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Don't take from Headhunters
One of Taiwan's biggest ever films today, probably the most expensive ever made and looks set to be the highest earning to date. The story of Seediq Bale, based on the Wushe Incident is split into two segments, the first being entitled The Sun Flag (tai-yang qi) and the second, The Rainbow Bridge (cai-hong qiao). Seediq Bale is the best looking Taiwanese production to date, it seems on par with the majority of action films coming straight out of Hollywood. The battle scenes are impressive, they're fast paced with a lot of of excitement and thrills, there's explosions, blood splatters and much like you'd expect from headhunters, there's a few heads rolling.
Story: The story moves quickly despite the movie being close to 2 and a half hours long. There is a small bit of background and lead up to the Japanese arriving but not a great deal. When the Japanese arrive it also doesn't seem that much happens in the story, it doesn't give you complex characters or anything you must grasp or understand. It's a simple story but flows well and entertains.
Characters: Character building and general development is a problem in this movie, although it is entertaining with no boredom from start to finish it doesn't have much depth to it. You must take the characters on face value as you don't really get a sense of who they are. There is one character who can be classed as the lead but you even don't get to know who he is. Throughout the movie you're introduced to numerous characters, both on the aboriginal side and the Japanese side, yet you don't get to know more than the basics of who they are.
Directing: Te-Sheng Wei has previous had a bit hit in Taiwan with Cape No.7 which guaranteed him the funding for this movie. But still his style is not flawless, at times he comes across as still being an amateur with some very strange shots and some even more bizarre cuts. More than one scene had him building up, suspense and emotion was all there and then he suddenly cuts to something completely different. It kills the feeling but also provides a kind of shock.
Also its probably worth having a little background on headhunting traditions before watching this film, without understanding about their culture at times you might just find yourself rooting for the Japanese side.
Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, sure it could've been better but at the same time it could've been a lot worse. It's receiving a lot of praise in Taiwan with this movie smashing records and the follow up looking set to break even more. One things for sure, I'll be booking my tickets for the second instalment.
The Last American Freak Show (2008)
After seeing an advertisement prior to the airing I felt quite intrigued by what I thought I was going to see.... but unfortunately it all fell flat.
A freak show run by, a few individuals who are classed as "able bodied people" do nothing more than exploit the people with the real disabilities. The freak show in itself is a farce, it's far from a freak show. It's basically a hillbillies travelling show, a group of people who are very little talent but want a stage to play on. They use the "freaks" as a way of marketing their poorly crafted show and to some extent it works.
Throughout the whole movie you can't help but dislike the creators of this show, they come across as being nothing more than complete losers who want to live life in such a carefree way they have no regard for anyone else.
Not only is the show and organisation of the freak show a complete pile of, you know what, the documentary in itself is also a poorly made piece. The creator seems to have very little direction with this, at no point to you really get a sense of what he's trying to get out of it. Usually a documentary has an ultimate goal, whether it be getting a message across or showing the audience something in a new light, whatever it is generally there is always a motive in making a documentary. The Last American Freakshow totally fails, in the creators introduction there is no mention of a goal and even in the end there is no kind of a conclusion. Pretty much all he shows is a group of people who have nothing else to do in life other than tour around being layabout bums.
Overall this was a very disappointing documentary, I was expecting something which would open my eyes, or at least be interesting but unfortunately after about the first 15minutes I was already looking at my watch. It was tempting when the commercials came on to switch channels and not return but I wasn't sensible enough to do that. If you missed this when it was aired on TV count yourself lucky as it's really nothing more than a waste of film.
Hái-kak chhit-ho (2008)
If you're not Taiwanese you might not like it...
This movie really captures the type of local people who live in the Southern parts of Taiwan. The true local people, the type who have never left their hometown and the type who have never adapted with the times. For a Taiwanese person this movie will be hilarious, it truly shows the older generation characters are being the way most of elders are. The actual foul language in Taiwanese dialect can never really be understood unless you realise how bad these words are, and the true meaning of said words and phrases.
