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Member's Reviews

In the Mood for Love, a review by Jon

In the Mood for Love (Dut yeung nin wa)
5 out of 5

Hong Kong 1962.   Chow (Tony Leung - Happy Together, Hard Boiled) is a junior newspaper reporter with an elusive wife.   His new neighbour, Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung - Days of Being Wild, Irma Vep), is a sectretary whose husband seems to spend all his time on business trips.   they become friends, making the lonely evenings more bearable.   As their relationship develops they make a discovery that changes their life forever...

In this sumptuous expolration of desire, internationally acclaimed director Wong Kar-Wai (Chungking Express, Happy Together, Fallen Angels) creates a world of sensuality and longing that will leave you breathless.   "In the Mood for Love" has seduced audiences and critics alike, winning awards at Cannes 2000 for best actor, cinematography and editing.

In The Mood For Love is a spellbinding and adult romance, beautifully filmed in traditional techniques that put photography as important as anything else. It’s moody, yet colourful palette, evokes a sultry, smoky atmosphere to perfectly accompany the enigmatic screenplay. It has a wonderful theme too, frequently accompanying slow motion sequences. I had thought the film was reminding me of 1950s British drama in its composition and character, but when that first slow motion scene came in, it became something else entirely. Throughout, Wong Kar Wai’s editing is sublime, languishing on key moments, cutting into others. It is a story driven by emotions rather than events; it isn’t entirely clear even how much time passes before the final act when we jump forward a year, and then a little further.

Chow (Tony Leung) and Mrs. Chan (Maggie Ceung), along with their spouses, are lodging in neighbouring apartments. Chow’s wife and Mr. Chan both work overseas a lot. Soon, it is clear they are having an affair. The remaining lonely couple start to share more and more time, but are determined not to fall into the same trap and stay faithful to their absent partners, regardless of what they may be up to. Regardless, they find it difficult to remain inconspicuous especially from the people who share their homes with them. Soon hard decisions have to be made.

What is fascinating about the narrative is that almost none of this is explicit. For example, we do see and hear both the spouses, but only briefly and never their faces. We are concerned only with the central pair and it is their conversations that reveal the path. The scene where they finally admit suspicions is brilliantly done.

Refreshingly, this is a purely emotional film about desire, and it is very powerful. Absolutely superb and I can’t think of anything similar in recent years. It is unique and quite special.

(From DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter thread on November 8th, 2009)

Member's Reviews

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a review by Danae Cassandra

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Year of Release: 2013
Directed By: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Armitage
Genre: Fantasy, Action

The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.

My Thoughts:
First let me say, I love Middle-Earth.  I love the characters and the setting and everything about it.  Being overlong only means that we get to spend more time in Middle-Earth.  Yes, I want the extended version.

First, the good.  Martin Freeman is great as Bilbo.  I could probably watch Ian McKellen do just about anything.  Richard Armitage's Thorin is wonderful (if very different from the book), and I can now see the set-up for his Thorin to make decisions that book-Thorin makes (something I couldn't see in the last film).  I also liked the addition of the elf Tauriel, and her interaction with Kili.  I liked the changes to the character of Bard, and his enlarged role in the story.  I loved Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug, the conversation between him and Bilbo (just about the best part of the film) and the enlarged role Smaug played. 

For my complaint about the movie, it wouldn't be that the movie was long.  It would be that it was long in the wrong way.  Certain things got extended and fleshed out, while others were eliminated - I would have trimmed up some of the battle scenes so that we could have kept the dwarves journey through Mirkwood longer, kept the sequence with the black river from the book, and had more character interaction.  I still don't know who some of the dwarves are (Bifur, Nori, Dori, Ori, Oin ... which one is which, anyway?  Only Thorin, Fili, Kili, Balin, Dwalin, and Bofur have any personalities, and I only know which one Bombur is because he's the fat one and Gloin because of the reference to Gimli).  Lastly, the business with the Arkenstone needed a bit more fleshing out - exactly how is the whole plan supposed to work, anyway?  Bilbo sneaks in, gets the Arkenstone, and then ... what? 

On the other hand, I thought they handled the Ring well, and the doings of the Necromancer, as well as the foreshadowing for the grimmer days ahead.  It's a grimmer, grittier version of The Hobbit, but also a nobler one in the goals of the dwarven company.  Overall, as you can see from how I rated it, I thought the good outweighed the bad, but it wasn't the masterpiece all of the first trilogy are. 

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5

(From The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on December 27th, 2013)

Member's TV Reviews

Twilight Zone, a review by addicted2dvd

Season 1: Disc 2
8. Time Enough at Last (11/20/59)
A bookworm (Burgess Meredith) yearns for more time to read - then a nuclear holocaust leaves him alone in the world with lots of time, plenty to read and one ironic twist!

