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Very good story but could have been edited
I watched the movie and my initial reaction is that I liked it. Though produced in a probably small budget the movie manages to capture beautiful portrait-like scenes, almost like the still life paintings central to the plot. The ambiance sound blends perfectly well with the film scenes, you become immersed in the film's world.
The spirit of the manga remains in the movie, some elements from the source material were changed but the movie's message is how destructive your decisions can be. We see Endo and Kirishima making decisions that will break the hearts of people they care about. They don't make those decisions with malice, they are just two young students.
The manga's minimalist art is translated into film successfully, not using a constant soundtrack, or quick edits. Instead the music is used subtly, only used in important milestones in the relationship of the main characters.
The acting and dialogue is minimal, the camera is detached and many times we're far from the actors' faces, so the actors make full use of body language, making scenes look like theater. The result is in my opinion delightful and adds tension toward the film's climax and other crucial revealing scenes.
Very good story, acting, photography, and soundtrack (both ambient and music). however some scenes could've been snipped that were not crucial to the plot.
It All Returns To Nothing...
... It All Comes Tumbling down, Tumbling Down, Tumbling Down...
The lyrics of "Komm Susser Tod" at the key Complememntation scene pretty sums up the whole experience of watching this movie. The show's "hero" Ikari Shinji gets in a couple of days, the ultimate breakdown of the spirit any human will suffer in his lifetime. His mental state is so destroyed by the beginning of the movie that it goes beyond our comprehension. The sex-symbol status of Langley Asuka, Ayanami Rei and Katsuragi Misato turns on its head front the very first scene.
The film is divided in two halves: Episode 25' (note the hyphen denoting that is a special/alternate episode) called "Air/Love is Destructive" and Episode 26', called "My Purest Heart to You/I Need You". Episode 25' is more visually literal, We see things in real-world perspective. Most of the second half of the movie (26') happens inside Shinji's head because he's the centerpiece for the Human Complementation Project, planned by the shadow group SEELE. Shinji's ego is further reduced to nothing as all his thoughts are scrambled together in confusion until he reaches "destrado" (the desire to destroy), the opposite of "libido" (the desire to create).
By the end, one has achieved catharsis, You'll feel that you don't have it that bad in life, that these characters have suffered far more than you. THAT is a good movie, a movie that will leave you thinking.
I recommend you watch at least the first 24 television episodes of Evangelion and I guarantee, if you don't close your mind, you'll like it.
You Were the Chosen One!!!!!
I watched Star Wars yesterday. It is the closing of a cycle, a very spectacular cycle that has influenced Hollywood for the last 28 years.
By far the best of the new trilogy, Revenge of the Sith really lives up to its name, abandoning the infantile violent-less action sequences for good, Episode III speaks out more to the loyal fans who have watched the saga since the late seventies. The level of maturity, complexity, and intrigue really stands above Episodes I and II, which were obviously marketed to a new generation of Star Wars, leaving aside (for a moment) the old guard of fans, with Saturday morning cartoon-like dialogue and bland acting.
The best performance by far was McGregor's Obi Wan Kenobi. A very believable Jedi who never loses his cool, especially in the semi-final confrontation with Darth Vader in that hellish planet.
It's sad, though, that the acting is a little better than the previous movie, McDermond's character of Palatine has more airtime and he does a good performance of sly evil, without being conscious about it. Palatine really believes that only knowing both sides of the force will make one not only wiser, but more powerful in order to bring peace.
I only regret Episodes I and II were as aggressive and daring as this one. As I said earlier, Lucas played it safe by courting young SW fans, grooming them for the pulling-all-stops Revenge of the Sith, which paid off after all.
Dakota Bound (2001)
I saw this movie on cable and I really liked it. It's kind of porno but the story is quite interesting. The acting is good and the actresses are pretty. For an erotic story there was something missing. I think enough was made to leave little to the imagination, but I think they could've done better, a step further. It was fun, anyway.
