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The Thing from Another World (1951)
One of the sci-fi classic
It takes a while for the story to get going, but when it does it becomes fast paced horror. It was a classic by the time I was born, and it was shown on a TV matinee that ran everyday all week in the afternoon. Although I feel that John Carpenter's version was better done than this one, but this is still the original. The team is in trouble partly because they are isolated in the polar region, and lacks resource. If it's anywhere else, they could get a flame thrower and smoke the thing. This clauster phobic atmosphere is what makes this movie work. The team is forced to improvise a defense against the thing from outer space. These days you can obtain a copy on a DVD at a discounted price, and that would be the best way to enjoy this movie now. It's made well enough that it stands repeat viewing even today.
What did they want to tell with this story ? I watched it so that I can follow the mythology of X men, but if they keep on making crap like this I think I will stop watching. The movie is just violent, and the characters are just into violence. There's no action. Only violence. The characters are only there to perpetuate violence, and I didn't like that at all. Maybe a little more plot and story telling next time. But for me I don't think there is no next time.
The Yesterday Machine (1965)
Movie waay ahead of it's time
It might have been just a crazy movie in the '60s that had no significance, but now in the 21st century when what the Nazis were doing during WWII is better known, this movie has a strange contemporary feel to it. A journalist, and a bar singer find themselves traveled in time to arrive in the laboratory of Nazi scientist. He talks about time travel and plans about bringing Hitler back from time.We know now that Nazis were working on some sort of time machine known as the "Bell" (Die Glocka). Maybe in another time line, third Reich might have won the war as this scientist was claiming to do. The movie is contemporary in the same vein as the "Iron Sky" (2016).
47 Ronin (2013)
Not at all close to the true story of the "Ako roshi"
Good but the real story of 47 ronin as it happened in history is not represented in this movie. Kira who was the shogun's manner instructor didn't get the customary bribe, so he didn't teach Asano the proper way to greet the Shogun in the actual story, and was humiliated for improper greeting of shogun which enraged him to draw a sword against Kira in the castle which was crime punishable by death. Ooishi and 47 ronin who lost their master swore vengeance on Kira, and that was the story of 47 ronin. Here the story is more like a fantasy. Since the story here is an American original, this review is for an American fiction movie. It's kind of a bastardization of how samurai lived in their days, and creating good action movie. As such, movie is of good quality, and doesn't disappoint. While some of the premise seems ridiculous to the ones versed in the way of samurai, that is forgiven as ignorance towards the true culture of the samurai. Some American movie has done a better job in this area (like the Last Samurai ),this is an acceptable and interesting version of 47 ronin.
Ashton Kutcher brings Steve Jobs to life
i saw this movie after I've seen Steve Jobs the movie. While I thought Steve Jobs was unfair in it's portrayal of Steve Jobs, I found this movie closer to the legend of Steve Jobs that I grew up with.Although the movie was not meant to be the biography of Steve Jobs, I thought it did credence to the man Steve Jobs really was.Ashton Kutcher really looked like Jobs when he was younger, and his acting captured what it would have been like to be around Jobs in the nascent years at Apple. So I give higher mark for this movie than the other Steve Jobs movie for the truism it has about the person and career of Steve Jobs. Oh, did I mention that this movie was fun to watch ?
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Maturity shows on the actors
So it's been 14 years since the original X- Men movie. Many actors were teenagers when this series started, but in this version they have grown up in more ways than one.Maturity shows on their acting and their ability to express subtle nuance in the acting which makes this movie more rewarding to watch.Dare I say that this is the best of the many X-Men movie that came along. Bryan Singer still have the ability to turn all the subtitling of the plot into convincing visual landscape. This is a very entertaining movie at all levels.I hope they would continue the X-Men franchise in this direction in the future. A movie well worth watching.
Dinosaur 13 (2014)
Travesty of American Law Enforcement
Imagine that you were a gold prospector, and found a mother lode. You take it home and clean all the debris off of the ore. Then some military men shows up and takes all you've collected Wouldn't you consider that a theft ? Yet that is exactly what happened to Sue - One of the most complete T- Rex specimen ever found. FBI and the national guard showed up at Blackhills Institute to haul away the fossils of the T-Rex. Something good was found, and US government decided to make it their own - by any means possible, and by force. The action speaks volumes about what kind of government United States is running. In some parts of this world United States is considered a terrorist. In this case a thug as well.Dinosaur 13 is a story that goes beyond the story of T-Rex fossil.It's a story about how US government operates. It's policy of might makes right is a danger not only to the fossil hunters, but to all citizens who lives in United States ( and rest of the world ).
