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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.
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.
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.
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