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Pieta (2013) - Kim Ki Duk (South Korean Drama)
I definitely think I prefer quiet, thoughtful Kim over angry, violent Kim - this film definitely falls into the second category. Part of me had kind of hoped that he had got these issues out of his system but apparently not. That's not to say that it's a bad film - it's pretty messy but quite good. I'd just prefer more 3-Iron & Spring, Summer ... rather than more Bad Guy.

This is about a somewhat sociopathic guy in the employ of a loan shark who starts to be followed by a woman who, as it turns out, may or may not be his mother. It's filled with scenes that are hard to watch mixed with Kim's usual visual flair and whilst I can't say I "enjoyed" it as such it was a reasonably compelling film.

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I still like Depp as Sparrow and Rush as Barbossa but a lot of stuff felt so forced it wasn't even funny. And that Priest-Mermaid romance oh god give me a break. I guess Bloom and Knightley not being in this just threw me off. Penelope Cruz just doesn't do it for me (Although I do love the ending scene between her and Sparrow)
I think I might be the only person who actually enjoyed this one. More than the last one of the trilogy.




The Kid With a Bike (2011) - Luc Dardenne/Jean-Pierre Dardenne (Belgian Drama)
A slight departure for the Dardenne's in that even though it was made with their usual realistic style there were elements of the plot that were completely unrealistic. I had read before watching it that it was intended to be part fairy tale but I think if I hadn't read that then those elements may have detracted from my overall enjoyment. Apart from that I thought it was a good film but perhaps the weakest I've seen from the Dardenne's. I found the kid from the title to be pretty annoying and perhaps there could have been a better casting choice.





The Dust of Time (2008) - Theodoros Angelopoulos (Greek Drama)
Angelopoulos' last film turned out to be my least favourite unfortunately. I think it suffered from some of the same problems as Iwai's Swallowtail which I talked about a few days ago - when English is not the first language of most of the actors and the writer it can become very distracting. The script felt unnatural and some of the cast seemed to struggle a bit - although obviously Willem Defoe was fine and Bruno Ganz has no problems acting in any language it seems.

There was still enough of Angelopoulos' style here to make it an enjoyable watch but I was mildly disappointed.




I have to return some videotapes.


Office Space - Kind of disappointed in this, felt like it was much better on the first few watches. Still a great movie, but less hits for me.





Alexandra's Project (2003) - Rolf De Heer (Australian Thriller)
Another good film from my favourite Australian director. A husband and father comes home on his birthday to find the house empty and a video tape waiting to be played ... Sounds like a fairly standard plot but whilst it uses some obvious thriller techniques it's more about the treatment of women in some marriages and in our society. Helen Buday puts in a great performance and Gary Sweet is perfectly cast as the husband as he, and perhaps Steve Bisley, are pretty much Australian tv's version of the standard Australian male. I perhaps would have liked it better if it didn't get slightly predictable towards the end but it was still a good movie.

+



I have to return some videotapes.


Drive - Had a big itch to give this a rewatch, and I was shocked at how much better I felt this was compared to my first watch. I missed a few things that I definitely should have gotten. Great movie.

++



Naked (1993)

I love miserable characters and dark comedy, and that's this whole movie. The lead is such a fascinating character, quick witted and intelligent, yet hateful and self-destructive. It's hard to feel sympathy towards a person who is sexually abusive towards women, but his behavior obviously stems from somewhere, although it's not made clear exactly from where. He's a character who could be discussed and diagnosed at length, and as despicable as his behavior is, there's another character who I found to be even less redeemable. The contrast of the two men who act out in a similar fashion was pretty interesting, I thought. I found myself rooting for one, and against the other, even though their differences were subtle, if existent at all. The acting, specifically by the lead and his ex-gf, was top notch, and it's most definitely a movie that will stay in my mind. I had heard over the years that this was a very divisive movie, and it is easy to see why.




Wow dude! You nailed it. I'm so happy what you said about Johnny, I feel that's right on the nose, and you said it better than I ever could. Not only do I believe he was possibly sexually abused when he was younger but I think there are hints throughout the film that during the time we are with him, he is close to dying. More than anything, it's his fatalistic attitude towards life. He's a character with real personality and depth and that's what makes him my favorite of all-time. And yes, I think the humor is underrated. It might be bleak and misanthropic, but there are more than a few laughs to be had.

So, so glad you liked it, man.



Oh yea he definitely has problems. It's still no excuse for his behavior, but I at least think he feels some remorse and knows that what he does is wrong.