Some would say this is a romantic comedy, for me it was more of just a comedy. The romance seemed little and not massively important to the story. For me the story was about a group of people coming together to create a band which no one would've ever thought possible, not the locals and not even the band members themselves. The romance was a side part, it wasn't enough to make you feel sorry for the characters or enough to make you want them to be together.
In Taiwan this is the biggest movie ever, well it certainly seems that way. The Taiwanese rant and rave about it like its the greatest thing since sliced bread, there might be many reasons why... Because it truly captures some of the Taiwanese elders perfectly, or perhaps because Taiwan makes very few movies. And the other only big movies made in Taiwan are of a sexual nature (Tsai Ming-liang).
Overall I did enjoy this movie but I feel without my knowledge of Mandarin language and Taiwanese Dialect, along with my experience of living in Taiwan for a number of years I wouldn't have enjoyed this movie as much. Without a true understanding of the setting there's no way I would've found even half of the jokes amusing.
I think if you know about Taiwanese culture, or if you've visited Taiwan you'll enjoy this movie. But if you don't have such knowledge or experiences you might want to pass this movie by as it won't be enough to entertain you for 2+hours.
Thick as Thieves (2009)
What no comments, no rating, no release date?!! This is what I first thought when looking at the IMDb page for this movie, "how can it be possible, a movie released here in Taiwan but not in America?!"
First off I had trouble finding this movie on IMDb since the English title given in Taiwan is The Code", where as according to IMDb its "Thick as Thieves"
I didn't know what to expect when entering this movie as I hadn't read a million posts on IMDb saying how its amazing and the others saying it should be the 2nd thing on your list to do after suicide.
It's pretty much your average bank heist movie, the story is based around a job which is utterly impossible unless you have amazing tools and gadgets which probably take longer to create than the whole security system of the bank they're planning to hit. The story moves along nicely, it has a few short moments where it seems to drift away from the main plot but it doesn't distract you from the main track. The acting by Freeman is his usual really, the more experienced and wiser man who once again does a decent job. The young rookie crook role goes to Banderas who generally does a good job but in the early stages of the movie just doesn't look right. The young rookie is the same as most the young cocky rookie's you see in most movies, unfortunately a middle aged man making wise cracks just doesn't look right on screen.
Like you'd expect there's a surprise ending which isn't so easy to figure out, or when you think you've figured it out you still end up being wrong. It's what you'd expect from a heist movie and it certainly doesn't disappoint. The directing is nothing special, it just seems like standard Hollywood movie making with nothing really standing out as being special. The dialogue is nothing flash, its normal dialogue with very little standout lines. The performances are once again nothing stand out, all the actors do a decent job in this movie but nothing worthy of an Oscar.
Overall this isn't a super awesome big time blockbuster, its an OK piece of cinema which is sure to entertain you but its not going to have you shouting from the roof tops
House on Haunted Hill (1999)
Was so good then it died of death
Overall I enjoy this movie but there's one element which just ruins the whole thing, the beginning of the end. The movie is quite a suspense filled movie, a lot of time spent wondering what is causing the things to happen....its all great until they decide to show the the "darkness" of the house. This turned the movie from being a straight up suspense horror to being a supernatural comedy. The darkness was a terrible thing to add, it would've been much better if it was Vannacutt's spirit killing everyone. You see Vannacutt on the CCTV monitor, he does his spasm thing then brings the operating tool to his face...this was generally quite a freaky/spooky moment. If there was more of Vannacutt I feel it would've been a lot more scary.
Really the movie is a good one until the "darkness" appears. I don't think its anything to do with the computer graphics being poor, or because the movie has aged etc...i feel the reason is it just doesn't fit. It's a terrible way to end the movie, they should've just kept you guessing what was causing all the death...was it Vannacutt, was it just an attempt to scare people gone too far?
before the ending i would give this movie 9, but because of the whole crap filled ending it only gets a 7.
Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
It's just Geat Fun!
What a movie, i adore it, I could watch this every week of my life! It's just a great movie to watch, its one of the best adrenaline rush movies you could ever see, its a fast pace movie filled with unbelievable stuns and just great humour. Honestly I don't know how anyone couldn't like this movie, its just too much fun too dislike.