Y tu mamá también (2001)
No, si estos hasta el perro se lo han de haber...
More than the sex this plot is about, it's about something that these characters are missing in their society that people would not accept, apart from the obviousness that the two male characters are from different social classes. The sex gets a little out of hand. The story of sex, and more sex may be difficult to happen in real life but it can certainly happen in the realm of magical realism. It's almost as if Zapata and Iturbide are guiding Cortez (or Cortes, whatever) to heaven while diluting themselves in earthly pleasures. Remember, the director takes nothing for granted here: The Institutional Revolutionary Party's last years of power, the main characters' last names, the iconography on the highways and the side stories told by the narrator who knows their past and future (as if he's God), the subliminal social criticism, etc. All this points to a better future with the new political party taking power (Fox), and the optimism it gives towards a new tomorrow in Mexico.
End of Rivalry
The movie adaptation of "Char's Counterattack: Beltorchika's Children", follows the novel almost to the letter. There are only a few minor differences in both versions created by Yoshiyuki Tomino. 1-Amuro Ray is engaged to Beltorchika Irma (Chien Agi in the movie) who also appears in Z Gundam. 2-Some names differ from the movie: Gyunei Guss (Glab Gas in novel), Nanai Miguel (Mesuta Mesua in novel). 3-The origin of the psycoframe is different in the novel as from the movie. The rest of the movie is pretty much exactly like the novel. In the novel Amuro's girlfriend Beltorchika is expecting a baby and the baby plays an important part in the story. In the movie it's the psycoframe Chien Agi uses that is an important part of the story. There are more things explained clearly in the book and are missed in the movie.
Go-yang-i-leul boo-tak-hae (2001)
When I saw this movie on television I was amazed. The story is well written although it starts a little slow. The four main characters are girlfriends whose relationship is windling down as they become older.
The most optimist one is Tae-hee, who tries to keep the group together with a lot energy trying to help others. However, Tae-hee neglects her own happines as she works in the family business run by her father. She is never paid a salary and is shunned away by her father's favoritism towards her brother. She spends free time (not really explained) typing for a handicapped poet. She notices that she and Ji-young have a lot of things in common. Ji-young lives on the shores of the bay of Inchon. She lives on a shack with her grandma. Her dream is to study textile design abroad but she can't afford to because she's very poor. She feels further neglected when Hae-joo starts drifting away from her (Seoul mall scene). She can't find a job because she has never had a job experience, apart for being typecast as being a shy girl. Hae-joo is Ji-young's other end of the spectrum. She has a steady job at a firm in Seoul, owns her own apartment, earns a decent wage and is very ambitious. Tae-hee witnesses how Ji-young and Hae-joo start to drift apart because of their social status. Tae-hee remembers Hae-joo and Ji-young used to be the closest ones. Hae-joo knows that climbing up in her social status will in some way wreck her relationship with the other girls and feels bad about it, but she doesn't give up her dreams. The twins Ohn-jo and Bi-ryu are Korean-born Chinese girls who live by themselves in an apartment on the Chinese sector of Inchon. Both stay rather neutral towards the viewpoints of their friends. Both can't help but watch their bond break apart. There's a lot of iconography in this movie that could be further explained (smoking, etc), but one thing that I liked was the way they communicate. In an age of technology available to anyone, the girls communicate through their cell phones constantly with instant messages. The messages appear in walls, bedposts, etc. a very innovative technique.
I think some important sequences were left out and practically all scene were blown out of proportion in order to give it a Hollywoodized sense of theme park adventure, Indiana Jones-styled. I expected a darker and colder atmosphere but everything is too cute. I'm very disappointed with the first two films so far. They should've waited longer to make the movies in order to take things in perspective. 5/10.
