Movies I Have Seen This Week

Reviews and comments about MOVIES, Series and Music.
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ralphrepo
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Movies I Have Seen This Week

Post by ralphrepo » Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:26 am

Edited Thread Material 070301 Migrated From Old Site:

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

Karaula [2006] aka Border Post Score: 6.2
imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0466561/

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[1] [2]
[1]Trailer audio in Serbo-Croatian only
[2]Trailer audio in Serbo-Croatian only

Summary: 1987, an insignificant border post in the mountains along the Yugoslav-Albanian border. Pasic, an older, drunken dead end officer, upon contracting a venereal disease, concocts a cross border emergency to avoid going home to his wife. In the three weeks that it would take to effect a cure, Pasic locks down the post so that no one, not even himself, can come and go. He trusts no one except the unit's medic, Sinisa, who is detailed to cure him; while getting the medical supplies for this end, Sinisa is to secretly deliver things for Pasic to the officer's wife, Mirjana. She turns out to be surprisingly young and beautiful, throwing Sinisa into turmoil as he starts to develop feelings for her. Meanwhile, the unit prankster and trouble maker, Ljuba, embarks on a joke that will ultimately spiral out of control, ending in a way that no one could ever expect. Audio is Serbo-Croatian

Gwoemul [2006] aka The Host Score: 6.8
imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468492/

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[1] [2]
[1] Trailer
[2] Attack scene Korean audio with English hard subs

Summary: Think Scifi Channel's "Frankenfish" with superior technical special effects, but in Hangul. The premise this time is a US orchestrated improper disposal of chemicals into the Han River. Needless to say, said chemicals induces spectacular changes in one of the river's aquatic lifeforms, rendering a large and dangerous creature that then besets the waterfront's inhabitants. A family is caught up in the mayhem as their youngest is captured by the creature, which, along with being amphibian, is really dexterous with it's tail. They work against all odds to effect a rescue. Audio is Korean

Natural City [2003] Score: 7.3
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0378428/

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[1] [2]
[1] Trailer English voice over Korean audio with English Hard Subs
[2] Fan created music video adaptation

Summary: Ridley Scott's Blade Runner set in Seoul, Cyborgs instead of Replicants, but still constrained with a finite "life" span, an MP (similar to Harrison Ford's role of Deckard) tracks and kills rogue Cyborgs, but falls in love with one that is at the end of her functional life. He endeavors to find a way to prolong her existence. Personally, I think they should re-do Blade Runner with these graphics. Simply awesome. Audio is Korean

墨攻 Mò Gōng [2006] aka Battle of Wits Score: 8.3
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0485863/

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Trailer in Chinese audio with English hard subs

Summary: Set in the Warring States period, more Andy Lau Buddhist preach... er, teaching, but with good battle scenes and an eye opening dose of the historically cruel, harsh, and often uncontrollable fates and realities that peasants had to live and die under. Also allows the fact too, that non Asian foreigners lived and died in China. Many period pieces never show this. Throw in a sad love story to boot and it becomes a must see. Audio is Mandarin Chinese

Ghost Fleet: The Epic Voyage of Zheng He [2006] Score: 7.5
http://www.asianconnections.com/a/?article_id=693

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Summary: Documentary by NatGeo photographer Michael Yamashita, on the life and travels of a mariner from ancient China, who traveled the world with a huge fleet before any European explorers. Downloaded from a.b.documentaries (orig posting 27 FEB). Audio is English

Happy Feet [2006] Score: 8.0
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0366548/

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Summary: Good animation, good music, the type of formulaic story that Disney has used to sell it's wares to parents via their kids for years. And what the heck, it still works. Won an Oscar too. Audio is English

Renaissance [2006] Score: 7.5
http://imdb.com/title/tt0386741/

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Summary: B&W (with a few seconds in color) and graphically stunning film about a future beautiful, yet bleak Paris, setting cops againsts evil corporations. Sorta like Sin City but with even starker contrast, imparting a greater "comic book penned ink" artsy feel. Decent sci-fi story, and the visuals are breathtaking. Audio is French

Tom Yum Goong [2005] Score: 7.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427954/

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Summary: Finally saw this Thai offering despite it being out for over a year. Not bad, and they're obviously trying to be a bit more international. Though some of the set stages are so obvious it hurts. The main actor, Tony Jaa, who could probably be the next hot male action martial artist movie lead, certainly has the moves; but his voice is still painful to listen to. And the best line? "It disgusting, people who buy pirate DVD, don't do it again" I guess they just had to put that in there. Audio is Thai, Mandarin Chinese, and English

Black Narcissus [1947] Score: 9.2
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039192/

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Summary: The spirit is willing, but the flesh is oh so weak. An age old story of the eternal battle between what we know to be taboo versus giving in to our most base desires. Set in a storybook locale easily evocative of Hilton's Shangri-La, the amazing fact was that the movie's fantastic looking location was mostly done with staged sets and background art. More amazing still is that this was accomplished in the late 1940's; no computer generated special effects. The tale too, is powerful, of repressed sexual tension barely lying beneath a pious veneer of religion in a distant, isolated convent. This is a must see. Audio is English

Peeping Tom [1960] Score: 9.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054167/

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Summary: This UK film, when released in the '60s, derailed the then rising career of it's director. It's a profoundly disturbing story of a troubled young man who makes snuff films, back before such things were even a part of our vocabulary. Some have compared this Michael Powell work to Hitchcock, but I think it sits in a nitch all it's own. The finale is frightening and painful to watch, despite your already knowing what's about to happen. Considering that this was done in 1960, one can readily appreciate the responses of revulsion and horror that it was met with. We've used words of "before it's time" so often that it becomes banal, but it this case, it's really apt. Audio is English

鬼子來了 Guizi Lai Le [2000] aka Devils On The Doorstep Score: 8.5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0245929/

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Summary: Banned in China, this film tells the story of a peasant thrust into a no win situation by opposing sides during the closing days of Japanese occupation. China censors claim that the film is overly sympathetic to the IJA and downplays their historic atrocities. I differ on that; the film easily portrays the Chinese, and our main character, living in constant fear and uncertainty. It also portrays the Chinese military as being a lot less heroic and in truth, as barbaric to it's own people as was the IJA. Perhaps this was really what drew the censor's ire. Audio is Mandarin Chinese

ब्लॅक Black [2005] Score: 7.2
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0375611/

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Summary: A blind and deaf girl and her teacher. Predictable, yet you'll laugh and cry through this one. Some scenes are a bit of a stretch, and as long as I can remember, the first Bollywood movie without the singing and dancing; I mean absolutely none, which is remarkable unto itself. But, nonetheless a heartwarming film about overcoming severe handicaps, and getting the best of life despite them. Audio is Hindi and English

Super Troopers [2002] Score: 2.5
http://us.imdb.com/Title?0247745

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Summary: Despite a good comedic start, the film rapidly rolls code three downhill in this poor man's rip-off of the Police Academy or Naked Gun series. Similar to those, it's slapstick humor is tasteless and vulgar, but differs in that it's mostly lacking in entertainment value when you inevitably compare it to others that define the genre. It's only saving grace is the casting of lucious Marisa Coughlan as eye candy. I suspect that the real Vermont State Police didn't take kindly to this one. Audio is English

Sittlichkeitsverbrecher [1963] aka The Molesters Score: 7.0
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0143884/
http://www.somethingweird.com/cart.php? ... t_id=19227

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Summary: Beware the boogeyman. B&W German or Swiss film location film overdubbed in English warning of the dangers of child molesters, rapists, fetishists, and general perverts that roam society. Best line: "But the sting of the lash never touches his brain, which is where the trouble really lies..." The lurid nature of the presentation leaves one to wonder what they're really trying to sell with this movie; social conciousness or perverse titillation. Seen through a modern prism, the bad guys are two dimensional and exaggerated caricatures of all the bad people that parents warned us of when we were kids. Makes a good companion piece to other better known social engineering attempts like Reefer Madness. Audio is English

ChristianeF Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo [1981] aka ChristianeF We Children From Zoo Station Score: 9.0
http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0082176/
http://technorati.com/search/http%3A%2F ... YLcypYaHYM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christiane_F.

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[1] [2]
[1] Trailer
[2] Music video made with scenes from the movie and images of the real Christiane Felscherinow

Summary: The real life experience of Christiane Felscherinow, who at 13, became a victim of the heroin epidemic sweeping the western world in the 1970's. To support her habit, she turned to prostitution, plying her trade in the then infamous Berlin metro-train stop known as Bahnhof (station) Zoo. This was one of Germany's most watched films, and in many ways still has tremendous resonance and relevance even today. Audio is German

If anyone has seen these films too, please add your comments ;)
Last edited by ralphrepo on Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:59 pm, edited 22 times in total.
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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week... (From Old Site)

Post by ralphrepo » Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:42 am

Edited Thread Material 070307 Migrated From Old Site:

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

Incubus [1965] Score: 7.2
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059311/

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Summary: The eternal battle between good and evil abstractly depicted in this mid sixties B&W lost classic. It was thought that no actual prints survived until one was found in France, which was then digitally remastered in 2001. What made this a classic was the fact that it was filmed using the artificial language Esperanto, and the main star was, (can you believe it?) William Shatner, before the start of his Star Trek voyage as Captain James Tiberius Kirk. The movie has also been plagued with the belief that those who participated in the production were cursed as ill fates befell many of them shortly after. This is a must see for any serious film buff Audio is Esperanto

Bon Cop, Bad Cop [2006] Score: 7.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0479647/

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Summary: One cannot avoid the inevitable comparison to Starsky and Hutch; and in this case, with a French Canadian accent. A pair of canuck cops with hometown rivalries (between Ontario & Quebec) strive to solve a murder case straddling their jurisdictions. As they reluctantly join forces to jointly investigate the crime, the action gets hotter and the bodies start to pile up. Fairly decent fight scenes, and lots of things get blown up. Men will enjoy this; women who love their men will sit quietly and pretend to enjoy this. Audio is French and English

A Gun for Jennifer [1996] Score: 1.3
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0160339/

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***WARNING*** Trailer has nudity and extreme violence

Summary: Cheap and gorey me too of Thelma and Louise. In this one, previously victimized women come back with way over the top violence to savagely brutalize and murder men. In many ways, they themselves become sadistic tormenters and curiously seem to revel in the gender role reversal. Thelma and Louise, which was entertaining, stands leagues above this shabby attempt. And unlike the blatantly pornographic French film Baise-Moi, this adaptation is limited to just the usual gratuitous gore and brain splatter. Audio is English

Fritt Vilt [2006] aka Cold Prey Score: 7.5
http://imdb.com/title/tt0808276/

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Trailer in Norwegian audio without subs

Summary: Teen slasher a la Friday the 13th styled masked mass murderer set in an abandoned Norwegian ski lodge. Or, what it may look like had Jason taken a snowboarding vacation. Fairly decent production values, featuring a madman with an axe, progressively picking off people one at a time. A fair degree of well paced claustrophobic suspense with a few surprises. However, they did kill off the best looking girl first, which is, IMHO, the fastest way to lose an audience. The ending was atypical in that we could finally see the killer's face briefly, as it also served to provide a sort a of closure to the tale. Audio is Norwegian

Iwo Jima Kara No Tegami [2006] aka Letters From Iwo Jima Score: 9.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0498380/

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Summary: As someone who was born in the 1950's, the stories of the battles in the Pacific, particularly in places like Iwo Jima, a small spit of land in the middle of the ocean, and the thousands that died there was considered fairly common knowledge. Now more than a half century later, it pains me to think that many people have never even heard of the place or know it's sigificance. This movie is one of a paired set by Clint Eastwood (the other being Flags of Our Fathers). The film is in Japanese, and for the first time, simultaneously shows the human side of the average Japanese, and the inhuman nature of the Imperial Japanese Army and government during the war. One begins to understand that the Japanese people too, suffered tremendously at the hands of their leaders; often at the mercurial whims of cruel and fanatic junior officers tasked with keeping the rank and file in line. Great film. Audio is Japanese
gr3y wrote: ...:lol: I remember laughing at the irony of it since I was watching it through less than legitimate means.
I got all of the movies in this thread so far, from Usenet ;)

Severance [2006] Score: 8.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0464196/

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Summary: Make no mistake about it, this is a horror movie. Early on, it may seem a bit like tongue in cheek black comedy reminiscent of Shaun Of The Dead; but as the effort progresses, you'll soon recognize this to be the mass murder gangbang that it is. A group of employees from a high tech weapons firm embark on a planned outing in eastern Europe, which as it turns out, was where a lot of their products were sold and used. They soon find themselves faced off against a group of former combatants who (despite having gone underground from their ethnic cleansing heydays), still obviously enjoy the macabre mayhem should the opportunity present itself. The identity of these killers are left up to the audience, who can pick from just about any regional bad guy du juor given the area's history. As they seem to have gotten a brutal share of the business end from said company's products, suffice it to say that they hold special animus against said company's employees. In the long run, it really doesn't matter as far as the story goes. The thing that bugged me was that everytime one of the movie's victims was able to get the drop on one of the bad guys, they rarely ever ransack the enemy dead for weapons or ammunition. Heck, even if you're playing a computer game you know to do that. Another thing seems to be the recent attention to decapitation details happening in filmdom; where the victim's head, severed but still concious, rolls around the dirt, settles down and looks around. They also did this in Guizi Lai Le [2000] aka Devils On The Doorstep; not a criticism, just an observation. Then they were able to, out of nowhere, work in two beautiful buxom blondes who go topless. That's worth the price of admission alone. Audio is English, Hungarian & Russian

El Laberinto Del Fauno [2006] aka Pan's Labyrinth Score: 8.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0457430/

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Summary: The turmoil of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) as seen through the eyes and wild imagination of a little girl. Ofelia, meets her new stepfather for the first time, but discovers that he is a brutal and cruel officer in Generalissimo Francisco Franco's murderous facist army. Her pregnant mother dies while giving birth to Ofelia's baby brother, the household help is a part of the resistance movement, and Ofelia discovers fairies that lead her into the woods for all sorts of amazing adventures. Wonderful fantasy story intermeshed and set in a period and place that we mostly never hear about. The special effects are some of the best that I've seen. Audio is Spanish

