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Dream a Little Dream (1999)
engaging little gem
a man is about to get married. he has a beautiful girlfriend and everything is going fine. yet at night he keeps dreaming about a perfect woman who makes love to him. he even thinks about her at day time. what is going on? pre-marriage jitters. something deeper. a simple story but told with nice suspense. set in Greece, which is one of it's charms, i enjoyed watching Greek life, their apartment and other things of that nature. one of the drawbacks of this movie, is the perfect woman. i didn't think she was perfect. she's tall, blonde and skinny...i preferred his girlfriend. but, hey it's a Greek man's dream and probably the director's own fantasy. it has a nice twist at the end. your jaw is gonna drop. wooo, what a pickle! about 30 mins, some nice music, solid acting, some tasteful nudity. recommended.
La vie de bohème (1992)
excellent movie about starving artists
the movie is about three scoundrelly, starving, yet genuine artists. i loved the acting, rudolfo in particular is perfect to the T, and story of the 3 artists, since i felt i could identify with them, being a poor, un-understood writer/artist myself (yeah i know one among many thousands, but that does not detract). the movie is not too ham handed about this aspect and keeps the first part of the film very lively, with loves and adventures galore. the second part is slightly more serious what with an unexpected ending. the movie did not have the tight ending and core cohesiveness that is required of masterpieces. part of it may be that it is adapted from a book written in 1888, henri munger's - Scenes de la Boheme. by the way the director is flemish!!! highly amusing, the men seem hip to the scene and even when forlorn are in a trendy down-trodden people's bar (without the street thugs/drunks), cigarette's dangling perpetually from their mouths. the black and white cinematography and overall style of visual composition is spot on. the scene where the musician plays his "original" composition is a hoot. i HIGHLY recommend it.
Des pissenlits par la racine (1964)
voilà, finally a genius french comedy
France as we all know is famous for their art-house flicks, the new wave, the new new wave and of course old school gangster flicks. therefore, i was amazed to find this gem of a gangster spoof funny movie. you know a movie is good, when you can't even tell its plot, a. because it too nebulous/zany, b. it would ruin it for you. it has more twists than a road winding along the ocean front of California and it runs like a well oiled Peugeot (i know) from a vintage class. fast and so so smooth.
it starts with a gangster who just got out of jail, named Pomme-Chips (hehehe...french fries, genius)...who's out to get his revenge on the guy who stole his girl. he's got friends, there's gambling, the guy he's after has a cousin who's in a play, his girlfriend gets seduced again...they all meet in a bar, then a play house, an elevator, a party with a general, a huge viola has a significant cameo, skeletons and so on. i really just can't tell you more about the story, but it will not bore you for a second.
the dialog is insanely good, eg, 110 00:10:45,573 --> 00:10:50,442 Did you see her hips sway? Only women who've suffered have that. 111 00:10:50,613 --> 00:10:53,730 Are you talking nonsense now? - Yes.
the title translates to "salad by the roots"...no idea what the analogy is to. the cast is semi-famous from that era and they do a killer job. the girlfriend starts out hot and only keeps on getting into more stylish (cough) outfits. good ole un-feminism. i like the whole french style, direct and to the point. the old uncle is a hoot...i'm laughing just thinking about that scene. the director is unfairly obscure outside of France, despite having made a bunch of comic gems, but the fking french never provide any English subs...la moral superiorite et la frenchies....see my french even got better...tut a laire, aloe, bon nuit (sounds good in my head...hehehe) !!!
Wong Kok cha 'fit' yan (1996)
excellent black comedy from Hong Kong
This movies is about a Hong Kong gangster. He gets shot in the beginning and while comatose has time to reflect on how he became the way he is. There are 2 different versions of his story. Then he wakes up and some more stuff happens. This is one of those movies which is not so much plot driven as by the ambiance, the characters and the dialogue.
The main actor, Francis Ng, is awesome. He is wickedly funny. The supporting cast is OK. The production quality is somewhat uneven, although i loved the vitality of the scenes shot on the streets of HK. The story and dialogue are the main scene stealers. Very unorthodox, with characters thinking within themselves, as they converse with others. Entertaining and highly recommended flick.
Direktøren for det hele (2006)
took some time to get into it
i am surprised at the number of people who thought this was great, for me it was just a little bit too intellectual. if i have to think to figure it out, then it's really not a comedy. although there were parts of this movie which i enjoyed immensely, like when the female co-worker says all this outrageous, sexual things and the ending was also very good, very clever. gambini is stuck in my head. i don't know why people are bytching about the angles and the camera crap, that didn't bother me, at least i think it didn't. it was more it took time to figure out what type of comedy the director was aiming for, he did not make it easy for us his viewers to get it easily. he is probably contemptuous of us, but no matter i enjoyed this movie once i got into it and i think i need to watch it again, some time later, and i will probably enjoy it more, although some scenes are tedious. actually, the lead actor is one of the best things about this movie. he is so into being this perfect actor, that i really enjoyed his performance, the other's were like cardboard. i feel like von triers is pulling me to him and at the same time pushing me away. go watch it.
boring pretentious crap
this movie is the product of a perverted individual who does hard drugs and is a pedophile. his fixation is with young to adolescent children, especially the male gender. this movie is NOT about the poor, crazy people in small town USA or that tornado crap. he is not interested in that at all. this movie is a experiment in exploitation, not only of the people involved, since he gets them to do things they would not normally do, but of YOU. because you watched it and now it effects your everyday thought. the first 30 minutes were interesting for the novelty, after that it was plain retardedness, since I can imagine crap myself.
