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All reviews - Movies (23) - TV Shows (8) - DVDs (3) - Books (38)

How did I miss this?

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 28 March 2008 04:13 (A review of Stage Beauty)

I can't believe I never even heard of this movie until very recently when I, by chance, caught it on TV. It was so amasing that I had to rent it and show it to all my friends.

What really caught my eye when I saw the cover of the DVD was that the two main leads, Billy Crudup and Claire Danes, were also the leads in another favorite movie of mine, Princess Mononoke. And I quite enjoyed the English dub of that movie for the most part. So it was wonderful bonus surprise for me.

On to the movie itself, it's takes place around the time when women started acting in England, because prior to that it was all men actors doing the female parts. So you get to see the fall of Ned, Billy Crudup, and the rise of Maria, Claire Danes, as women actually get to play the role of women. And for a movie set in England with a mostly English cast I find it a bit funny that the two main leads are American. And it's quite funny to see Rupert Everett as the King of England with all the bows and hair. And Richard Griffiths, who I remember as being as Uncle Vernon in Harry Potter, is ah... yeah... not quite Mr. Dursley to be sure. Hold on while I suppress a great urge to burst into laughter.

The thing I love about period pieces of this nature are the amazing costumes. But I think the best part of it all was the cross-dressing. Ah yes. There is much of that in this film.
And nearly every line of this film is quotable for me. It's really just that epic. Then again most were quotes from plays and this film was based on a play so I suppose that's to be expected.
The whole death scene at the end was a very powerful moment I thought. Before much of the acting it seems back then was horribly fake looking with fanciful hand movements but then BAM! you get that punch at the end which I thought perfectly summed up the movie. Sure Ned's line at the very end might seem lame to many but if it sounded cool I think that might have defeated the purpose of the film.

All in all this soon became on of my favorite films ever but it's really all about whether you like this sort of stuff to begin with. It was just a very very fun film to watch and I actually gave a damn about what was happening to the main characters so that's a double plus. Recommended, although some people might actually dislike this film for all the reasons I love it for.


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Concrete Roads

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 27 March 2008 06:01 (A review of Whisper of the Heart)

I've been meaning to write a review on this movie for a while now since it's one of my favorite Ghibli movies and it's not a Miyazaki thing (kinda). It kinda holds a special place in my heart.

Remember when your library books still had their own card and you can actually see who borrowed the book before you? Kinda, maybe, sorta? Anyway that's the premise of this movie (at the start anyway). Shizuku is a giant bookworm and doesn't seem to notice much of anything else really, her whole world revolving on those novels she reads.
Things like boys and stuff aren't a real big issue. Until she notices that all the books she reads have also been read by some other guy, most probably her knight in shining armor. And throw some teen angst and whatnot for good measure.
Somehow later on, without spoiling anything, she feels that she needs to accomplish something epic and decides to write a novel about a cat baron dude, based on this cat figure she saw at a Antiques Shop. The scenes about the book she writes were actually directed by Miyazaki and later became "The Cat Returns."
Unfortunately, the director of the actual movie, Yoshifumi Kondo, died rather early. This kinda sucks since he was supposed to carry on the business at Ghibli after Miyazaki. This is why we still have Miyazaki directing all these Ghibli movies (not that it's a bad thing), but it'd be nice to have a bit more variety...

Anyway... it's based on a book so at times it does feel like they are trying to put too much information in and it really makes the movie drag a bit. And as a result the ending seemingly comes OUT OF NOWHERE. But the song Country Roads, for me, washes away all hostilities on how big a cop out the ending was. It's by no means the best Ghibli movie but it's the one that really hits me in the heart (and doesn't leave me all depressed like Grave of the Fireflies. Try giving the non-Miyazaki movies a go, you might end up finding a whole new realm of anime movies to watch.


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Beautiful

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 27 March 2008 05:49 (A review of Saawariya)

This was another of those in-flight movies that I watched so the ratings might be slighltly skewed in favor of the movie since I was really bored. Plus the subtitles were dreadfully difficult to read so I might be a bit inaccurate at some parts.

