Recently Seen, Part 16 (May 2018)

Discussion in 'Cinema: International' started by Daniel Larusso, May 5, 2018.

  1. Daniel Larusso

    Daniel Larusso Member: Rank 3

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    Best films I've watched lately...

    [​IMG]
    Your Name. (2016) - 2nd viewing
    Beautiful love/fantasy/time travel story that covers emotions of falling in love for someone even if you haven't actually met. The feeling that someone out there loves you. Characters are so likeable and the animation is wonderful. Romance and comedy is so well balanced. Soundtrack is very catchy. Not only my favourite film from director Makoto Shinkai but also my favourite anime film of all time.
    9/10

    Die Hard (1988)
    I can't believe I had never seen this film before. Around 10 years ago I rented Die Hard with a Vengeance (the 3rd one with Samuel L. Jackson) thinking that it was the original film. I thought it was okay but didn't care enough to watch the sequels until now. Only when I was watching the first film in the series I realized that I had never seen before, it blew my mind. What a great film!
    8/10

    ... and the worst:

    Fires on the Plain (2014)
    Awfully cheap, feels like a student film.
    1/10

    Outrage Coda (2017)
    Not a fan of the Outrage films...
    3/10

    Die Hard 4 & 5
    Bad action films with nothing to do with the original. These are not Die Hard films, they just share the same title.
    4/10 & 1/10
     
  2. JepGambardella

    JepGambardella Member: Rank 1

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    I saw "Your Name" aboard an airplane and loved it - so much so that I bought the blu-ray when it came out, to watch it again on a bigger screen (which I haven't done yet).

    I walked out of "Outrage Coda". A bunch of Yakuza guys from various gangs talking endlessly about who is allied with whom and who betrayed who? Maybe it got better at the end, but I didn't stick around.

    I just finished watching "Survive Style 5", which must have been recommended by someone here or on the old board. What a bizarre (but enjoyable) movie.
     
  3. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    I've been meaning to watch Your Name. for a while. I liked his foot fetish cartoon but not the one about a school teacher chasing lost voices from deep below.
     
  4. ebossert

    ebossert Member: Rank 3

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    Work has been atrocious lately. This is what I've managed to see during the past few weeks.

    Highly Recommended

    Birdshot (2016) (Filipino Drama/Thriller) – A 14-year-old girl wants to explore the land beyond the family’s isolated shack, but her father does not approve. She hunts and kills an endangered bird in a nearby sanctuary, which brings trouble. Meanwhile, a new cop rebels against his superiors and continues his investigation into a group of people who suddenly went missing. This is a solid movie from top to bottom. Acting is really good, with Mary Joy Apostol being a stand-out. Direction is also top notch as it creates a quiet tension that hangs over the characters at all times. There’s impressive character development, thematic depth, and social commentary in this movie too. Sound design is impactful and it sticks its ending too. For a blend of coming-of-age and police procedural, this is great stuff.

    My Wife Is Having An Affair This Week (aka Listen To Love) (2016) (Korean Romantic Comedy/Drama Television Series) – A TV program director (Sun-kyun Lee) suspects that his wife (Ji-hyo Song) is having an affair. If you think this K-drama is going to cop-out with its premise, it does not! The script explores the psychological impact of infidelity. There’s a lot of very direct dialogue in this show, with some difficult conversations being had by many characters. This definitely has a more serious romantic/dramatic edge to it. For some reason, I really wanted this marriage to survive and these two characters to end up together. I’ve never seen a K-drama that showcases marriage as something this difficult, since it’s portrayed as a constant struggle. With that said, there’s plenty of comedy that’s blended in and somehow works really well. This is perfectly cast, interesting, and rather brief at only 12 episodes (70 minutes each). Impressive stuff that’s based on a J-drama from 2007, which I haven’t seen.

    Recommended

    Dear Etranger (2017) (Japanese Drama) – A 40-year old man (Tadanobu Asano) sees his life change when his wife gets pregnant and he is demoted at work. He already has a daughter from his first marriage whom he rarely sees and two step-daughters, from his wife’s first marriage. One of the girls creates all kinds of problems for the family. This is basically about a man who must deal with his insufferably bitchy teenage daughter who viciously resents him for not being her biological parent. This movie showcases the fact that teenage children are a gigantic pain in the ass, which makes it entirely realistic and dramatically impactful. Asano is really good in this. Deliberately paced and a bit on the long side, but it’s good stuff.

