This is a perfect example of a riveting subject rendered impotent through ham-handed melodrama and puzzling stereotypes. I'd like to see another filmmaker give this chapter of history another go.
Adkins' athletic prowess aside (though he's easy on the eyes), I'm annoyed and fatigued by the ethnic stereotypes and misappropriation of Japanese culture by yet another American film. Until the day there's a movie where a foreigner becomes the ultimate American hero and the heir & protector of American "culture", this inequity won't go away.
"It has been a crazy, violent, rocky old journey. It's also been a total waste of life." Bronson's poignant reaction to seeing this film through the bars of his ongoing confinement says it all. Looking at his artwork, one can appreciate how much the humor, grotesque surrealism and singular personality has been faithfully translated by Refn. (Pet Shop Boys will never be the same again.)
Too many cooks spoiled this broth, but however many ways this film fails, it finally gives Kato his due in the guise of Jay Chou. The original Green Hornet was exasperating in its confinement of Bruce Lee in a stock character. New Kato gets to breathe, talk, act, think, and feel for himself. Which doesn't seem like much but it took four decades to get here. Lee would have been pleased.
It's a gimmick that misses the point of its own novelty, probably because Stallone can't see himself as we do. Movie explosions are a dime a dozen and boring. Instead of going bigger, they could have gone smaller: show these titans of action in scenarios never seen, living the everyday between gigs, getting groceries, IM'ing each other, or trying to wash blood and grime off their clothes at the laundromat.
The Japanese tea ceremony, calligraphy and Ikebana are all embodiments of Zen Buddhism, much like Teshigahara's beautiful, piercing film. Were it not for Yamazaki's cartoonish portrayal of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, this would be perfection. "Rikyu" deserves the Criterion treatment -- even the sub-standard transfer I saw couldn't diminish the aesthetic elegance found in every frame.
This profile hardly does justice to the scale of his reach and influence. Right now, I'm picturing him in a dimmed screening room like in Koreeda's "After Life", watching the movie to end all movies. Goodbye :'-(
It's like a cheesy, mutant hybrid of Avatar, Hellraiser and Final Destination that bears little resemblance to Wells' great granddad's work. I'd like to time travel backwards to get my 96 min back.
Nicholas Angel meets Sherlock: https://twitter.com/simonpegg/status/198862123915415552
The only "mind" in evidence is in the title.
The disproportionate risk-to-gain ratio of extreme climbing may be impenetrable for many. Those who have experienced the meditative intensity of pitting one's self against the wall - both nature's and one's own - will doubly feel the agony and the ecstasy of Stölzl's film. National ambition and politics are dwarfed by the cruel, unforgiving Nordwand, leaving a trail of unforgettable stories of personal gain and loss.
The stunning cinematography, locations and who's who roster of 1950's Hollywood are impressive, despite the outmoded ethnic stereotyping and whitewashing. But having watched 3 versions of Verne's story back-to-back, I have to say that the 1989 TV adaptation starring Pierce Brosnan, Julia Nickson and Eric Idle had more emotional investment and chemistry, especially in the fledgling romance between Fogg and Aouda.
The luscious food and witty repartee keep this light-hearted Agatha Christie-esque whodunit easy to digest. Robert Morley, often reduced to caricatures, was given a chance here to twirl his usual broad strokes with greater finesse. Like an aperitif, there isn't much substance, but I genuinely LOLed throughout.
Schrader's original title, "The Kid Who Robbed Japan", is a bit more revealing. Filmed in guerrilla style in front of the Imperial Palace and around the National Diet Building, Hasegawa's creation represents the subversion of youth as much as it mocks it. Kenji Sawada, better known at the time as the androgynous Bowie-like "Julie", is an apt casting choice for the ambivalent and directionless Makoto Kido.
Loosely based on a true story, this is a grim yet fascinating glimpse into the present criminal justice system in Japan. A move to afford greater rights to victims has corrupted itself into a perverse 99.9% conviction rate at the expense of the innocent. (FYI, English Wiki has it wrong regarding the events that followed the real-life 2005 case.)
Nouvelle cuisine or molecular gastronomy is not everyone's cup of tea. But for those open to sensory exploration, witnessing the toil and wonder of the creative process at Adrià's lab is a treat. Led by the industrious head chef Oriol Castro, the failures are just as illuminating as the flashes of ingenuity. El Bulli may have closed its doors, but Wetzel's film inspires further experimentation in our own kitchens.
Not great, but with a memorable opening, likable cast and different spin on the "Escape from New York" idea.
There's an inherent bias in all autobiographies but "Tatsumi" is about perspective, not "truth" - whatever that may be. "A Drifting Life" even features a fictionalized Tatsumi, named Katsumi. In Khoo's rendition, Tatsumi and his short stories speak for themselves and the spare, primitive animation is evocative of the monochromatic pulp stock of the "rental manga" that spawned the gekiga genre. Tezuka would be proud.
An acerbic, hilariously surreal film in which Every Family dysfunctions are encapsulated by a narrow, awkward dining table where no one ever faces one another. The elimination of music and select dialogue strips the Numatas bare. Morita was understandably upset when the dinner finale was cut from the film's TV premiere: the ensuing chaos of flying noodles and punches is the ultimate reveal of the Japanese family.
The extra effort to cast young, look-alike siblings and matching adult actors has created the moving illusion that we are witnessing our own classroom of kids growing up. A bit heavy with the waterworks, but the tears aren't jerked... they're earned.
Disney's brass may have succeeded in convincing themselves that there was no plagiarism, but this is an unforgivable insult to Osamu Tezuka and his classic "Kimba the White Lion" from the 1960s. The steadfast refusal to even acknowledge the influence or striking similarities killed any remaining affection I had for the world of Disney.
In reading Stanisław Lem's various writings, it becomes apparent that his material offers sufficient ambiguity to allow for varied cinematic interpretations. Props to Soderbergh for taking this on his way, from under the shadow of the much vaunted Tarkovsky film. The lovely McElhone elicits a heart-rending emotional investment commensurate with the intellectual depth of the novel. She is the Muse who makes this new.
The kidnapping thread was utterly superfluous and a cop-out. This could have been both raunchy AND great with more savage effort at picking apart the man who refuses to grow up.
A tale that could have been told in 30 min. 100 min is a stretch. Very disappointing.
Choosing an idiot man-child as the lead is certainly as baffling as it is irritating. But the one saving grace is that this isn't another tedious, angst-ridden cliche about "the Asian American identity". The characters simply happen to be Asian, which is completely secondary to the family dynamics. How nice that they can just BE and not culturally dissected.
Given that the head of Stanford's genetics lab just published a paper speculating that human intelligence had its peak several millennia ago and has been declining ever since, "Idiocracy" is more horror than comedy.
Macabre, surreal and funny. See it here: http://vimeo.com/2158022
See it here: http://vimeo.com/877053