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The fight within them is to free the nation from a foreign power.
I remember that a few years ago I loved 'Jeon Woo-Chi' from this same director. It was so awesome, the mix between the modern world and ancient myth with the usual Korean style presentation, a little different from other similar western films due to the cultural difference. After that, this the second movie of his I am watching and I had two opposite thoughts in the two halves of the movie.
Initially, I felt I chose a wrong movie. One of the reason was, I could not get the film characters right due to complicated introductions. Too many main characters and that's a too much to recognise if you're not a Korean or not familiar with the Korean faces/actors. Somewhat I was confused, at least in the first quarter. In the second half, especially after the story moved to Korean, I get used to it and afterwards it was very smooth.
The other reason was obviously the length of the movie. Only because of the puzzled opening order. Later the story development was so good, I began to feel comfortable with the narration and after that I did not notice the runtime at all. I have no source to confirm whether it was based on the real or simply a cinematic fiction, but it was very interesting as it progress. So don't force yourself to watch the movie, but it you do, then give it a time in the beginning and be focused, later definitely you will be in a position to get through as easily as I did.
"Damn, we could all die tomorrow. Let's dance."
Actually, it all began in the year 1911, and moved to 20 years later during the Japan's occupation of Korea. The resistance freedom fighters plan a series of assassination of the Japanese leaders in the nation's different regions. One such man was a powerful native business tycoon. When everything goes wrong, the story begins to take a turn, complicates further by revealing the old secret. How much it affects and to whom, followed by the final battle sequence.
Obviously everyone interesting in this film for Jeon Ji-Hyun's presence. Of course, as usual she was very impressive, but her so- star, Ha Jung-Woo with his weird screen name 'Hawaii Pistol' was also equally good. When I first heard Hawaii Pistol is coming, I thought it was the arms supply from Hawaii. Anyway, it was a grand intro, after his entry the movie was set to explore the rest of the story in a style. The other actors like his hilarious partner and the main villain set the tone for the movie.
Certainly it is a movie to pick if you want an historic subject other than your regular Korean themes. Beautifully written for the screen, except like I said the editing was confusing for the lack of proper inception. Don't think it's simply about the brave freedom fighters; betrayal, revenge, family, third person caught in, like that it had many stuffs. It is also very rare to see a woman fighter among them. All the action scenes were really well made, because that's the title isn't. The terrific settings of the 30s as well. I can't say about it is a must see or not, but surely a fine historic movie that I am pleased with.
Byuti insaideu (2015)
Some people really change. From the outside.
If you watch this, I think you definitely bring the recent 'The Cobbler', 'The Deaths of Ian Stone' and many other high-concept films into the frame. Yep, it had a zero innovation, but smartly redesigned to bring a different outcome. Actually, it was based on the online film/series (aka social film) of the same name and also heard it was very similar to the book 'Every Day' by David Levithan. My thought is, it did not stand up to my expectation, but very easy to follow and overall, I think it was not a bad movie.
If you are a fantasy film fan, then you should try it. A very fascinating fictional movie, that associated with romance. That means it's not your regular emotional-romantic-drama from Korea, but well pitched over all the complication in a relationship when a person is suffering from such a strange disorder. Just like the films 'The Time Traveler's Wife', '50 First Dates' and other similar ones about relationship problems.
The first one hour was so good, like everything happened in that period itself. From a simple introduction to a few of fun stuff, until the romance track takes over. The next half was kind of a drag, none any interesting events take place other than keep going blindly like it lost its way out. In those stages, most of the scenes would appear as you are anticipating. Somewhat weaken its strength in storytelling. Since this theme was atypical, on that basis, it makes a vast difference to keep us to stick with it.
"People say true beauty lies inside, but first impressions are equally important."
Anyway, once you begin to watch an unusual love story like this, definitely you can't end it in the middle without knowing the conclusion. I feel, the end was okayish, no twist as you will know in the earlier itself, where it is heading. So nothing special at all, but it finishes it off quite a simple way. The only annoyance is that it was a 2 long hour movie, should have not exceeded more than 90 to 100 minute mark. What I'm saying is not an issue of falling into the boredom, but a stretch that should have remained short and sweet for a lovely film like this.
