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Kai wang chun tian de di tie (2002)
Good insight into a young family's life in China
This movie is definitely not for everyone. The pace is kept deliberately slow, there are very few fast scenes, and the music contributes well to the mood. The actors are decent - nothing extraordinary, but they do a good job with the given script. Xu Jinglei provides nice eye candy. However, the real value of the movie in my view is that it depicts fairly well a young couple who have been together for seven years and the gradual arrival to the point where they feel the passion is lost. My wife felt the premise is not terribly realistic. While we disagreed on that, we both agreed that the silence, mind-games, and guessing each other is depicted very faithfully. Personally, I've met quite a few couples in China who are very similar to the protagonists in this movie. My only criticism is really a quibble. However, occasionally the movie depicts imaginary sequences, especially in the beginning. While these are used to good effect, they made me question most of the scenes later on, whether they were real or just someone's imagination. All in all, still, I'd give it a 7/10. It's an honest film about a young couple in contemporary China.
Emotionally draining, but ultimately worth the journey
I just finished watching this. I have to admit, in terms of tone and emotions, this is definitely the heaviest animation that I have seen. In this sense, Oseam bears some similarities with Grave of the Fireflies. This is not to say, however, that the movie is sad through and through.
There is no point in revealing any of the plot - suffice to say, the journey is ultimately fulfilling. In terms of animation quality, it is second to none. It is especially impressive considering that it was hand-drawn. Last but not least, this is not your average Disney flick - teens may be able to appreciate the story, but younger kid most likely cannot handle it.
Taiho shichauzo! (1999)
92 minutes wasted
Okay gang - This is for sure the one and a half hours of my life I can consider wasted. My girlfriend gave up about 30 minutes into the movie, because she couldn't get the point. I endured it bravely 'til the end. And let me tell you - this was such a mess. Well, enough of bashing - I came up with two kinds of people out there who would appreciate the movie. First, if you are familiar with the original series or comic book (not sure there is one), which I am not. Second, you might appreciate it if you live or have lived in Tokyo, which I haven't. There are too many characters, and not enough time has been allocated for developing any of them. There are a few good action sequences, but definitely nothing to write home about. If you haven't seen the original series, don't bother with this one.
There's profanity. Lots of it. PC is out the window! It's derogatory to women. And I can't help but love it. Taking into account the heavily polarized views it's safe to say that you will either hate it or you'll love it. Middle road is very unlikely. But rest assured, IF you love it, the movie will probably make it into your top 10 easy. And after all, that's not all that bad a chance to take. It's not for everyone - I wouldn't recommend it for a romantic evening with your girlfriend. Maybe with your wife :).. But give it a try. You might not hate it.
The Siege (1998)
Who would have thought...?
I don't remember reading the reviews for this movie before I saw the movie today. If I had, most probably I wouldn't have watched it (talk about having no personal opinion). True, as a movie, it has a bunch of plot holes and unbelievable developments (though most of those not where you'd expect them). Enter 9/11... I can't come up with anything more than what has already been said - premonitory, visionary... This film takes on a whole new meaning after the attacks last year. Scary doesn't even start to cover the fact that this fiction became a reality. I'm as sceptical about premonitions as the next guy, but this makes you wonder which movie could be next to be implemented in our world - The sum of all fears?
Fatal Instinct (1993)
A reminder of what good spoofs are made of
Strange, but when I think about this one, the expression "oldie but goodie" comes to mind. After sitting through countless comedies and parodies with gross and often times just plain bad jokes (try scary movie) one might wonder if it is actually possible to have a really brilliant spoof without insulting humor. Well, it is. And just to see how good a well-made parody can be, try this one. Of course, it would help having been a late 80s early 90s movie fan, but that is not a prerequisite. And, without going into too many details, this one effectively proves that a parody/comedy can actually be original.
Seven Girlfriends (1999)
Surprisingly novel and unique
I saw this one on a flight from Copenhagen to Chicago. As the name as well as the protagonists were unknown to me I didn't know what to expect. I was extremely pleasantly surprised. The movie is light but by no means shallow. The humor (which there is plenty of) is fresh and unique. Although several things are made fun of, nothing is really disparaged. I was disappointed reading the "external reviews" and how little those critics thought of the movie. In my humble opinion this movie is an outstanding comedy that is worth much more than it has received credit for.
Parker Lewis Can't Lose (1990)
I love it. I do. This, IMHO, is what a teenage/youth comedy should be. A perfect example of how a series can be intriguing, funny and yet explore the very real situations high school students come face to face with every day. And it does this without being crude, without offensive language etc. Having seen the series, some of the other similar series like Sweet valley high, Saved by the bell and, yes, Ferris Bueller (TV series) look like pale imitations and wannabes. Granted, Parker isn't for everyone. The surreal situations may alienate or simply bother some viewers. But it depends on the person.
Give it a try.
The Bachelor (1999)
Shallow script, weak performances
Sadly, the movie was bad. That about covers it. All the developments can be seen from a mile away, all the jokes are kinda in-your-face and even the special effects weren't so special - actually, the movie could've done without'em. One of my favourite actresses - Renee Zellweger - does a poor job. Hope she did/does it better with Mr. Carrey. Bottom line - the $2 i paid for admission could have been put to better use. If you have to see it - rent it. Pointless to go to a cinema to see it.