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Selfless (2008)
So slow and dull, and going nowhere
9 May 2017
I wish I didn't see this one till the end. The narrative just won't add up. Hard to relate with anyone in the film, and couldn't care less whatever happens to them. The only reward is that there was a nice look at Jen Hong for a few sec. All I remember in the end is that most of the main characters were yelling at somebody or something at one point.
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Noah (2014)
20 June 2015
This has very little to do with the biblical 'Noah' that we know of. Of course there are disputes as to how the narrative should be read (whether as historical fact or myth). Even those who do not take it as historical event, they would at least attempt to read out the intent of the narrative. For those who know the Noah narrative proper, the film leaves no point, and for those who are not familiar with the original story, this is just confusing. Either way, there is no point of religious edification, nor is there any point of entertainment. This film has not only spoiled the narrative itself, but more so the message which this story has conveyed for centuries. And since this narrative belongs to what we generally accept as "religious", we can safely call this a blasphemy in its own right. Best left in the basement to rot.
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24: Day 8: 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. (2010)
Season 8, Episode 24
Brilliant Ending
6 June 2010
It came to a brilliant ending, yet again.

The principle intact: i.e. whoever comes close to Jack, whether with enmity or love, gets killed.

Chloe finally gets the well deserved "thank you" from Jack.

President Taylor, well she was as predictable as she could be. Only reservation would be the treating of President Logan, who should suffer more! I hope he comes back again, with his cunning brain intact! I want to see him do darker evil, and suffer pain : )

For me, the pivotal point in this season was the moment when Renee got killed. I think this was the bravest turn the story teller made in allowing Jack move beyond. After being betrayed, hurt, damned, so many times, it takes quite a gravity to get Jack move forth. Without her death, the story would have looked so superficial in terms of story line, inconsistent with who Jack is (or has become), and lacking in sensation. I am sorry we aren't going to see Renee any more (and please don't revive her on that "Lost" island!), but I look forward to whatever is forthcoming.

"Lost" writers should see these series, and learn how to write properly!
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Lost: The End (2010)
Season 6, Episode 17
Bruce Willis, you said it better.
6 June 2010
Well, the only worth entertainment in season 6, and in "The End" was the scene where characters find each other outside the Island. Obviously little effort is made to explain what the story is all about. I kept telling people the writers will NEVER be able to tie up loose ends. I was right!

So what I think of the show. It's a sort of 21st century version of buddish re-incarnation baptized in western version of Christianity (or otherwise), attempting to incorporate multi- cultural worldview. They even finally managed to find a Japanese actor who could actually play a role in English-based TV show (although English didn't taste good on his tongue, lol)!

At the end, what this show wanted to say spending 6 series and multiple characters, Bruce Willis managed to say in less than two hours of "The Sixth Sense" with a help of a cute boy.
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Nothing New Under the Sun...
6 March 2009
I don't count myself as a Beatles fan, but I do know 99% of their songs. The musical side of this film is quite entertaining, I think. Of course, so many songs by them have been covered already. But there's always room for one more.

However, as far as originality and creativity goes, this film has almost proved that there's nothing more new coming out of the Magical Four. Their music and thoughts have been thoroughly analyzed, chewed upon, digested, tampered, re-re-arranged and demythologized. Adding to this sad reality, Vietnam! For heaven's sake! Not that old stuff again.

I guess this flick would appeal to certain age groups. But probably not in a fresh manner. Sorry, but many of us have realized that 'Love' alone doesn't save the world, peace isn't the opposite of war, and imagining no heaven doesn't get us anywhere.
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Dead Silence (2007)
NO MORE DOLLS in my premise please!
22 March 2008
First off, this is NOT another SAW series. You may feel betrayed if you have particular expectations with relation to SAW. There is not much gore involved, bloodshed kept to its minimum, and no tense moment like "Chose life or death within 30 seconds".

The title spells out clear what this film is about. It delivers scare to you by means of SILENCE. And it does it well. I think this is pretty new. The first 'silence scene" will grab you tight. Without a single blond screaming from head to toe, you will feel the horror in a new way. Mind you, the film starts like yet another lame spooky horror flick with a cursed dummy and an unfortunate owner, but bare with it for eight minutes, and you're in for a treat.