    Who Killed Cock Robin? (2017) (Taiwanese Thriller/Drama) –A journalist witnessed a hit-and-run crash on a mountain road when his vehicle broke down. Years later, he discovers that his second-hand car is connected to that accident and he begins his search for the truth behind this long forgotten case. This is well-acted and shot. The story works in its simplicity and avoids getting too convoluted. It’s also quietly suspenseful, with a few legitimately disturbing moments of violence. On the negative side, there are some scriptwriting cliches and improbable coincidences that are used to drive the plot forward.

    Not Recommended

    Shinjuku Swan 2 (2017) (Japanese Crime Drama) – Our protagonist from the first film returns to scout more hot girls, but butts heads with the CEO of another scout company in this film by Sion Sono. Tadanobu Asano is added to the cast this time, but the script consists of many boring conversations involving dull-as-dirt characters. A lame flick that contributes only a few memorable moments (e.g., a short scene involving falling billboard lights, and the fist fight finale). It’s also way too long at 133 minutes.

    Will You Be There? (2016) (Korean Drama/Romance) – A surgeon with a terminal illness goes back in time to see his old flame again. The acting is probably the best thing to see here. Unfortunately, the negatives outweigh the positives. The time travel conflicts are very generic and lacking in discernable logic – likely the product of a lame script. The tempo is also lethargic. This is a dull movie that is entirely forgettable.

    The Room (2003) (American Drama/Romance) – Johnny is a successful banker who lives happily in a San Francisco townhouse with his fiance, Lisa. One day, inexplicably, she gets bored with him and decides to seduce his best friend, Mark. From there, nothing will be the same again. This is considered to be one of the best “so bad, it’s good” movies in existence, but it’s surprisingly boring given its reputation. The opening half hour is almost unwatchable because it lays on lame sex scene after lame sex scene. There’s also a lot of boring, repetitive dialogue between Lisa and her mother. Sure, there are a handful of funny moments when Tommy Wiseau attempts to act in this soap opera-ish debacle (especially the last 15 or so minutes). And yes, it’s a bad film that somehow had a $6 million budget despite looking like a Z-grade made-for-television flick, but a “so bad, it’s good” film should not be this difficult to sit thru.
     
  5. Daniel Larusso

    Daniel Larusso Member: Rank 3

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    [​IMG]
    Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
    So awesome, best in the MCU. Thanos is such a good villain!
    8/10


    [​IMG]
    Shinjuku Swan II (2017)
    Sion Sono's worst film since his early works. I wasn't a huge fan of the original film but I can remember that one had a story to follow and a very interesting relationship between our main character and Erika Sawajiri. This sequel feels so unnecessary, lazy and even cheap for a generic blockbuster.
    Story and conversations are very boring, there isn't anything memorable going on in this film.
    I wanted to find some stuff to enjoy but the fun fighting sequences are not enough to save this film.
    4/10
     
  6. Daniel Larusso

    Daniel Larusso Member: Rank 3

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  7. BuX

    BuX Member: Rank 1

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    I've recently seen:

    The Wailing: South Korea, 2016,

    Fantastic film, really recomend it. Na Hong-jin, who directed The Chaser, brings us in my opinion his best film. In a small town residents mysteriously die and kill each other. A local detective gets caught up in these happenings and through twists and turns becomes more involved which leads him and his family into trouble.

    White Tiger: Russia, 2012,

    White Tiger is a WW2 war film about a tank crew who get totally outnumbered and destroyed by a tank they call 'The White Tiger' who is invincible. One solider who survives being burnt alive inside a tank makes a recovery and claims to have seen The White Tiger. He is then tasked to destroy this said tank to help the Russians advance on the Germans. I really liked this film, part war film, part mystery/ghost film and by the end you realise what it was all about.

    Full Metal Jacket: British/American,1987,

    Stanley Kubrick used to live very close to my home in the UK, literally 10km away. Many of his films were filmed nearby, the crew from A Clockwork Orange had their lunch breaks in the local pub for example. One of the many films filmed near to me was Full Metal Jacket, the barracks scene in the first half, the 2nd half was filmed in East London. So i finally got round to watch it and im so glad I did. It was a fantastic film, had all the marks of a Kubrick film, and covered all aspects of war, from the start, till the end.

