all the more unforturnate he did not get to push the envelope more acting and character depth wise as dracula in the following 8 movies. he mask the vampire supurbly, unlike legosi who comes off as if he is having to restrain himself every second from bitch slapping the shit out of harker and draining the fucker.
- peter cushing is ever peter cushing
- ok flaw with the film, the scenes where dracula's bride pleads with harker to help her are just... terrible, haker just seems completely emotionless and viciously unconcerned, i get he knows there is nothing he can do for her, but not reacting to her pleas, would have been a dead give away of what he is actually in the castle to do, if someone came to me and said there being held hostage im gonna drag them out the house that instant.

THE MUMMY (1959)
- best of the hammer films IMO
- lee is a great great mummy, while i do miss the hanging bandages of the above films, lee emotes vastly more, and is just a complete juggernaut avatar of death, tyler and channey it aways seemed like you could run around them they where so slow, lee is just a pure machine of doom coming for you.
- flash backs go on for just a little too long
- george pastell is a phenomenal villain, his scene verbally sparing with cushing while having to restrain himself and keep his true intents a secret is a masterful scene with great dialogue.
- Yvonne Furneaux IMO is among the most beautiful women ive ever seen on film... IN this film, other stills and photos ive seen of her she is very pretty, but something about this films coloring, use of light, her hair and outfits, take her to a whole nother level.
- shotgun blazing ending is awesome

CITY UNDER THE SEA / WAR-GODS OF THE DEEP (1965)___first time viewing
- first Vincent price film, very very effective, probably makes me like the film more than i would have had i seen more of his films previously
- scenes where the gillmen infiltrate the mansion is very moody and suspenseful
- lead male and female are great
- the comic relief artist character is a fail as is his pet hen
- sets are great
- underwater scenes are sadly slow
- plot hole price says him and his men are not murderers yet when we are first introduced to there clan they are playing some kind of drawing straws game, and the looser is tried to a post while the ocean floods in, and this is not explained or touched on again the entire film???

THE CREEPING FLESH (1973)___first time viewing
- lee is a absolute jealous spiteful bastard in this and is awesome
- cushing really pushes his acting a bit here, many many layers to his older character, small little details such as him clearly coming down with alzheimer's slowly but surely.
- lorna heilbron, is fantastic here, going from innocent & vunerable, to sexy, to lost & confused to a mad animal striking out at anything and everything
- the massive form of the cloaked being at the end going up the stairs is hyper effective
- the resolution is sadistically cruel

THE ABYSS (1989) - SPECIAL EDITION
- LOVE this movie, IMO it is a hyper underrated james cameron film
- the whole cast gives there all
- Mary elizabeth mastrantonio is a great lead female lead, she is strong, willful, sarcastic in a genuinely funny non annoying way, she is a perfect counter balance to ed harris
- michael bein, gives easily his best preformance here as the slowing going insane dick marine
- sets, effects, underwater sequences all absolute top notch

WHITE SANDS (1992)___first time viewing
- 4 leads of Defoe, mickey rourke, samuel l jackson and mastrantonio all interact perfectly together
- mastrantonio gets to be very very sexy in a fun not even trying kind of way

THE PROPHECY (1995)___first time viewing
- pure awesomenesssssssssssssssss
- virgina madisen is really great, really wish she was in more sifi/action stuff as i think she only did this, highlander 2 and of course candyman
- possibly walken's best role ive seen him in, certainly his most memorable (which is of couse saying something)

THE PROPHECY 2 (1998)___first time viewing
- good strong sequel
- the scene where danyael reveals his wings to jennifer beals just as she was ranting about the impossibility of what he has told her, is very very satisfying
- beals is a good lead, her final scene with walken is great
- ok flaw time, its only been 3ish weeks sense i watched it and i seem to have forgotten a good amount of the film :/ it was good but i guess forgetful, need to rewatch in a bit

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Postby Trajan » Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:49 pm

I usually consider The Mummy the least impressive of the eight Classic Universal Monster Movies with Dracula coming in at sixth place. It just moves too slowly and is a bit too technically flat for me to give it a ringing endorsement. It is Bela Lugosi's greatest performance; it's just a shame the rest of the movie doesn't hold up as well. That said, I don't dislike it, it's just one of those films that doesn't hold up from a modern viewing perspective.

I need to see the Spanish version of Dracula at some point. From what, I've heard it's a superior film from a technical standpoint, but the acting is much worse.
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Postby movieartman » Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:19 pm

View Original PostTrajan wrote:I usually consider The Mummy the least impressive of the eight Classic Universal Monster Movies with Dracula coming in at sixth place. It just moves too slowly and is a bit too technically flat for me to give it a ringing endorsement. It is Bela Lugosi's greatest performance; it's just a shame the rest of the movie doesn't hold up as well. That said, I don't dislike it, it's just one of those films that doesn't hold up from a modern viewing perspective.

I need to see the Spanish version of Dracula at some point. From what, I've heard it's a superior film from a technical standpoint, but the acting is much worse.

