Okay's Thoughts on Okay Films

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movies can be okay...
Like Father, Like Son (2013) by Hirokazu Koreeda

A successful father and his wife, suddenly find out that their biological son was swapped with another child after birth. Realising that they have been living a lie for 6 years, and who they thought was their son, actually belongs to a stranger family, they now have to make a nerve-wracking decision. Whether to choose living with their actual child, turning a new page, or staying with the boy they have raised and loved. As I've described, the concept of this film is pretty amazing, which is surprising, since this is the same director of "Our Little Sister", and I thought that movie was the epitome of a waste of time.

I absolutely loved the contrast between the two families, and their vastly different ways of living. Seeing each of them perform their mundane routines, really helped at giving newer depth to the decision they would ultimately make. On the other hand, the conflict isn't presented in the best of ways, since Hirokazu demonstrates it at times in a black or white manner. For example, when Ryota suggests to the opposing family, the idea of taking custody of both children, the dialogue that follows is lacking of nuance and is so taken-from-a-kids-book. Overall, I still enjoyed revisiting this film, it's by far the director's best from what I've seen, and it gives me hope and motivation to go through the rest of his movies.

⭐⭐⭐1/2
__________________
"A film has to be a dialogue, not a monologue ó a dialogue to provoke in the viewer his own thoughts, his own feelings. And if a film is a dialogue, then itís a good film; if itís not a dialogue, itís a bad film."
- Michael "Gloomy Old Fart" Haneke



I won't dance. Don't ask me...
I don't remember Like father, like son too well. I recall it was a little bit boring, which is surprising coz the idea of the movie is unusual.



movies can be okay...
I don't remember Like father, like son too well. I recall it was a little bit boring, which is surprising coz the idea of the movie is unusual.
That's Hirokazu Koreeda for you. I always get surprised by how bored I feel throughout his films. "Like Father, Like Son" is definitely his most "exciting" and interesting work, at least from what I've seen thus far. "Our Little Sister" was unbearably dull for me.



I won't dance. Don't ask me...
That's Hirokazu Koreeda for you. I always get surprised by how bored I feel throughout his films. "Like Father, Like Son" is definitely his most "exciting" and interesting work, at least from what I've seen thus far. "Our Little Sister" was unbearably dull for me.
Oh, thank you for your words. I thought there is something wrong with me, that's why I'm not able to appreciate this "piece of art".



movies can be okay...
I'm thinking of editing each of my writings on the films I've seen thus far, and including a score. The reason why I haven't before, is because I set a new way of rating films for myself, that I started to follow since the beginning of this year. Now that I'm used to it and comfortable with it, I don't mind sharing my ratings.



movies can be okay...
In the Mood for Love (2000) by Wong Kar-wai

After finding out that their partners are having an affair with each other, Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow form a bond, that slowly grows into a wholehearted love affair. First of all, who the hell is willing to cheat on a woman such as Maggie Cheung ! Her beauty, style and mannerisms are drool-worthy. Just the way she walks down the road, as the camera frames her perfect body in slow motion, is so pleasing to all of the senses. Anyway, I kinda have some mixed feelings about the film, and here's why:

The quality of the presentation is inconsistent in multiple departments. For example, the movie's score is one of the best I've ever heard, but, it's unfortunately used excessively. This reminded me of the time I watched "Taxi Driver", and hated how frequently the score was applied. If the music of "In the Mood for Love" was any less good, this issue would have completely ruined my experience. I just wish that the score was used sparingly. Furthermore, the editing during the first act put me through a rough negative start. But later on, the film surprisingly contains one of the best edited scenes of cinema. Same thing when talking about the acting, at times it felt wooden, and at other times it was remarkable.

What's undoubtedly exceptional about the film, is how visually stunning it is. Whether we're faced with Mrs. Chan's colourful dresses, or the redness of the walls, the sheets, the curtains...or we're under the rain along with the characters, we stay hypnotised by the physical beauty of the film. This is all shot, framed and lighted magnificently, so yeah, to say that the movie is a visual feast would be an understatement.