A good end to the TV series
How I Spend My Vacation puts closure to the television series that aired from 1990 to 1992. I've always enjoyed the series for what it is. I've never compared the series to the Looney Tunes of the old days. The video release was split up in four or five episodes (I can't remember as I'm writing this) for television and it's included in the episode list of the series. What's good about this series is that All the main characters of the show have a major role in the story. We see what they all do during their summer vacation in different parts of the world. Elmyra is with his parents in a Safari, Plucky and Hampton crossing the country with Hampton's parents, Fifi is in some beach, etc. The climax is very good and at the end all Tiny Toon characters reunite for the start of a new year in the "Looniversity", thus practically ending the good run of this tv show.
Great movie (possible spoilers)
This is a great movie. It shows the war from both sides of the conflict: One is the Spanish side who are fighting the war with many young soldiers coming from farms and small villages who are forced to fight the Cubans' rebellion. Another side is the Mambí, the Cuban rebels who take arms and fight for Cuban independence form Spain.
It's lead character Goyo is a small country boy himself who like other Spanish soldiers asks himself what is he fighting for? and why is he so far away from home? He witnesses the cruelties of war as his comrades die in each battle and his Captain is very ruthless. (spoilers) He deserts and is captured by the Cuban revolutionaries. There he meets again with the Cuban woman he'd seen earlier. He ends up falling in love with her and also ends up fighting for the Cuban side (end sp.)
It amazed me how historically accurate this movie was. The uniforms of the Spanish and American Armies are really what they used at the turn of the 19th Century, along with historical dates pivotal in the movie. We also get to see the USS Maine during the movie. This movie is very attractive to people who like history too because there aren't many movies about the Cuban independence of 1898. Also many Spaniards decided to stay in Cuba rather than returning back to Spain at the end of the war. Those decided to live in the island and have families with native Cubans. 8.5/10
Shin kidô senki Gundam W (1995)
Gundam Wing is not original. A lot of ideas were taken from previous Gundam series. Nothing original about it. They copied almost everything except mass casualties. At least three of the five Gundam pilots should have been killed. Rating: 2.5 of 5 for not being original, I recommend you to watch Mobile Suit Gundam or other related series. Don't pay attention to GW fanfare.
Mecánica nacional (1972)
Making fun of Mexico.
This is a satirical look at Mexican contemporary life. It makes fun of its culture in many ways. Even though it has many dramatic and serious moments, it's a very effective comedy.
The movie is simply about two families from Mexico City that go camping to the mountains outside the city overnight to see the conclusion of a cross country car race. Most of the movie takes place the night before the race. There is a lot of drinking, dancing, and many other things that happen in a big party. And there's like two hundred vehicles camping waiting for the race the next day.
The results are quite funny, specially the climax of the movie, that's a sequence you won't want to miss. It shows the conflict of Latin American principles and traditions against the American/European influence of the car race, and you may be amused when you see which influence is winning. And the very popular Mexican mariachi song played at the end of the movie is very effective at being cynical. (I don't remember the name of the song).
similar yet different
there are many similarities and differences between the norwegian and the american version. i prefer the norwegian because the main character gets away with it. despite the movie's independent movie feel, it has many conventional hollywoodisms. pacino's character goes above the law, but not to the point of foreplaying with an underage minor in a car. skargaard(?) is a person one would have liked to have the same fate as pacino but that's what's good about the original version. the cinematography of the first version is way better as well. that's the only thing i don't like about remakes: they're so similar and yet so different.
If it's Gundam, it's good.
Stardust Memory is another great installment of the Gundam Universe. Set in the year 0083 of the Universal Century (UC), four years after the One Year War of UC 0079, it tells the story of the last renmants of Zeon who launch a last all-out attack on the Earth Federation. The Zeon forces, led by Aguille Delaz, send ace Anavel Gato to steal a new Gundam that has a nuclear warhead. On his way (always) is rookie Kou Uraki, an Earth Federation Forces cadet who will do everything he can to stop Gato. There isn't a lot of humor, and the love relationship between Uraki and Nina Purpleton is bland, but it's got the signature of a Gundam series, Drama, and battles of epic proportions, character development, and main characters that die. There are a lot of conspiracies that are hard to understand and one has to remember that this series relates a lot to the original Gundam (past) and Zeta Gundam (future).