霍元甲 Huò Yuánjiǎ [2006] aka Fearless Score: 7.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0446059/

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Summary: Jet Li is rapidly trying to be Andy Lau, that is, heavy with the preaching. Though that's not necessarily a bad thing. The movie is great from the martial arts perspective, without the superhero-ish antigravity moves that was apparent in Hero. Tangentially brushing with the historical boxer sentiments against foreign incursions and annexation of Chinese territory, it's mainly a movie about a man who tragically realizes that strength through arrogance is not strength at all. Rather, that solidarity is what makes us strong as a people. But beyond Jet Li's role however, the entire cast was just cardboard cutouts that filled the script. Even the potential love interest didn't get any more than a few minutes and hardly says a word. Audio is Mandarin Chinese

Good Night And Good Luck [2005] Score: 9.2
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433383/

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Summary: National reporter Edward R, Murrow challenges the effects of McCarthyism, and ultimately, the whole idea of being able to use slander, libel, innuendo, and speculative supposition as the basis of law and evidence. The movie was able to capture the feeling of fear and paranoia that pervaded the national landscape into all areas of private life and enterprise. People who comment about lack of press freedom in other countries should see this piece, as it's a testament of how news organizations in the US were intimidated or coerced into telling only the kind of news that the government approved of. The irony here of course, is that in our hunt for communists, we almost became that which we feared most, that is, a totalitarian government. An extremely powerful film, culminating in the famous question asked by Joseph Welch ("Senator, You've done enough, ...at long last, have you left no sense of decency?") which effectively closed the door forever on McCarthy. Historians have also noted the introduction of television, which brought home the hearings to the American public, and showed how one single politician can twist an agenda to fit his political ambition. Any student of American political history should consider this to be a primer. On another note, smoking is rampant in this movie, reflective of the times and also of the grip that the tobacco industry had on tobacco information. In B&W. Audio is English

The Time Machine [2002] Score: 7.5
http://imdb.com/title/tt0268695/

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Summary: Adaptation of the famous 1895 H.G.Wells novelette, The Time Machine. The first attempt in 1960 was truer to the original Wells vision. This newer version is replete with better graphics but some very obvious changes to the story. The Eloi, In the book, were docile and almost undifferentiated in terms of sexual appearance; at least the men were supposed to look a bit effeminate because of generations of zero physical demands. Their race was originally very fair skinned, with the role of Weena played by blonde haired Yvette Mimieux in the first version. In this second offering, the Eloi resemble hunter-gatherers more; or at the least, North American Indianish. The women are sleek and the men are buff. Weena is gone, having been replaced by the beautiful Samantha Mumba (who is black), in the role of Mara. Our traveler is no longer English, but American. Interestingly, the sub human Morlocks have also devolved into two distinct classes; one that appears more like wild animals and a second who limits the activity of the first; controlling the rate of "food" intake so that they would not exhaust their supply. On a side note, this controller segment of the Morlocks looks suspiciously like the vampiric Wraith bosses in the popular television serial, Star Gate: Atlantis. The original visualization of the trip through time was then considered spectacular in the 1960 film. This new CGI version of time travel looks cleaner, more seamless, and is appealing in it's own right, but somehow seems less fulfilling. Maybe it's because I actually saw the original movie back in the 60's, and still remember the gee-whiz emotions then, and have unfairly allowed them to overshadow my present day ho-hum familiarity of CGI, that the former outweighs the latter. Another change to the story line was the shattering of the moon, which caused cataclysmic changes to the surface of the earth, instead of volcanic annihilation brought on by atomic war. At any rate, I still wonder in either case, why he didn't think to bring survival equipment or at least a tool kit for a flat tire so to speak. After all, he's traveling through time, for Pete's sake; you would think he should be better prepared on such a trip. I mean, he didn't even bother to pack lunch. Both were good movies, but I still prefer the former. Audio is English

Lei Ru Fung [1971] aka The Swift Knight Score: 6.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0872208/

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Summary: The emperor is dying; a frantic search begins for the children conceived through his secret affair with a palace maid years ago. However, those that currently stand to otherwise inherit the throne would stop at nothing to prevent the secret royal children from being found. An imperial envoy dispatched to secure the prince and princess is murdered and his identity is assumed by the murderer; a powerful martial artist under the direction of pretenders to the throne. Swift Knight, our local hero, gets caught up in the intrigue as he tries to assist an undercover agent sent by the palace to protect the royal children. Curiously, the part of the young prince looks like it's played by girl. Martial arts and swordplay before the introduction of computer graphics. Inotherwords, most of the fighting and acrobatics is sedate by today's standards, but real. Hong Kong's Shaw Brothers studio classic. Audio is Mandarin Chinese

300 [2007] Score: 8.9
http://imdb.com/title/tt0416449/

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Summary: This is art, entertainment, and a little helping of history, all rolled into one tremendous movie. I personally gave this a nearly perfect rating, finding some fault with the artistic license taken away from the real history. But everything else about this movie was spectacular. The cinematography and CGI was so well blended that you cannot tell fake from real at all. Moreover, the backgrounds for nearly every scene were Rembrandt quality masterpieces. Just about any stillframe can be made into a screen saver. I don't know what it is, but the last ten years or so has seen a huge influx of movies made with muted colors, in a quality that is nearly like those associated with exhibition black and white photographs. This movie is no different, and in this case, it worked extremely well; imparting a sepia toned grittiness that dovetailed seamlessly and even bolsters the subject matter. The bad guys (ie Persian Army) were true fantasy brought to the screen. Monsters and creatures that can only inhabit video game boss levels were sporadic but strategically introduced to progress and spice the action. Women too, will flock to see this movie. Not for the action nor gore (and there is an overabundance of both) mind you; but for the nearly incessant buff and beefcake parade. Because the good guys were just that, any one of them could have graced the centerfold pages of Playgirl magazine. I usually don't even notice enough of other men to dwell on that, but with this movie, I kept thinking, damn, why can't I look like that? Anyway, I don't usually go to theatres (ie pay to see something). But not only did I pay to see this, I would pay to see it again; I left the theatre wishing that the DVD comes out soon so that I can watch certain parts over again. Audio is English

Fiend Without A Face [1958] Score: 8.0
http://imdb.com/title/tt0050393/

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Beginning video is assorted scenes from movie with fan created music video in latter half

Summary: I remember seeing this as a young teen in the 60's and being scared out of my wits. Now I'm embarassed to say that it seems more than a bit ridiculous. And the girl who played the lead in this, Kim Parker; who I had thought was really hot back then? After watching this again, I've just come to realize that she actually looked amazingly like one of my ex-girlfriends that I'd lived with for a few years after college. Heh... got my wish but didn't even realize it. Go figure, eh? At any rate, this was 1950's atomic energy paranoia; which, if you can remember from way back when, gave life to a giant upright walking lizard in Japan (Gojira [1954]), giant ants in the Arizona desert (Them [1954]), and in this case, invisible thoughts that sucked out your brain and spinal cord, using them for a corporeal form. The goofy part about this was that it was actually poorly represented as the creatures crawled around with brains attached to spinal columns (vertebrae and discs) and not the cord. See it for the nostagia. Audio is English

If anyone has seen these films too, please add your comments ;)
Last edited by ralphrepo on Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:46 pm, edited 15 times in total.
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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week... (From Old Site)

Post by ralphrepo » Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:20 am

Edited Thread Material 070320 Migrated From Old Site:

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

ビジターQ Bijitâ Kyū [2001] aka Visitor Q Score: 7.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0290329/

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Summary: Takashi Miike has been involved in over 100 productions in many roles, but most often as a director of the cutting edge shock horror genre. With this movie, that pedigree is obvious. The show starts inanely enough; we see a middle aged salaryman about to enter into an enjo kosai, that is "paid" date, with a teenage schoolgirl prostitute. But as the encounter progresses, we begin to detect something amiss. Upon the culmination of the sex, it belatedly dawns on us that the teen prostitute is actually the customer's own daughter. Talk about eewwww... factor. However, it serves as a fitting introduction into the bizarre relationships of the utterly dysfunctional and emotionally crippled Yamazaki family. In addition to the two already mentioned family members, we are soon shown a schoolboy bully victim who in turn terrorizes his own drug addicted masochistic mother. She is also a prostitute and the wife of the salaryman, himself a miserably failed news reporter. Along the way, we're treated to murder, beatings, sodomy by instrument, necrophilia; just to name some of the delights to follow. An absolutely warped world witnessed and filmed by a mysterious stranger whose purpose is still unfathomable to me, despite having watched this twice. Audio is Japanese

Alone In The Dark [2005] Score: 2.8
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369226/

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Summary: The bad computer movie curse stikes again; that is, "...any great computer game can only be made into a bad movie" plagues this title too. For those that remember, Alone In The Dark was an extremely popular DOS (gee... what's that?) based computer game, that detailed the adventures of one Edward Carnby. Carnby was a private eye that sleuthed into all sorts of creepy locales, used only his wits and objects at hand, to do battle with bad guys and monsters. Many have said that the Resident Evil games (and movie) were a blatant rip off of this orignial story franchise. There were a total of four games, with the first three considered a trilogy; while the fourth game took on a new artistic and creative direction. It was the last version of the game that this movie was based, but from which it also detoured, thus changing many central elements. The premise of the movie is the traditional "good well lit world inhabited by us" versus "evil darkness filled world inhabited by nasty creatures" ...and the door that separates the two. That door had once been opened by an ancient race (the Abkani), which, as you would surmise, got burned and hence closed the door with warnings left all over the place for people not to ever try something so stupid again. The Abkani supposely became extinct because ot it. Which begs the question of how then, they were able to close it again and leave warnings; but I won't be a spoilsport. The movie then treats us to archeology museums, troops rappelling from helicopters, a short soft core love scene between Christian Slater and Tara Reid, all before revealing that it was a rogue scientist using top secret US government experiments on orphaned children (using implanted symbiotes) to further his plan to reopen the door. The story jumps around from firefight to creature mauling back to firefight. Kaboom... arghh... kaboom... Good baby sitting material for the brain dead high school drop out if you have one. Audio is English

小城之春 Xiǎochéng Zhī Chūn [2002] aka Springtime In A Small Town Score: 8.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0332831/

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Summary: Essentially a remake of Fei Mu's Spring in a Small Town [1948]. The story tells of a loveless couple, living in the ruins of their family compound, getting a visit from a friend they haven't seen in ten years. Little do they realize, that this friend had already knew each of them separately before their arranged marriage. For the husband, it was his best friend before the war; for the wife, it was her first lover, who she never quite forgotten. The husband has been suffering the classic symtoms of clinical depression whist his spouse is keeping the appearance of a good wife, she is in fact, cold and distant. The unannounced arrival of their mutual friend, considered worldly and urbane because of his extensive travels throughout the country and having fought in the war of resistence, causes both of them to suddenly come out of their shells and long for something from their past. For him, renewed friendship, comaraderie, and a break from his mental morass; for her, the chance to renew a love that she had long thought lost. Unable to choose between loyalty or love, the visitor ultimately chooses to remove himself as the source of their collective pain. Except for one scene (which could have easily wound up on the cutting room floor as it was not that important), this movie involved only five actors; three main and two supporting. Through their dialogue, one is able to weave a history between the three that reveals a profound tale of first love and deep friendship, and how one may choose sacrifice as the ultimate gift of friendship and love. Audio is Mandarin Chinese

9-Ya Pota [2005] aka The 9th Company Score: 7.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417397/

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Summary: In the year that this was released, this was the highest grossing movie in post communist Russia. By hollywood standards, this would be considered average fare. However, in post glasnost Russia, this was their Full Metal Jacket or Platoon vis-a-vis Afghanistan. Like the US, soul searching movies that questioned involvement in Indochina didn't come out until about 10 years after the end of the VietNam war. Russian moviemakers too, seem to more or less adhere to a similar timetable. This movie was their first real attempt to pointedly state the futility of their involvement in Afghanistan; the needless loss of men and material. Though the combat action and story is predictable, the fact that this movie was made at all is testiment to the change in political climate from the former Soviet days. Audio is Russian

A Passage To India [1984] Score: 9.1
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087892/

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Summary: For an anti-colonialism novel written in 1924 to be brought successfully to the big screen in 1984, it's gotta have legs; Passage to India certainly does, and in spades. I first read this in my college days, then saw the production a fews years after. It was an incredible look into the disparate social castes and clashes that was British colonial India before Independence, and it must be remembered that this tale was written contemporaneous to Mohandas Gandhi's historic acts of civil disobedience. The story revolves around a young English girl, her coming of age; her brush with sexual arousal, and the fear that it induces. That fear ultimately costs an innocent man his freedom until she summons her courage to save him, but at a huge personal price. Audio is English

Akumulátor 1 [1994] aka Accumulator 1 Score: 6.5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109071/

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Summary: Bizarre yet absurdly brilliant idea for the formation of a parallel universe, inhabited by people that had once been interviewed or shown on live television. The bad thing about this though, is that every time you're watching television, your parallel universe clone drains life energy from you through your TV set (guess mom was right, watching too much TV IS bad for you). No CGI budget it seems, and it shows, as the special effects look like first year film school stuff. But nonetheless, a mildly enjoyable comedic sci-fi romp, that is, if you don't look too deeply. Audio is Czech and Slovakian

어린 신부 Eorin Shinbu [2004] aka My Little Bride Score: 7.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0395140/

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Summary: Ever since the release of that original dirty old man movie, Child Bride in 1938, movie makers the world over have been trying to find creative and legal ways to have girls too young hook up with men too old. Not as prurient as the Japanese Perfect Education series, this attempt is more about comedy than sex. Though you must wonder about that since a man and his wife will eventually, well... you know. At any rate, a light hearted film, that shows love between two people can transcend age; which, if you don't already know, is what child molestors seem to claim all the time; the situation is rather gross if you look beneath the comedy and seriously thought about it. See if just for the comedy, but don't think too much about it. Audio is Korean

