I felt about 25 years too old for Pacific Rim. It was a tiny bit better than Transformers. No quiet moments and insights like in Blade Runner. No mystic undercurrents like in Neon Genesis Evangelion. No character interplay like in Mass Effect. No singing and romance in Robotech. No strangeness like in Akira. I did like the visuals of Hong Kong, the huge halls à la Star Wars. I find that good movies have me thinking back, recalling scenes, mulling the justifications and consequences of actions. This movie won’t be requiring much thinking back. It has giant robots and kaiju monsters. They fight. The solution to the problem is—as is often the case—a nuke. I expected as much but went anyway, willing to let myself be convinced. Oh well.
I watched Nighttrain to Lisbon (mostly because I learned that my stepbrother was involved in one of the songs via Trio Fado) which had some nice pictures of Lisbon and some interesting aspects of living under the fascist regime of Salazar and his secret police. A terrible thing. The aspects I did not like about the movie:
The Swiss and the Portuguese speak English—and just recently having seen La grande vadrouille where you need to understand French, German and English in order to get all the jokes, this pained me. I felt the Portuguese names were getting butchered. Why did they not use local actors and provide subtitles?
I felt the movie failed the Bechdel test: The women seemed to be either objects in the possession of men—to be fought over—or listening to the men in rapt attention with an appropriately bent neck.
I also haven’t read the book.
In short, if you want to see some pictures of Lisbon and get an idea of the fascist regime in Portugal at the time, I recommend the movie.
The Grandmaster: Beautiful costumes and sets, beautiful choreographers without slapstick humor, a message in favor of martial arts and against style chauvinism. The romance plot wasn’t as thick as it sometimes is in Wong Karen Wai movies and cinematography was not done by Christopher Doyle but I still liked it very much.
I agree with the critics, however: the script wasn’t too good. Or perhaps too much was cut from the original four hours. I think I’d like to see a director’s cut.
I saw The Great Gatsby (2013). I had not read the book. I loved Romeo + Juliet (1996). I was less enthused by Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge (2001). I recognized the colors, the party, the mania. I enjoyed those parts. I liked the fact the story works on two levels: the rich & powerful form a separate class and will never allow upstarts into their midst, and men objectifying women. Anyway, that’s how I see it: the framing story says Gatsby’s hope was a shining beacon, but to me, Gatsby’s love was obsessive, his imaginings of how things will turn out stronger than his respect for Daisy’s own decisions. In the end, however, my back hurt and the movie just would not end. It was too long. Or perhaps I just could not sympathize with any of the protagonists. I didn’t feel the love.
Ich sitze alleine daheim, den Nachgeschmack von Port auf der Zunge. Ich habe gegessen und mir Ashes of Time von Wong Kar-Wai angeschaut. Die Bilder von Christopher Doyle wirken wie ein endloser Traum in falschen Farben, die Filter verfremden alles, was bleiben sind die Gesichter der Schauspieler, die sich ihrer begangenen Fehler bewusst werden, die ihre sich an ihr Lebenslicht erinnern, an ihre wahre Liebe, die verflossenen Möglichkeiten, die traurige Gegenwart. Wahrhaftig, ein Film, wo man sich freut, wenn man Nachts nicht alleine im Bett liegt.
Leslie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Charlie Yeung, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Ka Fai – da hat es nur geniale Schauspieler dabei. Ich glaube ich muss mir noch mehr Wong Kar-Wai Filme zu Gemüte führen.
Astrópía (2007) hat Claudia und mir gefallen. Das Tussi beim Schminken, der selbstverliebte Blonde, das Bild des Paares im Hintergrund, das Gespräch im Kaffeehaus, der stürzende DJ, der erste Gefangene im Gefängnis, die Trekkies im Laden, die Schulterklopferei, die Regelfragen, das LARP Schnippsel aus der Vergangenheit (Brüller!), ihre Reaktion auf die direkte Rede… Wir haben viel gelacht. Wo der Film nicht super zündet, ist er immer noch nett gemacht und für uns gerade ideal nach auswärts Essen und zwei Stunden Wellness/Sauna.
Und das Booklet enthält ein Mini Rollenspielt mit super Einführung, und die DVD soll anscheinend Einführspielregeln für Das Schwarze Auge, Call of Cthulhu, und Shadowrun drauf haben. Geniale idee! Danke Dirk Remmecke.
Today we watched Black Cat, White Cat (1998) following a suggestion by a friend of ours. The props, the faces, the set, the chaos everywhere, perfectly caught on film – the result was hilarious!
I totally recommend this movie if you want something crazy & fun. And it has gipsy music. Lots of it. I like it.
I need to listen to more Balkan music. It pains me to remember that my Croatian physiotherapist and movie buff Zoran had given me half a dozen or more CDs full of Balkan music back in the days when I thought MP3s were never going to catch on. I wasn’t ready for the music and didn’t copy any of it. I didn’t even write down any names. The two I remember are Emir Kusturica and Goran Bregović.
We watched the last movie in a series of three movies by Yôji Yamada: Love and Honor (2006). Once again the movie is based on a novel by Shûhei Fujisawa. And once again, I loved it.
As in previous movies, there’s a reluctant samurai bound by love and honor, and there is but a single significant duel. This movie showed some elements of a relationship that I found heart-breaking: A couple keeping secrets from each other trying to protect the other from something they feel would hurt them, and by doing so, hurt them. Growing mistrust. Other people driving a wedge between two lovers. Exploitation.
Maybe I’m just growing old and soft.
These sad moments make me appreciate my love even more. Was it Aristotle’s theory on tragedy that said the pain you experience lets you appreciate your own happiness? I think my heart must have been overflowing for hours.
Continued from 2007-06-12 Hidden Blade.
I went to see Street Kings (2008) and Definitely Maybe (2008) with a good friend of mine. We always have a hard time picking movies to see because our tastes are so different. Obviously I think I have excellent taste, thus she must have … a different taste.
Both movies were ok entertainment. Neither movie was worth paying CHF 18 per person (about USD 18 at the moment). Better to join a DVD sharing arrangement at work or via a local association.
Definitely Maybe had a child that was way too wise. This plot element – providing spontaneous insight from the perspective of a child – doesn’t really work for me. I have a demystified view of children, I guess.
Street Kings had a predictable plot about LAPD corruption. It’s scary to realize that so many movies are made about police corruption that it is probably true. I also didn’t like the premise that sometimes we need cops that operate outside the law in order to uphold the law. This is a slippery path to take. I hate it if checks and balances in our political system are cast as random obstacles. They are necessary obstacles to prevent us from turning into the very thing we’re fighting against. Because if we do, “winning” has no value.
Update: Later I watched The Hidden Blade (2004). That was a good movie. I liked other Yōji Yamada movies, too. These I recommend wholeheartedly.
Yeah, I’ve seen several WW2 movies by now. A Bridge Too Far (1977) is a good war movie, but did not touch me in particular. The characters are flat, what remains is a few cynic comments by some of the big shots and some war impressions. I thought the destruction of Arnheim was particularly scary.
What really impressed me was how some of the scenes so closely match what I played through in Medal of Honor: Frontline. It’s scary how similar video games and movies have become in some ways. The game designers and visual artists must have seen all these classic war movies.
I still recommend the movie because of these Arnheim scenes.