The actors were excellent, but the interesting thing among them was those who are all played the most important role, Woo-Jin. I have seen plenty of high-concept flicks, but I have never seen so many actors (definitely more than 100 actors) playing a same role in a one movie. The appearance was kept changing, but the director did a good job to keep them all at the same pace and intensity to bring Woo-Jin as a single character in behaviour.
These days, there's a high expectation for the movies coming out from the Korea. There are vast people around the world who follow either staggering crime-thriller or the sweet romantic- comedies from this region. I know when they take this up, they expect it to better Hollywood and European films. In that perspective, it will disappoint them, because I felt it was a great concept that fell into an ordinary for a few reasons. If you keep your mind narrow, then it might make your time worth spending for it. Personally, I liked it, but my only concern was the third act and a bit lengthy.
Life on a thin line between pleasure and despair.
Do you think anyone says 'I should have known him' after watching 'This Is It'. The answer is definitely yes. In the non-English speaking countries, many people don't know who Michael Jackson is or was. To me, this documentary is a similar case, I had no clue about who Amy Winehouse was or I never listened her musics before. So thanks to the director for this film and I also congratulate him for the Oscars nomination.
The movie was not complete. As any documentary this one too based on the recorded audio and video clips, and a series of interviews of whom she had worked with and closed ones. It was like a puzzle, but was arranged neatly in the chronological order. You know, you won't get all the truth from them, many stuffs remain mystery. So this is only a person's quality and character from many (people's) angles, but the accuracy, the honesty is with Amy that's never going to be revealed. Because only she knows about all she went through in her life like we do in our life.
Without arguably I agree films and documentary films are too short to squeeze all in about 2 hours to depict a person's entire life and people who watch it to judge that person is not justified. In this, the end was so sudden, like they had no more footages about what really happened. The trivia says Amy's father was not happy about the movie for the portrayal of his daughter, especially the last few years of her life. Only a very few know how much true this film is, but anyway something was very clear that he has not been the father she has wished for.
Every child deserves a good parenting. I feel Amy's struggle began from her childhood itself. But after the teenage, while becoming more independent, she lost her path, besides the fame poured in. She definitely had a gifted voice, she did not know how to manage it and someone should have been there to guide her. According to this film, I think the marriage was the beginning of the dark side of the Amy.
"When you looked at her lyrical and melodic capability, she was a very old soul in a very young body."
I have not seen all the Academy Award nominees except this and 'Cartel Land', but I certainly think this film has the edge to win the best Documentary film. Definitely Amy's life story deserves to be made as a feature film and I'm up for it. Because somewhere I read the reply to a question 'why Bill Gates is not celebrated as the Steve Jobs? After all bother of them achieved a lot in the same field and contributed to modernise the computer technology'.
The reply was like this: 'Bill Gates was from a financially well settled family who was good at studies and his life was very smooth, support was poured from all the corners. While Steve Jobs was a child of an immigrant parents and had to struggle for his achievements. So he went through many ups and downs in his life and people have soft corner for that'.
This film had all qualities to inspire from the Amy's achievement as well as lessons to learn from her personal life. Everybody has their personal issues and so the Amy. Becoming a prey for the drugs and alcohol is very common these days among the celebrities. For example Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman and many other stars are the victims for the drug addiction.
That does not mean their achievements are nothing. Simply, we see one of the many faces of them. After all, we're humans go after what we desire for, but everything has limits, after that what comes is a self-destruction. It is a very nice movie. If you know her and still want to know better, and if you don't know her and want to know about her, for both it is a must see.
Tough Rides: India (2014)
The India's road challenge, unlike anywhere else.
This is the second season of the 'Tough Rides', a television travel series. After the 65 day road adventure in China, Pyle brothers back on the road with their new bikes, but this time they chose India. A little shorter than the previous expedition that got them into the Guinness World Records. Here they planned to cover 14,000 kilometers in 54 days. So they began their ride from New Delhi to the little north to the Himalayas. From there towards the south through the coastal road on the other side of the western ghats. Before getting back to New Delhi, they stretched their journey to the eastern most to a small state, Sikkim.
It's not easy for outsiders to hit the Indian road all by themselves. Anyone who visited India knows how dangerous the Indian roads are. India has the worst road infrastructure compared with any top 10 economy in the world. The traffic rules are easily broken by the locals due to the dense population behind the automobile wheels and motorcycle bars that outnumbers the police force. At least one of the brother knew about China, but India is totally a new experience for both of them.
