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Film in 2012


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#221 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:52 PM

^ In the first part of your quoted review, you said "The Seventh Sense" I think you mean, The Sixth Sense. :D


You are correct (and I changed the two spots). Thanks for finding that, its one of those errors that I would have continually missed. Though there are a couple of The Seventh Sense movies (including 7 Aum Arivu (2011) which actually might work for this thread, though by the plot summary I do not want to see it; I believe clyde would call this Indian film "butt numbing long").

You could have commented on some other aspects of the review or my comments as well :).
Under Construction:
My Criterion Collection (408; I Own and Have Watched):
1-16, 18, 19, 20, 21(2nd), 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51(1st & 2nd), 52, 52, 53, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86. 87, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151(1st), 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 177, 180, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 204, 205, 206, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 224, 226, 227, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 237, 239, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 260, 263, 266, 267, 268, 271, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 297, 298, 300(2D), 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 335, 336, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 351, 352, 353, 354, 357, 358, 359, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 378, 379, 380, 383, 385, 386, 387, 388, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 404, 405, 408, 409, 410, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 424, 425, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 437, 439, 441, 445, 446, 447, 448, 451, 453, 455, 456, 457, 459, 460, 461, 462, 465, 470, 475, 476, 478, 481, 482, 487, 490, 497, 498, 499, 500, 501, 503, 505, 512, 524, 525, 526, 528, 529, 530, 531, 539, 540, 543, 556, 565, 572, 578, 579, 580, 586, 596, 650, 664, 677

Previous Editions: 2,
Eclipse: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 23, 26, 33

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#222 littlefuzzy

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 10:33 AM

The body shapes don't usually bother me in animated films. It's almost to be expected that they are 'representations' of the human body, instead of images of the human body. Some of this may be due to the animators deliberately making them a bit off-kilter so that they don't approach the uncanny valley.

I liked your review, master. There have just been too many films watched since I've seen Paranorman.


EDIT: When I first saw Monster House, I recall that I was thrown off a bit by the disjointed stick-figure quality of the characters, although that faded quickly.

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Criterions: (Red = 1st printing/OOP - blue = new remastered version/Special Edition)
2 (1st), 3 (1st), 4 (SE), 13, 14, 17 (SE), 20, 21, 23, 30 (1st), 37, 40, 41, 55, 56, 57 (1st), 75, 78, 79, 98, 100, 108, 112 (SE), 120, 135, 136, 137, 149, 157, 163, 164, 173, 175, 179, 180, 181, 182, 184, 196, 216, 234, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 260, 266, 271, 300 (2-disc), 309, 316, 389

#223 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 12:07 PM

Frankenweenie (2012: Tim Burton) **½ (may go down a half)/****

I'm caught up again on Tim Burton films. Even with the references to the Universal horror films and the use of a Vincent Price influenced character I was still ambivalent to a lot of this film and downright disliked the ending. I like the black and white photography and even the design had a Gothic aesthetic that Burton does so well. I am not sure how anyone in that school could have been a popular kid though. The soundtrack from Danny Elfman was fine. However, compare the characters here and with ParaNorman and I easily felt more of a connection with the Norman and his new friend. The hunchback here is a rotten little kid, who has stupid kid syndrome which causes havoc for everyone. Other than Victor, there was not much to the characters.

In a year of some good animated films, this is not one of them. I thought Hotel Transylvania should have been nominated for the Best Animated film over this one.

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My Criterion Collection (408; I Own and Have Watched):
1-16, 18, 19, 20, 21(2nd), 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51(1st & 2nd), 52, 52, 53, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86. 87, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151(1st), 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 177, 180, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 204, 205, 206, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 224, 226, 227, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 237, 239, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 260, 263, 266, 267, 268, 271, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 297, 298, 300(2D), 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 335, 336, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 351, 352, 353, 354, 357, 358, 359, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 378, 379, 380, 383, 385, 386, 387, 388, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 404, 405, 408, 409, 410, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 424, 425, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 437, 439, 441, 445, 446, 447, 448, 451, 453, 455, 456, 457, 459, 460, 461, 462, 465, 470, 475, 476, 478, 481, 482, 487, 490, 497, 498, 499, 500, 501, 503, 505, 512, 524, 525, 526, 528, 529, 530, 531, 539, 540, 543, 556, 565, 572, 578, 579, 580, 586, 596, 650, 664, 677

