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Author Topic: What films have you seen recently?  (Read 142998 times)

Offline Reckoner

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #300 on: November 02, 2013, 10:35:59 PM »
Just saw 12 Years as a Slave.

Felt like my body got hit by a train. That was brutal.

Offline DrIdiot

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #301 on: November 06, 2013, 10:40:36 PM »
I just watched a few Hirokazu Kore'eda movies.  I think they're all varying degrees of GREAT!!!!!

First one I watched was Still Walking (Aruitemo, aruitemo).  This one is nice, it's about a son whose relationship with his parents (and whose relationship with each other) is not so great.  I think a lot of people growing up in Asian households might understand this to some degree... but anyway, the awkward scenes in this movie are so.... awkward.... it's great.  There's the usual themes of changing times and the old generation vs the new generation, like a Tokyo Story redux of sorts.  Anyway, it's a good depiction of the sort of dynamics in a family which probably isn't as close as they would have liked things to be, but that's just how things are.

Then, I watched Nobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai).  This one was my favorite of the three - because of the simultaneous senses of wonder, literal entrapment, and sadness... somehow they're always overlapping, they're not distinct.  It's an extraordinary story.  I'm very happy with the changes the director made to the story (compared with the real life version (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affair_of_the_four_abandoned_children_of_Sugamo).  I don't know, I feel like I have the least to say about this one but I liked it the best -- it's like an opening up into the world which is simultaneously fraught with discovery and dangers, and the dangers do catch up, because wonder and danger turn out to be inextricable.

Finally I watched After Life.  This one, while I was watching it, I was a little bored.  There are a lot of minor characters each with their own stories and it's not so easy to keep track or really become invested in any of them.  But today (the day after watching it) I found myself thinking about it.  I think it's the concept of the film that really caught me, which is that when people die they go to this (somewhat bureaucratic) place where they have to choose a single memory to experience for eternity (yes -- someone does ask -- what, no heaven, no hell?).  This sort of midway step between the living world and eternity reminds me (in concept only) of Haibane Renmei --
Spoiler for Hiden:
those who can't choose, i.e. can't move on, for whatever reason, remain and help others choose until they're ready
.  One nice touch was the very human aspect of this somewhat divine task -- the people assigned to the task, they argue and bicker and they read books at night and admire the moon and they're tired and they actually film the memories, they have to go around and scout locations and make props and do all these totally practical things you don't really associate to the gates of heaven or whatever.  And at the end of the week they're tired as hell but then they get up and do it again.... for eternity.  That kind of got to me, I think.

Offline Marid King

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #302 on: November 10, 2013, 11:12:14 PM »
Just came home from watching Ender's Game. I read the book in middle school. A common complaint to say at this point is that 'the book was better', but in this case it's more, 'did whoever direct this actually understand the words they were reading?!?!?'

They drop the immortal line, "The enemy's gate is down", without any explanation whatsoever, and then the camera keeps the enemy gate in front of us, while almost everyone in the scene orients themselves upright and move by flying superman style instead of falling.

This is a bit like suddenly shouting, "E EQUALS M C SQUARED", and then blundering about wondering why all the GPS systems keep desyncing. Ender's Game (the book) is a quiet story that presents you with several fascinating ideas, and lets you think about them. The movie to a moderate degree was faithful to the book in a literal sense, and yet is ignorant, when its source is remarkably clear sighted.   

And for the free directional orientation thing, the solution is ridiculously simple. You show your zero-G scene side-on, then rotate the camera 90 degrees, then Ender reorients his body to match this and starts dropping himself downward instead of trying to fly, everyone else remains sideways and keep flailing, and the audience goes "WOW THAT'S GENIUS". 

The movie was really weak in a lot of other ways, but this in particular was baffling.
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Offline genki sakura

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #303 on: December 13, 2013, 10:22:30 PM »
In the Realm of the Senses

Yes....that movie...it was massively on sale at Barnes & Noble (where it is now possible to but the Battle Royale movie!).