The plot seems to have disappointed quite a few of the reviewers contributing here on IMDb. But this is a matter of taste. It's easy to follow, and does not require intelligence or detail attention in order to taste the scare. The twist at the end did the trick for me.

Try not to be a detective attempting to solve the case before the plot reveals the truth. Enjoy the ride with your girl friend, and you'll be rewarded with "I can't go to bed by myself, honey" only wish!
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Vantage Point (2008)
Where's the advantage of having multiple points???
20 March 2008
The title itself proclaims loudly what the film sets out to be; several differing angles staring at one hell of an event. The actual event lasts probably less than twenty minutes, and the crucial characters count less than ten. After being bombarded with several drama series of "24" and "Lost", and films like "SAW" series, this method of narrative presentation is less than original. Shouldn't have made a loud announcement about it. Because of the way the story is told, the event itself lacks in background information, which makes the story less convincing. One can easily see that there are eight angles (the tagline spells it out), but there aren't that many "perspectives". In order for "vantage points" to work as a story-telling, it needs massive background homework to be presented together, hence this works with TV dramas with weekly revisiting. But attempting such method on a one-off film lasting less than two hours is a reckless driving. However, the film survives, I think, very much due to the superb depiction of the car-chase action. And Mr. Whitaker, can he run or can he not!! After enjoying "The Last King of Scotland", I thought I paid due respect to him, but he proved me wrong. I must admit I am officially his fan as of this film. I will be fair, and give 5 out of 10.
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Freedomland (2006)
From an outsider, hard to figure out what it's really about
19 June 2007
Saw this a day ago, attracted by the line-up of those who were in it. The film seems to touch on a lot of social issues; racism, urban crime, family bond, parenting, and the list goes on. But at the end, the film digs into none of them. With Samuel Jackson in it, the film could have cut deep into racial issues, or with Ms. Moore and her capability, the story could have pulled out a whole lot of motherhood distress. Neither happened. And then there were sprinkle of religious tone, but this went no where either (Hollywood is never good at handling religion!). So, one ends up asking, what's this all about? Maybe if you live in a neighborhood depicted in the film, you may be able to grab something solid, but from outside your world, this doesn't make much sense.
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Keiho (1999)
Am I sane, or insane? How come you tell?
27 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This film has been introduced as a psycho-suspense thriller. Murder of a husband and a wife leads to the arrest of a young actor Shibata, who not only admits to the crime but also volunteers for the capital punishment. His defender sets out to have Article 39 (Japanese criminal law which protects mentally challenged individuals from unreasonable penalty) applied to her client. Psychiatric test supports the defender's point, however, a psychoanalyst Ogawa who assisted the test thinks otherwise, and sets out to prove that Shibata is faking mental disorder.

Ogawa's investigation leads to a number of complex events and incidents which shed light on the motivation of the murder. We find out that the accused Shibata had been faking his identity. The real accused turns out to be another male individual named Kudoh who had his younger sister brutally murdered by a man, who was released under the protection of the very Article 39. This murderer was no other than the husband who was killed at the beginning of the film.

Kudoh's girlfriend Mikako takes an ambiguous part throughout. Certainly she is an accomplice who aided in faking Kudoh's identity, but not only so, the climax of the film implies that she actually masterminded Kudoh's conduct during the murder and the following investigation.

The film questions a person's responsibility towards his/her own conduct. Is it truly lawful to excuse individuals from his/her responsibility on the basis of one's insanity? In the first place, is law capable of detecting the line between sanity and insanity?

Now, this film without question has a lot of twists and turns which keep viewers excited. At the end, the plot hints that Mikako was the accomplice within Kudoh, but Kudoh himself says otherwise. He names Ogawa as his unexpected accomplice. This, at the end, tells us that the real message in this film has little to do with the stab against the murdered husband, but has to do with the stab against Article 39. Ogawa effectively helped Kudoh stab the article. The most thrilling bit is when we notice at the end that Kudoh after all was sane all the time.