Now I haven't seen many Bollywood films (only three counting this one) but this by far is my favorite. Looking at other reviews people seem to rate this one harshly based on another work by the same director but for me it was simply fantastic.

This movie is just beautiful in the sense of the setting and imagery provided. You can just stare at the screen and let the sounds of Bollywood envelop you.

It's much your traditional love-at-first sight movie only from a different perspective (trying not to spoil too much here). The main character is this guy named Raj who I guess a traveling musician and he falls in love with a girl named Sakina. I think what really made the movie for me was his amazingly (almost) nude dancing sequence. I think somewhere filmmakers realized that women need fan service too.

(Almost) nude dancing aside did I mention this movie was beautiful? Sure it's not realistic looking but it invites you in this mystical fantasy world where you can just look at the pretty pictures. I suppose that's what really made the movie for me was the cinematography (and almost nude dance scene). And the music. You can't watch a Bollywood film and not appreciate all the dance numbers.

Highly recommended (especially if you are looking for a different sort of love story, or in a way not so different at all)


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More like a Kid City

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 27 March 2008 05:40 (A review of Big City)

So this is a French movie about the American West as seen through the perspective of a child. Okay I dig it.

This is one of the many in-flight movies I watched this past week and the ratings might be slighly skewed to the favor of the film in question since I was really really bored.

If you've ever been to Wannado City or something of that nature you'd probably really connect to this movie. Essentially all the adults, except for the village idiot and drunk, are out fighting Indians or something and it's up to the kids to keep the city running. At first they have this giant free-for-all party until the village drunk manages to make them take up the jobs their parents once did and carry on the city functions.

So now you have 11 yr old prostitutes that are selling kisses for a dollar and stupid boys running around in KKK costumes stealing people's cats. It rather (blunty) pokes fun of the period of that time (and to an extent present day). Kids are raised to be just like their parents. They don't exactly understand why they act that way but that they should based on what they've seen their own parents due. So that's why you have little kiddies in KKK garb running around like it's Halloween. I think. I'm not even sure the KKK even existed at time the movie is set but eh.

The kids are cute and because they are so young you forget that the issues they face are issues many adults have to deal with and sometimes the kids just deal with those issues better and sometimes they don't do any better. And sometimes they have to question the decisions that adults have made. Anyway, it's a not so nice and cute film about society. There's more than meets the eye here.


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Enjoyable for what it is

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 12 March 2008 02:49 (A review of The Game Plan)

The last movie I saw in theaters was Across the Universe but I of course had no intentions of watching Across the Universe at the time and was lured to the theater under the false pretenses of watching The Game Plan. Why I wanted to watch this movie to begin with (in lieu of Across the Universe) is a good question which will not be discussed at length in this review.

I only got to watch this movie very recently and I enjoyed it immensely (heck it made a alot more sense that Across the Universe did). I had a great facisnation with the aspect of a football/ballet crossover at the time and this movie seemed to fit the bill. It wasn't overly pretentious and was a bit inaccurate and ridiculously over exaggerated at some parts but hey it made for great(?) dramatic effect. I mean when you go to a hospital they don't normally greet you at the door and whisk you away to the operating table, no there's a procedure to follow. But that of course would have ruined the dramatic build-up.

Jokes and plot for the most part are highly predictable but it was such and entertaining little film I found myself laughing. I'm not gonna kid myself and recommend this movie but I guess if you are really really bored and want a family friendly movie about football/ballet and father/daughter interactions then I suppose it's a good match. Plus The Rock doing ballet in tights is truly a sight to behold. It's always fun to see him in these not so great movies.


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Pink Triangles

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 7 March 2008 11:42 (A review of A Love to Hide)

For some apparent reason I thought this would be a happy movie. I mean it was gay and it had French people so I assumed it'd be happy. I kinda skipped the part where it mentioned it was during a Nazi-Germany occupied France.

