Author Topic: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?  (Read 251117 times)

Offline westendboy

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1170 on: February 10, 2019, 15:14 »


I was attracted to Life Itself because of Dan Fogelman, who is behind the excellent TV series This is Us, a series nobody I know watches or even wants to see.

After a shocking ending in the first act, I checked IMDb and I was surprised with the meta-critic Score of Death, a big fat and blood red 21%. One of the “baddest” reviews quipped: “Bad things happen to nearly everyone in this movie. But the real tragedy strikes when you buy a ticket.” No fricking way! Up to that point Life Itself wasn’t a washout and when it ended... heck... both of us were blinking back tears and in the end we both lost it. Sure... Fogelman did try to jackhammer some melodrama into our brains but it was us who gave him that privilege and it was an honour to go through the emotional wringer.

The story starts off with a young New York City couple who goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child. The unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.

Life Itself borrows a central idea from This is Us in that it is never mere chance that you get to the stage you are currently in. Everything that happened in your past brought you here. I am a firm believer of that philosophy.

I love how Fogelman explores the ideas of generational pain and love. Sometimes we think we choose someone to love for life, but it has never crossed our minds that we were also chosen. I don’t want to sound like a broken record so I will just mention what were one or two of my take home lessons.

Isn’t it good to know that we cannot control life? It throws us curve balls when it wants to, but the thing is to stand back up and go a little further. I am a firm believer that the only thing I can do is to create moments and memories that will last a lifetime - whether it is in your work, your marriage or your relationships. And creating moments don’t require a whole lot of money, only perhaps your time, effort and your thinking cap.

My last take from the movie is that we are all flawed people. Isn’t it comforting to just know and understand that knowledge? We do the best with the hand we are dealt. We love the people we are with. Life is the unreliable narrator and we are its story. A good story has great moments and the power to create great moments resides in us.

Okay... that’s a mouthful. Tomorrow I am definitely going to Spotify Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind which was featured very strongly in the movie.

Sometimes, the critics know rubbish. I don’t see myself as a critic, more like a bloke who loves stories and the art of storytelling. (3.5/5)



Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder are born to play their parts in Destination Wedding. They are like two misanthropes killing each other with bile-induced perfect English loaded with such stupendous vocabulary. My wifey and I laughed ourselves crazy. But seriously, not many will like it because it’s just pure dialogue with little plot. The two of them talked non-stop like machine-guns but the dialogue is so well-written and their delivery is perfect. It’s like an anti-rom-com. It can only be written by a true cynic who probably hates weddings. One of my fave lines that had us in stitches was “how much nuts needs to fall on your head before you wear a hat.” It sounded wise but it cut right to the bone. Watching this mismatched couple, you are counting the moments they hit the sack and when it comes it is fricking hilarious. We can see they are made for each other, but they don’t see it yet. The screenplay is marvellous and I include a few more lines, but I take nothing away from their delivery. (3/5)

Lindsay: But don’t you believe there’s someone for everyone?
Frank: Close. I believe that there’s nobody for anyone.

Not good? Here’s another, done in one take....

Lindsay: Frank?
Frank: Present.
Lindsay: When you said before that I was an attractive woman, what did you mean?
Frank: What do you mean what did I mean? You’re an attractive woman. You’re physically appealing.
Lindsay: Can you be more specific?
Frank: Your facial features subscribe to the Golden Ratio.
Lindsay: What?
Frank: One to the quantity one half times radical five plus one. The Golden Ratio.
Lindsay: You can tell that?
Frank: It’s an estimate. And you have The Folds of Aphrodite.
Lindsay: What are the Folds of Aphrodite?
Frank: That’s the name of the particular, graceful way that the cheeks of beautiful women arrange themselves when they smile. There’s a gentle creasing that begins at the cheekbone and runs downward, in a slightly arced diagonal, directing the eye to the mouth. It’s aesthetically thrilling.
Lindsay: Well, I’ve never heard the term Folds of Aphrodite.
Frank: I coined it.
Lindsay: Then it’s not a real thing. Then it and you are bullshit.
Frank: I Googled around and there was no name for it so I coined it. It’s established now.
Lindsay: Bullshit.
Frank: In my experience, there’s at least a ninety percent correlation between beautiful women and women who have The Folds of Aphrodite.
Lindsay: Oh.
Frank: The Folds cut across races and ethnicities.
Lindsay: What else about me?
Frank: Well, you’re slender, but not to the point of a troubled relationship with food.
Lindsay: That’s actionable profiling, right there.
Frank: File a grievance. And your curves are very sexy but not vulgar. Everything very much in proportion, firm but not overly, which I’ve always found weird and prepossessing. Your arms bespeak physical fitness and athleticism, but nothing sapphic. And your ankles quietly aver that you will keep your body well into later age.
Lindsay: It’s despicable the way men look at women.
Frank: In short, you are beautiful, graceful, and elegant. Also, you don’t dress in an overtly sexy way. You seem to understand that dressing sexy is actually the opposite of being sexy, that certain information should have to be earned, rather than given away for free to anyone and everyone who passeth by your doorstep.
Lindsay: If this were 1732.
Frank: I’m giving you a compliment.
Lindsay: You’re calling me a prude.
Frank: I’m suggesting that you’ve taken the high road. Even in this flagrant, flaunting day and age, you have chosen to preserve the mystery. Yes, the pajamas go too far, but I applaud the ethos.
Lindsay: Would you like to know about you?
Frank: No.
Lindsay: Yes, you would. You’re very handsome. You have powerful eyes. Your hair will never be a problem. The corners of your mouth touch, but do not cross the vertical lines which bisect your eyes. In profile, your chin extends exactly the same as your lower lip, which is an ideal. Bodily, you feel strong and substantial, sinuous but not wiry. Sartorially, you get high marks. You tuck in your shirts because you realize that tails out is a ridiculous way to dress. You wear your pants low, and your shoes are legitimate. And you have a beautiful pen1s.
Frank: I do?
Lindsay: Oh, come on, Frank. Surely people have told you that your entire life.
Frank: No.
Lindsay: Well, it’s very nice. It’s straight, and you would not believe how epidemic a problem that is. Also, it’s balletically formed. It’s not so big as to ever be a cause for concern, but it’s big enough never to be the object of ridicule or scorn. You’re in a very sweet spot there.
Frank: Are you saying that Keith’s thingy is not straight?
Lindsay: Can you imagine that we would have gone this entire weekend without saying these things to each other?
Frank: Balletically formed?
Lindsay: That’s right.

Others we have seen include Flavours of Youth, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, All’s Well That Ends Well Too and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 15:16 by westendboy »
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Offline westendboy

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1171 on: March 11, 2019, 17:41 »


WTF is Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger (1975) about?

David Locke (Jack Nicholson) is a television reporter on location in Africa's Sahara Desert. It's hot, humid, and everything seems to be dirty. Returning to his hotel after getting lost and bogged in the desert, he discovers that the man in the room next to his has died. After deciding that his own life wasn't worth living anymore, he switches identities with the dead man, taking the man's passport (with his own photo swapped in), his luggage, and his appointment schedule. Leaving Africa, he heads off to keep the dead man's appointments, hoping that his new life will be more interesting than his old one was.

