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11 (fairly) recent must-see films

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11 (fairly) recent must-see films

Old 08-15-05, 02:51 PM
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11 (fairly) recent must-see films

Within this summer's abysmal selection of movies, I wanted to point out some great new films I've seen recently that may have slipped under your radar.
Enjoy!



- 2046 -

Wong Kar-Wai's new film is a sort of sequel to his previous
"In The Mood For Love". Like ITMFL, 2046 is also a mood piece
that deals with lost love, missed opportunities and regret.
It is an absolutely beautiful film that focuses on both loss
and hope in equal measures.



- 3-Iron -

This one's a strange... wait for it... romantic comedy. It avoids
most of the clichés typical to romantic stories and brings something
new, different and surprisingly effective to the genre. It has very
little dialogue as it primarily communicates it's narrative through
effective visuals , as all films should.



- A Bittersweet Life -

A fairly straightforward tale of revenge (the first of three on this list).
What it might lack in originality, it more than makes up for with style
and panache. It is an extremely entertaining film with plenty of
action, suspense, violence and even some twisted humor.



- Dead Man's Shoes -

This one is a methodical slow-burn of a revenge story. It's a very
somber film about humanity and the loss of one's dignity. Although
a bit of a downer, it actually makes you feel something -
unlike most films nowadays.



- Dumplings -

An unsettling look at the extremes a woman will go through to retain
her youth. It's a little over the top, but it works well as an analogy,
or maybe an allegory representing the price we pay for getting what
we want. Although it has absolutely no vistas or "money-shots",
this is one of the most visually striking and best-shot films I've ever seen.



- Downfall -

The last days of Hitler. It may seem like this sort of film has been
done before. It has, but never like this. Beyond realistic, not only will
this film put you there, it will make you feel what it was like. It also
has one of the most believable portraits of Hitler I've ever seen.



- MindGame -

I hesitate to call this an animated film. A better description would be
"art that moves". This thing is just a crazy beast that's equal parts
exciting, funny, touching, beautiful, raw, thoughtful and ultimately
entertaining. I can't wait to watch it again, and again, and again, and....



- OldBoy -

The third and final revenge story on this list. Throughout the film
you will be asking yourself many questions. The answers, along
with the resolution, will all punch you in the gut, repeatedly. This
film oozes style from every pore. It can also be genuinely funny -
a considerable task considering how bleak it is. See this now,
before the watered-down American remake.



- The Taste Of Tea -

If you don't love this movie, you have no soul. Similar in style to
"Amelie", this is about an eccentric Japanese family and the lives
and trials of each family member. You'll have a big smile on your
face throughout the whole film.



- A Tale Of Two Sisters -

This is a sort of gothic horror story. Meticulous visuals and a
deliberate pace make this one of the most effective horror movies
since the Exorcist. Like OldBoy, this is another movie to see before
the inevitable American remake cheapens it.



- Survive Style 5 + -

SS5+ is not a sequel to anything. It is, however, one of the craziest,
most original films I've had the pleasure to see. It creates a surreal
tapestry of characters and situations that collide together for one of
the most memorable endings in cinema. If Luis Bunuel were still alive,
this is exactly the sort of film he would make. SS5+ is the type of
movie that reinforces my love for the medium, and it is easily one of
the best films that I have ever seen.

Last edited by slop101; 08-15-05 at 04:29 PM.
Old 08-15-05, 03:25 PM
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Good list, I have only seen Old Boy out of all those movies listed. Are any of these on DVD already? I'd like to rent them to check em out ..
Old 08-15-05, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by slop101
Within this summer's abysmal selection of movies
There have been great movies released this summer.
Old 08-15-05, 03:32 PM
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Thanks for this list. I have thoroughly enjoyed several of this summer's movies, but it's always refreshing to see something original and daring, and in many cases something that could never come out of Hollywood. From this list I've only seen "Downfall" which is a truly great and powerful film, with some scenes I will never forget. I have heard great things about several of the other films on this list, and hope to see them all eventually.

Last edited by Sondheim; 08-15-05 at 05:59 PM.
Old 08-15-05, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by scott shelton
There have been great movies released this summer.
But they all share one common factor that makes them suck; they are American films.
Old 08-15-05, 03:44 PM
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I can't really get behind scott shelton's or RyoHazuki's comments. As for the list, I just received a shipped notice from Columbia House for Downfall. I'll pick up 2046 as soon as it hits region 1. The list is good and I'd like to hear other people's comments.
Old 08-15-05, 03:53 PM
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I have seen Downfall-Untergang, Der
Though it is a long movie, it doesn't drag. It is in Germam with English subs. Highly recommended.
Old 08-15-05, 04:08 PM
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I've seen all of those except Downfall, Dead Man's Shoes and A Taste of Tea (which I may have to check out).

Survive Style 5+, A Bittersweet Life, 3-Iron and Mindgame are among the best films I've seen this year. I'd also add The Hidden Blade and Sin City (look, an American film).

I wouldn't really count A Tale of Two Sisters since it's a couple of years old now. That film did make me want to check out A Bittersweet Life, however (they're by the same director) and I'm glad I did.
Old 08-15-05, 06:00 PM
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"Oldboy" is fabulous, and "Dead Man's Shoes" is a fine revenge film as well, with an excellent performance from Paddy Considine. I enjoyed "3-Iron" -- it's quite lyrical and charming. "Downfall" was an excellent film.

