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It will be mostly about the movies that I really have a feeling to review or to share some movies you might like to watch, rewatch.

Thank you in advance for all your comments!

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



Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Jim Jarmush




Be mindful of the Way


I like Jim Jarmush's Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. The movie goes beyond the story by concentrating on a spiritual growth of the main character, greatly played by Forest Whitaker. How he follows the Way, his obedience to Louie who he once helped him from troubles.


The movie is about a mafia hit-man who lives by the principles he studies in an ancient Samurai Japanese spiritual writing Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai. He diligently lives by a spiritual path influenced by Zen and Confucianism that he calls the Way. This influenced his character, the way he is devoted to his master (Italian mob gangster Louie), his obedience and moral principles. He lives in a strong purity (there's not even a hint of him having a woman in his life), selflessness and in the present moment with a strong and clear mind (all that giving him a great advantage to overpower even a bunch of experienced killers). He is also well respected in his neighborhood. The scary characters salute him from far and chanting this little encouraging mottos. Even though he can kill people coldblooded, he still can socialize and interact with people. He also tries to spread his Way to other people by borrowing the book to little Pearline and then the another to Louie, like he's kind of on mission spreading a good way of life to live. Obviously I need to emphasize another important fact: Ghost Dog was also a killer who murdered people for money and that cannot be justified by any religion or philosophical teaching. Let' not forget that. Here I think, the death by another killer just like him was only the right end for him.


I like to think about this movie as a nice and refreshing smoothie made of right and quality ingrediences such as Shichinin no samurai (1954), and little bit of Goodfellas (1990), Le Samourai (1967) and just right amount of Taxi Driver (1976) and then just blend it smooth and make it new. Because all those movies goes into the character. Here i'm not talking about stealing the scenes or ideas but about feeling the moods. It's about these little details where you feel something similar throughout all the movies i mentioned. It is the emotion that you feel.


RZA for soundtrack was an excellent choice as he is also kind of blender of religious teachings being himself a Five Percenter (Religious syncretism movement in Harlem). He certainly knows a thing or two about Zen and Confucianism just like out Ghost Dog.


I liked the scene where Raymond shows old man building a boat right on the roof of the appartment building to Ghost Dog. He asked in surprise, how he's going to get on water. I like to think the old man was symbolically building Noah's ark in case the real rain comes down on New York to wash all that filth down the sewer (maybe old man was Travis from Taxi Driver)


i like to think about the contrast between Ghost Dog reading spiritual literature, using pigeons for communication and the mob guys watching cartoons on TV all the time. It's like they were missing the Way in their lives. They were shallow. That's why Ghost Dog easily overpowered them, even though numerous.


I simply like this movie. It gives me to think that all of us need a spiritual life, whatever your job, status, age is, one way or another. It is well done and i gladly rate it 9/10. Thank you.





The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Norman Taurog & George Cukor


Even though the children's performance was theatrical and contrived, yet it made the movie more lovable and in some sort of way more realistic. Also, the movie was faithful to the novel and the director picked the right cast (that is how I always envisioned the characters of the novel). If someone doesn't like to read books and needs to know what is the novel about could just watch this movie. I think Amy and Becky were the best, I liked the way they expressed their jealousy and rivalry. But, I must say about this Injun Joe character that it was ridiculously acted, it reminded me the silent era movies, but perhaps they didn't have any good actors amongst the aboriginals. Anyhow, it is a good Sunday afternoon movie for all the generations.





Cremator (1969)

Juraj Herz



Madness hidden in gentleness.


This film is definitely a masterpiece. I never seen anything similar to this. Not even close. I’m also the lucky one to be able to watch the film in its original language not needing to use subtitles. This was probably my 15th rewatch. Maybe even more.

In short, the story concentrates on mentally ill, deluded employee of Crematorium and happy family man with beautiful children and devoted wife. His illness is worsening together with his own scary way of exegesis of Tibetan Book of the dead. Easily manipulated, his friend from WW I lures him into the whole madness Nazi machinery in the 30’ slowly taking over in Europe. The teachings of his only spiritual Tibetan Book and Nazi politics slowly and surely transforming his character, his relationships, ending up as a chief cremator of a concentration camp.


The main character, Mr Koprfkingl, is played by excellent Rudolf Hrusinsky. I think, this was one of his best performances. Vlasta Chramostova portrayed his wife Lakme/Dagmar who was the only one aware of the madness growing in her husband.


Throughout the whole story Mr Kopfrkingl serves also as a narrator speaking to us with extremely pleasant, tranquil and soothing voice (kind of lulling us, like evil making its way, unnoticed) full of tenderness and peace in contrast to his gradually changing evil mind.


I like very much the camera and editing work going to close ups of Kopfrkingl’s angelic face and cutting to different scenes.