The synopsis makes the movie sound exciting but it isn’t. It has no plot and everyone is in constant motion. It has a bit of sex (more like the aftermath of it) and zero tension. A veil of emptiness and hollowness permeate every frame. It feels impregnable but I wasn’t trying very hard. I was scared if I stepped right into the characters I would lose my soul like them.

Then it hit that last shot. It’s fascinatingly done all in one 8min take. I have no idea how the camera could move out of the bars on the window into the piazza. It’s also frustrating because I don’t know what it meant. It feels elusive and allusive, like dust in the air. I like to think that Locke succeeded in being Robertson and vice versa.

Don’t watch this for the story and plot. Experience this for its tone. It’s cold and detached, like the ugliness of the world all around us. (3.5 / 5)



We just scratched another great film off my must-see list - The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). Magnificent! Dreyer’s use of odd angles, editing and sets is amazing. Watching this is like experiencing sheer pain. In Maria Falconetti, Dreyer found the perfect Joan of Arc. To watch her is to see into her eyes into her very soul, welling with inner conviction. It is a very uncomfortable watch, pain shouldn’t be easy to watch. I love Dreyer’s use of spaces and light. All those shots of the ecclesiastics are startling, stark light illuminating the pores on their faces, a manifestation of their inner ugliness.

I probably don’t sound very coherent because the film has an eerie effect on viewers. Falconetti’s face is haunting, a face I will never ever forget. (5 / 5)



Free Solo, the Oscar winner for Best Documentary, follows Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite's 3,000 ft high El Capitan wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history.

The most physical gruelling thing I have ever done is running a full marathon without stopping. I did it the year I graduated from university. Then, I just wanted to do something physically difficult just before I embarked on the next part of my life. What I achieved was no big deal compared to Alex Honnold’s endeavour because in his case one small wrong move will lead to his death.

A few minutes into this and a part of my anatomy shrink. It’s like watching a slow accident happening and you can’t avert your eyes. Yet, it is so fricking inspiring. The dedication, the discipline and the sheer singularity is absorbing. To see how he placed a toe-hold on a slight variance on the gradient and his fingers holding onto a little rut is quite nerve-wracking. There is something intoxicating about watching a human being attempt the impossible.

Years ago, I went to Yosemite National Park and I literally stared wide-eyed at El Capitan, the sheer 3000-feet granite rock wall, for a few minutes. The place is quite magnificent and to watch a dude climb it without ropes is not for the faint-hearted.

Free Solo works because it doesn’t take short-cuts and doesn’t cheat. It shows you a person who is believable, like you and me, but he is a person who is most liberated when he doesn’t have any safety net, unlike us.

This is a documentary deserving of the highest award and I feel the only part that is truly awful is the Tim McGraw song right at the end. Thankfully, that only plays with the end-credits. Just press “stop” when the movie ends with a freeze on Honnold’s face. (4.5 / 5)



After the middling Captain Marvel experience, I decided to pluck The Right Stuff off my shelf for a watch. This movie was referenced in the Marvel movie and I have to say it is a much better movie.

Tom Wolfe's book on the history of the U.S. Space program reads like a novel, and the film has that same fictional quality. It covers the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager to the Mercury 7 astronauts, showing that no one had a clue how to run a space program or how to select people to be in it. Thrilling, funny, charming and electrifying all at once.

The movie is over 3 hours but I swear I didn’t feel it. It is beguilingly compelling and filled chockful with vivid characters. It is ultimately an American Number One movie, but I was fine with it because it celebrates one of mankind’s greatest achievements (going into space) through the magnificent seven’s heroism.

Just when the movie was wearing down on its last legs, it managed to hit a bravura sequence which cross-cuts between Gordo (Dennis Quaid) and Yeager (Sam Shepard). The cool sequence cements the theme of what is the right stuff that made these men so special.

I must say it was also great to see all the actors when they were younger and even Jeff Goldblum in a small role. (4.5 / 5)



Border is third best film we have seen this year.

Imagine this for a story premise... a woman has a special power - she can sense what you are trying to hide. She uses the full range of her power as a custom officer. Through the years she has nabbed drug couriers, paedophiles and what not. But one day she meets a man at the customs and she can’t “see” what he is hiding but she knows he is hiding something. The scary thing is she knows he knows she can “see” him.

I read the short story written by the dude who wrote possibly the best vampire story ever called Let the Right One In. He also wrote the screenplay based on his short story and this was Sweden’s entry for Best Foreign Film category.

The premise is just a launching pad for a mind-boggling character study. I didn’t tell you the gifted woman has a face that looked like an accident happened on it. In fact, watching the 2-hour movie resembles ogling at an accident site. You know it will give you nightmares but yet you want to swallow every bloody detail.

The movie shifts gears effortlessly, going from a monster-of-week to a rumination on beauty and loneliness to a meditation on the depravity of human beings to a modern horror theme to a coming-of-age love story to a full-on thriller arc. You seldom ever see a Hollywood film attempt this level of storytelling which hits on so many levels. The whole package is one helluva of a creepy story with acting up the Ying Yang. It is disturbing as hell, but yet so creepily beautiful.

Now, I have to re-read the short story. I am sure John Ajvide Lindqvist added a lot more to the story. And you know what? Sweden is not just about black metal bands like Watain, it is also a land of cool movies. (4 / 5)


Some others we have seen include God of Cookery, The Hurricane Heist, In the Name of the Father, Ben is Back. There are others but I can’t remember what they were.
Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

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Offline westendboy

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1172 on: March 28, 2019, 15:01 »


We tried a movie recommendation by a friend one evening. It’s called Hope (2013) and human beings suck.

This is a story of a tragedy - an 8 year-old girl has to cope with a gruesome rape damaging her internally and affecting her emotionally. The family and her try to overcome all the obstacles with good support from her family and those around her. It’s based on a true incident that happened in 2008.

I said human beings suck, but we are also capable of beautiful things and the movie showcases both ends of the spectrum. I have to say the movie isn’t nuanced or subtle, but what ultimately made it work is the honest portrayal, the little girl is quite a revelation. My heart broke when she uttered “what did I do wrong?”

What the scumbag did is unpardonable and it is one of those times I feel the punishment should equate to the crime. Fricking idiot got 12 years! 12 fricking years! And the poor girl will probably suffer for the rest of her life. Where is the justice?

The movie doesn’t focus on the case but delve more on how the family and the girl handle the situation. I must say it is an emotional wringer. It made both of us a mess.

I am sure it took a lot of liberties in telling the bleak story and made it hopeful. It couldn’t have been that easy for anyone to go through this.

I like a quote near the end and it’s worth pondering over...

The loneliest person is the kindest
The saddest person smiles the brightest
Because they don’t want others to feel the pain

(3.5 / 5)



We saw Badla the other night and Amitabh Bachchan was superb. This is an actor who can elevate any scene he is in to a different level. Anyway, during the drive back we started chatting about foreign films and how their way of storytelling is so different with Hollywood’s. I started formulating a list of some great ones to show her. Tonight we started with Alejandro Amenábar’s Open Your Eyes (1997).

A once handsome playboy, César finds himself in a mental facility and he can't remember why. All he can remember is meeting the love of his life for one day, and then getting into a car accident which left his face horribly disfigured. But the pain of becoming physically undesirable may help him to find the truth.