Prey [2007] Score: 1.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468536/

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Summary: Forgive me, but every once in a while, a movie comes along that is so bad, and the actors are so annoying, I actually root for the bad guys to finish them off quickly and end the movie. This movie fills that bill well. It really said something about the artistic direction of a film when the first character that we're introduced to vomits on screen. The premise of this lame safari fare is a youngster duo and their wannabe step-mom go out for a tour of the African hinterland. Little Johnny needs to take a dump, so they stop the Range Rover, get out and with the bush guide leading the way no less, walk right smack into Simba and his pride. That's a real great guide, huh? Needless to say, said guide becomes quick appetizer while hapless and helpless kids and the "woman who's sleeping with dad" scream and cry, trapped in the Range Rover. At this point, I was already telling the lion to stick his paw into the crack of the window to pull it down, so that he could promptly finish them all off. Audio is English

Perfect Creature [2006] Score: 7.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0403407/

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Summary: In 1897, Irish author Bram Stoker (no doubt inspired by a particularly nasty 15th century Romanian count), penned a dark, and literally bloodthirsty vision that subsequently leapt to screen life with Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, a 1922 German silent. Since then, such movies adhere to a premise of a vampire's need (without regard even to rhesus compatibility) to mug the unsuspecting for their hemoglobin. Indeed, movie vampires are routinely cast as a depraved, wicked, and malignant lot; those who would stop at nothing to sate their lust for blood at the expense of innocents. Few, if any at all (unless you include Selene from the Underworld series), have redeeming qualities. A New Zealand production departs from this staid "...I vant to suck your blood" gospel that had been the canon of vampire movies... well, ever since there were vampire movies. Enter Perfect Creature's world and vampirism is spun in a completely novel direction; one in which those that take their transfusions by mouth are met with religious piety rather than religious weapons (nee objects of worship, ie. crucifix or it's close approximation). In a nod to modernity, genetic manipulations and experiments to combat lethal and frequent influenza pandemics ultimately gave some men immunity, but unfortunately turned them into blood hungry vampires. Those thus changed, formed the basis for a new order; one which then provided the blood serum to produce vaccines that protected mankind from further influenza ravages. As vampires were the only source of this protection, the world accepted them as a necessary evil and donated blood to sustain their existence. This covenant between mankind and the "brothers (as the vampires in this movie are called)" have remained unbroken for over 300 years. Needless to say, that's about to change. One of the brothers decides on actions that are unbrotherly, and local law enforcement team with a righteous uber-brother to rein him in. Noticably different too, is the Dickensian background of what seems like old London (in a locale called Nuovo Zelandia); domed hat bobbies walk their beat, street urchins run about; even their clothing looks victorian. But women detectives blast bad guys with high tech mausers. It's an unusual retro-modern blend that mixes the flavors of worlds from things that we know into something oddly different, yet retains an undeniable and enjoyable familiarity. CGI too, is quite successful towards the suspension of disbelief. Audio is English

If anyone has seen these films too, please add your comments ;)
Milk wrote:(Re: Gwoemul [2006] imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468492/)

i've been waitin for this to release in theaters..the studio i was workin in did all the visual effects, so was pretty psyched bout it. but it doesn't come out in canada till 30th :x
LOL... Sorry about that, but I guess that's why Al Gore created the internet. :)
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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week... (From Old Site)

Post by ralphrepo » Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:17 am

Edited Thread Material 070329 Migrated From Old Site:

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

满城尽带黄金甲 Mǎnchéng Jìndài Huángjīnjiǎ [2006] aka Curse Of The Golden Flower Score: 8.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0473444/

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Summary: If Shakespeare had spoken Chinese, this would have been the tale that he would have told. The story courses through a Tang Palace awash with intrigues, skulduggery, incest, betrayals, and vengence. The almost immediate comparison to sagas such as King Lear or Hamlet is apt. Stir into this sordid mix, a Cecil B. DeMille "cast of thousands" type of presentation, and it's a sure crowd pleaser. A tale of a ruthless monarch maintaining an iron hold on his throne; his equally ruthless family, always jockeying and maneuvering to supplant him. Alliances are uncertain, and kinship bloodlines are never guarantees of anything; and in one instance, wrought more painful revulsion than solace. The colorful sets, together with the exquisitely designed costumes, serves up a sumptuous palette reminiscent of elaborate Chinese banquets. The viewer will savor each delicious scene and hunger for more. Visually it is a great film. Aside from some physically impossible things done in CGI that impacts the suspension of disbelief, the movie nonetheless remains mouth watering. Strange, but the women in this all seem to dress like European ladies of yore; their chest are so pushed up against their low cut tops that their breasts resemble two mounds of round tofu jutting out glaringly from the top of their bustiers. I doubt that Chinese fashions of yesteryear ever tolerated something as ridiculously revealing like that. Audio is Mandarin Chinese

알 포인트 R-Point [2004] Score: 7.1
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417072/

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Summary: A Korean supernatural thriller set, of all places, in wartime VietNam. Unbeknownst, or perhaps unfortunately forgotten, is that three divisions of Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers fought alongside US forces in the decade during 1963-1973 (total involvement of about 320,000 men). This story tells of a small squad sent to ascertain the outcome of a lost sister unit, at or around a place known only as "R-Point," a designation on a military map. The lost unit had long been missing and presumed dead, when radio transmissions requesting rescue was received. As the new squad of ROK GI's nears the area, they encounter a tombstone's cryptic warning but pay little heed. Increasingly strange and unexplainable things begin to occur. Apparently, R-Point is ripe with very bad mojo as it was the site of a brutal massacre years ago. Eventually the soldiers find an old abandoned building, uninhabited since French colonial days, in the middle of nowhere. Seems that this building is the epicenter of paranormal for all of southeast Asia. They're in the fight of their lives as malevolent spirits begin to pick them off one at a time. Audio is Korean

The 300 Spartans [1962] Score: 7.0
http://imdb.com/title/tt0055719/

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Summary: About 45 years ago, another movie about 300 plucky fellows from Sparta hit the big screen. Without the CGI, but still a good story about courage, honor, and what being a man's man is all about. A tad more historically accurate, as it included depiction of the helots (spartan serfs, over 1000 of them stood alongside, and ultimately died with their masters at Thermopylae). There's going to be an inevitable comparison between 300 and this earlier attempt. A major difference easily apparent is the latter (with CGI) was able to visually convey the sheer imbalance of forces. This movie relied more on the spoken dialogue, telling the audience of the overwhelming numbers. On screen, Persian troops barely appeared to number in the hundreds themselves. Additionally, the Spartans, save Leonides and a few others, looked rather anemic; their weapons seemed, what... light weight? You get the impression that, while yes, these guys are in the military, those other guys in Frank Miller's movie are Special Forces; the guys in this movie look like boot camp rejects. Amazingly, as a boy, Frank Miller supposedly saw and was inspired by this movie. Of visible note too, is the earlier US trend to sanitize gore. You won't see the bloodfest that was 300. Much of the wounds and battle damage are implied. Unfortunately though, both efforts lacked a detailed explanation of how such a small number of soldiers were able to withstand repeated assaults by vastly superior numbers. The proposed tactics used in this movie were laughingly amateurish and more hollywood in nature than tactically superior or advantageous. If they actually did that in real battle, they would have been easily overrun. But not to worry, the director compensated for that. He apparently made the Persians fight like girls; as in...Oh no, I broke a nail... FALL BACK!!!. Bunch of creampuffs Audio is English

Inseminoid [1981] aka Horror Planet Score: 1.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084090/

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Summary: The most interesting aspect about this motion picture is the political; it was called Inseminoid in the UK, but fear of censors gave it a title of Horror Planet in the US. Some great sci-fi movies had certainly come out of the '80's; unfortunately this wasn't one of them. From it's thin cheesy plot to it's cheap props and ridiculous spacesuits, this entire venture is a horror in it's own right, never mind the story. Supposedly, a space archeologic expedition makes contact with a horny alien, resulting in one of our earth girls getting raped and impregnated. She then goes on a murderous morning after rampage and kills her collegues; the end. Yawn. The shocker of this was that it was supposedly produced by Sir Run Run Shaw, of Chinese movie classic fame; after watching this, you suspect that he might have been named Sir Rin Tin Tin instead, as this movie was a real dog. Audio is English

Hak Kuen [2006] aka Fatal Contact Score: 6.8
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0813549/

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Summary: Kungfu hick meets big city bad guys. No matter his good moves; he'll lose in the end. That's the moral of this story. A Chinese national martial arts champion working in a traveling acrobatic road show is offered a shot at underground boxing matches. An illegal venue of Hong Kong mob kings it seems, as they regularly use such fight outcomes as a source of gambling income. Our hero rebuffs their offer. A pretty gal from the troupe later convinces him to do otherwise. Unbeknownst to him, she saw a financial opportunity for herself. She contacts and aligns herself with the mobsters and for a price, eventually cajoles him to enter the illegal sport. He soon falls for her, and continues to engage increasingly dangerous opponents for ever higher and brutal stakes. She is as artfully deceitful as she is beautiful, having grown up on the rough margins of life. As she instructs a hooker girlfriend in how to move up the money ladder, you'll get a shockingly clear sense of where she's been. Utterly ruthless, she is a well practiced study of how to use men. In the end, after winning many matches, he is then ordered to throw a bout, and to do it convincingly. Thinking this girl's life was in danger if he didn't do as instructed, he purposely cripples himself in the arena. But the girl is actually watching from a hidden vantage point, all the while allowing a mobster to grope and fondle her. She suddenly begins to feel remorse and shame. They probably used a body double for this, I doubt that singer Miki Yeung 楊愛瑾 (who played this part) would have really allowed another actor to hand-wedgy her butt on camera. Also, continuing in a long line of missed translation, Hak Kuen transliterated is black fist; the meaning or translation should probably be read as illegal kungfu style, or something along those lines. How they came up with a title of Fatal Contact is beyond me. Audio is Cantonese Chinese

Der Untergang [2004] aka The Downfall Score: 8.8
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363163/

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Summary: I've seen so many representations of the final moments within Hitler's bunker, I was sure that I knew all the angles and that nothing could ever impress me. Fortunately, I was wrong. The Downfall (aka The Downfall: Hitler & The End Of The 3rd Reich), was a fresh perspective as told from the vivid memories of Traudl Junge, Hitler's last secretary. While other retelling had already recounted Hitler's delusional phantom armies, this effort told more of the profound effect that the Führer still had on those around him, despite their world collapsing all around them. The frustrations, fears, disillusionments; and too, the love, devotion, and loyalty, of officers and political advisors who surrounded him in the last days, is especially compelling. Additionally, the side story of the Goebbels six young children and the methodical way that their own mother chillingly murders them is an ordeal; quite grueling to watch. Through her expressed devotion of national socialism over life for her own children, one can readily see the depth of madness that Germany had sunk to. Of special note too, was the graphic display of fanatic Hitler loyalists, who thought nothing of arbitrarily murdering German citizens, just to buy themselves a few more seconds of power and control. The star of the show was Bruno Ganz, who's portrayal of Austria's most infamous "paper hanger" was as memorable as any I've seen. You come away with the genuine belief that you personally were in that bunker and had witnessed Hitler's final moments. Audio is German

Hors De Prix [2006] aka Priceless Score: 7.5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482088/

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Summary: A story of the well off, and the well kept. She (a gold digger), because of a drunken liaison with him (a bartender), loses her rich sugar-daddy. He falls in love with her regardless. Angry with him, she exacts revenge by making him spend money that he doesn't have. Soon after, she finds herself another well heeled sucker to leech off of; leaving him to suffer the pile of accumulated debt. Without recourse, he becomes a gigolo. They meet up again, and she teaches him the finer points of the sycophant trade (with the most important being accumulation of material wealth before your welcome is worn out). As fast friends, they meet whenever away from their keepers. Ultimately she is again found out, dumped and left destitute. She's left with nowhere to go, but he gives up everything to assist her; that is, to help set her up with another rich man again. Belatedly, she realizes that she's already fallen in love with him. Both penniless except for a Euro, they ride off into the continental sunset leaving their lives of upper crust prostitution behind. Very predictable story line, but a comedic charm nonetheless. Audrey Tautou is, as always, stunning and a joy to watch. I first fell in love with her as Amelie. With this film, she continues to win my heart. Audio is French

Indigènes [2006] aka Days Of Glory Score: 7.8
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0444182/

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Summary: North African muslim colonials in the service of France during WW2, faced not only German bullets, but a wide cultural divide, along with French racism, and discrimination as well. Indigènes shows that despite willingness to die for colonial masters, the patriotic affection of colonials often goes unappreciated and is rarely reciprocated. Second class citizenship in one's own military is not new. As far back as Go for Broke! [1951] (which detailed the WW2 experiences and courage of US soldiers of Japanese ancestry), and A Soldier's Story [1984] (showcasing racism against US soldiers of African descent); there is no new ground broken here. However, with the historic animus between France and many of it's former African possessions, and given the social upheavals in many muslim communities within France today, it's a story that bears relevence and retelling. Audio is French

Offside [2006] Score: 7.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499537/

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Summary: A wacky but intimate look into the social conundrums created by present day byzantine religious rules in Iran. A young woman wants to go see a live soccer match. Under current Iranian public morals laws (ostensibly for the purpose of protecting her) she is not allowed to. Different girls come up with unusual disguises in attempts to get past stadium security but are arrested. The movie deals with their travails in an examination of the unfair and double standards on which such rules are often based. Audio is Farsi

Five Graves To Cairo 1943 Score: 8.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035884/

