Movies I Have Seen This Week

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ralphrepo
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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week

Post by ralphrepo » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:01 am

Here's a listing of some good and or bad stuff that I have personally seen this week (WARNING: MILD or COMPLETE SPOILERS)

Mongol [2007] Score 8.2
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0416044/

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Summary: Nominated in the Oscars as Best Foreign Language Film of the Year [2008] (from Kazakhstan), and starring an international cast, this is a controversial depiction of a very young Temüjin in the first of a planned triology by Russian director Сергей Бодрóв Sergei Bodrov. As anyone who had received a smattering of high school history will tell you, Temüjin grows up to be the most powerful man of his times. He was better known as Ghengis Khan. The tale is loosely based on the writings found within The Secret History of the Mongols, considered to be one of the oldest examples of Mongolian literary manuscript. It was suspected to have been written after the death of Ghengis Khan (in the year 1227), and only survives at all in the form of 14th century Chinese translations. Despite acknowledged gaps and inconsistencies, it remains the most significant Mongolian historic account of Ghengis Khan currently known. From this source, Bodrov (who co-wrote this story), weaves a tale of harsh survival on the steppes; where ruthless politics and fragile alliances often determined one's continued life or a quick and ignoble death. According to Bodrov, it was this cutthroat, compassionless and senseless existence that ultimately led Temüjin to unite the clans under his banner, enabling peace and prosperity for the Mongol Kingdom's people. Of course, this overly simplistic view is less than historically accurate, but it makes for easy story telling.

Our journey begins with a nine year old Temüjin accompanying his father, who was also his tribal Khan, to a neighboring clan village. His father sought to cement alliances with a rival clan by marrying his Temüjin to one of their daughters. While walking about the camp young Temüjin meets a ten year old girl, Börte, who tells him that he should choose her to his bride. When the selection process starts, Temüjin is counseled by his father that selection of a good wife is the most important thing for him as a man, and as a future Khan. Temüjin does eventually choose Börte, and she is promised to him in five years time. Thus a lifelong love was cast. Börte (true to Temüjin's father's predictions), later becomes his most steadfast supporter and ally; offering sound guidance and advice when needed, and behind the scenes, without hesitation, unflinchingly sacrificing for her husband in ways that would give many of us pause. (Historically, Temüjin had been a favorite subject of genealogists, as he was probably one of the most prolific men in history. Despite his many morganatic wives however, Börte remained his only empress, probably his way of honoring her deep devotion to him) After the betrothal, Temüjin's father falls prey to treachery and poison. The family's place of honor within the clan dies with his father. Their titles and property are stolen by other ambitious and ruthless clan members, and he and his family become outcasts. Still a young boy, Temüjin is later captured by his father's successor, who is anxious to kill the seeds of his former rival. However, Temüjin escapes, and praying before a primitive altar of Tengri in the steppes, he is somehow delivered by the Gods. The film fails to come up with any plausible reason why or how this happens (one second he was still trapped in a cangue; by next morning, the cangue is somehow gone). In another scene, he is shown to be falling through the ice of a frozen river. How he is rescued or frees himself is left up to the viewer's imagination. For the sake of the story, these things are presumed to just happen without any attempt at explanation.

