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7/10
The Experiment Going Awry
17 September 2019
Exploring the dark side of human beings is never a pleasant task. A group of scientists, however, decided to take on the challenge. They offered every participant a daily wage of 1000 dollars, and divided them into 2 groups, who would be playing roles of inmates and wardens respectively. The seemingly innocuous beginning was soon followed by chaotic incidents, in which the personalities, mostly on the negative sides, of all participants gave themselves free vent. Naturally, we were witnessing some ugly behaviors from those who conducted themselves in their daily lives. The film serves as an admonition against our dangerous inclination to fall for the evil forces and lose our true aspirations in life.
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6/10
A Sick Film That Can Turn Your Stomach
11 September 2019
Among my list of sick films, this one may well be one of the sickest. The first 45 minutes are quite innovative, and one would expect to see more interesting plots after that. Nevertheless, the following story was of woefully low quality and offered nothing more than psychopathic behaviors. Not recommended for minors.
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Witness (2019)
7/10
A Recommendable Suspense Film
4 September 2019
A special case came to the desk of a 46-year-old lawyer who was living with his father. An old man was killed with a plastic bag over his head, the suspect being the maid who has served him for over a decade. Judging from his conversation with the maid, he was convicted that she was innocent. Nevertheless, the only witness, a 14-year-old girl with autism offered her testimony that the case was a murder instead of suicide. For convincing the jury about the truth and getting to the bottom of the mysterious case, the lawyer decided to make acquaintance with the kid and hopefully excavate more clues. What he did not expect is that the clue are to lead him to a direction opposite to his original conviction. While getting deeper into the case, the lawyer was stuck between professionalism of a lawyer and morality of a human being. I will not ruin the suspense by revealing which one prevails in the end. But it is without a doubt a recommendable film, in which the suspense and tension is maintained up until the last minute.
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Parasite (2019)
8/10
Korean Gem Among This Year's Film Collection
3 September 2019
Being an Asian myself, it feels great to see Asian films win the Palme d'Or for two consecutive years. Parasite has a quite unique style and tempo in telling its story. Most spectators, while watching the first half of the film, might well mistake it for a comedy that depicts life of a bunch of jobless social dregs. Well, the plot took some drastic turns when the parasite family lodged happily in the mansion of their employer. The second half is full of vehement conflicts, as if the masks that helped hide the impassable gap between their classes has suddenly disappeared. The stench felt by the couple is all too metaphoric. Educated and civilized as they are, the couple still could not withhold the disdain they held for the lower class in the social hierarchy. Clash of different identities finally turned into a catastrophe. Impoverished people, despite trying every means they are able to get hold of, be it wily tricks or honest labor, will always feel out of place up high on the social ladder. Maybe drinking beers in the damp and dark corner will be a happier ending than to spend life in disguise and despair.
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Moulin Rouge! (2001)
7/10
Moulin Rouge: A Fanatic Extravaganza
26 August 2019
This is almost a musical acted out in the form of cinema. The frenzy can be vividly felt right from the start. The language, expression and body movement of characters are so hyperbolic that it immediately reminds you of stage performance. For a cinephile like me who has not been visiting theaters that frequently, the film seems to have overcooked a bit, rendering it similar to a stage show during the interval of a high school prom.
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7/10
Not typical David Lynch, but also stylish and enjoyable
25 August 2019
It does not like a David Lynch film at all. All the quirk elements that hallmarked his film did not even make a transient appearance in this one. As its name indicates, the film tells a quite straightforward story. Mr. Straight, in his seventies, embarked on a journey with a vehicle adapted from his old lawn mower, only to satisfy his willing of meeting his brother recently hit by a stroke. The flick is slow-paced, and the combination of some mild community members and passers-by gave the old man what he needed to complete the journey. Frankly, it feels quite strange to see a heart-warming film that bears the name of David Lynch, but it is a good one of its genre.
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Gone Girl (2014)
8/10
Marvelous Work by David Fincher
25 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Gone Girl is a film that makes you feel the increase of tension by the minute. The preface might seem baffling as the husband claimed to have the urge to break the skull of his wife. As the story unfolded, however, the intricate relations between the couple was to be revealed.

Being a graduate from Ivy League, the wife is a quite ambitious woman, authoring a well-known series book. After marriage, her discontent has been fermented due to his husband's indifferent attitude. Her diary counted the process in which their happy union gradually turned sour. While everyone was suspecting that the husband might have murdered the wife and afterwards made a rather clumsy attempt at disguising it as an abduction, the storyline took a drastic turn. It turned out that the wife orchestrated the whole incident to set up her husband. As the story continues to pan out, the cold-blooded personality of the wife is to be completely exhibited.