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Summary: After friendly forces have been routed by the German Afrika Korps, a British tank crewman is left stranded behind enemy lines. To avoid capture, he hides out in a small hotel, assuming the identity of a recently deceased waiter (killed in an air raid). Unfortunately, when the enemy arrive, the first person that they sought was the waiter. The late waiter, as it turns out, happened to be a German spy. As events unfold, Field Marshall Rommel himself, the supreme commander of the Afrika Korps, discloses important battle plans to him. Now In possession of vital information, he must make it back to his own lines before the Germans can continue their offensive. Along the way he crosses paths with a French maid, who hates the British for leaving the French to die on the beaches of Dunkirk. The maid is desperate to save her brother, already held in a nazi POW camp, and contemplates revealing the British soldier to the Germans as a bargaining chip. I remember seeing this movie years ago as a teenager. Surprising, but the moments of anxiety as he is almost found out time and again, are still present even though I already know the story and ending. The acting, timing of lines, and cinematography, given the period, are superb. And for the historical accuracy afficionados, the "German" armored vehicles used in the movie were actually American machines. Audio is English

Ryna [2005] Score: 7.2
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0449642/

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Summary: After the fall of Nicolae Ceauşescu's regime, one imagines that Romania can once be the picturesque European country with irresistable old world charm. Well, maybe in the large cities that can attract tourists. In the backwaters, it was hard scrabble during the communist dictatorship, and even worse under capitalism. This is the home of Ryna, a budding 16 year old trying hard to grow beyond the limits of her family and station in life. Her drunk loser of a father obviously needed a son; he certainly raised one as Ryna had to work as his helper in his garage. He insists that Ryna shuck all trappings of femininity by forcing her to wear only overalls and to keep her hair short. Despite this, she's still the target of many unwelcomed sexual advances, which she's become fairly creative at fending off. In the midst of all this, she's also a hemophiliac. And if that's isn't enough, her father, about to lose his business permit, allows the town mayor to rape her as the cost of ensuring that he doesn't lose his livelihood. Much like François Truffaut's Les Quatre Cents Coups [1959] (The 400 Blows, which translates more or less as the straw that broke the camel's back), this movie is about the harshness of life, and how those that we normally rely on can turn out to be the most unreliable. A sad and gripping tale. Audio is French & Romanian

Good Bye Lenin! [2003] Score: 7.9
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0301357/

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Summary: A comedic and moving story about a son's love for his dying mother that also touches the lost hopes and shattered dreams for people of a failed republic. As the dead end of Soviet modeled socialism became evident with each passing day, the Berlin Wall is about to collapse under sheer public will. However, not all East Germans wanted to accept western influences. One such anti-western woman lapses into an eight month coma just days before the fall of the wall. When she miraculously awakens, her son is told that any emotional shock could kill her. Afraid that knowledge of the DDR's demise would cause her death, he desperately endeavors to surround her with the German socialist world that she knew, still in place. He orchestrates a troupe of friends and acquantances in a collective socialist theatre, including faux television broadcasts, fake cosmonauts, and relabeled bottles, all designed to maintain a deception for her benefit. The irony of this propaganda is powerful and blunt, but delivered to us with hilarity as well as loving humility. Eventually, we discover that it was the mother's past fears which brought them to their unfortunate crossroads, one which she now bitterly regrets. At this point, her broken marriage becomes a metaphor for separated Germany; the children (or by inference the German people), were the ones that ultimately suffered. Despite this, she is finally allowed to see through the son's deception, and to see that despite the pain she had caused, that her family still loves her. Or if you prefer, how Germans will always love Germany, no matter how poorly their government leads them. A compelling reminder about the resilience of people regardless of nationality. Audio is German

Supercroc [2007] Score: 1.5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0934584/

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Summary: I never knew a movie could stink so bad. Pee-Yewww... This one had me gasping for air after the first ten minutes. The monster in this was supposed to have been one huge mother of a crocodile, rendered in CGI of course. Only they must have forgotten the CGI. Most of the images looked like they were purposly blurred to mask their amateurish quality. The audio tracks were a cut and paste disaster of raw recordings with no equalization of sound levels. One second, you're listening to dialogue, and the next, it's background machine gun fire drowning out the spoken lines. In one main character's tirade; she sounded like she was speaking into a dead microphone. This was bare bones on a low budget and it showed. Further, they couldn't even put on their uniforms correctly; mismatched combinations of officer and enlisted grade insignias were plainly seen on Lt. Henche's uniform (officer rank insignia were worn with enlisted collar insignia). She's also wearing a combat infantryman's badge; which, for anyone who's ever been in the military, knows is impossible as woman cannot legally serve in infantry units. Movies like this should only be shown in prison as punishment for unruly felons. Audio is English

My Super Ex-Girlfriend [2006] Score: 6.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0465624/

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Summary: Farcical love story involving a super powered but deeply neurotic Uma Thruman and a Mr. Joe average. He initially thinks it's tres cool to be dating the most powerful woman on the planet, but subsequently finds it more than a bit stifling. After breaking up with her, he begins to fall in love with another girl but is mercilessly hounded by his uber-ex. Charming what if, with the inevitable and humorous exploration of bedding down a super powered chick. Audio is English

If anyone has seen these films too, please add your comments ;)
Last edited by ralphrepo on Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week... (From Old Site)

Post by Maomao » Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:37 am

not all of them, but mostly i hane seen :idea:

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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week... (From Old Site)

Post by ralphrepo » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:25 am

Edited Thread Material 070410 Migrated From Old Site:

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

大紅燈籠高高掛 Dà Hóng Dēnglóng Gāogāo Guà [1991] Score: 9.0
aka Raise The Red Lantern
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101640/

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[1] [2]
[1] Trailer in Mandarin Chinese audio with English hard subs
[2] Scene from movie in Mandarin Chinese audio with English hard subs

Summary: More than 15 years have past since I was slackjawed at the absolutely stunning recreation of a 1920's Chinese mansion. Viewing this again reaffirmed my previous impression; it's still awesome in it's quiet beauty. From the zhuànwén scripted plaque in the entryway to the curved roofs and scrollwork; it is a Chinese architectural feast rarely available to the western world. Initially banned by the PRC, who had accuse it of allegorical slights against the government, this movie has since been viewed by many Chinese and have won continued acclaim. The story centers on a young SongLian, who, having lost her father, must abandon her hopes of education. Instead, she is sold off as a concubine to a rich household. From the point of her arrival as the fourth mistress, the politics take hold. Yan'er, a servant who had been the object of the master's amorous attentions, had desperately hoped to be chosen as the next wife. When SongLian shows up, Yan'er is bitterly disappointed. A fractious relationship develops when she is assigned to be SongLian's personal servant; Yan'er works at every opportunity to supplant and undermine SongLian. Further, despite a veneer of cordiality between the wives, it's soon apparent that there are tremendous internecine forces at play. Each seeks to advance in standing by currying the master's favor, and often at the expense of another. The one who has the master's attention for the moment is graced with a ritualistic foot massage, and the appointment of an elaborate display of red lanterns. I personally think that Gong Li (SongLian), isn't the beauty that others claim her to be; alright then, ...I think she's butt ugly even after a few drinks. But boy, she is one heck of an actress, and she plays her part perfectly in this. It was a pleasure watching this again. Audio is Mandarin Chinese

Viridiana [1961] Score: 9.6
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055601/

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Summary: Another anti-government film, this time against the Spanish Franco government and Catholic church of Spain. This Luis Buñuel classic was ironically done at the behest of Francisco Franco (who convinced the self imposed exiled director to return from Mexico, in an effort to make Spain and Franco look better). Buñuel agreed, returned and promptly made Viridiana; a scathing commentary about the state and it's insipient church, which Franco subsequently banned and nearly destroyed. All existing copies in Spain were confiscated and burned. Several copies had already been shipped to France, and the one I saw was a remastered version from one of these prints. The movie trails a stunningly beautiful Viridiana, about to take her vow of chastity. As a way of wrapping up worldly affairs before that big day, she pays a final visit to a rich estranged uncle. The Uncle's farm and property is a metaphor for the state, one which Buñuel charges has laid moribund since Franco's tookover (this was alluded to with the "...fallow fields" comment). Viridiana is devout and pious, but alas, so ignorant and oblivious that despite her obvious charm, she is almost painful to watch. The movie is also over the top with sexual repression and innuendo. Early on, Viridiana's gingerly attempt to milk a cow is innocent yet overflows with sexual tension, as would a virgin who hesitently touches a p.enis for the first time; unsure of what to do with it. Additionally, her uncle desires her, but is wracked with guilt and stops himself midway into raping her. But he tells her that he did it anyway, so that she would no longer be "pure" enough for the church. He then hangs himself. Hobbled with guilt of having driven him to such extremes, she leaves the church and begins to take in and care for the dirty unwashed destitute masses as a way of redemption. She even sleeps on a wooden board instead of a mattress, accumulating her wealth in suffering and penitence. A long lost illegitimate son of the uncle, her cousin, inherits the estate upon his father's death. He secretly desires Viridiana too, but takes up with the maid as a way of passing the time. Anti-church commentaries continues throughout. In one visual glimpse, the audience is shown a beautiful crucifix. Moments later, that crucifix is transformed to reveal what it really is; a cheap and gaudy switchblade knife. More of these "thing of beauty turned ugly" metaphors play repeatedly in this film; a bridal gown once worn by someone beautiful is donned by a leperous outcast, who prances in it to the strains of the Hallelujah Chorus (as pious a tune as one can get). Near the end, a scene resembling a macabre version of the last supper was hiliarious, instantly recalling the biblical admonition of never casting pearls before swine. This was alledgedly Buñuel's suggestion, that the church, though inviting, was so far out of touch with the common masses that for all their good intentions, efforts were impotent, hollow, and ultimately wasted. Audio is Spanish

Plane Dead [2007] aka Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane Score: 7.1
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780583/

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Summary: If you couldn't ever imagine how zombies would book a seat on a commercial flight, then you're in for a treat. Transporting deadly cargo in it's hold, a transatlantic flight is soon overrun by flesh eating zombies of the latter kind. That is, these zombies don't adhere to the George Romero's original Night Of The Living Dead's [1968] school of stiff legged shuffle; these are fast attack zombies like those seen in later efforts (which I personally disagree with, as it makes them essentially furless werewolves). As more and more passengers get bitten by a highly infectious zombifying bug, the survivors must somehow land the plane safely before the US government shoots them all down. As tight a space as a commercial airliner is, this movie nonetheless was able to use the small space to it's claustrophobic advantage, and even sympathy for one particular zombified passenger; after getting bit, he never gets any victims throughout the whole movie. Enough ghoul and gore splatter to satisfy any fan of the re-animated Audio is English

Kung Phooey! [2003] Score: 7.3
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0282667/

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Summary: Indy effort by Darryl Fong that's rightfully a Chinese reprise of Robert Townsend's hit, Hollywood Shuffle [1987], Kung Phooey! is a satirical delight delivered at the end of a vaudevillian shish-kebab skewer. Like it's earlier brethren, which rebutted many western media's stereotypical takes on black roles; this effort examines western contrived roles for Chinese; stands them on their heads, and then gives them a spin for good measure. In a delicious dig at the American hit television series Kung Fu [1972] (the idea for which was alledgedly stolen from the late martial arts master Bruce Lee), this movie re-examines many of that show's iconic landmarks through a comedic prism. Also along for the ride are riotous scene makeovers from many of Master Lee's classics such as Enter The Dragon [1973] and Fists Of Fury [1971]. A gleeful and zany jaunt that is sure to please. Audio is English and (rarely) Cantonese Chinese

Land Of The Blind [2006] Score: 8.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433405/

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Summary: A sobering story and painful distillation of revolutionary motives, rhetoric, injustices, and ironies that have plagued our political landscape over the last century. If you want to walk into this movie and immediately "get it," be at least 50 years of age, have lived all your life in a stable democracy that values independent thought, and have the luxury of freedom of speech. Tangential commentary on current and past luminaries from humankind's hall of shame include the Duvaliers (Francois and Jean-Claude), Kims (Il Sung and Jong Il), Khomeini, Castro, Mao, et al; in fact becoming too many to list. Suffice to say that even ardent students of politcal theatre would have a hard time keeping up. The premise in this case, is a sort of Khomeni nee Mandela Marxist persona that, once liberated from prison and ascends to power through the usual means (coup d'etat), soon falls prey to the adage of "absolute power corrupting absolutely." I watched this with my teenaged son, who ernestly tried, but stated that the movie was "...confusing, disjointed, and never really grounded in anything that you could follow for very long." I, on the other hand, was saddened by the chilling references to factual political history that the film discussed, and even more so, by the realization that my own son had failed to even grasp the significance of what he was seeing. He and his generation thus, either through ignorance or hubris, remains vulnerable to turning over the reins of mankind over to such extremists. Audio is English

Dawn Of The Dead [2004] Score: 7.3
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363547/

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Summary: George Romero had explored the shopping-mall perspective in 1978. In this 2004 remake, Zack Snyder puts polish on it, and throws in few twists to please even the most jaded lover of walking cadavers. It begins when our main character escapes whilst family members unfortunately undergo zombification. She meets other survivors and they shelter within a closed shopping mall. Making short work of some recently transmogrified night cleaning staff, they run into an armed security detail headed by a megalomaniac rent-a-cop. After taking control from him, other survivors show up, and they collectively try to figure a way out. While in the mall, a few interesting things start to happen. The film introduces us to the various good and bad personalities plus a few novel items. As far as I can recall, I've never seen a birth of an undead baby in any of these movies. This was rather creative; done when one of the characters, who was pregnant, died of a zombie bite. The fetus succumbs too, but becomes re-animated in the womb, and thereafter is, ahem... delivered the normal way. Also apparent is adjustments to the laws of zombism. This title affirms that headshots definitively puts them down (though the bodies still need to be burned). Transmission of the condition (in addition to the aforemention in utero vector), is through bites; the severity of the bite bearing positive correlation with the rate of zombification (ie. the nastier the bite, the faster the change). That living people who die of "natural" causes (eg. bullet wounds) do not undergo change. And finally, that household animals (eg. cute dogs in this case) fails to elicit or attract undue attention from the undead. Additionally, these zombies seem to be of the latter kind. That is, they're not the slow shufflers of older movies. These guys really move; so well in fact, that I thought I was looking at Beijing '08 track and field hopefuls. This severely limits the strategic options of living characters, essentially making bunkering down an absolute necessity. I've said this repeatedly; I personally dislike zombies who can move like Olympic sprinters as it renders them more in character with hairless werewolves; too dam.ned fast. BTW, I don't like the old Chinese hoppers either (ie I find them ridiculous) but that's another story. At any rate, our hapless crew rig up shuttle buses (a la Clint Eastwood's The Gauntlet [1977]), in an attempt to drive out of their land of the dead. One word of cautionary advice; never try to use a chainsaw on a moving bus. Audio is English

