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"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."




Donnie Darko (2001, Richard Kelly)


This is my second viewing, and overall my feelings toward this film haven't changed - still not a fan, and I still find it overrated (IMO). Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting movie, and it has its moments, but there's just something about Kelly's storytelling/directing style that doesn't quite work for me. He's using a whole bunch of cinematic techniques but they don't quite add up to create a strong cohesive whole, if that makes any sense.

Again, not bad - just not that good either.



"Honor is not in the Weapon. It is in the Man"

The Mercenary (2020)

From Jesse V. Johnson, the director of last year's Avengement and Triple Threat comes this film about a former mercenary left for dead and nursed back to health by a priest. Deciding to start his life over, he decides to join the congregation. However, the past comes back to catch up with him when his former unit threatens the small village he is residing in. He becomes a one-man army against his former team. The titular role, played by former French Foreign Legion soldier turned actor and stuntman Dominiquie Vandenberg, is a man who doesn't talk much but rather lets his action do all the talking. An expert martial artist, we get to Vandenberg throw some amazing spin kicks and perform some amazing knife fights that will remind you of Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York with good reason...Vandenberg was the fight choreographer on that film! Lots of action, brutality, and a fun villain role for Louis Mandylor.


Agent Jade Black (2020)

This indie action piece does make the most of its budget and is a fun ride. However, it does have a few flaws. The story of a brash, young, covert agent who must stop a virus that's killing rich men involved in human trafficking may seem somewhat of a double edged sword. However, when the culprit turns out to be a rogue agent, it does adds some pretty decent twists and turns. Lead star Katie Burgess makes the most of her role, even given the daunting task of fighting a goon while wearing high heels. With proper training and determination, Burgess could have that potential to be an action star in the making.
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I saw this opening night and also read the book. I was really high on it at first, but my love for it has waned. If you haven't read the book (maybe you have) it would be difficult to connect the dots as you say
I read about quarter of it. When it released I got a copy. But due to work pressure never really got to finish it. I think if I take it out now, still would have the new book smell! One thing led to another, and it is still lying on the shelf!!
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My Favorite Films



Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Enjoyed this a whole lot more on a second view, really well cheoragrahed action scenes and superman kicks ass

The Longest Day (1962)

This seemed so much bigger on scale than most modern war films, with lots of men on screen fighting, chaos and destruction, supremely well done, I think it was a restored copy on telly, beautiful picture so easy on the eyes.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

favourite christmas movie. I love that Michael Caine said he played this role with the same gravitas that he would play a shakespearen play, you can see it.

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Midsommar (2019)

+


I think cults are very interesting but the subject usually doesn't mean a good film. I loved the first hour of this but then it leveled off considerably. An hour and a half instead of 2 hours and 20 minutes probably would have been much better. I heard it being called a mind blower but I thought it ended up very generic. Good looking movie.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

After the Wedding (Bart Freundlich, 2019)
6/10
Valentine (Ubay Fox & Agus Pestol, 2017)
5/10
Hwayi: A Monster Boy (Jang Joon-hwan, 2013)
6/10
El Pepe: A Supreme Life (Emir Kusturica, 2018)
6.5/10

Director Emir Kusturica talks with former Uruguayan President José "Pepe" Mujica about his eventful life.
The Second Time Around (Vincent Sherman, 1961)
6/10
Sweetheart (J.D. Dillard, 2019)
+.5/10
Yours Truly, Andrea G. Stern (Susan Seidelman, 1979)
6/10
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (Zack Snyder, 2010)
- 6.5/10

Some owls (and guardians) are braver than others.
Sisters (Jason Moore, 2015)
6/10
Stark Fear (Ned Hockman, 1962)
5/10
Bakrid (Jagadeesan Subu, 2019)
5.5/10
Western Stars (Thom Zimny & Bruce Springsteen, 2019)
6.5/10

