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What are you watching in International cinema?

Old 05-05-07, 04:54 PM
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What are you watching in International cinema?

It seems to me that this forum has been a little quiet lately so I thought I'd start a general thread like this one.....maybe everyone could chime in on what they've been watching......the good, the bad, or the ugly.

La Noche de Los Girasoles (2006 Spain - DVD R2 Spain)
One of the better films I've watched recently and thus easily recommended. I found it very engrossing. The cast and seemingly first-time director did a very nice job. Had a similar ballpark feel to maybe "El Septimo Dia" (which I loved) and "Obaba" (which I was somewhat lukewarm about).

Sunflower (2006 South Korea - DVD R3 South Korea)
I've been watching pretty much all the recent wave of Korean gangster flicks, and have enjoyed a number of them. This was one of my favorites. The gangster element is not as much in the forefront and thus I could see where many might be put off by the focus on family melodrama and some of the lighter moments in the film. However, I thought the mix worked quite well. I was drawn to the characters. The ending was terrific.

Confession of Pain (2006 Hong Kong - DVD R3 Hong Kong)
I'm generally easy to please when it comes to Hong Kong crime flicks and have enjoyed some of the lesser efforts too from recent years. This one was a bit of a bore. Nice camerawork but that was about it. Hollywood seems to have a plan for a re-make; the story is not worth the bother.
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Old 05-05-07, 06:05 PM
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Since living in Geneva, I've been renting as many French DVDs as possible with English subtitles. There aren't that many French DVDs that have English subtitles, but there is still a considerable amount of them that I had never heard of nor played in the foreign movie theaters in NYC. The following are a couple of the good ones I've seen:

Je Vous Trouve Tres Beau (2005 France - DVD PAL France)
An excellent, funny and touching story starring Michel Blanc (the French Woody Allen) as a farmer who orders a Romanian mail order bride. It's a great flick. It's worth buying on DVD.

La Doublure (2006 France - DVD PAL France)
This film I think is going to be released in USA. It's about a valet who is payed to live with a supermodel. It's not balls-out-loud funny, but it's a cute film worth watching. Daniel Autieuil is in it. Kristen Scott Thomas is also in it and seems to speak very fluent French.

Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants (2004 France-DVD PAL France)
This is a dramedy about love, relationships, couples with kids who still want to have fun, with the funny Alain Chabat. I think it actually might have played in USA theaters under the title Happily Ever After. It's got a funny cameo by Johnny Depp.

El Metodo (2005 Spain - DVD Pal Spain)
This movie was awesome - IMDB sums it up as "Perfect psychologically intense examination of the job application process ". It's about a group of people that are at a corporate job interview, and they have to sort of fire each other using a psychological test called the Gronhold Method. It would almost make a good reality show sort of like Survivor or the Apprentice. But in this movie, it's highly entertaining and intense. This DVD is worth buying.



The following films are ones that painfully sucked and I don't recommend anyone to rent them or buy them:

Love Express (2004 Switzerland - DVD Swiss PAL)
Singles go on a dating cruise - sounds funny but is boring and amatuerish.

Curse of the Golden Flower (2006 China - DVD USA NTSC)
I loved Hero and House of Flying Daggers, but this was a dull, unsatisfying costume/set movie with a generic overly dramatic and ridiculous dysfunctional family storyline.

Je Vais Bein, Ne T'en Fais Pas (2006 France - DVD France PAL)
This boring ridiculous movie got many of the Cesar awards in France this year. It's just a forgetable drama, and I have no understanding of why it got so many French movie awards.

Last edited by toddly6666; 05-05-07 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 05-05-07, 08:38 PM
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I'll put in a vote for Curse of the Golden Flower, which I quite liked. Cut and pasted from another post :

Zhang Yimou's return to the wuxia genre is thankfully a much better effort than House of Flying Daggers and on par with Hero.

Supposedly China's most expensive film ever, it is indeed very very opulent, every shot showing where the money went. Yimou matches the opulence with an operatic greek tragedy and extravagant action, something which will not be everyone's cup of tea, but I found it to work quite well.

What makes it work is Gong Li, doing what only great actors can do in taking a nothing role and turning it into the most important part of the movie. Her performance helps the complicated and highly convoluted plot fit in with the environment of the film.

Yimou paces and builds beautifully, but falters at the end with a climax that is just too long and drawn out. Even so, this is still quality entertainment.