It's not like any other action movie where you have those moments of emotion, it was pretty much bang bang you're dead, a little joke, run run, then bang bang you're dead some more. No actors were bad in this movie, everyone played their role well and made for a great action movie....the story isn't a bad one even though there isn't much too it. It's a fun movie to watch, nothing to think about, just sit back and enjoy the thrill ride. As i've said its a fast paced movie which doesn't really slow down, there's some classic comedy put into this movie also. If you don't like this movie then obviously you have no imagination, or perhaps you've just forgotten how to relax and have fun.
Absolutely disgusting how anyone would put money towards making this movie. God this movie sucks! It just felt so, so much wasted time with them in bars and in others cities...too much build up which really built to nothing. I didn't like the lead character, I basically wanted him to be killed and i expected it...so i was a little disappointed to find out he lived in the end.
I've waited a long time to see this movie, and now after seeing it I don't know what all the fuss was about. Generally i found this movie poor in most areas, the directing and writing both sucked (sorry Eli)!
Don't even waste your time seeing this movie, its dull to start with and by the time it actually starts getting interesting there's only 30 minutes left. It's a typical movie associated with Tarantino, thats right loads of filler!
Really just don't bother seeing this movie, it's dull and really has nothing to frighten anyone. The most entertaining bit of the whole movie was seeing Takashi Miike speaking English, now that is impressive. And on a note about Takashi Miike, if you want to see a gore filled movie just watch Ichi The Killer. It was evident in this movie that Roth wanted to copy Miike's style and did it quite badly!
Honestly don't see this movie...it'll only disappoint you.
Another disappointing horror of 2007
From seeing the trailer I was actually quite excited about this movie, I thought it was a very interesting concept. Generally thinking about the situation you realise the fear that could be experienced, imagine being trapped in a room, and not only that you have a few guys desperate to kill you in a horrific way, pretty terrifying isn't it?! From watching this movie you wouldn't think it was so terrifying, I felt no fear for the characters whatsoever. I was thinking how terrified I'd be in that same situation, I'd be panicking and generally having a mental breakdown with the fear, yet watching these characters in the situation didn't show me any of the true fear elements. I think generally the directing was off, he didn't know what he was doing in the whole horror department. There was no real tension or suspense really, there was a short scene where they were going through a tunnel but it was hardly nail biting stuff. There was the occasional jump moment but it was so predictable and not even enough to make you jump, he director used the whole silence and then extremely loud noise to try and get you, but it was just too predictable.
There was character building at the wrong moments, it was fine when they first went into the room and Luke Wilson was apologising to Kate Beckinsale for being a bad husband and for making them have problems ending up in them seemingly hating each other etc... then about 40 minutes later after being chased through the tunnel Kate Beckinsale has a crying moment and apologises to Luke Wilson for the problems also, why o' why??!! It was a completely unnecessary moment in the film, purely what I'd call 'filler'.
In the end Luke Wilson is stabbed, after about 5-10 minutes of screen time Kate Beckinsale gets to him and she's able to phone the police. Thats where the movie ends, first of all I'd like to comment that Luke Wilson was stabbed when it was night, not sure what time of the night but it was certainly dark. When Kate Beckinsale finally got to him it was light, so I'm saying it would've been at least an hour later, it's just a little unrealistic that he's still alive after that amount of time lying on the floor seemingly unconscious and bleeding. The way it ends was bad, she stabs the Motel manager, the camera goes back to his bloody corpse about three times, then follows Kate Beckinsale outside for the end scene. Why show the body that many times? The only time it would've been good for a cliché horror moment it didn't happen.
Lets be fair though, how many times has the whole car broken down scenario happened in a horror, come on change the record please!
I hate rating movies badly, I put myself into the position of the creators, I know how much hard work and countless hours go into making a movie so I know it must hurt to read bad reviews, but at the same time if you want to improve you must know your faults. I've given the movie 4 out of 10 which I feel is quite generous. I must admit I wasn't ever bored watching this movie, it easily passed the time but failed to get any reactions which you'd expect from a horror. Generally as a way of filling 80 minutes it works, but as a movie in the horror genre it doesn't.