The performance of the two protagonists was commendable, which also helped to justify the bizarre plot of the film.
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Wolf Mother (2016)
4/10
Not Worth Watching!
9 August 2019
Through much efforts, I still did not manage to understand the film at all. It seems like a pageant of a large variety of social dregs, whose conversations and behaviors do not make any sense to me. In all, watching it will be a waste of time, at least for most people with their complete sanity.
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4/10
Fairytale Acted Out by Real Persons
9 August 2019
Sleepiness overcame me in the middle of the film. I would say this is a film for children under 12 years old. It is a bit like a fairytale acted out by real people. The first half of the film, which is all I know about the work, was quite banal and lack of passion. Even if it was with the huge sound effect in the cinema, it would not be strange to see someone fall asleep with this film. The graphics, however, were almost on a par with other Walt Disney Studio films.
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Time Trap (2017)
7/10
Independent Film of High Standard
9 August 2019
Time Trap is certainly the type of film with low budget but brilliant idea. The rumor of youth fountain has been circulated along the generations, and a group of young explorers, whose intention was to complete their homework, got accidentally trapped in the cave. Soon they came to the shocking revelation that within the cave time passed extremely slow as compared to the world outside. The way with which the story panned out is very well designed, and for an independent movie, this one is of quite high standard.
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Mea culpa (2014)
6/10
A Passable French Action Movie
3 August 2019
We stayed in a confused state of mind until the last moment, a far-fetched ending finally revealed the implication of the title. Yet apart from its pertinence to the title, the last twist really seems redundant. As an action movie, it is a passable one, though the plot can be further refined to provide more coherence.
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Attila Marcel (2013)
8/10
Bizarre Yet Inspiring
31 July 2019
Admittedly, it is quite a stylish film with quite bizarre character setting and thought-provoking storyline. The childhood experience of the protagonist is gradually revealed as he receives sessions of hallucinogenic soup from a gipsy woman. The treatment makes the long-lost memories vivid again, and he finally excavated the truth of his suffocated life. Theatrical effects are achieved through some unpredictable acts of the characters, and various innovative means are employed to convey a sense of strangeness. Quirky or not, this film is certainly worth watching.
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5/10
Story with No Consistency
29 July 2019
You just get all the more perplexed while watching the film. It looks like that the story was not worked out yet before they started shooting it. There are innumerous inconsistencies in it, which makes it feel like a low-budget film with an ill-prepared script.
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7/10
A Simple Yet Attractive Story
29 July 2019
I would agree with most that this one is quite suitable to watch along with family. Through its course it is filled with idyllic scenery and characters with pure minds. The story is quite straightforward, and if you are looking forward to some drastic clashes, you will be disappointed. The plot is quite predictable but it really does not diminish the beauty of the film.
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8/10
Living the Casse-tete with Passion
25 July 2019
The final piece of the trilogy is truly marvelous. As the characters are growing into their forties, the film is also reaching a new depth. For Xavier, life is never in lack of drama. After ten years of marriage with Wendy, they broke up and separated. His lesbian friend asked him to donate semen to get her pregnant. Such unorthodox plots may tell you how life can be ridiculously out of order. Xavier and his friends have been aging quite a lot, but certainly not their mentality. The enthusiasm and impulsive way of acting still bear traits of their younger years.

It is also amazed to see that Xavier's father joined the picture. There were heart-warming scenes: their conversation along the walk and Xavier's final encounter with proof of passion of his parents. We witness the coming-of-age of our protagonist. after hustles and tussles through all these years, he eventually reconciled with the past and gained more peace in mind.

Jumping out of my current appreciation of the crew and the series, I may also detect quite a few of flaws and idealistic views in those characters. Xavier, for instance, who was never short of luck with women, may have seemed to find his epiphany each and every time he got out of a love affair, but soon he would carry on with his next pursuit. The wayward disposition certainly should not be followed suit, but I really liked their attitude to always seek after the things that their heart would like to follow, even if they have passed the right age to do so, even if there would be consequences to face. Life is a casse-tete too intricate to resolve, why not seize the moment and try to live as you have been wishing to?
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Leatherface (2017)
6/10
Origin for Chainsaw Massacre
25 July 2019
Apart from being bloody gory, this film does not offer much else that may impress us. Through the film you would know the story of how the cold-blooded leatherface came into being.
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8/10
Miniature of China at Beginning of 20th Century
20 July 2019
White deer plain is originally a novel written by the renowned Chinese writer Chen Zhongshi. The cinematographic version adapted from the book, in fact, is an excerpt due to some sensitive contents that may face censorship for its publication in Chinese mainland. The film tells the story of families living on the plain in Shaanxi Province, also home to author of the book. Half a century has seen them through the vicissitudes of the newly-born China. The ups and downs of the family is also a miniature of the whole nation; the destiny of every personage represents the suffering of ordinary people in a tumultuous era.
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Tour De Force (2013)
6/10
A Film to Cheer You Up
20 July 2019
In terms of unpredictable elements, La Grande Boucle does not offer us much, but I like the positivity of which it is infused. There were also quite a few of funny moments that would make you gurgle. In all, a very relaxing film that may give you a boost of spirit.
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6/10
Days that Passed By
17 July 2019
Adapted from a book of Feng Tang, a contemporary Chinese writer who has also become an investor in the medical industry, the film counts a story of a medical student in his university days. In my humble opinion, Ever Since We Loved is a rather clumsy translation of the original title, which literally means "everything is growing".