7.5/10
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Old 05-06-07, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by toddly6666
Je Vais Bein, Ne T'en Fais Pas (2006 France - DVD France PAL)
This boring ridiculous movie got many of the Cesar awards in France this year. It's just a forgetable drama, and I have no understanding of why it got so many French movie awards.

I am trying hard not to post in every thread where you post, as I respect whatever you have to say, though I clearly disagree with your opinion(s)... but seeing how as of late you use definitive terms to dismiss anything that does not fit your criterion for entertaining (discussed in a different thread...which is still fine by me)...the post above clearly had me motivated to respond:

The actual title is Je vais bien, ne t'en fais pas and this is actually one of the best French films I saw in a very long time. Outstanding performance by Melanie Laurent and a script that will likely be improved by Hollywood in a near future. It is THAT good!!

I also disagree with your comments on Verhoven's Black Book which I thought was quite well done but I do not wish to engage in a pointless rebutal as the purpose of this thread is rather different.

As to Philippe Lioret's work however...I strongly recommend it! Great film!

Pro-B

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 05-06-07 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 05-06-07, 07:29 AM
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Pro-bass,

Eventhough we both love foreign movies, we have different opinions because basically you are more of an intellectual movie watcher and I'm just an entertainment junkie. You give high praises to almost every single obscure foreign movie you review, which is fine, but that's because you are very appreciative in every single aspect of the filmmaking and you are not phased by old dated movies. Sure, Alatriste and Curse of the Golden Flower look good, but they are both sloppy films with poor storytelling. I think a lot of people got psyched after reading your Alatriste review, especially since it's a mainstream foreign movie which looks like an extremely rewatchable adventure movie epic, but many people have been disappointed or underwhelmed. I was going to automatically buy it, but it's a good thing my video store has the Spanish DVD to rent. The only obscure movies that I really really love which could be considered too arty or too pretentious are The Holy Mountain (my most eagerly awaited DVD ever), Mathew Barney's Cremasters, and Von Tier's The Idiots....but ya never know, I hated Todd Field's In the Bedroom, but I thought Little Children was a masterpiece.

I was just underwhelmed with Je vais bien, ne t'en fais pas. I didn't believe that any parent would lie to their other child about such a serious matter - sort of mean spirited. So I didn't buy the movie. And I thought the main girl was unrealistically overdramatic. It's really not that bad, it's really just a fair movie.

And concerning Black Book, I watched it again the other day, and it's actually better the second time around. It's a really good movie - it's been a while since seeing a movie with such a good story. It's one of the most interesting spy/resistance/realistic twist movies I've seen. It's especially a great movie how it shows what happens to the nazi collaborators after the war. I only take away points because it's not one bit of a tear-dripper, which I usually expect when watching WW2 movies. The only character I feel bad for is the good nazi, but not enough to shed a tear. And I'm the type that cries at every movie - whether it's a great emotional scene or a great happy scene or a great action scene. I cried at The Matrix it was so good. haha! I wish Black Book would be as emotional as the sort of similar masterpiece, When The Wind Shakes The Barly.

Last edited by toddly6666; 05-06-07 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 05-06-07, 08:52 AM
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I'll bat for zhang yimou a bit here, I agree his approach in Golden Flower is not for everyone, but I dont think it's sloppy (apart from maybe the last 20 min when it gets a little out of control). Till then, it was very well made.

Also, The Lives of Others is what I saw last week, borderling great film IMHO.
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Old 05-06-07, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by toddly6666
.... similar masterpiece, When The Wind Shakes The Barly.
Or even The Wind That Shakes The Barley...sorry...i'm a pedant i know!!.. but as you categorise it as a masterpiece better thought i'd chip in
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Old 05-06-07, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by toddly6666
Pro-bass,

Eventhough we both love foreign movies, we have different opinions because basically you are more of an intellectual movie watcher and I'm just an entertainment junkie. You give high praises to almost every single obscure foreign movie you review, which is fine, but that's because you are very appreciative in every single aspect of the filmmaking and you are not phased by old dated movies. Sure, Alatriste and Curse of the Golden Flower look good, but they are both sloppy films with poor storytelling. I think a lot of people got psyched after reading your Alatriste review, especially since it's a mainstream foreign movie which looks like an extremely rewatchable adventure movie epic......
Allow me to address a few of your claims again:

1. First of all I DO NOT give high praises to every single film I review. A quick look at the stats should reveal plenty.

