Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Hard Candy (2005)
Hayley in Wonderland
There is this sweet little child called Hayley, she lives in a wonderful world where there's no crime so there's no police either. One day her best friend just disappears without warning so she really worries about her. She remembers about an ugly wolf who invited her friend many times at his home to play games so Hayley wonders if she could still be there. Hayley finds the ugly wolf and goes to his home where she get really frightening and the wolf becomes sooo intimidated that he even can't open his mouth to bite her.
Well this way the plot could have been more interesting, btw it's set in our world, with our manners and politics so it really can't works. Even if the main characters are still the usual puppet that holds the truth, the lie is all over around the whole event. Nice acting (perhaps the girl is overacting a little) and photography saves the day, but not the feeling.
Alexandra's Project (2003)
Overrated wanna-be-Haneke stuff
The premise to this Australian flick were very positive so I watched with the highest expectations, or well the ones I used to had with similar genre movies. This movie was really disappointing, it starts off with a good mood and all that reminding the best Haneke of Cachè, Funny Games and Benny's Video but then turns out to be an empty case of feminine frustration (could be a darkened spin-off of sex and the city) with absolute no emotional value and particular twists. There are also some plot holes and unlikely reactions of the characters but you'll keep on with the movie whatsoever to see how far the bleak wife can go on. Just a nice acting can't save a vacuous movie. Trying to differ is fine, but not this way.
This is one of the most overrated movies of the last decade, just unbelievable that it reached the top 250.. Johnny Depp is good to watch (as always) but the rest of acting was terrible, especially Orlando Bloom. Many people talks about fun, but what is fun? In this movie I found so much hackneyed entertainment just disguised in a new form: take away the skeleton pirates, put in it criminals, terrorists, cops or whatever and you get the same result. With a less banal script and a bit of drama, ah and yes with a *bit* of characters development this could have been better, but hey, it's Disney.... This is just the usual "turn-off-brain" movie, nothing less, nothing more.
Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
Good comedy, awful mystery
After many Allen's movies I was really curious about this mystery-twist but as you can read from the title it was a bit disappointing. Let's start with the good things with it though: the comedy here is really well pointed, it reminded me both his classics and some recent like "Bullets over Broadway" and "Smalltime Crooks". It really kept me interested through the first half of the movie thanks also to Allen's usual suspicious relationships between the characters. Anyway the second half was kinda boring, the mystery in this isn't really anything special, I would rather say that it was really bad constructed and clichèd, completely overshadowing the entire movie. It missed balance between laughs and suspense (if we can call that this way...), a chance missed but it contains (as always) some memorable quotes.
Yi sa bui lai (2006)
I simply loved every Pang movies, probably my favourite is "Beyond Our Ken" and starting from this I'll try to explain the main defects I found in his new movie. BOK was a movie of great feeling tension and that was his strong point together with Pang's creative direction and a solid and particularly intriguing script: Isabella is the perfect opposite of this. Somewhat predictable script, so-so acting (can't get people who praised Chapman To, probably one of the most overrated HK actors in the last years and Isabella Leung was nothing special), it misses completely to deliver the mood even if the premises were really high due to the dramatic story. He tried to emulate Wong Kar Wai describing characters with simple touches but fails completely in delivering solid personality unlike WKW. One of the few good point is the camera work, sometimes genius as we have already experienced. Hope it will be back to the right path, if this is one of the so-called "maturity" movies, I want only immature, but damn real movies.
Rabudo gan (2004)
A divine master plan. Father (Seijun Suzuki), Son (Kensaku Watanabe) and the Holy Ghost (Masatoshi Nagase)
I'll start with no compromise: Loved Gun is one of the best movies of the last decade and I can *HARDLY* conceive a better film to be coming in the next years.
I talked about a divine master plan with 3 leads, let me explain:
The Father - Seijun Suzuki:
Suzuki is well known outside japan for his masterful works of the late '60 like Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifters, two unquestionable masterpieces that merge together highly inventive camera work, theatrical staging of duels, hyper-charismatic characters and solid script background with regular in-depths looks at human emotions and behavior under various circumstances. I can say with no exaggeration that Loved Gun is the natural consequence of all Suzuki's trademark, plus something else provided by...
The Son - Kensaku Watanabe:
This is truly the natural son of Seijun Suzuki's cinema, it was no surprise discover after watched this movie that he worked as assistant director in Suzuki's "Yumeji" which I'm dying to see now. This guy really know how to direct movies being INSPIRED by someone (Suzuki, of course) without IMITATING.
The "plus" I was telling above is both a question of style and substance:
- Style: He brought the authentic theatrical and spectacular challenges of Suzuki's movie to an higher level with camera works above the usual standard of modern movie-making, he transformed the stage in a multi layered place where the passions and emotions of the leads take the scene in a metaphysical way, challenging common laws of physics and nature in order to make the characters become they're own essence (I say only "BULLETS"...).
* (Youth) Alienation: this really remembered me about the beautiful Akihiko Shiota's "Harmful Insect" where, curiously, the lead is played again by the charming Aoi Miyazaki. Miyuki's portrait of stranded, lost and hopeless adolescent is a view both sad and romantic. The strange romantic feeling is brought by the meeting with killer Hayamada, a figure so distant but at the same time so close to her that creates a unique mood in the spectator: we can understand their feelings for each other and the worlds around, but all of this is presented in a such platonic way that brings an atmosphere both tender and incredibly tragical.