Kind of a porno, in the sense that there was a mindless amount of sex...but with character development and a couple of beautifully composed shots. And at the end I made a Spongebob joke without thinking about it.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I said "Grasp it firmly in your hand!" as she's about to cut it off.
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Offline Marid King

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #304 on: December 22, 2013, 11:11:09 PM »
The Hobbit 2

Benedict Cumberbatch licks my ears for 30 minutes

oh also dwarves and stuff
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Offline Pebble

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #305 on: December 23, 2013, 12:47:45 AM »
Exam (2009)

It's a film built around riddles, and I hate riddles because they're dumb, and invalidate-y plot twists which sound cool but are implausible in foresight, which I hate too, becuase they feel exploitative.

But a dude beats the shit out of another dude strapped, with his own tie, to a chair, so I'm happy. Also, the first few minutes have almost no sound, and is followed by a sequence with no sound save for the light tapping of stiff, higly polished shoes on cold, hard floor, which is lots of fun to listen to. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. Silence. Tap, tap.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #306 on: December 23, 2013, 03:09:00 AM »
The Hobbit 2

Benedict Cumberbatch licks my ears for 30 minutes

While Jackson pisses on Tolkein's grave...
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Offline Kiniest

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #307 on: December 23, 2013, 05:35:43 PM »
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

A man named Joel gets his memories erased after his girlfriend erases her memories of him. As the process goes on, he begins regretting his decision.

This movie was one of a kind. It was incredibly unique and cathartic. The loneliness of the main character was profoundly done, and the story managed to be a tragedy without offing any of its characters. It might be one of the best movies I've ever seen, next to Mimi wo Sumaseba. I give it a well deserved 9/10
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 05:41:22 PM by Kiniest »
harvey beaks is the best anime

Offline Pebble

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #308 on: January 12, 2014, 10:30:46 AM »
Battle Royale (2000) struck me as nothing but a pointless excercise to get 40 schoolkids to kill each other, while we are supposed to watch them and go 'oh how awful'. There's no world building at all (or at least none that isn't deliberately absurd), no tying theme save for the utter randomness of everything, and the only feeling it manages to evoke is apathy. This isn't a bad kind of apathy -much better than the kind otaku pandering causes. I'd describe it more as simple, uncaring resignation. I don't care if any of these people die. I won't care even if I was there.

Confusion, then, is how I would describe the experience. Confusion in the face of bottomless uncertainty. At some point, Shuya deems it necessary to stop and shout out that he doesn't understand what any of this means, which in itself is a completely pointless gesture.
This movie has a fair understanding of pointlessness and it plays with it. It has a terrible lot of fun with this, especially in that little cyanide-in-the-lighthouse episode.

tl;dr it's stone-cold but doesn't have the style or sense of purpose of Confessions or Shiki.

Now, explain this to me. Why does Kiriyama NEVER RUN OUT OF AMMO?

Offline DrIdiot

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #309 on: January 19, 2014, 08:30:29 PM »
I recently saw a pair of movies by Jia Zhangke, Still Life and A Touch of Sin.  They're similar in ways and different in ways, so I'll lump them together.  The difference is kind of thematic: Still Life deals with migrants and their relation to a sense of home, whereas A Touch of Sin has to do with violence.

But they're both Jia Zhangke films, so they have those panoramic still shots, and for the most part they adhere to realist principles, depicting the life of today, but with an occasional touch of surrealism.  Those interested in social fiction will be pleased by his depiction of those in China left behind by economic progress, a category of people that all these intellectuals seem to be interested in yet we somehow never hear about, probably because of how removed we are from understanding them.  He's a great filmmaker, elliptical for sure, with a lot of really well-chosen poetic shots: cigarettes used as incense over an altar, traditional opera singers all made-up and decked out in costume as lords sitting around a shabby table playing on their smartphones, a newly constructed bridge the only thing lit up in the darkness of night, a tiger cloth draped over a shotgun like a flag, a truck of oranges overturned on a mountain road.


On a less farty note, I saw You Are The Apple of my Eye, a nostalgic Taiwanese romantic comedy.  For awhile I've posited that there's a Taiwanese attraction to nostalgia, despite an awareness of its dangers (cf. Taipei People, Taipei Story) -- it might have something to do with the defeated and the colonized, as all Taiwanese have either been routinely colonized over the past century, or have recently suffered a defeat and a fall from glory.  Anyway, this film plays on nostalgia really well, and the dick jokes.... they're actually kind of funny.  It can be sappy, but it always leaves a good taste.


