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Media GAF Film Club |OT| You Have To Watch

Kadayi

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Welcome to GAF Film Club

The rules are simple: -


1. You watch one film a week (more if you are inclined)

2. You review that film here for your fellow gaffers (no one cares that you just saw a film versus what you thought of it)

3. You tag any major plot spoilers (inline or full, whatever floats your boat) because you are considerate to your fellow Gaffers versus being an asshole

4. Reviews may be as long or short as you want, but they should at least be meaningful to your fellow Gaffers

5. IMDB links (IE: 'I saw Hostiles the other day) are appreciated

6. Any image links (Posters promo images) should be of a considerate size (when posting click on an image once inserted to bring up resizing options)

7. If you participate in the thread, you have to Watch

📽
 

Kadayi

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Knock Knock

Eli Roth Thriller starring Keanu Reeves as a Home alone Family man whose life gets turned upside down when he answers the door to a couple of seemingly lost sirens (Lorenza Izzo & Ana de Armas ).

A surprisingly competent Thriller overall that reminded me a lot of a stage play given the small cast and fixed location. Keanu does a pretty good job in the lead role as a fall guy who just ends up watching his life gradually slide out of view.

Not perfect there's a terrible subplot involving a minor character called Louis who turns up to collect a sculpture that falls kind of flat but overall the storyline keeps you on your toes to the end. Sadly I don't recall if Keanu manages to pack in any 'Woahs', but Ana de Armas presence makes up for it. Worth a watch.

 
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Kadayi

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

This Coen Brothers Western venture commissioned by Netflix from last year had been sitting in my to-watch list for quite a while but truth be told had dropped off my radar amongst the myriad other things vying for my attention. It was only when I saw it rated highly in a recent article of their filmography that I figured it was time to dive in.

I went in kind of blind to the whole enterprise, so I wasn't aware that rather than being a full feature film in the traditional sense ala True Grit TBOBS is in fact, a series of six individual tales of life on the frontier. Storywise the quality was a little variable. I can't say I cared much for the magical realism nature of the opener "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" myself, but there was a certain bittersweet poignancy to the later episodes that did a good job of conveying that sense of uncertainty at the periphery of the frontier experience, when you move beyond the trappings of society, observation and recrimination that definitely made me think back to No Country for Old Men in some way. Worth a watch but of the six episodes overall I'd say the bookends are the weakest, whilst 'Meal Ticket', 'All Gold Canyon' and 'The Girl who got the Rattled' are the strongest. Quality cinematography though, and a fantastic ensemble cast as one would expect from a Coen Brother pic.

 

Kadayi

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Aww yeah, great thread Kad. I used to use those “10 films to watch in <month>” threads to get my film recs and found some real gems. Will be watching this thread.
Well, I hope you'll be contributing also. I like films, but I can't watch them all. I figure 1 a week (or 52 a year if you dice it that way) isn't a big challenge and enough of one that people will participate. I wouldn't have gotten turned onto Knock Knock if it wasn't for you mentioning it in the Hunger Games Thread and Discord truth be told.
 

brap

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Well, I hope you'll be contributing also. I like films, but I can't watch them all. I figure 1 a week (or 52 a year if you dice it that way) isn't a big challenge and enough of one that people will participate. I wouldn't have gotten turned onto Knock Knock if it wasn't for you mentioning it in the Hunger Games Thread and Discord truth be told.
I'm glad my review in the 30 days of film thread sold you on it.
 

matt404au

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Well, I hope you'll be contributing also. I like films, but I can't watch them all. I figure 1 a week (or 52 a year if you dice it that way) isn't a big challenge and enough of one that people will participate. I wouldn't have gotten turned onto Knock Knock if it wasn't for you mentioning it in the Hunger Games Thread and Discord truth be told.
I don't get as much time to watch films lately. Maybe one or two per month. We did watch Men in Black International last night (wife's choice). A few eyeroll woke moments but they didn't detract too much from it overall. Nowhere near as good as the first two but entertaining enough. I liked the funny little sidekick Pawny -- he brought a few laughs. Felt like it was designed to be another vehicle for the omg super cute Hemsworth schtick though. I don't mind him, but the constant frothing gets a bit much.
 