I think they learnt some basics about what to do and what not. For example, respecting the culture, especially stray cows and visiting some shrines on the roadside in their journey. Still, I felt the season was a let down, I mean it was very good, except they failed to exploit their journey fully. Maybe they did for themselves for fun, but they are not on the final cut video the places like Goa, Kochi, Vivekananda Rock Memorial (which is like the India's version of the Statue of Liberty), Marina beach, Vizag et cetera.
I felt there was some improvements in their speeches about the places they have visited. In the China's season they used to repeat the same words again and again, here they explained quite clearly, but in their own words and version. Obviously, the frustrated words were censored, but there were many negative comments as well and I think they spoke the facts, so no offense at that.
"I think you know, the journey of India is very much a religious journey. I think we're gonna encounter lotta different religion, lotta different faith and lotta history"
They avoided the fall in this trip. In India that's definitely a death trap with reckless drivers around. I think I saw only one major fall that damaged the bike without affecting the journey, but later they met bike trouble. A couple of times flat tyres and support vehicle broke down. These things are supposed to happen in a quest like this, but how they have dealt it was the lesson for them as well for the viewers.
The hospitality was good, during the troubled times, many had come forward to give a hand. But a guide in Madurai was so funny, he just uttered so many words that these brothers found hard to get it. What I liked was isolated places, the natural hidden beauties of landscapes and others. Unlike the China's edition it's hard to see places like that in India. People are everywhere and small towns and villages all along the road. So I think if you escape that then you can enjoy the real subcontinent.
The pace was excellent, each episode is very quick and explores the different part of the nation. It is not a detailed documentary, if you like short and sweet, then it will be what you're looking for. But if you plan for a similar voyage, this won't help much, I guess. Because the Pyle brothers just showing what they're experiencing than giving guidance to their path followers.
It would have been great if they release the uncut version, that each episode run long as 60 minutes. Anyway, I definitely suggest it. It's not only adventurous, but fun as well as filled with some serious stuffs. The background score was one of the highlights, that was so Indian. Especially in the first 3 episodes and those were my favourite along the final episode. So, what's next? I've heard the brothers going to the South American to venture in Brazil. I'm very eager to watch it, let's hope they won't disappoint us.
It is not perfect, but delicious.
Movies about foods and chefs are quite popular since the beginning of the cinema. Not only among the food lovers, but the movie fans, critics as well common people decides to book a table at a nearby best restaurant after watching a delicious film like this. At least one movie in every year makes us to talk about the foods for that entire week. Like the Jon Favreau's last year's 'Chef', this is 2015's.
On this theme, movies are always quite similar, except subplots like family, friends and sometimes foods from the different part of the earth as well. This film was not that brilliant when it comes to innovation in the story. The same old chef who comes back strongly after losing everything to get a another star. So what makes this special is that the actors, everyone was awesome. Even in smaller parts, especially the lead one Bradley Cooper makes all the difference.
There was a twist, but it does not make us say wow. Definitely it was a bit fun, filled with some dark humours. The slow, dull storytelling was almost like a soulless product, but anyway, kind of it worked well due to the style of film setting that created to narrate it. Feels like in the many scenes, characters were intensely dragged in like the cameos, otherwise it would have been very plain. Overall, it's not a best food/chef movie I've ever seen, but very much watchable and enjoyable.
One of the most realistically approached adventure movie based on the real.
I was completely surprised with the movie. Because I was expecting 'Vertical Limit' kind of movie. Like, you know, there's no heroic adventure with the incredible stunt sequences in it. But it was very real and more real. Usually while adapting the true events for the screen, unnecessary overdose stunts created to commercialise the product. But in this it was too much closer to the real world adventure, like a documentary film.
It was a man versus the mother nature and nothing else. The human villains were not included or the romance and other subplots. It was a multi starrer movie. Lots of big names played only a small role and magnified the expectation for the movie. But like I said expecting awesomeness will lead you to a great disappointment. One must approach this movie with a clear mind for a good result, because I felt the film very honest, and being honest is always a bit boring.
The film was emotionally very strong. No character developments, not individually, but the entire film was focused on one particular expedition taken by a couple of trekking teams that goes wrong after they got hit by a storm. This is Jason Clarke's one of the best films in a lead role, as well as for the director of 'Contraband'. I definitely regret missing it out in digital 3D. It is a good watch, absolutely refreshing from the mainstream commercial films.