Now the story fast forwards to him as a young man, played here by veteran Japanese actor 浅野忠信 Asano Tadanobu. He returns to the neighboring village and claims his bride, Börte, convincing and exceptionally well played by Mongolian new comer Khulan Chuluun (she was a student waiting in a line at the Chinese embassy when a casting agent spotted her). But the honeymoon is over quickly as the spiteful politics of the steppes step in once more. His father's former foe now comes forth to steal Temüjin's wife in vengeance for one that was stolen by Temüjin's father years before. Recovering from wounds received while his wife was being abducted, Temüjin finds an ally in childhood friend, Jamuka, who then helps him to rescue Börte. But the alliance is short lived; after a dispute over leadership and property, Temüjin forms a splinter group, and take many of Jamuka's followers with him. This eventually becomes the spark that ignites war between the two former allies. Losing that war, Temüjin is captured and sold to a slaver. He eventually winds up in a display cage and becomes a curiosity for passerby. A Buddhist monk dies helping him to get a message to Börte. But this eventually allowed her to come to his rescue. Over the next few years he somehow gathers enough men and arms, and eventually faces Jamuka on the battlefield once more. He defeats Jamuka, but lets him live. Thereafter his men conquer the steppes and he succeeds in unifying the various clans into a great Mongol empire. As a way of thanking the Buddhist cleric who gave his life towards his cause, Temüjin spares the monasteries from harm during his conquests. That, in a nutshell, is the basis of the movie. The setting, props, and wardrobe too, is a rare glimpse into the crossroads of east west history, and while archaic, is at once believable and appropriate to the storyline. To historians, there were many things left out and many other things that can only be kindly described as severe artistic license. But, historic inaccuracies aside, it remained a good swashbuckler offering. Spectacular battle scenes that eschewed gratuitous gore nonetheless got the action point across (people got cut and stabbed, but there was none of the flying body parts and decapitation that seems to plague many of today's screen swordfests as obligatory). All told, a very compelling representation of a tale that is very little told. I hope the rest of the trilogy is as exciting. Audio is Mongolian, & (rarely) Mandarin Chinese

If anyone has seen these films too, or even if you didn't but want to talk about them, then please add your comments. ;)
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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week

Post by ralphrepo » Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:55 pm

Here's a listing of some good and or bad stuff that I have personally seen this week (WARNING: MILD or COMPLETE SPOILERS)

Alone In The Dark 2: Fate Of Existence [2009] Score 1.3
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0913951/

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***Sorry, no videos yet***

Summary: Every once in a while, something comes along that is so strange, it seemingly defies all logic and no matter how hard one tries, one cannot fathom its raison d'etre. Take the case of actor Rick Yune; (according to his IMDB bio page) not only is he a handsome six footer, with chiseled features that have graced modeling pages, he's also a powerhouse Olympic class Tae Kwon Do martial artist. If that's not enough, there's some serious neurons backing that buff; he's Ivy (Wharton Business) educated, and was already working on Wall Street as a hedge fund trader (for the uninitiated, those guys only round off numbers to the closest million, and shit money like normal men breathe). For all intents and purposes, Yune had not only made it, but has done it seriously so. So seriously; what the f.uck possessed him to even come within a hundred miles of this straight to bargain bin video disaster? Perhaps even one who is well schooled and well tooled, can also be well fooled. I'm sure he's already regretting his involvement in this movie, scheduled to be release in early 2009.

I had commented on the first Alone In The Dark [2005] movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369226/ almost two years ago, and gave it an anemic 2.8 rating. With this sequal, Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer (who co-directed and co-wrote this) joins ranks with Uwe Boll (who directed the first offering, and is coincidentally a producer for this movie) with an even worse time waster. In review, the original Alone In The Dark was a popular computer game that followed the travails of one Edward Carnby, a private detective that investigated spooky cases and locales. This game was immensely popular and (some would suggest) responsible for the creative impetus behind the Resident Evil franchise. As already noted, the first screen adaptation was a disappointment. This sequal (if one might call it that as it has absolutely nothing to do with the other movie), easily out-disappoints the other and with room to spare. Yune, who is very obviously Asian, plays Carnby here. While an Asian person may be named Carnby, Yune seemed rather an odd casting choice as the original Carnby from both the games and first movie was Caucasian. Veteran acting ace Lance Henriksen too (whose screen pedigree is already as thick as a phone book and I'm certain didn't need the money), should also be ashamed of himself for being sucked into this black hole. He plays Abner Lundbert, retired paranormal guru and general voodoo advice giver, who grudgingly reveals occult secrets to Carnby, but seems to have a bizzare character motivation throughout the entire movie. At one point, it looks like he's trying to help Carnby, in another, it seems like he's purposely misleading him. I just chalked it up as more confusion on top of the clusterf.uck and let it go at that. No sense worrying about it as the movie would still be s.hit anyway.