SLoWMoTIoN

Milk Connoisseur
Feb 2, 2018
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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

This Coen Brothers Western venture commissioned by Netflix from last year had been sitting in my to-watch list for quite a while but truth be told had dropped off my radar amongst the myriad other things vying for my attention. It was only when I saw it rated highly in a recent article of their filmography that I figured it was time to dive in.

I went in kind of blind to the whole enterprise, so I wasn't aware that rather than being a full feature film in the traditional sense ala True Grit TBOBS is in fact, a series of six individual tales of life on the frontier. Storywise the quality was a little variable. I can't say I cared much for the magical realism nature of the opener "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" myself, but there was a certain bittersweet poignancy to the later episodes that did a good job of conveying that sense of uncertainty at the periphery of the frontier experience, when you move beyond the trappings of society, observation and recrimination that definitely made me think back to No Country for Old Men in some way. Worth a watch but of the six episodes overall I'd say the bookends are the weakest, whilst 'Meal Ticket', 'All Gold Canyon' and 'The Girl who got the Rattled' are the strongest. Quality cinematography though, and a fantastic ensemble cast as one would expect from a Coen Brother pic.

Half of the movie was interesting. Felt like what RDR2 should have been.
 

Kadayi

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Warcraft: The Beginning

This was a weird one tbh. Not being particularly au fait with the source material I have to admit I don't think the film did a particularly good job of explaining wtf was going on beyond the initial premise. With all of that said it was entertaining enough and the animation on the principal Orc characters was very well done, however, the pristine identikit armour and weapons of the humans really distracted after a while. A bit of wear, tear and differential wouldn't have gone amiss. Not entirely surprised it crashed and burned at the boss office (though it did ok in foreign markets) but very surprised Duncan Jones directed it (butwhy?.gif), tentatively recommended if you're a big Warcraft fan (in which case you've probably already seen it) less so if you're just after a legible fantasy film.
 

mekes

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Been meaning to watch this one film for years, and I finally did a few nights back.

Toni Erdmann

It is a film focusing on the relationship between an older practical joker father and his adult career oriented daughter. Long movie at 2h42m, but honestly didn’t feel any longer than your average 90m movie. It’s nicely shot, good cast and has a bit of everything. It’s a funny movie, sad at times, thought provoking. But it carries a sense of charm all the way through, much in the same way as movies like Sideways and About Schmidt imo. Movies that shine a warm light on what may seem like everyday occurrences but keep you hooked despite the fact. Overall, I like movies like this that serve as a magnifying glass to certain character traits. I thought I would enjoy the film and it delivered in a great way.

This is an 8.(y)/10 from me. It is good.

Trailer


Spoiler free review because this was my first review in the thread. So will have a lot of room for improvement.
 

kiiltz

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Wait Until Dark




I have some ambivalent feelings regarding this. On one hand, it's brilliantly shot and directed but on another, should you stop to think for even a second about it, the plot seems rather convoluted and over-elaborate. There's some nice attention to detail regarding Susie's (Hepburn) state of blindness although at times it does sort of feel as if the story is deliberately structured around that i.e the con men are playing off Susie, rather than Susie is playing off the con men (compare this to Hitchcock's style of throwing your average joe into a crazy situation and seeing how they adapt to it). While a small nuance, I think it's especially delicate here as the film is dependent on a unique hook (blind woman accosted by thee con men) and a transparent McGuffin. Unfortunately, I found my suspension of disbelief challenged on a few occasions but having said that, it is adapted from a stage play so it can't be shouganai'd.

But for the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a bit of a slow start a first but it grips you as it slowly unravels and I was reminded of a quaint bottle episode that seems boring at first, but then all of sudden captures your attention with skin crawling tension. The reveal almost felt like some kind of minor Greek tragedy in how it came about.
 