Jackie & Ryan (2014)
A simplest music-drama, a little inspiring over one's self-confidence.
From the director of 'Texas Killing Field' comes a simple music- drama with a little romance in it. A plot that was built around when two people meet at a crossroad. One is looking forward breakthrough in the music career and the other one has been there. Besides a single mother fighting for a child custody as a subplot and other few extra characters were added for the movie to brighten up. That did not help to make the plot tighter and faster, instead left behind many unanswered. Anyway, most part of the narration stayed dry.
Looking at the performances, location and the direction, it was not a bad movie. The story that progressed at a lazy pace is what I felt is the tumble. It should have been better, but still watchable film and not for everyone. It is another movie about the life's hardship. All about the personal life as well as the social life and finding a way to blend them together. Great cast, fine music and a decent ending. Overall, failed to impress, but worth a watch for being different and a slightly gripping due to the realistic approach.
The Transporter Refueled (2015)
It's a women's revenge movie, definitely not a 'Transporter'.
There are hundreds of reasons to say it did not look like a fourth film in the 'Transporter' series. One such was the cast, especially the title role that replaced Jason Statham and the rest as well not very convincing. The stunts were just good, but sometimes it was annoying. The overall movie is even worse than the 'Agent 47'.
From now on, this franchise will downgrade if they fail to bring back Statham. Recently plenty of franchise rebooted than ever, so I thought the fever hit for this one as well. But no, it is simply a next installment and worst part in the series from a far distance.
I'm not against bringing a bunch of fresh faces and crew on board, but the structured planning was not good. The storytelling and especially it is missing the originality, the stylish tone that set by Mr Statham. That's how everyone remembers this franchise. All I wanted was to upgrade to a higher level by carrying the original legacy.
I think, 'Transporter' is a trilogy. The following ones are simply the B films from the tier-two filmmakers to experiment with their skill under the limited budget. The announcement of the cast and crew for the next film will reveal whether it climb back to its glory or keep falling. But for now, to the 'Transporter' fans, it is done.
5 to 7 (2014)
It's a right place at a right time, but the person?
Is this based on any famous book? The answer is simply no. Purely a cinematic work written and directed by a first timer. One of the very unique storyline and one of the beautiful indie films of the 2015 that needs wider recognition. The first thing anyone who decides to watch this must keep their mind open, because the majority would think it is an atheist propaganda. But I say it looks in whatever way you see it.
Quite similar to the British film 'The 7.39'. Both are completely different from each other, except that timeline where most of the story happens as it is denoted in their titles. Yes, 5 to 7 is the time in the dusk hours where two people meet. It all begins when a young writer Brian in his early twenties meets a woman called Arielle in her early thirties on a roadside and instantly they become friends. Like it's their destiny to meet, they found each other.
After the initial stumble, they decide to meet every day at the same time. Their new relationship is not based on the thousands of years of the human civilization, but beyond that with the mutuals understanding. When the rules have broken, the cracks begin to appear and it all ends after a series of turns in the tale. Predictable conclusion, but very much suitable and highly standard.
"Life is a collection of moments. The idea is to have as many good ones as you can."
Like most of the movies this one opened with a background narration about the situation of the man of the movie. Like how it all began, then in the first 15 minutes itself, there are many tiny twists on the line of development of the story carried on and introduces a few other characters along. But keeps the tidiness on one relationship throughout the movie and explores only a certain kind of atmosphere to focus everything on a single line.
If you don't believe in religion means not this is a celebratable movie for you or anyone who are like you. The contents were very sensitive, even for the atheists. It was a lot like the hippie culture, but only on the matter of the relationship, especially 'One life-One wife' angle. In some angles, it gives the assumption that it is a clash of two cultures. But I don't think that's a true, especially in the French perspective as the story takes place in NYC.
The movie is a debatable, but if you take the movie 'Hall Pass' on the account, this film's concept is not that apart. I have heard that in the rural China, the brothers marrying a same woman due to large gender imbalance in the country after one-child policy set by the communist party. So this is not a strange thing, at least for a few people. This film might be accepted merely on a certain the section of the audience, but it's only a matter of time to adapt and accepted by a large number. I don't know about the prostitutions, but definitely it will abolish cheating within the marriage.
"I think that there are two forces on earth you never want to be fighting. One is mother nature. The other is love."
