Submit Your
2000s
List
The deadline for the Top Films of the 2000s list is days away! Submit your ballot now, or read about it here

Christine's reviews

→ in
Tools    





Once In A Summer (Geuhae yeoreum)
Director: Jo Geun Sik
Starring: Lee Byung-hyun (Bittersweet Life, JSA) and Sue Ae

Set in Korea in 1969 during the dictatorship of President Park Chung-hee when student unrest was beginning to climax, and the military were in fear of Communists from the North. Parties of students volunteered to go on workgroups to remote villages to help work in the fields or do general odd jobs that require more labour. On one of these workgroups is reluctant participant Seok-yeong, son of a wealthy family with a domineering and distant father. He soon perks up when he catches sight of young Jeong-in in the precious village library that her missing parents help to build. We soon see that Jeong-in is somewhat of an outsider in the village due to the fact that her parents were Communists.

Soek-yeong sets out to have a summer romance with Jeong-in but his sense of humour and teasing manner isn’t what this innocent country girl is used to. Soon politics gets to interfere in the young lovers lives to a tragic degree.

Played out in flashback, the story is told around a tv programme assistant whose task is to trace people for a programme about someone who you wish to meet again one last time. Soek-yeong, who has become an old and revered professor, has only one person who would fulfil that desire for him.

This film isn’t a straightforward summer fling film, it’s a sweet story of young love and a lifelong nostalgiac ache of what might have been. One moment in time and a sacrifice that affects the rest of your life. A simple story but through both lead actors being so convincing, that by the end you’d need a heart of stone not to cry. Nice reflections of the times too just to ground the film, including a funny section on Armstrong's moon walk.

The film looks gorgeous too, specially the scenes in the countryside. Don't go thinking that it's all serious and miserable either cos there is humour in a lot of the film, specially around the villagers and their attitude towards the students.

4 out of 5



Hearty Paws (Heart Is (Maeumi))

Director: Dang-ick Shin
Starring
YOU Seung-ho
KIM Hyang-gi
Dal-I (the dog)

Childrens film about a young brother and sister, Chan and So-i, abandoned by their widowed mother. Chan’s doing his best to look after his little sister with sporadic visits from an aunt. Chan lightens So-i’s life by stealing a puppy from someones garden (who seems to grow up remarkably quickly but lets overlook that) for her birthday .

Tragedy is piled on tragedy for the children and the poor dog who must’ve wished he’d been left back in the garden. Shades of The Incredible Journey and Oliver enter the film and you end up wishing someone would feel sorry for the dog and give him a decent home. There’s upsetting scenes in the film, and even an attempted happy ending doesn’t quite pull you back from not identifying with even Chan never mind his repentant mother.

Serves me right for watching it.

Still cried tho’



2.5 out of 5 out of respect for the dog



The People's Republic of Clogher
At last!

Great work dearie, I've got this thread bookmarked.
__________________
"Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how the Tatty 100 is done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves." - Brendan Behan



Great reviews... thanks for sharing them with us...
I agree with Thursday... Once in a Summer does sound very good and I will definitely add it to my list...
__________________
You never know what is enough, until you know what is more than enough.
~William Blake ~

AiSv Nv wa do hi ya do...
(Walk in Peace)




No Country for Old Men

I'm not going to go through the story setting as everyone and his dog must know what it's about now, but I'd like to just give a few thoughts on the film too.

I'm a long time Coen brothers film fan, and a newcomer in the past few years to Cormac McCarthy's books. He's firmly established now as a writer I'd recommend to anyone who likes well written books which use the English language to such a vivid effect. Whenever I've read one of his books, mind pictures are very easily conjured up, he's that visual a writer. Some pictures made me seriously sorry to have read in bed before sleeping So, when I learnt that the Coens were adapting No Country for Old Men, it seemed like Christmas was coming...and Tommy Lee Jones as the sheriff? now you're talking business!

I've seen the film twice now in the past few days and nothing in it has disappointed me. The Coens have been so true in their adaptation, as far as films are able to be. Sure there's a slight skewing, or maybe more a toning down of the emphasis on Ed Tom's internal musings. but I can see the cinematic reason for this. If you're sensitive enough a viewer you'll pick up on the depth of Ed Tom's discomfort with how times are changing and his realisation of how tired you can be with life once you get older. In the book his unspoken reflections on life form the bookends and are interspersed much more than in the film.
There's some stuff missed out that I thought wouldn't have gone amiss, but well, it doesn't matter.

The Coens have brought the book to life in a way that only they could've done I reckon, and I only hope that John Hillcoat can do the same with The Road. He has Viggo Mortensen anyway, so that's a big bonus.

The bit part characters are great, specially Carla Jean's mum and the trailer park manageress, lovely cameos - the sort of thing the Coens take delight in. Excellent score too by Carter Burwell, a mixture of tones and noises that come in only sporadically , but which add so much to the tension. Silence is also used to great effect, something we don't see so much in films.