Still have not seen the 1922 mummy need to.
I have heard a good number of people claim Lugosi as ygor in son of Frankenstein is his best performance have you seen that one? Your thoughts? (I have yet to see it)

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Postby Trajan » Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:40 pm

Son of Frankenstein is much, much better than any of the Frankenstein sequels that came after it. I wouldn't necessarily call it "great" but it is a very good horror film. Basil Rathbone and Lionel Atwill are both terrific and Ygor is definitely one of Lugosi's finest performances. It's not as iconic as Dracula (a role he spent years perfecting on stage) but it's some fine work nonetheless. The monster is basically treated as a dumb brute however, a sad bit of foreshadowing in how future installments ignored the complexity of the Monster as presented in the original James Whale films. Continuity is also a mess, so if you do watch it, it's best not to think to hard about how it connects to previous films. Still, it does a great job at creating atmosphere (of all the Universal horror films I've seen, it's the one that looks the most like a German Expressionist film) and the acting is top notch, so I'd give it a solid 4/5.
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Postby cyharding » Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:04 pm

F for Fake. I did like the film, but I'm not 100% sure I got the idea that Welles was trying to say.
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Postby Xard » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:54 pm

View Original Postcyharding wrote:F for Fake. I did like the film, but I'm not 100% sure I got the idea that Welles was trying to say.


I don't think there's any one theme to the whole film but it interrogates number of interrelated themes on autorship, fakeness and artistic merit.


I think the profound "it" moment of the film that crystallizes many of the main ideas (if not necessarily all) is when Welles ponders eloquently and poetically on truly worthwhile art and how little importance specific "authorship" is for such.

And this has been standing here for centuries. The premier work of man perhaps in the whole western world, and it’s without a signature: Chartres.

A celebration to God’s glory and to the dignity of man. All that’s left most artists seem to feel these days, is man. Naked, poor, forked, radish. There aren’t any celebrations. Ours, the scientists keep telling us, is a universe which is disposable. You know, it might be just this one anonymous glory of all things, this rich stone forest, this epic chant, this gaiety, this grand choiring shout of affirmation, which we choose when all our cities are dust, to stand intact, to mark where we have been, to testify to what we had it in us, to accomplish.

Our works in stone, in paint, in print are spared, some of them for a few decades, or a millennium or two, but everything must finally fall in war or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash. The triumphs and the frauds, the treasures and the fakes. A fact of life. We’re going to die. “Be of good heart,” cry the dead artists out of the living past. Our songs will all be silenced — but what of it? Go on singing. Maybe a man’s name doesn’t matter all that much.



Reminds me why I love Welles.
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Postby movieartman » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:26 pm

THE NIGHT BRINGS CHARLIE (1990)___first time viewing
- hyper low budget slasher
- great shower scene early on
- killers outfit is reasonably effective
- the twist is good and fun but when they give us the very first shred of evidence of it, its telegraphed from hell...
- good fiery finale
- full thing on you tube for anyone who cares

THE MUMMY'S GHOST (1944)___first time viewing in full
- john carradine is pretty good as the newest mummy priest (still no george pastell but.. lol who is) and damn he is pretty tall and imposing
- the mill set and visual adds a lot to the finale, seems similar to visuals i recall from plague of the zombies (which i need to rewatch)
- the cops investigating the killings in this one are more useful than normal, and having dealt with the mummy in the previous film, and actively trying to find solutions to stop him.
- very shockingly for a film from the 40s, the film has a very dark sad end.
SPOILER: Show
- lead female Amina is the re-carnation of princess ananka who is the title ghost not karis, her hair keeps getting beautiful white streaks when ever she is shocked in to unconsciousness by seeing the mummy.
the film leads up to the end the expected way with the mummy trudging off with her in arms, this time however they close up to her arms, and legs and realize she is a aging rapidly. karis begins skinking in to the muck of the swamp and we see her face now mummified and well dead.
they sink in to the swamp water as Amina's boyfriend desperately tries to reach her.
the end tite plays over the voice of one of the previous priest saying "thoose who defy the gods will, will suffer a cruel and violent death" lol as if the film is on the villains side... damn!!!

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Postby Joy Evangelion » Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:52 pm

Interstellar -- I don't usually get around to seeing movies at the theater, but my older brother got me to go see this one with him. He wanted to see it because he loves the DK movies, I wanted to see it because I'm a wannabe sci fi geek. I'm very glad I went. :kawaii:

SPOILER: Show
I say I'm a wannabe sci fi geek because I haven't read much or any sci fi classics, and the only two hard sci fi films I'm familiar with are 2001 and Sunshine so beware, what I have to say on Interstellar isn't an expert opinion or anything. That being said, I basically enjoyed everything about the movie. The soundtrack was wonderful and kinda sounded like the organ based music from Final Fantasy VIII. The cast was surprisingly likable, and I say that because before seeing the film I wasn't really crazy about any of the actors besides for Michael Caine, but now I think I'll view most of them in a much better light. I think most hard sci fi movies need a talking AI system, and the various talking, walking monoliths that had the human's backs filled me with a lot of joy to watch. I could say more about the movie, but I'd just feel like I was gushing, so I'll just say my overall favorite thing about it was Matt M's conversations on his porch on Earth with his father-in-law.

