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I go through phases with films, like I do with books. Sometimes I just want to watch scary movies. Or maybe dramas or mysteries. Lately I've been into foreign films. The last few I watched included Memories of Murder, Koma, The Eye, Dumplings, Shutter, Battle Royale, and the Vengeance titles from Chan-wook Park's revenge trilogy (I had already seen Oldboy). Also Ichi the Killer, Infernal Affairs, and Kurosawa's Ran.
Before that, my most recent kick was films such as: Inside Man, Revolver, Layer Cake, Brick, Formula 51, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Domino.
I have fairly eclectic taste but tend to stay away from biopics, although I did finally give in and watch The Aviator (which was good). I also steer clear for the most part of sci fi. My favorites are drama, indie flicks, foreign films, thrillers, mysteries, and some horror (although I think there are a lot of really bad horror films out there, so again, I'm picky).
These are some of my favorites, in no particular order.
Magnolia, In Bruges, Gran Torino, Running Scared, Seven, Memento, Fight Club, Titus, Love Me If You Dare, Princess and the Warrior, A Very Long Engagement, The Last Samurai, Battle Royale (Japan), L.A. Confidential, Shawshank Redemption, The Painted Veil, Some Like It Hot, East of Eden, Schindler's List, Sin City, Talented Mr. Ripley, The Sting, Cinema Paradiso, King Kong (2005) , Splendor in the Grass, Boondock Saints, Munich, Bonnie and Clyde, Harvey, The Hours, It's a Wonderful Life, Sense and Sensibility (1995), Life is Beautiful, Almost Famous, Being John Malkovich, Blair Witch Project, American Beauty, 21 Grams, Fireworks (Japan), American History X, Elizabeth, Cold Mountain, Mystic River, Young Frankenstein, The Dreamers, Quills, Lolita (Jeremy Irons version), The Machinist, Royal Tenenbaums, Shutter (Thailand), Secretary, Trainspotting, Virgin Suicides, The Devil's Backbone, Lucky Number Slevin, Brick, Lord of the Flies (1963), Girl on the Bridge, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Hero, Pride and Prejudice (2005), Atonenent.
I'm sure I'll add more, but that's a pretty long list already.
These are some of my (current) favorite actors, again in no particular order:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Dean, Morgan Freeman, Johnny Depp, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, John Turturro, Natalie Portman, Paul Bettany, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Keira Knightley, John C. Reilly, James Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Walken, Tony Leung, Chiaki Kuriyama, Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Hartnett, Ken Watanabe, Liam Neeson, Sean Bean, Anthony Hopkins, Alan Cummings, Steve Buscemi, Ziyi Zhang, Benno Furmann, Roberto Benigni, Marion Cotillard. Also, the actor who played Kakihara in Ichi the Killer...Tadanobu Asano? I sort of just wanted to lick him. Especially when he was hanging from the ceiling from all those chains! Sick, I know...one of these days I'll get around to having my head examined.
The Dark Hours (2005)
not sure why the rating is so high
This movie is not worthy of seeing. Don't waste your money on unimportant drivel like this.
Kate Greenhouse stars as Samantha Goodman, a doctor at a psychiatric facility. She learns in the first few minutes of the film that she has an inoperable brain tumor whose progress has only increased over the past year. She has hallucinations and occasionally will blank out and see people's mouths moving, but hear no sound. That's the first sign of things to come. Hmmmm....doctor....growing brain tumor....regular hallucinations....welcome to the stupid and predictable plot of The Dark Hours.
Sam calls up her husband on the phone (she hallucinates that he's in her office talking to her) and tells him she wants to spend the weekend with him. He knows she is sick and has a tumor, but he is not aware of the results she's gotten from the most recent tests. He tells her that he is busy and he has to finish writing his book, so he can't. He will be too busy with her younger sister, who is apparently jobless and still living at home. She helps him "edit" his work.
Sam leaves and proceeds to join them anyway at their cabin in the woods. Not long after she arrives, there is a knock at the door, and a stranger comes into the house. Then the unthinkable happens--a patient of Sam's who was in a coma and not likely to live suddenly shows up at their door too. Apparently the first guy is his accomplice, and they are out to torture and terrorize Sam and her family.
What's going on here really? Will Sam be able to escape with her life? And what will happen to her husband and her little sister? You can find most of this info out from reading other reviews. I just thought I would add my 2 cents worth. I thought this movie was boring. The acting was poor, especially Sam's sister. The psychopathic drifter, the madman's apprentice, was also very corny and poorly acted. The plot twists were all supposed to be shocking revelations, but really they were simply predictable and staid. They've been done before, and better, in many other films. There was not a single moment of anything even resembling tension or scariness in this film.
I got this film for free, so I can't complain about wanting my money back. However, to those of you who have not yet offered up your money, DON'T BOTHER! It's a huge waste of time. Go see something else that's more worthwhile, and leave this on the shelves where it belongs.
Shirts & Skins (2002)
very good short
I found this to be excellently done--very touching and thought provoking. I can't help but think that shorts are especially difficult because they have an idea or theme to get across to the viewer in a limited amount of time, with limited budgets. The short is about a pretty woman named Anne Wiseman (played by Sam Tsao) who is Chinese-American and meets a Chinese businessman (Ben Wang) during a "diversity meeting". She is in denial of her heritage, and views herself strictly as an American. During her brief meeting with Michael, the businessman who is also lumped into the "Asian" category, he has a lasting impact on her life and viewpoint of her own ethnic background. Very interesting and worth a watch.