Watching Open Your Eyes made me remember a serious car accident I got into many years back. After the impact my car spun a few times. Thankfully, no one was hurt. The curious thing was even then and now, I couldn’t remember the moment of impact. The mind has a unique way to shutting down the trauma. Open Your Eyes is about just that - how a man invent visuals and scenarios to hide a devastating traumatic experience.

Open Your Eyes is also about alienation in all its forms. How we deal with loneliness, with helplessness. It shows up the superficiality of a young playboy whose good looks is taken away in one horrifying moment.

The movie is one of my fave genres and I coined it “mindfu*k”. Amenábar blends so many genres together into one potent mix. It is a romance, a cautionary tale, a morality tale, a thriller, a noir, a sci-fi and so much more. Everything held together with deftness and a sure hand. The first hour is easy enough, but the last hour will pull the rug from under your feet. Amenábar nails the ending with gusto and with almost everything explained.

Have you ever have the weird feeling that you have been there, spoke the same words, did the same things, saw the same scenes? The feeling of déjà vu is so pronounced and strong that you feel an uneasiness enveloped you. What happens if I tell you that you did experience it? The movie is about that and it nails that elusive feeling.

This is my third time watching it and it still holds up very well. There is a Hollywood remake with Tom Cruise in the lead, but this Spanish original is way better.

Here comes the surprise - my wife doesn’t like this. It practically gave her a headache. But it’s alright... we don’t have to love the same movies all the time. (4 / 5)



Hey! This is fun. When the ragtag team of forgotten operatives are formed, my wife and I played our movie game - who won’t make it. We proudly stated our choices and we were wrong.

Five former Special Forces operatives reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the first time in their prestigious careers these unsung heroes undertake this dangerous mission for self instead of country. But when events take an unexpected turn and threaten to spiral out of control, their skills, their loyalties and their morals are pushed to a breaking point in an epic battle for survival.

The testosterone on display is impressive. We get Batman, a Son of Anarchy, a Statesman, Mr Tron and Apocalypse. Every one has equal weightage and there is a stripped down feel that is synonymous with the stylistics of JC Chandor. That’s not to say the action scenes are not good. In fact, they are quite impressive, especially the helicopter crash.

Mostly, this is a morality tale of greed and how our internal needle will sway wildly when we are all tempted by riches beyond our wildest dreams.

This is an entertaining and enjoyable ride, without saying much with any real depth. Sometimes I need movies like this. (3.5 / 5)



There is a quietly profound scene in the second act – Overgård (Mads Mikkelsen), a man stranded in the Arctic after his airplane had crashed, saves the sole survivor, an injured female (Maria Thelma Smáradóttir), of a rescue helicopter crash. In the safe shelter of his crippled plane, he holds and hugs the unconscious female for a protracted stretch that would be deemed socially unacceptable in normal circumstances, but in this quiescent scene the action puts a hitch in my breath, brings a quickening to my pulse and ties a knot in my chest. It gives me a sense of how long Overgård has been out there in the biting cold and how much he longs for human contact.

Arctic reminds me of All is Lost (2013), the dialogue is spare and the stilleto focus is on a lone man reliant only upon his wits and desire to stay alive. The terrain here is the snowy landscape as far as the eye can see. Overgård does not cry into a photograph of his loved ones, he does not “talk” to a personified inanimate object and there are no flashbacks to show us a life before all this. But we know in our bones he has a life to get back to because of his sheer will to survive. In The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Andy Dufresne says to Red: I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living, or get busy dying. Overgård’s choice is made some time before the story opens – he gets busy living. But the advent of the injured girl changes everything.

The movie’s greatest trump card is Mads Mikkelsen. His understated performance is intensely arresting and his every grunt of effort rings authenticity. His actions are mostly repetitive – digging out rocks and snow to create a huge SOS sign every morning, an alarm from his watch signals that he is making a trek up the icy slopes to send out a SOS signal, a clanging of tin cans suggest fish has bitten his bait. But ogling at his precise actions is hypnotically engaging and his journey of survival feels cathartic. Mikkelsen’s face is a map of emotions and I dare you to think of another actor who can pull off a role that isn’t defined by dialogue and is seared by an emotional arc that is internal.

Joe Penna, in his debut, has crafted a superb survival chamber piece. The runtime may be just a compact 98 minutes, but I felt it was at least twice that. Usually when I say this it isn’t a compliment, but with Arctic it is. During the drive home, my wife told me she probably won’t last a day out there in the cold and likewise for me. But that’s what man versus nature films like Arctic do, it gives us front row seats to a showcase of the great human endeavour and we celebrate it. (3.5 / 5)
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Offline westendboy

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1173 on: April 11, 2019, 07:18 »


Green Door is a 6-episode Taiwanese horror series on Netflix.

It’s about a troubled psychologist (Jam Hsiao) who returns from the U.S. and sets up a clinic in Taiwan, where mysterious patients and uncanny events shed light on his murky past.

The first 4 episodes feel bloated, like a 2-hour movie stretched out to double that. But it does a good job with balancing many genres like horror elements, drama, quirky humour and love stories. Hsiao’s character arc is interesting. He starts off as an arrogant scumbag but it’s easy to feel sympathetic for him. His redemption arc is well-drawn. I also love how it handled the thematic arc on regrets. That story arc made us tear up.

What’s good about Green Door is the surprises in the last 2 episodes that had good pathos and mindbending elements. Not a bad way to spend a weekend if you don’t want to think very hard. (3 / 5)



According to my friend, if the movie had pared down 15min it would have been a perfect movie. How to not watch with an extolment like this?

A high school student with amnesia tries to uncover what has happened to her. All leading her into deeper troubles ultimately revealing a darkness she could not have imagined.

The Witch: Part 1 - The Subversion doesn’t have a supernatural angle. I saw “the witch” and automatically jumped to wild conclusions. This is an ultra-violent Korean X-men movie with kungfu and gunplay up the Ying Yang! There are clandestine operatives, government conspiracy and fricking ninja warriors with superpowers.

My friend is right. This really needed some judicious cutting of scenes to bring a more pulsating pace to the proceedings. Things only picked up in the third act. It also needed to find a cooler way to negotiate those full-on expositions. For the longest time, why do bad guys cornered the protagonist into a corner and instead of killing him, talk him to death and the one-dimensional speech went on for too long. Granted there is a superb twist at the end of it which made me forgive that torturous expositional passage. For a movie like this, it somehow also doesn’t have the tension that I craved for.

The acting by the leads was good, especially Kim Ha-Na whose transformation is uncanny. The humour in the first act is unforced and heartwarming too. The theme of nature versus nurture is well done. Ultimately, the highest marks is for the action which is inventive and heartstopping.

I have my doubts there is enough story for a second movie, but the coda at the end is mouth-wateringly enticing. (3.5 / 5)



In early 1970s Harlem, daughter and wife-to-be Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny. Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together, but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.

If Beale Street Could Talk is based on an acclaimed novel by James Baldwin and I am definitely going to seek out the author soon. Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) wisely retains the voice of Baldwin in the movie which is mesmerising as it unfolds. The only time I fell out of the story was when it went full-on preachy about the injustice of blacks in the middle act. Where the movie is strongest is when it focuses on Tish and Fonny’s gentle love story and how Tish’s family rallies around Tish when they know she is pregnant.