The Hitcher (2007)
I wanted to see this just out of curiosity, I haven't really seen any American horror movies since the terrible remake of The Grudge, if all the American horror movies I've missed were anything like this then I'm truly glad I missed them. This movie was very poor indeed. It started good with a lot of promise then it just turned poor. They started to open up for what could've been multiple story lines but they didn't go any further. When the character of "Grace" said John Ryder was framing them I felt some promise, I thought the storyline would then proceed to a type of chase story, where the killer is chasing them but at the same time they're chasing him to stop themselves from being arrested for the murders. Unfortunately the first time you hear of "John" framing them is also the last time you hear of it. After "Jim" is killed "Grace" is being asked question by the Lieutenant, he states that "The Hitcher" is not actually "John Ryder", the real John Ryder went missing a few days before. The Lieutenant then begins asking "Grace" questions about The Hitcher, did he say where he came from etc... The Lieutenant then questions "The Hitcher" and he gets no answer, I thought this whole thing was opening up the storyline to find out who he really was, where he came from why he was committing all of these horrific murders
There above are two perfect examples of opens in the movie which went nowhere, all we really find out about "The Hitcher" character is he wants to die, and he obviously must like the feeling of killing people as he states to "Grace" at the end of the movie, "feels good doesn't it?!" This movie had no real direction, it had a few moments where it made the viewer jump but not a great deal, for the suspense, well....I should really say the "so-called suspense". The suspense was non existent. I think a huge problem was the fact I wasn't convinced by the characters, I couldn't feel their terror or fear. Both "Jim" and "Grace" didn't seem believable, after "The Hitcher" held a knife to them and they merely escaped death they stopped the car and slept, when they woke "Jim" made a joke about the fact they had a knife held to them. I'm afraid if a man held a knife to mine and my girlfriend's throat I certainly wouldn't be joking about it only hours later.
I wouldn't recommend anyone to see this movie. I personally feel Dave Meyers should stick to making music videos and leave the horror directing to someone who knows what they're doing.
Annually Retentive (2006)
Hilarious Panel Show
A brilliant idea for a show, a panel show but mostly the background to the show. Rob Brydon does an amazing performance, in my opinion the best performance he's ever done in TV. He's absolutely hilarious throughout, he plays himself, a man who believes he's bigger than the show but obviously he's nothing that he thinks he is. He believes he's a big time presenter but he's still just scraping the barrel.
This show is absolutely hilarious, every episode Rob Brydon does impressions of other British TV personalities and they're extremely funny, slip your side funny. Its a show everyone should see, if you like Alan Partridge you'll love this show, Rob Brydon is a horrible person, he complains non stop, moans about every little thing, and is completely superficial.
You must see this show, you'll laugh no matter who you are!! See it!
A brilliant movie which shows what could happen
If you know the state of the British police system at the moment this movie will seem very true to you. Danny Dyer sums it up in the first few minutes of the movie when his wife to be tells him, "I'll phone the police", his reply is simple yet very true. "They won't do anything"
"They won't do anything", this is the thoughts on every persons mind. In this current British government the law is a joke, prisoners being let out after serving a minimum sentence, the law seems to protect the criminals and not the victims. This is the whole meaning of the movie, and its a very true meaning. Criminals are walking the streets after committing brutal and savage crimes, "Outlaw" shows what the only solution is to stop their criminal ways.
I can't believe all the bad reviews I'm reading for this movie, its a brilliant piece of work. If such brutal crimes happened to you I'm almost certain you would set out for revenge. Your wife is killed along with your unborn child, the law system will give them a slap on the wrist. A 10 year sentence will never bring back your 10 years of marriage, or your future 40 years of life together, or the life of your unborn child.
In one point in "Outlaw" they attempt to hang the man who they feel is responsible for the murder of Cedric Munroe's (Lawyer) wife and unborn child, not only did he commit the murder but he also had a previous record for being a paedophile. Look at it from both perspectives, he murders your wife and child, you'd most likely want to kill him in anger. He performs sexual acts on your child, you'd most likely want to kill him.
The Outlaw group get revenge for themselves, all of the people they hurt are responsible for the crimes committed against them and the others around them. The do what the law system should do.
