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9/10
Enjoyable
6 January 2013
I read a lot of the reviews and was expecting a truly horrendous movie but I really enjoyed it. I don't usually write reviews, but when I do (I'm the world's most interesting man apparently) it's to praise an underdog, or to criticize an over-hyped movie.

Any person that has watched vintage kung fu movies knows for a fact that it is extremely difficult to come up with a plot that is coherent or remotely credible. In what world do men need to fight on a constant basis? none. But RZA manages to create a story that manages to put several opponents against each other, which I thought was incredibly smart. There are other martial arts movies out there with smart plots (Hero, Ip Man, etc.), but let's face it, it's not the easiest plot to write.

It brings back vintage kung fu with it's classic visuals. Little CGI and no green screen (at least it was imperceptible to me). The choreography could have been better (2012's The Raid was particularly impressive) but it was still cool to see some very particular techniques - like X-blade's, the gemini's, and Lucy Liu's fighting styles.

The costume design was very good. A lot of Kung Fu movies nowadays have tried to avoid loud costumes, to avoid the whole Power Ranger's look, but I thought the costumes in this movie were awesome.

A lot of overacting - as it should be - just like vintage kung fu movies.

The Soundtrack is awesome - but I would have enjoyed it more if it had more Rap.

Kudos to RZA on his debut movie. Hope he filters out some mistakes and squeezes out some more movies.
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8/10
Good adaptation
15 October 2012
I was fortunate enough to get tickets to watch an early screening of 'Midnight's Children' at the BFI London Film Festival. In the wake of several adaptations (Cloud Atlas, Silver linings playbook, Life of Pi) I wasn't really expecting much out of Midnoght's Children in particular.

When I first saw the trailer I wasn't thoroughly impressed. The acclaimed novel by Salman Rushdie is my favorite book of all time (Booker of Booker prize) and I had a hard time believing a film adaptation would come remotely close to the brilliance of the novel. I didn't want to watch the movie like a father that doesn't want to believe his son is doing drugs.

Thankfully, my son isn't doing drugs, and the movie isn't as bad as I expected. The cinematography is pretty good and the acting, which relied on Asian actors, is very good. I would have enjoyed a better soundtrack - sometimes the music felt eerily like b-quality Bollywood. There are also some scenes that could have been edited better - but I'm not in the movie business so what do I know? Big chunks of the novel are left out but I guess that's normal considering there always have to be some trimming here and there when transforming a novel into a film.

Overall great movie that doesn't disappoint fans of the novel. Sure, it could have been better - but hey, in this day and age, what couldn't be better?
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Audition (1999)
3/10
Unimpressed
10 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I just finished watching the movie and I have to say that I was pretty unimpressed. There has been a lot of hype over this movie and I was expecting something scarier or just more shocking. The first hour and 20 minutes are pretty boring, some will claim it is to build tension and for character development, but I didn't see that done very well. The last half an hour are drug induced flashbacks and and some pretty gruesome scenes. Sure, the gruesome scenes are cool but kind of unrelated to the rest of the movie. At the same time, I didn't see that much character development to make me want to care about the characters: in the final scenes I wasn't that shocked or angry about Aoyama getting tortured. The cinematography is average, nothing to brag about, and the acting is overall unimpressive.

I've watched some Japanese movies but this one didn't impress me. Just because you make something shocking or original does not mean it's necessarily good.
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