The Minus Man (1999)
Very original movie
I have seen The Minus Man on cable and I liked it. The cast is good, The story is good. I didn't know Owen Wilson was a very good actor. I always knew Garofalo could portray those types of roles in a movie. For the ones who say that the movie is slow, the director wanted the movie to be slow. Everyone wants to see action or keep a memorable quote or a message of life nowadays; go see the five movies that get hailed as the best movies of the year in awards ceremonies. That's what the voting members vote for anyways. I won't say that The Minus Man is perfect (I'd give a 7) but it doesn't deserve a -1 voting either. Hey, this movie was made in '99 and a lot of great movies were made in 1999. The fact that we see the movie in a weird serial killer's perspective may put some people off.
another great u.c. series
this series made for video has the same essence of all the gundam series and movies: a dramatic atmosphere and exciting battles. the story is about an 11-year-old boy named Al Izuruha who is simply fascinated by war and the mobile suits used in combat. He roots for the Zeon Army (the "bad guys"), this is easily explained because he lives in a neutral space colony. His neighbor is a girl named Cristina MacKenzie who is an Earth Federation test pilot. She is going to test the new Gundam "Alex" which is sent from Earth not before being chased by the Zeon special forces "Cyclops" Team. Al befriends Zeon pilot Bernie Wiseman, whose mobile suit is shot down. Bernie is part of the Cyclops team who infiltrated the colony undercover and smuggling a mobile suit named "Kaempfer" to seek and destroy the new Gundam, which once tested thoroughly, will be sent to Amuro Ray, the best Gundam pilot in the One Year War. While the Cyclops team tries to avoid that, Bernie, Al, and Cristina become very good friends.
The climax of this series is charged with emotions that will make anyone who isn't a sci-fi or war fan feel the same thing that Al experiences towards the end, which is tragic in a way. The final scene is one that any director would want to put in his movie to win an Oscar.
The series related to this Gundam saga are Mobile Suit Gundam (1979) and 08th MS Team (1996).
Kidô senshi Gandamu (1979)
I had the fortune to ignore New Mobile Report Gundam Wing when it came out for the first time in America. The next year the original Mobile Suit Gundam aired on television for the first time and I was attracted by its complexity and depth. All the characters are likable Federation And Zeon.
Completely detailed so to be considered a universe of its own, MSG, apart from the misadventures of the young White Base crew and the obsession of Char Aznable to follow the White Base (carrier ship), is more in the war genre than science fiction. History repeats itself like in World War II when the Germans ceaselessly looked for the perfect machine to defeat Allied Forces, the Zeon ceaselessly look for the perfect mobile suit to combat the Gundam. The determination of winning the war at any cost makes the Zeons meet their own demise at the end of the One Year War. Amuro Ray pilots the Gundam. He and many other crewmates never had any combat experience before being attacked at their own space colony. As they experience the horrors of war, they have to learn to stay alive when Zeon persecutes White Base through space, the earth and back to space again.
Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, The 08th MS Team, Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, and Char's Counterattack are the only series and movies directly related to the original Mobile Suit Gundam. The rest of the Gundam series are alternate versions, or alternate universes.
Mobile Suit Gundam gave new depth to anime from the end of the 1970's well into the present.
Más negro que la noche (1975)
Blacker Than The Night
I have only seen two of director Taboada's movies, the other one being Veneno para las hadas, and both are very macabre. Mas negro que la noche is very scary because we not only hear strange sounds on a very creepy house inherited by four female relatives of the deceased old woman, but we also get to see her and I must say it's one of the scariest ghosts I have ever seen in movies. The reasons of her apparitions are related to her calling of her dear black cat who died shortly after she died. After some gruesome deaths, the ending is shocking but justifiable for people who love black cats.
