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Name : Dave (Dark0)
Country : UK
Film Genre preference: Science Fiction/Thriller
Age : 19
Currently Doing: Not alot.
Favourite Directors [clap]
1. Akira Kurosawa
2. Stanley Kubrick
3. David Lynch
4. Peter Weir
5. Tim Burton
6. Terry Gilliam
7. Alfred Hitchcock
8. Ridley Scott
9. Hideo Nakata
10. Hayao Miyazaki
11. David Fincher
12. Coen Brothers
Favourite Actors [clap]
1. Jack Nicholson
2. Robert De Niro
3. Laurence Olivier
4. Toshiro Mifune
5. James Woods
6. Gary Oldman
7. Christian Bale
8. Kevin Spacey
9. Tom Hanks
10. Johnny Depp
11. Jake Gyllenhaal
12. Dustin Hoffman
Favourite Actresses [clap]
1. Jodie Foster
2. Cate Blanchett
3. Annette Benning
4. Laura Linney
5. Kathy Bates
6. Uma Thurman
7. Madeleine Stowe
8. Helen Boham Carter
9. Patricia Arquette
10. Faye Dunaway
1. Seven Samurai (1954)-Akira Kurosawa
2. Bladerunner (1982)-Ridley Scott
3. American Psycho(2000)-Mary Harron
4. Donnie Darko (2001)-Richard Kelly
5. American Beauty (1999)-Sam Mendes
6. The Thing (1982)-John Carpenter
7. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas(1998)-Terry Gilliam
8. The Elephant Man (1980)-David Lynch
9. The Big Lebowski (1998)-Joel Coen
10. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)-Isao Takahata
11. Ringu (1998)-Hideo Nakata
12. The Truman Show (1998)-Peter Weir
13. Aliens (1986)- James Cameron
14. Seven (1995)- David Fincher
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)- Tim Burton
16. Dead Man (1995)-Jim Jarmusch
17. Memento (2000) -Christopher Nolan
18. The Shining (1980)-Stanley Kubrick
19. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)-Arthur Penn
20. Laputa- Castle in the Sky (1986)-Hayao Miyazaki
21. Frantic (1988)-Roman Polanski
22. Strangers on a Train (1951)-Alfred Hitchcock
23. Taxi Driver (1976)-Martin Scorsese
24. Man Who Would be King (1975)-John Huston
25. Kyua (1997)-Kiyoshi Kurosawa
26. Adaptation (2002)-Spike Jonze
27. The Invisible Man(1933)-James Whale
28. The Pledge (2001)-Sean Penn
29. Walkabout(1971)-Nicolas Roeg
Favourite Comedians [laugh]
1. John Cleese (Fawlty Towers)
2. Rowan Atkinson(BlackAdder)
3. Chris Barrie (Red Dwarf)
4. Laurel and Hardy (The Music Box)
Favourite Standup Comedians [laugh]
1. Jack Dee
2. Bill Bailey
3. Lee Evans
4. Eddie Murphy
5. Dave Allen
** FUNNIEST QUOTES** [laugh][laugh]
'You see what happens Larry? You see what HAPPENS when you f*ck a stranger in the ass!' - John Goodman, Big Lebowski
'How long could we maintain? I wondered. How long until one of us starts raving and jabbering at this boy? What will he think then? This same lonely desert was the last known home of the Manson family; will he make that grim connection when my attorney starts screaming about bats and huge manta rays coming down on the car? If so, well, we'll just have to cut his head off and bury him somewhere, 'cause it goes without saying that we can't turn him loose. He'd report us at once to some kind of outback Nazi law enforcement agency and they'll run us down like dogs. Jesus, did I say that? Or just think it? Was I talking? Did they hear me?'- Johnny Depp, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
'He lives here' Arnie, Red Heat
'I wish I could speak Whale' Dory, Finding Nemo
'I like to dissect women. Did you know I'm utterly insane?'- Christian Bale, American Psycho
Bad chemistry. All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that. But I'll still be ugly though. Nothing's going to change that.- Nicholas Cage, Adaptation
I'm prepared to scour the the Earth for that motherfu*ker. If Butch goes to Indochina, I want a nigger waiting in a bowl of rice ready to pop a cap in his ass.- Ving Rhames, Pulp Fiction
Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room. , Peter Sellers, Dr Strangelove
1. Monkey Island Series (Amiga,PC)
2. Deus Ex (PC)
3. Silent Hill 1/2 (PSX/PS2)
4. Final Fantasy 7 (PSX)
5. ICO (PS2)
More to come!! I guess.
Hotaru no haka (1988)
Brutally honest and heartbreaking
Being my first Anime review I thought I'd start off with my one of my favourite pieces of work from who else but Studio Ghibli. Ghibli have rarely produced anime that doesn't fall short of great but Graveyard is something different indeed.