The Boss and his wife Patti Scialfa perform his latest album for the movie.
Black and Blue (Deon Taylor, 2019)
5.5/10
Bad Black (Nabwana I.G.G., 2016)
5/10
Jexi (Jon Lucas & Scott Moore, 2019)
5.5/10
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Marielle Heller, 2019)
- 6.5/10

Mister Rogers (Tom Hanks) uses Daniel Striped Tiger to hide things from and impart things to writer Matthew Rhys.
MFKZ AKA Mutafukaz (Shojiro Nishimi & Guillaume 'Run' Renard, 2017)
+ 6/10
Siren (Gregg Bishop, 2016)
5/10
Shady White (Robert Kirkpatrick, 2019)
5.5/10
Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)
-7/10

Ya think?
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After the Wedding (Bart Freundlich, 2019)
6/10
Valentine (Ubay Fox & Agus Pestol, 2017)
5/10
Hwayi: A Monster Boy (Jang Joon-hwan, 2013)
6/10
El Pepe: A Supreme Life (Emir Kusturica, 2018)
6.5/10

Director Emir Kusturica talks with former Uruguayan President José "Pepe" Mujica about his eventful life.
The Second Time Around (Vincent Sherman, 1961)
6/10
Sweetheart (J.D. Dillard, 2019)
+.5/10
Yours Truly, Andrea G. Stern (Susan Seidelman, 1979)
6/10
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (Zack Snyder, 2010)
- 6.5/10

Some owls (and guardians) are braver than others.
Sisters (Jason Moore, 2015)
6/10
Stark Fear (Ned Hockman, 1962)
5/10
Bakrid (Jagadeesan Subu, 2019)
5.5/10
Western Stars (Thom Zimny & Bruce Springsteen, 2019)
6.5/10

The Boss and his wife Patti Scialfa perform his latest album for the movie.
Black and Blue (Deon Taylor, 2019)
5.5/10
Bad Black (Nabwana I.G.G., 2016)
5/10
Jexi (Jon Lucas & Scott Moore, 2019)
5.5/10
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Marielle Heller, 2019)
- 6.5/10

Mister Rogers (Tom Hanks) uses Daniel Striped Tiger to hide things from and impart things to writer Matthew Rhys.
MFKZ AKA Mutafukaz (Shojiro Nishimi & Guillaume 'Run' Renard, 2017)
+ 6/10
Siren (Gregg Bishop, 2016)
5/10
Shady White (Robert Kirkpatrick, 2019)
5.5/10
Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)
-7/10

Ya think?
Is Knives Out your favorite of the year? I haven’t seen you give anything higher.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Not at all. I'd probably rank these higher:
Country Music
Chernobyl
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
The Irishman
Parasite
Marriage Story
For Sama
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror
Cold Case Hammarskjöld
Toy Story 4
... and a few others.



The movie that predicted Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics and the movie set in the days leading up to the 2020 Olympics. Seemed like a fitting way to bring in the year.

Akira (1988) - Rewatch on Blu-ray

Hey, it's Akira and it just never gets old. For more of my thoughts on the film, see my thread here.

