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Daft Punk Unchained (2015)
A few insights, some talking heads, a little rare early footage
Oh sweet, I get to write the first IMDb review for this? I'm a big fan of their music and I am a musician myself. I viewed this movie and most of it was in French (could make out a few words) although there were a few people interviewed that spoke English (could definitely understand those parts better) and one guy who spoke Japanese (could not understand one bit but it was a short segment). Interesting look into the past of these musicians and their musical work over the years.
There was some really cool stock footage from their early days and i think the Coachella footage is probably pretty rare also because of how they had kept it a secret even from their manager and it is super awesome. I was hoping for more coverage on the Discovery album, and a little more about the Tron Legacy soundtrack (although they did talk briefly about conducting the orchestra and having it go with their music and the impact that had on their follow up FIVE Grammy Award winning album Random Access Memories! Which they talked about the making of a little bit, even though I really wanted to know more in depth about their interactions with Paul Williams another musician and composer whose music I am also a big fan of. Seems as though it had some audio clips of the music maestro talking but the film seems most likely not made fully with their cooperation as I feel this project would have been done with even more artistic style. Also I would bet that there could be Issues with copyright money on the tron legacy soundtrack which is why they glossed over it only briefly touching on the music itself. Watching the old footage and comparing it to the different stages over the years was a fun treat and I would definitely recommend a watch to anyone who likes their music. I would also like to know more about all the other European electronic musicians that were influencing the sound of Daft Punk in their earliest stages for reference to see the chain connecting the evolution 70s and 80s synthesizer boogie to 80s and 90s technological acid jazz to today's supersonic musical technological wizardry. Also would be more interested to hear the full account of their interactions with other musicians and producers when they came to the US but maybe that is being saved for another tale... another animated one without the chattering heads next time hopefully. Still, this film is decently made and pays tribute to a great influential musical group of the electronic music variety. ;)
Ci ke Nie Yin Niang (2015)
You can throw poop on the wall and call it art.
New York Times article praised it as artsy saying the film makers were trying to be innovative by putting a camera in a tree a long ways away from the actors so they wouldn't know where it was and there was no action choreography (something most Chinese films are highly prized for, there are a lot of really great under-appreciated Chinese actors and actresses who need more roles that could have been in this movie, you don't have to have Wushu wires to act good) So I was thinking that those ideas sounded more uninspired and lazy rather than innovative or ingenious and have been done before by other people in better ways. I just finished watching the movie (for free online ha ha) hoping it might actually be interesting in some way since I love artsy Chinese films. It's like a silent film for an hour and 45 minutes, there is absolutely no music at all except for 2 very short uninspiring pieces. There's only two decently captured shots of the mountains where you get to see a person standing above the clouds, the last one right before the credits was actually pretty cool when the cloud is drifting past underfoot, but that one minute is not nearly enough to make up for this atrocious turd! There was maybe two dozen lines of dialog, none of it delivered with any feeling at all, emotionless.
Even if you're trying to convey realism by having no theme music and showing nature photos, surely someone should have done some exclaiming or belching or farting or moaning. Shu Qi got started in film after being a porn star. She is cast in films because she has a pretty face but can she act? NO!!! Asia's worst acting "superstar" is a like an inside joke, maybe the producers that cast her all fantasize about her naked body that you can see online from her porno days. Lead actor didn't have any presence, reminded me of his previous role, the 45 minute love interlude in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon that everyone agrees should have been cut for continuity reasons and to shorten. This film cuts between things happening to show you pictures of trees and clouds, no epic music, no grand landscape shots. Should have used widescreen, the aspect ratio is showing more vertical and shrinking the horizon into a narrow viewpoint. Shots of still life should have been cut, actually this movie should never have been made. I subjected myself to cinematic torture and watched the entire thing hoping there might be some ART somewhere near the end... and nope, no art. The story is trite, supposed to be a political intrigue between two courts and an "assassin" who never kills anyone. There are 4 bland fight scenes that have no sense at all of mortality, no tragedy or comedy exists in this film, take some lessons from the Greeks like Shakespeare did and you'll go far. So basically there's absolutely no theatrics, no one is acting in any good way, no music to help the static nature of this pooping on screen. The director thought he'd be controversial casting a porn star in the lead role, sure would have been awesome if they showed us her boobs just once in this movie, might have made up for the boring crap. One side boob shot or a little bit of blood goes a long way, you don't have to be overly gory or show full frontal to tastefully add human context, allure, or excitement to a film. In the end...nothing happens. blah blah she chooses not to kill if there's a child present or the target is pregnant, and never faces any consequences for her actions or lack thereof. There were two shots where you are watching a maid fumble for 5 minutes putting the comb into a hairdo of someone I assume is supposed to be a villain, it's never quite made clear if there actually is an antagonist. You sit there thinking, that IS a fancy hairdo! Let's sit here for 5 whole minutes of silence admiring that fancy hairdo. Some of the costumes were nice, not fantastic. Made me think of "Curse of the Golden Flower" which is actually an under-rated film- even though Chow Yun Fat hammed it up, Gong Li did an absolutely stunning job as Empress Phoenix and the costumes were so stellar, every detail so finely nuanced, it made me proud to be Chinese even though I'm totally not Chinese. This movie makes me want to give the director a Bruce Lee style kick to the face. It's an insult to the legacy of the many decades of great art films from China. Anyone calling this a great work of art has no true taste for art films, pretentious is the right word. Reading that the director had 7 films that all awarded best director or best movie, but I looked at his list of films, and I don't recognize any of them, the judges were smoking crack, his promoters came up with a way to hype his new picture. You're gonna be bored as hell and wishing for some dang music. People calling it a "transformative journey that sucks you in and doesn't let go", you have no life and no heartbeat, no pulse, lifeless robots, celebrating mediocrity and the degradation of the film world. Assembly line paycheck for guys who make terrible movies from Hong Kong. Yes, not all films with big budgets are great, although if this film did have a big budget I'm really not seeing it, what did they spend all the money on? Hookers and booze? The cinematography is nothing special, lots of blurry things in the foreground, 2 short horseback processions across terrain would have been better if it was a WIDE shot because a wide horizon gives a grand epic feeling of vast space, a destination, a journey, these shots just felt hollow and apathetic.
The Counselor (2013)
Amazing cast lost to a pathetic script and poor direction
I was expecting a lot from this movie and was very disappointed in it. Ridley Scott, while not the world's greatest director, has made some good ones I really loved before, especially in the science fiction realm such as Blade Runner and Alien. He should stick to science fiction. I feel that what was going through his mind while making this movie was that he thought this was going to be a real art piece with superb cinematography and also a thinking man's movie and also a gangster thriller! However, this original script idea by Cormac McCarthy is just not what he is looking for! That kind of writing should stay in a book where it belongs. Have some vision man, write your own story. It attempted to be a mystery story about a guy who has connections with some mafia type guys and he deals in diamonds (I think? Maybe he just has some diamonds, I do not know if that is made clear) and then he gets involved in some drug trade. OK so all that is not the actual plot. Cameron Diaz just is a psycho woman who knows how to pull strings and kill his girlfriend (I mean wife) and take his diamonds (since it is easier to transport money that way because now she has to disappear, although she never is given a motive for anything except that she is evil and likes to watch others suffer) but there is not really any proper pacing to this "story". There's so many loose ends it rivals the number of strands of hair on my head.
