Reviews written by registered user
KoalaBear33

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23 reviews in total 
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You haven't seen wall-to-wall action like this, 29 April 2017
9/10

The foreign indie flick, The Raid, is an amazing work of art. It doesn't have any noteworthy plot or acting, but it is remarkable for its action and the tense and at-times unpredictable and creative scenes. I think The Raid is one of the best action films ever made.

The choreography and cinematography of the fight scenes are amazing. Often, many action films have some errors/flaws or the fights seem fake but I didn't notice any major flaws with the scenes here. The director and the stunt coordinator, along with the actors, have done a very good job making everything seem so real.

If you are into martial arts films, or if you have never seen a really good one, you should check out this film.

You don't know what wall-to-wall action is until you see this film!

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Amazing series for all ages, 11 February 2017
10/10

I rarely give a perfect 10 for films; out of 715 films I have seen and rated so far in my life (as of February 2017), I have only given a perfect 10 to 25 films--only around 3.5% of the films I have seen. Usually a perfect 10 film tends to be unique, innovative, groundbreaking, pushes the filmmaking artistry to a new level, or touches me personally. This film doesn't really meet such criteria but I gave it a 10 anyway.

Sometimes you run across a film or television series that doesn't really push the boundaries but melds all the different elements nicely to produce a perfect film. This is one such television series. I just love how the filmmakers--Duffer brothers--got all the different elements, including acting, a mysterious plot, humour/character interaction, and style to work together seamlessly.

If you like a family-oriented (not safe for little kids but main characters are kids and teenagers) series that realistically portrays relationships between parents and kids, while also dealing with a mysterious story, you will probably like this series. I think the acting by the large cast was excellent--not everyone was perfect but overall, the kids, teenagers, and adults acted very well together.

The plot is probably the weakest part of the film. Some of it was kind of clichéd and predictable, with some minor parts seeming a bit unrealistic. I think the creators could have made it a bit more darker and unpredictable but I think they wanted to maintain the feel-good vibe, typical of the 80's. I think the careful attention paid to the style of the series, which is a homage to the retro 80s, makes up for the plot shortcomings.

Overall, I highly recommend this series to everyone. The plot is a bit predictable so hardcore horror/mystery or art film fans won't like it that much. But I think the family interactions and the 80's style makes up for its shortcomings and rarely is there a film or series that is well made and appealing to a wide audience.

First-person short that is precursor to Hardcore Henry, 26 December 2016
7/10

This is a music video (short film) shot entirely in 1st person. It is unique and you don't see too many videos executed so well. It is freely available on YouTube so check it out. If you grew up playing FPS (first-person shooter) games then you will enjoy this.

This is a precursor to the follow-up feature length film, Hardcore Henry. If you like what you see in this short film, I recommend that you check out Hardcore Henry. You can clearly see the influences of this video and what a bigger budget can do.

The director of this film and Hardcore Henry is apparently part of the music ground Biting Elbows. Not entirely sure what they play but it sounds like some sort of electronic punk rock music. If you are into that type of music, might be worth checking out that group.

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Very unique film worth checking out, 26 December 2016
8/10

This is the type of film that is hard to categorize and will be hated by many. Yet, if you are a film lover, one who loves to see filmmakers push the art to new territory, you should definitely put this fairly high on your to-watch list.

Hardcore Henry is an action film that is presented entirely from a 1st person perspective. If you have played FPS (first person shooter) video games, it will be similar; if you have not, you will watch the movie through the protagonist's eyes and will only see their hands and feet in some scenes. I have seen some films where the 1st person view is used for portions but Hardcore Henry is the second film that I have seen that is fully 1st person.

One downside to the film is that the plot is kind of weak. It is very stereotypical and farcical at times. Perhaps the director and writer wanted it to resemble a video game, many of which have similar simplistic plots. The camera-work can also be very dizzying during some crazy scenes so some people won't like it. Just survive through those scenes and you may get used to it.

Depending on your musical tastes, you may also like the music and soundtrack in the film. The music is very eclectic and covers a diverse genre, with it tilting towards electronic punk rock type. I thought it was quite good and have even ordered the soundtrack (one is the music while the other is the soundtrack so order the one you want). The use of music reminds me of the film, Drive (unrelated to this).

The film also uses real stunts, as opposed to much computer graphics, so that is a plus. There is a YouTube video showing behind the scenes and these guys executed some crazy stunts.

Overall, I found the film very creative and unique and highly recommend it. The film itself is kind of weak--plot, acting, etc are typical--but it deserves high praise for its creativity. I think this is the type of film one should see at least once in their life. Even if you don't like it, you will at least remember how unique it is and remember what the art of film is all about.

Mr. Nobody (2009)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Creative, beautifully crafted, film about meaning of life, love, and science, 18 September 2016
8/10

I have seen a lot of films in my life--689 according to my IMDb ratings--and I have to say this is one of the most creative films I have ever seen. It is a beautifully crafted film that is hard to describe. It is a romantic drama that touches of philosophical notions of time and how our decisions impact the path we take in life.