    The Baader Meinhof Complex: Germany, 2008,

    I have mixed feelings about this film, probably need a second watch. However I quite liked it. Left-wing terrorism was rife in West Germany in the 1980's and The Baader Meinhof Group was the most known, bombing buildings, killing politicians etc etc. This film based on these real life events capture the era very well, from clothing, cars and music. Although at 150 mins its quite a long film, with such an important event in German history its not so much of a problem. But here lies its main problem. Ouside of Germany these events are not so well known about, but for German viewers these events are still very recent, so will mean more to them that it would to me and others. Understanding the events, Munich Massacre 1972 and Lufthansa Flight 615 Hijacking along with others will help with the enjoyment of the film.

    Closet Monster: Canada, 2015,

    Directional debut from the 29 year old Stephen Dunn is a brilliant coming of age film about a boy who struggles with his sexuality, based on the directors own experiences. I really liked this film, follows the teenager from his young days, his struggles with family and himself. With great music, acting and story its by far one of the best coming of age films ive seen since Boyhood.


    Amores Perros: Mexico, 2000, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XToRtfQbeHg

    Wasn't expecting a film split into 3 parts. Each part totally different, all conected via a car crash. I thought this film was great, expecially a Mexican film. But I really was taken to it. I felt sorry for the characters, a connection with them too. One thing also connected are the dogs, each segment features dogs which really are the stars of the film. Beginning part is quite brutal, although acted, but get past that and its a great film.


    This is it for now, more films to follow. Please comment and discuss.
     
    #7 BuX, May 17, 2018
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  8. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    If I watch this doc will it make me think less or more of Sono as a person?

    We had quite the go 'round on this film a while back. Who was naughty and who was nice. What kind of underpants do Japanese and Koreans wear, etc. It's a great, ambitious film, but I think The Chaser is still his best film.

    Good golly, man. Glad you finally got around to this. I think I have watched it a dozen times. So immersive.

    Been a while since I've seen it, but I gave it an 8.143/10 and remember it was an intense flick. Iñárritu is a great film maker, imo. I don't know why I never got around to Biutiful. Have you seen it?
     
  9. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Amores Perros was really great. Vanessa Bauche was brilliant in it.
     
  10. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Old Stone (Johnny Ma, 2016) has an apparent narrative that is straight drama, told almost as a docudrama. A taxi driver has accidentally hit and injured a motorcyclist, it was the fault of a drunk passenger who has fled the scene, and in a moment of panic he drives the victim to the hospital instead of waiting for the ambulance. It was simple act of impulsive kindness, but one that defines his character - here is a man that cannot but do what he instinctively, even stubbornly, feels is the moral thing to do, regardless of the consequences. The drama concerns itself with those consequences, as our protagonist finds himself caught up in a bureaucratic nightmare as everyone else walks away from the now comatose victim, leaving the taxi-driver with a spiralling hospital bill and a disintegrating family life.

    I’ve read a number of reviews that view this film as a critique or commentary on contemporary Chinese society, but I tend to think that this view misses the core of the film. Sure it’s set in China, and at the heart of the film is an angst about what is happening with the society as everyone increasing looks after their own ass instead of their community, but out protagonist is an everyman, and the dilemmas and moral quandaries he faces are those that are faced by individuals in any society.

    But even more than that, and even more cleverly, the film is deceptive in purporting to be a drama about social issues. The first three minutes is really a portend to the true nature of the film - opening with an shot of a forest, the dense foliage a lush green that takes up the whole screen, the branches moving in constant waves, being tossed this way and that, as if a storm is brewing ominously. Cut to a view of our dishevelled taxi-driver sitting in his car, chain-smoking nervously, swigging from a bottle, waiting, watching. And then following when his prey appears … this ain’t no drama, it’s a horror movie in disguise.