The idea of not having the two cheaters faces shown totally works. This is also a reason for having the rehearsals shot from the back of the characters, visually indicating them playing the other's spouse.

My personal favourite scene of this picture, is the last rehearsal between the two lovers. It was performed with excellence, and even the way Wong Kar-wai lets us viewers realise that it's only a rehearsal, is simply genius. As opposed to the first rehearsal between our main characters, which I thought didn't make any sense, and was only incorporated in order to make every following rehearsal have a purpose.

Overall, my lack of investment in the relationship between the two leads, along with the other problems I've explained, are what ultimately draws me back from loving this movie. Nonetheless, it's a must-see!




movies can be okay...
Days of Heaven (1978) by Terrence Malick

Considering this is only Malick's second feature, one could totally mistake him to be an experienced veteran already at that point of his career. Deservedly so, since what we're faced with is a tremendous accomplishment, that raises the bar so high, while putting most films to shame. The cinematography of the movie is the best I've seen in my life, or it's definitely up there. Very few films could stand up to "Days of Heaven" visually, because in that department, it easily gets a 10/10! How could it not, when every single scene has been installed in my mind for life, because of their incomparable beauty.

Story wise though, I wasn't as engrossed as I would've liked, but I'm not complaining either. The occurring love triangle left me unsatisfied, but the visual storytelling is what ultimately kept feeding me. I'm not too fond of the last 10 minutes of the movie either, in fact, I would've preferred had they been totally cut out, but at least they have a purpose in being included. Other than that, this picture is worthy of meticulous study and examination. I can totally see it being someone's favourite film of all time. For me, it's definitely my favourite Terrence Malick film so far, and that's more than enough.

🌟🌟🌟🌟



movies can be okay...
I loved Days of Heaven too. In fact, I love Malick's older work so much, just the most recent stuff I really couldn't get into.
I think I will go through his stuff, chronologically. It's really interesting to see the gradual transitions he makes, from film to film, throughout the years.
Did you like "The Tree of Life" ? Because I can't wait until I reach that.



the samoan lawyer's Avatar
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I think I will go through his stuff, chronologically. It's really interesting to see the gradual transitions he makes, from film to film, throughout the years.
Did you like "The Tree of Life" ? Because I can't wait until I reach that.

I think I'm one of the few on here that didn't like it. Most things after Thin Red Line I didn't like although could all do with a rewatch. To The Wonder was probably my most enjoyable of his new ones.



movies can be okay...
Man on Wire (2008) by James Marsh

This is the first documentary I've seen all year so far, and what an amazing one it was. We follow the story of a tightrope walker, Philippe Petit who, despite his craziness, his passion is very relatable to all of us. The simple narrative of a guy craving to accomplish a specific goal, no matter the obstacles and the consequences, is one we've become used to, and got tired of. But the execution is where it all counts.

The narration by the charismatic Philippe, along with his quite interesting group of friends, is what elevates this to a superior level. I was highly engrossed, just by the way he spoke, which was with so much passion and love for what he does, so I was fascinated by his interactions with his friends unit, and their conversations about the preparation of the plan, along with the back and froths between them...it was all super interesting to me. The only (minor) problem I had throughout the film, was within the editing, and that was only during very few points. The latter is insignificant, when faced with the great level of fondness I had, for the people involved throughout this magnificent tale.

🌟🌟🌟🌟



Man on Wire (2008) by James Marsh
The scene where the French lady is recounting the stunt from her very eyes with the one of a kind images playing over her with melancholic music, that was my favourite scene. There's just something so beautiful about those pictures. Maybe it's their simplicity, how dangerous and scary the situation he was in was, or the fact that it's the only way of experiencing this extraordinary event in history that probably won't happen ever again.

If I could time travel, that stunt is probably the first thing I'd visit.



movies can be okay...
The scene where the French lady is recounting the stunt from her very eyes with the one of a kind images playing over her with melancholic music, that was my favourite scene. There's just something so beautiful about those pictures. Maybe it's their simplicity, how dangerous and scary the situation he was in was, or the fact that it's the only way of experiencing this extraordinary event in history that probably won't happen ever again.