Got to mention Roger Deakins too for his beautiful cinematography, specially out there in the desert.

I'd give this film 5 out of 5, cos the Coen brothers brought the spirit of this book to life without sucking out its soul, true to McCarthy yet still having their own unique stamp. And remember death comes to us all, it's just on the toss of a coin

edit: actually there is one scene from the book that would've been good to include, and that was where
WARNING: "spoiler" spoilers below
Anton hands the almost intact money back to the man that employed him. Would've been a neat way of observing his twisted moral code.



Train Man (Densha Otoko)
Director Masanori Murakami

Apparently this story is true, but as with anything that starts life on the internet you've got to wonder... That aside, the fact that an internet story has become a book, a manga series, a tv series and a film shows that obviously someone had a good idea somewhere along the way!

An endearing tale about a gawky, geeky lad who plucks up the courage to defend a woman being harrassed on the train. Dashing home to log on to his computer and speak to his online friends, he starts taking their advice on how to woo her.

Although the characters of Train Man and the woman nicknamed Hermes do become a wee bit soppy at the end, it's the lives of the online friends that brighten up this film, specially three dorky lads who provide plenty of comic relief . All these people are equally as lonely and socially inept as he is, they have problems of their own and are really the last people to give advice on matters romantic but somewhere along the way they find hidden courage of their own.

A gentle little story, perfect for a rainy weekday night.

3.5/5




Udon
Director - Katsuyuki Motohiro
Starring - Yusuki Santamaria and Manami Konishi

Ever had one of those films that stuck a smile on your face and kept you there grinning to yourself? this is one of them. Ever had a film that made you send out for take away udon noodles? I doubt it - but this is one of them too

I've been following this guy Katsuyuki Motohiro since I saw Space Travelers. Subsequent viewings of Bayside Shakedown and Summer Time Machine Blues haven't failed to entertain and neither has Udon either so if you're a fan of quirky, gentlly humorous Japanese films - go for it!

Story is that Kosuke, son of rural udon noodle shop owner, has failed in his bid for stardom amongst the stand up comedians of New York and has been forced home. Shunned by his dad who is peeved at him abandoning the family business, Kosuke joins a local magazine and has the brilliant idea of publicising the hundreds of tiny udon shops in the countryside around to wild success. A tale of crazes, disappointment and the ultimate value of family and friends, Udon is a nicely rounded noodle of a film that'll leave you satiated

4/5



Thanks Chris I will Be watching a few more Foreign films since joining Big-pond movies so, i will check there list to see if they have the movies you mentioned, I like quirky funny movies



Will your system be alright, when you dream of home tonight?
Hey Christine, I am new to the Japense/chinese movies, (besides Godzilla, yeaah!) what is a film you can suggest? You can see the films I like in my sig, preferablly satires
__________________
I used to be addicted to crystal meth, now I'm just addicted to Breaking Bad.
Originally Posted by Yoda
If I were buying a laser gun I'd definitely take the XF-3800 before I took the "Pew Pew Pew Fun Gun."



Lennon I'll have a little think for you. You sound like you've got an open mind, which you need cos senses of humour are sometimes very different and sometimes you'll find even a funny film goes off at a much stranger angle than a western film might.

Off the top of my head see if you can find any of these: Waterboys , Swing Girls, Ping Pong . Calamari Wrestler is quite silly and The Foul King has its moments.

I'll think of some more later for you



Thanks Chris I will Be watching a few more Foreign films since joining Big-pond movies so, i will check there list to see if they have the movies you mentioned, I like quirky funny movies
Hi Nebs , have a look at some of the ones I mentioned in the post above to Lennon, they might appeal to you too. Hope you're able to find them



Will your system be alright, when you dream of home tonight?
Lennon I'll have a little think for you. You sound like you've got an open mind, which you need cos senses of humour are sometimes very different and sometimes you'll find even a funny film goes off at a much stranger angle than a western film might.

Off the top of my head see if you can find any of these: Waterboys , Swing Girls, Ping Pong . Calamari Wrestler is quite silly and The Foul King has its moments.

I'll think of some more later for you

Ping Pong sounds cool, I'll put it on my Netflix



Will your system be alright, when you dream of home tonight?
Oh, and I just put Battle Royale on their, Netflix says it is foreign, and it is spoken highly here



Yeah you'll probably like Battle Royale. The director of that, Kinji Fukasaku made loads of films during his life, he's specially known for his yakuza films. He died while making the followup to BR and his son took over. Don't ever be tempted to watch BR2 tho, it's pretty bad. Watch for our favourite director Takeshi Kitano in BR as the guy who runs the program on the island. You could also try watching some Kitano fims - Kikujiro is a quirky one, and Hana Bi and Sonatine are violent gangster films.

If you like BR you might also like Blue Spring.

Have you seen any samurai films?