2. Second of all more often than not I select certain titles to review (that would include the extra ones i do, non-r1) simply because I already know that they are of exceptionally high-quality and would love to have forum members see them. Naturally, there you will see more "recommended" reviews than "rent it".

3. Alatriste is far from being a mainstream film in the traditional sense of the word. Perhaps it is in the eyes of Spanish viewers (because of the unprecedented budget) but at the same time it is very much a historic picture. Which automatically dismisses your claim that the story is poor! It isn't, it is precisely what makes this film a curious watch! The pacing on the other hand, just as I addressed it in the review, is. Especially for a non-Spanish viewer unfamiliar with the Alatriste books the story and multiple characters will be difficult to appreciate. This combined with the fact that many non-Spanish viewers are likely to expect an epic-adventure picture (which again this film is far from being) creates a sense of a letdown.

4. I mentioned it in the review and will say it again. ALL of the performances in Alatriste are very good!! If you should have a different opinion on the matter I would love to read which character/actor was disappointing. Furthermore, there is no sugary sentimentality, there is no overdramatizing, there is/are hardly any over-polished dialog(s)! The problem with this film comes to editing and again pacing as neither of the characters is fully developed (that surprisingly includes Alatriste as well) as the creators attempted to cram so much history over the span of 2 1/2 hours (we do not address the acting here). Again, add to the mix the epic expectations around Viggo and you certainly have a solid basis for..."hmmm". The reaction amongst Spaniards, that would be viewers familiar with the Alatriste books, is/was overwhelmingly positive.

So, we shall leave on good terms....

Pro-B

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 05-06-07 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 05-06-07, 05:10 PM
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Next up for me is L'Enfer, which I just ordered from Amazon.uk. It's the one based on the Kieslowski treatment, not the one from the mid-90s.

I picked up Volver at Blockbuster, so that's on the agenda for this week. I think it's due back by Friday.

Then there are the three Netflix films I have out right now: Boudu Saved from Drowning, Autumn Sonata, and on the recommendation of a student, Dark Portals: The Chronicles of Vidocq.

After that, I need to re-watch the Wajda trilogy, because I'm doing both the film and the novel of Ashes and Diamonds in a literature into film course this summer.
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Old 05-06-07, 10:58 PM
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Does 1900 count as it is an R1?

I watched the whole 5+ hours of this and it was a treat. The dub on the dvd is hardly pleasing but overall an enthralling featurette.
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Old 05-07-07, 05:48 PM
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Shaw Brothers catalog of films (assorted years Hong Kong - DVDs R3 Hong Kong)
I've picked up a number of this year's releases and continue to be impressed by the Shaw Bros. studio output. Based on my recollections of the fullscreen TV, English-dubbed broadcasts (I wasn't a fan in my youth), I wouldn't have anticipated that these film would appeal to me as much as they do. Some of the ones I've enjoyed (most, if not all, are currently available via CD-WOW):
Duel for Gold
Vengeance of a Snow Girl
Men from the Monastery
Black Lizard
Brothers Five
Jade Raksha
Secret of the Dirk

A couple I wasn't as impressed with:
Five Superfighters
The Kid With a Tattoo


Bon Cop, Bad Cop (2006 Canada - DVD R1 Canada)
Standard buddy cop flick molded from classic (and better) fare such as "48 Hours", "Lethal Weapon", "Bad Boys", etc. The gimmick of having one of the cops being French-speaking and the other English-speaking is successful, though not being Canadian I'm sure some of the humor was lost on me....but enough of it stuck and can't deny it put a smile on my face more often than not. Enjoyable as light fluff entertainment, and I enjoyed the director's intro to the film (on the DVD). I liked the characters well enough that I'd be in for a sequel. I'd guess that maybe a little more than half the film is in French.

Revolver (1973 Italy/France/West Germany - DVD R0 Los Estados Unidos)
I've been on an Italian crime kick lately. I wasn't enamored from my early exposure via the R1 NoShame catalog, but the genre has grown on me with viewings of some other titles outside of the NoShame catalog. I'm curious to re-visit the NoShame releases to see if I'm now better prepared to appreciate them. I enjoyed "Revolver" very much. The U.S. Blue Underground release is a steal at $6.95 via CD-WOW (in hindsight I left it unwatched on my shelf for far too long).

