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I've seen a lot of average-to-okay films recently and two noteworthy ones.



The Butterfly Murders (Tsui Hark, 1979)

Tsui Hark's first feature was this low-budget martial arts fantasy, with a good deal of gialloesque mystery and horror thrown in for good measure. The setup is a sort of locked-house murder story, in an abandoned fortress that features a subterranean maze, flesh-eating butterflies, exploding attack crows, and a rope-swinging maniac in high-tech black armor. Tsui's recent Detective Dee mystery is a bit of a throwback to this with a more-lavish (and no-less-imaginative) production design but the mystery and story elements in this one are both weirder and more satisfying, with a narrator who leaves the story right before the climax and possibly imagines the rest of it.





Pale Flower (Masahiro Shinoda, 1964)

Grim Yakuza film that portrays the life of a nihilistic gambler and his ambiguous relationship with a thrill-seeking femme fatale. The film seems to fore-go social commentary or moralizing in favor of stylized black and white cinematography and layered, visually rich cinematic storytelling.

-

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953)

The Mysterious Mr. Wong (William Nigh, 1934)

Kung Fu Panda (Mark Osborne & John Stevenson, 2008)
+
The Ugly Truth (Robert Luketic, 2009)

Mission: Impossible 2 (John Woo, 2000)

Son of Kong (Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933)
+
Eagle Shooting Heroes (Jeffrey Lau, 1993)
-
Sugata Sanshiro Part 2 (Akira Kurosawa, 1945)

Burn After Reading (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2008)



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



I think your rating for The Ugly Truth is generous.
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I think your rating for The Ugly Truth is generous.
I really don't have any desire to defend The Ugly Truth so I'm willing to fold on this point. It's pretty terrible.

You say "*****", I say "poo."



Rabbit Hole John Cameron Mitchell (2010)



Almost perfect. I wasn't sorrowed completely, though many scenes tugged at my strings heavily. Namely when Eckhart is walking his dog Taz - what a brilliant scene. Great performances with a script that may of been a bit too calculated in a few instances. The cinematography and direction are both equally delightful. The real surprise standout was the young Miles Teller. He was so good I felt myself becoming increasingly interested in his story and his telling of his side through his self written and illustrated comic book.



+

The Virgin Suicides Sofia Coppola (1999)



Interesting first effort by Sofia Coppola. Pretty solid around the board. Josh Hartnett haircut FTW.



Hereafter Clint Eastwood (2010)



Terrible script. The French subplot was garbage. Eastwood did alright given the material, he created some good moments here and there - but overall not a good film.

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I'm not old, you're just 12.
Sucker Punch - It's definitely a love it or hate it type of film. I loved it. Kind of an anti-exploitation exploitation flick, part action movie, part drama, part tragedy, part musical. It brings up a lot of things to think about, believe it or not. I'm willing to bet there's an even stranger (probably R Rated) director's cut waiting in the wings. But still check it out in the cinema. It's a ballsy movie from a Hollywood action director.
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Lately I haven't been watching movies as avidly as I usually do, but here's a rundown of what I've seen in the past month or so:

The Beyond (1981) - Camp rating:

I see the influence it had on modern horror, but other than that, I didn't find it too entertaining (even while watching with a lenient mindset). I'd recommend it to the fans of splatter flicks though, as the berserk effects-driven death scenes are pretty fun to watch. The atmosphere has a nice edge to it provided heavily by a decent score. I read somewhere that the zombie aspect of the film was a last minute add-on to capitalize on Fulci's prior success with zombie films. I think that the film's attempt at surrealism would have been complimented without the zombies.

Bob le Flambeur (1956) -


Chrysalis (2007)

I suppose the extremely slow pacing and subtle tone (most of the time) wouldn’t appeal to everyone (though I liked it), but the film has tremendous visual design, a few stylishly good action sequences, and an entertaining plotline.

JCVD (2008)

It’s very well made, though a little tedious at times. The film is a commentary on the harshly judged celebrity lifestyle, and towards the end JCVD gives an amazing fourth wall breaking speech. The film attempted to create a mutual relationship between the plot and JCVD's actual life, and I think it accomplished the task quite well. Then again, the actual 'plot' didn't interest me too much, so my opinion is split.

Pontypool (2008) -

I may be overrating this a tad just to catch people's attention, but if you're a horror fan, I recommend this as it puts a pretty unique spin on the zombie sub-genre (whether or not it's a 'true' zombie film would be for you guys to decide).

The Thirteenth Floor (1999) -

A decent consolidation of contemporary sci-fi and classic film-noir, though I think the music was overbearing at times, and some of the dialogue was borderline cringe-worthy (though the delivery played a big part in that). But, the entertaining, twist-ridden plotline keeps it afloat.
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Star Trek (Abrams, 2009)




The more I watch this...the more it becomes a favorite. I still feel that one or two of the comedy bits are just over-the-top and silly, but at this point, they are minor quibbles in an otherwise fantastically paced and delivered adventure. I can't wait for the dark middle chapter up next from JJ Abrams!




Law and Order (1969, Frederick Wiseman)


Dark Days (2000, Marc Singer)


The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987, Kazuo Hara)


In This World (2002, Michael Winterbottom)


Lake of Fire (2006, Tony Kaye)


Coal Money (2008, Wing Bang)


Dead Space (2005, Jean Labourdette & Marielle Quesney)


Paprika (2006, Satoshi Kon)


Matewan (1987, John Sayles)


Point of Order (1964, Emile de Antonio)
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Emperor's Naked Army Marches on.
Yeah, and Moore haters don't skip this film just because of the quote on the DVD cover, it's an excellent film and if I did those + and - ratings like some of you do it would get a
+.



yeah, i think a big difference is that the protagonist of emperor's naked army isn't also the director or sole pov so it winds up being pretty complicated. i mean japan's denial of their war crimes is egregious and the exception is pretty rare and exciting, but doesn't the guy eventually goes to jail for murder? very entertaining film too just because of how combative he is (my favorite story is how he tried to snipe the Emperor with a sling - i wish they had caught that on film!)



I had the day off work last thursday so i left dublin and went out to a little village by the sea. I chilled out and after that came back into the city, popped in to the local cinema and bought a ticket for the next movie which happened to be Limitless. It was ok, nothing fantastic but it did the job (of wasting two hours before a lecture i had to attend).
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yeah, i think a big difference is that the protagonist of emperor's naked army isn't also the director or sole pov so it winds up being pretty complicated. i mean japan's denial of their war crimes is egregious and the exception is pretty rare and exciting, but doesn't the guy eventually goes to jail for murder? very entertaining film too just because of how combative he is (my favorite story is how he tried to snipe the Emperor with a sling - i wish they had caught that on film!)
A prime candidate for the Movie Club here.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I suppose you have a right to say that although maybe even you would say no but perhaps be just as loquacious if a Japanese flick ever did get picked!
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I suppose you have a right to say that although maybe even you would say no but perhaps be just as loquacious if a Japanese flick ever did get picked!
Well, I guess there's a sentence somewhere in there, and I'm assuming it's a jab at me.