So long as Mr Koprfkingl keeps to his daily routine he’s quite harmless, then later, when he starts to adhere to the ideologies of Nazi movement that he easily reconciles with Buddhist philosophy, he’s immediately becoming aggressive killing his wife, children in order to “save” their souls. Only then he is fully prepared for his mission becoming the tool of murdering thousands of innocent people.


It’s quite difficult to quote anything from this picture as I think any English translation would fail to render the true meaning.


This movie is so true, especially nowadays, full of extremism and ill teachings and ideologies.


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Cool, you made a review thread. I just seen it and subscribed to it So far I haven't seen any of the movies you've reviewed. But I will keep an eye on your thread and stop by from time to time



Cool, you made a review thread. I just seen it and subscribed to it So far I haven't seen any of the movies you've reviewed. But I will keep an eye on your thread and stop by from time to time
I was kinda hoping you've seen at least The Adventures of Tom Sawyer since you are a fan of old movies. Thanks a lot you stopped by.



The Mothman Prophecies


Mark Pellington


I wonder why would I want to re-watch this movie after 15 years passed by? I've seen it right after its release and kind of just shrug it off and basically just flush it down the cinematography toilet. Was I missing a point? Did I need to mature to this movie? No. I simply needed to experience more tragedy and sadness in my life to comprehend the movie.


Let me start with a simple fact, this movie is not a typical horror that makes your heart jump and scares the s h i t out of you. This movie is about different kind of horror. It is about horrors you experience in your life.


The movie was filmed back in 2002, directed by Mark Pellington with main cast of Richard Gere (John Klein), Debra Messing (Mary Klein), Laura Linney (Connie Mills). The story is about successful, happily married Washington Post journalist, who unexpectedly looses his wife. All that happiness between John and Mary (I wonder if this is not a reference to Peter Yates's romance) is within seconds crashed to pieces by strange car accident. We see this insect-like humanoid creature flying through the car causing his wife to freeze in fear and loosing control over the vehicle. Then drawn by unknown force only to end up in the town Point Pleasant, first by curiosity and monster chase, then by looking deeper in the basic questions of life.


I admired the mood of the movie emphasized by an excellent soundtrack, eerie and cold. Sometimes even changing to cacophony of madness. As well as by graphic effects like those little moments when picture get blurry or colors start to play games with you. Also the whole set up, scenery, was all snowy, g r e y, cold. All together giving a right touch to it. Giving you fear from what's coming next. It is like a premise to a bitter truth how we will always be afraid of an inexplicable, unknown, from things we cannot grasp, comprehend.


I think to watch, to like this movie depends on what state of mind you are. You really have to set your mood watching this. The whole movie after 5 minutes of happiness is full of darkness, despair, rage, madness, sad, g r e y and cold state of mind. But that's how the life is sometimes. Even though you have it predicted. Call it Indrid Cold, a moth-man, call it whatever you want, we are simply not capable to comprehend every phenomena using our faculties. So sometimes we simply have to accept the things as they are. Very nicely a lady cop character Connie is trying to explain to John to drop that madness and return to a normal life, to enjoy a life, to find happiness and not to dwell on sadness and despair. And he decides good, not to pick up that phone.


This said, I think this movie is not a mere monster chase. There's more to it. What can you possibly do when a bridge on which you are standing with both your feet suddenly starts to collapse. Not very much. It collapses anyway. Important is what happens after it collapses. Do I want to rebuild that bridge or just stay there the whole life looking at ruins?


Really heavy movie that introduces different kind of horror. It's about tragedies in our lives and desperate attempts to stop them or understand them. Perhaps even that is why people are trashing this movie by such low ratings. I am happy to rate this movie 8/10. Thank you.




Enjoying your thoughts on them Nestorio

Seen them all so far though many, many moons have passed since Tom Sawyer and sadly I had to rely on subtitles for Cremator which from the sound of it aren't always great translations but it was still quite beautifully made. You'll find a few other Ghost Dog fans around here, it's only an ok watch for me but I can see the appeal to those that really like it. I quite enjoyed Mothman, if I remember correctly it only got a slightly lower score from me.
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Enjoying your thoughts on them Nestorio

Seen them all so far though many, many moons have passed since Tom Sawyer and sadly I had to rely on subtitles for Cremator which from the sound of it aren't always great translations but it was still quite beautifully made. You'll find a few other Ghost Dog fans around here, it's only an ok watch for me but I can see the appeal to those that really like it. I quite enjoyed Mothman, if I remember correctly it only got a slightly lower score from me.
Thanks for stopping by. I am quite impressed you've seen Cremator. I'm certainly not sure how this film was diffused over the border. I just know it was prohibited from its release 1969 up until 1989 as per Chramostova being against the communist gov. Glad you stopped by



Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring




We observe the life of two saints (please note we don't know the names of the two Buddhist monks as it is utterly irrelevant because the Buddhist liberation or salvation lies on to free oneself from endless suffering and existence), an old monk and spiritual leader and a boy monk his apprentice. I can easily call them saints because however horrible actions the young monk has commited he was able to return to the right path. He repents, he accepts his punishment, he matures and he returns to his vocation.