A story that centers on an entrapped but undying witch, Elizabeth Dexter, who uses her dark powers to appear before victims as she maneuvers them into setting free her murderous spirit. Carnby gets stabbed and infected by a Soul Blade; allowing the evil witch to seek out those thus afflicted (or have had physical contact with the blade). She needs the blade returned as it is the only thing that can break the seal of the mystical grave that she had been entombed in for all these years. As she spiritually appears and renders havoc to those around Carnby, he and romantic foil eye candy Natalie, played by Rachel Specter, vow to seek out and destroy her before she can further harm mankind. Final analysis? A dinner date with your mother in law would be more enjoyable. Audio is English

If anyone has seen these films too, or even if you didn't but want to talk about them, then please add your comments. ;)
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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week

Post by milk » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:01 am

seriously..you're only wasting your life by watching Uwe Boll movies.
pleeease, stop watching movies that have anything to do with Uwe Boll. yes, i know he does get his funding thru loopholes, but you don't have to support him any further, and hopefully i won't have to work on anymore of his shitty movies

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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week

Post by ralphrepo » Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:24 am

milk wrote:seriously..you're only wasting your life by watching Uwe Boll movies. pleeease, stop watching movies that have anything to do with Uwe Boll. yes, i know he does get his funding thru loopholes, but you don't have to support him any further, and hopefully i won't have to work on anymore of his shitty movies
:lol: ;) Thank you for your comments. So, you were actually involved in some of his er, creativity? I think that's fascinating; I guess I'm not the only person that has to do unpleasant things to keep the kids fed and a roof over my head, ha ha... Uwe Boll, as much as his name can bring honest angst to many a film goer, nonetheless fills a niche; mostly the bargain bin direct to video market, IMHO. I'm almost certain that his stuff isn't about to become an academy hopeful. However, there definitely remains a need for guys like him (similar to say, a loan shark; sure we don't particularly like him or his kind, but he does fill a societal need). I've come to appreciate him as a class of writer-director that's known for schlock. Similar to industry people whose names become attached to cheesy horrors, sexploitation, or slasher films, et cetera; Uwe Boll is a bottom feeder near synonymous with cheap entertainment. At any rate, I hope that your future film projects are associated with greater respectability and more to your professional sensibilities. But, in the meanwhile, sit back, watch, groan, and throw shit at the TV like the rest of us.

BTW, what do you mean by "...getting his funding through loopholes," can you elaborate on that a bit more?
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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week

Post by milk » Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:57 am

yea, working on his project was painful. not gonna go into details.
i think the loophole is something about Uwe Boll never makes any money back from his movies, but he constantly gets funding because his investors are getting tax breaks from the country (germany?) by supporting the country's culture or something stupid like that.
you can find it on wiki i think

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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week

Post by ralphrepo » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:18 pm

milk wrote:yea, working on his project was painful. not gonna go into details. i think the loophole is something about Uwe Boll never makes any money back from his movies, but he constantly gets funding because his investors are getting tax breaks from the country (germany?) by supporting the country's culture or something stupid like that.
you can find it on wiki i think
:lol: LOL... It's funny reading what you wrote because it reminds me so much about Hollywood's accounting system, where movies "never" (wink, nod) make any money. But somehow it remains a lucrative business. They're all a bunch of thieves, if you ask me. That's why when movies fall off of a truck, I don't feel bad at all.

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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week

Post by singapore » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:47 am

seen nothing lately?
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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week

Post by ralphrepo » Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:43 pm

singapore wrote:seen nothing lately?
:lol: Yeah, actually seen lots of stuff.
But it's a shame that I've just been so busy that I haven't had time to write up anything like I used to... I used to get a real kick out of writing those things too... :cry:
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