Set in the aftermath of World War II, Graveyard is focused on the lives of a caring brother and his young sister (Setsuko and Seita) and how they struggle against both the elements of wartime and a depreciating Japanese empire. The most striking thing about Graveyard is probably how real everything seems. The animation is very unconventional to the likes of say Spirited Away or Laputa but in a good way. The horror of war is beautifully realised through the animation, whether it be the American destruction being shown or the bleak outlook on peoples lives, namely the two main characters. Thankfully it earns every shred of emotion it conveys through these two sympathetic characters that only the coldest of hearts wouldn't warm up to.
Avoiding any Hollywood sentimentality, it is often a bleak and depressing perspective depicted but all the more brutally powerful in the process. With my eyes welling up through the duration of the film, it occured to me just how well the Director understands what raw heartfelt emotion is and how to play the audiences heart strings. Nevertheless nothing is shown in a heavy handed approach, no empthasis is put on the Americans nor is there any special attention taken to the war details. If anything the citizens of Japan are shown in the coldest light often giving little help to the plight of others, but demonstrating furthermore what desperate situation everyone is in.
Takahata instead decides to focus on the plight of it's title characters against the background of war. With the empire of Japan in crisis and food shortages everywhere it is heart breaking to see a brother struggle to meet ends meet for his sister. Due to the approach taken it borders on being horrifying but fortunately the tone is changed with the spirit put into Setsuko's character. Much like 'The Pianist' the issue is not the war but the struggle and will to survive in it. This is clearly displayed in a plot that revolves around the downward spiral Setsuko trying to feed himself and more importantly the younger and more vulnerable sister Seita. The animation though detailed and indeed beautiful in some sequences (namely relating to the title), is not by any means flashy but captures emotions and interactions between the characters perfectly. It's the perfect mixture of such animation, realistic and highly likeable characters that makes the whole film one tearful experience. Dealing with such difficult issues it's very hard to imagine this being a film and if it was I don't think it would of been done as well.
Part of the brilliance also comes from symbology and the association to many different worlds in such a understanding depiction. The child, Seita, is nothing short of perfection in child like behaviour happily oblivious to the desperate situation, amusing herself with simplicity and the quirks of nature and the outdoors. The older brother Setsuko who must carry the burdon of everything is also perfectly portrayed and to watch there decent is painful to say the least. To struggle is one thing but to have shock, shattered dreams and be depended on is something anyone can empthasise with.
There may be some people who will shy away from Anime, disregarding it as a mere cartoon. To those people and everyone else I recommend Graveyard as the tonic, which can be appreciated by anyone with a heart and soul. Among the finest pieces of Anime created and one of the most touching war films ever made.
I have a passion for films with dark settings. What's even better is when the film is not only dark and dismal but also deep and engrossing. With a combination of Anne Rice's script and Neil Jordan's direction, the overlooked Interview with the Vampire not only looks great but contains good material. Most of the time when a film is based on a novel it will try to capture the themes of the novel by choosing areas to work from. Luckily Anne Rice also writes the screenplay and understands more than anyone else what areas need addressing, providing the backbone to the dialogue and plot.
Set in 1791 Orleans and progressing through different periods of time, IWTV is technically excellent and aware of its surroundings. From the first moment your eyes are fixed on the screen. This is the sign of great art direction coupled with costume design and set pieces that are more than pleasing on the eye. Far from in your face the film allows a taste of each period with a mixture of light and colourful scenes to the more prominent dreary settings it encompasses. Moonlit streets, abandoned plague ridden residential and underground gothic architectures all add to the great detail that has been taken in creating a believable and picturesque look to the films periods it contains. Helped also by a musical score that really lurks in the background, depicts the time and in some areas the feeling aptly.
The story, told with a mixture of narration from the protagonist (Brad Pitt in this case) and a screenplay with enough room for all the stars makes a tight little package. At just over 2 hours long though, this may put off the viewer looking for an all out action vampire piece or those with little patience. Interview after all is a drama at heart with horror elements but what sets it apart from others is the humane way in which it's dealt with. A point in the film that leans on stereotypical vampire views sets the tone of the film perfectly, fiction aside Vampires aren't so unlike humans which is portrayed through the emotions (or rejection of them) throughout. One of the key players in such a task is surprisingly Tom Cruise as the bad influence Lestat. In one of his more challenging roles, Cruise conveys a charm that fits the theatricals of his character perfectly. Through excellent makeup and clothes from a period he refuses to break free from, Cruise is less distinguishable but all the more better for losing the usual side of him that may have been too familiar. Left only with a look of ferocity and impertinence Cruise works his role to a brilliant combination that really brings out the character of Lestat making him extremely fun to watch. Lestat's mood swings and cruel insinuations really spark the film up, stealing every scene he's in.