Milano Calibro 9/La Mala Ordina/Il Boss, aka the Fernando di Leo "Milieu" trilogy (1972/1972/1973 Italy - DVDs R2 Italy)
Three separate DVD releases. As was the case with "Revolver", I enjoyed the above three films quite a bit. If you've never watched these older Italian crime films, I'd guess you couldn't do much better than starting with these three and "Revolver".

Blindman (1971 Italy - DVD R2 Germany)
Also been on a Spaghetti Western kick lately (I suppose giallo is on-deck). While I had serious doubts going in to this one, it ended up that this one was a ton of fun to watch! The one-liners from our hero really made me laugh. But, not being a fan of the comic Spaghetti films, this film was still more than harsh enough to keep me satisfied. Ringo Starr, yeah that Ringo Starr, was fine in a supporting role. Stylistically it is sort of faux-Leone (including a somewhat grand feel and nice score) with comparitively mild exploitation elements in some T&A (and women get knocked around pretty good in this one). Admittedly this is not high-brow filmmaking but it was certainly one of the more amusing films I've watched recently.
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Old 05-07-07, 08:46 PM
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Over here it's very difficult to watch foreign films or to get them on DVDs but recently I have seen...

Gegen die Wand (Head-on) - Germany
If you want to watch a gloomy movie about dysfunctional relationship and self-destructiveness (very much on the level of Leaving Las Vegas), I highly recommend this movie. It was an interesting study of Turkish people or post-Gastarbeiter living in Germany. I particularly liked the musically intermission - beautiful static shots.

Offside - Iran
I was surprised by its liberal social commentary on roles and rights of women in Islamic society. The movie is mostly set in one set location so it doesn't showcase the landscapes or cultural lifestyles of Iran as poetically portrayed on The Wind Will Carry Us. For me the best thing about this movie was the perspectives of Iranian soldiers, who were more complex than any other other characters. Overall it was a small sweet-hearted and dark humoured movie.
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Old 06-02-07, 11:16 PM
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The Restless (2006 South Korea – DVD R3 South Korea)
The Red Sox beat the Yankees, so I’m happy, and therefore I share with you my good deed for the day – though it certainly will come too late for some………do not watch this movie. On the plus side this wuxia fantasy is full of CGI-heavy eye-candy; there are a lot of pretty shots. While the trailer for this was great, the final product is a huge letdown (despite my reduced expectations) and a below average film. The storyline is a bunch of mystical mumbo jumbo that very quickly became more trouble than it was worth to follow. The entire affair was dull and lifeless (at least if "The Restless" made me feel restless I might have been okay, but I felt nothing...no emotional connection whatsoever). I didn’t care for the characters (performances either) or plot. The action scenes faired little better. While decent enough in theory, they were flat and poorly executed (but slightly better towards the end) with too much reliance on not-so-hot editing instead of delivering skilled fight scenes (I wanted to run run run me over to my Shaw Bros. collection to remind myself how action should be done). This film reminded me a lot of other recent East Asian swordplay films with Japan’s “Ashura-jo no hitomi” and also China’s “The Promise” being the closest examples. I actually enjoyed these latter two films and would very easily rank them ahead of “The Restless”. I don’t recall being a fan of South Korea’s other recent entry “Shadowless Sword” but, from what little I recall of it, even that was better than this one.