The camera work has an eloquent buzz and the framing is impeccable. You know how it can become pretentious very fast when the actor stares at the camera in a painterly flow, but Jenkins always knows what he is doing.

This is a moving love story in the face of great social injustice and the two central characters are vividly portrayed. The emotions they imbued is so palpable. They go through a kaleidoscope of see-saw emotions, all underscored with great acting and writing. I like a line... “I don't want to sound foolish, but remember love is what brought you here. And if you've trusted love this far, don't panic now. Trust it all the way”.

The movie won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress and got a slew of other nominations, all deserving. It is a film that isn’t easy to watch because it feels bleak, but it is also a story that shows a teeny weeny silver lining of hope and it is this hope that makes it rise up. Oh... it also has one of the most moving and tender sex scene ever. There was a lump in my throat when I watch that. (4 / 5)

This is a movie for the discerning film lover. If you aren’t then I highly recommend the other stuff we saw that I mentioned like Hunter Killer which was a blast with submarines moving like race cars underwater 😊

Others we have seen include Tag, Time Trap, Big Brother, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, It Comes At Night, The Nun, Tara Para La Ira, Shadow of a Doubt.



Anyway, a nice dude sent me a pm with the desire of offloading all his foreign films on DVDs. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse, so in appreciation of his generous gesture, I will do a write-up of every film I have seen from his pile...



Kitchen Stories (2003) is an oddball. Swedish efficiency researchers come to Norway to study Norwegian men, in an effort to help optimize their use of their kitchens. Folke Nilsson (Tomas Norström) is assigned to study the habits of Isak Bjørvik (Joachim Calmeyer). By the rules of the research institute, Folke has to sit on an umpire's chair in Isak's kitchen and observe him from there, but never talk to him.

You can immediately guess they become friends. I love the understated tone and it has a way of sneaking up on you with a human warmth I never saw coming. There are many memorable scenes, off the top of my head I will never forget the scene where Isak opens his mouth to Folke to let him listen to music. Yes, I did say it is a bit of an oddball eh. (3 / 5)



The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) was the one film in the humongous pile I most wanted to see. I have heard so much of it.

In the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Ana, a sensitive seven-year-old girl in a rural Spanish hamlet is traumatized after a traveling projectionist screens a print of James Whale's 1931 "Frankenstein" for the village. The youngster is profoundly disturbed by the scenes in which the monster murders the little girl and is later killed himself by the villagers. She questions her sister about the profundities of life and death and believes her older sibling when she tells her that the monster is not dead, but exists as a spirit inhabiting a nearby barn. When a Loyalist soldier, a fugitive from Franco's victorious army, hides out in the barn, Ana crosses from reality into a fantasy world of her own.

Oh man... I didn’t get the film. There are scenes that are superb and Ana Torrent as the little girl is a revelation, but as a sum of all its parts I couldn’t appreciate it. I can see there is a subtext underneath the main narrative but it is not engaging enough for me to want to pry open that layer. I have to read what the critics have to say about it more, but even that I am not so keen to do so. (3 / 5)



Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

My movie and music blog:
http://reelthoughtsfromageek.wordpress.com

All things books:
http://fictionmattersfromageek.wordpress.com

Offline westendboy

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1174 on: April 25, 2019, 10:11 »


This is an astonishing piece of realist cinema.

Capernaüm ("Chaos") tells the story of Zain (Zain al-Rafeea), a Lebanese boy who sues his parents for the "crime" of giving him life. The film follows Zain as he journeys from gutsy, streetwise child to hardened 12-year-old "adult" fleeing his negligent parents, surviving through his wits on the streets, where he meets Ethiopian migrant worker Rahil, who provides him with shelter and food, as Zein takes care of her baby son Yonas in return. Zein later gets jailed for committing a violent crime, and finally seeks justice in a courtroom.

This was a nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and absolutely deserves it. The acting is so natural and spellbinding. This is a film about living in extreme poverty but yet never losing one’s centre of kindness. Zain is one amazing character. He may be 12, but he is so matured and wise. He is resourceful and an entrepreneur.

The movie crackles with a fiery energy, like middle fingers pointed at all the power establishments. It seethes with righteous anger, never condescends and surges with a power seldom experienced on film. The movie made me angry and I am sure that is one of the intentions of the filmmaker.

It isn’t easy to watch and definitely not something you can watch while munching on popcorn. Watching this will probably make you count your blessings. And it culminates to a final shot that is sublime and hopeful. (4.5 / 5)



I saw this in 1997 on a pirated VCD and at that moment I already thought I was watching something special. The movie was recently remastered in 4K and I picked it up without thinking twice, and it is still a very special film, the difference now is that I have the words to properly do it justice.

This is Fruit Chan’s debut film and it won the Golden Horse awards for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Filmed with a budget of $100,000 and leftover film stock from producer Andy Lay’s studio, it goes to show that a lack of money is never an impediment to creativity.

The film’s central character is Moon who is a low level triad member. He goes around collecting debts with his retarded pal Sylvester. He falls for Ping, a daughter of a debtor he is collecting money from. Ping is suffering from kidney disease and doesn’t have long to live unless someone donates a kidney to her. Moon takes up an assassination job to earn money to help Ping. In the midst of all this, all three are haunted by the ghost of a girl who committed suicide.

The plot sounds crazy and I be the first one to tell you it isn’t important. What Chan managed to do here is truly remarkable. Made in Hong Kong is about youth alienation and nihilism like you have never seen before. In fact, this is a Hong Kong I have never seen depicted in the countless Hong Kong movies I have seen. Dirty, grimy and dinghy, the streets and ramshackle pigeonholes for homes feel like a central character. The movie captures an elusive zeitgeist of Hong Kong at its lowest in spirits.

It sounds like a difficult film to watch; it isn’t. A layer of absurdist dark humour runs through it and the bleakness is also lifted by a levity. One of the most memorable scenes for me is the one in the cemetery. The juxtaposition is lyrical. If you have seen lots of HK TVB dramas and movies, you will know the cemetery I am talking about.

None of the actors are professionals when this was made. Of course, Sam Lee who played Moon is presently a mainstay of TVB dramas these days. He put in a raw and intense performance of a disenfranchised youth, caught in a maelstrom of political change. I can sense Fruit Chan’s subtext here, a Hong Kong on the brink of the Handover and its uncertainty.

This is one of the quintessential independent HK movie. Made with a passion and an attitude, and it still hits the spot for me. (4.5 / 5)



My wife was away for the Good Friday long weekend so I have purposely chosen movies that she wouldn’t like to see. 😊

First up is Dario Argento’s Opera (1987). I have seen Suspiria (1977) and it is easy to see why it has become a cult-classic. It is probably sacrilegious for me to say this, but I think Opera is a much better film. This is the ultimate stalker film and it has all of Argento’s signature touches - stylised shots, use of animals, gloved hands, POV etc.