The "Counselor" is Michael Fassbender. Where did he come from? Oh yeah, he did great acting as the evil android in Prometheus (that science fiction movie). There are about three real action scenes that are each no more than three minutes long and just gut wrench shock value gore effects catering to the sadist in all of us which is in poor taste. The music never does anything to liven up the scenes of actors talking. Mind you, there are some great actors here, some of whom I felt out shone the direction given to them. Brad Pitt for example delivered his lines and played his character so amazingly well and I kept praying for him to get an action scene since he was supposed to be the action guy part of the story but all he ever got was a very short gruesome throat squirting from a special little self closing electric garrote wire. I have to admit I always did want to see that happen to him, but I have come to respect his acting more over the years, he has gotten so much better since his early films. Cameron Diaz is amazingly beautiful but I still do not feel much emotion from her. If I put Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz on a scale of 1 to 5 for hotness and acting, then I put Diaz at 5 for hot and 2 for acting, and as for Cruz she gets a 4 for hot and a 1 for acting. About the worst it gets. Javier Bardem has a warm presence, but his lines are not quite so witty or thoughtful or provocative as the writer would like you to believe, and he ends up on the sidelines never making any moves on the chessboard, merely an observer who laughs that some crazy woman he is obsessed with is going to do evil things to his close friend the counselor. This story and character development makes no sense at all and is totally unrealistic by all stretches of the imagination.
I kept watching this "story" "unfold" as it were and it tries to make you think it's going deeper and deeper into a crime mystery, but never goes anywhere. Who is this Councelor guy? Why does the main character never take any action at all against the threats against his family? How did he ever have any smarts at all enough to have diamonds??? Or was he just born rich and you never told me? All he does is cry when his toys are taken away. The end. Everything is laid bare at the start, there's no foreshadowing or guesswork involved. There are a lot of questions going on in your mind about the connections between these people in the "story" and how they are going to react to each other. The title screams mobsters all over it yet there is no existence of these types of characters in this movie. It is very boring and dull, devoid of life except for a few things. They have the most expensive cameras on the planet #1 and #2 Brad Pitt delivers a few brief lines quite well and #3 There is probably the best scene and saving grace of the entire fiasco where a guy sets up a wire across the road to decapitate a smuggler who rides his motorcycle across the border at 200 miles per hour. Short and bloody sweet but that's only 2 minutes of the movie. The rest is anal seepage from Hollywood. Fassbender was pretty to look at, but he never was very captivating delivering his uninspired lines, it seems almost as if he wished he had not been cast in that movie. Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, he was not very charismatic. I blame the director and writer and producers for wasting Fassbender's talent which we clearly saw in Prometheus. The Counselor is not a very good movie, but hey he got to be the leading role in a multi-million dollar picture, now he will likely be used for something more useful in the near future coming soon to a theater near you, let's keep praying the next time it will be science fiction. He can act better than that god awful Colin Farrell and does not look as flaming gay although maybe they could be gay lovers.
Down and Dangerous (2013)
One of the Best Independent Films of the Year
I went into the viewing not sure what to expect from the other reviews here, but whenever I see a movie that is written and directed by the same guy it sparks my interest so I gave it a chance and was very pleasantly surprised at how very good it is. Definitely the trailer helped to suck me in and I was very glad that the music from the trailer was actually in the movie as well. There have been some big budget films lately that had a great song on the trailer but then that music was nowhere to be found in the movie itself. The music is amazingly good futuristic techno, comforting when it needs to be and exciting when appropriate, reminds me of Daft Punk's soundtrack for the Tron: Legacy movie. If you want to actually compare this to million dollar budget movies, I think this could give some of them a run for their money. I was definitely far more entertained by this film than I was when I watched Ridley Scott's horrendous movie "The Counselor" which I was completely bored by. That film had great actors but the writing was very dull and did not appeal to my need for action. The very short sequences of action in that were designed to cater to our sadistic nature, which has shock value but is poor in taste, whereas in Down and Dangerous the excitement is built by the music and very good writing. I could not say enough about the writing, it was brilliant.
It is true there weren't very many conversations with the main character's friend who sits in jail but they're both smart guys, there isn't too much they need to say to each other even though I think I would have tried to build up the background to their relationship a little bit more since there are some unanswered questions left hanging in the air. Who is this guy and what is their connection to each other if they are both independent of anyone? It is a minor oversight that is insignificant compared to the bigger picture. The directing was good (although there was one sleeper hold sequence that looked just a few seconds too short to be believable, primarily everything was impeccably done) and the actors all did their jobs quite well. There were a few scenes where it seemed as though they were shooting on a digital camera that isn't as expensive as the super fancy ones, just slightly grainy, but it is so nice to watch a movie that is not completely done on green screens and all you ever see for two hours is the actors' faces. It feels more real when they are actually shooting video on a street or in a hotel. I saw another reviewer say they had a difficult time rooting for the anti-hero because he was in their eyes "poisoning people" but as for me, being a thinking person I liked the main character because he was a thinking person's anti-hero and his way of beating the bad guys is to outwit them using his smarts which he does so well that I was in tears at the end not because the acting was good, which it was, but because the writing was so great. It was like feeding a fresh bloody carcass to a ravenous wolf that hungers for better screen writing in movies than the romantic comedy type movies that have infected and destroyed the action genre I used to love so much. Okay, so the guy smuggled some coke across the border, okay he smuggled a lot of coke, but he never sold it to little kids and he wasn't like Rambo blowing apart the arms and legs of a hundred guys with a machine gun feeding our sadistic side, in fact the hero of this movie doesn't like to use guns on people at all ever even though he will shoot some drugs if he is forced to showing again his humanity and that he cares more for the girl than the drugs.
This movie really does fit right in with all the big Hollywood movies because they have something in common. In classical theatre, there is always a tragic ending, some moral or fate that can't be escaped. However the majority of movies these days all have a happy ending where the guy gets the girl the bad guys lose and they get to keep the money and live happily ever after the end. Of course I'm a romantic so I love the happy ever after stuff too even though that wars against my purist side that demands every hero should die at the end of the film or at least end up broke. It is true though that stranger tales have been made in real life where people steal huge sums of money and commit genocide and get away with it. Overall I think this movie was really very good and I will recommend it to my friends and most likely watch it again. I will also be looking for the soundtrack which I loved.
Great Science Fiction Anime!