The Abandoned [2006] Score: 8.2
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0475937/

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[1] [2]
[1] Trailer full version
[2] Trailer short version

Summary: Every now and again, I completely disagree with the critics. This movie was panned by just about every reviewer that I read. Yet I personally found it to be one incredibly creepy film. Not many movies can grab me by the nose and hold me, enthralled on the one hand, but petrified on the other, until the credits start to roll. Well, this one certainly did. It's essentially a haunted house story, but one with a twist. The ghosts of the house only wants what should never have left, that is, two orphaned siblings who escaped being murdered 40 years ago. In an odd series of events, the brother and sister, who had otherwise never met, are thrown together back into the desolate farm house of their birth and near death, in a fight against supernatural forces that want to claim their lives all over again. As they explore the ruins of their former home, they discover that the ghosts haunting the place are none other than themselves. Trying desperately to escape, they're thwarted over and over, until a final showdown at midnight. The house goes back in time and they're forced to witness what should have been their own murders. Audio is English

鬼佬 Ghosts [2006] Score: 9.0
http://imdb.com/title/tt0872202/

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Trailer in Chinese audio with English hard subs

Summary: A very moving docudrama that details the Morecambe Bay Cockling Disaster of 2004, in England, where 23 illegal Chinese migrants were overcome by the rapid tides and drowned. Cockles are small clam-like creatures (used in seafood cuisine or eaten raw) that are dug from the sand during low tide. The Morecambe Bay tidal movement ranges about 10 meters (more than 30 feet), and is well known to locals for it's deceptive calm and rapid waters, faster than a man can run. The movie starts with the illegal migrants becoming trapped in the tide, then flashes back to one year before. Focusing on one of the migrants, Ai Qin, from the start of her journey in Fujian, China, it follows her to the United Kingdom over the course of nearly six months. Of course, time in this case is artificially compressed, such that the movie fails to do justice to the grueling nature of the trip. Upon her arrival, Qin is thrown into a house with many other Chinese illegals. Their house is rented at exobitant prices, considering the accommodation given in return; a foam mattress on the floor. They're taught to bribe employment agency officials in order to get work with fake documents, which are also provided by a boss for a price. Encountering low wages, racism, and exploitation as a daily experience, they move to the area around Morecambe Bay in search of better fortunes, but only to meet with tragedy. Audio is Mandarin Chinese and English

***Note*** For those that feel compelled to do something about the tragedy, there is a fund set up for the victim's survivors. go to: http://www.ghosts.uk.com/
For more info about the tragedy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Morec ... g_disaster


Breaker Morant [1980] Score: 8.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080310/

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Summary: A powerful true story about expedience and it's human costs; how those that give their masters all that they're asked are then sacrificed by those selfsame masters as a matter of convenience. Stanley Kubrick's Paths Of Glory [1957] touched on much the same nerve in his story about the French military of the Great War. Breaker Morant, an Australian film, retells the 1902 story of a sham military trial, conducted during the closing days of the Second Boer War. Three Australian officers, in the service of the British Empire's army, are railroaded on trumped up charges in order to protect the image of it's higher officers and the British government. At stake is the men's lives versus the British army's willingness to accept responsibility for doing unacceptable things during times of war. It convincingly establishes the men's innocence, though futilely as their fates had already been consigned to larger political needs. This film remains relevant in view of such current issues as presented with events in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, prisons both under US military wartime control, where the conduct of US soldiers have come under international scrutiny. Audio is English

ハウルの動く城 Hauru no ugoku shiro [2004] aka Howl's Moving Castle Score: 8.1
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0347149/

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Summary: A much loved childrens' fantasy tale brought to life in an animated flight of whimsy. A young hat shop girl, through events beyond her control, is soon thrust into the middle of an ongoing battle between good and evil magical forces. She is cursed by a jealous witch stripping her of her youth and beauty. She sets out into the wastes in order avoid shaming her family, and embarks on a magical adventure, ultimately revealing that, with love, one can conquer all. Audio is English

If anyone has seen these films too, please add your comments ;)
Last edited by ralphrepo on Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:33 pm, edited 19 times in total.
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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week... (From Old Site)

Post by ralphrepo » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:31 am

Edited Thread Material 070426 Migrated From Old Site:

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

분홍신 Boon-hong-sin aka The Red Shoes Score: 7.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468683/
http://www.hancinema.net/korean_movie_Red_Shoes.php

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Summary: A mysterious pair of women's shoes appears on a underground (subway, metro, MTR, whatever...) train platform. The otherwise non-descript footwear seems to attract a lot more attention than they would warrant at first glance; a garish hot pink suede with heels not even close to what you might consider extravagant. But every woman encountering them, young and old alike, seems covetously mesmerized by them. Those who take the shoes from others and proudly wear them somehow end up meeting with very nasty and unpleasant deaths, as it seems that the shoes are (like da-uh...) terminally haunted. Just when you think that the main character is saved, the shoes will kick it's heels again and surprise you. Apparently, the original owner, a dancer, had her feet chopped off and was murdered. Anyone wearing those shoes becomes possessed with her malevolent spirit, making them kill anyone who attempts to take those shoes. Our main character, who spent the entire movie walking through creepy corridors dodging frights (including a torrential flood of blood a la The Shining [1980]), at the end, realizes that under the influence of the shoes, she herself was the one that killed nearly everyone around her. Audio is Korean

튜브 Tyoo-beu [2003] aka Tube Score: 6.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0339824/

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Summary: A lot of sizzle but no steak. This might have been a great flick save it's indecisive and multiple personalities. On the one hand, it could have easily been a guy's film except a bad attempt at a love story interrupts the dynamic action tempo. Or, it could have been a tear jerking chick flick, except for all the things going boom and people getting shot left and right dampering that romantic mood. Throw in a government covert ops conspiracy and a runaway train? Now you're chewing popcorn just for the heck of it. You don't know what you're looking at and moreover, you begin to not care. Oh, and say, Kim Jong Il? You watching? You can invade now; if the swat guys in this movie are any indication of the ROK's military's tactical prowess, you'll have them in your back pocket after a spare weekend. A few bad guys with nothing more than standard issue sidearms and a stern demeanor are able to waltz through an entire company of Seoul's armed to the teeth finest, without even breaking a sweat. None of them, except for the movie's designated hero, can hit any bad guys despite expending hundreds of rounds. The hero usually gets the de rigueur one shot, one kill option. After which he immediately stops shooting to instead engage in a staredown contest with other bad guys. The anti-hero too, is smitten with too many dramatic mean-faced closeups. If he was as bad a character as the movie tried to make him (a government sanctioned killing machine), he would have killed the hero many times over without first staring at him for sixty seconds each time. Recalling earlier and more successful attempts at underground mayhem in The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three [1974], there is no "Gesundheit" or gotcha moment here. Tube limps to a close as the hero dies holding down a switch handle to prevent an explosion while others escape. Not to be a spoil sport but he could have just as easily tied the thing down with a belt and escaped with the others. And the dramatic climax was signaled not by major pyrotechnics, but a rather distant and tepid poof. Audio is Korean

提防老千 Tai Fong Lo Chin [2006] aka Wise Guys Never Die Score: 4.5
http://imdb.com/title/tt0904071/

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Summary: A black comedy that fails to deliver very many laughs. The story revolves around a not so bright accountant who is sent up the river for someone else's embezzlement of the company; or so it would seem. Our chief protagonist lands in jail, is made into someone's b.itch, but finds relative safe harbor under another prisoner's umbrage and eventual tutelage. After release from prison, he thinks he's going to be in on a big score (scamming a local Mr. Big) but discovers his new partner really just wants him to be set up as the fall guy. Allied with his partner's disgruntled but hot girlfriend, he comes up with a plan to get rid of the partner while taking control of his scam. But as intricate plot layers are peeled away, we see that things aren't as they had appeared at all. All told, the elaborate plot was acceptable, but there seemed little else. The actors failed to make you believe that they were a part of the story; they were reading lines from the script, but their characters were hollow. At the end, the truely evil get their comeuppance, everyone else walks away, but you're left wondering why you feel like you've just wasted 87 minutes of your life. Audio is Cantonese Chinese

싸이보그지만 괜찮아 Saibogeujiman Kwaenchanha [2006] aka I'm A Cyborg But That's OK Score: 8.8
http://imdb.com/title/tt0497137/

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Summary: It was a real shame that this movie was a commercial failure. Directed by famed Korean director Park Chan-wook and with pop idol Rain in a starring role, Cyborg was greatly anticipated and had high expectations, leading the box office in the weekend that it opened. But by the third week, it was hardly playing on any screen. That is a shame as this film was able to convey a lot of what psychiatry is about. The film accurately reveals that schizophrenia usually runs in families; our main character Young-goon's grandmother and mother's strange behavior both is lightly, but tellingly touched upon. Anyone who had evey dealt with acutely psychotic people will instantly recognize the bizarre behaviors, distorted and obsessive rationales that were exhibited in this movie. Brad Pitt was unusually precise in his portrayal of an acute schizophrenic in Twelve Monkeys [1995]. But Cyborg takes the extra step of putting the audience into the patient's shoes; we can perceive what the psychotic actually sees, hears, or feels. The hilarious sequence where a remorseless Young-goon machine guns the doctors and nurses, or the bicolor sock enabled flight launch by another patient; is not just funny, but provides a frighteningly insightful look at things that are, for all intents and purposes, real from the patient's perspective. Cyborg convincingly shows that despite these extreme psychiatric handicaps, it is not at all unusual for people to have wants, needs and desires, and work towards a defined purpose, including love. I found this to be wonderful film on many different levels. Audio is Korean

The Tooth Fairy [2006] Score: 5.7
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0473553/

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Summary: Children should be careful where they place their last deciduous tooth; not under your pillow like you've been told, and you certainly don't want this gift. In this sharp reversal of a popular child's myth, instead of getting something nice for that discarded molar, you're going to get axed should The Tooth Fairy get a hold of it. Friday the 13th type of faceless stalking horror, reputed to have killed many children in a house years ago, reappears as the ramshackle property is renovated as a deep woods bed and breakfast. Formulaic frights like turning to suddenly face horror, or being touched by horror and not realizing it because you had assumed it to be your sex partner, et cetera. The only new feature was the restless ghosts of the Fairy's victims inhabiting an old graveyard, with one of them warning the young main star about the evil headed her way. There seems to be a run on cloak fashions in this town, as several characters, including the bad guy, seems to wear them. I guess they did this to heighten the fright value, as in: "whew, it was only the weirdly dressed neighbor; we can relax everyone, it's not the bad guy... but boy! It sure scared me, ha-ha..." Cheap? Absolutely. When story tellers resort to these things, you know that they don't have much to say. Oh, and BTW, the funniest aspect of this movie is in the credits. You'll see that the part of The Tooth Fairy itself, is played by four Chinese guys. Audio is English

활 Hwal [2005] aka The Bow Score: 8.5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0456470/

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Summary: Director 김기덕 Kim Ki-duk, well known for artsy films, is true to his pedigree. Fans won't be disappointed in this romantic drama about love, letting go, and giving back. Nominally a story about a girl found at age six by a recluse boatman, who then raises her on his rust bucket, a fishing platform for hire. We arrive as the girl, though young, is past puberty and her good looks is attracting lewd advances from guests on the boat. The old fisher keeps the rabble off her by his gruff manner and a keen bow. We're told that the girl is to eventually marry the old man when she reaches seventeen. At the beginning, it's blatantly obvious that the girl deeply loves the old man and is not shy in front of him either; allowing him to bathe her. They sleep in separate bunks but still hold hands. The old man dutifully marks off the passing days on a "marriage" calender, ie. anticipating the day that he can bed her. All said, we get the impression that had the old man become impatient and made a move for the girl beforehand, she would have been all over him like white on rice regardless. This is not quite the tale as spun by Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita, 1955), but the theme is similar. Into the mix arrives a handsome young man, who wins the affections of the girl. As the wizened boatman tries to separate them her temperment changes to pure venom. Flaunting her seductiveness as a taunt, she later spurns his sincere attempts at apology. Eventually, the old man realizes that he'd already lost her heart and decides to let her, along with his dream, go. As she is leaving, he attempts suicide but doesn't quite go through with it. She realizes the depth of his love and desire, finally agreeing to go through with their marriage. On their wedding "bed" the storyline changes into pure fantasy. Launching a final mystical arrow into the sky, the old fisher jumps into the sea and disappears while she is sleeping. After a fashion, she begins to stir from her somnalence, but begins to move into a sexually receptive position, gyrating and thrusting her hips forward as if a lover were atop her. Suddenly, the old man's final arrow strikes home, landing directly between her legs, scarcely an inch from her crotch; she moans as if in orgasmic ecstacy. Needless to say, this was an ending that I never would have expected. The girl gives the old man what he wanted all along without actually doing so on screen. Beautiful yet childlike 한여름 Han Yeo-reum, who played a young prostitute in another one of Kim's movies (Samaritan Girl [2004]), reminds me of a younger, more virginal 徐淑娟 Vivian Hsu, was well cast as the budding object of desire, despite her being already in her twenties when this film was made. On a darker note, the idea of a father figure raising a child for eventual personal marriage and sex is totally abhorent; unless you're Woody Allen that is. Audio is Korean.