You know how critics love to say that if you did the casting right it is half the job done right. Opera’s casting is totally warped. None of the characters like the opera singer, the director, the stage hand, the police officer and others look their part. The human behaviours don’t make any sense, like the young woman was made to watch two cold-blooded butchering without being allowed to blink, so a few scenes later she drip some eye-drops and let someone into her home without so much as checking. I am only scratching the surface here, but with Argento movies this is never important. After awhile I was amazed with the risks he took.

So many brilliant stuff here. The gory scenes are awesome and some of the shots are brilliant, especially the raven’s point of view shot in the opera theatre. His use of those nasty ravens is quite incredible.

One little pop-culture tidbit that I found out from watching the special features - Vanessa Redgrave was involved. She was paid for a week’s work to play the diva, but Argento was busy doing other stuff and Redgrave left after exactly a week. So in the end, Argento just used a steady cam to shoot the diva’s scenes from her POV. Damn audacious. (4 / 5)



Then it was a Polish serial killer story called I’m a Killer (2016).

Inspired by true events from the 1970s, the story revolves around a young detective who becomes the head of a police unit focused on catching a rampant serial killer of women, nicknamed 'The Silesian Vampire'.

This one is a recommendation by a friend and I always take this dude’s recommendations seriously. The only other person I know who watches way more movies than me and have good taste is this guy. He is right... this is very good.

Think of the best serial killer movies now... I give you a few minutes...

I think Silence of the Lambs, Seven and Zodiac come to mind right? They used the serial killer narrative as the spine and propulsion of the movie, but these movies are also about so many other things like politics, mind games, gender inequality, loss of self and so on. I’m a Killer is also the same. It is an indictment of the oppression of communism (the murders happened in the 1970s) and how power corrupts the soul.

The actors playing the investigator and the “guilty” man brought their A game. One of the coolest thing about it is that the good guy isn’t good at all. His arc from a resourceful truth-finder to a deplorable human being is a stunningly drawn arc. So what if you gain all the riches, prestige and power, but lose your conscience and soul? The arrested man’s arc is also a mirror of that - he goes from a righteous man to one who is a hollow of a man.

The movie has a great sense of place and time. It is very easy to get lost in all the proceedings to a conclusion that is filled with melancholy and regret. (4 / 5)
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Offline westendboy

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1175 on: April 25, 2019, 10:13 »


Suspiria (2018) is one weird movie and I don’t say this very often - I don’t understand WTF it’s about. It borrows the premise from Dario Argento’s cult-classic - a dance company disguised as a coven of witches, but the similarities end there. A lot of hocus pocus nuts is going on but it’s one of those rare films that I think only the director truly knows what the movie is about. I doubt the actors know too. There are some disturbing scenes but they are negated by all the long and tedious scenes in between. Don’t even get me talking about the climax which is so over the top that it crosses into farce territory. If you must see the best scene and I mean it is a tour-de-force scene, skip right to the 40th min. That dance sequence coupled with the cross-cutting of another scene of a girl getting a chiropractic workout left my jaw opened. (3 / 5)



Managed to squeeze 2 more crazy movies before my wife comes back.

Story of Ricky aka Riki-Oh (1991) is about a guy you don’t want to mess with and yet you would want him on your side. In 2001 AD, all government institutions, including prisons, have become privatized. A young martial artist with a unique power named Ricky Ho is sent to serve ten years in prison for manslaughter and assault. Each prison block is led by the ruthless Gang of Four which are backed by the corrupt Assistant Warden, who becomes hellbent on killing Ricky.

I f**king cannot believe the stuff I was watching. How the f**k does my friend know about this? You know this one can be the perfect Good Friday or Easter movie because there is a scene of Ricky carrying a humongous cross with a body chained on it. This is total gonzo filmmaking and it’s only limited by imagination and the imagination here knows no limits.

Have you seen a dude do harakiri on himself so he can pull out his intestines to strangle someone? Have you seen a dude basically DIY repair his severed tendon in his arm just so he can continue to fight? Have you.... I will shut up here. You have seen nothing until you see this. Any director can make a nuts movie, but not many directors can make good nuts like this.

Seriously, I don’t laughed a lot while watching movies alone, but with this one I was guffawing like a young boy discovering movies for this first time. So inventive, so crazy, so f**king nuts! I love it! I am going to suggest this one for Halloween movie night. (4 / 5)



Then, it was Dellamorte Dellamore. It’s about a man whose job is to kill the undead in a cemetery once the buried reawaken in 7 days.

I can’t say I enjoy this one. Yes, it has gore, funny moments and sex (even sex with the dead... I am thinking some of you have stopped reading here 😊). But the storytelling is uneven and it felt like 3 different movies spliced together. You need to have the stomach for this one. (3 / 5)



My wife was out shopping. So it’s time for something she will never want to see in a thousand years.

Pink Flamingos’ notoriety is well-established and I can finally strike this off my must-see list.

My friend advised me to see this 30 minutes after meal, but I decided to brave it - I saw this while eating curry noodles. Very soon I understand why he gave me that advice. This movie is absolute nuts, both literally and metaphorically, but it’s outrageous nuts.

The story is... let me see if I can get it right... about two groups of people challenging each other for the title of “the filthiest person in the world”. Yup, the characters don’t really aim high. They have names like Cotton, Crackers, Babs, Cookie, the Egg Man, Patty Hitler and of course, Divine, a transvestite in killer makeup, hairdo and get-up.

The movie is the vilest, most lewd and disgustingly repugnant I have ever seen. But it is also silly and outrageously fun. Of course, what I qualify as fun may not float your boat. 😊

Let me give you an idea and see if you want to be challenged - there is going to sex and chickens (yes, it’s together), there is nuts (real nuts), there is cursing every minutes (think of them as punctuations in a thesis), there are going to be graphic displays of body parts (you will never take a dump and not think about one particular scene), there is rape, castration and murder. But all of the mentioned are nothing compared to the final scene... I will leave it to you to find out 😊

I doubt I will ever see this again, but I am sort of glad I managed to sit through this. Surprisingly, it’s ludicrously fun in a weird way. You know at the back of your mind you are watching a movie and nothing is real, except maybe that last scene... oh my goodness. And assholeism is a word! 🤣

Oh boy, I need to cleanse my mind now with some bland Hollywood fare. (1 / 5, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it 😊)

Others we have seen include Blank 13, Graduation, North Face, My Little Monster, Vice and El Cuerpo. The last one has one helluva story and plot. The the type of movie you can check your social media as you watch because you have to pay close attention to the details and keep all the information in your head. The big reveal is jaw-dropping.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 07:12 by westendboy »
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Offline westendboy

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1176 on: May 15, 2019, 10:21 »


I remember I was wandering in a LD rental shop in Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre in the 1990s and the cover of Dead Again intrigued me. Back then I had no idea who were Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, but at least I knew Andy Garcia and Robin Williams, so I took a chance and rented the movie. And what a great movie it was.

In 1949, composer Roman Strauss is executed for the vicious murder of his wife Margaret with a pair of scissors. In 1990s Los Angeles, a mute amnesiac woman shows up at an orphanage, and private eye Mike Church is called in to investigate. Under hypnosis, both the woman and Church seem to have a strange link back to the Strauss murder.