This film, IMHO, has at least two major flaws. First, the plot which says that the wife who was brutally chopped to death had been killed not by Shibata-Kudoh, but by her own husband - this in effect says Shibata-Kudoh's murdering of the man took place by chance, and was not premeditated. That does not accord with the fact that he actually brought his own jack knife with him. Second flaw has to do with Mikako's existence. Is she a loyal girlfriend who would go as far as to live and sleep with a complete stranger for years just so that Kudoh would accomplish his aim? Or is she actually the mastermind behind Kudoh's conduct? The latter does not sound right, as there is no motivation or factor on her side to do so. However, if Mikako was just a loyal girlfriend who effectively helped Kudoh throughout, what the hell was her part in the final court scene? After all, it was not her, but Ogawa who was named as Kudoh's accomplice. Probably she was the very one who taught Kudoh all about psychoanalyzing, but this is just my guess. These two factors prevent me from voting 10.

Complex nature of the plot may misguide viewers unless we carefully follow the story throughout. The awkwardness of the characters in the film is not helpful either. Sub-plots such as the history behind Ogawa's family do not allow us to focus on the mainstream too. However, at the end this is an excellent film which keeps the viewers' mind busy. Keep yourselves focused, and you shall enjoy.
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Cheap Fantasy
14 October 2004
Saw this on TV in Japanese. Started off with a promising atmosphere

for a thriller. But after about fifteen minutes the whole thing turns

into another Soap Opera. The story is stereotypically French, played

by an American working in London. The only thing matters is revealed

at the end of the film. The rest is a long winding road towards it,

and boring it is. View the first 20 minutes until you see the guy's

sister, and go to the end of the film. You'll get the point. This film hardly overdid Hitchcock as a thriller. Judging from the

voters' statistics, this film may win more sympathy from the female

side of the population. This film should be categorized as 'Fantasy'.
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17 January 2004
This is the world of orient. Who cares about wires and effects? Well,

if you do, go see Matrix again, and again. This displays the beauty of

affection and trust, anger and haunt. Apparently there's an inevitable

effort to appeal to the West, which IMHO was not that successful. That

girl flies too much.
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No, No, No!
21 August 2003
Oh, please. Spent one boring afternoon with this one. The plot is just a bit more than a Tom_&_Jerry_run'n_chase comic, ah yes, with some mild nudity, which makes the flick 'not for kids'. So who's gonna see this? So impossible to engage oneself to the story. Keep away from this. With a bit more of 'hardcore' element and dirty adult scenes, this just might have made it as a porn flick.
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Tabloid Headline taken too seriously!!
2 December 2002
Come on, people. This is after all a tabloid material presented by Jacqueline's siblings AFTER her death. I'm sure they made plenty of money out of the husband-lending scandal. Probably they needed cash. My old man once said, 'Don't speak ill of the dead.' Didn't you feel somewhat awkward that Hilary was depicted like a saint, an ever understanding, self-sacrificing sister? Well, she certainly took best advantage of being the presenter of a scandalous material to the public. Well, never mind, the fat lady's laughing now. ?Having said that, the plot is strangely plausible and appealing. It doesn't matter whether the story is true or not, but it's quite disturbing in an artistic way. I was quite happy with the acting, camera works, and yes the music. But the most important lesson is, 'Don't die while your stup*d sibling's alive.'
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True Lies (1994)
First Class Entertainment!!
18 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this on TV last night. Oh deary me, what can I say? First Class Entertainment!! Arnie certainly knows how to make people laugh. As long as we can have a big laugh at this kind of movies, the world is still peaceful. Right wing politicians (are you reading, George W & Colin P.?) should have a break and watch this film, I tell you (same goes to you, Tony - who increasingly sounds like a Tory MP these days...."Remember, member, member what a Labor Labor Labor you are...").

This film was hilarious especially in earlier stage, until (SPOILER) Helen finds out the true identity of Harry. Then the plot becomes rather follow-the-drill sort of story line: i.e. the good guys get caught, then get a chance to fight back, then the baddies have plan-B, and the good guys have to overcome that as well, but finally with outstanding courage, skill, and moral quality (love, trust, etc) the good guys save the world.

Having said all that, the visual aspect of this film makes it all worth paying for it. The last 10 to 15 minutes is very entertaining to watch. And yes, in order for you to fully enjoy the final 15 minutes, you need to watch all of it.
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Contact (1997)
Carl Sagan Managed to get his message through
15 May 2002
Originally a novel by Carl Sagan, an astronomer/philosopher, this film is a theological monologue (seeking to be a dialogue) in a manner of science fiction. At the surface, this is a story about an astronomer Arroway who seeks for intelligence out in space. She receives a message, which she decodes, and following the message, manages to build a space-ship-like structure. After overcoming a series of obstacles, she gets to ride on the ship.