Slither [2006] Score: 7.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0439815/

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Summary: A comedic horror that pays homage to those that have gone before, Slither perhaps, was hoping to worm it's way into your heart. Bad pun, I know, but it was too hard to resist. The movie seems an amalgam of things already done rather than anything new; it does try to work up a creative lather but the suds are few. Plot wise, an alien intelligence hitches a meteor to podunk, USA, where it begins it's evil work. It initially infects a local bigwig, using him to facilitate a living incubation hatchery (in the body of a girlfriend) for production of aggressive serpentine creatures. If one of these creepy crawlies gets into your mouth, your a.ss is zombified, becoming a walking dead, slave to this creature's hive mind control. Needless to say, the whole town except for our hero and a select few are thus infected and doing the Romero Rumba in short order. These dead servants bring in more, er... food for thought; they quite literally "join" the main creature, becoming a festering syncytium of hapless podunkers, with just enough recognizable anatomy remaining to provide comic relief. It all ends with a timely propane injection and said local bigwig's wife's realization that her marriage is finally over. Visually the supporting CGI was exceptional, surprisingly well done for this kind of film. Sadly it's box office performance was decidely anemic despite decent reviews. Audio is English.

The Pied Piper Of Hamelin [1957] Score: 8.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050842/

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Summary: A much loved tale albeit sanitized via Hollywood 1950's sensibilities. A seemingly timeless story of a magical woodwind or brass player, aka piper, hired to rid a town of it's rodentia, is reneged upon after completion of the job. He exacts vengence by kidnapping the children and holding them in his mountain magical hideout. Only after the town's denizens discovers goodness over greed does he release the children unharmed. At the time, this was considered spectacular on television, and in color too (What? You don't remember black and white only television?). This charming, rhyming, lyrical adaptation, with music inspired by Grieg, paraphrases a story found in The Brothers Grimm's Deutsche Sagen [1816]; which they themselves had referenced from previous 12th century stories about the Hamelin Ratcatcher, the name that the piper was really known as. In our modern version, the piper plays a wooden piccolo flauto; everyone learns a good lesson and lives happily ever after, with lots of singing and dancing along the way. Ahem... that's Hollywood. In the real Hamelin event (as written of in historic documents), the ratcatcher was fitted with something resembling a clarinet. The outcome of over 130 children are not known, as they were never to be seen again. Audio is English

Turist Ömer Uzay Yolunda [1973] aka Turkish Star Trek Score: 6.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0182503/

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Summary: Any fans of the original Star Trek series will howl when they see this. Americans are familiar with the various situational National Lampoon films starring Chevy Chase; similarly there is a collection of Turkish films called "Ömer the Tourist" centered around a guy named Ömer and the comical situations that he gets into all over Turkey. In this cult classic, he is beamed onto another planet where he encounters the away team from the original Starship Enterprise during the episode called The Man Trap. They were even able to come up with someone that resembles Yeoman Janice Rand (played in real life by Grace Lee Whitney) Anyways, Ömer is famous for getting into trouble and on this outing, he even p.isses off the emotionless Mr. Spock. In the background is a reasonable reproduction of the entire episode of that salt loving shape shifting creature that nearly kills Kirk until McCoy shoots it. Awesome parody, but production values remain strictly 1970's film school. See if only for the nostalgia. Audio is Turkish

I Kina Spiser De Hunde [1999] aka In China They Eat Dogs Score: 8.1
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0180748/

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Summary: Despite the title, this film has nothing to do with either China, or any extreme cuisine. Instead, it's an exceptionally dark walk throught the woods of good versus evil, richly laced with abrupt humor delivered so dead pan that it makes it all the more satisfying. A boring nebbish bank wonk heroically thwarts a robbery and forever changes himself and those around him. Avrid, despite being declared a hero, returns home to find his girlfriend has left him. The bankrobber's wife too, arrives to make him feel guilty about having her husband arrested (as he was only robbing the bank so that they would have money for the fertility clinic treatments), and a bunch of hero hating thugs bash him. Thinking the cause of this disharmony to enter his life was his unexpected act of heroism, he endeavors to undo it all by making restitution to all those whose lives his heroic act had changed. He starts by making contact with his own brother, a mobster who he hadn't seen in years. He convinces his brother to help rob an armored bank transport so that he could return the money to the bankrobber's wife; that is, money that her husband would have successfully stolen had he not butted in. Against all odds, they actually pull this off, and he gives the money to the surprised woman. Next, they engineer a prison escape for the bankrobber himself, so that he could thus rejoin his wife and raise a family to live happily ever after. Or so it would seem. Freeing the felon, they soon discover that Avrid had been had. The women claiming to be the wife was instead, a gold digging sister, who is now long gone with the money. With no need for the bankrobber anymore, Avrid's brother murders him. In the meanwhile, just to get to this point, they had inadvertantly killed and maimed many other people. Avrid, becomes increasingly perplexed as to why so many are dying when all he had wanted was just to make things right. In the end, they decide to make one last heist and use the proceeds as going away money, only to have things go horribly wrong; Avrid is killed. However, since he was trying to do good all along, winds up going to heaven anyway. Audio is Danish.

28 Days Later [2002] Score: 8.6
http://us.imdb.com/Plot?0289043

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Summary: Zombie fare with a sci-fi twist. A British lab is broken into by animal rights activists, allowing a deadly virus (known only as rage) to be released into the general populace. In a scant four weeks, Britain is turned into a no man's land of either the dead, salivating zombies, or a few still alive hiding out. We enter this world through the character of a coma patient rousing from his slumber. He is confronted by scenes of desolation and abandonment and hints of mass evacuation. He encounters a pile of corpses upon entering a church, some of which come to life. Chased by a growing growling horde of zombie type 2's (the super fast kind), he is almost chased down when two masked strangers come to his rescue. Afterwards, they reveal that the world he knew before falling into his long sleep no longer exists. Instead, it has been replaced by an arena where the scant few left alive are stalked by an ever growing number of rage zombies. Joining up with a man and his daughter, who had hidden in a high rise, they drive towards the source of military radio transmissions in an effort for collective salvation. Eventually they do find a small squad of nine soldiers, led by a major. But it doesn't turn out to be what they had expected. The soldiers, who have lost any sense of civility, have decided to enslave the two females as progenitors of a new human race, and to execute the remaining male character (two already having died along the way). This last man escapes and turns the tables on their captors, eventually rescuing the two women and leaving with them into an isolated area in the countryside. Having seen contrails of a high altitude aircraft, he knows that civilization still exists in some form. They spend their days constructing a large sign that could be seen from the air, and the movie ends with a military jet overflying their position. Well paced, and a fine addition into any zombie collection. Not the first venue to use soldier turned high tech aboriginal in a post apocalyptic world. Also, considering the totally altered tactical situation of their new world, the soldiers in this film were awfully stupid. They had set up their defenses as if they were still fighting other living soldiers (who presumably would fear dying), forgeting that they are now fighting mindless massed rushers. They needed to barricade themselves against a foe that doesn't fear bullets. Instead they ridiculously engage a horde of zombies by expending, thus dwinding their supply of precious ammunition and explosives. Good zombie movie, bad military preparedness, maybe that's why Britain got overrun in 28 days. Audio is English.

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

Post by ralphrepo » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:40 am

Edited Thread Material 070524 Migrated From Old Site:

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

หมานคร Mah Nakorn [2004] aka Citizen Dog Score: 8.1
http://poll.imdb.com/title/tt0444778/

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Summary: A hilarious love story, told through fanciful flights of ideas and dressed with as many colors a painter's palette can hold. This movie is a wonderful sight to behold. Revealing the tale in sequential vignettes, we see a country boy go to the big city to find himself. What he does instead, is fall in love with a girl who doesn't really know what she wants. She is easily pulled into various directions at the drop of a hat, and thus, pulls our country bumpkin along with her. Along the way we're introduced to a company of bizarre and the fantastic, like talking teddy bears, motorcycling zombies, interchangable fingers, and plastic mountains; even humping geckos and flying novels. Stir in a healthy serving of deep fried locusts with the all too human frailties, and it's a sure fire recipe for success. Audio is Thai

Daehakno-yeseo Maechoon-hadaka Tomaksalhae Danghan Yeogosaeng Ajik Daehakno-ye Issda [2000] aka Teenage Hooker Became Killing Machine in DaeHakRoh Score: 7.1
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0280140/

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***WARNING***scene from movie contains extreme graphic violence

Summary: Despite the title sounding a lot like a preamble for some stilted scientific report on the progenitor ability of murine hair follicle cells, it's really reanimated sexploitation at it's gorey finest... A gritty indy home DV shot horror that touches all the bases despite it's production on the cheap. Story about a teen prostitute nee High School student who runs into one of her teachers while on the prowl. Lecherous old teach knocks her up, and upon finding out, decides to knock her off. Hideously murdered and dumped in several pieces, she is found by a looney scientist and remade into a zombie killing machine. Cuter than any Stacy (Attack of the School Girl Zombies [2001]); and I know you zombie pervs out there are dying to know, but yes, she does come with working parts between her legs. That's right, lift up that little schoolgirl outfit and out will come the biggest high caliber cannon you ever laid eyes on... Revenge is the lesson of the day, sweet but served up ice cold. Audio is Korean

Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse [2004] Score: 6.7
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318627/

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Summary: Canonical zombie lore always allows that the second movie following in the footsteps of a great film will crash and burn. RE2:A adheres to that in spades. Continuing the story where the first left off, our heroine is revived and dresses in skimpy outfits, her companion from the preceding story is recast as a large and ugly mutant (hmm... I guess she had the better contract?). Thrown into a city where all hell just broke loose (somebody opened a door that they shouldn't have again; like da-uh) as the viral infected cadre of the Hive spill out into Raccoon City. The city is quarantined and blockaded by the virus' evil maker, the Umbrella Corporation, in an experimental effort to see how much destruction the two sequel characters can wrought. Minimal and expected frights, too many too cool to be real casual killing moves takes away the suspension of disbelief. See it if you like things that go boom or Milla Jovovich and her, er... boom booms Audio is English
EienBlue wrote:just watched 28 Weeks Later... it was alrite. I liked the first one better. This one is more gory and the first one. It was good in the beginning and then got kinda eh towards the end.
Can't wait til it appears on usenet :D


해안선 Hae Anseon [2002] aka The Coast Guard Score: 7.1
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0341384/

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Summary: Unbeknownst to many people around the world, the two Koreas (Republic of Korea aka South Korea, and The Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea) are technically still at war. A temporary armistice (or truce) allowed a cease fire since 1953, though no formal peace agreement was ever signed. Hence, both sides routinely prepare for the worst with armed patrols instructed to kill any trespassers lest enemy infiltrators or agents gets through. The ROK Coast Guard is tasked with keeping watch against unauthorized intrusion from the sea. Over the years, there were many recorded incidents of incursions by DPRK submarines, presumably planting spies in the south. Unfortunately, in this paranoid and lethal environment, regular ROK civilians who ignore or accidentally wander into restricted areas occasionally get killed. Director Kim Ki-duk explores the aftermath of one such accidental death, after a gung-ho ROK soldier kills a drunk local. The killing bullets cut through the young man at the height of his sex act with a girlfriend, showering her in his blood at the exact moment of both his ecstacy and death. Director Kim seems to relish these strong violent statements during sex. His arrow shot landing between the legs of a sexually writhing Han Yeo-reum at the moment of her orgasm in the movie The Bow [2005] is another good example of this obsession. Both the soldier and the drunk's girlfriend succumb to insanity. The soldier becomes so focused on his mission of capturing a spy that he now sees them everywhere. Declared unfit, he is discharged from military obligations, but remains obsessed by a warped sense of devotion to duty. The local girl, wanders the beach in a daze; tries to have sex with her boyfriend again by seeking her dead partner in those same soldiers guarding the beach. The ending is sadder still; the soldier completely delusional and is thought to be a street curiousity by passerby, until he kills one with a bayonet thrust and is gunned down by police. The girl, now pregnant, has an abortion forced upon her, loses her brother after he tries to defend her honor, drowns herself in the sea. There seems to be an awful lot of obsession here; perhaps Kim is trying to tell both Koreas to wake and and smell the coffee. Audio is Korean

Saint Ralph [2004] Score: 9.1
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0384488/

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Summary: A Canadian coming of age tale graced by comedy and loads of faith. Intelligent but hopelessly mischievious Ralph Walker, is fatherless and about to also lose his mother too. She's in a coma with little chance of recovery. Ralph is told that only a miracle would bring her out of it. Desperately seeking a solution, Ralph eventually comes to believe that by his running and winning of the Boston Marathon, it would be the miracle needed to heal her. Never mind that that particular footrace is reknown as one of the most grueling the world over; Ralph is but fourteen years old, with zero experience as a runner. Nonetheless he feverishly trains while doubters surround and mock him. The only help he gets is from a teacher (a former Olympic class runner who coaches him); a school chum (who writes fake parental excuse notes for him), and a nurse (who tends to his comatose mother). Added to his frustration is that he's falling in love with a local girl, who has declared that she doesn't need boys as she's decided to be a nun. Standing in the way too, is a hard as nails priest (his school's Headmaster) who seems to have little faith left in him. He is about to expel and remand Ralph to an Orphaned Children's Home. On the day of the race, as his whole town listens on the radio, Ralph doesn't win. Despite this however, Ralph runs the race in such a grand fashion that he restores a sense of hope in many people, and ultimately is granted his miracle anyway. Truth be told, but I'm a sucker for stories of desperation and hope; tall odds and unsinkable courage. Saint Ralph had this and more. Besides, with a title like that, how could I resist? Younger viewers may not realize this, but radio can be profoundly hypnotic. This film was able to capture the tension, the holding of your breath suspense. The radio telecast of the event will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, even as you're able to watch the video of the runners as they pound pavement. For a moment, leaning closer to the screen (as one attentively does with radio) I found myself back in the 1950's. Audio is English

