Recently Seen, Part 26 (March 2019)

Discussion in 'Cinema: International' started by ebossert, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Yes, I meant the Alzheimers one, what's so wrong with that????????????????????

    Your constant marvelling at wood abs makes your vision worse.
     
  2. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    There's another flick that comes to mind... The one where there's a past-day mother accused of Murder of her husband...And then goes Interstellar type where she goes through a door to see his present-day son.
     
  3. divemaster13

    divemaster13 Member: Rank 4

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    Tokyo Gore Police (2008)

    Well. It's presumably set in Tokyo. There are police. And there is certainly gore. Or at least lots of blades and saws and teethy arms/legs cutting through obviously fakey rubber suits and appendages to allow for copious amounts of blood to spray out and cover everything, including the camera lens. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat yet again.

    So the movie delivers exactly what you would expect it to deleiver. A perfect case of "it does what it says on the box."

    Unfortunatley for me, I chose the wrong box.

    1.5 stars.

    (But in keeping with the theme of the thread, a dude does get his sausage bitten off, so there is that.)
     
  4. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 4

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    It was decades ago that I watched this, and I've been wanting to revisit for quite a while. I was a huge fan of the novel in my early teenage years, and I think that coloured my impression of the film unfavourably ... I recall being quite disappointed with some of the changes that had been made to the story. It was David Gulpilil's first role - I would regard him as one of the finest Australian actors ever.
     
  5. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    Maybe you just don't like Eihi Shiina movies? "kiri kiri kiri" lollegs.gif
     
  6. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 4

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    The Road to Mandalay (Midi Z, 2016) begins with an understated surreptitious border crossing – Lianqing is taken in silence across a river, from Burma into Thailand, with the hope of finding a better life. On the journey to a north-eastern town where she hopes to meet up with others who have made the trip before her, a young man Guo takes an instant shine to her, and without invitation assumes the role of her protector and guardian. But while Guo wants nothing more than a job that puts food on the table one day at a time with a little left over to send home, Lianqing dreams of something more, and sees working as an illegal immigrant in a factory as nothing more than a stepping stone. Midi Z takes a neorealist approach (think Robert Bresson, or Aki Kaurismaki without the humour) to the dispassionate quasi-romance that follows, which I’m sure some people here will find off-putting. But what I really like in his approach is the natural imagery he captures and the way his films have a real sense of place – this wasn’t as much guerrilla filmmaking as his earlier Ice Poison, but he’s still got a way of making me feel immersed in the location, not just watching a bunch of actors doing their thing in a setting.
     
  7. divemaster13

    divemaster13 Member: Rank 4

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    Battle Creek Brawl (aka The Big Brawl) (1980)

    Not really an "international" film, as it was a Warner Brothers (Hollywood) effort, directed and shot in the U.S. by a U.S. crew and (mostly) U.S. cast. Filmed in English (not dubbed). I guess that since everyone spoke English, it doesn't matter that Jackie Chan's uncle is played by a Japanese actor. I believe some of the production money came from Golden Harvest (HK), so perhaps that will qualify it for being an "Asian" film.

    Not a lot to recommend here except as a novelty to see Jackie Chan in his first U.S. movie. It's not any sillier than some of Chan's Hong Kong slapsticky films, but there's just something about seeing Jackie mugging for the camera while doing stunts in a HK movie that just seems more palatable than him doing it in an English speaking movie. The stunts aren't that great, and since he is fighting big beefy wrestler types here, and not martial artists, there's not much chance to see his real skills. The story is mildly entertaining/interesting, but a subplot that is introduced and could have been the source of some real laughs (or drama) was totally forgotten about. But all in all, it probably has more of a plot than some of Chan's earlier HK stuff. Worth a look if you happen to catch it or are a Jackie Chan fan.

    2.5 stars
     
  8. divemaster13

    divemaster13 Member: Rank 4

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    6ixtynin9 (1999) (Thailand)

    A cute and fun flick. I didn't find it as funny as y'all who recommended it, but the increasing absurdity of the situations kept me interested and entertained. And the lead girl was cute and I liked her style. I noticed a few continuity errors and I hated the ending, but all in all a fun film.

    (Is it just me, or is the Thai language just sooo annoying? From the dudes, I can take it, but listening to girls speaking Thai is like fingernails on the blackboard. Just not a pretty sound at all.)

    3 stars
     
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  9. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 4

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    Tampopo (Juzo Itami, 1985) is a downtrodden, harried single mother trying to make ends meet by running a not very good ramen bar, a hangout for various lowlife drifters that treat her with contempt. Then one dark and stormy night, a tall, handsome stranger and his sidekick swagger into the bar … they’re not looking for trouble, but they find it anyway, when defending Tampopo’s honour. So instead of riding off into the distance they stay, promising to turn the place into the best ramen stall in the land.

    This is famed as one of the great food movies of all time, and true to its reputation, I doubt anyone could manage to watch it all in one sitting, without the need for a meal break. It’s an absolute hoot, with the storyline meandering all over the place – structurally, it’s kind of like wandering through a marketplace, full of little side alleys, distractions and diversions to go and explore before snapping back to main storyline. Wacky, completely unique, and essential fare that everyone should try at least once in their life.


    Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee, 1994) is a family drama that follows the lives and loves of three young-adult sisters and their windowed father, a semi-retired master chef who steadfastly holds on to the tradition of bringing everyone together for a feast every Sunday. It begins with a mouth-watering montage of his preparation for the meal, punctuated with introductions to the three daughters; the eldest a devoutly born-again Christian, the middle a high-powered career woman who enjoys the company of her friends with benefits, and the youngest a care-free student doling out love advice to her co-workers at the burger place she works.

    This rather happy and fairly standard beginning to the film becomes a bit disorientating when we get to the meal, though, as the bounciness of their individual lives give way to a meal where the atmosphere of is so awkward and thick you cut it with a knife. This isn’t family dynamics where people let out their emotions; rather there’s this undercurrent of unspoken resentment that simmering tensions that lie below the surface. The children are growing, they’re readying to leave the nest, and their father is neither ready to accept it, nor really capable of expressing his love in a way that the modern young women can understand.

    I originally watched this when it first came out on VHS, and liked it alright in a “I can see that it’s well done, but it didn’t really grab me” kind of way. This time around, I thought it was brilliant, a magnificent array of wonderfully created characters that are completely relatable. I loved every minute of the journey the film took me on – only the most uncultured philistine could find this boring!
     
  10. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    ^Food themes everywhere.
     
  11. divemaster13

    divemaster13 Member: Rank 4

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    From a while back:

    Oh my god, what a powerful movie. I'm going to need a day or so to process this one. It's an emotional punch in the gut. With something like this, it's hard to say I was "entertained," but I was moved. This affected me to the core. I'll give you my rating up front. Thoughts to follow at some point; I can't hqrdly talk right now.

    4.5 stars
     
  12. divemaster13

    divemaster13 Member: Rank 4

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    Han Gong-ju (2013)

    I went into this completely cold. I knew nothing of the plot or circumstances of the film. I'm not going to give any major spoilers below, but will have to frame the discussion, so if you haven't seen it and want to go in blind (like I did, and very much recommend you doing as well), then read no further.

    ......

    ......

    The movie starts off with a group of teachers surrounding Gong-ju, a teen girl about 16. Everyone is obviously distraught. "It's not your fault" they tell her, but it is soon obvious that she isn't welcome in her school any more. So her teacher schleps her off to another city and calls in a favor to get the principal of the new school to enroll her as a student. Since her mother and father are obviously absent from the picture, he convinces his mother to take her in to live with her. The teacher's mother is not real keen on the idea.

    I don't think I need to disclose any more actual plot points. The viewer is not clued in to exactly what Gong-ju did, until the movie is ready to reveal that. Sure, there are hints at the nature of the situation, but we don't know the details. We follow Gong-ju as she tries to get on with her high school life, and little by little the film opens itself up to us. And with every revelation, we get to know (and like) Gong-ju more and more.

    Unlike the stereotypical circumstance of the school kids not accepting, or making fun, or bullying the "new kid," several of the female students are intrigued by her and try honestly to befriend her. Gong-ju revelas some talents that make the girls like and respect her even more. Gong-ju vascillates between accepting the friendship and setting rigid boundaries that test those friendships.

    The last half hour of the movie is some of the most powerful cinema I can recall. We've gotten to know and love Gong-ju...and...and...well, it angers me to think how Korean society obviously considers girls. Like something to be discarded, I guess. Whether as a toy or a piece of trash. Once used, just throw it away. This applies to her parents, (some) of her peers, school administrators, and a large number of other adults. Even her teacher, who does show her kindness, seems to be motivated by getting rid of the problem by hiding it than by offering real help. Other adults in a position of authority behave despicalby. There is a scene at the school that is just devastating. When the dad shows up, and we finally realize why, it is doubly devastsating. The musical cue at the end is the final straw. I felt like someone reached into my gut and yanked emotions out of me I didn't know I had.

    What makes it even more effective is that the movie is based on a true story. This really happened. I didn't know that going in to the movie, but a few wiki links I researched after watching made it quite obvious that the way Korean society was portrayed in the movie was 100% accurate as to how the girl was treated. This angers me.

    One further thing to note: the movie was quite confusing in that it bounced between "present" and "flashback" with no real cues that was happening. I had to rewind and rewatch some scenes b/c at some points I was very confused about who Gong-ju was talking to and what their role was. Helpful hint: When Gong-ju is working at the 7-11; that's the past. The other store is the present. When she's talking with her long-haired friend, that's the past. The short-haired girl is the present. If you keep that straight, you can suss out the rest, but you really have to be paying attention. That's the only reason for the half-star deduction.

    4.5 stars
     
  13. ebossert

    ebossert Member: Rank 3

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    Nice review of Han Gong-ju. Chun Woo-hee is great in it.
     
  14. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Okay I'll watch Han Gong-ju in the next couple of days.
     

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