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kiiltz

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Jason and the Argonauts



If I'm going to be honest, I've never really been a big fan of stop motion in film but for some reason, probably personal bias and love for Greek Mythology, I gave it a pass here. For what it's worth, the iconic skeleton scene is actually incredible but the Talos, Hydra and Harpie set pieces were admittedly a little awkward to watch. There are some spectacular shots though, and I think the film does a really good job of capturing the grandiose and epic feel of the myth that makes one giddy with excitement and adventure. Given it's 104 minute runtime and the amount of set pieces, there's little room to be desired in the story department and it does feel as if it was loosely put together. For example, the conclusion is implicit and abrupt rather than actually addressed, the opening act feels rushed and as a whole, the film mostly jumps from set piece to set piece and while I would normally admonish this type of pacing (see: LotR: RotK) Jason and the Argonauts seems to do it in way that seems regulated, if that even makes sense.

Oh, one other thing is I'm not really a fan of the score. In fact, I rarely like how heavy handed mid-20th century composers are but here there's a lot of horns and trumpets so it was especially jarring for someone who more appreciates the Scorcese style of selective silence, and diegetic sounds.

Addendum: It's a wonder why this film hasn't been remade yet (or the mythos been once again adapted/no the miniseries doesn't count). You'd think film makers would be leaping at the opportunity to recreate these scenes with new tech but yeah nah, give us trash like Clash of the Titans and Immortals, smh.
 
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kiiltz

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Oh, are we doing just films we haven't seen, like the original thread? I wouldn't mind some RTTP-type movie posts and films are really good in this vein. Though I guess we'd need some rules like the length of time since last watched and/or a limit on how many times seen.
 

Kadayi

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Oh, are we doing just films we haven't seen, like the original thread? I wouldn't mind some RTTP-type movie posts and films are really good in this vein. Though I guess we'd need some rules like the length of time since last watched and/or a limit on how many times seen.
I think exclusively unseen films would be hard to pull off tbh long term. I think that worked great for the 30 day challenge, but this is more of a long-term thing and the main aim is to get people engaged.

If you want to wax lyrical about a film you revisited again then go for it. With time constraints I don't tend to rewatch films as much as I used to, but certainly with my favourite films I like to dust them off now and then.
 

Kadayi

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El Camino: A Breaking Bad Film

Finally got around to watching this. Have to say overall pleasantly surprised. I know some people have tended to paint it all as a rather unnecessary bookend after the finale of Breaking Bad, but I must admit I quite enjoyed it and it was an engaging enough romp and a pleasure to revisit some of the cast through the flashbacks. With that said I would hope that the Writers draw a line in the sand so to speak when it comes to any further tales, though I guess a comedy series with the further adventures of Badger & Skinny Pete wouldn't necessarily go amiss 🤔
 

Rock And Roll

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Once baseball is over and I have free time I'll join in. At one point we had a movie club on GAF, where we all watched the same thing and discussed it (like a book club). If anyone wanted to do that again it might be fun.
 

mekes

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It. Chapter 2

I love the story, “IT“ is up there with some of my favourite horror stories of all time. I really enjoyed the first chapter, not as much as the original, but it did some things better, namely the portrayal of Derry and its inhabitants. I feel that Chapter 2 has let the first half down. I usually like James McAvoy but I felt he was a wrong choice for older Bill in this movie. Overall, I think the pacing absolutely destroys this movie. It starts off in such a rush, but then draaags out the remaining few hours of the film. There are so many odd directions that the story takes where a little more creativity and license would have helped. I’m sad to say, but it was quite a chore to sit through. I just didn’t care about the characters, which will always destroy a movie.

Character building - weak
Story - could be told better
Some characters fall flat with their performances

Parting thought. I’m just happy we got this story re-told with some effort put in to it. But whatever magic was there in parts for the first movie just seemed to be long gone in this 2nd half of the story.

5/10, just.



 
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Kadayi

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American Made

A pretty engaging Tom Cruise led recounting of the story of Barry Seal a disillusioned TWA pilot during the who 80s worked as a drug smuggler for the Columbian Cartels whilst also working for the alphabet agencies. As with anything the Cruiser puts his heart into it to bring the story to life. Directorally, Doug Liman pulls a bit from here and there in terms of approach and for the sake of storytelling compresses a few instances of events with serendipity but it's inoffensive in terms of how it's done for the most part. 7/10
 
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Reizo Ryuu

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I think exclusively unseen films would be hard to pull off tbh long term. I think that worked great for the 30 day challenge, but this is more of a long-term thing and the main aim is to get people engaged.
I watch 2 (new) movies every week at the theater, mini-reviewed them too.
Got bored writing them up after doing it for several years.
How short can reviews in here be? Cause I wouldn't mind sharing my weekly viewing here if I can keep it super short; like one sentence short.
 

