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Oldboy

25 Apr

“OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OLDBOY!!!”

That was me for months before seeing this movie. I had heard so much about it. “One of the best films of the decade!” they said. “Such brilliant twists!” they said. “Asian cinema!” they said. “HAMMER FIGHT!!!” they said.

HAMMER FIGHT!!!

Fun fact: This was the image chosen to be featured in the main menu of the DVD, and the selector icon for each menu within is in the shape of a hammer. I found this to be highly amusing.

Indeed, there are many reasons to geek out about this film.

BUT IS IT WORTH THE HYPE?

In a word: yes.

In several:

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Tekkon Kinkreet

4 Apr

Tekkon Kinkreet

HOLY.

CRAP.

This movie is fantastic! Incredible! So, so, so, so, SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!!

Now that that’s out of my system, allow me to actually talk about the movie.

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Paprika

5 Mar

If you’ve taken the time to look through the list at all, you probably noticed that I’ve thrown several anime titles into it. I’d be reluctant to admit that I’m a “fan” of anime. Not because it would make me a nerd (I am a nerd), but because that would suggest that I am into it in the biggest way. That I collect manga and DVDs, that I watch more than 3 television series religiously, that I play with wooden swords and dress up in costumes. Ok, so I basically just said “because it would make me a nerd.” I guess that’s because anime is so commonly associated with nerds. But it isn’t just for them. You don’t have to be a nerd to enjoy such beautiful, breathtaking animation, or the multi-faceted storylines, or the wide cast of complex characters. Wow, that was so nerdy. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I kinda like anime. I like it enough to watch it regularly with friends. I like it enough combine it with my passion for movies and get into the feature films. I like it enough to watch a trailer for such a feature film and then get all geeky and Netflix it immediately without really knowing a thing about it.

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Fantastic Mr. Fox

15 Feb

Fantastic Mr. Fox

A confession: I love Wes Anderson. Yes, all of his films utilize the same, obscenely quaint aesthetics. Yes, these aesthetics take the films beyond “easy to like” to desperately begging you to like them. Yes, I’ve only actually seen two. That doesn’t matter; as soon as I saw The Royal Tenenbaums, like any other white person, I fell madly in love. So much so, in fact, that I was ready and willing to walk, alone, into a university cinema filled with children in the middle of a Saturday afternoon to see his latest, Fantastic Mr. Fox. Maybe I love Wes Anderson too much.

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Precious

13 Feb

The Golden Globes are a joke. They picked some great titles for Best Director and Best Picture this year: Inglorious Basterds, The Hurt Locker, and, of course, Precious. And what did they pick? Avatar. AVATAR. Avatar was very good. Great? No. Best of the year? Not by far. So the hell what if a movie looks like 25 billion dollars? That alone does not a great movie make. A great movie goes beyond super awesome special effects and other such cheap delights. A great movie entertains the mind on a much more subversive level. Avatar is not a great movie. Precious is a great movie.

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Waltz with Bashir

7 Feb

Waltz with Bashir

I don’t know how to begin. This film is powerful. It’s devastating. Great, but devastating. It has filled my head with thoughts of war: senseless fear, violence, suffering.  There’s no room left for ideas of an effective introduction. I’m going to be lazy and go on without one.

Waltz with Bashir is a film by Israeli writer, director, and producer Ari Folman. Before he started his career in film, he was a 19-year-old soldier fighting in the Lebanon War of 1982. In the winter of 2006, his friend, another former soldier, told him of a recurring nightmare he kept having, which was tied to his memories of the war. Soon after, Ari himself started having his own dream, a flashback to the Sabra and Shatila massacre of West Beirut. Seeking to make sense of this dream, he met with his lawyer friend, who explained to him that his flashback may or may not have been real. He advised Ari to find others who were in the war in order to recover his lost memories. Taking his friend’s advice, Ari found and conducted interviews with several of his partners from the war, as well as a psychologist who helped him to understand why his memories were lost and a journalist who was in Beirut at the time of the massacre. Ari pieced those interviews and his own recovered memories together to make this film.

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In Bruges

18 Jan

In Bruges

I hate marketing.

I hate this:

DVD cover

I hate the description on the back of In Bruges’ DVD jacket:

“Colin Farrell and Academy Award®-nominee Ralph Fiennes star in this edgy, action-packed comedy, filled with  thrilling chases, spectacular shoot outs and an explosive ending you won’t want to miss!

“Hit men Ray (Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson, Harry Potter) have been ordered to cool their heels in the storybook city of Bruges (it’s in Belgium) after finishing a big job. But since hit men make the worst tourists, they soon find themselves in a life-and-death struggle of comic proportions against one very angry crime boss (Fiennes)!”

No. No, no, no, no, and, again, no.

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