Author Topic: Achim's entirely random reviews  (Read 15849 times)

Najemikon

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Re: Achim's entirely random reviews
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2010, 07:44:22 PM »
Oh, quite the opposite! You don't review martial arts movies for the plots. In fact my recent Island of Fire review perhaps demonstrates how that threw me a curve ball. It's got Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung in, but they're hardly fighting and it's all serious and stuff? How do I deal with that?  :laugh:

I just can't remember now, Achim, but something seriously put me off. It may have been the editing, pacing... something. I got rid of it because I disliked it so much and honestly, I love this sort of movie.

Offline Achim

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Re: Achim's entirely random reviews
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2010, 06:12:24 AM »
I see.

Well, can't really help you there. Except, it certainly is not Jackie Chan style, which is more playfulness to it, but rather flat out violent, almost vicious. Tony Jaa sure has the moves though and, same to Jackie, does everything in camera.

Najemikon

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Re: Achim's entirely random reviews
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2010, 06:33:16 PM »
Yeah, I really liked Ong Bak. Maybe it was just that the story was pretty well done in that and so I felt this was a step backwards. Ah, well. Doesn't matter.

Offline Achim

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Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2010, 01:01:52 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
Year: 1989
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Rating: NR
Length: 168 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio: Italian: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: Chinese, English

Stars:
Antonella Attili
Enzo Cannavale
Isa Danieli
Leo Gullotta
Marco Leonardi

Plot:
The story begins in the present as a Sicilian mother pines for her estranged son, who left many years ago and has since become a prominent Roman film director who has taken the advice of his mentor too literally. He finally returns to his home village to attend the funeral of the town's former film projectionist and, in so doing, embarks upon a journey into his boyhood just after WW II when he became the unofficial son of the town projectionist. In th dark confines of the Cinema Paradiso, the boy and the other townsfolk try to escape from the grim realities of post-war Italy. The town censor is also there to insure nothing untoward appears onscreen, invariably demanding that all kissing scenes be edited out. One day, Salvatore saves the projectionist's life agter a fire, and then befriends the new projectionist. A few years later, Salvatore falls in love with a beautiful girl who breaks his heart after he is inducted into the military. Thirty years later, Salvatore has come to say good-bye to his life-long friend, who has left him a little gift in a film can.

Extras:
Scene Access

My Thoughts:
The first hour was wonderful, as the lovely tribute to cinema unfolded with the little boy Toto being captivated by the moving pictures and as he befriends Alfredo the projectionist. Unfortunately, about 1 hour into the movie, Toto grows up into a teenager/young man and fall in love, which is where this film to a nose dive for me. He blindly runs after the girl who repeatedly rejects him ::) Even worse is the third hour, when the middle-aged Toto returns to his hometown after 30 years to attend Alfredo's funeral (no spoiler, this is revealed during the opening minutes of the film). Nothing really happened anymore, other than Toto trying to find his lost love whom he could never forget. :yawn: The film eventually ends on a lovely note, but that does not save it anymore for me.

Acting is fine, especially from Philippe Noiret (who appeared to have been dubbed) and the boy who plays Toto. Also several of the quirky side character were wonderfully portrayed.

I understand the disc I own is the Director's Cut, which at 168min is 13min longer than the original Italian Cut and even 44min longer than the International version. According to IMDb a good part of the 3rd hour is missing from the International Version.
(click to show/hide)
I might want to find out that shorter version at some point, I might like it substantially more.


(first hour alone: )

Offline Achim

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Re: Achim's entirely random reviews
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2010, 01:02:31 PM »
Yeah, I really liked Ong Bak.
Have you seen Ong-Bak 2?

Najemikon

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Re: Achim's entirely random reviews
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2010, 01:06:49 PM »
Yeah, I really liked Ong Bak.
Have you seen Ong-Bak 2?

Not yet. Have you seen it? I think Warrior King made me worry a little.

Shame you didn't like Cinema Paradiso. You really should have read my review first where I recommend not watching the Director's Cut first... unfortunately, I think you've proved why. :slaphead:

http://www.dvdcollectorsonline.com/index.php/topic,5638.msg98404.html#msg98404

Offline Achim

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Re: Achim's entirely random reviews
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2010, 01:46:42 PM »
Not yet. Have you seen it? I think Warrior King made me worry a little.
Haven't seen it either. I hear the story is a bit lame, but the fighting makes up for it. The Blu-ray is cheaper than the DVD, I may have to buy it.