It's kind of a foursome thing going on in this movie. You have Jean, then you have Jean's childhood friend, Sara, who's not only hopelessly in love with him but a Jew who just had her whole family murdered in front of her. Then you have Jean's lover Phillip, and of course Jean's jealous brother Jacques who is the black sheep of the family. Jacques makes a living stealing from the houses of arrested Jews but one thing leads to another and tensions build and before you know it, one bad thing happens after another, kinda like a dominoe effect. Every tragic event was a like a direct hit to the heart. POW! POW!
Every time I think it can't get worse, the movie surprises me. It was so heart-wrenchingly depressing that I yelled alot at inanimate objects.

All in all this was an amazing movie. Imagine my surprise to learn it was made for TV. A movie of this caliber could have convinced me it was made for a theatrical release. I can't even remember the last time I saw a made for TV movie this good, let alone a foreign made for TV movie.
Sure most people know about the "Jewish" holocaust, but hey, it wasn't just Jews.


Not recommend for the feeble-minded. But if you want to cry and feel depressed about the frailty and cruelty of human nature then go for it.


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Oh wow, it was actually not that bad

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 6 March 2008 04:30 (A review of Pride and Prejudice)

I had my reservations when watching, I was not all too fond of Keira Knightley and I didn't see it possible for anyone other than Colin Firth to depict Mr.Darcy but I was pleasantly surprised.

Big disappointment aroused from lack of wet shirt Darcy and no bath scene but I suppose that's fine since it wasn't Colin Firth anyway.

At first I was really hating the movie and kept comparing it to the 1995 BBC mini-series but realizing the futility of that endeavor I gave up and started grooving on the movie for what it was. And once I did that I found myself enjoying it more than I thought I would. It wasn't accurate to the original novel in the sense that it was much more "romanticized" but for today's audience that's to be expected and it's I suppose it was alright for them to pander to our fangirlish wants for a bit.

There's alot of beautiful sweeping scenes of Keira Knightley and the scenery(?) which I pleasantly enjoyed, it was very soothing being accompanied by lovely piano music. I much liked this touch.

But, like I mentioned earlier it was highly romanticized and I'm aware that there were two different endings, and the one I watched, the American one that is, did not bode to well for me. It was too cheesy, even for me, and perhaps I felt it didn't really feel like it belonged.

Another gripe is the immense condensation of events, while I must admit that such is necessary for a film adaptation barely even two hours I was a bit annoyed that the whole Lady Catherine de Bourgh's objection to Elizabeth's marriage wasn't ever formally tied up. Sure she told that b***h off but it's just not possible to conceive a notion that a lady as powerful as that was just about to let her nephew marry Elizabeth just after being told off, I mean seriously, you thought she'd retaliate or something. But I suppose they were short on time, while I appreciate them trying to show Darcy's family's obvious reaction to his liking Elizabeth, their half-hearted way of doing so was not pleasing.

But other than that a splendid little adaptation that left me thoroughly, if not a bit too much, satisfied. Probably not my favorite adaptation of the novel but now I can't say I really hate it.


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Kinda like the circus on crack

Posted : 9 years, 4 months ago on 13 February 2008 03:53 (A review of Kaleido Star)

My friend recommend this to me and I avoided it for the longest time because it kinda looked retarded tpo me. But once i got over the whole ridiculousness of all the aerodynamics involved (I mean seriously, with breasts that large you'd think it'd be a hindrance not to wrap them or something) it's really not that bad despite the predictable plots and at times lackluster animation it was rather addicting and full of heart.