My Thoughts:
This is another of my favorite episodes... so yes I have seen this one before as well... in this case I seen it a few times before. It was a wonderful episode and I think Burgess Meredith did a fantastic job. Like with all the episodes so far, at the end you see a clip of Rod Serling talking about the next episode then a classic commercial after the credits. This time they showed a TV Spot for Wanted Dead or Alive. The extras attached to this episode are a couple great ones... first was a clip of The Drew Carey Show where he spoofed this episode with him in a bomb shelter with a huge stack of Playboy Magazines in front of him. The other extra is an interview with Burgess Meredith from 1978 which is a 20some minute interview that is placed onto the episode itself so that the interview is a Commentary track of sorts. This is done just like the lecture with Rod Serling on Disc 1. Very creative and interesting extra.

9. Perchance to Dream (11/27/59)
A man (Richard Conte) is terrified of falling alseep for fear he might die. His pursuer? A mysterious vixen he meets in his dreams! The first non-Serling script of the series.

My Thoughts:
This is a good episode...but not one of my favorites. Once again I have seen this one before.... not sure if it was on one of the volume discs I had or if it was on one of the Sci-Fi Marathons. there is an Isolated Music Score to go with this episode. Only other thing you get is Rod Serling talking about next week's episode and a TV Spot for The Danny Thomas Show attached to the end credits.

10. Judgment Night (12/4/59)
In 1942, a German (Nehemiah Persoff) wonders why he's on the deck of a British steamship, with no memory of how he got there and an overwhelming sense of impending doom.

My Thoughts:
Finally!... an episode I haven't seen before. I think it was a really good episode I enjoyed it a lot. I liked how they pulled it all together. Other then the normal showing of Rod Serling talking about the next show and in this case a TV Spot for Wanted Dead or Alive... there was absolutely no extras for this episode.

11. And When the Sky Was Opened (12/11/59)
Col. Clegg Forbes (Rod Taylor) and two fellow astronauts have returned from their first space flight. They soon discover that no one remembers them... as if they never existed.

My Thoughts:
This is another one I haven't seen before! It was a really good... and strange episode. Enjoyed it a lot. Even though I decided against watching any of the extras at this time there is a lot of extras for it. A Rod Serling Lecture... I am sure this one is done like the one on Disc 1 where you watch the episode but hear the lecture on the order of a commentary track. Then there is a commentary track with Rod Taylor..  A Zicree Interview with Douglas Heyes and finaly an isolated music score. Of course after the end credits you get Rod Serling talking about the next episode as well as a TV Spot for The Danny Thomas Show.

12. What You Need (12/25/60)
A two-bit thug thinks he's found the key to a better life in an old sidewalk salesman who has the uncanny ability to tell people what they need the most.

My Thoughts:
This makes three in a row that I have not seen before. This is another really good episode... though I will admit to seeing some of this stuff coming... so it was a little on the predictable side. The only extra on this one was the isolated Music Score... and of course like always had Rod Serling talk about the next episode and a TV Spot for another show on the channel... this time they had one for The Danny Thomas Show once again.

13. The Four of Us Are Dying (1/1/60)
Gifted with the ability to change his face, Arch Hammer devises a plan to elevate himself. The plan works perfectly until he's caught with the wrong face at the wrong time.

My Thoughts:
This one I do remember seeing before... though I am not sure where. It is an alright episode... definitely not one of my favorites. The only extra to go with this episode is an Isolated Music Track.

14. Third from the Sun (1/8/60)
With all-out nuclear war about to ignite, William Sturka (Fritz Weaver) and a friend steal an experimental spaceship, load their families and set out for an unknown planet.

My Thoughts:
This is another I have seen... not sure but think it was on one of the volume DVDs I had.I thought it was a really good episode though I did see the end twist coming a little sooner then I would have liked. There was a couple hints before the twist was actually revealed. This Episode has a couple extras attached to it. It has an interview with Richard L. Bare made like a commentary as well as the Isolated Music Track.

15. I Shot an Arrow into the Air (1/15/60)
The world's first manned space mission goes awry, stranding the crew on an apparent asteroid that is desolate and waterless. One man ruthlessly grasps for survival before a peculiar symbol reveals the group's true location.

My Thoughts:
This is another episode that I never seen before... and another good episode. I knew there would be a plot twist because lets face it... this is The Twilight Zone... but I didn't see it coming this time... and kinda feel stupid for not seeing it coming. I guess I was just a little off my game while watching this episode. This episode has 1 extra attached to it... this time a Twilight Zone Radio Drama starring Chelcie Ross.

My Thoughts On Season 1: Disc 2:
This has definitely been another really fun disc to watch. Even Brittany, my 11 year old daughter, has been sitting with me enjoying some of the episodes! The audio and video quality remains top notch and the extras included continues to surprise me. This is really an outstanding set... again except for the packaging... I already have a feeling I will be able to say this may be my favorite buy of 2007!

Episodes I seen for the First time on this set include:

   1. Judgement Night (Episode 10)
   2. And When The Sky Was Opened (Episode 11)
   3. What You Need (Episode 12)
   4. I Shot an Arrow into the Air (Episode 15)

(From Twilight Zone on February 5th, 2008)