Quote
Shame you didn't like Cinema Paradiso. You really should have read my review first where I recommend not watching the Director's Cut first... unfortunately, I think you've proved why. :slaphead:

http://www.dvdcollectorsonline.com/index.php/topic,5638.msg98404.html#msg98404
Well, it's the only version I own. Been on my unwatched pile for 5 years, so it was about time.

Interestingly enough, I totally agree with review. Funny that you talk about the first hour almost exclusively and then tack on the other two hours with some short sentences ;) Encouraged by your review, I will try to find the theatrical cut, meaning the 124min version, and give that another chance.

Najemikon

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Re: Achim's entirely random reviews
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2010, 02:08:24 PM »
Well, it's the only version I own. Been on my unwatched pile for 5 years, so it was about time.

Interestingly enough, I totally agree with review. Funny that you talk about the first hour almost exclusively and then tack on the other two hours with some short sentences ;) Encouraged by your review, I will try to find the theatrical cut, meaning the 124min version, and give that another chance.

 :whistle:

I think it's a fascinating situation really, unlike another re-cut release I can think of, because if you watch the theatrical cut first it can help you deal with the DC which was clearly the original idea, because it's a balance of light and dark. It's saying that nostalgia is all well and good, but you have to move on, accept things and keep them in perspective, because you might find out one day that those memories are misleading. He found out that his old friend wasn't quite the simple memory he has of him. It's a powerful development that puts absolute faith in the viewer to stick with the story, even while the characters become less likeable. A proper film, really, because it gives the fantasy a bit of substance to relate to.

The Theatrical just lets you wallow in the nostalgia! Unfortunately, you might find the last section a bit thin now, but maybe if you wait another five years, the combination of the two will really work... ;)

Offline Achim

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Yi Yi
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2010, 11:07:29 AM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: Yi Yi
Year: 2000
Director: Edward Yang
Rating: NR
Length: 173 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: Mandarin: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English

Stars:
Nien-Jen Wu
Elaine Jin
Issei Ogata
Kelly Lee
Jonathan Chang

Plot:
With the runaway international acclaim of this film, Taiwanese director Edward Yang could no longer be called Asian cinema's best-kept secret. 'Yi Yi' swiftly follows a middle-class family in Taipei over the course of one year, beginning with a wedding and ending with a funeral. Whether chronicling middle-aged father NJ's tenuous flirtations with an old flame or precocious young son Yang-Yang's attempts at capturing reality with his beloved camera, Yang imbues every gorgeous frame with a deft, humane clarity. Warm, sprawling, and dazzling, this intimate epic is one of the undisputed masterworks of the new century.

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Featurettes
Production Notes

My Thoughts:
Hmmm, the synopsis above from Criterion really says it all. The film follows the family and a neighbor through "every day life". We see the father dealing with his business partners, who don't have the same ethics as him, and his fist love who suddenly appeared. The wife is troubled with her mother's coma and the can't cope. The teenage daughter Ying-Ting deals with relationship issues (not just her own). The 8-year old son Yang-Yang is being bullied in school and discovers the hard ships of life. We also get glimpses of the father's brothers life, the neighbors (a divorced mother with her daughter, friend of Ting-Ting).

Describing the story of the film almost does it a dis-service. It is not about what happens, but about the people and how it affects them. We, the audience, are watching this family's every-day life, which is often emphasized by the framing of the shots; through a window (which reflects the street life at the same time) or door way so that we keep a distance to the people we observe. I don't recall any or at least not many close-ups in this film. Everything is carefully framed, mostly with static shots, again emphasizing the nature of us looking into these peoples life. The camera often lingers on the subjects for a long time, given us chance to see what is going on in their minds, almost to the extend that some shots look like still photographies.

It's all in the details, how little things make an impact later on or on other people. Like Yang-Yang, the eight year old taking pictures of the back of the heads of the people around him. The father's past being reflected by his daughter's actions. Or the japanese business partner providing wise insightful comparisons.

Acting is very good throughout the cast.

If you generally enjoy ensemble films like those of Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia) or Robert Altman (Short Cuts) I strongly recommend to give this one a try. The Criterion Collection has taken good care and provides a good looking transfer (I noticed a few drop outs on the audio) and a few extras (short featurette, comentary)


Najemikon

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Re: Achim's entirely random reviews
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2010, 12:57:06 PM »
Sounds fascinating. :thumbup:

Offline Achim

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Let Me In
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2010, 03:40:51 AM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:
Original Title: Let Me In
Year: 2010
Director: Matt Reeves
Rating: R
Length: 115 Min.
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 2.35:1


Stars:
Kodi Smit-McPhee
Chloe Grace Moretz
Richard jenkins
Elias Koteas

Plot:
This is a remake of the Swdish film LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.