I wouldn’t say I was a movie afficionado then, but I knew I was watching something I don’t see very often - a thriller in the classical sense with Hitchcock-ian leanings. You can hardly see movies like this nowadays. As fate would have it, I recently acquired the film and I am glad to say it still holds up remarkably well.

The plot is complicated and dense because the two main actors play dual roles - one in the present and one in 1948. But Branagh’s direction is clear and focused, so you wouldn’t fall out of the story. He knows how to withhold information as well as dole out just the right nugget of info for one to be hooked on the intriguing storyline.

I love how it deals with the themes of fate and destiny, and how we can’t escape the past. The twists and turns are great and I am willing to bet you won’t be able to see all of them before they hit you like a sledgehammer. Dead Again feels like a love letter to those old Alfred Hitchcock classic thrillers. It doesn’t call attention to all the Hitchcock-ian tricks, but feels like an organic progression of them. (4 / 5)



Les Choristes is about the redemptive power of music and it is an absolute delight. Yes, it is a by-the-numbers type of music-teacher movie and without finishing the movie you will already know what are the scenes you will probably see. There isn’t anything wrong with that because it feels like comfort food about unsung heroes.

Set in 1948, a professor of music, Clement Mathieu, becomes the supervisor at a boarding school for the rehabilitation for minors. What he discovers disconcerts him -- the current situation is repressive. Through the power of song, Clement tries to transform the students.

Being a teacher, I enjoyed Mathieu’s arc and his method of inspiring difficult kids. It made me recall a funny incident that happened in a school a few months ago. Through a moment of inspired ingenuity I managed to turn a mischievous kid to an achieving one by the last lesson. That is always the best joy of being a teacher. Anyway, I digressed.

Les Choristes is a well made film and it has a glorious message to share. It pulls you along by your heartstrings and you will give it free reins because of its irresistibility.

I saw Les Choristes years ago but managed to pick up the Blu-ray recently. I know for sure Choo will love it and she did. Actually, I am pretty sure anyone will enjoy it and it will probably remind you of some inspiring teachers in your life. (3.5 / 5)



I saw this years ago and it left a lasting impression on my mind. Seeing it again on hi-def, it still retains that elegiac sweep. I am glad my wife love it as much as me.

In present day Montreal, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, known as "the red violin," is being auctioned off. During the auction, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy, and follow the violin as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery, a violinist in 19th century Oxford, China during the Cultural Revolution, and back to Montreal, where a collector tries to establish the identity and the secrets of "the red violin."

You can count on the fingers of probably one hand movies in a year that dare to march on paths less travelled by. So many films trod down a formulaic path. The Red Violin is unabashedly ambitious in its scope and sweep.

Sure, it has some missteps like I questioned the scene of a couple having sex while playing the violin, and some of the flash forwards are a little clumsy. But the narrative structure it employs to tell stories of grandiose is compelling and masterful.

The music produced by a violin has the heavenly ability to convey every human emotion - from joy to sadness. The music of The Red Violin is integral to the story. One does not need to be a music connoisseur to appreciate music that is passionately played. Above all, the movie serves to remind us that we can and should be moved when we are in the midst of sheer perfection of a certain craft. To me, watching this feels like being touched by the hand of God. (4.5 / 5)



Last weekend I met a friend who gave me the heads up on Fighting With My Family. It’s a gem with lotsa heart.

A former wrestler and his family make a living performing at small venues around the country while his kids dream of joining World Wrestling Entertainment.

They say casting is the first step towards success. The cast here is awesome. It’s a blend of many genres - sports, coming of age, underdog, knowing your place in the world. And it all comes together in a script that is winsome and genuinely funny. Surprisingly, it has lots of heart and I was stifling tears of joy when the final act rolled in. It also hits one out of the ball park for feminism and the misfit in you.

The movie reminded me of my dad. He fricking loved wrestling and I can never understand the sport. The movie takes you behind the scenes to see that wrestling is actually storytelling. Now I can understand why he loved it. If he was still around, I can picture him and me watching it and laughing our heads off. (4 / 5)

Others we have seen include Escape Room, Default, Christine, The Man Who Wasn’t There, 影,一吻定情,应政风云, 带我去月球, Prospect, St. Agatha, Mortal Engines, Believer, Ordeal By Innocence, Ghost Stories, Beautiful Boy, The Garden of Words, Raising Cain
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Offline westendboy

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1177 on: June 06, 2019, 15:09 »


The story of Little Forest is very simple - A young woman grows tired of life in the city and returns to her hometown in the countryside.

Little Forest doesn’t rush. It moves with a painterly crawl and the tick tock of a biological clock. It has a way with things as we follow Kim Tae-ri (The Handmaiden) takes a journey through her childhood home and also an internal journey. I didn’t find it slow and marvel with all the halcyon aspects of country living. This is an ode to simpler living, cooking, the love for nature and living off the earth.

The movie may seem simple but if you are willing to take a deeper dive you will find it inspirational and meditative. It has a beautiful final shot that I will file it in my book of “movies with the best final shot”.

My last advice is not to watch this on an empty stomach. I had the luxury of watching this while gormandising on my wifey’s fabulous curry baked rice. I hope you are as lucky as me 😆(4 / 5)



With this French movie we laughed the hardest this year. It’s about a bunch of has-beens who got into synchronised swimming and found their second youth. It fleets easily from character to character and goes through the usual paces of the typical underdog stories. But they are winsome and you will root for them. Good use of popular 80s music and that last swimming sequence is awesome.

This is a feel-gooder and it will definitely put a wide smile on your face. There are hundreds of movies about female friendships, but not many on male bonding. I also like how an undertone of social stigma-ism runs through it. Sink or Swim feels like “Pool” Monty. (3.5 / 5)



We started watching this sci-fi called High Life one night. Highly lauded by movie critics and Robert Pattinson will be the new Batman. It’s about this man and his baby who are drifting in space. It has one of the most disturbing one-man sex scene ever. But this is not really what I want to say.

After 30min the missus yawned thrice. I can take a hint so I popped the question - “do you want to finish this?” She said no faster than the speed of light.

On another day, I finished it. OMG! If there were a gun next to me, I would have put it in my mouth. The movie just goes nowhere. There is no story or plot. And the ending is like slap-in-face abrupt. This is 2 hours gone forever!

My respect for my wife just went up a few notches. She can smell-see-know BS within 10min. Me, I am too hopeful. Those critics must have been paid to write good stuff about it. (1 / 5)



This is a sordid but damn entertaining movie about a literary forger. It’s based on a true story.

Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) made her living in the 1970's and 80's profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E. Grant). An adaptation of the memoir "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" relays the true story of the best-selling celebrity biographer (and friend to cats).

I never thought comedienne Melissa McCarthy had it in her with a straight role. She is amazing! Any actor can do down-and-out, but not many actors can do that so compellingly and without patronising the viewer. She commands every scene she is in and she is in all the scenes. She exhibits a mien that embodies so many emotions - guardedness, vulnerability, cynicism - sometimes all at the same time. McCarthy totally deserved her Oscar nomination.

Playing opposite her is Richard E. Grant who is also her equal. Their scenes together is fabulous. From their first encounter in a bar you will know and feel the pure chemistry, and you will have no idea how their relationship will transpire. Their spark is the real deal. That last scene in the bar (see how the movie lovingly bookended their relationship) is just lovely.