Veneno para las hadas (1984)
A Very Good, Tense, Fantastic, and Scary Film
Veneno Para las Hadas is a very good horror/fantasy movie. It's very psychological too because Graciela (Ana Patricia Rojo) constantly submits her new friend Fabiola (Elsa Maria Gutierrez) through extortion forcing her to believe her that she is a witch and bad things could happen to Fabiola if she doesn't give her what she wants. Graciela is an orphan who listens to her grandmother's horrific fairy tales and her nanny's knowledge about withces and pacts with the devil. Graciela learns a lot about witchcraft and uses her knowledge against Fabiola, the daughter of a rich family, who is new in the all-girls private school where the two first meet. Contrary to Graciela, Fabiola is brought up in a very modern way being told that ghosts, demons and witches don't exist. Not even prayers are encouraged in Fabiola's family. Knowing this Graciela forces Fabiola into giving her the things she wants on basis of her being a witch and there is more convincement by Fabiola when a strange coincidence totally convinces Fabiola that her new friend is indeed a witch. Fabiola changes from skeptic of everything (including prayers) to a believer of ghosts and witches.
The movie is set apart by only the main character's points of view because we never see the faces of the adults, we only see them in unnatural ways or in very low light. Even though Graciela appears to be evil, she and Fabiola are still very young and childish in their behavior.
A great musical score by Carlos Jimenez Mabarak delivers a fairy tale-like atmosphere to the already beautiful cinematography by Lupe Garcia. Set in early 60's Mexico City and the Tlaxcala woods, Veneno para las adas is a fairy tale by itself. A very dark one anyways, like the ones the Nana tells Graciela before going to bed.
No one deserved this
For those who say this movie may not have been award-winning material, more than 95% of films released are never considered to any major awards. What I'm saying is that SD could have been a movie instead of a pop culture lesson session. All the major characters are not the ones on the television show. They're all annoying, salvo Shaggy and Velma. The only way this movie would've been worth it was include all the deleted scenes mentioned in the "alternate versions" sections of this movie. Rate it 1/4 for those who just want a "good time".
Kubrick Becomes a Master
Stanley Kubrick directed the greatest dark comedy of the 20th century. Amidst the height of the Cold War and the assassination of American President John Kennedy only months before, Dr. Strangelove is an exaggerated view of the Cold War to see how ridiculous it could really be. America and the Soviet Union were really going to use all those nuclear weapons on each other?! That would destroy the whole world in one day! That's the point Kubrick wants to make. Kubrick always at the dark side of humans throughout his films. The cynic, satirical, and heartless humans that are always depicted in his movies. Even if they don't start like that (The Shining, Full Metal Jacket), the characters already have the potential to go berserk. That happens in Dr. Strangelove, which is a comedy. It doesn't matter what genre Kubrick covered, may it be drama, war, science fiction,or crime movies, Kubrick always got his message across. Who would believe he would create another masterpiece four years later in 2001:A Space Odyssey?!
Más bien (2001)
Great Music From Gustavo Cerati
Mas Bien (or + bien) is a great musical of a movie thanks to Gustavo Cerati's musical score. He also stars in the movie. It appears as though the movie is only a vehicle to promote his music but frankly it's a very entertaining and original film. I recommend you to watch it.
The First Season Was The Best Ever
The first season of Mad TV was by far the greatest. It touched new ground Saturday Night Live would never go near to, their actors and actresses were young and funnier than any of the SNL cast at that time. The reason I stopped watching Mad TV entirely is because the original cast,which was zanier than today's, disappeared. Nowadays I occasionally watch Mad TV until 11:25 PM on Saturdays because I prefer Saturday Night Live.
Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
I think A.I. is one of the best films of 2001. Spielberg stays true to Kubrick's style. Haley Joel-Osment is incredible and he doesn't blink until the end when he finally reunites with his mother. I heard that the ending was going to be different, kind of like the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey; very uncertain. I give the film 9.5 of 10.