Napping Princess (2017) - Rewatch on Blu-ray

It had been some time since I'd seen this one and I gotta say it's still a blast. This is such a downright fun film that I honestly don't get what some folks are seeing when they badmouth it so much. Especially jarring is the claim that Napping Princess is boring since perhaps the greatest weapon in the film's arsenal is sheer entertainment value, which is only bolstered by the stunning animation, solid storytelling, likable characters, excellent voice acting, and Yoko Shimomura's musical score. Interestingly enough considering that the film opens three days before the 2020 Olympics, and how much of the plot involves a motorcycle with some pretty special technology, is that Kenji Kamiyama who wrote and directed the film was a key animator on Akira, a film well-known for predicting that Japan would host the 2020 Olympics―guess working on a film like Akira must have had a pretty big impact on Kamiyama, huh? The second time around, it was also pretty fun picking up all the clues that lead to the surprise twist in the latter half. My thoughts on the dub haven't changed much, either. It doesn't surprise me that Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh, who have directed excellent English dubs for Your Name, A Silent Voice, Mirai, and Okko's Inn, also directed this dub since it is without a doubt up to par with what a great dub should be. I still think Brina Palencia's performance as Kokone Morikawa, who often dozes off, entering a dreamworld as a young princess named Ancien who is especially talented in technological magic, and also finds that these flights of fancy, based on a story her father told when she was a child, may hold some answers about about the real world and her father's abduction, is some of her best work, perhaps only topped by her turn as Natsuki Shinohara in Summer Wars―I still say she gets to do more, at least personality-wise, in either than she did as Rei Ayanami in the Rebuild of Evangelion, though as I've mentioned before, it's simply how Rei was written as someone who doesn't show emotion much at all. Also, having seen Summer Wars a few times fairly recently, it became pretty clear that Palencia actually uses the same voice she used for Natsuki, which is pretty cool since it fits this character perfectly. Chris Niosi is equally impressive as her childhood friend Morio, the genius who is on break from a Tokyo university and sets out with Kokone to solve the mystery. Doug Erholtz is rock-solid as Momotaro "Momo" Morikawa, Kokone's father who appears in the fairy tale he told Kokone as a pirate named Peach, and gets abducted by the villains for supposedly "stealing" technology. Lex Woutas is appropriately sinister and "Eeeevil!" as Ichiro Watanabe, who appears as Bewan in the dreamworld, who is the mastermind behind the scheme to abduct Momo and wants to steal Kokone's grandfather's company. Speaking of which, Paul St. Peter, who I must confess I thought was Gendo Ikari himself John Swasey the first time I saw the film, is also excellent as Isshin Shijima, Kokone's grandfather and Momo's father-in-law who is the CEO of Shijima Motors completely unawares of Watanabe's abominable plans, appearing in Momo's story as the king, making the most of the character's limited screen time. Everyone else also does solid work here and the dub script is completely natural. All in all, it was a whole lot of fun rewatching Napping Princess, and doing so right after Akira kicked off 2020 on a high note. Later, guys. Here's to surviving another year together on this forum.



Akira (1988) - Rewatch on Blu-ray
Five stars eh? I take you have not seen Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise. If you had, I doubt you'd be quite as impressed with it, still a great movie though.





The Boxer


Just listen to this quote from asiancult.com.

"Shuji Terayama was a poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, and boxing buff. He even wrote commentary for the sport in his spare time. Shuji once said: 'Boxing and horse racing taught me more about life than school.' In Japan - and in International art circles - Mr Terayama is treated like a god. A museum dedicated solely to Shuji Terayama is established in Misawa Japan, located in Aomori Prefecture. Unfortunately his work is largely ignored in the United States, probably due to its quirky sexuality. This film is his closest to a mainstream project. But be aware, it's still a Terayama movie. So expect the unconventional."




ANGEL HEART
(1987)

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“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!” ~ Rocky Balboa




Paul Weitz, 2012


Can't really say much about this one, it expressed so much my relation with my father.


Roger Donaldson, 2011


A genera, bad guy thinks his lack of sensibility makes him stronger than everybody else, so he does terrible things all for the good of humanity. A nobody ends up saving the day.



The Masque of the Red Death (1964)


Good story from an amalgam of Edgar Allan Poe short stories. Big Vincent mugging to great effect as usual. As this was made in 1964 somehow it even feels "aged" for that era of film making. It's not so much a chiller but a nasty wee story about the human condition. Nic Roeg did the cinematography and, while it's mostly set in Prince Prospero's Castle, it makes the scenes extra punchy. Interesting movie.



the samoan lawyer's Avatar
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Capernaum (2018)


Heart-breaking stuff. A really well made, incredibly acted movie that addresses' several pretty horrific social issues, including racism, poverty etc. Not an easy film to watch and despite the rating I cant see myself returning to it soon.


Gets a
simply because I cannot find fault.
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