The movie does a meticulous job of showing the why and how she had to do what she did. The irony hits you like Thor’s Mjolnir. This is one of those movies that will make you ponder whether the cruel society had a part to play in her dire predicament. (4 / 5)



With a title like Killing for the Prosecution, a killer soundtrack and a broody Takuya Kimura, how could it go wrong?

Everything goes to shite by the time the 20th character appears in the first 20min. I am not exaggerating... the movie has myriad characters with none of their motivations painted with any clarity.

This is Bad Movie Making 101. One of its biggest problems is that it has too many sub-plots vying for your attention. None of the scenes breathe. The director doesn’t even want to give you time to ponder what you have just seen because the next scene with a separate plot thread will just drop like a cartoon anvil. The editing is clunky and downright sudden. I think the director ran out of ideas on how to wrap up the story, so a character was parachuted in just to tie up things in a neat bow. That’s called a cheat.

With characters this vaguely and lazily drawn, you can forget about suspense. There is a sex scene and when it drop I looked at my wifey and went WTF and HTF did it happen.

The movie, no, the torture ended in a cathartic manner - Kazunari Ninomiya, the actor looks off-screen and he wails one long frustrated scream. I think he screamed for me and I somehow felt a little better.

It’s a shame because underneath all the bad storytelling is a very compelling story. (2 / 5)



When Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman starts to see images from his past that he can't explain, he's forced to remember his childhood and how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr Percival.

I like watching movies made by other countries other than America. Hollywood has a way of telling stories that treat us as lobotomised audiences, thinking we need to walk out of the cinema feeling happy. Granted, made in Australia Storm Boy has a kinda happy ending, but it isn’t pretentious and it invites you to ponder what will eventually happen. If it’s Hollywood I am pretty sure they will do a coda and not leave it opened. Every country’s way of making their films is unique.

I like the aesthetics of Storm Boy. It is well-shot, has stunning sights and superb performances, even from the pelicans. One of my joys of watching movies is to be astounded by “how did they do that” scenes. Storm Boy has a motherlode of these wondrous scenes. I mean come on those must be CGI pelicans but they look too real to be fake and their actions and behaviour touch a nerve in me. A quick check on IMDb trivia on the movie confirmed my suspicion. Those are real pelicans and my admiration for the filmmakers’ craft soared. Go read how they actually shot all those scenes with the lovely birds.

This is a movie I wanted to hug. I love its narrative structure and its big beating heart. It is a movie that is easy to love and will restore your faith in mankind. It is the perfect family film. Forget about taking your kids to ballet, art, dance and tuition classes. You need to teach them to love animals. That will put them in great stead for their future. (3.5 / 5)

Some others we have seen include Good Bye Lenin!, Terms of Endearment, Ghost World, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, The Lego Movie 2, Boy Erased, Trading Places, Miss Baek, Welcome to Marwen, The Children Act, Destroyer and Overlord - the movie is so-so but the Atmos sound design is a killer.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 15:14 by westendboy »
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Offline westendboy

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1178 on: June 21, 2019, 09:43 »


What’s sadder than watching a movie alone? Watching a romantic tearjerker by me-self.

The missus doesn’t want to see Be With You because she has already seen the 2004 Japanese original.

Woo Jin takes care of his son Ji Ho alone after his wife Soo A passed away. Before she passed away, she promised she would be back on a rainy day one year later. One year later, Soo A appears again, but she does not remember anything.

That’s the story and it’s the same as the Japanese film, but trust the Koreans to milk all the melodrama with two very appealing stars. This Korean version brings on the feels and hits all the emotional beats with gusto. The mental illness that stricken Woo Jin is not as visible as the Japanese, but it’s no less crippling.

The opening animated sequence is really cute and it anchors the Twilight Zone-ish premise well. There are many aspects that I love and enjoy more than the Japanese original. Most of all it is the tender charms that does it for me. It starts off as romantic love but segues into familial love thereafter. And that final act when the perspective changes holds empathetic storytelling power - there are always two sides to a story.

For me, the movie is a good reminder that life is all about the moments. We go about our life accumulating stuff, wealth, status and so on, but the narrative here proffers that it is about creating moments with your loved one that both of you will remember till the end of days which is more important. Don’t let the first time you hold someone’s hand, kiss someone be forgettable. Creating these moments that will be cemented into each other’s memories doesn’t take a lot. Just perhaps some thinking cap and effort.

I better stop before I become an emotional nutcase. If you want a good cry, I recommend this on a rainy day with someone you love. Don’t do this alone like me. (3.5/5)



I saw a FB post on Christopher Nolan’s 30 films to see before you die the other day. I wouldn’t have bothered if it’s a post by Christopher Tan, but this is Nolan we are talking about. If he talks films, you should fu*king take notes. Anyway, out of the 30 I have yet to see 12 and I have not even heard of 6 of them. That’s a grade of “fail” by my lofty standards. Since I am sitting on a few that I actually own, I thought I do one in Nolan’s list today.

Al Reinert’s For All Mankind documents the Apollo missions perhaps the most definitively of any movie under two hours. Al Reinert watched all the footage shot during the missions--over 6,000,000 feet of it, and picked out the best. Instead of being a newsy, fact-filled documentary, Reinart focuses on the human aspects of the space flights. The only voices heard in the film are the voices of the astronauts and mission control. Reinart uses the astronaunts' own words from interviews and mission footage. The score by Brian Eno underscores the strangeness, wonder, and beauty of the astronauts' experiences which they were privileged to have for a first time "for all mankind."

The documentary is bookended by President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 speech that adds a mythical feel to mankind’s greatest endeavour. This is a documentary that is very different in that there are no talking heads and rather than focusing on one particular space mission, it edits many of the Apollo missions into one fluid take, from preparation to lifting off to walking on the moon to coming home. The images are stunning and nothing beats listening to the astronauts’ speech as they looked at a little blue marble while standing on the moon. The documentary doesn’t have an ounce of American jingoism; it is as if to say this small step is for all of mankind and that includes you and me. I watch a lot of sci-fi stuff but I always know I am watching a movie because everything is CGI. With For All Mankind, I have none of that feeling. Its spine-tingling and some of the images scored to the atmospheric music of Brian Eno put in a hitch in my breath. A must-see. Nolan knows his films. Although I must say I have not much love for The Tree of Life, but for Nolan I will try watching it again. (4/5)

In case you are wondering about Nolan’s bucket list for films, here it is:
https://www.bosshunting.com.au/culture/christopher-nolan-30-must-see-films



The war genre is not my wife’s goto genre, so I did this on my own. But she is going to regret not seeing Thor on horseback charging through columns of tanks, mortars, machine guns and crazy suicide bombers. What a glorious sight! Almost as good as him going mano a mano with Hulk.

After the tragic events of 9/11, the US determines that the Taliban in Afghanistan is the source of many of the attacks on US citizens and assets. Their first step in confronting the Taliban is to send in Special Forces teams to link up with the Northern Alliance, the enemies of the Taliban, help them in their fight against Taliban, including through coordinating air support, and reduce the Taliban's territory. The first team "in country" is Operational Detachment Alpha 595, lead by Captain Mitch Nelson. The 12 of them face overwhelming odds. This is their story.