Berusaiyu no bara (1979)
Classic Japanese girl's comic
François Augustin Regnier de Jarjayes would have never imagined that he would be famous over 200 years later in far away country of Japan which he may have never heard of in his life. Oscar Francois de Jarjayes is the sixth daughter of Francois Augustine. He desired to have a son after having five daughters but fate has it that his sixth child was also a daughter. In his desire to have an aire, he raises his child as a man. As the result Oscar becomes a brigadier general in the royal guard. Yet, she is a woman (and rather good looking one at that ) which attracted the hearts of millions of Japanese teenage girls which made this comic a sensation in the '70s Japan. Rose of Versailles became a sensational hit as a comic, and an anime series. Now a classic, it still enjoys popularity to some degree in 21st century Japan. Few Japanese girls comic enjoys a classic status but this one is one of them.
Awfully Long movie to be staring at darkness half of the time
This was a good movie (I think).The reason why I'm not sure is that about 50% of the movie happens in darkness that barred me from seeing what actually happened. Pity because the movie had good plot, good acting , and good action.Maybe they wanted to have good art as well, but they failed on this one. The action scenes happens mostly in darkness, and you can't discern much detail as to whats going on. It's like AVP 2 in this way. And to hang on it for 2 hours is rather a long ordeal. So, my rating is somewhat low for this film despite the good effort that went in it. A sequel ? Nah, I don't want to see another version of this movie.
The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
Irritatingly stupid movie
After seeing this movie, I could only surmise that it's some kind of disinformation film to make jokes out of what is commonly known as remote viewing. The movie portrays remote viewers as army's attempt to train soldiers to be new age hippies (seriously). From what I've read the real remote viewers were deadly effective (otherwise the government wouldn't have funded them for 23 years). But if the effectiveness of remote viewing was really conveyed, it would be disclosing one of the closely guarded secrets of US military operations. So my take after seeing the movie is that it was created to be a disinformation campaign to make the world believe that this is what remote viewing is about. None of the characters in the movie could do remote viewing. As if it didn't exist. And maybe that's the real message this movie wanted to convey.
Hawaii Five-0 (2010)
Wish Jack Lord was still alive
I liked the original Five O so I'm trying to like this series too, but I'm having mixed success at it.. More I see it I recognize how irreplaceable quality Jack Lord had. It didn't matter if the story wasn't so hot. Jack Lord giving out "Book em Danno" at the end added the finishing touch to the story.This is the big part I miss from this series. The series is crafted with more refined taste than the original. Everybody looks and acts as they are part of the organization. Which makes them all look like good boys,and girl. Headquarter is still at the Iolani Palace, but the gadgets are more high tech, considering that there's 40 years of gap between the two series, that's to be expected.Kono isn't a guy in this series. It's played by a Korean American actor Grace Kim, and she doesn't look Hawaiian by any means. So what's my take on this ,if this series is a success ? It lost something in not having the simplicity of the original series, and some excitement is lost in not being able to see the bad guys get their comeuppance of facing Jack Lord's wrath in the end.So, it's a good series, but not future classic, as the original series were.
High quality comedic porn from '70s Japan
One of Toei's porn, comedy, samurai themed movies made in the '70s after pure samurai genre movie's market has declined, and movie studios like Toei was fighting for its survival.
Shogun Toyochiyo who took over the reign is a book worm, and not interested in women. A woman thief (Reiko Ike) conspires with one of his vassal to make Kakusuke who's a lowly back scrubber in a public bath to be the double of the Shogun. Kakusuke is a sex maniac and takes advantage of this situation to have sex with every woman in Edo castle.
Movie is directed by one of my favorite Japanese movie director Norifumi Suzuki. This movie didn't disappoint in the quality despite its off beat content. 18 year old Reiko Ike performs the female lead that takes advantage of situation that a man who has crush on her is being used as shogun's double to forward her cause. Women in this movie are some of the best looking Japanese actresses from that period. The story is rather complex but director Suzuki maintains focus of the story to the end.
One of the best comic porn from '70s Japan. Silly, but worth your while to watch this rather unusual movie.
