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Dealing wih tragedy
On the surface, his movie seems like a simple hard boiled police/yakuza film. The more you get into it, the more we realized that its actually a little spin on the genre... instead focussing on how these hard boiled detective deal with drama. As such, the film is a weird mix of violence and emotional subtlety... and this mix fits very well. Sometimes, the movie can be pure violence, sometimes its sad, sometimes its beautiful... some other times its even random and funny.
I saw some people on IMDB saying that the movie does have enough dialogue. It is true that japanese films contains waaaay less spoken lines then american or european films. This movie pushes this trend to the extreme and some main characters barely says any word. Personally, I liked it and I think it made the film more emotional... However, it may rebute some people... so you are warned.
Anyway, I think this is a great film from Kitano and I loved everything about it.
I really disliked this film. The plot is terrible and seems like a weird mix of pocahontas and the smurfs. This film is supposed to be a technological achievement of CGI. I believe the people who thinks that are unaware of what was done in videogaming at the same time. The only thing Cameron did put these technology to film with a budget 10 times as big as a video game company would have needed to do the same thing.
Manbiki kazoku (2018)
subtle and brilliant
This movie is fantastic. This film is so well acted and directed... it is rare to find a movie so subtle and so human. Moreover, it plays with our expectation very well. The "a family with a dark secret" have been overdone in world cinema... however, in this movie, it is brilliant. My favorite film of 2018.
Mala Noche (1986)
impressive first film
Considering that this is Van San first film... this is highly impressive. I love 16mm film and it was really well used in this film... many shot looks like beautiful photos from the late 1800s and early 1900s. However, I'm sure how the choice of 16mm is relevant for this specific movie... while I like the aesthetic, I'm not sure it was the most logical aesthetic choice for this specific movie. In my opinion, some aspects of this movie are also underdeveloped... probably because of a lack of budget. For instance, near the end of the film, there is a police chase where its very hard to figure out what is going on. Moreover, some of the dialogue and narration line feel flat and it is sometime hard to know what emotion the actor wishes to portray.
What I found interesting in this movie is its theme. Everything feels like a documentary... with no attempt to judge its characters or make them appear more sympathetic then they are. Moreover, their is no attempt to expose the character's psyche... only their actions are exposed. As such, it may be hard to figure out what motivates the characters and the impressions I got of their intent may be wrong. On my part, I felt like the mexican characters were only interested by their own survival and only hanged out with Walt so he'd give them money and food. Walt didn't feel like the hopeless romantic that he seems to view himself as... but as an actual sexual predator who use the fact that the mexicans need help to put them in a situation where they can't refuse his sexual advances. A scene where one of the mexican violently push him and tell him in spanish that he doesnt want to be molested anymore feels and where Walt say that he is just playing hard to get feels very similar to what we heard during the me too movement. As such, the relationship between the characters seemed based on need and power... which I actually found very interesting... and I wouldn't be surprise that this type of relationship between mexicans and americans were (are? :( ) quite common. Since the gays weren't free to seduce whoever the wished openly, it seems logical that some of them would turn to illegal immigrants. The fact that all this is delived in a quasi-documentary style makes this whole thing appear raw, hypocritical, desperate and clumsy. Like I said, I think it was very interesting.
Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
This movie shouldn't be this good
Everything about this film is boring. The character never ever do anything remotely interesting. They are trap in their everyday routine and even when something should be an opportunity to actually do something, such as a visit from a hungarian cousin... they instead drag the cousin in their own routine. Whenever one of them suggest some activity to break their routine, the main character flatly refuse. Whenever they change context, they simply bring their routine with them... somehow trapped in their own boredom.
It is not that surprising that this type of experiment in a film could be intellectually interesting. What is surprising is thar Jim Jarmusch actually succeeded in making it entertaining. Seeing the boring patterns repeat themselves for the whole movie feels like listering to minimal music from the 60s. It is mesmerizing... as if we were ourself dragged in the movie. It will something make you smile... but more often, it will simply give you this weird mezmerizing feeling. It is a pretty cool experience and I recommend it.
Galaxy Quest (1999)
For all star trek fan
As a comedy, you can't get much better than this. I saw it as a kid and I loved it. I then saw it again 20 years later and I think it was even funnier... probably because I'm an even bigger trekkie. Everything in thus film is on point... the all-star cast is amazing... the text is amazing... everything is filmed in a way that makes us laugh of all these sci fi conventions. I highly recommend it to any fan of the genre.
