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In Bruges (2008)
A beautiful film
This film is certainly worth it just to see how beautiful Bruges really is. It's one city I have never seen yet in Europe but I'm sure I will in the future along with other very beautiful cities in the Low Countries, i.e. Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels. Add to that a great balance of thriller and dark comedy and this could be the Snatch of 2008. Negatives? I guess not seeing Ralph Fiennes till midway through the movie - yes he was on the telephone with Brendan Gleeson's character earlier in the film but Fiennes' acting at his best has to be seen and he was definitely pretty good when he was on the screen. But all in all, a superb film definitely worth watching and definitely worth getting out on DVD eventually.
Rocky Balboa (2006)
Rocky Balboa has become one of my personal favourite movies.. was expecting a Stallone brash flick but it was far from it.. i've never actually seen the original Rocky movies but i have to say this should be one of the best 2, if not the best.. i actually shed a few tears during the scenes Rocky visits Adrian's grave or when Rocky is trying to fight his way out of his depression.. just really grabs your heart when ya least expect it..
Rocky Balboa is not only abt Rocky but also abt Dixon, a world champion who is unloved despite his success, and is desperate to find fulfillment which comes from the most unlikely of people.. it's also abt Lil Marie and trying to find new hope and glory.. it's also abt Rocky Jr. and finding a way back to the road home.. it's also abt millions of people around the world who run up those famous steps whenever they're in Philadelphia, and realising that you can be who you want to be as long as you believe it and you have to fight for it.
Out of the Blue (2006)
definitely one of the most powerful films i've ever seen and certainly one of the top 3 films of 2006, the others being V for Vendetta and Children of Men.. i'd highly recommend any New Zealander whether they still live in NZ or not to watch this at least once.. the cinematography is just awesome - the shots of the serenity of Aramoana village were captured perfectly..
Out of the Blue doesn't try to be violent.. in fact all the shooting scenes were rather tame and looked p fake compared to e.g. History of Violence, Kill Bill or the usual American action fare.. rather it focuses on the decline of David Gray towards insanity and ultimately one of, if not the darkest moment in New Zealand's short history..
it's good to see the New Zealand film industry riding a crest of a wave since the success of Lord of the Rings..not just Hollywood funded films like King Kong or the Last Samurai which were all filmed in NZ, but also local productions like In My Father's Den, World's Fastest Indian, Sione's Wedding and now Out of the Blue have had a big impact at film fests all over the world..
go Aotearoa New Zealand! even if you're not a Kiwi you should still watch Out of the Blue.. it will leave ya stunned..
Dante's Peak (1997)
got to remember what ya looking for
i've always liked this film.. don't think it's crap at all.. well it's outdated when ya watching in year 2006, but you have to remember that this is a action/thriller film of the 90s era and you aren't required to bring your brains when you're watching such films. when i first watched this in 1997, i was very interested in volcanology and there were a lot of things inaccurate in the film, e.g. you never drive into a mine during a pyroclastic eruption because the rock around you actually heats up..
then again, i think the criticism is unwarranted and really the critics don't know what they're looking for in this film.. are they looking for a documentary or an action/thriller? if you are one who really can't live without their facts, then you would think this film is a bit over-dramatic and totally inaccurate.. but sit back and shut your brain, and this film isn't too bad at all.. in fact it's pretty good with some of the best special effects seen in the 90s.. the ending is a bit nuff but then again there wasn't much in the film to work with..
personally i think Dante's Peak is a bit better than Volcano because it's a lot more believable having the likes of Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Mount St. Helens explode than the Tar Pits of Los Angeles!!
The Game of Their Lives (2005)
good movie for football fans
this is a good movie for football fans to watch just before the biggest show in football kicks off, i.e. the 2006 World Cup.. no stars in this movie apart from Patrick Stewart but it bodes p well.. v similar to World's Fastest Indian if not as good but it does give ya a glimpse of the perceptions of football in those days when England still considered themselves to be the masters of the game they invented..
in fact, the original result hardly made headlines back in England.. the English just didn't care about the World Cup until 1962, the last tournament before they would host it.. to the English, the World Cup was a joke as they still thought themselves to be the undisputed World Champions of the world..
of course, history tells us that England has only won the World Cup once when they were hosts in 1966 with a team as talented but more adept to the changes in world football than the one which lost to the USA in 1950.. as for the USA, they only made the World Cup again in 1990 before they hosted the tournament in 1994..
in the movie there is no mention about how the Americans had to qualify for the World Cup beating the likes of Guatemala and Mexico, nor about how they had to beat Spain to progress to the second round of the tournament.. but i guess the one result that everyone remembers is that game against England in beautiful Belo Horizonte and how they beat the team that called themselves the World Champions before a ball had been kicked.