Yôkai daisensô (2005)
Great Fantasy Movie from Japan
The original concept of this story is based on 1968 movie that was created by comic artist Shigeru Mizuki who single handedly started the genre of Yokai (Japanese folk lore monsters) based stories. In this version, along with Mizuki, writers Miyuki Miyabe, Natsuhiko Kyogoku, and Hiroshi Aramata contributed their creative talent to the story.
Tadashi Ino (Ryunosuke Kamiki) is a wimp of a kid, but on the night of the town festival, he gets chosen to be the Kirin Rider. Kirin Rider has obligation to get the sword of Great Goblin from the mountain, and Tadashi embarks on a journey to the mountain where the Great Goblin resides. In the mountain Tadashi is met by Yokai monsters who were waiting for him. Covertly they chose him as Kirin Rider to battle the dark army of Yasunori Kato who is an embodiment of the grudge of ancient Japanese people. Together with Yokai, Tadashi faces the deadly army of Kato.
The movie was a big budget movie ( approx. 14M USD ) for a Japanese movie, and uses effective balance between CG and live performers that helps to maintain the realistic looks throughout the story. Ryunosuke Kamiki puts in a great performance as the main character despite his age (of 10). The cast reads like who's who of popular Japanese actors, and writers Mizuki, Kyogoku, Aramata, and Miyabe all makes cameo appearance in this movie.
This is probably the best movie Takashi Miike has directed, helped by solid script written by the aforementioned team of writers.
This is one of the best fantasy movie to come out of Asia, and is entertaining to both children and adults.
Very beautiful fantasy animation with outstanding quality from South Korea. Style is original enough not to be derivative of anime from other Asian countries.
Character designs are first class, and visuals have original angles to them as well. Korean animation has long history, and it is not well known but many Japanese anime are actually made in Korea (just like many American TV cartoons are made in Japan). Techniques are mature, and there isn't a hint of rough edges with this very fine movie.
I wish that Korean anime will gain more mainstream distribution as their action, love, romance, comedy have in the past 10 years.
This is one of the finest animation movie to come out of Korea, and is highly recommended for viewing.
Adventures of Superman (1952)
The original Super Hero classic !
Probably the first modern super hero TV series, and at the time it was first on air was more famous than the comic it was based on.
Every episode of this series is a classic. Nothing that came before it in super hero genre, was done with as much good acting, and class. I only knew the series as reruns, but I remember that this was the first super hero show I've ever seen in my life. It never failed to entertain every time I saw it as a kid. It combined humor, drama, and element of ridiculousness done with charm like no other programs of this type in the '50s had. It also didn't look cheesy, like all other series of this type in the '50s did.
The characters all left indelible impression on us. Especially Noel Nelle's Lois Lane is a classic that all future Lois Lane was compared against. She was the other "star" of this show.
The series aged well, and even today it provides entertainment like no other show. Without a doubt, this is the classic of all classic super hero TV series.
Ji su tian shi (2011)
A Move that's at least 10 years too early for China to make
The movie is beautifully shot, and production is tight. And no wonder, Jingle Ma is directing and producing this movie. But unfortunately that's about the only thing going for this movie.
A group of woman racers and two male managers comprise a racing team. The women characters experience the angst of overcoming problems in their personal life, and life as a professional racer. But what happens in the end is quite predictable. Popular Japanese actor Kazuki Kitamura plays the role of the bad guy who jilts his Chinese fiancée, and the manager of the rival Japanese team.
The movie is very shallow, and that's probably why it's panned by many who sees it. It just cherry picks the glamorous aspect of racing, and tries to make a drama around it. The credibility is zero, and China doesn't have the kind of technology or industry to produce the kind of goods the characters are using. Everything is borrowed from the Japanese. The style, the helmet, the car, they're either Japanese or a carbon copy of Japanese culture.
If it had substance to portray authentic culture of China, the film would have been far better. Not doing so makes this movie cartoonish in a bad way. The lifestyle, the technology shown in this movie is what China might have in 10 years. The gap between reality, and fiction is too wide in this movie to pass the credibility test.
The movie might be propaganda passing as entertainment. See it for the beautiful visuals, but don't expect much else.
Deliciously ridiculous and Good
All star science fiction movie made by American International Pictures that's in the vein of disaster movies of the '70s.
A comet strikes an asteroid belt, and flings a fragment 5 miles long into collision course with earth. Americans have put in orbit satellite carrying 14 rockets each with 100 megaton warhead called "Hercules". They are to use it to shoot the in coming meteor , but it won't be enough to stop it. They must work with the Russians who has similar weapon called "Peter the Great" in orbit and combine their forces to stop the meteor.