Another gem from Kurosawa. I think its one of the best adventure movie... and also probably the best spagheti western... if you dont know why I'm saying this... google it, its worth it.
Everything about it is sooo cool and fun... it just made me smile. Plus, the cinematography, the directing, the acting... everything about it is just great. I recommend it to everyone.
my favorite film
This is my favorite film from my favorite director. Everything about it is great. I love the psychological story. Most people probably don't realize how original it is, since the formula where everyone is describing describes his own point of view of an event have been done countless time since. Don't forget that Rashomon actually popularized this formula.
The directing is highly impressive... nobody uses sunlight and shadows like Kurozawa. Moreover... this movie is not only interesting visually and intellectually... its also very fun.
City Lights (1931)
This film is made of two parallel stories. One is a beautiful love story, the other is a very smole slapstick comedy. Even though these stories are barely connected... they stangely fit with one another and as a whole, the film is extremely charming.
I really liked Sunrise. Everything about it is good. As always, Murnau's directing is very impressive. The plot is very interesting... it seems to be a metaphor for all the aspects of a relationship between two persons. As such, it goes between a very dark and a very light extreme. Maybe the transitions between the two could have been more coherent, but its still one of my favorite movie about love.
Beautiful movie about love
This is one of my favorite romantic movie of all time. Its one of the few film I saw that actually show love as it is... while most movie act as its either only beautiful or only sad,
...this one shows love as flawed... but its beautiful because its flawed. The acting is phenomenal, so is the directing. I recommend to everyone on valentine day.
One of my favorite film
I loved everything about this movie. The actor's performance are very impressive, the story is interesting and the directing is phenomenal. I never saw a movie that's filmed like that... and its done in such a fine way that I didnt realized how distinct it was until we were close to the end.
Amores perros (2000)
Good, but you must be in the right mood
This movie is well done, with good directing and good acting. However, I'm not sure I was in the right mood when I saw it. Basically, the movie is about people who suffer because of love. The fact that the character's live turns dark as soon as we are introduced to them makes it a little hard to empathize with them. Personally, I am more affected by drama in movies if it destroys something that is beautiful. Therefore, I think the fact that this movie is so dark actually limits how sad it can be. Nevertheless, I can appreciate how much talent there is in this film. I recommend it watching it and judging it by yourself.
Woody on woody
When the film began. it was a hard 9. The intro is beautiful, well shot and I really have to praise the music. I thought it was a great satire about these many self-indulgent "artists" and "intellectuals" I met during my years at the university. The more the movie was going on, the more I realised it wasnt really a satire. The posers from college are 20 years older. They are the exact same, with the narcissism, the namedropping and the superficial knowledge. Now, they have a ton of money, so they can make movies about themselves. The only satirical thing about it is that they now have a tiny bit of self-awareness. The more into the movie I was getting, the more convinced that I was of this. Even the directing style seemed less impressive... it felt more and more borrowed from older masters. Its hard not to talk about the ending... which I found disturbing. Knowing what we know, its hard to think that Allen isnt exposing his own decision-making processes when he is writing this scene.
It is true that I judged this movie with a very specific framing, that I focus a lot on intents instead of results... and that many people love this film. If you are more capable of separating the art from the artist more than I am... go for it... its still a classic. I don't think I will be watching more of Woody Allen's movies, though.
I liked this film, but it didnt connect with me as much as Tarkovsky's stalker did. It is beautifully shot, well acted and well written, but, while in Stalker, the slow-pace seem to give us time to follow the film's argument... here, it really did feel slow. Still a good film, though. I would probably see it again.
Beautiful and briliant
I loved this movie. It is beautifully shot, proving once again Tarkovsky's status as one of the world best director. I think it is best seen with a fellow cinephile... so you can just pause the film and discusses how you interpret it. I personally see it as one of the best reflection on subjectivity ever put on film. I highly recommend it if you like slower, philosophical film.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
He is messing with you...