* Respect for the elder, conflict between old and new: well, this really surprised me for the way it was conceived and brought on screen. Taneda is a reckless youngster beginner killer of the newest generation that is forced to travel along with the respected, wise and elder Maruyama. This journey will become for Taneda the most important experience in his life, he will discover what is respect, honesty, reliability and trust: all values that most of the scoundrel newest generations don't ever know the meanings. Taneda is reluctant (even more..) of all these attributes that Maruyama seems to be the proudest bringer, traditions fall apart in the eyes of the young and the elder is only slightly scorned by this. Then something changes in the mind of the young, he realize that he can become the bright future that the grand elder will barely witness because of the age. Values in the world of killer is not nonsense as it seems, because of the human sides of the characters and we know that nobody is born with homicide instinct but are the circumstances in which one grows, and so we got to..
* Vengeance for love/hatred: You'll see lot of vengeance matters, I'll not spoil anything about the plot but only got a line to say: you'll probably know Park Chan-wook, a well known (and let me say, terrific) director that made vengeance movie one of his trademark. Unlike Park's movies in which vengeance is portrayed as a black maelstrom of unavoidable violence and unforgivable sins, Watanabe caught the pure essence of vengeance as an act of love between two man that both have something to be forgiven but they can't forgot, is a two-sided relief. This will be not the case of the little Miyuki as you'll see...
The Holy Ghost - Masatoshi Nagase
I say Masatoshi Nagase for he's the main lead, but believe me all the four leads are simply amazing:
Masatoshi Nagase is a passional mask of sadness and hatred, I could not conceive a better actor for this role. Aoi Miyazaki and Hirofumi Arai confirms themselves as the most talented Japanese actors of the new generations (along with Satoshi Tsumabuki and Ryuhei Matsuda), both personify perfectly two different sides of a misled youth. Ittoku Kishibe as a veteran actor is perfect too for the character of the elder Hayamada, clean and methodical, he's the perfect killer.
To conclude, this is an experience you'll never forget for the rest of your life, and personally this became my favorite all-time movie along with All About Lily Chou-Chou.
Yaku san-jû no uso (2004)
When even swindlers have a heart
Yaku san-jû no uso (English title: 30 Lies or So) is one of the most innovative movies I've seen from many years.
It tells the story about a group of swindlers who makes money by selling some fake goods cheating the buyers. You never know how it happens because the movie is totally focused on the feeling of the group of swindlers before and after the fraud has took place.
Love, lust, regret and forgiveness rule the train where the cheaters are travelling to go home with the money, setting up an intriguing scheme where emotions oppose to their first aim, which is obviously the money.
In the end friendship and togetherness seems to be the most important things for them when practically every member of the teams suspects each other to planning to escape with the money at the next stop.
Miki Nakatani is simply gorgeous, imho one the most beautiful woman on earth, she's also a skilled actress and singer.
Don't miss this one, it proves once again that Japan (and of course the rest of Asia) is the future of cinema.
You don't know what "boring" means until you watch this movie
Just saw. I can easily state that this were one of the worst cinematic experience EVER. It's the first Fellini's movie that I watch and I hope it'll be the last.. This movie is one of the most pretentious ever seen, a director's childhood and fantasy put on screen. Well I never saw a man's mind so boring: 8 1/2 is full of foolishness, unnecessary philosophical statement and argument, dialogues barely understandable full of stupid rhetoric. There is no implication at all, the characters are totally shallow and annoying. Also Marcello Mastroianni seems to be bored while putting Fellini's thoughts on screen, and that's says all.. This is no art, this is arrogance.
Riri Shushu no subete (2001)
Probably the best film ever and the ultimate slice-of-life movie
All About Lily Chou-Chou went on the first position of my top 10 soon after the first view, let me tell you why: AALCC is a movie absolutely like nothing else, it's a story that can be perfectly reflected on some of our lives, our youth.
Who has never felt alone and lost in his teen years? Who has never searched for shelter and hope in a particularly music band? Maybe by being influenced by some friends.
Well Shunji Iwai know well this, and he struggled well to create an absolute idol, an hope for his young boys: that's Lily Chou-Chou.
This girl with an unbelievable voice is truly the protagonist of this movie, her music surround every single frame, affecting every single action made by the young guys, she's like a goddess that watches her disciples.
The directing is, as you can expect from Iwai, magnificent: in particular the handy cam work is simply fantastic, you can feel almost to touch the guy's hearts and feel also accomplice for their suffering.
Maybe this is not a movie, maybe it's only a 140 minutes PV, but even is it, I don't care: when you'll hear Lily, you'll never forget her.
Gung ju fuk sau gei (2004)
Cynical and disillusioned look at modern relationships
I was expecting much from director Ping after that great, inventive comedy that was Men Suddenly in Black. And my expectations were totally satisfied.
Beyond Our Ken is a magnificently crafted movie about 2 girls, Shirley and Chan who teams up together against the arrogance and hypocrisy of Shirley's boyfriend Ken which happens to be Chan's ex boyfriend.
What will hit you the most about this movie is the extremely cynical and disillusioned look that gives to the modern relationships, all full of joy and sweet things but filled with lurking sadism ready to break out once the relationship is over. Sometimes that will to hurt each others when a relation is broken is justified.. but sometimes it isn't. Trust in a relationship, as this movie rightly observes, is not the simplest thing to attain, and sometime it's nearly impossible, despite the will of the partners..