Simultaneously, there's an intellectual/emotional relationship between a seminary drop-out minister Joss, who comfortably "scores" at the earliest stage of their acquaintance (no wonder he's dropped out of seminary).

Underneath this narrative, we hear Sagan's attempt to reconcile Reason and Faith. Arroway, who claims that mathematics is the only universal language, more or less represents "reason", whereas Joss represents "faith".

On the one hand, we see the capricious side of religion, but then we are forced to admit that over 90 % of us belong to them. In fact, you are not representative of humanity if you deny any "greater being". We also hear Sagan when Joss says that it's not science or technology that corrupts humanity. It's the incapability of humanity to handle them rightfully. In other words, Sagan cries out and says, "Religion is not against Reason per se. Religion is sceptical of humanity which so repeatedly fails to handle Reason properly."

Until Arroway returns from the "space trip", she is far more convincing than Joss (i.e. we are led to be in favor of reason than faith). The counter-balance takes place after she returns. Her "report" is nothing but a "sharing of testimony" in an evangelical meeting (if you've ever attended one). But this film does not give "faith" the victory, rather attempts to show both sides reaching out for each other. Very post-modern.

You can enjoy it either as a SF film or as a philosophical article which seeks for your response. The novel, inevitably, has a lot more layers, but I won't make an unfair comparison between the novel and this film. This film in its own right is worth paying for.
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Ringu 2 (1999)
14 May 2002
Saw this last night, which is exactly a week after I saw the original

Ring (and the haunted tape as well!). This will make little sense

without the knowledge of what went on in Ring. The sequel is very much

an elaboration of what was unclear at the original Ring, and provides

answers to the questions we were left with. Who was that in the well?

What happened to the surviving characters? Does the circulation of the

On-nen represented by the circulation of the videotape stop, and how?

You-ichi (the boy) and Mai Takano (late RyujiÕs assistant) take us

through the ordeal this time. You-ichi mysteriously is at the centre

of all, and Mai wants to know the truth behind the mysterious deaths of

her surrounding, especially of Ryuji. Development in story together

with new characters is welcoming. WeÕve got Okazaki and Kanae who

continue the ÒringÓ of the haunting videotape (do we smell another

sequel, or is there one already?). We see that what Shizuko and Sadako suffered under the scrutiny of the

scientists and the media, which in effect brought about this circle of

haunt in the first place, is for the second time being reenacted by Mai

and You-ichi when the boy is called a ÔfreakÕ. But at the same time

you feel the scare, because ÒFreak!Ó would be the very word you would

have uttered if you were there. You are a potential cause of the whole

ÒhauntÓ surrounding yourself. You remember calling names at your

classmate because of his/her appearance, behavior, etc. Well, donÕt be

surprised if you find yourself chased by their On-nen. WATCH OUT,

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Ringu (1998)
Avoid this for your mental healthÕs sake
14 May 2002
Saw this last week. At the core of Japanese horror stories (and films

based on them) is the idea of "Noroi/On-nen". In this film, On-nen was

translated as "curse", but this doesn't really bring out the darkness

of what On-nen is. Curse has a religious sense where gods or spirits

exercise their "power" upon mortal us. On-nen is rather closer to

"haunt" (for the lack of appropriate word in English, or the lack of my

vocabulary). It is an accumulation of extremely negative, harmful, and

powerful emotion; a harsh mixture of anger, humiliation,

disappointment, fear, hatred etc, piled up within ourselves. This is

dark, heavy, and so relevant to us. And this relevance is precisely

why we are frightened. Remember when you were dumped by the person you

dreamed of dating, and then find out that the worst human being in your

classroom is now dating that very person? Remember the humiliation,

the frustration, the anger, hatred you felt all together? Every night

you dream of them dating and spending all night together. EveryoneÕs

laughing at you and cheering at the couple. Imagine those feelings

accumulating and amplifying within you. Well, Japanese believe that

those powerful emotion personifies.