Major Makoto Kusanagi comes to the life on the screen again with excellent writing from Shirow Masamune and top notch animation from Production I.G. This latest installment of the Ghost in the Shell stories is another excellent chapter. The Major may look different from earlier episodes but it is the same voice actress who played the Major in the original film although not in the TV series or later films. The story takes takes place in the past which is why the Major and Aramaki look younger. During a nation wide hacking crisis threatening the lives of millions of Japanese people, the Major and her trusty tachikoma (armored mobile AI) battle against military cyborg units in real space over control of the Net. Cyber brains galore and everyone is infected with viruses. In the midst of the battles allies become enemies and enemies become allies as the Major begins the selection process for the team members of Section Nine (elite government anti hacking unit). I'd like to tell more of the plot but I wouldn't want to reveal the surprise ending that has a great twist and leaves you wanting more only to drool to the idea that the story is not over yet! (keep watching after the credits are done)
I loved it! Great music and lots of action and a brilliant thinking person's mystery whodunit, cyborg robot battles, and car chases oh my! This movie's got it in spades. The direction was well paced and the voice actors were very good. I would highly recommend this film to anyone who loves science fiction, art, animation, and also anyone who just loves a simple mystery story that challenges you to more than just a few simple emotions but also has more food for the brain than any animated films being produced in the United States in recent years!
If this isn't enough to convince you that this movie needs to be watched immediately and also many more times and placed on the shelf of excellence for human achievement then I can sweeten the deal by adding that there's also a hot blonde cyborg character who joins in the Major's fun to spice things up.
Mild boredom relief Big Budget Flop
I'll give the film a generous five stars for trying to be artistic. There were some great actors in this one, but the direction was almost nonexistent, more like a producer whacked off in the writer's face so the writer could not see the page clearly and know that what he was typing was like chunks flying from a horse's arse. The plot was...not there. The narrator's voice was very very lame sounding, especially in its' delivery, and seemed to have more lines than some of the main actors at times which completely ruined any feeling of actually trying to get into the feeling of the movie, the creation of a setting. The little pop-up things only happened very rarely and weren't that mind-blowing or cult classic making, more like the saving graces that kept it from totally being lame, Ron Perlman's makeup was horrid, some sets were so not in the budget they were nothing more than sheets wrapped around fake trees! The fighting was pretty pathetic choreography, especially since nearly every hit or kill happens off screen or off camera somehow so that you can never see one person clearly land a single punch. The cartwheeling clowns? Reminded me of every bad movie ever made or a combination of all the worst movies ever made put together. Demi Moore...was there some purpose to having her in the film? Seriously, I had to write a scathing review because the other 2 reviews I saw here were definitely not honest with themselves or you because they wrote such glowing and praising remarks that they were obviously marketers from the company that wasted so many millions of dollars on a crap movie. East meets west? I don't think so. There are so many other better east/west films that this horrific attempt to blend the cultures on either side of the Pacific is just really really sad. The producers should hang themselves. Choppy editing in a bad way. The visuals were not artistic enough to be a true art film, everything was too glossed over, no attention to detail. Woody Harrelson was doing some really horrid acting on purpose (even though he can be a great actor if he wanted to) and the director could not even tell him to stop acting up and do the lines right because the director was obviously not competent enough to know what acting is or how to make his actors act in a way that makes the audience enjoy being entertained. No vision...or the people who made this film obviously had a very grand vision but almost everything flopped and got over-produced into the dirt, just like Mario Brothers. Best part of the movie was the very short animation sequences and they really weren't even all that special either. Looks like they were going for a cross between Kill Bill and Sin City and instead ended up with something more like The Last Samurai Gets Lost on the Way to Little Red Riding Hoods House meets Something Stupid This Way Comes. The best spot of acting actually came from the guy who played the uncle but the scene is ruined by the flashy CGI comic book style cations which looks cool when they appear but never reveal any grand truth or tell any funny jokes so, in essence, are a little kooky and fun but do not add anything really special to the film and are definitely not mind-blowing by any stretch of the imagination. Seriously, these guys with the big dollars need to get someone like me in there to write at least a half decent script where the story is told by the actors' voices and not some retarded narrator guy. There could have been a bit more engaging dialogue, what with all the top dollar actors they signed for the deal. I bet most of them will look back in 10 years and regret doing this silly farce. I really thought Kevin McKidd was great in the movie 'Dog Sodiers' and the TV series 'Rome', but his ability to act well and pirouette could not save him from an atrocious director and the writers/producers who jerked off this worse than trash film into existence. I've seen low budget B trash films show more flair and panache in one little finger than this whole awful mess. There, that is my review that I had to write in definite opposition to the guys who said it was "brilliant" or something like that. Mediocre, mildly amusing, no matter how many times you punch a guy off screen it will not look any different the next time because it will be off screen then too. With all the budget cuts in the sets, costumes, and writers/directors...there should at least have been some good CGI or something, some kind of special effects. Special effects is a big joke to these Hollywood producers now though. Every effect can be simulated and half-arsed in ways off camera so that virtually every "special" effect, turns into more of a big let down. Where are all the good science fiction films of the past when "effects" were real effects that had wire pulling and air canisters and corn syrup mixed with red food dye and cybernetic stop motion claymation critters and people falling off buildings and things blow up? The good old days long gone.
Empire of Assassins (2011)
pretty good for a low budget movie!
It is true that this movie lacks some image gloss and the English voice dubs were so horrendous as to make it utterly laughable, there were several redeeming qualities that kept me enjoying the film all the way up until the horribly written ending that leaves the story hanging in mid-air (literally) when the credits roll and you feel robbed of a proper ending. Maybe it was supposed to be symbolic with the imagery, but it definitely leaves me wondering where the ending was. I actually liked the fight scenes even though they were wacky at times. There were a few scenes that actually looked pretty good. The story was pretty intriguing as a concept, just lacked a decent ending. I definitely was surprised by a few things. Lionsgate?!? Then to see some kung fu movie veterans Chuen-Hua Chi (bad guy from Fong Sai Yuk 2 and Legend of Shaolin and a few other Jet Li movies), Ka-Yan Leung (acting in kung fu movies since 1969, played a similar role in Tue Legend aka Si Qi Er), and a special cameo by Yuen Biao (who made many many films with Jackie Chan and Sammo HUng Kam Po as well as starred in several of his own amazing films sad that we don't get to watch him whoop arse in this film, but super kewl that I actually got to see him in a recent film). The art direction was actually rather quite nice despite a few serious goofs. Looked like they dug deep into the old Shaw brothers studio warehouse of giant sculpture replicas and such. Despite the action looking a little goofy at times (low budget remember?) it was very fun most of the time. I could tell the old hands had a hand in it. Great to see these guys in a movie again. It was a decent movie that could have become a really great film had Lionsgate given them more money to work with.
tears of the wind
I can honestly say that I watched this entire movie with a very critical literary and historical eye as well as from the standpoint of a filmologist. Even before I read all the other reviews and watched it I was plotting what to write in this review. As a work of art, "Howl" the movie, is a decent piece of film. It has many phrasings of words in the script that are a psychoanalyst's wet dream and help to create the setting of conflict within the self. The poem itself is simultaneously an observation of current affairs mixed with a critical self-analysis by the author as well as an outcry both against all the injustice and wrongs of the world and also a cry of delight for the wonderful pleasurable things that the world can provide, especially the discovery of identity which frees the wild side of our nature that is suppressed by the strict rules placed on a person by the society they are born into and that they are expected to conform to.