    Mrs K (Yuhang Ho, 2016) had a beginning that left me feeling somewhat discombobulated - I thought I was watching a Hong Kong movie, but there are people wearing shoes in the house, Kara Wai is shopping at Pasaraya, and when the opening fight scene comes along, our action heroine is as gingerly creaky as I am getting out of bed in the morning! All of this is explained in the plot, which is a whole lotta fun but really doesn’t amount to much. Still, it was a good popcorn flick, and Simon Yam proves once again what a great bad actor he is.
     
  11. ebossert

    ebossert Member: Rank 3

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    Highly Recommended

    1987: When the Day Comes (2017) (Korean Thriller/Drama) – In 1987 Korea, under an oppressive military regime, the unlawful interrogation and death of a college student ignite ordinary citizens to fight for the truth and bring about justice. This is a solid dramatic film that expertly utilizes a variety of characters who are affected by the political events at hand. Some very thrilling sequences and stifling tension as well.

    Jailbreak (2017) (Cambodian Action) – A special task force gets trapped in the prison and have to fight their way out for survival, while also protecting a key witness. The characters have very limited access to guns, which means that everyone is forced to use their fists and nearby objects to defend themselves. Martial arts choreography is precise and exciting. The actors are talented and the direction/camerawork is impressive. The opening 30 or so minutes are used to set-up the plot, characters, and scenario – but the rest of the film is filled to the brim with balls-to-the-wall smackdowns. In terms of flaws, the dialogue and acting are rather stiff. There is also a bit of cheesiness here and there. Fun movie though.

    Ajin: Demi Human (2017) (Japanese Action) – A young man (Takeru Satoh) discovers that he is an “Ajin”, a demi-human being who can regenerate after death by using a “ghost” that co-exists within his own body. He crosses paths with another Ajin (Go Ayano) who is terrorizing the city of Tokyo. Unlike most Japanese blockbusters, this film is a legitimately crowd-pleasing, high octane thrill ride. The action is plentiful and exciting to watch, mostly because the mix of shootouts and hand-to-hand combat is surprisingly well-choreographed, grounded and violent. The “ghosts” are CGI, but they work fairly well because their character design makes them smoky and etherial. The character development is weak, but Go Ayano is a great villain regardless; he’s a badass who practically gets more screentime than the protagonist. Directed by Katsuyuki Motohiro.

    Recommended

    Chasing the Dragon (2017) (Chinese Crime Action/Drama) – In an attempt to save his acquaintances who constantly get in trouble, Donnie Yen gets roped into the triad underworld. The script is weak, the protagonists are simplistic, the British villains are entirely one-dimensional, and the more melodramatic moments don’t work (especially the music, which is awful) . . . but there is plenty of conflict and people getting violently beaten and sliced! The fights are very scrappy and avoid martial arts completely, but they are still entertaining. Best scene in the movie is when Andy Lau gets screwed over and has to run for his life thru a network of alleyways. The finale is good too. This is surprisingly fun and briskly paced despite its crappy script.

    The Magnificent Seven (1960) (American Western Action/Drama) – An oppressed Mexican peasant village hires seven gunfighters to help defend their homes. This remake of “Seven Samurai” (1954) has a fantastic cast (Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Eli Wallach, etc.). It’s one of the more popular remakes of Japanese movies, and one can see why. It sets things up nicely, the dialogue is good, and the action is effective, albeit unexceptional. It does meander a bit, and Eli Wallach disappears for too long a time, but this is good.

    Eight Below (2006) (American Drama) – This is a remake of the fantastic Japanese film “Antarctica”, where an Antarctic guide helps a scientist reach a destination in a snowstorm. Brutal cold forces them to leave their team of sled dogs behind as they fend for their survival. Paul Walker is good in this, even though he essentially plays himself (he is convincing in his portrayal of a character who knows how to maneuver the icy terrain). Some of the humor seems forced at times, and Jason Biggs is kinda annoying. The Japanese film felt like a documentary, but this always feels like a theatrical film because the filmmakers are too scared to spend too much time with the dogs when they’re by themselves in the wilderness (instead opting to give Paul Walker almost all of the screentime). There’s also an odd action scene involving a gigantic CGI seal. Scoring is also rather generic and a bit too happy in tone. Good movie though.

    Leviathon (2014) (Russian Drama) – In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family. This has very good performances that feel natural and real. This has a basic story early on, but morphs into something a bit more interesting during the latter half. The helplessness of the protagonist is portrayed well. However, it is a bit long at 141 minutes and also has some dry spots.