It had a plenty of awesome lines. You know I collect the good ones from the movies I watch, so I had many pauses. It sentimentally strikes strongly, that means you can't wet your eyes, but can be felt in your deep heart. So romantically appealing beside the theme is uncomfortable for the current social lifestyle. The film is not about what's right and what's wrong, but giving commitment to the oath one has taken. Not to hurt anybody, even though you hurt by yourself from making a mistake.
But again, it's not either about mistakes, but respecting the individual's desire for what they think is keeping them happy. If you exclude religion from the social rule book, this film might make sense. I think this could be the film, the more it gets old and the future generation will think one of the advanced work regarding the lifestyle of that time.
Maybe this is an Anton Yelchin's best movie I have ever seen. Phenomenal performance along with the French actress who was so beautiful, especially her smiley expressions were what set a mood for the movie. Very handy supporting cameos by a couple of senior artists. I wanted Alivia Thirlby to stay longer, but she was another cameo like supporting character. Anyway, good to see her after a long time, though 'Dredd' came just a couple of years ago.
Like I mentioned, people see it with their own perspective on what they believe in. Does not matter what you believe in, but all I'm saying is it is a wonderful movie, so please keep aside your differences and watch it. Youngsters might show more interest in this than the old people, mainly, because in the last 50 years cultural lifestyle took a long leap forward by modernising and free to express.
There won't be any issue if you consider it a simple, but the atypical entertainment movie like hundred of others. Remember, it is a dark comedy as well, so often it filled with some fun scenes. I felt it was almost a masterpiece, but the fact is it is not, for being a non-traditional romantic drama is the reason behind to my consideration. Still, it is a must see film and I won't refuse that.
About a young boy from the wild middle-east.
Right away seeing this film I was confident that it definitely would get nominated for the Oscars. Yesterday (14-01-2016) AMPAS announced the list and I got confirmed that. Born and raised away from their motherland, after learning filmmaking in the west they returned to the root to make films about the native culture and history.
One such example was the recent Ethiopian film 'Difret' that brought on screen the gruesome culture still practiced and now this. These films are the hidden gems, something we won't get regularly in Japanese, English, German, Russian, et cetera films, due to variation in culture, history and geographical diversity.
This film is set in the year 1916, exactly a hundred years ago from now. But due to take place in the hot desert with gun fights, it looked a lot like a western genre. A story about a young boy named Theeb. When he went along with his elder brother to guide a British officer to a classified destination, he gets stranded and had to face some troubles to get back safely to his tribe.
Right from the beginning it focused only Theeb, but that's when he caught between during the World War I tension and some domestic conflict over pilgrim related. There's no clear picture what those are all about, especially if you got no knowledge about the history of this part of the earth. But something was sure that the British officer was looking for his regiment. So they became the subplots as the boy and his struggle was told through his eyes which is the prime plot. A simple tale, but everything was described through the actions, not the with the words.
"The strong eat the weak."
There were sufficient violence in the tale, but still not that brutal as we've seen in some of the major Hollywood flicks about the two World Wars. Considering the timeline of this narration and revolutionary movement, all makes sense, especially knowing a child involved in it. I don't know whether it was based on the real, but the depiction was natural and that's the commitment paid off very well in the end.
You won't feel like you're watching some middle-eastern film, more like a Hollywood or British film that borrowed cast and story with the original language from that region. I felt that way for many reasons and one of that was the awesome background score. And the landscapes, nothing less than the recent CGI extravaganza 'The Martian'. It's not red, but actual Arabian desert that very well utilised to narrate the plot.
Completely in Arabic language, but there're a very few English lines. It's not anything about related to religion and culture, but survival and revenge. Incidentally, this story and 'Lawrence of Arabia' takes place in the same year. I feel there's a connection between these two, not by mean officially, but like all the WWI and WWII films has the connections respectively. The common thing here was the Arab revolution, so I think this one is only the other side of the story of the title I mentioned in a very small scale.
Initially I thought it might be overrated like the last year's Oscars nominee 'Timbuktu'. But good to know it was much better, the opening 10-15 minutes looked so different and then I came to know it was only an introduction to what comes after.
Excellently written and beautiful cinematography, as well it definitely does not look like the director debuting with this. It's great effort from both the cast and the crew. I congratulate the whole team for earning the Oscars nod. And for you guys, it is a very good movie and I hope you are going to watch it after reading my review.