I thought that James Franco was indeed a pretty boy, but that his voice lacked the experience and conviction to match the delivery of Allen Ginsberg's carefully measured and self-tormented voice. The animation was definitely not an amateur work, but I felt that it lacked the precise timing of the imagery to symbolize the words at the right moment to make the words really come to life. The animation that went with the powerful opening lines of the poem did not feel right at all and seemed a betrayal of the author's intent by not correctly portraying the symbolism invoked by the words. I felt that the animators were subdued to conform to the ideas of the producers and the censorship of the MPAA, which is truly ironic considering that the final segment of the trial of Lawrence Ferlinghetti was a poignant statement against the censorship of writers and artists and makes a clear statement that the freedom to express ourself is absolutely necessary for a society of free peoples to exist. Many times over freedom of speech has been on trial and it always proves to be the key factor on freedom of thought.
The music and camera work were done with expensive equipment and some attention to detail as most Hollywood films are which made the overall feel of the entire experience relatively pleasing. I feel I must add this segment to the review to explain why the success of this movie leaves such a sour taste in my mouth: A few years ago I stumbled upon a brilliant mind-blowing documentary called "The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg" and Jerry Aronson, who made that film, followed Ginsberg around for 25 years with a camera after his life was saved because a cop was about to beat his skull in at one of the free speech riots of the 1960s when everyone turned to hear Ginsberg "ohm"-ing into the police loudspeaker and then Jerry says that when he marketed the film to producers in the U.S. they all said that nobody wanted to make a movie about a poet and he had to seek money in Europe to make that film. According to IMDb, that movie was not sent to international film festivals, was only shown for one weekend at one U.S. theatre, and overall grossed less than $3000. A few years later this movie Howl is made and gets sent to all the big international film festivals and grosses over $300,000. This is a real tragedy both cinematically and intellectually and a major disaster for the literary filmologist world. I'm sure Aronson's checkbook is feeling pretty disappointed, although he got a small clip sold to this movie. I sincerely appreciate this film getting out there to make a few more people aware of how influential this poem and poet was to the "beat"/"hippie"/"counter-culture" "movement" in the U.S. during the 1960s, although the screenwriters tied it simply to a censorship trial and nothing more than a few people in a small room appreciating it when it first was read in public by the author. If you truly want some insight into Allen Ginsberg's life, get your local video store to order a copy (or netflix has it, if that option is available to you) of "The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg. The real truth of history is that Timothy Leary turned Allen Ginsberg onto psilocybin mushrooms, and Allen Ginsberg turned Bob Dylan and the Beatles onto LSD.
Very very very awesome on multiple levels!
There are different ways to look at this film. When I first saw it, I was a little indifferent at first, but I really loved the screenplay and the way it was delivered. I laughed my arse off and the ending with Kris ("Blackie") getting the loot from the guys holding up the ticket booth while Willie simultaneously double-crosses the evil record executive was very witty. The first thing you should think about is this: I can't say I've ever heard of a movie with the same plot where a songwriter becomes a producer in order to trick the evil record company producers and negotiate a trade for the contract of a girl performer he signed in order to regain the rights to publishing ownership of his songs which he previously lost because he previously didn't understand the contract he signed. It seems like excerpts from Willlie's personal journal about dealing with the record execs in Nashville who just stole his songs and his money and made him run home to Texas. Does anyone remember how he got sued not too long ago for over 20 million dollars for nearly everything he was worth for bad bookkeeping? Two years ago Austin and Texas mourned the double loss in the same year of two very important people that were in Willie's group for a long time: Stephen Bruton and Poodie Locke, both of whom are in this film. As a film it is pretty funny and the original music from Kris Kristofferson (he is not too an bad actor himself) got nominated for an Oscar. Rip Torn's character is really funny. The story is brilliant. Directing could have been better, but this is a really great movie.
Bobbie Nelson is Willie's sister and a very important member of the band, the piano player. How many TV ads have you seen that featured the unforgettable keyboard playing of Booker T. Jones on the Booker T. and the MGs' song 'Green Onions'? Probably dozens. This movie also has Mickey Raphael in it. In my mind, Mickey Raphael is one of the greatest country blues harmonica players ever. Did you ever just love the harmonica from the last 30 years of Willie Nelson? That was him. I'll have to watch again and look close to see if the part played by "Steve Fromholz" - 'Engineer' is THE Stephen Fromholz, Texas Poet Laureate and close friend to both Willie Nelson and Stephen Stills. Johnny Gimble is the - "fiddle player"!!! Johnny Gimble should be a household name (and he is in Texas -where I come from), but in case you didn't know, he started playing with Bob Wills band 'The Texas Playboys' in the late 1940s. Though he is not the only godfather of Texas fiddle music, he is definitely the most renowned of them all. He is credited with defining the fiddling of Western Swing music, which has its' foundation in Texas and Bob Wills. You might as well just call it Texas fiddle music, which is as different than the violin music of Europe as night and day. Texas fiddlers are renowned across the planet for versatility far surpassing any violinist. Some of you might not like fiddles I understand, but appreciation for the roots of American music is nice.
Words can be powerful. Truth IS stranger than fiction!
Woah! Had to chop several chunks of my full review to make it fit into the 1000 word limit. I read every word of every review at time of posting and I'm slightly disgusted by seeing only 18 reviews 5 years after release and that the writing is not more persuasive. Oddly, I was unimpressed with favorable reviews by Townes' admirers only because their eloquence with words was few and far between, even though there were some good bits. My favorite review was the worst rated one, because of these words: "nor is there any attempt to give you any sense of what he did other than write songs". Well that is Townes Van Zandt in a nutshell. He didn't really do much with his life except for "write songs" and even his own family barely knew him after they approved the electroshock therapy.
'Heartworn Highways' documents the true birth of the scene called "outlaw country music". There's not as much footage as I'd like, but the stories about him by people who knew him well are a river of carefully crafted words that any appreciator of a good story should love instantly. Music and poetry are Townes' breath and blood. His life is many peoples' stories, and everyone knows parts, but no one knows the whole thing 100%. Susanna Clark might know more than anyone else possibly.