If I could time travel, that stunt is probably the first thing I'd visit.
Oh I totally agree! The way emotions could be read on Philippe's girlfriend's face, while she's trying (and failing) to express with words, her amazement during that day, it greatly resonated with me for some reason.



movies can be okay...
Dead Man's Shoes (2004) by Shane Meadows

Oh man was this film very disappointing. During the first two acts, everything was going very well, and I actually would of walked out of the movie with a positive mindset, despite the few gripes I had, such as the distracting shaky cam throughout the opening 30 minutes, and the gang's reasonings behind not doing certain things that would've probably ended the film sooner. But the latter gripes are negligible, when face to face with my ultimate issue concerning the movie, which is its climax.

The last 15 or so minutes of the film were genuinely awful. The fact that the film-makers had little to no self awareness, of the tools they were using being very transparent on screen, was kinda sad to watch. What I'm trying to say is, I was too aware of being manipulated, into feeling emotions that weren't earned by the movie itself, whatsoever. The use of the extremely dramatic opera music, during the "intense" and "sad" scene, was embarrassing. Along with the black and white flashbacks, that never worked for me in the first place, and were simply amateurish. This resulted in me shaking my head at the director, who had the audacity to believe viewers could be so easily controlled. Anyway, the movie left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, so it also didn't help that this next film wasn't any better...

⭐⭐1/2


Han Gong-ju (2013) by Lee Su-jin

This was simply unimpressive, especially for the story it was trying to tell. It is better than most similar movies, but it still is sprinkled with a lot of genericism. The main actress was pretty good though...

⭐⭐1/2



movies can be okay...
Perfect Blue (1997) by Satoshi Kon

"Perfect Blue" is a perfect portrayal of the frightful effects and consequences of fame. It gives us a peak at how the celebrity life could totally turn against the star in any second. We're also constantly being put in the shoes of the ex pop idol, slash, rookie actress, Mima Kirigoe, by having her experience throughout the events of the film, be identical to ours. There's no denying of our confused state, especially as the movie goes on and on, similarly to Mima, who keeps failing at differentiating reality from fiction just like us. The line between realism and surrealism is almost non existent, as Mima's real life begins to blend with her past, as well as with the life of a character she's playing on a TV series. The parallels between each of these lives are quite metaphorical and poetic, which makes for a quite interesting watch.

I'm assuming the director worked with somewhat of a minor budget. I mean it's his first feature film after all. But I'm mainly saying so because of the art, which was one of the very few problems I had with the movie. Regardless, he still properly utilises other tools with much poise and intelligence, such as the editing (with matching scene transitions) and the music (a great soundtrack overall). Overall, "Perfect Blue" is a great study of a character who's slowly descending into madness, finishing with a great twist, and an even greater (ambiguous) ending. I'm not even sure if all of the happenings make perfect sense, that's to be decided on a second viewing. However, I'm also very content with how the movie currently sits with me, in its perplexing and bewildering state. The latter makes this experience very valuable to me.

🌟🌟🌟🌟



movies can be okay...
I'm kinda confused on why the film is called Perfect Blue? Is it because the colour of blue is often associated with the state of depression and melancholia ?



and an even greater (ambiguous) ending.
WARNING: spoilers below
The way it immediately cut to credits with already playing music after she said "Don't worry, I'm the real Mia" was very uncanny valley.



I'm kinda confused on why the film is called Perfect Blue? Is it because the colour of blue is often associated with the state of depression and melancholia ?
Or maybe it's because people always assume famous people as perfect?



movies can be okay...
WARNING: spoilers below
The way it immediately cut to credits with already playing music after she said "Don't worry, I'm the real Mia" was very uncanny valley.
WARNING: "ending" spoilers below
What do you think she meant by that? Did she return into being a pop idol? Or did she stay as an actress ?



movies can be okay...
Or maybe it's because people always assume famous people as perfect?
But why mention the colour Blue, when the film heavily lacks it. Red is much more present than any other colour actually.