Kadayi

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I watch 2 (new) movies every week at the theater, mini-reviewed them too.
Got bored writing them up after doing it for several years.
How short can reviews in here be? Cause I wouldn't mind sharing my weekly viewing here if I can keep it super short; like one sentence short.
4. Reviews may be as long or short as you want, but they should at least be meaningful to your fellow Gaffers
 

Tesseract

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American Made

A pretty engaging Tom Cruise led recounting of the story of Barry Seal a disillusioned TWA pilot during the who 80s worked as a drug smuggler for the Columbian Cartels whilst also working for the alphabet agencies. As with anything the Cruiser puts his heart into it to bring the story to life. Directorally, Doug Liman pulls a bit from here and there in terms of approach and for the sake of storytelling compresses a few instances of events with serendipity but it's inoffensive in terms of how it's done for the most part. 7/10
the scene where he drops outta the plane caked in cocaine and bicycles off has gotta be one of the all time greats
 
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A masterpiece that serves as a cautionary tale for those who want to leave everything behind them: Family, Health, Wealth, Dignity, Responsibility, and Life.

This movie taught me that happiness is not always experienced alone; rather, there should be a balance between taking care of your own needs and wants and anchoring to family and friends if you're blessed to have them.
 
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- Mythical shit with actors trying to act like holier than thou gods
- Has lots of budget stop motion animation effects. So you might laugh at the cheesy effects
- Just overall a cool movie
- 7/10. Acting is C-tier. But the effects are respectable for the effort for 1981




- Gritty cop/thriller movie with a fat Ray Liotta and Jason Patric
- Not the usual cop/detective movie with obvious good guy/bad guy plot
- Busta Rhymes even plays a good crook
- Solid 8/10

 

Kadayi

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- Gritty cop/thriller movie with a fat Ray Liotta and Jason Patric
- Not the usual cop/detective movie with obvious good guy/bad guy plot
- Busta Rhymes even plays a good crook
- Solid 8/10

Yeah, I remember seeing Narc. Good solid film. I'm kind of surprised it isn't referenced by people more often.
 
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Kadayi

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The Ninth Gate

Roman Polanski directed 1999 Supernatural thriller Starring Johnny Depp as an Antiquarian Book Dealer who is charged by a wealthy Patron with verifying that his recently acquired copy of an infamous and rare occult tome is the real deal, that leads him on a European adventure.

This was a rewatch for me, fuelled by chancing upon the excellent Haunting Soundtrack by the late great Polish Composer Wojciech Kilar and thinking 'time to watch it again'

Set firmly in a time before mobile phones and the internet there is no denying that this film hasn't aged somewhat, but it's still an enjoyable enough romp for the chainsmoking perpetually inebriated Deppster, even if at times it lacks for expediency. Also Emmanuelle Seigner (aka Mrs Polanski ) looks stunning. Probably due for a remake by someone like Soderburgh or Villeneuve.
 
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kiiltz

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Dragon Tiger Gate



Apologies for my own lack of participation, I have an odd work roster and also I wasn't really sure what to watch next and didn't want my next one to be another oldie. This was also a rewatch for me. I happened to come across it when I signed up for Netflix and promptly downloaded it to watch on one of my flights.

This one's based on a Hong Kong manhua, which becomes pretty obvious once you look at it's cheesy villain, weak plot and melodramatically written characters (that somehow still manages to lack depth) but that's a bit overly harsh. In all honesty, it's a fun action flick and the fight choreography is done by Donnie Yen himself and I've been a fan of his choreography since Blade II. Aside from the villain and Turbo's ridiculous hair, the costume design isn't too "flamboyant" either (as opposed to say, Japanese films based on manga) and I personally thought it was pretty slick. Also Donnie Yen with an emo haircut is fucking hilarious and works surprisingly well.