This movie was made before Walter Alvarez's meteor extinction theory of the dinosaurs. It's foresighted for its time in this respect. The movie has satirical scenes of powers not agreeing to cooperate despite the immanent danger, but it's done deliciously, and fun to watch.
The movie has qualities of the low budget science fiction movies of the '50s. But it's done in much grander scale. Good movie that captures the atmosphere of the '70s well.
Der Untergang (2004)
The movie about final days of Hitler in his Berlin bunker. Bruno Gants puts in an epic performance as Adolf Hitler.
The Russians has crossed into Berlin, Hitler has no more forces he can deploy, but refuses to give up. People around him has solemnly accepted their fate. The drama is about war itself, and how German military people has come to cope with it.
This movie is to have unexpected effect on home made movie 10 years after it's been released. The section where Hitler rants about reinforcement not coming has been taken out and parodied numerous times on YouTube. The movie has become endless source of creativity for those willing to manifest their take on this story.
This is one of the best war time movie ever made, and is highly recommended for viewing.
3D animation that's based on German fairy tale Rapunzel, but the character's personalities are all modern day American.
This is the first 3D animation movie that actually looked real. Sometimes more real than the real world. The lighting, movement, and color was all spot on in every scene. Characters featured in this movie are all incredibly "Real" in their personality, yet so funny.
Voice over is done with perfection too. Every character comes to life as if acting was done by live actors.
Everything about this movie is over the top.
6 years and 260 million is not wasted on making this epic movie. The movie is the best animation movie ever created.
Youkai ningen Bemu (2012)
Outstanding Japanese Science Fiction Drama
Science Fiction horror/action movie based on the 2011 TV series of the same name, which in turn is based on the anime series that first aired in 1968. Catch copy of the characters are "I want to be Human !".
No one knows when they were born, but three artificial life form that originated from one common cell, Ben, Bela, and Belo are shunned by the human society because of their gruesome appearances . But their hart is pure, and they've decided to use their immortality to rescue humanity. Outwardly they can shape shift to have human like appearance, and they look somewhat like a family with Bem ( Kazuya Kamenashi ) being the father, Bela ( Ann ) being the mother, and Belo ( Fuku Suzuki ) being the son.
Mysterious killing is occurring in the city. little do Bem, Bela, and Belo knows, a child who they've saved the life of long time ago, Tatsuhiko Ueno ( Mchitaka Tsutsui ) is the trigger for the occurrence. He became a scientist, and in effort to save his wife Sayuri's ( Arisa Mizuki ) life, uses a serum from a plant that was contaminated by Bem's blood. She comes back to life, but also turns into a monster that has traits like that of Bem. Greedy CEO of a pharmaceutical company Masaki Kagami ( Hashinosuke Nakamura ) is also after the secret of this serum, and attempts to kill the Ueno family to steal the invention. They eventually find each other along with detective Natsume ( Kazuki Kitamura ) who is friends with Bem, and battle of humanoid monsters ensues.
This series gets high marks for its original concept, and artistry. The movie sticks closely to the original anime down to the mood and details of the character. In the original anime and in this movie, Belo plays the main character of the story. Fuku Suzuki puts in great performance as Belo, and so does Kazuki Kitamura as detective Natsume. Bem, and Bela are not allowed to show too much emotion, but acting by Kazuya Kamenashi, and Ann was spot on as Bem and Bela.
This is perhaps the best science fiction movie from Japan since Space Battleship Yamato, and recommended for viewing by all Asian movie fans.
To heart: koishite shinitai (1999)
Love Romance Pure
Great romantic drama starring Tsuyoshi Domoto, and Kyoko Fukada.
Yuji Tokieda (Tsuyoshi Domoto) is an up and coming boxer. He was leading a normal life until he accidentally bumps into Toko Miura ( Kyoko Fukada ) at a convenience store. At first Yuji doesn't see Toko as anybody important, but Toko begins to be attracted Yuji. Her feeling for Yuji begins to build until she starts to make efforts to find anything about him. Fortunately for her she finds out that he part times at the flower shop that she can see from the roof top of the department store where she works at a Crepe restaurant (Japanese department store has open air restaurants at its roof top ). She asks at the flower shop where he lives, and the store owner (who's a lady, and who Yuji has a crush on) gives her his address. She visits him, but he's not home, and a package gets delivered to his home. She's asked to sign it, and she finds a key on top of his door. She decides to enter his house. Soon Yuji comes home, and is surprised to find her at his home. From this incident Yuji and Toko begins to get closer in their relation. A relation that started as one side love of Toko begins to positively affect Yuji's boxing career, and their love blossoms. But there are many hardships waiting to separate the two lovers.