The film centers around a few tapes recorded by a friend whom Townes confided in over the phone. Director Margaret Brown shows that she has brains simply by her choice of subject. In one tape, Townes clearly recaps his early musical birth, that when he was 8 years old he saw Elvis Presley (on the television at his home deep in the heart of Fort Worth, Texas, unlike Gram Parsons and Tom Petty who both met Elvis in person) and the next Christmas his father bought him a guitar. He remembered something about learning some songs and going to the school and making all the girls go crazy and then going home a hero. He details how he penned his first country/western single 'Waitin' Around to Die' when he had been "locking myself up in the closet for weeks on end with the phone off the hook and listening to early Bob Dylan and Lightning Hopkins". There is so only one biography I know of in print (on my shelf) called 'To Live is to Fly'. It is only able to tell part of the story. Much of it is unknown or not very well documented. The author states that he tried to interview Susanna Clark and got rebuffed by her because she is writing her own book about him or something like that. Guy says that Susanna and Townes were kind of like soul mates.
Townes said Doc Watson was the first person to officially cover one of his songs, told everyone that Lightnin' Hopkins gave him his first joint (possibly true), and the last major band he tried to produce with was Sonic Youth. Something I discovered while researching online was that Townes died tragically on January 1st, 1997 and the great country music legend Hank Williams also tragically died on January 1st, 1953 exactly 44 years to the day. You must watch the bonus interviews on the DVD to see his bonus interviews where Guy Clark says, "Even though sometimes there's a lot of words, there's a lot of phonetic hot licks going on, it's the holes you leave, you know, emotionally in the story line and Townes was like...he was so good it sounds unconscious. I don't believe it was...he knew what he was doing...I knew Townes, he's a smart S.O.B., and he's the coolest guy that ever walked, BUT he was not unaware of how good he was and what he was doing...It wasn't magic. It was (expletive) hard work and paying attention." Guy Clark talks about when Townes was at his best and could perform songs that would just take your breath away. "That's our goal as songwriters, is to try to hit that mark."
There are hilarious stories in the DVD extras from Leland Waddell about trying to once-and-for-all cure Townes of his suicidal tendencies by actually giving him a loaded shotgun, driving backward 40 miles to a gig in Lubbock that was already canceled because of the rain, and letting the tramps take his nice shirt and moccasins while picking a grave site because he drove off after they saw him drag an passed-out drunk Townes to the grave site. Johnny Guess says he was Townes' witness inside a little trailer when Bob Dylan wanted to meet Townes and they met in a blocked off part of Guadalupe street (the "drag" in front of the University of Texas) and when Bob Dylan got to meet Townes Van Zandt and hear him play and sing, Johnny Guess said his jaw was dropped wide open because he got to meet Townes Van Zandt. "That was Bob Dylan. It doesn't get any better than that." There are many great arrangements of words a person can have ingrained upon their memory after watching this movie. I think my favorite quote from Townes in the film is from the 1995 Amsterdam interview where he says, "I try to write about things that matter and make every song good." The best part of the film for me is when John Lomax III calmly tells us (with tears flowing down his face) about when he tried to manage and get to the bottom of the business affairs of Townes Van Zandt and put an advertisement out for fan mail to "America's Greatest Songwriter" and the letters he got from tons of people said that listening to this guy's music had saved their lives, that they were on the verge of suicide and his music brought them back, or they had lost a loved one and his songs had helped them get through a tough time.
The narration by the girl starts out all right but begins to grind irritatingly on my nerves after its' unceasing banter turns into a steady monotonous drone . The voice acting needs some work. The artwork was rather nice which is where most of the three stars comes from. Girl with multicolored eyes, huge book freak, likes throwing knives? That's a kinda kinky premise and I can dig that. There was a hint of music that could evolve into something more. A little too much slow panning across still images, which is something the Japanese artists have been outgrowing for a while now. Let's hope the full-length movie actually has the action included in it. This short film pretty much had no action at all, which means the bigger picture doesn't advertise for itself very good.
Merantau Warrior is super awesome!
Action for the guys and drama for the girls, what more can you ask from a movie? I just cannot say enough good things about this movie and I really could not fathom how it could garner a negative review at all. I watched Merantau some months ago and I just finished watching it a second time. I had forgotten it a bit, but as soon as it started I remembered everything and how amazingly good it is. I was noticing that part of it at the end reminded me a little of Tony Jaa at the end of Protector, but I do not think it was a copy of it at all. Another thing is that even though the Indonesians are right to praise this new movie of theirs, and Iko Uwais did show us some really great acting and martial arts skills, I still would not go as far as to say that Iko is better at either one than Tony, especially since the latter has more films under his belt (more experience, hello?). Tony Jaa has joined the ranks of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen, and Jet Li as the greatest martial arts movie heroes. If you are a martial arts movie fanatic as I am and you analyze Ong Bak 2 then you cannot argue with this statement. Iko Uwais is also really awesome and I see good things happening for him. He might join those ranks one day, we'll wait eagerly to see what he does next.
The fighting choreography I thought was really fantastic. I really thought Iko added a lot of feeling into his actions and I liked how it made me feel that it was realistic in the way that people who get punched and kicked a lot start to stagger a bit even when they're fighting for their lives. The actress who played the mother character was also really great even though her role wasn't too long. I was preparing to steel myself to the agony of watching the two Americans doing their super cliché way that they are always portrayed in any Asian film, but I was pleasantly surprised in their commitment to character and they made convincing bad guys. Lots of good acting and directing all around. The camera, sound, lighting, and editing were all very fine. The music was especially good in places. The script is so good that this time I shed some tears. I almost never cry, especially during my action movies, but this one is so good. Great plot! The entire story ties itself together really well from beginning to end and is told in the traditional way of the ancient storytellers. What transpires between the hero and the bad guys' main bounty hunter is truly one of the best parts of the movie. There are other places where philosophy and political statements are blatantly obvious, but it really shines between these two warriors on opposite sides of the battlefield. I really think many young people, the ones who have to struggle through this often harsh world and suffer terribly when there is no one to help them, would really sympathize and feel a connection for the story and the main character who looks quite young himself. It irritates me very much that millions of action fans in my home country in the United States have never seen or heard of this movie. Needless to say I am also extremely upset about many really great foreign films not seeing the light of day here especially when many of them outshine the awful vomit Hollywood spews in my face on a constant basis.
Grown Ups (2010)
Don't Watch It,, see the trailer and then Just Say No to Garbage!
