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50 First Dates (2004)
Enjoyable but somewhat schizophrenic (minor spoilers)
The trouble with this movie is that it can't quite decide what kind of film it wants to be. At the beginning, it plays like a not very funny slapstick comedy in "National Lampoon's Animal House" style, as one might expect from Rob Schneider's presence in the cast. If you can get past this (my wife gave up on it after ten minutes), the movie gradually transforms itself into a sensitive romance, albeit one on which the low comedy elements continue to intrude.
The problem is that the two elements don't gel well together, so that all the stuff about walrus vomit and wet dreams and the aquarium assistant of uncertain gender seem grafted uneasily on to what is in essence a bittersweet romance, undermining the tenderness of the love story. However Drew Barrymore is charming, the Hawaiian scenery is beautiful, and without giving too much of the plot away, the ending is genuinely touching, and leaves the viewer with a good feeling.
Social Comment vs. Erotica (possible spoiler)
Along the lines of Lino Brocka's better known "Macho Dancer", this is a Filipino melodrama of an innocent country boy (the eponymous Boatman) who ends up in the flesh trade in big city Manila as the male half of a live sex show. While clearly seeking to condemn the social conditions that push poor people into such work, the director appears to be trying to have it both ways by making the sex show scenes attractively erotic, with good camera-work aided by the undeniable beauty of the female co-star.
I won't give away the ending, but suffice it to say that the poor in the Philippines rarely come out on top.
A brilliant sequel, but see Part 1 first to understand it
Infernal Affairs 3 builds cleverly on the plotline of the first movie, but with its complex story and frequent switches between past and present, is likely to seriously confuse anyone who comes to it without having seen Part 1 first to understand the two main characters. For those who have, this film brings out further details of the relationship between the two, superbly played again by Tony Leung and Andy Lau. With frequent flashbacks, the film focuses on extending the story of Triad mole Ming (Andy Lau), warping up the tension as the stresses of his double life become intolerable. Leon Lai's usual expressionless performance, which mars his other films, works well here as it leaves you few clues about his character's motivation until the climax.
If you enjoyed Part 1, you will enjoy this. (I haven't seen Part 2 yet.)
The Pillow Book (1996)
Interesting, but too calculated to be truly erotic
Like many of Peter Greenaway's movies, Pillow Book features extensive nudity. However, while the plot development is well worked out, the cast is competent, and Greenaway shows off a dazzling array of cinematic techniques, he always seems to approach his material too intellectually to really engage the viewer's emotions. I cannot know his intentions, but my impression is that he regards his scripts as more akin to a complex mathematical puzzle to be worked out than a story about real people with human feelings, leaving the movie worth watching but curiously cool and clinical rather than passionately erotic.
Rikky and Pete (1988)
A wonderful supporting performance by Tetchie Agbayani
Hollywood has never known what to do with Asian actresses. It took an Australian woman director to bring out the full potential of the lovely Tetchie Agbayani as Pete's girlfriend in this gentle Aussie comedy. The scene where she is negotiating to get a rise out of her boss (double entendre intended) shows her to be a highly talented comic actress.
I actually saw the film because of Tetchie's participation in it, and was pleasantly surprised by the movie as a whole. It delivers quiet chuckles rather than belly laughs, but leaves you feeling good. It deserves to be more widely appreciated.
A sensationalised but occasionally interesting documentary
I assume from the title and timing (IMDB gives few other details) that this is the same "Extremes" I remember seeing in the early 70s. If so, it is a rather tacky documentary in the Mondo Cane tradition. I saw it for the scenes of the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, which I attended, but they were presented along the lines of "look at the naked hippies doing funny things". Nothing else in the film has stuck in my memory. Not worth spending much time on.
Glastonbury the Movie (1995)
OK, but the earlier Glastonbury movie was better
The annual Glastonbury Festival has been a British institution for over 30 years. This movie captures the spirit of the festival in the 1990s, but the earlier movie "Glastonbury Fayre", featuring the 2nd festival in 1971, appeals more to me, both for its mood (somehow more innocent than the 90s version) and the music. However I may be biased, as I was there and appear on the edge of the screen for about one second! Also the music of the late 60s and early 70s is more to my taste than the performers in the later movie, so don't let me put you off the later one if you don't share my tastes. Both movies, like "Woodstock", focus on the audience and the happenings around the grounds as well as on the music.
For some reason, Glastonbury Fayre seems to have slipped into obscurity since its original theatrical release. It was briefly released on VHS in the UK a few years ago, and I believe got one TV showing. It would be nice if someone could resurrect it on DVD.