Outlaw is a brilliant story with a brilliant narrative. It shows exactly what could happen in the United Kingdom, if it isn't already happening. Its a brilliant movie which keeps you entertained and locked into the story from the opening till the end credits. Nick Love has made himself a true masterpiece, I've seen the movie twice at the cinema, if it was on tonight I'd definitely go and see it. Ansolutely brilliant, its not to be missed!
Life Line (2007)
A great new BBC production
I had no idea what this show was about before putting it on, really I only watched it as nothing else was on TV at that time. After watching the first half on the Tuesday night I was eager to see the second installment. The story was extremely interesting and seemed like something completely new for the BBC.
The plot is very simple, there is a married woman (Katey) who is having an affair. After her death the story follows her lover, the man who she was having the affair with. He is alone, he's lost the love of his life and doesn't know what he can do. A strange woman on the London Underground gives him a card telling him to call "Life Line", he phones the number and it is some kind of support group/chat line. He talks to a woman on there who seems to be exactly like his ex-lover Katey. After breaking one of the chat line rules he's banned from the service. He searches for the place where the chat line runs from, when he gets there its all locked up, no way in. There is a woman there who is also wanting to be in, desperate to get back onto "Life Line", they talk about what happened to their loved ones, from there all the pieces of the puzzle begin to unravel.
It is ultimately a story about life and death, and that after life its not necessarily all darkness. There is an afterlife if you're willing to believe, death is not the end but only a transition.
This story contains love affairs, true love, a plot of revenge, mystery and generally is something which is worth a watch. It seemed in some ways quite experimental for the BBC, a show touching on death but also the frequent sex scenes and some nudity are very much an area which the BBC stay away from.
It's not your typical two part drama from the BBC but something new completely, a show which touches on an interesting subject, something that could in fact be true. Perhaps there is a phone line somewhere that can connect you to another world, maybe people just haven't found it yet.
I recommend everyone out there to see this show, its definitely not to be missed. Without a doubt one of the best one off BBC dramas in a long time!
Funny Bones (1995)
A brilliant movie in all aspects
This is an amazing movie, a comedy story about comedy. It's hilarious throughout but not only that its a brilliant story on families. The movie is just a masterpiece, well written and well directed. A movie you would watch time and time again and still laugh at each joke. Funny Bones shows a brilliant portrayal of comedy in the seaside resort of Blackpool. Many acts have came and went through Blackpool, all being hugely famous in their time. The movie shows how you can be the biggest stars in the city one moment then it can all be gone in an instant. This movie shows a real side the Blackpool. And it shows it in a brilliant way, filmed all on set, the real Blackpool beach, the real town, the real amusement park. Everything including a lot of the extras were totally part of Blackpool. This is a brilliant British movie with a brilliant British cast. It has comedy throughout, it ranges from off the wall zany crazy comedy, all the way to subtle verbal comedy. A brilliant mix of visual and verbal comedy throughout this movie. A brilliant story about rediscovering who you are, a movie which shows you the past isn't always as happy or as sad as you believe it to be. This movie has it all. If you're British you'll adore it, if you're not British you'll love it just the same. A brilliant cast in this movie, comedy for everyone no matter who the person. Truly this movie doesn't get the due respect it deserves. This movie will always be a huge element in my DVD collection and after seeing it, you will feel the same way.
This movie will lighten up your life, its a true masterpiece. I recommend you see it in whatever way you can.
This movie is an embarrassment on English Football (Soccer) and on the North East culture. There was about three actors in this movie who are actually from the North East, the rest just pulled off terrible accents that sound nothing like a real north eastern/Geordie accent. The story is just feeble, the player is brought across to England where he plays football, yet at first it seems they haven't even seen him play because he appears appalling and they don't even want to play him in the first team. The portray of the North Eastern and Newcastle culture is absolutely shocking, it shows everyone in Newcastle being in some sort of poverty stricken place, everyone does the lower class jobs, working in car garages and things like that.
Goal! is a joke on the film industry and an absolute joke on English football. I recommend you stay clear of this movie, if you are from the north east you will feel insulted by what they pass off for the northern culture. If you're a Football fan you'll feel ashamed that anyone could make anything this pathetic and fake!