If you have any real sense of humor at all, then you should agree with me that Adam Sandler has not been in a funny movie since Little Nicky. Obviously him and Dave and Rob and Chris really show their true lack of any comedic talent at all and how the only reason they were ever truly funny at all was because there were a lot of extremely-high-on-drugs writers during their good old days at Saturday Night Live back when Chris Farley (R.I.P.) was alive who sadly ended up overdosing on drugs just as John Belushi (R.I.P.) did before him while working at the same show. I read that John Belushi was supposed to be hanging out with Robbin Williams the night he overdosed and died and that is the reason why Robin Williams stopped doing drugs. I always wondered why he stopped being funny. You should check out his old stand-up comedy act when he is super high on drugs, it is phenomenal and the reason most people still think he can be funny. These scumbags that can't act or tell a single funny original joke are doing a disservice to the comedic profession by agreeing to take a paycheck from this retarded script together just so they can take millions of dollars out of the pockets of the millions of brainwashed adult human slaves that don't have a taste for any kind of movie that isn't a totally unintelligent "romantic comedy" and are the reason for the worse and worse mediocrity we are faced with daily from Hollywood products. They're not romantic at all and they're not comedic at all so stop making these horrible films you curs!!! Lowly dogs! I watched the trailer and I knew instantly that this film was a steaming pile of donkey turds. The script writers of Hollywood obviously think that the same five slapstick gags will work a million times over in every single "comedy" movie they put out again and again and again. Actually, they're drama/comedies now because all subliminal messages are designed to force you to accept enslavement by your connection to the society you live in. They want you to think that you have to spend your life being subservient to some cruel heartless frigid female. They want to dumb down your idea of humor so that you will accept more and more boring movies as actual comedy. Here's where I come in with one of my favorite lines from the John Waters movie 'Cecil B. Demented': "Power to the people who punish bad cinema!" Don't let yourself settle for mediocrity, go back to your VHS collection and watch 'Three Amigos' which is several million times funnier that this movie and always will be no matter how stoned I am. The real shame for me is that this is the second (or third?) time that they have gathered the old SNL gang together without Chris Farley and they have instead inserted the fat completely untalented unoriginal horrible "actor" named Kevin James as a substitute for the "fat-guy-falling-down-and-rolling-around-slapstick" that is totally a rip-off of Chris Farley's brand of comedy and a cheap pale imitation of his shadow as though that wouldn't produce insult to injury. I consider it to be a seriously grave insult to the memory of Chris Farley, a man whose slapstick was actually hilarious because he worked really hard to make it look like he didn't plan it, as though it wasn't staged. I loved Chris Farley's comedy. He was freaking brilliant. This Farley wannabe thing really needs to be shot and killed more than once. Boycott this movie and all Sandler/Spade/Rock/Scnheider productions that feature Kevin James as a Chris Farley substitute or you are a traitor to comedy! Seriously, they've got enough millions already, they could have spent their own money for once actually writing a script and making an actual funny movie! It is entirely obvious to me now that they aren't trying to make funny movies. The Hollywood overlords have decided this is the big romantic comedy you're getting this summer with the most droll script imaginable. The child worship syndrome has really got to stop. Fundamentalist Christians who censor true art that might make you realize how supporting this "Adam Sandler movie" with your money is making you more stupid and making the quality of future films even worse. IF you actually go see this in the theater then when they get the check for millions the idiot script producers think, "Oh, they paid me 300 million big ones for that steaming pile of dog turds, so they must like dog turds and so I'll make a whole bunch more dog turd films because that is what everyone is paying to see. None of the producers there have true vision. Every movie they make is intended to make adults act more like children. The freaking title to this one itself gives the dang game away even. Like that other review I saw (which was brilliant, by the way) said, "Friends don't let friends see Grown-Ups". Seriously people, you need to pay attention here. Hollywood is forming peoples world view and is the main reason that the world has gone to hell because it is why so many adults act like children. As Bill Hicks put it, we have an 8th grade emotional level as a country. Going to kill a lot of other people in Afghanistan and Iraq based on hearsay evidence is something only a child would do. And yes, the soldiers who are sitting in their tanks listening to Drowning Pool's, 'Let the Bodies Hit the Floor' "song" are entirely brainwashed by Mickey Mouse radio.
The Obama Deception (2009)
Intelligence or lies? Watch this movie right NOW (to find out)!!!
I thought the one positive review I saw here was intelligent and I deduced that the two negative reviews were lies. Whatever anyone says, I think it was horribly perverse to mint a coin with Obama's face on one side and JFK's face on the other side and I remember watching many television commercials selling that coin over and over for a certain amount of time. (They didn't mention that in the movie.) Back to the review: as a film, I was at first put off by the title because I was secretly lying to myself that Obama was not so bad and I was so sure it was just a propaganda smear type thing. There's so much distraction available and I wanted to hope that he could be a beacon of hope in these dark times, even if only he was just a figment of my imagination, but sadly that's not true. Well he may truly be a figment of my imagination, but I now know that he's definitely not a beacon of hope! Finally I watched it and couldn't have been more wrong to myself when I had judged a book by it's cover and dismissed it offhand without even giving it a chance before. I was totally captivated. Alex Jones is freaking awesome! I mean, I always respected him as a journalist, but everyone has always talked about him with a sour note in their voice and I now realize why he wants you to rise up against the liars. Obama should be more than impeached, he should be lying naked in chains and freezing in a cold dark dungeon awaiting his cabbage face and disembowelment right now. I don't even have to do any research on this movie to accept it as a total proof of how everyone in politics (except for Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul's brother) are lying to themselves about what their reality is. Almost a hundred years of empty campaign promises have not brought the U.S. out of the bankruptcy the bankers put it into. Are you still not enraged yet?!? I thought I'd write this line as a Woody Guthrie type song about how people should live. What do bankers, preachers, oil men, Hollywood, (federal) government, wall street, newspapers, doctors, lawyers and bosses all have in common? They're all lies and they're all the same guys. The buildup of messages to the climax is really great and the final message in this movie is truly delivered brilliantly. There is no more time for beating around the bushes when it comes to moral rectitude. In fact, there is no more time left at all! As technology evolves, humans can communicate faster with each other at farther and farther distances. I have been saying that we're entering the information age, where the Internet rules. I took away a new word (for me) from this movie. I have known about Alex Jones and his Infowars movies (haven't REALLY watched 'em all yet, but I will when I figure out some time when I'm not DISTRACTED) and website. I heard him call his pals who have joined the side of righteousness, he dubbed them: Infowarriors! Now is the time my Infowarriors! Take back the system!
Goryachie novosti (2009)
Buckets of bullets, yippee-ki-yay mofos!
What do Die Hard and Rambo have in common? Bullets! It's a very controversial issue, but without being politically correct, there are some people who really love shooting guns. For some, especially for many young as well as some older Americans and other people around the entire globe from nearly every nation, that can be just video game shooting, hand-eye-coordination training. You've got your most recent as-close-to-life-as-possible-for-a-game type games like Splinter Cell and Modern Warfare 2 (I've played that one a bit, I admit it can be fun.) This movie is for those people, whoever they are, that love tactical maneuvers and tons of bullets flying. Some war vet and/or militaristic types of people really love this kind of thing. Suddenly I am reminded of Hot Shots: Part Deux, when Charlie Sheen talks Miguel Ferrer out of his sudden loss of his war-like ways and then Miguel blows his nose, says, "Thanks Topper! I can kill again thanks to you!", jumps up to shoot some goons, then turns around to speak directly into the camera in a TV ad way to say, "War! It's fantastic!" with a big wide grin on his face. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the guys who wrote the Newsmakers screenplay were big fans of Tom Clancy's books. The tense philosophical parts were nice but I felt like it didn't really get into hammering home major lessons in morality and was more of just a long joyride the whole way through with (I promise) tons and tons of bullets. Flying hot lead all the time, a heaping 100 minute serving of almost non-stop action, Russian style. The bad guys were made to be just as likable as the good guys for the most part. At times I felt like I wanted them to win. It was pretty good in that way. The actors and director were pretty good. The camera, FX, and editing crews were all really superb. There could have been a little more music I think. Seemed like there was supposed to be some sort of perverse romance-type think going on, but it didn't seem to be one of the strong suits of the script. Its a movie for guys who like action movies anyway so leave your girlfriend behind unless she's a sadistic homicidal maniac just like you are.