Death Of A President [2006] Score: 9.4
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0853096/

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Summary: A gripping what if(?) presented in a documentary style that will have you glued to your screen. This UK production was refused by many US distributors and even advertising for it was declined by many major networks, including CNN. The entirely fictional story is delivered like an in depth news report that details how current US President George W. Bush was assassinated; the investigation surrounding his supposed death; and the politics that then come into play, along with the miscarriages of justice in the name of national security. Along the way, it explores many of the issues that have plagued the Bush presidency. The amazing thing is that you have to keep telling yourself repeatedly that the movie is fake because it was done so well; you would swear that you're watching a real documentary. Revealingly, the fallout from politicians of all stripes has been one of harsh criticism. Even some actors (who had been kept in the dark about the real nature of the film) subsequently withdrew their consents and asked to be edited out of the final print. An absolute must see in my book Audio is English

The Sands Of Iwo Jima [1949] Score: 8.1
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041841/

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Summary: John Wayne at his Semper Fi-nest. A macho leading man, leading men into battle. He is Sgt John M. Stryker, a hard as nails jarhead noncom with a heart of gold. He whips his men into shape to better their chances of combat survival. Some in his squad question his methods and a few just outright hate him. However, after seeing his utter devotion and selflessness to the squad, they realize that he's doing it to help keep them alive. Just when they start to appreciate his steerage, he's killed by an enemy sniper. John Wayne was essentially the poster boy for US war machine propaganda. Through several generations, thousands of America's young men (myself included) enlisted to be more like him. The film also makes good use of actual combat footage. Clips of real battle scenes are seamlessly merged with studio footage, lending an air of authenticity to the final cut. In a dramatic re-enactment of the flag raising on Mt Suribachi, three of the marines that had actually participated in that historic event make a cameo appearance (Stryker hands them the flag to be raised just before he is killed). Other notable wartime military personalities also played minor roles in the movie. First film to use the phrase "lock and load" (an interim step in a weapon's cycle of operation) except that no one in the military actually says this. Many aspects of this movie was mimed by director Paul Verhoeven in his anti-war satire, Starship Troopers [1997]. Audio is English

Primeval [2007] Score: 7.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0772193/

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Summary: Despite lousy reviews, this movie was remarkably entertaining; with a little bit of everything thrown in it seems, but it works. The tale is based on the continuing legend of a magnificently large (reportedly 23 feet & more than a ton) crocodile named "Gustave", that lives in and around the river system feeding into Burundi's Lake Tanganyika. The legend suggests that Gustave has already killed more than three hundred people over the years, and thus far has eluded all attempts at capture. This movie takes that legend and weaves a thriller out of it, and in many ways was probably the story that another croc movie (ie SuperCroc [2007]) tried to tell but failed. The movie also taps into the regional political strife and wars of ethnic cleansing that are happening in the background as a news team is supposedly sent to film or better yet, capture the large beast. The movie also is spectacular in that the sideshow's special effects, that is, the dead bodies from the civil war, mass graves, and wanton slaughter, is done extremely well. Despite never having seen a gravesite of mass murder, you grit your teeth and tell yourself that that must certainly be what it looks like. The croc in this movie was huge, but not so big as to suspend your disbelief, and with super quick movements. Moments of black comic relief interspersed well with the mayhem, though a comment by one of the stars regarding slavery and Africa is sure to raise many eyebrows. Audio is English

Forbidden Planet [1956] Score: 9.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049223/

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Summary: Earth crew sent to rescue a stranded research party discover only two survivors; a strange scientist, his beautiful daughter, along with evidence of an ancient super advanced civilization that mysteriously disappeared over 200,000 years ago. It seems that some sudden calamity had befallen the Krell race, and despite their super scientific advances, they were rendered extinct in just one night. Left behind is their greatest invention, a monolithic machine that changes thought into matter. Dr. Morbius attempts to access their knowledge only to have his subconcious create murderous monsters. Eventually realizing that such a device would never be safe for humanity, he ultimately destroys it along with himself. Concepts such as voice command machines, laser beams, and thought transmutation may seem rather pedestrian today, but back in the 1950's, these ideas were fresh and held audiences spell bound. Special visual and sound effects used for the first time in this movie were then considered groundbreaking and spectacular. Many of the subsequent ideas used in science fiction over the years sprang from this original. And Anne Francis... wow... what a beauty. A true sci-fi classic. 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. ;)
Last edited by ralphrepo on Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Movies I Have Seen This Week... (From Old Site)

Post by ralphrepo » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:48 am

Edited Thread Material 070613 Migrated From Old Site:

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

Yuki Yukite Shingun [1987] aka The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On Score: 9.5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092963/

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Summary: Profoundly disturbing documentary on many levels. Kenzo Okuzaki is on a fanatical self appointed mission of truth and discovery. At the age where most people retire and take up quiet gardening; he doesn't. Instead he became a political muck raker, even spending time in prison for shooting at former Emperor Hirohito (who he'd considered a war criminal) with sling shot Pachinko balls. He is also a convicted murderer. Directed by Kazuo Hara, who follows a deranged but nonetheless driven Okuzaki as he confronts former comrades in arms with stunning allegations of murder, cannibalism, and the eventual cover ups. While a crazy man on a bender is not news, the subsequent evasiveness and apologies of his subjects is striking. One watches and realizes that despite the message being borne by a lunatic, that the story has legitimacy. When confronted, these former soldiers begin to point the finger at one another, and when Okuzaki berates and physically abuses them, they basically just take it; behavior that only those who bear guilt would ever allow. The stark tale that stands revealed, was that cannibalism amongst Japanese soldiers was not only routine, but rampant; euphamistic terms of black pigs referring to natives, and white pigs referring to either captured foreign soldiers, or Japanese soldiers themselves. In this case, two low ranking privates were executed on spurious charges of the murder and cannibalism of natives, so that the officers and others, who were starving, could then eat them. Rejected by all major Japanese distributors as the subject matter was considered to be too controversial, it nonetheless opens a window on the historic cruelty of the Imperial Japanese Army even to it's own men. A similarly themed film, depicted by Kon Ichikawa in his classic Fires On The Plain [1962], focused on the desperation of starving Japanese soldiers at the time of the events. This film however, points with clarity, how deep shame has kept many who witnessed and participated in those atrocities silent all these years. Okuzaki recently passed away (June 16th, 2005) at the age of 85. A must see for any student of history. Audio is Japanese

Meet The Fockers [2004] Score: 6.1
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0290002/

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Summary: Sequels always suffer the sin of mediocrity and this one is no different, though it does have it's moments. While commercially successful, I couldn't help but walk away with the sense the something was missing. In the first film Meet The Parents [2000], many of the situational gags were really funny; but with this addition, you can't help but feel like you're listening to a joke where you already know the punchline. In the first movie, male nurse Gaylord Focker's (Ben Stiller) first meets CIA honcho Jack Byrnes (Robert DiNiro), father of his fiance. That movie successfully parried a comic foil by using Gaylord's percieved femininity (as a man who chose a nursing profession) against the all masculine no nonsense CIA tough guy of Jack. This movie really doesn't have that to the same degree. Instead, we're introduced to the other set of parents, who seem to be a set of 60's throwbacks, completely opposite from what we know about the bride's family, fishing for differences in opinions and forcing confrontations. Even the family pet from the previous movie finds a protagonist in this sequel. Lighthearted and mildly amusing, it's all a little too pat. But hey, if this one doesn't bore you enough, there's supposedly a third installment in the works. Audio is English

Serpico [1973] Score: 9.7
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070666/

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Summary: Honest cop in a very dishonest world. Legendary New York City Police Officer Frank Serpico, who's unwavering ethics and steadfast integrity forced the city of New York to examine and deal with (via the Knapp Commission hearings beginning in 1970) the rampant corruption that was endemic in it's police department. Oscar level performance by a young Al Pacino, in what many say was his best work despite a long and successful career. The story is told as a flashback, from his Police Academy graduation to his getting shot and being left to die (when comrades refused to come to his aid during a gun battle). This movie captured the world of squad room interrogations, illegal beatings, bad cops on the take, and a blind eyed organization that allowed them to fester. It showed with crystal clarity, the strength, immeasurable courage, and indeed, audacity that Serpico had in confronting such institutionalized graft. Also, in nostalgic glimpses, this movie is able to recall a 1960's New York City of my own youth. A great film. Audio is English

聖少女戦士 St.ヴァルキリー Seishojo Senshi St. Valkyrie [2006] aka Saint Girl Warrior St.Valkyrie Score: 5.1
http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-aa- ... -1qw8.html

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Summary: Cheesy Mighty Morphing Power Rangers type characters, under fifteen and dressed in skimpy outfits. That's right, this "movie" is for the young "teen Idol" loving crowd (which, if you ask me, is just a euphamistic phrase for men too old ogling girls too young). The story starts with Mao Kobayashi (teen idol that is apparently wildly successful; enough gravure books and movies that any regular actress would die for), morphing into a Saint Girl Warrior to combat a panty and bra thief hitting her school. And that's it in a nutshell. The whole movie revolves around action that allows the girl warrior and other young girls to parade about in outfits and poses that would be best described as child molester bait. It's clear the type of audience the producers are targetting this product for (just remember to buy that splatter proof keyboard). One particular hiliarious scene had an evil molester accidentally losing his pants in a battle; he turns enface to our teen heroine. She immediately averts her eyes in modesty as she is pure and innocent. Except she has a very bad habit of exposing her panties to everyone. Naughty girl, didn't Yo Mama tell you to sit with your legs crossed? Audio is Japanese

Die Höhle Des Gelben Hundes [2005] aka The Cave of the Yellow Dog Score: 7.2
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0432325/

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Summary: LOL... I never thought to ever call a movie "too cute" but this one is just that. How else could you tolerate a line like: "Mum, can I have some dung?" with a straight face? A slow paced (some might say agonizingly so) venture about tradtional life on the steppes, as seen from the eyes of a little girl and her unwanted dog. The whole resembles more a documentary on traditional sheep herding, with the mild drama of the girl and puppy added as a focal point for human interest, rather than a real movie about the two. Others have labeled this a revamped Old Yeller, but I prefer to think that the kid vis-a-vis pet emotions as universal. Moreover, this effort thankfully is sans violent sad ending of that 1957 Disney classic. Not that the potential wasn't there; vultures amazingly walk like the creepy looking bastards that they are. Despite the spoken Mongolian dialogue, this movie was marketed initially with a German title (The woman who came up with this apparently lives in Germany) . Audio is Mongolian

戦国自衛隊1549 Sengoku Jieitai 1549 [2005] aka Samurai Commando Mission 1549 Score: 7.9
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0453396/

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Summary: An updated story of temporally misplaced characters, in this case, a JSDF armored cavalry squadron sent back into Japan's warring states period. An older film, 戦国自衛隊, Sengoku jieitai aka G.I. Samurai [1979], touched on the subject but all the men (except one) die. It was also criticized that fuel for modern vehicles would soon be exhausted with no hope of resupply, so it was unrealistic for vehicles to run for days on end. Well, guess what? The studios heard ya, folks. In this remake, the time traveling troopers were smart enough to build their own oil refinery. I guess a degree in petroleum distillation is a requirement for the modern JSDF soldier nowadays. Plus, a few soldiers get to make it back this time. In either case however, it seems that soldiers from the 21st century are no match for 1500's samurai, as the modern warriors are taken by surprise repeatedly. Well, that's the way it was in the story. In real life, a modern armored cavalry squadron, with proper perimeter security, would have probably held their ground against entire armies; well... at least until their ammunition ran out. Any way, in this version a second unit is sent to retrieve a previously time slipped unit, as it seems that something that they're doing in the past is beginning to affect the future. That is, a large black hole is threatening to engulf the earth unless someone else goes back and stops them. That said, there are some very obvious temporal mechanics questions left on the table. Suffice to say that it's still a good, but not to be taken too seriously manga inspired what if (?) fun ride for all ages.Audio is Japanese

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events [2004] Score: 8.3
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0339291/

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Summary: Wonderful film made from the Lemony Snicket childrens' book series, showcasing an expansive Jim Carey, who's wide ranging and superior acting skills literally stole the show. Even as the bad guy, you can't help but admire him in all his nastiness because he plays the part with such finesse and craftsmanship. For those that never read the book series, this tale centers around three orphans who, after inheriting a vast sum of money, is soon set upon by a greedy uncle lusting after fortune. The movie is an amalgamation of several books, detailing how the three children, Klaus, Violet, & Sunny Bauedelaire, fend off the various schemes of Count Olaf, played by Carey. The props and costumes appears to be late Victorian England. There seems to have been a recent spate of post industrial modernism with retro fittings in film. If it's a new film fashion then this movie slavishly follows; and in this case, it works to it's advantage, conveying a sense of alien mystery amidst familiar contraptions. Appealing story and visuals for any age. Audio is English

Tmavomodrý Svět [2001] aka Dark Blue World Score: 8.5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0244479/

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Summary: During the second world war, European countries that were already overrun by Germans had governments in exile, set up in Great Britain. Many supplied whatever military remnants they had to Britain. Thus, entire R.A.F. squadrons might be staffed by pilots from one particular non-British country. With this background, Director Jan Sverak tells the story of exiled Czech airmen who flew from British airfields to confront the Nazis. Their journey starts with a brief glimpse of one's life before the war; how he lived, loved, and the eventual fate that befalls him upon his return home to a newly communist country. Magnificent and frighteningly realistic air combat sequences, along with a love story in between. Audio is Czech, English, German, & Slovak

火垂るの墓 Hotaru No Haka [1988] aka Grave Of The Fireflies Score: 10
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095327/