    Not Recommended

    The Disaster Artist (2017) (American Comedy/Drama) – When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true. The opening half hour is the same situation replayed over and over and over again – Tommy goes to acting auditions and people laugh at him. James Franco does a good job mimicking Tommy’s accent and mannerisms, but the film itself is weak and fails to give any insight into the man (or the production of the film) that the viewer wouldn’t already know or assume from simply watching “The Room.” This is incredibly shallow and surprisingly dull. The most amazing thing is that “The Room” had such a boring real-life backstory. I did like the ending though.

    To Walk Beside You (2009) (Japanese Drama/Comedy) – A 17-year-old country boy begins dating his 34-year-old teacher, who convinces him that he should move to Tokyo with her and become a lawyer on her dime. Starting rather abruptly, this film is immediately awkward and never really recovers. Scoring is goofy and makes the movie feel low-grade, but the biggest problem is the main character (the young man), who is very boring. Practically no fluidity to the story, making most scenes feel detached from one another (i.e., the script is weak). On the positive side, there are a few good moments here and there. The lead actress is good too.

    Jump (2003) (Japanese Drama) – The story is about an ordinary salary man who searches for his missing lover, while suffering at work due to his negligence. Performances are good, but this is very boring to watch. The ultimate reason for her disappearance is the least interesting thing you could possibly imagine.

    Outrage Coda (aka Outrage Final) (2017) (Japanese Crime Drama/Action) – Takeshi Kitano directs and stars in the third film of this franchise. Unfortunately, there are too many boring conversations between uninteresting characters. There’s no dramatic build-up or development of conflicts at all; people just sit around and talk about the characters that are not in the room. Rinse and repeat. Shootouts are very short, generic, and repetitive. The ending is stupid.
     
  12. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    Long time guilty pleasure of mine.

    ... and listening to a report on the radio about that incident where a truck driver ran over an infant, purposely, for reasons deeply rooted in Chinese-ness. I figured you would like this one. I think it's very much a Chinese film about China, but yeah, everyman too. This is one we should have group watched and discussed.
     
  13. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Accordingly to this article, the Canadian director of Old Stone had originally set the story in Detroit, with Michael Shannon slated (no pun intended) for the lead role.
     
  14. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    That would have been an entirely different movie, probably one not so firmly rooted in Chinese-ness as the one we ended up with. Moral quandaries can be universal, but the plot points they bounce around reveal.

    I would not have enjoyed the film if it came off (to me) as "a critique or commentary on contemporary Chinese society", because when message or agenda or critique or commentary gets in the way of a film, I tend to upchuck.

    What did you think of the ending? Cheap? Brilliant? Absurd? It seemed to echo the news report that opened the film.
     
  15. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    I'll go with poetically brilliant, with a caveat that I'm referring to the poetry sometimes found in B-grade horrors, not the same poetry found in, say, A Quiet Dream.

    To be honest, I think the news report at the beginning was a mistake, it was way too blunt. I thought the ending didn't so much echo that short scene, rather it explicitly referenced it with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Ma could have left the ending to simply echo the recurring overhead images of the forest in turmoil, and it would have been perfect.
     
  16. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Pure genre - I've seen the exact same ending countless times since my early teenage years, but when it popped up here, I was completely blindsided.
    Just when you think the nightmare is over for the main character, Freddy or Jason or whatever bogeyman has been causing mayhem pops up for one last go
     
  17. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    Wait. What? Who was the bogeyman popping up again?

    I'm totally sympathetic to, and share, your aversion to unsubtle over-explanations, deliveries and whatnot, but the massive irony of the final scene is overwhelming, and worth the gamble (Oh no, don't shoot, etc.) in my mind--sledgehammer delivery notwithstanding because Ma didn't telegraph to us that the film was going there. Blindsided, yeah. Horror in hindsight. But the irony. The irony.
     