Su Qi-er (2010)
This film is simply an amazing work of art.
Yuen Woo Ping! Are you familiar with that name yet or not? Many films struggle to reach my top ten list, but The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are two that definitely deserve to be contenders for those ranks. Su Qi-Er I thought might be even better than both of those movies possibly as far as cinema being a carefully practiced art form goes. It blended some classic and modern approaches.
Even if it had wire-fu wushu computer animated action sequences at times, that isn't something I am particularly prejudiced against. What really matters is good story telling and writing and acting, and well...many things, etc. The lead actor and actress I thought were really great at times and I definitely have to contribute that to the director's credit, especially since he has a lot more experience than them. Holy sweetness! Gordon Liu, Michelle Yeoh, and David Carradine!? Great to get to see them all act, they were all superb even though they weren't the main stars. Seriously, how does Carradine keep coming out with all these posthumous films? Did he make a robot clone? Costumes, music, action choreography, makeup, lighting, sound, casting, animetors, etc.: all of these people came together and did amazingly fantastic jobs to make the picture as a whole really a superb film. There were some very nice nature images that were quite artfully done almost like a master painter's ink brushstroke. The story was captivating. I didn't think I felt like it ever really began to drag on too long at any one time the way many other films seem to do. Everything about it is really great. I highly suggest this film to everyone!The fact that most Americans still have not heard of this movie truly blows my mind. It needs to be in theaters immediately!
Rain Fall (2009)
An interesting movie, quite entertaining
Gary Oldman is in this movie and it was released a year ago and has only 78 ratings and no review yet? Well I just watched it, had a pretty enjoyable experience, and felt it needed at least one review here. The script was written pretty well except for they writer must have gotten high and made an anticlimactic ending which turned what could have been an 8 star movie into a 6 star movie for me. I felt left wanting for some more action, but there were some enjoyable action sequences throughout which had nice choreography and the story kept me interested between action scenes to wonder what would happen next.
It seemed like another one of those high-tech spy-type movies at first, but then it changed pace and seemed to try to become a little less over the top than some of those others and tried to give itself more of a gritty dirty cop story, and finally descended into the darkness of a melodramatic doubly anticlimactic final 2 scenes. There were one or two loose plot threads, but not as many rampant loose ends as quite a few other pictures made in this country. Overall I enjoyed it for the most part. Great story and action that fizzled a bit at the end. I did think that the actors were all great. Direction had lots to do with it.
Half the movie they are speaking the English language, so don't be prejudiced against the other half just because it does have a few subtitles! The music was good at times, went with the mood nicely. I recommend that you watch it and enjoy a good time. Maybe worth another watch.
Chocolate is a superb action movie! Nearly up to Bruce Lee standards.
This movie is fantastic! Another masterpiece from Prachya Pinkaew, the guy who brought us the action masterpieces Ong Bak and Tom Yum Goong -aka- The Protector. The martial arts choreography is simply superb. The same old fights you've seen in a million other movies (especially American Hollywood films filled with so much Karate and pro boxing garbage with only straight punches and usually no kicks or very weak straight kicks) pale in comparison with the diversity that this film offers in terms of different moves. You will be in awe at the acrobatics the human body can do while doing free form Muay Thai.
I wouldn't say that this movie rips off other movies, but you can tell that the director has learned from the best by studying the legendary films of Bruce Lee. The scene in the ice factory made me think of Fist of Fury, but the fighting and choreography wasn't at all the same. I thought Protector actually was a rival for Enter the Dragon which I think is one of the best action movies ever. Protector was almost entirely non-stop fighting with about 15 minutes of dialogue in between. Now that's what I call an action movie! The scenes with the elephants are really awesome too! With Chocolate, the director seems to be going back to what he was trying to do with Ong Bak, which is to have a compelling story to be the back-drop to give the movie more flavor than just strictly action scenes.
This movie is an improvement by finding the middle ground and having a developed story as well as fight scenes that seem like an eternity, although at times (having known some autistic people myself) I find it difficult to believe that an autistic girl could move like that. I suppose it could be possible maybe. Maybe that wasn't really what was wrong with her, but the translation came out that way. This is way better than any other movie that has come out this year including the recent Donnie Yen release. The main girl Zen (Yanin Vismitananda) is very talented.
The first section of the movie was pretty much just an extended montage, it could probably be cut entirely out of the film and it would still be awesome. Maybe just edit for time and keep essential details. The story was a good attempt at being serious and tragic (which is what drama is all about, study your Greeks) and the cinematic experience was compelling and well acted even if the premise seems a little unrealistic. I highly recommend this movie to fans of action and martial arts films! The final act, where the heroine takes out dozens of guys is simply amazing. Combine her Muay Thai and then throw in some Japanese sword fighting by her dad and then go back to the boxing, what a brilliant original idea!
Don't listen to those other commentators, they have no clue what they're babbling about, this film in no way rips off Kill Bill! There is a major distinction: in Chocolate the martial arts are real (even if sometimes it's just acrobatic gymnastics), and in Kill Bill the martial arts on the part of the heroine are fake as hell. If anything, both movies borrow from many old films where one person faces off against many. You could take for example any number of Japanese samurai films or Chinese kung fu movies like Bruce Lee's Chinese connection, where he has to fight a whole bunch of guys at once. There are so many of these types of scenes it's impossible to believe that this movie "ripped off" other movies, especially when it's a different style. How many Thai boxing films have you seen? Well Ong Bak, The Protector, and Chocolate take Thai boxing to a whole new level cinematically. You should not complain, these are some of the best action movies ever made!! High marks for being an amazing piece of action choreography and also having the sense to add tragedy which was well acted and turned out looking rather good, even if it seemed somewhat unrealistic in concept at times.
Hollywood is so pathetic these days with their endless happy endings. Real life is tragic, tragedy in film reminds us of our human mortality. I don't understand why all these Hollywood films these days never learned from Shakespeare who stole all his material from the Greek plays and myths. I know they were taught to study Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet and the like. But all you ever get is happy endings. It seems like it causes delusions of grandeur in some Americans that everything is going to be a happy ending because they saw it happen in the Hollywood movies. Whereas real life doesn't work that way. Everybody doesn't live and lovers aren't all reunited for the finale kiss before the credits roll.