What makes the film interesting is how every character has a background and each character has different things that make them tick. Along for the ride with Cruise and Pitt is a very young Kirsten Dunst as the disillusioned vampire child Claudia. It seems that Jordan is a good director for getting performances as Dunst gives a fine performance at such a young age, definitely showing more promise than the usual teenage focal points she has set herself on since. While Lestat is the most enjoyable character and practically the teacher, Louis and Claudia are the key elements to a story of self-discovery concerning the dark world they have joined. Other than this Christian Slater and Antonio Banderas share little screen time but enough to make their characters wholesome enough.
One area that I applaud but others may disclude is the vivid scenes of a gory nature used profusely throughout. Jordan, going for realism and with blood being an important part of vampire life includes graphic details.. and with no holds barred. Jordans realistic touches add only to the plausibility of the vampire way of life, emphasising the grotesque way of living they are lumbered with for eternity. Such a eternal damnation is one of the main themes of the film exploring the depreciation of Louis and Claudia and how they come to terms with their new life. It would seem that such a serious tone to a fictional tale would make it hard to enjoy but with a mixture of dark humour throughout the film knows not to take itself 'too' seriously. The end clearly establishes this fact nicely.
Minor quibbles aside like some hokey dialogue from time to time and despite Pitt underplaying his performance a little, among the Vampire genre and even as a drama this is a classy piece of work from a intelligent director with a flair for dark style (in most of his other films too), and more importantly produces a epic tale with sturdy direction. If you have the interest for a drama, specifically based around vampires there is little other choice than this. Through its fine performances and stunning look one things for sure, you wont forget this one easily.
7.5 out of 10
Donnie Darko (2001)
A trip down the Rabbit hole
The year 2001 was infact a rebirth for the Fantasy genre, with both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings dominating the screen. Aside from this rookie film-maker Richard Kelly had his own, if more low key feature ready for release into society. Often in the Independant film world, a director will choose to make a film that goes against the norm whether it be in style or in content. Kelly is no exception, Donnie Darko is one of the most curious and interesting films of 2002.
As I sit hear writing this review I cannot think of a more appropriate word to describe the films setup so ill just go with 'captivating'. From the very start Kelly invites humour to the table and then throws darker themes into the mix, but with a humorous twist.(Like a 6ft tall rabbit name Frank) Some people may be put off by the unconvential style to the film, mixing comedy, drama and science fiction elements but it works. The atmosphere throughout the film is pretty uneasy, just like Donnie you feel that something is going to happen but you dont quite understand why or how. Its this intrigue that hooks the viewer in the first place using a subtle blend of light comedic moments and haunting visuals to create such a curious tone to the film. Unlike David Lynch who also explores unconvential themes in a vague metaphorical way, the film is actually quite easy to follow but complex for those who wish to analyze its many layers. Packed with symbolism and demanding multiple viewings, some may be irritated by such a heavy handed approach but infact it is integral to the plot itself. I wouldnt recommend watching if your in the mood for an easy to follow film nor would I recommend watching with company. Of course this is just my opinion but for full effect bolt the door shut and submerse yourself in the film, its worthwhile.
Although alot of the film is set in low light, it doesnt detract from looking crisp and sharp throughout. Kelly also creates his own style of flipping the camera or trailing characters and put to music almost seems perfect synchronization. Music throughout the film is used alot in key scenes whether it be gental ambience or 'Echo and the Bunnymen', both sides fuel the atmosphere Kelly is going for and create both a energetic and emotionally charged effect. In fact nothing Kelly uses whether it is the dialogue or the camera itself seems out of place or inappropriate. Choosing to direct the film in a diary of events fashion seemed the only natural way to do the film considering the plot, almost a countdown to doomsday style helping crank up the tension. In some scenes the music will create an aura of menace perfectly fit for the situation, othertimes the music turns to a more religious tone making an ordinary cinema seem like a surreal backdrop for the events that follow. Particularly the lyrics in each song seem to be more than fitting, from 'Mad World' to 'Under the Milky Way' it can make scenes deeply saddening and beautiful. On a side note the theme in the credits ('For whom the bell tolls') is extremely reflective and although not included on the soundtrack should be acknowledged.
At heart the film explores the character of Donnie with themes of teenage insecurity being mixed with philosophical aspects. Slack jawed with a unsettling expression, Jake Gyllenhaal, a relatively unknown actor at the time molds into his character well..so well it seems that the role almost seems tailor made. Gyllenhaal balances an act of emotional instability with dry humour convincingly, with the plot being centered around him its just as well the lead role is strong. Thankfully the supporting cast is just as effective, even Patrick Swayze and Drew Barrymore who I wouldnt really go mad over seem to suit their roles well even if they are pawns to the plot more than anything. Kelly's care for his characters is shown through no character being weak or underused, both the relationships and lesser characters are all the more believable and all have something ticking inside them making the story all the more fascinating.
In retrospect, Donnie Darko is a hard film to criticise as it does nothing really wrong. The story enticing, the atmosphere unsettling and for once leaving me in a state of stupefaction, I can whole heartily recommend this to anyone with the patience and interest to give it a go.
9 out of 10