The blur line between the living and the dead adds to the gore. It

doesnÕt matter that the idea of a dead body coming out of a TV screen

is cheesy. The notion of On-nen behind that sufficiently scares us.

On-nen defies our sense of security that death parts everything from

us. Death does not free us from sorrow, fear, hatred etc. Death does

not free us from our past, especially the ones we regret. TheyÕll stay

with you like a circulation without end, hence the title Ring; and

hence, I suspect, a sequel is in order.

Ring has depicted powerfully the notion of On-nen, and introduced this

to the Western world. I hope that this will not be welcomed in the

West. This is too dark and negative to monkey around, and is beyond

redemption. I hope this will be buried for long. If you have hurt

someone very bad in the past, I suggest you avoid this for your mental

healthÕs sake.
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Maverick (1994)
I forgive you Jodie.
25 April 2002
Once in a while, I get puzzled to see Jodie in a least expected film. And this is certainly one of them. But I can forgive you. This was so funny and laid back. Mel Gibson was enjoying himself as well, I think.

The point is, once in a while, you get the feeling that you just want to have a laugh. This film will give you that. I can only guess this is precisely why Jodie is in here. She must have gotten a bit tired of chasing Dr. Lector.
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Inferno (1998 TV Movie)
First, Volcano; now what? The sun??
23 April 2002
Not again! A disaster/panic film taking place in West Coast US...What has LA done to deserve all these tragedies? Probably a lot. I had made a vow not to see this kind of movies since Volcano (1997). I don't know what got into my head...Volcano at least had some loud special effects which you could enjoy. This one doesn't even have that. As for the moral lessons, well forget it. Even a ten year old would laugh at it. You'll rather enjoy a re-run episode from The Simpsons.
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Crash (1996)
Dead Fish
23 April 2002
This one was a dead fish, and probably was intended to be. So much media hype, and not much in the film which lived up to it. It has already been said that this is not meant to be a porn flick, and believe you me, this is not. Red Shoe Diary does it much convincingly.

And the whole thing is, just boring. The characters are living the boredom, even with their extremely violent behaviour, and we don't know whether it's a failure on the production's side, or a failure on the viewers' side (for not understanding it), or whether it was just meant to be boring. Sex, Lies and Videotape (also staring Spader) comes close to this, but in that film you could at least enjoy the sexual aspect of it. Oh it was erotic, a fine pornography with brain. But as for this one, nothing is attractive. I believe this deserved to be banned, not only because of the morally deteriorated presentation (which I agree it is), but more so because this film contributes nothing to the audience.

So what do we learn from this film? 1. Drive safe, 2. stick with your spouse, and 3. do not dance to the music which the media plays (and I suspect none of these lessons were intended anyway). Reminds me a bit of the lesson I learned from Princess D** na's tragic accident.

Because there are plenty of controversies tangling along on the surface, the viewers are welcome to read almost anything into it: affirmation of sexual depravity, cynical view of (post) modern set of value, critique of whatever else, you name it, you'll find it. So if you want to act like a clever film critique in front of your girlfriend, view this one and say whatever you want to say. You'll probably impress her. That's exactly what I'm doing right now in front of you guys!
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Forces you to think about some touchy issues.
16 February 2002
Oh deary me, Woods has done it again! Enthusiastic, passionate, convincing, hot-headed, bad-mouthed, pick your word.

The film emphatically draws attention to the precious justice system going bananas alongside with the media. This film also warns us of how blind we can be when it comes to "protecting" children. We painfully turn stupid and allow ourselves to forget that they are...well "children".

The film is very much sided to the accused family: the McMartins. We are led to sympathize for what they are going through. And obviously, the assumption is that they were totally innocent in the first place.

I am not sure if any parents whose children have experienced abuse would welcome the way this film handles the case.

Also, how about the tax payers who paid millions for this case? And seven bl**dy years!! The word "waste" comes to my mind. This should make us wonder about our justice system, and how they are executed.

As you can see, this film not only makes us talk of the quality of the film, but also of the event itself. To that end, this film is successful, and deserves your viewing.
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Phantoms (1998)
Want a spooky Saturday night? Get this one.
15 January 2002
At the outset, I must confess horror film is not my cup of tea. Having

said that, I have seen this together with Hellraiser II on TV last

night, and thought I might contribute my thoughts on this one.