The ending of chocolate was very smart in that there was death and then afterwards was a sort of morbid happy ending where life goes on without the loved one, but sadness is inevitable, undeniable, and unshakable in the wake of losing the loved one.
Basilisk: Kôga ninpô chô (2005)
This has to be one of the best anime series ever!
It is simply an amazing show. Very well written. The story is about two ninja clans, the Iga and the Koga, who are ordered to assemble their ten best warriors to kill each other until only one side lives. Apparently there are two illegitimate heirs to the shogunate and whichever side wins will determine the next shogun. Meanwhile, the plot addresses a beautiful love story that is doomed, politics, martial arts, and philosophy. The artwork is superb. The music is decent. It is very similar to the script of the live action movie called Shinobi that came out not too long ago. It also has an association to the classic Ninja Scroll movie, where there are these ninjas who each have different mystical powers that are unique to them alone. It does great justice to Ninja Scroll, unlike a few other attempts to recreate that great story which is culled from myth. Of course, the myth was created because of the disappearance for many years of the real Jubei Yagyu when no one knew what he did during that time. He was the son of Munenori Yagyu, who was one of two or three instructors in the martial arts to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and his family. Munenori's father Muneyoshi had learned the Shinkage-Ryu or "shadow art" based on psychological martial skills and created the Yagyu Shinkage-Ryu. In roughly the same part of the mountain ranges in the area where the Yagyu village still is was an area that had practitioners of the occult arts or voodoo. Many mythological traditions like to combine the two together because it makes for a wild array of skill combinations one person might have had. These stories are mostly fiction based on myths but they do have connections to real people and real events in Japan's history. Munenori left behind some writings about his art. In his book 'The Life Giving Sword' he says that you must make your mind clear like still water reflecting the full moon so that whatever thoughts are directed at you are reflected back upon the attacker and then you will be able to react with the proper counter measure to anything that comes at you and he says that this concept can be applied to more than just physical combat but also to business and politics and any walk of life. (or something along those lines)
Appurushido: Ekusu makina (2007)
Good by itself but not nearly as great as the 2004 Appleseed
May contain possible spoilers!
Tt was decent. The previous installment of Appleseed from 2004 is way better, but this was pretty cool. Definitely better than Disney/pixar movies. Quick capsule review: the terrorist attacks continue to assault the city of Olympus and its up to Deunan and Briareos to save the day. Yippee ki yay. This doesn't seem to be directed or written as well as the others and the animation is a little different, but it is similarly based on the manga comic book by Shirow Masamune.
They mention the rebuilding of the bioroid lab, but that is delivered by a brief scene that never goes anywhere in that direction plot-wise. There is no mention of the reproductive organs they made happen in the last movie. They did show the holes in the pyramid where the giant walking platforms had climbed up in the last movie. There was the new character, the bioroid clone clone who you think is going to be a big problem when things go bad, but he just ends up being a big waste of plot space. The new enemy is really cool looking, but dies much faster than its goons. The ending was really bad. The 2004 movie was heart-wrenching at the end just like the 1988 movie because the climax had built up real good and got stuck in suspended animation at the last second, but this was just over and done with real quick.
When it was done I didn't have any questions of morality or images of mortality left in my head as I did with the previous two Appleseed movies. It was just over with nothing left. This movie definitely suffered from a bad screenplay. Someone was hoping for a quick dollar, but didn't make a big splash. It is truly a shame that this movie was made and didn't live up to the standards of film-making set by the other Appleseed movies.
It is worth a watch, sure, and was entertaining to some degree I admit, but I would rather re-watch the 2004 Appleseed than see this one again. That one had more action and way better music and the writing was excellent. I think the animation was actually much better also. 2004 Appleseed rocks my world. 2007 Appleseed is merely OK.
Buddha knows if you're lying
Yeah! This movie is totally awesome! The special effects are really great. Well, some of the puppets were a little cheesy, but I can truly appreciate the fact that it was done without entirely editing everything you see on a blue or green screen the way Hollywood seems to do with all its computer graphics stuff these days. That gets all too similar after a while. The old stuff that requires lots of food dye and corn starch rocks my world.
Any movie with exposed nipples is sure to be a hit. I thought this movie had a great spooky atmosphere at times. It really took me back to the old days. I see maybe some of the same elements from movies like Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain, Close Encounters of the Spooky Kind 1 and 2, Evil Dead, The Exorcist, and a little bit of Kickboxer thrown in for good measure. (That's the one with the brother, Van Damne?, who gets revenge against the Thai boxer that hospitalized his buddy.)
Sure, some of the effects look cheesy, but the footage of real people counters that and makes a very unique balance between the all too real world of the Buddhist monks and villagers and the fantastical realm of the dark voodoo spells that require fuzzy puppets. If it were up to me I would give this picture an Academy Award just for having the most burning bat puppets on screen at the same time. Honestly the bat puppets are rather cute and that's an adjective I'd prefer never to mention but perhaps it could give you some more ideas about wanting to see this movie if you haven't. Definitely a classic. In my opinion, Boxer's Curse aka Mo, is way better than Ju-On and the Grudge type of ghost stories that are all too common these days and unimaginative.
The elephant was an especially nice surprise. Hooray for elephants and their grand majesty!
The Rage (2007)
Somewhere above average?
Seriously demented. Love it! I think those were maybe giant mutated zombie leeches cause they came out of the water? When she pulled it off and looked at it, that totally made me think of the leeches from the movie Slither. Kind of similar to that film in the way that there are different types of threats. The mad doctor was probably the best actor, he was great. His character seemed the most developed also, he had the most background story -complete with flashbacks! Decent cinema-tech. Cool gore. Zombie vultures that throw peoples heads around. Igor and Frankenstein's Monster. The main heroes seemed to have either had a very bad script or a director who thought it was alright for them to say "Come on, we have to keep going" so many times that I lost count, but the good parts of the movie made up for the super cheesy lines. It seemed that most of the budget for this movie was spent on the gore and computer animated effects? Lots of blood. I recommend this movie! The part where the uncle sees the little girl all messed up and then you see him take out his nephew with a large branch was up to snuff as far as horrific goes I think. Who wouldn't be creeped out by the kid scene? There were definitely a few shout outs to more than a few horror films and classics.
Moon Child (2003)
this movie is gay. dude, for saying this was anywhere near the Crow, you should be shot. that one is cinematic masterpiece. this is dog feces. check your retard pills. do they make pills that will make this movie work better? gay vampire. silly shootouts. human drama that is so cheezeball corny pathetic wannabe realism kill-me-please gay. yay, I have a gay vampire friend! can we be gay vampire friends together? turn the page, write a song we'll put Chinese pop stars in a movie and make them act! your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. can those people make any movies that don't suck so bad? you farted and it stank like your mother's dead rotting corpse