The main character, Sora, is trying to make it to be part of Kaleido Stage. It's kinda like Cirque du Soleil but more eic. And surprise surprise she makes it! yeeey... The rest of the episodes seem to follow a dreadfully predictable plot that for the most part starts with one episode and ends within that episode. I suppose if you wanted to know how it was like to live as a hard core circus performer it's kinda like that.
The animation is amazing when it counts but oftentimes they would use some scenes over and over again. And when it doesn't count the animation isn't that great. But it's really not as bad as I make it out to be. I mentioned that the plot is predictable and it is. In the main cast of characters there really isn't a "bad guy" since by the end everyone is all chill with each other again. I mean seriously, if you didn't see that coming what's wrong with you? But the characters were charming and it was an enjoyable watch otherwise. Sora can get a bit annoying but the serious wouldn't work I suppose unless she has all that predictable growth as a performer and person type thing going on. Despite the fact that it tied up the ends in this season rather well there's always room for more and episodes as Sora and the gang continues to grow. I can't wait until I watch the next season.


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It has a pink cover!

Posted : 9 years, 4 months ago on 27 January 2008 05:01 (A review of MW)

When I saw this on the shelf I refrained from buying it despite the fact that it was by Osamu Tezuka and it was pink. Quite frankly it looked kinda boring to me. And then I read the description online and kicked myself in the head (repeatedly) for not buying it.

MW (no it doesn't say E3) is like a super HXC chemical weapon that'll kill anyone with just about a single breath. Except for little Yuki who takes in a probably very diluted bit and goes bat-shit insane, essentially losing anything that resembles a conscience or moral. And there's a gay priest (who is his lover) and lesbians and all sorts of cross-dressing. Yuki is apparently good at the cross-dressing since kabuki theater (those all male ones) is in his blood. I didn't realize you can have cross-dressing skillz in your blood but in this book you can. And there's the raped paraplegic women who falls in love with her rapist (Yuki). Your usual fare of corrupt politicians and ded people. (Even a cameo of Shunsaku-Ban! which just about made my day in this otherwise bleak story)

I've read many reviews of this online prior to reading and it's ranged from OMG THIS BOOK IS AMAZING to OMG THIS BOOK SUCKS. Clearly I'm in the former faction. I think it's more to do that I've grown to appreciate Tezuka's style and more importantly the "gekiga" style of manga. It's not for everyone and I'm sure many fans of Tezuka wouldn't like it either. I'm sure it won't appeal much to that "yaoi-crazed fangirl demographic" either. In fact that'd be kinda scary.

Like other Vertical releases this title is flipped (possibly an attempt to attract a different crowd) and it has lovely packaging. It's an epic 584 pages in hardcover and it retails for $25 meaning you can get quite alot your monies worth. If creepy Tezuka stuff is your thing it might be quite enjoyable. I mean I don't usually root for the "bad guys" in books but Yuki is just so anti-everything it's just like oh well. The only really cool character was Shunsaku-Ban anyway. :D


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Seemed pointless at the time

Posted : 9 years, 5 months ago on 25 January 2008 03:18 (A review of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (B&N Classics))

I kinda signed up for the AP English class on a whim a few weeks ago and only now got around to reading the recquired reading seeing as I had to write an essay discussing the themes of it today.

From what I hear about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer it's mostly a children's book with no deep inner message yet Adventures of Huckleberry Finn seems to tackle a multitude of issues ranging from slavery to finding your place in society. It's very hard to get into and the natural color of the language takes a while to get used to. Hell I had no idea what the in the world the "African Americans" were saying half the novel.

At first everyone seemed really stupid from Jim's interpretation of Solomon and the child cut in half to the introduction of the Dauphin and Duke but then I realized these people aren't stupid and gained much more respect (and in the case of the Duke and Dauphin disdain) for these people. In fact it's Tom Sawyer himself who I've come to this like by the end of the novel. For all his upbringing and well-read nature he comes off as an self-centered manipulitive child who pursues romantic fantasies at the expense of others. Huck is a much more likable character and it was fun to see him grow and interpret the sivilized world around him. It's not about the books you read, the clothes on your back, or even the color of your skin. It's about how you are as a person.

The book has important messages that shouldn't be ignored just because this book is really hard to read or because it's "racist" when it's really not. It's just accurately portraying the people of that place in that period. Course I wouldn't read it again anytime soon.


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