Twelve year old Oskar Owen is an outsider, struggling to fit in at school and left alone to fend for himself at home whilst his mother works nights. One evening he meets the mysterious Eli Abby. As a sweet romance blossoms between them, Oskar Owen learns to overcome his tormentors and discovers Eli's Abby's dark secret and the connections to the gruesome events occuring across town. Together they must help Eli Abby be gone and live, or stay and die.

Brutal, bloody and tender, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN LET ME IN weaves friendship, rejection and loyalty into a disturbing and darkly atmospheric, yet poetic and unexpectedly tender tableau of adolescence.

My Thoughts:
The Good
This is a very faithful remake of the original film. They did not turn it into an action horror of some sort and he dark, almost depressing atmosphere is in tact. All important moments of the original are repeated (minus that one shot of Eli/Abby in the bathroom, which wasn't unexpected). Only deviation I noticed was (but I just might remember this wrong) the role of the policeman (Koteas), which is slightly more prominent here; neither improvement nor making it worse though. The acting from all involved is very good. Smit-McPhee and Moretz show good ability to convey the emotions and except a few awkward moments are excellent. Jenkins and Koteas are up to their usual quality.

There is a scene with a car accident that looks great! I may rememeber this wrong, but I felt the swimming pool scene near the end was slightly better executed (mainly technical) here than in the original.

The Bad
This is a very faithful remake of the original film. So, why do it? Well, yes, I know the answer of course. But I was surprised to find myself, knowing the original, hoping they'd do something a little more different just to give the whole excercise a bit of a point. :shrug:

The biggest disappointment came from my favorite scene of the original, when Eli enters Oskar's appartment without being invited first. It is really poorly executed here, with a crescendo of music leading up to a reveal  The orginal played this so much better...

I felt the music was rather irritating, not mixing well in many scenes, making me become aware of it (not a good thing for a score).

The Ugly
*******MILD SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE ORIGINAL*******

I have no idea why they could have possibly thought it would be a good idea to use CGI when Abby is in rage-mode (which looks obviously fake) or show or face being almost a monster grimasse while feeding. (Did the original do this too?)




It's a "4" because it's based doing a good job of recreating the original. However, if given the choice one should always pick the original over this one. Personally, I am glad I watched this but am not intending to buy this on DVD/Blu-ray (shame, really).

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Achim's entirely random reviews
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2010, 03:41:15 AM »
The saddest part of all this is the fact it's the first production of the new Hammer studio... I know it isn't the same Hammer (the talent isn't the same) but at least try to do something original worthy of the Hammer name.

Offline Achim

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Re: Achim's entirely random reviews
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2010, 03:45:26 AM »
The saddest part of all this is the fact it's the first production of the new Hammer studio... I know it isn't the same Hammer (the talent isn't the same) but at least try to do something original worthy of the Hammer name.
Well, they something worthy; although Hammer is known for a different kind of film, really. It's even a good remake! Just, being that, it's utterly pointless :laugh: But as I said, for people who really can't/want read subtitles, they did a good job of "translating" this film.

Offline goodguy

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Re: Let Me In
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2010, 03:52:01 AM »
Original Title: Let Me In

I've read a number of surprisingly positive reviews and I'm now definitely interested to give this a try.

The biggest disappointment came from my favorite scene of the original, when Eli enters Oskar's appartment without being invited first. It is really poorly executed here, with a crescendo of music leading up to a reveal  The orginal played this so much better...

In the AC for the original movie, the director considered the scene to be rather weak, too Hollywood-ish or something like that was his comment. Personally, I liked it too.

I have no idea why they could have possibly thought it would be a good idea to use CGI when Abby is in rage-mode (which looks obviously fake) or show or face being almost a monster grimasse while feeding. (Did the original do this too?)

I remember a particular scene where they either replaced Eli's face with another or used CGI (when she looks up to Oscar after licking the blood from the floor). It had a really creepy effect.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 03:53:56 AM by goodguy »
Matthias

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Achim's entirely random reviews
« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2010, 04:04:33 AM »
But as I said, for people who really can't/want read subtitles, they did a good job of "translating" this film.
I don't like reading subtitles and I don't like dubed movies, so I think I'll wait for the French Canadian remake of this ;D

Of course the reading subtitles part isn't true...