There is some cheesy CGI at times, especially at the end which makes it come off as some B-grade action film but the camera movement and editing, typical Hong Kong standard and then some, more than makes up for it.

Also, let's appreciate that this beautiful specimen was 43 at the time of filming.

 

SirKicksalot

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Mortal Engines

I regret not watching it in IMAX.
Whoever financed this movie is a complete idiot. It's a gorgeous steampunk Mad Max meets Star Wars. It's on the wrong side of weird. Giant cities literally eat smaller cities and there's an undead cyborg and a flying faction and cannibals and the Dalai Lama guards the Himalayas or something. Its actually intriguing :pie_thinking: Weta Workshop and Digital deliver some of their best work.
I thought it's one of those Special Girl Saves The World YA stories but she barely does anything. The main dude is a lot more memorable. Hugo Weaving is the best, of course. I still don't understand why he is the villain but whatever.

If you like Peter Jackson and John Carter you'll like this. It's at least interesting, which is more than I can say about most blockbusters these days.
 
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naturalpuerh

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Mortal Engines

I regret not watching it in IMAX.
Whoever financed this movie is a complete idiot. It's a gorgeous steampunk Mad Max meets Star Wars. It's on the wrong side of weird. Giant cities literally eat smaller cities and there's an undead cyborg and a flying faction and cannibals and the Dalai Lama guards the Himalayas or something. Its actually intriguing :pie_thinking: Weta Workshop and Digital deliver some of their best work.
I thought it's one of those Special Girl Saves The World YA stories but she barely does anything. The main dude is a lot more memorable. Hugo Weaving is the best, of course. I still don't understand why he is the villain but whatever.

If you like Peter Jackson and John Carter you'll like this. It's at least interesting, which is more than I can say about most blockbusters these days.
Have you watched SPEED AND PASSION 9?
 

kiiltz

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There's a Japanese Film Festival going on now that just started today and ends on the 3rd and I just so happen to have the time to check it out (except one day because of an engagement party which is annoying). Super excited about it and watched the first film today. Not sure how I'm going to approach this but I'm either going to make a post per day irt to what I watched or save all of it until the end., depends on what my brain can handle. Also, I don't really wanna spam up the thread with my weeb shit heh. Anyway,

Masquerade Hotel





Not so much a mystery as it is a love letter to Japan’s hospitality industry but having experienced it first-hand myself*, there’s nothing wrong with that. Jokes aside, I was a little puzzled when viewing this. It’s almost as if the film wasn’t quite sure what kind of film it wanted it to be. There’s mystery, but a lack of suspense. There are some tense scenes, but perhaps a little too much humorous ones. It’s a movie but it felt like a glued together mini-series. There aren’t strictly three acts; it’s more like for two thirds of its runtime there are little cases in between that build up towards the climax, which feels like something out of Dexter’s or Justified’s playbook or House even.

One thing I realized is that the masquerade score that played throughout the film, whilst thematically fitting and completely fine in its own right, indirectly offset the tone and atmosphere (try to imagine the Assassin’s Creed II trailer being played with a masquerade track). This + a style of direction that reminded me of Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel in particular, just really puzzled me for something that is supposed to be a mystery.

Having said that, when it does the mystery parts and when it does the buildup, it does it good. I’m a sucker for dichotomies so I was naturally interested in the relationship and discussion between the two leads and they generally played off each other very well.
It did feel like it dragged on towards the end, maybe because of the 132 min runtime (a bit long for me personally) and I had the sneaky suspicion that things were probably resolved better in the book it was adapted from.