12 Strong doesn’t try to blaze a new warpath for the genre. It is contented with going through the same old emotional beats and rough terrain. But it is still a hoowah good time as you see brave men fighting impossible odds, even if it is shallow. What I like about this is the punishing landscape and the need to bring the battle on horsebacks. It is realistically shot and it is hard to imagine that all 12 made it. It would have been amazing on Atmos but I only had this on DTS-HD MA5.1. This is a great one for your home theatre. (3/5)

PS - Maybe I just show her the scene of Thor charging like a bat out of hell at a monster rocket launcher with just a machine gun as his Mjolnir.

Some others we have seen include I am Mother, Ryuichi Sakamoto:Coda, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Toy Story 1-3.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 23:00 by westendboy »
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Offline YANG

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1179 on: June 21, 2019, 10:08 »


The war genre is not my wife’s goto genre, so I did this on my own. But she is going to regret not seeing Thor on horseback charging through columns of tanks, mortars, machine guns and crazy suicide bombers.........
Wifey don't like noisy war mobie... Can go little softer thriller...

Michael Maan's "BLACKHAT" can give a softer side impression of Thor.

Offline westendboy

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1180 on: June 21, 2019, 13:09 »
Wifey don't like noisy war mobie... Can go little softer thriller...

Michael Maan's "BLACKHAT" can give a softer side impression of Thor.

I saw this. It’s terrible. One of the worse things Michael Mann have ever done. The casting is all wrong. None of them look remotely like a world-class cyber terrorist/hacker
Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

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Offline AndrewC

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Re: Your All Time Favourite Movies & Whathaveyoubeenwatching?
« Reply #1181 on: June 22, 2019, 07:13 »
I saw this. It’s terrible. One of the worse things Michael Mann have ever done. The casting is all wrong. None of them look remotely like a world-class cyber terrorist/hacker

+1... was a totally crap movie.
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Offline westendboy

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A quick one - Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch is only a sequel by spirit. It has no link to the first one. This one showcases another criminal that commits crimes blatantly and the police has no clue how to catch him. It doesn’t quite have the same sense of historical time and place like its predecessor, and it definitely doesn’t have the same star power. That said, Tony Leung plays his role superbly well and he chews every scene he is in. Louis Lo, HK’s #1 busiest actor, puts in a creditable performance as an undercover cop. The plot is the usual run of the mill stuff and I have a strong feeling Wong Jing took a lot of liberties with the story. And this being a Wong Jing movie you know he goes through cycles of good-bad-bad movies. This one isn’t an exceptionally good one but neither is it bad. It’s one of those you won’t remember much in a week. And Wong Jing being Wong Jing, still paints women in two categories - cannon fodder or sex objects. But watching this in Cantonese is so cool. That gives it another 0.5 🌟(3.5/5)



Oh my goodness... did Mr King even vet through the storyline or did he just sign away all his creations for big bucks? This is one big colossal waste of time.

In case you didn’t know, Castle Rock is based on the stories of Stephen King, and the series intertwine characters and themes from the fictional town of Castle Rock.

At the 16th minute of the last episode, the protagonist Henry Deaver says: “I don’t know what’s happening”. Fu*k! You and me both man! Then somewhere at the 30th minute he tells Molly: “Get into a car and drive as far away from Castle Rock as possible”. Wished that advice had come earlier.

The characters did the best they could with the slack material and Sissy Spacek is a pleasure to watch. The trainspotting elements are pretty cool, but only if you are a big Stephen King fan. These don’t last though. Most of the characters are just brooding enigmas walking from point A to B. The story is the epitome of lazy writing but each episode has one thing that will keep you going. The only great episode is #7 with Spacek’s character carrying the episode. It is a brilliant episode, featuring all sorts of good horror and melancholia, but during the last few minutes it falls flat, right onto its face. I blame myself for being patient, too patient, hoping against hope that the axe will drop and everything will make sense, but it didn’t. In the end, the final revelation felt like a slap in my face. It felt like one good story idea stretched out across 10 dreary episodes.

This looked great on paper - taking King’s story characters, themes and creating the fictional town of Castle Rock, but the execution is way off the mark of a good King horror tale.

The scariest part is that they are doing a season 2. I am out of here. The only good thing is that I didn’t get my wifey to watch this with me.



Feeling a little under the weather, so I thought I will watch an action no-brainer, but I never thought Peppermint would be that brainless, guileless and witless.

It has zero subtlety. It plays out like a cliché straight arrow like those bullet-ridden tattoo-covered scumbags. We know they are bad guys, the scum of the earth, because they have tattoos on their faces, wear gold chains, hold guns like bouncing rappers and punctuate their speech with f-bombs every other time.

So Jennifer Garner is here to wipe out the mess of the city, five years after seeing her family get mowed down by these scumbags. If it’s done well, you would probably feel for Garner’s Riley and punch your fist in the air as another dirtbag bites the dust. But you probably won’t. If you did, my respect for you just gone down a few notches 🤣

The only good thing is seeing Garner channeling Alias. But with a script this kindergartenish, I am surprised she didn’t just shoot herself and join her family in the end. At least they are in a better place. (2/5)

Onwards to another stinker 😬



I thought the title sound promising. At the very least I can find out what crypto currency is about, especially when a friend of mine just left high post in a Russian ran crypto currency company.

But heck... there’s not much mentioned about crypto currency at all. In fact, this is just a family drama that you won’t give two hoots about. I have not seen so much wooden acting before. It even wants to be cryptic. Hey! Maybe that’s the original title, but somebody messed up and it became Crypto.

At the 33th minute, Kurt Russell’s character utters in a gruff voice: “grab a shovel or go”. No way am I grabbing a shovel for this BS. (0.5/5)



I started watching this in the afternoon, but 15 minutes I had a feeling my wife might dig it. So I told her the basic premise - girl wakes up on her birthday and it is a bad day. Before the day is over, she will be killed by a masked man. Then she wakes up again... on her birthday, the same day. She needs to find out who her killer is to stop the time loop.

She said okay. I am careful with these time paradox genre because it always gives her a headache. This one didn’t. We actually bought pizzas, thinking it be fun to eat them while watching. We had so much fun that we forgot to eat the pizzas. So in went the sequel. This time we remembered to eat.

Awesome movies in this genre don’t have to try very hard to explain the how. If done well, we are being led by the compelling characters towards dire straits. This is just so much fun.

The sequel ups the ante by throwing everything including the kitchen sink into the plot. The plot is as busy as a beehive, filled with all sorts of crazy ideas. In the midst of it all it still manages to spring surprises, dazzle with its mordant humour and warm us with its heart.

We enjoyed them tremendously. I remember watching the trailers in the cinema, but you know how we think we can judge a movie by its trailer. Well... I just thought it was all so silly. They are silly alright, but they are also so inventive and never once take themselves seriously. (3/5,3.5/5)

Others we have watched include Herstory, , Steel Rain and The Upside, MiB: International and Dark Phoenix.
« Last Edit: Today at 14:38 by westendboy »
Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

My movie and music blog:
http://reelthoughtsfromageek.wordpress.com

All things books:
http://fictionmattersfromageek.wordpress.com