I have "2046" and "A Bittersweet Life" on DVD but have not yet viewed them.

I did not care for "A Tale of Two Sisters", however. One main plot "twist" was way too obvious, and the "wide-eyed, heavy breathing equals fright" type of acting got very annoying.
Old 08-15-05, 06:25 PM
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Has anyone seen the Czech film "Kontroll?" I meant to check it out for the one week that it played locally, but never got around to it. Is it worth getting the DVD when it's released a few weeks from now?

And thanks to this thread I'm now convinced that I need to blind-buy "3-Iron" come September 6...

Last edited by Sondheim; 08-15-05 at 07:22 PM.
Old 08-15-05, 07:03 PM
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Kontroll was definitely a unique experience. It had a cool style that vaguely reminded me of Pi, which is definitely not a bad thing.

However, there were some points in which the comedy and the action didn't mesh all that well. When the main characters friends were in it you could figure "Oh, this will be a silly comedy sequence" then the main character is by himself and it's like "Oh, bizarre action sequence, I got it." If the two types could have been integrated better I might have liked it more
Old 08-15-05, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by slop101
Dumplings -

An unsettling look at the extremes a woman will go through to retain
her youth. It's a little over the top, but it works well as an analogy,
or maybe an allegory representing the price we pay for getting what
we want. Although it has absolutely no vistas or "money-shots",
this is one of the most visually striking and best-shot films I've ever seen.
Earlier in the year I picked up the Three Extremes 2 DVD. It contains a shortened version of Dumplings along with film shorts Box directed by Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer)and Cut directed by Chan-Wook Park (Oldboy).

I highly recommend this DVD but it made me want to see the full-length version of Dumplings. Nice to see someone else liked it.
Old 08-15-05, 07:38 PM
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Great recommendations. I've seen all of them except for Dead Man's Shoes.

2046 is a visual treat, but I found WKW's latest to be a bit empty as most characters, especially the lead one to be very cold-hearted and intent on their living their lives under regret.

Just saw A Bittersweet Life...not original as mentioned, but this may be my favorite Korean film of the year. Incredibly directed and the action is magnificent.

Dumplings goes to show that director Fruit Chan can do any genre and this film is miles away the best out of the Three...Extremes.

A Taste of Tea is the best film Asian film I've seen so far...intimate, heart-warming, laugh-out loud funny, and just magical. Can't believe it was directed by the same guy who did Sharkskin Man & Peach Girl.
Old 08-15-05, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by RyoHazuki
But they all share one common factor that makes them suck; they are American films.
That's very open-minded of you.
Old 08-16-05, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
That's very open-minded of you.

check your batteries !
Old 08-16-05, 04:07 AM
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btw my estranged daughter and i both loved Oldboy. great film.
Old 08-16-05, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
That's very open-minded of you.
I think he's being sarcastic.
Old 08-16-05, 09:47 AM
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I think I am just going to cave in and buy The Taste Of Tea - since it doesn't seem like Nicheflix is going to get and rent this out.
Old 08-16-05, 10:35 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions!

If anyone can add some more titles to this thread it would be great, I'm always on the lookout for good films that fall under the radar.
Old 08-16-05, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaymole
If anyone can add some more titles to this thread it would be great, I'm always on the lookout for good films that fall under the radar.
I know it's been talked about before here, but Tropical Malady was great.
Old 08-16-05, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
I know it's been talked about before here, but Tropical Malady was great.
I agree.

from the movies I have seen this year I'll also mention

- Carlos Sorin's Intimate Stories
- Kings and Queen
- Travellers and Magicians
- The Syrian Bride
Old 08-16-05, 01:00 PM
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I highly recommend these films which are playing right now in theatres:

THE WORLD (Jia Zhangke)
TROPICAL MALADY (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
TONY TAKITANI (Ichikawa Jun)
PULSE (Kurosawa Kiyoshi) - starting August 12.
Old 08-16-05, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Grimfarrow
I highly recommend these films which are playing right now in theatres:

THE WORLD (Jia Zhangke)
TROPICAL MALADY (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
TONY TAKITANI (Ichikawa Jun)
PULSE (Kurosawa Kiyoshi) - starting August 12.
the term 'right now' in theatres obviousily applies to certain cities - I seriousily doubt Washington DC will get 'Tony Takitani' (of course I could be wrong).

well I am wrong - according to Strand's website it's slated for a October 14th (!!) release date - jeesh I have to wait that long to see this.

Last edited by Giles; 08-16-05 at 02:26 PM.
Old 08-16-05, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Giles
Kings and Queen
My understanding is that, so far, it's the movie of the year. I'm still kicking myself for skipping it when it played here as part of the Desplechin retro at the Wex.

BTW: Grimfarrow, the link to your site doesn't seem to be working.
Old 08-16-05, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by me12321
Has anyone seen the Czech film "Kontroll?" I meant to check it out for the one week that it played locally, but never got around to it. Is it worth getting the DVD when it's released a few weeks from now?
I saw "Kontroll" a couple of weeks ago at the local arthouse. I quite enjoyed it, though I had so many questions at the end of it. After discussing the film on another forum, I realized several of us interpreted the film in wildly different ways -- perhaps it is meant to be a bit ambiguous. In any case, it is out on R1 DVD on 8/30, so I'm sure I will want to give it another view eventually.

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