Citizen Dog (2004 Thailand – DVD R3 Hong Kong)
Now this was a really fun film! As compared to others, I’m generally not as high on “quirky” Asian cinema (“Survive Style 5”, “Taste of Tea”, “Dasepo Naughty Girls”, etc., or even more recently “I’m A Cyborg, But That’s OK”). Even this director’s own “Tears of the Black Tiger” was a bit of a letdown though I did find it enjoyable. “Citizen Dog” however was a true winner in my book and it excelled in so many areas (visuals, music, creativity, superficial entertainment value, substance to storyline, acting, etc.). Highly recommended!
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Old 06-06-07, 10:35 PM
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Waiting in the Dark (2006 Japan – DVD R2 Japan)
Took a big risk by plunking down $45 for this newly released, English-friendly DVD. A check at IMDb reveals very little information in regard to this title…no reviews of any sort, though you can link over to official site for trailers (click the middle of the seven links under the yellow writing). A reckless purchase for sure, but thankfully it worked out very well (or I would have been really miserable considering the Red Sox keep losing). This film was directed by Daisuke (or Dice-K for you readers in New England) Tengan; he is actually the eldest son of the late great Japanese director Shohei Imamura. Besides directing four films, Daisuke Tengan has also done significant screenplay work including for his late father (“Warm Water Under a Red Bridge”) and Takashi Miike (“Audition”). To describe “Waiting in the Dark”, the best that comes to mind right now, is maybe sort of 3-IRON-ish but maybe slower paced, with more dialogue but the film is not dialogue-driven, and less stylishly delivered, but that is not to label it is as less skillfully executed. Some may find the pacing too slow or artsy for their liking but the film really drew me in to the point where I was soon immersed in both the characters and storyline. I couldn’t learn about the characters fast enough and I was very eager to learn what was just around the corner in the storytelling. Broadly speaking it is a character-based romance but it is more learning separately about the two lead performers as opposed to a couple-centered romance; the film also has very brief but effective suspense elements, but still it is best to approach it as a low-key romantic drama. A crowded field I suppose, but “Waiting in the Dark” ranks well with the better films I’ve viewed recently. An easier source for the film’s trailer is the DVD listing at Yesasia which features a trailer link. Given how much I liked the film, I am somewhat surprised at the lack of info. around the 'net in regard to this title. Director Tengan is someone whose future efforts will certainly draw my interest. And now for the bad news…..having very much enjoyed “Waiting in the Dark”, I’m now going to have to drop another chunk of change and pick up one of Daisuke Tengan’s prior directorial efforts – the martial arts drama “Aiki” (2002).
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Old 06-07-07, 10:06 AM
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- Wittgenstein (R2-UK) Loved the mixture of theatrics and 'film' styles that Jarmen is famous for. Tilden Swinton was underused IMO.

R1's:
- Tunes of Glory - quite frankly was rivetted from beginning to end. Watching the mudslinging and powerhouse performances from Guinness and Mills made the film. Have to start watching older Alec Guinness films.

- Bob Le Flambour - thought the beginning sort of lagged, but as the movie reached it's final act became more involved. Couldn't see another actor than Roger Duchesne playing the titular character.

- Viridiana - still digesting this. can see why this caused a furor, Bunuel certainly knows how to push peoples buttons in both subtly and/or over the top-ness (i.e, 'The Last Supper' scene).

~

- Day of Wrath (35mm print: Part of the travelling 'Janus Films' showcase at the AFI Silver)
Dreyer pulled the stops in nearly aspect of filmmaking, camera work, editing, lighting, acting and importantly storytelling. Didn't expect the ending of the film to be such a kick in the head in nihilism.

- Severance - was not impressed. Thought the director was rather scatterbrained in deciding whether or not to go into straight out horror or when or how to implement humour. Sans one murder sequence, thought some of the violence was a tad off putting. The usually great Danny Dyer seemed reserved in a character that suffered from a waifer thin plot and actual characterization.
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Old 06-12-07, 05:19 PM
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Le Peril Jeune (1994 France - DVD France PAL)
This is one great French film, directed by Cedric Klapisch who did L'Auberge Espagnol and The Russian Dolls. This is almost like a prequel to L'Auberge Espagnol. It's basically a French Dazed And Confused, even translating to Good Old Daze. There's even an asshole character in the movie that acts just like Ben Afleck from Dazed And Confused. Eventhough I'm American, I think I prefer this movie over Dazed And Confused, and relate the most to these three Klapisch films. This movie is also ten times better than L'Auberge and Russian Dolls. But those two movies are good as well, since all three are well representative of the phases of one's own life. Peril Jeune represents the fun, idealistic, innocent days of high school/college. L'Auberge represents post-college, traveling around the world, having fun, international socializing. And The Russian Dolls represents the dark grown-up world, still trying to do things one enjoyed earlier in life, but things are just more serious and not as fun as you try to make them be...I can't believe this movie didn't get released in the USA.
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Old 06-16-07, 10:02 PM
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La Sconosciuta (2006 Italy – DVD R2 Italy, available in both 1- and 2-disc releases)
In recognition of toddly6666’s trip to Italy, I opted for Italian-language cinema tonight. This film is the most recent directorial effort from Giuseppe Tornatore (“Cinema Paradiso”, “Malena”). From the eye-opening first frames, the film is just plain WOW! And this stuff is a long way from the kissing montage of “Cinema Paradiso”, Tornatore delivers an electric suspenser that had me gripped from start to finish; the film is not for delicate sensibilities either as it offers an unexpected amount of harsh violence and nudity. Actually, in a very broad sense, I would even propose that “La Sconosciuta” might just sneak under a cinematic umbrella that would cover recent films such as “OldBoy” or South Korea’s recent “trilogy” of “Princess Aurora”, “Diary of June” aka “Bystanders, and “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance”. Highly recommended!