hopefully in a couple of years time, they might make a movie about another shock win by the Americans at a World Cup tournament 52 years later, when they beat a Portugal team full of stars 3-2..
one of the best films i've seen in ages
got it out on DVD.. had a feeling was onto a gem.. and i was right.. Crash turned out to be one of the best films i've seen in ages... the sequence of events just ebbed and flowed to provide enough twists to make you keep watching..
it's one of those films where you have to pay very close attention otherwise you just lose the whole plot.. Crash also shows that strong endings needn't require the main character to commit suicide, etc. the way the stories of the characters concluded may seem idealistic, happy-ever-after but was probably appropriate considering the tension that was raised right from the start of Crash..
Crash allows people to confront and overcome the racist and anger that we keep inside us and protect to keep face.. even Ryan Phillipe, who seems to be an impartial, open person, shows he is human after all, and in some way his knee-jerk shooting of the African hitch-hiker reveals a racist part of him.. what Crash does put out is that there are far more challenging and miserable things in life to worry about than the colour of our skin or our accents..
the most memorable scene was when the Iraqi shopkeeper - and prob most of us - thinks he killed the locksmith's daughter, and the mother breaks down, but it turns out there was no ammo in the gun and the girl's fine.. later the Iraqi shopkeeper tells his daughter he was protected by an angel..
while most will probably turn to more relaxing films - certainly Crash isn't one of them - Crash is one of those films, like Passion of the Christ, where you must see it once and be changed.. i think it's probably a bit more tolerable than Hotel Rwanda or Munich..
one of the surprises of 2005
when i first borrowed the DVD, i thought "hmm, chic flick" and i only borrowed this movie because there was nothing else on the shelf really worth watching and i thought rather watch a chic flick which everyone raved about than another average thriller or miserable attempt at the Marvel comic empire..
i still think it is a chic flick, but it turned out to be far better than i thought.. in fact i've kinda fallen for the movie, which for a guy may be a bit "un-male".. the acting from the sisterhood - plus Jenna Boyd who i reckon is as good as Dakota Fanning - and storyline was superb from start to finish.. the characters were wonderfully thought of.. i'm sure this movie was based on a book, esp with that sort of title.. even so, it's an excellent adaptation of the book..
it's p hard to choose my favourite girl, although Libby takes it out coz her character was the most interesting and wittiest.. but it's just too close.. u just have to love all of them regardless of their flaws because they're all quite bright and unique in different ways.. it's such a human movie, which is why it's so great.. i can say though that from this movie, i've kinda got a big crush now on Blake Lively who played Bridget because she's so beautiful..
i'm tempted to buy the DVD when it's much more affordable in the future now.. never said that before about a "chic flick"
In My Father's Den (2004)
one of the best ever
and i'm not saying this because i'm a Kiwi.. any person who appreciates movies will love and rate this movie.. it has one of the best story lines ever, and the cast is world class.. this story could have taken place anywhere, but as it turned out, rural Central Otago was chosen for filming, and this movie features superb panoramas of the one of the most beautiful places in the world..
In My Father's Den seems to lead the audience in one direction in that for most of the film, Emily Barclay's character seems to be Matthew Macfayden's love-child, but after dramatic turns of events and some clever use of flashbacks integrated within the movie sequence, this seems not the case and as it turns out there is a far darker secret within the family.. ultimately in the end, the past comes back to change the future..
if u are ever in NZ you must watch this along with Whale Rider..
the best of all the animated films
this was my favourite film as a child and i watched it over and over again then.. it's still one of my favourites and i reckon it's the best of the classic Disney animated films.. the music just evokes so much emotion and my favourite bit is when Bambi roams in the woods with Faline, coz it just makes ya wished ya found the girl u're meant to be with.. the characters, scenes are drawn so beautifully, u wish they'd go back to that classical style again once in a while coz it's just so beautiful.. what is so memorable is the way the transition of the seasons is depicted, from the birth of Bambi in the spring, and then being in the meadow in the summer, the leaves falling in autumn, the struggles through the cold of winter, finding love in spring..
i wish they'd revert back to this classical format of animation coz u do get sick of the CGI based animated films of the present which really tend to focus more on the CGI rather than the story itself.. whilst there have been some great ones like Shrek, Chicken Run, Toy Story, A Bugs Life, i find the others have been just monotonous.. and really nothing like this classic..
watch Bambi if ya wanna have shed a little tear abt youth.. or finding love.. or the beauty of life..