I like how the film nicely mixes plots and styles and themes and music and costumes and art. Music selection was also good. Films covering similar topics can get clichéd and boring quickly but this film is an exception; it kept my attention and my brain thinking for the entirety of the film.

If you want to experience something that is uncommon, do check out this film. Even if you don't like the film after watching it, I'm sure you will admit that it is a unique film worth experiencing.

Rage (2016)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Well-acted but ending weakens film, 16 September 2016
7/10

Saw this film at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) yesterday. It is a somewhat lengthy Japanese film (2+ hrs) with strong acting and interesting storyline. Most films covering similar topics--unsolved crime, mysterious loner, young lovers, homosexual relationship--would have ended up clichéd and boring after an hour but this film definitely kept me interested throughout.

Unfortunately, I feel the ending weakens the film. The way the crime details were revealed at the end seemed rushed and wasn't as imaginative as the rest of film. Overall, a good film worth watching if you are looking for a foreign film with crime drama plot.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The good, the bad and the ugly -- a balanced look at Steve Jobs, 22 August 2016
8/10

I feel that a lot of content about Steve Jobs, whether film or TV interviews or books or written articles, often present a simplistic, one-sided, view of Steve Jobs. Many present just a portion, such as the technological achievements; others just cover certain time periods--the resurgence of Apple after 2000--and doesn't clearly convey the character of Steve Jobs and his history.

This documentary is something unique: it presents a balanced view of Steve Jobs. It is mostly about Steve Jobs as a person and less about Apple or technologies he was involved in.

Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine covers not only the good side, including his spiritual journey, but also his terrible personality, some serious ethics lapses (such as the options backdating scandal or the secret deal with other companies to prevent tech workers from getting jobs elsewhere), and some controversial manufacturing practices sanctioned by Apple (regarding its suppliers in China and elsewhere). This coverage of the controversial issues is what makes this a great documentary; it doesn't whitewash anything at all.

If you are looking for something more about the technology or how he made Apple into a success, you should check out other material. But if you are looking to learn about how Steve Jobs was as a person, I highly recommend this documentary. I have seen or read quite a bit about Steve Jobs (since the 90's) and this probably does the best job of covering his complex personality and his decisionmaking.

Powerful, visceral, look at the reality faced by child soldiers, 1 August 2016
9/10

There are many wars in the world where child soldiers make up a chunk of the soldiers (numerous Asian and African wars are famous for it). This film focuses on the notorious wars in Africa. It is a fictional tale and a specific country is not mentioned but any of the numerous central African civil wars in the 90's could nicely represent the film.

Presented from the viewpoint of a child, forced into picking a side that he doesn't understand, the story nicely weaves in the realities of war. The acting is superb and the plot is somewhat unique and keeps it interesting. The cinematography is also very good and it felt just like Africa.

Highly recommended for anyone that wants a worldly perspective of wars with children.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Very good look at the struggles and successes faced by indie video game makers, 20 September 2015
8/10

I was quite surprised by how well this documentary kept the viewer's interest. This is a documentary that follows three popular indie game makers. Some of the developers have had successes in the past and all of them had a lot of hype before the games were released. So the documentary is sort of biased in that it doesn't show a typical indie developer; rather, it shows the best of the best. As the title suggests, this documentary covers INDIE game-makers which means a team of 2 or 3 people developing a game. This provides a different perspective from big-budget studio games where there are 50+ people working on it.

The filmmakers had full behind-the-scenes access to the developers. So we get to see their personal life and the impact it has on some family members.

The film also imparts some good wisdom for indie developers. For instance, one successful developer that is profiled mentions how you don't want indie games to be fully polished and perfect like those blockbusters released by the big studios. Instead, being a bit rough around the edge, and having unique personality and feel is what one should aim for.

If anyone wants to see the struggles indie developers go through, this is a very good introduction. A lot of long days and nights working on a game that may or may not turn out to be a success. The saving grace is that if the game does become a big hit, you will literally become a millionaire overnight. In some sense, this no different than what entrepreneurs trying to start other businesses face.

The Fall (2006)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Spectacular special effects and cinematography with very unique plot, 3 November 2013
8/10

Regardless of one's interests, I think The Fall is one of those films that everyone should see in their life. I wouldn't quite say it is a masterpiece that should be near the top of everyone's list--it isn't--but it is so unique that you will probably not see another film like it.

The special effects, costume design, style, and cinematography is unlike anything you would ever see. When people praise special effects, some people think of the modern blockbuster with tons of explosions and collapsing cities; yet, that is not the case here. Great care has been taken in this film to bring unique environments to life. Some of the Eastern-influenced scenes are remarkable.

Although the plot follows a traditional arc, the scenes depicted are very unique and memorable. Everything is just so styling and unlike what is seen in most films. Having said that, the somewhat predictable story weakens this film. I think Tarsem Singh should spend more time on the plot (or work more closely with a better screenwriter--same weakness exists in his other films). What could have been a spectacular film is reduced to merely very-good because of the plot.

This is the type of film that isn't ranked very high by me (8 stars) but is so unique that it is worth seeing over some of the other higher ranked films. If the film didn't lose some marks for its weak, somewhat clichéd, plot, I think it would deserve more stars.


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