On a related note, anyone know what the best option may be for Tornatore’s “Il Camorrista” (1986)? The Italian disc does not appear to be English-friendly. While the U.K. disc is English-friendly in at least offering an English dub, but it seemingly has a 20-minute shorter runtime and appears fullframe (unsure if open matte or cropped) as opposed to the 1.78:1 Italian disc. There’s a Japanese disc too apparently but it seems similar to the U.K. disc. Looks like the U.K. disc is the choice, unless something better is in the pipeline.

The Old Garden (2006 South Korea – DVD R3 South Korea)
Latest directorial entry from IM Sang-soo who is best known for his previous effort “The President’s Last Bang” and before that “A Good Lawyer’s Wife”. For those who think me long-winded, that will not be the case here….”The Old Garden” was a yawner. Coming after recent viewings of “The Restless” and “I’m A Cyborg, But That’s Okay”, I’m again getting a little cranky in regard to Korean cinema.
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Old 06-17-07, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by flixtime
La Sconosciuta (2006 Italy – DVD R2 Italy, available in both 1- and 2-disc releases)

On a related note, anyone know what the best option may be for Tornatore’s “Il Camorrista” (1986)?
You should stay as far away as possible from the UK duff! This is a very, very poor disc that should frankly be recalled! Unfortunately, with that said there isn't a good version (English-friendly) on the market.

And yes, Valeria Golino is spot on! Very strong performance!

Pro-B
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Old 06-27-07, 11:03 PM
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Love and Honor (2006 Japan – DVD R2 Japan, note: R3 Hong Kong releasing tomorrow)
Based on my reactions to the excellent “The Twilight Samurai”, the better-than-good “The Hidden Blade”, and the various Tora-san, Gakko, and standalone films I’ve seen, I consider myself a big fan of Director YAMADA Yoji. Therefore it disappoints me to go against the overwhelmingly positive buzz in regard to Yamada’s third samurai film “Love and Honor”, but that I must. I found the film to be a huge let down. The first 2/3 of the film was molasses-paced, dull, uninvolving, and had me very fidgety as early as a half-hour into the proceedings. The characters and related performances were bland and to me the film felt nothing like a film, but more akin to TV soap opera material. It just didn’t come across as cinematic to me. The last third picks up but doesn’t really have anything fresh to say and certainly doesn’t reach near the level of the masterful “The Twilight Samurai” or even the lesser but still very praiseworthy “The Hidden Blade”. Overall, the plot is rather simple and the runtime of two hours felt well overlong for the sparse content. Even my fondness for director Yamada cannot offset my feelings that “Love and Honor” is a below-average effort.

RELATED NOTE: And what the heck happened to English-friendly DVD releases for “Semishigure” (2005)….as was the case with Yamada’s three samurai films, this one too was based on a story by writer FUJISAWA Shuuhei. Actually, come to think of it, “Love and Honor” really felt closer in style to the TV mini-series version of “Semishigure” (2004). Oh yeah, besides the feature film “Semishigure”, what happened to an English-friendly DVD for another jidaigeki “Year One in the North” (2005).



ASIDE: DVDTalker Giles, after reading your post I picked up "Tunes of Glory" during the recent 20% sales here in R1 land....don't know how the film escaped my radar until now. I concur with your thoughts, Guinness, Mills, and the rest of the cast were terrific. I love the shot that introduces Mills (the one where he appears at the top of the steps)....no words but a striking shot for sure. The vertical line that runs over the print towards the end of the film was a horrible distraction though, too bad Criterion couldn't remedy the issue.
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Old 07-16-07, 10:27 PM
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This is sort of both an unofficial, and I readily acknowledge a very unfair, post...