We see the spring season where boy monk ties little rock to fish, frog and snake and observes laughing how they struggle. Thus one of the Buddhist precepts – abstain from harming living beings – was broken. Old monk quietly observes and doesn't interfere as to teach the boy the self awareness and self discipline. Then ties a big rock to the boy's body and send him to free the animals giving him a life important lesson. Other than that they live a quietly in prayer and meditation.



Summer comes and the boy is now a teenager. A young girl is brought to the monastery to heal. Lust awakenes in young monk and another precept is broken, namely sexual misconduct. Please note how one action interwine with another. After he makes love to the girl he no longer respects the invisible walls (symbolism of morals and discipline and freedom at the same time, he may choose, he is not forced). He doesn't use the door but goes straight through the „wall“ to her. It all starts in tiny details and grows to jelousy (jelousy is a fear someone takes what is in your possession, another basic Buddhist concept is broken). It all ends up with murder. Old monk discovers them and tells the girl she has to leave. He is not angry, he is not making scenes, only thing he said to his apprentice was „lust leads to desire for possession, and possession leads to murder". Young monk then runs away to follow the girl and steals Buddha statue and rooster that was with them. As if taking his desires and also all hi learnt from his master, the whole religion (also another precept broken – stealing).



And fall is here and many years passed. Old monk accidentaly reads in a newspaper that his apprentice is wanted for murder. Appearently the girl ran off with another man and young monk couldn't face it and murders her. And there he goes coming back to the sacred valley to see his master. And not only to see him, he also wants to heal his tormented soul. But the punishment from master is not enough as master respects the law and young monk needs to go to jail. It was amazing how two detectives, first all noisy and with little respect, changed after witnessing the punishment even helping out carving the characters into the wood. I like to allude here they were all carving their characters to make it better. They all fall asleep tired (mainly the young monk) and peacefully go to serve the justice. No hundcuffs are needed. Then old monk, knowing his life is at its end performs a death ritual and dies quietly and unnoticed, just like his all life. Please note that the young monk was trying to perform the same ritual however it would be to easy for him. He needed to face the truth and fulfill his purpose as a monk.



And winter comes and paroled monk, around 40 of age, he returns to the monastery, to his home and sets on the path to self discipline and sainthood. Eventually a woman comes and brings her little boy for an apprentice. The woman then leaves but falls into the frozen lake through the hole and dies. Now the new master finds her and sees her face. It is not important who she is. He then takes the statue of Buddha and dragging a heavy stone climbs the mountain to set the Buddha reflecting on what he has done to animals when he was a child and on lesson learnt. This is for me the strongest moment of the film.



And spring is here again and all comes back with the same events as if to remind us that in order to liberate ourselves from the existence we need to go through cycles of sufferings and lives as Buddhism teaches. I believe there is the same path or pattern to achievment of sainthood throughout all the major religions. It is not about what we done but about how one is willing always to return back to the right path, way or however you may call it.



I like the way the film was directed and acted purposely campy only to emphasize the many of significant symbolism through the film and make the story more abstract to be more accessible as the lesson of life and Buddhist parable for everyone. Also Ki-duk-Kim casts 3 different faces from the apprentice (even himself) only to focus on the different states of young monk's soul at each level of his life.



Life is woderful with all that we live and we wouldn't know the beauty if we don't experience the uglyness. Only then we truly appreciate the beauty. This film is not purely Buddhist as anyone can watch it and pick up the message. This film can be effective to everybody as it is an universal film. Definitelly the masterpiece for me. Of course I respect different points of view. Thank you.





Save the Texas Prairie Chicken
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Have you ever seen a film version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? You've read Tom Sawyer, but did you read Huckleberry Finn, too? I've never seen a film of Huckleberry Finn. I love the book so much that I don't know if I would be happy with any of the adaptations. I was just curious to know how you may have felt about any that you may have seen.
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I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity - Edgar Allan Poe



Have you ever seen a film version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? You've read Tom Sawyer, but did you read Huckleberry Finn, too? I've never seen a film of Huckleberry Finn. I love the book so much that I don't know if I would be happy with any of the adaptations. I was just curious to know how you may have felt about any that you may have seen.
Yes, i've read the sequel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well.Then I read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court but didn't enjoy that much so i didn't bother with another Twain's novels and I stick to Tom Sawyer and sequel and I've read it probably 10 times.

I agree with you that it is hard to be happy with any adaptations however I found this one from 1938 very good. I watched some Tom Sawyer series and some TV films but I was not very impressed. It's hard to satisfy an arduous reader as myself

I see now on IMDB Michael Curtiz filmed The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. If i get a copy i might watch it and write up something here. Have you seen any of those?