*I was staying at a hotel in the country and had no way to get back to civilization. Actually, I didn’t even know I had no way of getting back (I was just going to walk L O L) until the receptionist asked me about it. Then she went out of her way to book me a seat on the bus that goes back to the city and got one of the drivers to drop me off at the stop. t. bakagaijin
 
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naturalpuerh

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There's a Japanese Film Festival going on now that just started today and ends on the 3rd and I just so happen to have the time to check it out (except one day because of an engagement party which is annoying). Super excited about it and watched the first film today. Not sure how I'm going to approach this but I'm either going to make a post per day irt to what I watched or save all of it until the end., depends on what my brain can handle. Also, I don't really wanna spam up the thread with my weeb shit heh. Anyway,

Masquerade Hotel





Not so much a mystery as it is a love letter to Japan’s hospitality industry but having experienced it first-hand myself*, there’s nothing wrong with that. Jokes aside, I was a little puzzled when viewing this. It’s almost as if the film wasn’t quite sure what kind of film it wanted it to be. There’s mystery, but a lack of suspense. There are some tense scenes, but perhaps a little too much humorous ones. It’s a movie but it felt like a glued together mini-series. There aren’t strictly three acts; it’s more like for two thirds of its runtime there are little cases in between that build up towards the climax, which feels like something out of Dexter’s or Justified’s playbook or House even.

One thing I realized is that the masquerade score that played throughout the film, whilst thematically fitting and completely fine in its own right, indirectly offset the tone and atmosphere (try to imagine the Assassin’s Creed II trailer being played with a masquerade track). This + a style of direction that reminded me of Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel in particular, just really puzzled me for something that is supposed to be a mystery.

Having said that, when it does the mystery parts and when it does the buildup, it does it good. I’m a sucker for dichotomies so I was naturally interested in the relationship and discussion between the two leads and they generally played off each other very well.
It did feel like it dragged on towards the end, maybe because of the 132 min runtime (a bit long for me personally) and I had the sneaky suspicion that things were probably resolved better in the book it was adapted from.

*I was staying at a hotel in the country and had no way to get back to civilization. Actually, I didn’t even know I had no way of getting back (I was just going to walk L O L) until the receptionist asked me about it. Then she went out of her way to book me a seat on the bus that goes back to the city and got one of the drivers to drop me off at the stop. t. bakagaijin
Just enjoy the festival there!
 
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brap

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Showdown in Little Tokyo

Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee team up in some early 90s buddy cop movie to kick the Yakuza's ass. In one scene Brandon Lee says Dolph has the biggest dick he's ever seen on a man. This movie is just plain dumb fun. It runs at only 78 mins too so it never feels boring. It's basically everything you expect from a 90s buddy cop film. God, Dolph Lundgren was such a fucking chad. Could literally turn me gay. His japanese was pretty shit in this movie though. Hopefully the uncut version surfaces on blu-ray one day.
 

SirKicksalot

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Hunter Killer, the Gerard Butler submarine movie!

This movie is fucking awesome.
It has everything: manly men, submarines, spec-ops, explosions, the Pentagon, military porn, a couple of good actors... It's a really good Tom Clancy style thriller. The amount of story that's packed in a tight, fast paced two hours is ridiculous.
I don't know what it is about submarine movies but they're always good. This one adds some Call of Duty shootbang on top of the tense submarine stealth! It's fucking awesome. Goddamn I love Gerard Butler! I hope he keeps making this kind of movies forever.
 
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kiiltz

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nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo i had a draft here for the films i viewed at the festival but THEN I LOST IT eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

ugh just ill list them off but i guess i wont be as elequent pretentious as usual

Born Bone Born

A fascinating look at an Okinawan tradition, revolving around a broken and dysfunctional family after the death of it's matriarch. It's humourous, it's touching and it covers themes of healing and closure after the loss of a loved one. Nothing especially remarkable, painfully ordinary even, but it's a good glimpse into an otherwise creepy tradition.

Kingdom

I'm a fan of the manga and it didn't disappoint. I always held the belief that there was potential in a live-action adaption mostly because the first arc, despite being the weakest in the series, is well suited for it. I really hope there is a sequel but things get spread out and there is a lot more movement. For the most part, it feels like a legit period action film with it's set locations and costume designs, but there was one small green screen bit which exposed it's production budget. Still pretty good.

Samurai Shifters

Mostly corny. Felt almost satirical, like Year One vibes even though it was listed as period "drama". I personally found the subject matter interesting enough to keep myself invested as the logistics, finances and planning needed to move clans during that time period is something that never occurred to me. There's some really cool shit towards the end regarding samurai honour and loyalty that grabs at your heart strings.