I notice most of the negative reviews posted here have to do with the

gap between the film and the original novel. I have little to say

about it since I haven't read the original, but if the film indicates

or implies any connection to the original (as is the case with this

one, because at least the American full title bares the author's

name!), I think it is only fair to live up to its claim. With other

reviewers, I might suggest, "Don't read the original until you've seen

the film."

The film, in its own right, has lived up to the quality expected in a

horror/sci-fi genre. It starts off as a spooky tale just like another

X files episode (without Fox Moulder, but with a Scully alternative!),

then develops into a typical effect-packed horror film with all the

loud SFX and intimidating camera angle, and further develops into a

sci-fi film with full of special effects (and yes, yet again, a mad

professor with an English accent!!!), then ends with some room for a


As for casting, I have very little to complain, but as others have

suggested, if even just one of the main characters would have been a

"big gun", this film just might have made it to a huge hit. Gillian

Anderson as Jennifer? Courteney Cox as Lisa? Anthony Hopkins as Flyte

(or will Fox Moulder fit in here)? As for Stu, oh Liev would do


I don't think this was such a bad film, and if you want to have a

spooky Saturday night with your girl friend, this just might be the

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In all fairness, this film IS BAD.
9 January 2002
Imagine an episode of Red Shoe Diaries with Stallone and Stone as main

flirters. And if you don't know Red Shoe Diaries, don't even think of

looking up the database! Instead of David Duchovny as the narrator, we

get James Wood. And as expected, Wood steals the play.

At the end of the day, this film is about a twisted ex-police officer,

who now faces his archrival, his pupil who is too emotional. This

officer (Wood) paces the film, he's all over the screen, and cleans up

the slimy mess Stallone and Stone leave.

If you are expecting romance, action, intriguing plot, good script, run

like hell, away from this. If you're looking for Wood's performance,

well, you've got plenty other films to enjoy. Why would you have to

view this one?
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The Gullable Losers are yet again the Viewers! We lose.
30 December 2001
Saw this on TV last night. Quite a relevant issue is dealt with satire

and wits here, that is, the exploitation of privacy in the name of

media entertainment.

A white male's life from birth is documented live 24/7, the very

individual not being aware of it. The plot starts when this man

(Truman) starts suspecting his surroundings. The production team led

by Christof is determined to make every move of Truman an entertainment

material while Truman seeks for the truth, and of course the gullable

losers are yet again, the viewers of the show.

Jim Carry is rightfully praised for his convincing performance in this

film (I mock Oscar who failed to recognize this performance). Ed

Harris, as always, brought life to this film as well. On the one hand,

he (Christof) is the arrogant villain who creates and produces this

Truman Show, but on the other hand, he brings out quite convincingly

the parental element in relation to Truman as his "father" who raised

him all along with utmost care.

Andrew Niccol, as IMDb information will tell us, has written yet

another script for a film GATTACA the previous year. As was the case

then, here again he tackles a very important and relevant issue in

modern society, and poses quite a few important questions. But alas,

as was the case then, here again he does not seem to have any answers

of his own! So disappointing. I must say I have little expectation

for his next project Simone (2002?). It seems he is now going to waste

Al Pacino's talent as well.

Peter Weir who also directed WITNESS (1985) and DEAD POET SOCIETY

(1989) yet again expresses his humanitarian viewpoint. If you were

touched by these films, you may find THE TRUMAN SHOW not only to be a

satire but also to be a moving drama. If you thought that his other

films were emotionally overdone, you might feel that this one likewise

is a bit cheesy.

If you truly felt for Truman, and yet enjoyed BIG BROTHER series, I say

you learned little from this film. Does the word hypocrite apply to

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Wag the Dog (1997)
To be seen repeatedly!
27 December 2001
Oh my dear goodness. I'd heard of this film when it came out, and

during/after the Monica thingie. Last night, this was on the TV, so I

decided to view it.

Forget Clinton (leave that in the basement of your library). THIS

deserves to be given status as eternal legend! We should, especially

people of the US should view this film time and again just to remind

our/themselves what the 21 inch box in front of you could be doing to


An effective satire with capable performers Taking us through, you

shall enjoy it. I'll never see CNN the same way ever again. :-)
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