Hidden Figures

Theodore Melfi

Hidden Figures nicely revealed

Hidden Figures is a movie filmed in 2016, in US, directed by (to me unknown) Theodore Melfi. With the main characters of Katherine G. Johnson (by Taraji P. Henson ), Dorothy Vaughan (by Octavia Spencer), Mary Jackson (by Janelle Monáe), Al Harrison (by Kevin Costner) and Vivian Mitchell (by Kirsten Dunst).

It is an encouraging story about NASA colored employees back in '60, straggling between the pressure of segregation in Virginia and uncompromising first man in space race.

It starts with three black ladies trying to repair a car by the road each helping their own way, eventually harassed by a cop passing by on patrol car and then ending up escorting them to Langley as per the importance of the space mission they were working for. Then Kevin Costner enters the scene and right away I started to feel at cinematography home. He is so confident and transmitting such a authority, it makes me feel just as so. I'm not going further into story however let me share with you some of very encouraging moments (at least for me):

  • I like very much the „Where the hell have you been“ scene. Actress Taraji P. Henson was just amazing how she expressed the „pushed in the corner“, justified outburst. It came just about the right moment. I was starting to think to myself „When the hell is she going to get pissed off?“ and then relieve came over to me. Finally! Finally she got it out of herself. And they all listened. Even Jim Parson (Big Bang Theory) unpleasant as ever with a constant shine of prejudice in his eye ball. Before that scene the whole atmosphere was fake happy. After? Sincerity, openness freed up.
  • Another goose bumps scene, when Taraji P. Henson made her calculations at the top secret briefing full of white men. Kevin Costner standing up was a nice touch.
  • Yet another emotional crescendo scene. Colored ladies department reassigned to handle the IBM beast machine. Things are moving forward while finally the white man understands which was very nicely portrayed by Kirsten Dunst. That gradual improvement of her respect to colored colleagues.
  • As well as Janelle Monáe attending fearlessly her first class in all white High School to gain entitlement become the first colored engineer working for NASA. Very nice touch the way she convinced Judge to get an enrollment. I wish everybody (including myself) would have such a desire for education to face all that difficulties.
There was a nice and well chosen music, like for example Miles Davis's So What tune was very fit for the first successful launch, Ray Charles etc.

i liked the camera work as well. I'm not an expert, however the camera was nice and steady, not disturbing, shaky.

Summa summarum it was a good quality movie with a message. I don't really care whether or not this movie is a propaganda or a racist historical revisionism. I'm only trying to see what this movie could give you: entertainment, nice and encouraging story, lesson to life. There is a clear message: don't underestimate people by their status. I'm very gladly rating 8/10. Thank you.





You can't win an argument just by being right!
I still havent seen that, Nesto. Looking forward to it.



Nice review Nestrio, glad you liked Hidden Figures, so did I.

I thought the movie balanced entertainment, with the more serious issues of segregation at NASA in the 1960s, very well.

I liked that it had some positive resolution for the ladies too. It was inspiring that they stood up against the injustices of a segregated work place, and equally inspiring was that some of their white co workers woke up and also respected their skills. And....it's based on a true story. I'm surprised more people aren't interested in watching it.



Oh I missed that you started a review thread - good work!
I love Ghost Dog too, and not seen it for ages now so due another watch soon.
I watched Cremator for the European Horror Hall of Fame we had a while back. Although of course watching a film in its original language will always give you more of the nuances, I still thought it was an amazing film, creepy the way it slyly lulls you into that end realisation.
And I love Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. Love those contemplative films.
Nice write ups Nestorio



Thoroughly enjoyed Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter .... and Spring, a lovely contemplative film and nice to see someone else enjoy it too.

Hidden Figures is yet to cross my path and won't for some time - I'm perennially a couple of years behind the world of film which may seem odd to some but I'm in no rush and the content is the same no matter how long it takes to get around to something.



Nice review Nestrio, glad you liked Hidden Figures, so did I.

I thought the movie balanced entertainment, with the more serious issues of segregation at NASA in the 1960s, very well.

I liked that it had some positive resolution for the ladies too. It was inspiring that they stood up against the injustices of a segregated work place, and equally inspiring was that some of their white co workers woke up and also respected their skills. And....it's based on a true story. I'm surprised more people aren't interested in watching it.
The only strange thing was that I didn't see anyone smoking. It was 60s, everybody was smoking and everywhere. Perhaps director's anti tobacco statement? Who knows



The only strange thing was that I didn't see anyone smoking. It was 60s, everybody was smoking and everywhere. Perhaps director's anti tobacco statement? Who knows
I noticed that too! I'm OK with it, I think directors use the smoking scenes way too much anyway.