Ai qing ling yao (2002)
very funny and entertaining
the movie is about different people and their unrelated stories, although they all cross paths eventually. the movie is set in Taipei, Taiwan. one group is a Japanese TV show looking for teenage delinquents in Taipei. another group is a boy with an obsession with porn and the high school girl who has a crush on him. the last and funniest group is a gang of three wannabe gangsters who run around on tricked out scooters. there's Taiwanese rap (very good), unrequited love, wickedness and other hi jinks. the movie is very funny. all the actors act very well and the story is believable overall. the director mocks youth and it's angst and yet realizes it is very true for young people in such a fast paced world. true love is one of the motto's and wickedness is punished in the end. overall, this is a feel good movie, about enjoying life and it's pleasures and being good people. i found this glimpse of Taiwan fascinating and hope they make more movies like this. go see it, it's good!
Tueur à gages (1998)
a young man gets in trouble in post communist Kazakhstan
a young man gets into an accident. he now owes people money. he lives in present day Almaty, Kazakhstan, where jobs are scarce. he turns to dubious characters for help which leads him deeper and deeper into trouble. i really enjoyed this movie for a number of reasons. first up, it gives us a glimpse of present day Kazakhstan which is very real. you get a feel for the city, it's inhabitants and what kind of struggles they are going through. the acting by the lead actors (poor state run art school students ??) is also very refreshing. rather that emoting like crazy, they seem almost resigned to the fate that is being inflicted upon them. it is the sort of desperate calm that truly happens in life, rather than Hollywood manufactured fake emotions. i also enjoyed getting a glimpse of this vintage post communism society. only communism has not gone away, it's ghost still lingers and the people ache for it. the certainty of a job, security, the apparatus they are used to. the director reflects on this is some side monologues, but thankfully does not get heavy on it. the ending of the movie is rather abrupt, but seems completely plausible within the context of what is going on in that country right now. watch this one, you will not regret it.
Tora no o wo fumu otokotachi (1945)
allegory to japan's plight at the end of WW II
The movie is seemingly based on an event from Japan's past, but it is really Kurosawa's allegory on Japan's condition at the end of World War Two. A prince, estranged from his brother, and six of his loyal retainers wander through the forest. They all look disheveled and hard up. They must cross a barrier manned by officials who are not exactly friendly to them, before they can move on to improving their life. The prince is disguised as a lowly porter and we rarely see his face. his retainers are warriors but are now forced to don monk's robes and indeed in passing through the barrier manned by the unfriendly forces (read American's) the lead monk must read a treatise in which peace is extolled as the reason for their existence. basically, the monks are Japanese elite, the porter is the Japanese public, the prince is the emperor, the barrier officials are the Americans, whose leader is wise and although he knows the truth allows the monks to live. They are many truths within truths here. Indeed, in the end the adviser to the emperor says, "we must move on (read from the feudal system) if we are to survive". a very fine movie, short yet poignant. one can easily see even in this early feature of his that Kurosawa is a master at symbolic imagery. By the way this movie was made in 1945, but not released in Japan until 1952. After watching it, I can see why it was delayed. It would have been extremely painful as a Japanese citizen to watch this in 1945, with their country in shambles around them. highly recommended.
disappointing and superficial
the lead actress is about to get married in two days. her sister is in the psychiatric ward because her boyfriend left her 2 years ago to go to kenya. out of the blue, he shows up at the girl who's going to get married's place. they get drunk and have fun not sex. in the morning the girl find's out about the guys hiv test results, but lies to him. they buy a dog, score drugs, get her hair done. the guys have a bachelor party in a separate scene and her woman friends give up looking for her and have a female party. lots of drinking, lots of fake laughter. she tells the guy what he's got, he goes apeshit, they develop some melodrama, then decide to go visit her whacko sister. they break into the building and have an exchange of meaningless dialogue, get arrested by the police, she makes the wedding and then more stuff happens...but telling that would spoil the movie for you :) everybody in the movie is superficial, as are all emotions. when they are happy they are too happy and when they are sad they are too sad. there is no balance and of course no bearing to real life. the dog was the best actor and he wanted to run away from them most of the time. i thought the lead lady to be very beautiful but looks horrible later on, what with the dreadlocks and when she's crying, she looks fat and puffy. the person who made this movie thought he was being cool and he carries it off in some places, but dude is that really what life is all about? don't we all know that the ultimate cool is being for real.