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Meng you 3D (2011)
Great acting, somewhat silly story
I really liked this movie, but I admit the last ten minutes of the storyline is silly. That being said I think this movie is well worth watching for the acting, not only by the main character who is superb, but almost every one of the supporting cast.
I have seen reviews where there are complains of the extraneous side stories: the mother of a kidnapped child, the doctor with the wife in coma, the brother who can no longer be loved. I think those reviewers have rather missed the point. Most of the movie is a study in loss, and how different people cope, and how profoundly loss of a loved one effects your whole life and mind. At the end it is also how that loss can give you compassion and strength.
Being a Hong Kong "horror" movie, at the end they had to throw in a bit of supernatural connections which is where all logic goes for a hike but the main thrust of the story is very good indeed and the acting is well worth watching.
The House of Usher (2006)
Fails to deliver....spoiler alert
I love horror movies and I am very fond of anything based even vaguely on Poe. So, I settled down happily with a bowl of popcorn to watch this movie.
At first it had all the things that make a horror freak happy. There was a gloomy house, an equally gloomy housekeeper with dire warnings, and a mysterious figure seem at twilight and hiding in shadows.
And at first, pieces of the movie seem to be in place. Main character girl instead of traditional male: nice twist. Hints that she had a sexual past with both the Usher twins: interesting update. Male Usher twin obsessive sexual interest in her: nicely creepy. Usher twin getting her pregnant and locking her in the house: again nicely creepy.
And then it happens. Main character finds family photos. She sees that for the past seven generations the family has produced a set of male and female twins. She mutters something in a horrified voice which cannot be understood no matter how often the movie is replayed.
This something is enough for the housekeeper(who would you'd think, know the "curse" all along) to suddenly say the family is cursed, to try to end the main character's pregnancy, and to try to kill the male twin. There is running and screaming and people dying, with the viewer with no idea WHY. There is a "twist" ending which makes no sense, again because the "curse" is unknown, and if the main character does supposedly know it, why is she happily having the babies?
The visuals are good in the movie, the director is fairly good, the early creep factor at a decent level but because of the ending I can't give this movie a good rating.
I rented this movie because I had never seen a movie set in medieval Siam (Thailand). I found the movie fascinating; the culture, the costumes, the history held me. Some of the politics went over my head on the first viewing, and being a westerner who uses things like hair and eye color to sort characters apart, it was at first difficult to tell who was who. However, I am definitely going to watch it again.
Some reviews have said the acting is wooden. Some of it is, however allow for cultural differences. Also most royalty throughout history and in most countries are trained to be very self-controlled. You have to watch for clues.
But how can some reviewers say the main character does nothing? In the very first minutes, Suriyothai is complaining about rules, she then goes off and talks to a man by herself(!) risking punishment. When asked to marry a man she does not love, she runs away and only her sense of duty to the people brings her back. We see her being VERY knowledgeable about court polities and the necessities of power. Later she organizes a rebellion, then rides off to battle and throws herself between the fighting kings to save her husband.
I found it a very interesting movie that is well worth watching: besides how can you not love a movie where the king yells "Arm the elephants!"