Melancholic

Lead actor does a really good job of portraying a socially awkward guy but other than that not much to write home about. There's some dark humour that hits it's mark and the interesting question on whether or not a good education and give you happiness but they don't really follow through on the latter.

My Dad Is A Heel Wrestler

Nice little family film. I love(d) wrestling so I was a bit partial to it. The kid actor was actually pretty good and the final match made me reminisce of Wrestlemania XVII. Although if this film is anything to go by, Japan must have shit Heels, or not appreciate them enough. Austin 3:16 just whooped yo ass.

JK Rock

I like how rock is still alive in Japan. It's great. This was mostly a shitty chick flick though with shades of a shoujo manga, so I guess I loved it. School of Rock was better.

A Banana? At This Time of Night?

An interesting foil to Japan's typical non-confrontational culture or maybe you could see it as one dickhead taking advantage of it. Tbh, I wasn't charmed by the main character (the actor does a good playing the role though) so I wasn't completely sold on it. On the other hand, as a fellow being who values their independence, I could definitely buy into the moral of the story.

Sea of Revival

Easily my most favourite of the festival. I'm usually pretty good at reading where a story is going, at least enough to rarely be surprised, but this one kept throwing me for a loop. A cautionary tale that entertains the dangers of gambling and asking the question of how far should one go to help someone with a severe problem. Ikuo's spiral into descent was fascinating to watch in all kinds of ways and I really enjoyed the relationship between him and the rest of the characters. If I had one to recommend, it would be this one. Sidebar: I almost missed this one because of the engagement party, but I went and saw it anyway. Welp.

Little Nights, Little Love

Felt a bit like Love Actually but better? That's not saying much though. One thing I really appreciated about the film is how it explores and compares the contrast and differences between relationships founded by chance encounters and those that were worked towards (i.e meeting someone randomly versus organised dating). There's some really sweet moments throughout the film but it doesn't go much beyond that. But it had an actress from Sea of Revival so I obviously loved it.

Dance With Me

Probably the biggest disappointment of the festival. I love musicals and this wasn't so much a musical as it was... a masquerade of one, I guess? It takes it to some kind of meta level which to be honest, was kinda lame. There's some funny moments here and there, which you'd expect from a road trip, buddy buddy film but my different expectations of it ultimately hindered my overall enjoyment. It was kind of like getting a banana smoothie but like, they only put one third of a banana in it. Ayaka Miyoshi is so god damn pretty in this though.


BONUS ROUND - because I'm a nerd and ended up watching other films at home when the festival ended (also partly why this is so late).


Sunny: Our Hearts Beat Together

I absolutely adored this. Hilarious, hectic and heart-breaking. 90's kogyaru fashion is also amazing and I hope this trend of gyaru nostalgia and portrayals never ends. There is definitely that sense of overwhelming nostalgia as well the woes of having become an adult and reaching out to friends that you never knew you lost. A little cheesy at the end, as well as maybe being a bit too abrupt but let's ignore that.

Seven Samurai

I feel like I'm never going to resonate with the old school, revered directors. I could never get into Hitchcock either. If I'm going to be blunt, I just didn't give a shit. Nice DP and cinematography, though.

Flying Colors (AKA Biri Gyaru)

Heartwarming, poignant and inspirational. Also, apparently a true story which I really hope it is but the skeptic in me says [citation needed]. It's a really good look at how and how not to give kids the right kind of support and guidance and both Kasumi Arimura and Atsushi Ito are unwaveringly charming.


And that's me for a couple of weeks.
 
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Kadayi

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Oct 10, 2012
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Memory: The Origins of Alien



Interesting documentary on the inception of Alien, that delves into its origins and the circuitous route it took from its beginnings as a screenplay by Dan O'Bannon through to its eventual realisation as a seminal film under the guidance Ridley Scott, though it is in many ways more a meditation on the film itself versus a strick making-of documentary. I think if you're an Alien devotee then there is definitely something to be gleaned from it, however, it does, unfortunately, lack for any direct commentary from Scott himself (versus extracts from interviews he has given). Some of the talking heads brought in are worthwhile, some, on the other hand, seem there to project their earnest world views a little too hard onto the film. Worth a peek.
 
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