Ming Ming (2006 Hong Kong - DVD R3 Hong Kong)
An over-edited visual mess that had me checking my DVD player's counter - during a couple of instances - to make sure the DVD hadn't frozen in playback...I refuse to call it stylish because that would intimate that the director had some talent for film...the method chosen to present this work on film did nothing but completely distance me as a viewer from both the characters and story...I struggled to make it to the twenty minute mark before my thumb and DVD remote came together for a mercy killing of this effort. Further venom reserved for later use in case I ever get around to finishing it.....which I'm only curious to do from a research perspective to know if I can use the film as my contribution to any future "list the crappiest movie you've ever seen" thread in MovieTalk....though it'd still only be a runner-up to "The Blair Witch Project". I feel better now. You know, my volcanic eruptions usually find their target on Indian cinema, but good lord the rest of Asia isn't exactly overwhelming me as of late either....and to save anyone the trouble of checking, the Red Sox won tonight so this post has nothing to do with their current state of affairs.
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Old 07-17-07, 08:26 AM
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Giles - Agree with this - I LOVE this movie and never tire of watching it. Both Guiness's and Mills BEST (IMHO).

- Tunes of Glory - quite frankly was rivetted from beginning to end. Watching the mudslinging and powerhouse performances from Guinness and Mills made the film. Have to start watching older Alec Guinness films.

Flixtime - Re 'La Sconosciuta' - DEFINATELY AGREE HERE - My fave movie of the year so far. Powerful does not even begin to explain!

La Sconosciuta (2006 Italy – DVD R2 Italy, available in both 1- and 2-disc releases)
In recognition of toddly6666’s trip to Italy, I opted for Italian-language cinema tonight. This film is the most recent directorial effort from Giuseppe Tornatore (“Cinema Paradiso”, “Malena”). From the eye-opening first frames, the film is just plain WOW! And this stuff is a long way from the kissing montage of “Cinema Paradiso”, Tornatore delivers an electric suspenser that had me gripped from start to finish; the film is not for delicate sensibilities either as it offers an unexpected amount of harsh violence and nudity. Actually, in a very broad sense, I would even propose that “La Sconosciuta” might just sneak under a cinematic umbrella that would cover recent films such as “OldBoy” or South Korea’s recent “trilogy” of “Princess Aurora”, “Diary of June” aka “Bystanders, and “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance”. Highly recommended!

Last edited by popest; 07-17-07 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 07-17-07, 11:14 AM
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but good lord the rest of Asia isn't exactly overwhelming me as of late either..
Let me point you to three recent Mainland films that I've enjoyed recently:



Getting Home - a picaresque black comedy about a man taking his dead buddy home for burial.

Call For Love - a comedy about a man who gets the seven year itch, leaves his wife and receives a magic cell phone that lets him hook up with a different woman each time he presses a new number.

Teeth of Love - the pain of love is vividly portrayed by the lead actress Yan Bingyan as she transforms from young energetic, idealistic teen, to naive seductee, and then to the life weary mature woman.

All three are available at yesasia and the usual online retailers, too, I imagine.
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Old 07-20-07, 07:10 AM
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dleedlee, "Getting Home" (from the director of "Shower") I actually had on-order and it is now in-transit so I should get it maybe in a few days. Hadn't heard of your other two suggestions, but I've made note of them. Another film from mainland China that I've considered is "Little Red Flowers" (2006). I think it is available via discs from both the U.K. and Singapore. If by chance you've seen it, what say?
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Old 07-20-07, 08:17 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by samper
Does 1900 count as it is an R1?

I watched the whole 5+ hours of this and it was a treat. The dub on the dvd is hardly pleasing but overall an enthralling featurette.
Ah, we lowbrows...I just watched the R2 version of The Ninth Company, a recent Russian movie about their war in Afghanistan. It resembled Platoon; of course, that may be because of the similarity of the experience in these third-world wars.

I think 1900 has to be dubbed. I doubt the stars are fluent in Italian.
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Old 07-20-07, 08:30 AM
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Mammal, did you like that piece of crap movie, Ninth Company? The only interesting scene in that movie was the airplane crash. I watched the movie with my wife (whom is originally Russian) and she said all the acting was amateurish for a Russian production. Me, I couldn't tell, since stereotypical Russians usually act like slimey goons in their movies and in real life.
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