I disliked this movie very much. I don't understand why people find it fantastic. I watched about half of it and stopped because I was under the impression that it was some sort of postmodern experiment where the director just included random things in his film just to see how people would analyze it. I then checked online and find both people who wrote PhD Dissertation on it... and an interview of Lynch saying "This film is random, I wanted to see how people would analyze it". I'm giving it 4 because he actually managed to make people write dissertations on it. The film is therefore intersting as a sociological piece... but I did not like it as a film or as an actual reflexion on his themes of subjectivity and construction of meaning. There are films that discusses these theme so much better...
Beautiful and humane
I loved this film. It's not often that I see a film that feel as real and emotional as this one... particularly in american cinema. Stanton's performance is just fantastic. You will love his character and feel that one day, it will be you. The themes treated in Lucky are universal and the fact that they relate to life in general makes it even more emotional. The minimalist directing and cinematography are also very efficient. Its hard to believe its John Caroll Lynch first film as a director. I will make sure to check is next project.
Tôkyô no kôrasu (1931)
Another gem from Ozu
Another great film from Ozu. As always, his characters feel alive and its hard not to feel involved. The writing, the directing and the acting are great. There is a slapstick aspect that is absent from aosu's later works. It only gave the film more charm.
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014)
A well done ambiguous movie
The interpretations people have of this film are very divided. Some seems to think its a comedy, where you enter in Kumiko cute escapist fantasy. Others seem to believe its the very sad story of a mental breakdown. Critics who believe the former seem to view the film as great, while the one who believe the later are more critical. I tend to agree with both. An actual mental breakdown will be seen as such by the people who tries to help the ill person, aka Kumiko. However, from the point of view of the afflicted, the nice people who tries to help them are just parasites who try to destroy their beautiful fantasy. Therefore, I think the film can be viewed as either beautiful or sad depending on who the viewer choose to associate with. If I am correct, this film is very well written and an nuanced portrayal of mental illness.
I may be wrong, though!
Anyway, Kumiko the treasure hunter may be well written, its well acted and beautifully shot. As its often the case with american indie film, it is also interesting... but not that much enjoyable. I'm glad I saw it, though.
Father and son
This film is an interesting portrayal of the relationship between a narcissistic king and his son. I think its mostly well done. The film as an interesting regal tone to it that's really well implemented. Its also interesting to see a korean period drama... I mostly saw chinese and japanese period drama, so its nice to see something different. My main disappointment was how the character of Sado was treated. The film put much emphasis on how the relationship with his father affected him... and how the pressure made him turn violent. However, from what I read, it seems historian are of the opinion that Sado had actual mental illness. The guy killed and raped tons of his servants. It would have added another dimension to the film to actually talk about this and the fact that the film put much efforts in showing him as a victim makes me a little bit unconfortable. It may be because of the taboo around mental illness in korea.
Anyway, even then, this is a very good film. If you like asian period drama, film about royalties or simply about relationships, I recommend it.
The Death of Stalin (2017)
Good, not great
This is a good movie and I'm glad I watched it. However, I don't understand how the metascore is so high... and I normally agree with metascore. As a comedy, it isnt really funny. As a political satire, it is a bit crude. However, it is still not a bad film at all and if you are interested in the mood surounding authoritary leader, this is interesting. Also, the way the film use soviet aesthethic is pretty cool.
Er ist wieder da (2015)
fun and intelligent
This is a fun film and it made me smile a couple of times. I also think it makes a valid point about the danger of being seduced by populist and of not taking the far right seriously. The fact that it as the tone of a comedy strenghten this argument. It is obviously not an elaborate political commentary... so dont expect one.
Wong Fei Hung (1991)
A fun movie!
This is a very entertaining film! I had fun watching it. However, it's also very kitch and melodramatic. It tries to be a message on tradition, proudness, nationalism and political corruption, like most movies of the genre... but many do it better. I still recommend it because its fun and because of its influence on hong kong action cinema.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Very good psychological film
I recommend this film to any fan of period drama or character-driven movies. There will be blood is a very well done dissection of its main character, played by Day-Lewis. As such, it is very well done. The character slowly evolve during the courses of the movie... we see him despicable, but also sometimes redeemable, even lovable. More importantly, he feels real... which is remarkable given the type of character he finaly reveals himself to be.
The directing and cinematography are also very good and they do not distract from the writing.
My main critiques would be that the movie sometimes feels too long and the ending feels rushed. I watched it in two parts, which I believe made me appreciate it more.