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I eagerly bought Dream on DVD and could not wait to watch it based on my previous experience with Kim-duk Kim's work. One of my all time favorite is Seom (The Isle) and the other Hwal (The Bow) not to mention Address Unknown and Spring, Summer,.... wow all great movies. However, after watching Dream and throughout the film I tried to see what the point of this film is. Maybe it is because I am not fully aware of cultural things in Korea or because I am a type of person who doesn't sleep a lot and cannot relate to the characters but I couldn't get the point of the film specially when a lot of things Jin (Jô Odagiri) and Ran (Na-yeong Lee) could do to solve their problem. One being falling in love with each other as mentioned by the doctor (which apparently they did towards the end of the movie) amongst other things. I was disappointed with Mr. Kim's new work as he is very talented and should know that all his movies are important and he should choose projects more carefully not to taint his reputation.
A great movie
It took me over 15 years to get a chance to watch this movie. I heard about The Jar when it first came out to the international market back in 94 at the time when other Persian directors were making a move into the International market (directors such as Bahram Beizai, Daryoush Mehrjui, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Abbas Kiarostami). Ebrahim Forouzesh a writer before the 79 Iranian revolution became a director and made some good movies. The Jar is one of the best of his work I have seen so far. The movie has a very simple story about a teacher and his students taking place during the previous regime of Iran and happening in an area that no one knows about or cares about. The village people are all talk and no action (typical Iranian attitude) except this woman who is labeled as crazy by the village master who not only does not help to repair/replace the broken jar, he tries to stop the process as well. Ebrahim Forouzesh and all crew members have done a great job.
Great short film
Wow.... I loved this movie. It's been a while since I saw such a compelling movie which makes you think deeply about life's unfortunate turns and opportunities it offers. Although this film is only 20 minutes long, it seemed like a full length feature. Whatever the director Avie Luthra wanted to portray was done in a short time. You can see Joy Mwandla "Lucky" at the beginning of the film excited about going to town for school and better life, burying his favorite toy airplane and soon finding his dream washed up by his uncle's comment who says he did not expect him until next week and if he wants to study, here are the books and Lucky realizing he is on his own, making friendship with the Indian Lady who is a vicious old... What a beautiful portray of real life living in a society who is being discriminated and do discriminate as well. The Indian woman did a great job so did Lucky. Bravo
Héroes de otra patria (1996)
Based on the review ratings from IMDb (7.5) which I now wonder how it is done, I bought Heroes De Orra Patria (Heroes From Another Land) on DVD since I had never seen anything coming from Porto Rico before and I was hoping to be surprised with a great movie such as Cyclo (1995) from Vietnam or The Syrian Bride (2004) from Israel. I was anxious to watch it as soon as I got home. Right from the beginning of the movie I realized that I had made a mistake on my purchase. I have had good experiences in the past with Latino movies especially from Argentina and Brazil but Heroes De Orra Patria turned out to be a disappointment. Nothing more than a negative war propaganda which even failed in conveying the message. I would not recommend this movie and will be cautious in future to only rely on IMDb ratings. In addition to bad acting, directing and poor sound quality, the war scenes looked fake and the Viet Cong did not look like Vietnamees.
Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne (2003)
Another Indian film like any other
When foreign films make it to the U.S. market, they are usually good to excellent movies. It costs a lot of money for film makers in poor countries such as in Asia, Africa and South America to distribute their films and put a sub-title on it for the U.S. audience. Therefore they only export the good ones. But of course there are exceptions to the rules in particular when dealing with Indian and Chinese movies. Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne is one of those. With directors such as Satyajit Ray, Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta among others from India, you expect better movies coming from there. It is a shame to see movies that have the same subject and plots repeated over and over. The only difference is the actors and actresses but everything else is the same. Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne has everything that you see on a mediocre Indian film except it has a couple of good song and dance plots. I gave this movie a 5 and would not recommend it.
Áo lua Hà Dông (2006)
Loved the movie
I have traveled to Vietnam many times for business and pleasure and I am sort of familiar with the pain and suffering that ordinary people went through before the war, during the war and many years afterward. The White Silk Dress is about a love story between two very poor servants who have high values even though they are struggling to survive. For a poor country with limited means, this movie portrayed the events well and in my opinion not slanted towards one side or the other politically. Vietnamese people are very conservative when it comes to nudity and I was surprised to see scenes of bare breasts which in this movie was part of the plot and well done. I enjoyed the movie very much and definitely recommend it.
Free Zone (2005)
I had seen a couple of Amos Gitai's movies and enjoyed his work specially Kadosh which was well done and based on my previous impression of him, when I came across Free Zone, I bought the DVD. However, Free Zone is a disappointing movie. No real story line, weak connection between plots, awful sound quality, long meaningless shots, primitive acting (specially by Hana Laszlo when she is milking the cows and hears the explosion and other scenes) and so many other flaws. Opening scene did not make sense and too long, closing scene was primitive as well. It seemed like maybe Gitai wanted to relay a message in this movie showing life and misery of living in that part of the world. But he failed in his effort. Special feature on the back of DVD indicates optional English subtitle. Except a few scenes that characters spoke Hebrew or Arabic, there is no subtitle. I normally watch my movies to the end for if I may miss something but was tempted to turn this off a few times. I would not recommend wasting money or time on this movie.
Le fantôme d'Henri Langlois (2004)
My hats off to Henry Langlois
Until I watched this documentary on TCM, I did not know or heard of Henri Langlois and was amazed to learn what he did for cinema. He went through great trouble and hardship to be able to collect and preserve these movies and memorabilia. Watching his interviews and footage you can appreciate his love for cinema and the best part of him was that he collected movies from all over the world unlike some others who only preserved what they liked. Great directors owe their success to this man as he made it possible for the younger generation to have a chance to watch great works of cinema in his theater. One can appreciate his efforts knowing when he started to show these movies, VHS and DVD's were not available and if you missed a movie once it was on big screen, you may never get a chance to watch it. Watching this documentary, I realize that my collection of DVD's would have not been as large if it wasn't for Mr. Langlois. Henri Langlois was a visionary and ahead of his time by decades. Too bad not too many people know about him.
Ladrón que roba a ladrón (2007)
Waist of time. Repeat of other plots..
Ladrón que roba a ladrón or Bandoleros is a stupid movie which apparently is made in U.S. in Spanish language. Looking at the rating of 6.9 from IMDb, I figured it must be a good movie and I bought the DVD. The rating in IMDb is usually accurate and this is the first time I find it disappointing. I will probably end up giving this movie away since I don't think I will ever watch it again. This movie is a repeat of other successful or (fairly successful) movies made in the past. However, with bad directing, acting, boring plots, etc.. While movies such as Ocean's 11, 12, etc. are available, don't waist your time on this unless you are content with a mediocre movie.
La tragedia de Macario (2005)
What a waste of time..
I bought this movie on DVD thinking that having awarded or nominated for so many awards (shown on cover of the DVD), it must be a good one not knowing that it did not win nor nominated for any (per IMDb)and the writing on the cover is so small that you can't check the source. It is a waste of an hour and a half of your time sitting through a repeat story of a typical struggling South American village family with pregnant wife, sick child, unemployment, corrupted officials, etc. in hope of finding work in U.S. and gambling everything they have to achieve that. The unnecessary long shots, unrelated plots, bad editing, bad camera work and bad acting make this movie one of the worst ones I have seen for quite so long. This is the second disappointing movie from Mexico related to the same issue I have seen recently. The other one is America 101.