Films touching on campus life have been one of the major genres in Chinese cinema market. Frankly speaking, this one does not stand unique among all others. The author basically used his own experience during school days to write this work. Still not too far from my own horsing around days, this film did stir up some old memories.
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Zoo-Head (2019)
6/10
Repetition In Its Own Cannot Make A Great Film
17 July 2019
To do this film justice, Zoo-Head is still a watchable film, in spite of all of its traits of cult films. The reason for an average rating of 4, I presume, lies in many classic works that came into light much prior to this one, such as Triangle, Groundhog Day and Rola rennt, among many others that might be easily cited by any cinema lovers. Well, this is a passable one, but to use the theme already exploited by other great filmmakers, this film is totally overshadowed and may even seem lame in many ways.
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The Possession (I) (2012)
6/10
Exorcism in Yiddish
15 July 2019
As an exorcist film, this one lacks a bit consistency. Instead of devoting more of its footage on disclosing the history of the evil box and letting the characters form a more intricated relations, the film just ran through its course in the simplest way possible. Audience may find this film a bit "hollow", as the plot can be recapitulated in a sentence or two. On the other hand, the film clearly does not possess the right recipe for horror to seep into our veins. Some superficial things have been changed from the traditional exorcist film, the Jewish exorcist, for example, but this alone is far from enough for providing a sense of novity for us.
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6/10
A Decent Superhero Movie
14 July 2019
You would not expect much from a typical popcorn movie, much less to say about the spider-man series. Maybe I should not have watched it at a cozy Sunday afternoon, when my sleepiness was so easily aroused. Despite my desperate efforts in staying awake, I could not help but dozed off a couple of times, but it did not affect comprehension of the gist of film. Though I was not aware that Gyllenhaal would play the antagonist in the film. The positive effects given by his dashy looks certainly helped mask his malignant intentions and deceive the audience. The whole length of 2 hours was not too monotonous, thanks to the bashful relationship between the muted superhero and his first love in high school.

If you only seek to relax your nerves in the simplest way at the end of a tiring week, superhero movies may be the right medicine, and it has better effects when taken with the presence of your chummy friends. I would say this is a mediocre one among the ocean of superhero movies, but it was soothing and my brains got enough rest through the seemingly endless 129 minutes. Judging from the results, I consider it a decent superhero movie.
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Russian Dolls (2005)
8/10
What can you find inside a Russian doll?
9 July 2019
It is simply pleasing to see those lovely actors and actresses of L'auberge Espagnol reuniting here against a different background. As its precedent, this film has great conversations and delicate depiction of character's train of thought. I really admire the diversity exhibited in the film, of course not only in the linguistic terms, but also the attitude and aspirations in life of each personality.

The film compares love to Russian dolls, in which you can always find the next hidden one. The process of unwrapping them, in turn, is just like the process in which we seek for true love. Great metaphor! And it is also rare to see it being talked about with such frankness and explicitness. Clearly it is running a contrary path to innumerous romantic literary works that describe love in an idealistic manner. Love in reality, however, is just like the entangled relationship between the personalities, passionate, berserk, and completely out of order. When you look back at them, though, you will realize they are all sceneries on the way, or, to use another metaphor, the process in unwrapping the Russian dolls.
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Train of Life (1998)
8/10
Jubilous Escape From The Holocaust
8 July 2019
It is hard to imagine that any Jewish community would escape from the Holocaust in a whole skin. This film, though, embarked a whole village of Jewish population on a journey toward Palestine, their Holy Land. With a rather comic touch, this film can be watched with a light mood, unlike others that look back at the historic event with a critical perspective. Actually, after viewing the film, I immediately sensed that Jewish people may, albeit their great sense of humor, see it as an affront to them and the miserable history. I do not doubt the intention of the director, and personally I would like to see more films of this genre in order to diversify the inventory of today's cinematography.
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Combustion (2013)
7/10
Spanish Fast and Furious
3 July 2019
You may consider it a Spanish version of Fast and Furious. Likewise, captivating women and sport cars are major grarantees for box office. The extra element is robbing with a beautiful girl(boy) as a bait. At the beginning the plot seems quite firm, but it runs loose and eventually becomes a bit irreasonable. I was hoping it would avoid the platitudes that we have already seen too much in this genre of films. Alas, they swerved right into the same old story after the first turn.
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