Sometimes this series is counted as second of Tsuyoshi Domoto trilogy. First being the "Ao no jidai", and the third being "Summer Snow". This series cemented Kyoko Fukada's reputation as an actor. Her performance as Toko, left indelible impression on the viewers of this drama.
Somewhat small scale of this drama might limit its international potential, but it is a superb drama that's worth the patience to watch it all the way through.
Tôkyô Dogs (2009)
Dog is a Japanese slang for police, and Tokyo Dogs is a story about detectives working in Tokyo.
Sou Takakura (Shun Oguri) is an American trained detective working in Tokyo police department. He's assigned to body guard and various duties involving dangerous criminals. He ends up playing the cat and mouse game with the criminals, both sides vying to get the upper hand. How he corners the criminals, and bring them to justice is the focus of this story.
The stories follow pat formula of detective(s) following various bad guys, and for a Japanese drama there's lot more usage of guns than usual.
Lot better stories, and acting are available if you watch any of the more recent Hong Kong action drama. Better watch those instead of this one.
Good drama that has more complex message than what the story might suggest.
Heita Fukai (Ken Sato) is a contemplative high school student who was thinking of what it means to love another person. One day he inadvertently turns the switch on of an android (Atsuko Maeda) that was found in the streets of Tokyo. He names the android Q10 (Kyuto). From that day on Q10 and Heita are never to be seen apart. But what is Q10, and where did it come from ?
The premise of the story is almost identical to the movie "Cyborg She" in that female android from the future unexpectedly enters the life of an young man, and they have simulated human relationship. What follows to the main protagonist is almost identical as well. What's different about this drama, and what makes it so good is the supporting characters, and the subplot that goes on in the story. Many of the supporting casts are A list or semi A list actors, who can carry a drama on their own. New comers Atsuko Maeda, and Ken Sato puts in very good performance as the android, and a high school student who's bewildered by the sudden change in his life brought on by the android.
The story has underlying sadness that's common to stories written by Izumi Kizara. Izumi Kizara is a pen name of husband, and wife writers Tsutomu Izumi, and Tokiko Mega.
Good drama, that has deeper than usual subplot compared to other teen based high school drama, and is worth the watch.
Amy Yip shows her Talent
This is the only movie with Amy Yip in a serious role. It shows that she was underrated as an actor, and can carry a movie on her own.
Amy Yip plays a role of a madam who worked herself up to that position through lot of hard work. She has a daughter, but her relation with her isn't quite working well. She has few good friends, and although people look down on her because of her profession, she lives her life with her own grittiness, and hard work.
Movie has Wong Jing's early style in that story has hard luck case character with story climaxing into a pandemonium.
Amy Yip looks beautiful as she usually does, and the supporting actors are also very good. Because of her exceptional physical good looks, Amy Yip wasn't given enough serious roles she deserved. This movie shows she had the talent to carry the story. She's pretty good in the business woman type of a role.
The movie could have been made with a bigger budget, and it would have been more fun. Wong Jing's usual expensive look and feel is missing from this movie. The movie makes me wonder what would have happened if Amy Yip was given a role like the lead in Naked Killer ( with more money angle to it ). But in any case this is a good movie and recommended for viewing.
Dragstrip Riot (1958)
Nice '50s Teen Movie
There is no drag strip appearing in this movie, more of a race track, and lot of '57 Corvette does show up.
The kids appearing in this movie is supposed to be kind of delinquents, but they look very innocent by today's standards. This is days before drugs took over, and fighting is done with fists, not by guns. Scenes around Malibu, and California coast is definitely beautiful. Sometimes I wonder where the scene was shot because there's no houses around the highway. Can you believe that ? I kind of liked the characters in this movie. They wouldn't be delinquents if they lived now. They would be fine model of youth. Which kind of make you think, maybe the society is devolving instead of evolving.
Beautiful Southern California gave me lot of joy watching this movie. Story was decent, actors were good looking, and the movie had interesting scenes at every turn.
Recommended for viewing.