More recently I saw Inside Llewyn Davis.  It's classic Coen Brothers, a fully fleshed out time and place, and characters, and well-scored music.  My favorite scene is one of the early sequences of the subway in New York, when the camera shoots out the window at the "33rd street," "28th street" signs (well, I don't know what they're actually called, murals?) rushing by.  Whenever Oscar Isaac sings it's just beautiful.  And of course the awkward silences, the Coen brothers are the best at that, and at somehow making you laugh at them.  Anyway, a really great portrait of a time and a culture and an artist who is unwilling to compromise.

Offline genki sakura

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #310 on: March 27, 2014, 08:32:39 PM »
Battle Royale (2000) struck me as nothing but a pointless excercise to get 40 schoolkids to kill each other, while we are supposed to watch them and go 'oh how awful'. There's no world building at all (or at least none that isn't deliberately absurd), no tying theme save for the utter randomness of everything, and the only feeling it manages to evoke is apathy. This isn't a bad kind of apathy -much better than the kind otaku pandering causes. I'd describe it more as simple, uncaring resignation. I don't care if any of these people die. I won't care even if I was there.

Confusion, then, is how I would describe the experience. Confusion in the face of bottomless uncertainty. At some point, Shuya deems it necessary to stop and shout out that he doesn't understand what any of this means, which in itself is a completely pointless gesture.
This movie has a fair understanding of pointlessness and it plays with it. It has a terrible lot of fun with this, especially in that little cyanide-in-the-lighthouse episode.

tl;dr it's stone-cold but doesn't have the style or sense of purpose of Confessions or Shiki.
If you haven't already, I'd recommend the book. It's long (over 600 pages), but there is a crap ton of back story (obviously, because of time/budget/other constraints, the same amount of back story wouldn't be as prevalent in the film version).


Now, explain this to me. Why does Kiriyama NEVER RUN OUT OF AMMO?
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Offline Desdemondia

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #311 on: March 27, 2014, 08:42:07 PM »
Now, explain this to me. Why does Kiriyama NEVER RUN OUT OF AMMO?
Magic.

You know what that means Pebble...

QUANTUM MECHANICS kehehe..

Offline DrIdiot

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #312 on: August 24, 2014, 09:49:17 PM »
This might interest some people: the movie Ranbou to Taiki.  Here's the ending song, sung by Etsuko Yakushimaru (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b-BgArfeKs).  It's based off a book by Yukiko Motoya, who appeared recently in Granta (http://www.granta.com/New-Writing/The-Dogs).  Anyway, it's a really weird movie, which you can probably tell from the plot synopsis, and it's funny in a sort of deadpan absurd way.

Offline DrIdiot

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #313 on: August 26, 2014, 06:13:53 PM »
Another movie written by Yukiko Motoya, Funuke, show some love, you losers! (Funuke domo, kanashimi no ai o miserou).  I actually really liked this movie.  It's about a girl whose older sister torments her because she drew a manga about their family troubles which didn't show her sister in a very good light.  Years later she's still tormenting her, even though their older brother is married and she's moved to Tokyo as an aspiring (but mostly failing) actress -- her agent sums it up when he says "you have no talent and you have a bad attitude too."

Anyway, I think my favorite moment from this movie is
Spoiler for Hiden:
the older brother's mistreats his wife really badly.  They met through a dating service and he was pressured into marriage.  She mostly just takes it, she seems pretty confused herself (she's the victim of some pretty poor circumstances).  At some point he throws some soba noodle sauce at her face and it gets in between her eye and contacts and she almost goes blind.  When she gets back they talk a little bit (more than they've really talked through the series) and she asks why they haven't had sex yet (the reason is he's promised his sister -- not related by blood -- that he would save himself for her...).  He tries to go to bed and she literally tackles him and drags him by the legs back and then sits on top of him and plants her face on his and he's just like "god dammit" and rolls her over and they do it.  It's such a triumphant moment for her I couldn't help but smile and say good for you.

Offline Pebble

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Re: What films have you seen recently?
« Reply #314 on: August 27, 2014, 04:06:40 PM »
We need to get those spoilertags back.
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