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Summary: I've said this more than once, but I believe that this is one of the best movies of all time. Japanese anime, classified as an antiwar movie, but I find that description lacking. This is a movie about human frailties, wants and needs in the face of adversity. It's not flashy, with very limited action. But what it does with moments of quiet emotion will simply overwhelm you with it's humanity. The story is semi-autobiographical. The author of the original book once revealed that his sister too, had perished much the same way during the war; and the manner in which she died was the basis of a guilt burden that the author bore ever since. The tale is told by a ghost of a boy that had just passed away. He takes us through the last year of so of his life, when his mother and sister were still alive and he had a semblance of family. The closing days of the war was very hard on Japanese civilians, especially orphans. Japanese society functioned with an every man for himself mentality in order to survive. Thus, despite having extended family, a teenage boy and his young sister both succumb to starvation. A powerful and extremely moving film that everyone must see. Audio is Japanese

Swarmed [2005] Score: 4.2
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0437498/

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Summary: A television Sci-Fi fare featuring genetically altered Yellow Jackets Wasps. If regular wasps wasn't enough, these guys have undergone a change that makes them nastier, deadly toxic, and impervious to regular organophosphates (that's 'insecticide' for you non-chemistry majors). Starring Michael Shanks (aka Dr.Daniel Jackson of Stargate: SG1 fame), in the role of a experimental bug geneticist working for some "money uber alles" evil corporation (are there ever any other kind in film?). Needless to say, some genetically enhanced super wasps escape and go on to ruin an entire town's summer barbecue. It's up to Dr.Jackson, er... Michael Shanks, er... whoever he's supposed to be in this, along with a real leggy brunette and her georgous blue eyes, to stop them. Oh and along the way, some overly hip black dude exterminator and his nerdy white sidekick comes in and zaps some wasps with a flamethrower. If all of this sounds like I fell asleep halfway and didn't watch most of the movie? You're right, I did; it's that good. 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... (From Old Site)

Post by ralphrepo » Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:01 am

Edited Thread Material 070623 Migrated From Old Site:

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

スケバン刑事 コードネーム=麻宮サキ Sukeban Deka: Codename = Asamiya Saki [2006] aka Yo-Yo Girl Cop Score: 7.5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0781084/

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Summary: Based on the famous Japanese manga series authored by 和田 慎二 Shinji Wada, which had already spun a television series and two other films. Directed by 深作 健太 Kenta Fukasaku of Battle Royale [2000], and Battle Royale 2 [2003]; one can easily see the violent anarchist touch. Tale of a troubled female student that becomes a trained government agent, who's spending her time ferreting out national security risks in local Japanese high schools. She's called the Yo-Yo Girl Cop because she carries a multipurpose Yo-Yo that is both her symbol of authority as well as a weapon. Beautiful J-pop star 松浦 亜弥 Aya Matsuura is great as the main attraction girl detective. Watch her perform a sleep trick or two, er... with the yo-yo. Audio is Japanese

Ice Spiders [2007] Score: 4.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0840304/

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Summary: Another made for TV Sci-Fi Channel bug hunt extravaganza. Starring Vanessa Williams the younger (ie. not the former Miss USA, but star of B-Movie filmdom with same name) as a scientist in a top secret government experiment gone wrong. These arachnid wonders are genetically (isn't there any other way to make scary creatures?) manipulated and overfed to the point that they're about the size of a very large dog; only faster, and they spit sticky silk that will pull you to their ravenous maw. A shade more interesting than Swarmed, the last Sci-Fi Channel fiasco I saw (I didn't fall asleep with this one, but I did have that extra cup of coffee beforehand...) with great mountain scenary, and some good ski stunts. But what the heck, there were a few good bug
eats stupid human stunts too, so that's worth watching. Audio is English

The Bunker [2001] Score: 7.3
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0252963/

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Summary: WW2 German troopers reluctantly detailed to perform execution duty; that is, they were assigned the unpleasant task of shooting some of their own nazi comrades charged with desertion. Later, as they're retreating from advancing American forces, they become trapped in a bunker. Low on ammunition and desperate to escape, they soon discover that the bunker has an underground network of tunnels. But as luck (in this case, very bad) would have it, it's a direct line into the mass graves of those former comrades that they had previously shot. Their own fear takes a heavy toll, and the presence of a nazi combat fanatic within their ranks don't help. Stir in some angry spirits of former comrades and, well... they're pretty much toast; well burnt that is. The odd thing about this, is that the movie was entirely in spoken English, with the Germans referring to their officer as Left-enant; much like how Brits call their Lieutenants. Audio is English

Banlieue 13 [2004] aka District B13 Score: 8.5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414852/

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Summary: A French Crueller of a twist on John Carpenter's 1980's Escape From... (L.A., or New York, take your pick), graced with a bit part by former French porn hottie Dany Verissimo (nee Ally Mac Tyana). A real slick action packed story of two men saving millions of lives, the stunts and fight sequences in this are absolutely incredible. If you thought Tony Jaa or Jet Li good, you are in for a surprise, and a treat. David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli are two names that I've never heard of, but after seeing both in action, its a sure bet that I'm going to watch for more of their stuff; world class martial arts material. Nominally a story of a destitute Parisian suburb, walled off because of insurmountable crime and social ravages, where government services or control no longer exists. Supposedly, a time sensitive neutron device is stolen and had been secreted in this "Barrio" (aka district 13). A police agent is sent in to defuse it with the reluctant help of an ex-con. They face a gang of well armed murderous cut-throats who present them with a gaunlet of martial obstacles before they can reach their objective. Once they've accomplished that, they realize that they were tricked. That is, the supposed de-activation code given to defuse the bomb, was in reality, the detonation code. With that knowledge, they're now on the road back to the police agent's handlers in order to exact revenge. Audio is French

Day Of The Triffids [1962] Score: 8.8
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055894/

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Summary: Classic sci-fi what if where everyone on earth is suddenly blinded overnight. And if that wasn't bad enough, the planet is now crawling with man-eating plants that walk about in search of it's next meal. Alternatively known as Invasion Of The Triffids, or Revolt Of The Triffids, this story had been remade many times over, including once into a mini-series, and has spawned multiple similar themed stories within the entertainment venue through the years. It begins with an amazing meteor shower, which flashed beautiful bright colored lights across the night skies of Europe, that was attentively watched by nearly every single inhabitant. But disasterously apparent the next day, those who'd previously viewed the cosmic light show had rendered their optic nerves irreversibly "burnt out" by it and awoke sightless the following morning. In addition, the meteors also seeded deadly alien flora that is carnivorous as well as mobile, who then go on a hunt for indigenous fauna, including any meaty humans it encounters too (gosh, where's that d.amned weed whacker when you most need it?). Emerging from the fray is one lucky eye surgery patient, recovering from his operation, who had not been allowed to witness the sight robbing spectacle. So he is able to see normally. He eventually finds a young girl who likewise slept during the deadly show. The two make their way towards a recovery area announced by the government, subsequently rounding up other sight enabled, and wind up being evacuated by a submarine (crewed by unaffected personnel who were underwater as the meteors passed). This quite obviously begs the open ended question that as sighted people leave, the sightless will succumb to starvation at best, or wind up as stumbling appetizers for the local garden patch. The film never really tried to explore this. Audio is English

Hot Fuzz [2007] Score: 7.5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425112/

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Summary: Wacky Brit cop and robber from the star of Shaun Of The Dead [2004]. A super duper London Metropolitan Police Constable is embarassing his colleagues and department by just being too good. They shunt him off to a small quiet village, where everything on the surface is perfect. As time goes by, the officer discovers though the village has no crime to speak of, it has a ridiculously high number of "accidents" over the years. Digging deeper, he realizes the reason why the village has no crime is that a group of villagers (to include the police chief), have taken it upon themselves to murder everyone who doesn't fit in, and write them off as unfortunate mishaps. The officer attempts to bring them to justice, setting off a comical cascade of events that will have you howling. Audio is English

Flight Of The Phoenix [1965] Score: 8.2
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059183/

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Summary: Another wonderful classic (that has since been remade with modern touches), this movie stars James Stewart, one of my all time favorites. Many people never realized that he was not only a great actor, but while in the military, started from the rank of Private, and retired from the Air Force as a Brigadier General. Despite having already established personal fame and fortune, when WW2 started, he enlisted, one of only a few Hollywood actors willing to do so. After putting on his uniform, he purposely avoided the limelight and safe desk jobs. Instead, he overrode the political reluctance of the military and had them assign him to combat duty (the Pentagon did not want to risk a popular Hollywood movie star with doing something where he might actually get killed). Stewart eventually flew many combat bombing missions, both in WW2 and the VietNam War, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross twice, the Air Medal with 3 Oakleaf Clusters and a Croix de Guerre. Despite another Hollywood co-star John Wayne's garnering of many film combat roles but never actually participating, James Stewart not only walked the talk, but did so with extreme personal modesty. I recall watching him in another film called Strategic Air Command [1955], and thinking, "...D.amn, this guy is not just a full of s.hit actor playing a part, he can actually fly that plane..." Awesome, and then some. Flight Of The Phoenix tells the story of a crashed cargo plane into a hostile and unforgiving desert. Desperate for a way out when there seemingly was none, a group of unlikely personalities overcome personal differences to rebuild a smaller plane out of the crashed parts, and ultimately fly themselves out. Audio is English

Pandemic [2007] Score: 7.6
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0802821/

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Summary: Television's vision of what it would be like to have a disease like the Spanish Flu visit the Los Angeles of today. Originally shown as a two part miniseries, the story begins with a surf chaser returning home from down under, bringing a whole planeload of unwelcomed souvenirs. That is, a whole flight of passengers are potentially infectious with a deadly contagion and they land in one of the densest urban centers of the United States. Into this incubator of potential bio-disaster are stories of personal selfishness, delusional paranoia, and monumental criminal avarice to complicate the epidemiologic picture. People today may have forgotten that the 1918 Spanish Flu killed, by some estimates, up to 100 million people. The possibility of such a pandemic racing across the world today remains frighteningly real, especially when one considers the speed and easy access of modern world travel. Though this movie adds heaps of drama and takes severe artistic license with the medical and scientific visuals, the concepts that they're based upon are absolutely and deadly real. This is what makes it all so worrisome. Audio is English
mi12iam wrote:I've watched Graves of the Fireflies when I was little. It was the saddest animation movie ever.
Tell me about it, I still get teary-eyed every time I watch this thing and I must have seen this about five or six times already. :lol:


Unknown [2006] Score: 8.1
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0450340/

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Summary: Imagine waking up in a desolate location; beat up, locked down... but you don't remember why. Four other men, all in the same condition and equally as clueless, are there with you. That is the premise at the beginning of Unknown, a straight to DVD production that is of surprisingly high quality in just about all respects. As storyline time ticks by, we're shown that a kidnapping had occurred, and that two of the men were victims. A fight in the kidnappers' chemical plant hideout accidentally released a gas that induces amnesia. Thus, at least two are the kidnapping victims, and the rest must be the kidnappers; or are they? All five suffer brief flashbacks that offer tantalizing glimpses of what each was doing before they collectively lost their memories, allowing each to recognize their own roles of either being a good guy or bad. But, even your own memories may play tricks or prove unreliable. As they all struggle to remember, their situation becomes ever more desperate with knowledge that the kidnappers' associates are about to return to kill the victims. The movie successfully twists the story over and over, into an ever more complex knot, down even to the last minute while dangling a Sword of Damocles. And just when you think you've all the answers, it will throw up one more to close an even tighter web. A truly engrossing tale of crime and mystery Audio is English

The Hills Have Eyes 2 [2007] Score: 8.0
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800069/

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Summary: If you liked the original The Hills Have Eyes films by legendary horror honcho Wes Craven from the late 70's, then you won't be disappointed by the theme. However, lots of lame people wandering about getting their stupidity comeuppance does not a horror film classic make. In this quasi sequel to a remake of a remake (yeah, it's rather complicated) director Martin Weisz takes Wes and Jonathan Craven's original story of a vicious mutant family that preys on unsuspecting desert travelers and weaves a cheap little Hurrah into it by using a national guard unit (remember, there's still a war on right now so exploiting the emotional fears from that I found rather tasteless) as it's victims. Additionally, if the soldiers in this film were representative of the fine men and women under arms for the US of A, then I'm moving to Canada. Except for their squad leader, they have got to be the dumbest bunch of s.hits to skid down the side of any commode, with or without someone swimming in it (watch the movie and you'll get it). Still, despite it's obvious drawbacks, it still manages a slick thrill or two, especially the prop and set design of the mutant's grisly abattoir. A kinky twist in this horror telling is the mutant taking of one victim as a breeding tool. Instead of just outright eviscerating her, he ties her down and does the mutant nasty on her. In the end , a few lucky ones escape. But don't worry, they left an opening for another sequel. After all, these are commercial ventures. Audio is English

雷霆戰警 Leui Ting Jin Ging [2000] aka China Strike Force Score: 5.5
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266408/

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Summary: Hong Kong Director 唐季禮 Stanley Tong's disasterously flat multinational thriller despite a bevy of international reknowns. With stars like HK heart throb singer/actor 郭富城 Aaron Kwok, HK long time TV/film veteran Paul Chun Pui, Japanese actress/model and former Miss Japan 藤原紀香 Fujiwara Norika, American actor/martial artist Mark Dacascos (who's ethnic pedigree resembles a listing of UN members nations - Filipino, Spanish, Chinese, Irish and Japanese) , along with US Grammy artist/actor Coolio; one's expectations would rightfully be for something extraordinary. But even magnificent stunts and great martial arts moves cannot save this movie. The script is just plain bad and unbelievable. The actors never really develop needed chemistry and it looks like each of the international stars were just flown in to read their part and then flown out again. And when I say read, I mean read. The dialogue is so bad that you can't help but wince. A story of international smuggling, dirty double crosses, big money and beautiful women; it comes off instead like someone showing up to an exclusive dinner wearing a cheap rented tux. See it not because it was a good movie, but appreciate the opportunity that was squandered by Stanley Tong Audio is (mostly) Cantonese Chinese and English

If anyone has seen these films too or just want to talk about them; please add your comments. ;)
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