I'd recommend anyone to go see it, but I'm sure most of us here planned on it anyway.

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Postby Ray » Sat Nov 08, 2014 1:16 am

. . .The Lego Movie. . .
I’ll escape now from this world, from the world of Jean Valjean, Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begin!
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Postby Ænimal » Sat Nov 08, 2014 1:24 am

^ i bet i know what song is stuck in your head now :devil:

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Postby Oz » Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:46 am

View Original PostRay wrote:. . .The Lego Movie. . .

View Original PostOz wrote:The unofficial rule of the thread is to write about your thoughts on the movie you are posting. It can only be a sentence or two mentioning whether you liked it or not. The point is to write something. The moderation team doesn’t want list threads.


Meanwhile, I managed to complete my project of compiling a list of the best Japanese films of the new millennium. I tried to find all sorts of films for the list so it is not just for elitists or snobby film buffs. If you want to see how well Rebuild films ranked on it, check it out here: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls071142326/
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Postby Ray » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:11 pm

The Lego movie was fun, upbeat, childish, surreal, endlessly creative, and surprisingly funny and fresh for a movie that's basically a 90 minute commercial. It made me really want to bust out my old crate of Legos and build a skyscraper or something. A few of the celebrity voice actors take you out of it, but when you get to the plot twist, it actually becomes a lot more fun and it's rewatch value increases incredibly. Which is more than I can say for most other movies based on toys and nostalgic properties coming out these days.

Also, Will Ferrel is actually funny in this! Which is surprising considering I don't really like most of his other movies. But that's another post for another time.

Bottom Line, watch the Lego movie! It's excellent!
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Postby StarShaper7 » Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:58 pm

View Original PostOz wrote:Meanwhile, I managed to complete my project of compiling a list of the best Japanese films of the new millennium. I tried to find all sorts of films for the list so it is not just for elitists or snobby film buffs. If you want to see how well Rebuild films ranked on it, check it out here: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls071142326/


Nice to see Mind Game come in at #10. It's definitely one of my favorite (anime) movies.

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:21 pm

^ Ninjaed me there. Also nice to see some love for 5cm a second after the bashing it's been getting around here over the past week.
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Postby Trajan » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:02 am

View Original PostOz wrote:Meanwhile, I managed to complete my project of compiling a list of the best Japanese films of the new millennium. I tried to find all sorts of films for the list so it is not just for elitists or snobby film buffs. If you want to see how well Rebuild films ranked on it, check it out here: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls071142326/


Spirited Away should be in the Top 10, if not the Top 5. And no Howl's Moving Castle, Departures, or Paprika? Other than the perceived exclusions on my part, I can't really comment much on the list. My own knowledge of Japanese cinema is pretty limited past 1970 or so. I still know about Shohei Imamura, Hayao Miyazaki, Takeshi Kitano, Hirokazu Koreeda, and Takashi Miike mainly but even most of them made most of their important works well before the time line you wrote about and I can't talk about them for hours the way I can talk for hours about "The Big Three": Kurosawa, Ozu, and Mizoguchi. I guess it largely stems from the fact that newer Japanese live action movies are harder to come across in the West than the older classics.
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Postby pwhodges » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:46 am

Howl was there, surely. But Paprika - yeah...
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
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Can't wait for 3.0+1.0? - try Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

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Postby Xard » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:37 am

View Original PostTrajan wrote:Spirited Away should be in the Top 10, if not the Top 5. And no Howl's Moving Castle, Departures, or Paprika? Other than the perceived exclusions on my part, I can't really comment much on the list. My own knowledge of Japanese cinema is pretty limited past 1970 or so. I still know about Shohei Imamura, Hayao Miyazaki, Takeshi Kitano, Hirokazu Koreeda, and Takashi Miike mainly but even most of them made most of their important works well before the time line you wrote about and I can't talk about them for hours the way I can talk for hours about "The Big Three": Kurosawa, Ozu, and Mizoguchi. I guess it largely stems from the fact that newer Japanese live action movies are harder to come across in the West than the older classics.


Departures is there at 61 as is Howl at 78. Paprika is off but I'm not offended since it is worst Kon film. I agree that Spirited Away should be much higher but then again I rate that as #1 film of 21st Century so far in general so... :lol:

It does not belong under Koreeda's muh son drama though. :P


Going through the list I've seen 39 titles of the total hundred, a bit more than I thought I had. Mostly this is due to based animu (speaking of which, Visitor Q directly above Utahime makes me cringe bad). I could of course rank and comment on those myself but there are some spots I'd really like to fill in my knowledge first like Confessions, dog cop stuff and, erm, Fish Story. Also apparently "forest" in name implies good modern Japanese flick so I guess should see those.
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