  18. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    The dark side of human nature. Some of Nick Cave's words spring to mind:
    But watch the one falling in the street
    See him gesture to his neighbours
    See him trampled beneath their feet
    All outward motion connects to nothing
    For each is concerned with their immediate need
    Witness the man reaching up from the gutter
    See the other one stumbling on who can not see
     
  19. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    The Sion Sono (Jônetsu tairiku Presents Sono Shion to iu ikimono) [2016] • Japan
    7.39555/10

    I was worried that watching this might somehow make me feel icky toward Sono. But he's okay. He's a guy who could never do anything on this earth except art. The doc comes off like a DVD extra (accompanying The Whispering Star) more than a full blown Biography, but there is a little time spent with family and friends. Lots of time with just him and his creative process. It's made clear that he's a painter and a poet as much, if not more, than a film maker. He's pure art id and believes expression is the product. At one point he says he goes for "quantity over quality ... something will be good".

    A couple other highlights: Shôta Sometani tells the story of when he and Fumi Nikaidô went in for the initial reading for Himizu. Sono was drunk and passed out. Another scene, showing them filming Whispering Star, has Sono standing in the middle of a street, his head hanging down, sound asleep. Standing there. People are milling around him. I'm sure he was working too.

    What can you say about a guy whose wife sheds tears of horror remembering the early days of their relationship?
     
  20. BuX

    BuX Member: Rank 1

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    Ive recently seen:

    Dead Snow: Norwegian, 2009,

    Not a fan of horror, but this is more comedy. Nothing special, nazi soldiers come alive in a remote snowy part of Norway, but come back as zombies. Youngsters holidaying in a hut are spooked by some creatures outside the window, turns out they are nazi's. Its a fun low budget film, with plenty of action and gore.

    Love and Peace: Japan, 2015,

    It seems there are mixed feelings for Sion Sono films, my first was Love Exposure, watched it all in one viewing, just amazing. Film4 loves screening it on TV! (a UK channel from Channel 4, who screen lots of educational, world film and television. The Channel behind Skins, Shameless, Teachers, Grand Designs, Utopia etc.) Love and Peace with its UK age rating of 15yrs, obviously wasnt one of his shocking films, but none the less I was looking forward to it. About 40 mins in I came across a very surreal scene, that shouted out 'Japanese' to me and I really did start liking this film even more. Yes its weird, unusal but it was heartwarming, brought a smile to my face. Its not everyones cup of tea, but with so much detail and emotion Sono has pulled it off. Normally I'm not a fan of these over the top films, due to the realism, but the ending for me leaves it up to the viewer to decide if it was real or not, and just apart of the main characters dream and wish. One of the best films ive seen this year.

    Hardcore Henry: Russia, 2015,

    One of the most unique films ever made, completely in first-person, shoot-outs, parkour, car chases, person to person fighting, you name it. Although its great in terms of technical style, action and pure fun the storyline isnt so great. Nonetheless its a great film, I do recomend.

    The Handmaiden: Korea, 2016,

    Based on the UK novel, Fingersmith, Park Chan-wook's The Handmaiden is a lavish film set in Korea and Japan in the 1930's. It starts off quite normal, very understandble, untill the scene of lesbian sex. Not a problem, just wasnt expecting it. Through twists and turns, Park Chan-wook style, and more lesbian sex, the film becomes a revenge film, Park style (Oldboy.) Its a great film, fantastic sets, acting and storyline makes it one of the best films ive seen for a while.

    A Hijacking: Denmark, 2012,

    On reading storys of true hijackings of Danish ships in the Indian Ocean director Tobias Lindholm wanted to make a film about it. Using a real ship, filming in the Indian Ocean, using real life ship crew as extras, who were also involved in previous hijackings, and having armed guards protecting the production the film is very realistic and gritty. Most of the film centers around the ships chef who has to cook for the pirates, who is also tasked with communicating with the head office back in Denmark to settle to ransom. A great film, I highly recommend due to its pure realism.

    Ballast: USA, 2008, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGjIFG9miEw

    Ballast is the first film by Lance Hammer, who is a visual artist, working on films such as Batman and Robin (1997.) It follows a divided family living in seperate homes in rural America who struggle after the suicide of a family member in his home. The dead mans brother is most affected, and after and failing sucide himself he becomes reclusive. The dead brothers young son is drawn into guns and local yobs and after not paying a debt him and his mum seek help from the boys uncle. They form a bond, while dealing with the effect of the death of the loved one and the harsh bleak prospects they have. A great film, very bleak rural life but the visuals are stunning. Strongly recommend.
     

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