Previous Editions: 2,
Eclipse: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 23, 26, 33

“Empty your bladder of that bitter black urine you call coffee.” – The Tick

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#224 littlefuzzy

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 09:57 AM

Visually, the Frankenweenie film was interesting, but it just didn't feel like the world's greatest movie. I gave it a 7; and I prefer the original short (I gave that an 8.) It felt like there was some filler in the film, and more antagonists were added just because 'there has to be an antagonist or two' for a feature film. The ending with all of the other kids kind of negated the impact of the original short's ending. The original short had a 'white picket fences' mentality, with Victor being the odd man out. The new town was full of creepy, and he was just another in the class of creepy kids.

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Criterions: (Red = 1st printing/OOP - blue = new remastered version/Special Edition)
2 (1st), 3 (1st), 4 (SE), 13, 14, 17 (SE), 20, 21, 23, 30 (1st), 37, 40, 41, 55, 56, 57 (1st), 75, 78, 79, 98, 100, 108, 112 (SE), 120, 135, 136, 137, 149, 157, 163, 164, 173, 175, 179, 180, 181, 182, 184, 196, 216, 234, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 260, 266, 271, 300 (2-disc), 309, 316, 389

#225 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:38 PM

I’m still trying to finish out the “important” 2012 films. Random comments on:

Les Miserables (2012: Tom Hooper) **½/****

This was kind of painful. I am perplexed by the high IMDB rating, the nomination for Best Picture (AA), Anne Hathaway winning Supporting Actress against better competition, the winning of the Golden Globe and pretty much any accolades that have gone for this film. I have enjoyed the play in San Francisco where they had a revolving set throughout the performance, I love the 1934 Raymond Bernard version though I have yet to see the more famous 1935 version with Frederic March and Charles Laughton (I will try to watch it soon) or read the book.

The film starts off with a somewhat shoddy CGI rendition floating camera shot and when it cuts in has a more impressive set shot of many bodies including Jean Valgean (Hugh Jackman) pulling a large vessel into dock. For me this was a foreboding to what was to come: where I would be both impressed and horrified by what I saw and heard.

I think Anne Hathaway got her award for getting her hair cut. I was more annoyed with her performance than anyone else. It was bombastic, self-pitying and combined with the close-up photography she came off as a bit masochistically mad. Her voice was fine, but I wanted her off the screen quickly. Her downfall happens so quickly that it seems ridiculous. Russell Crowe sometimes had trouble with the range of his lyrics and was often raspy and did not sound well with the recitative. I thought Hugh’s vocal range and acting ability helped him here, though the script does him no favors by having him mention himself Ad Nauseum.

The most successful segment to me was “The Master of the House” with Thenardier (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Madame (Helena Bonham Carter: is she born to play roles such as this?) which is used as a reprieve from the previous doleful scenes though the comedic shift did through me off. I was impressed with the sets and costumes as well.

What was with the kid straight from Charles Dickens? He had the Londoner street urchin accent down and I was expecting him to ask for more gruel.

I am glad I did not see this in the theater. The overabundance of close-ups, hand-held and the overuse of recitative made this sometimes a maddening experience and that was on a small screen. Plus while watching it on a BD (or DVD) you can always push pause take a breather in silence and come back to it later.

Jim Emerson
Under Construction:
My Criterion Collection (408; I Own and Have Watched):
1-16, 18, 19, 20, 21(2nd), 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51(1st & 2nd), 52, 52, 53, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86. 87, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151(1st), 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 177, 180, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 204, 205, 206, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 224, 226, 227, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 237, 239, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 260, 263, 266, 267, 268, 271, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 297, 298, 300(2D), 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 335, 336, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 351, 352, 353, 354, 357, 358, 359, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 378, 379, 380, 383, 385, 386, 387, 388, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 404, 405, 408, 409, 410, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 424, 425, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 437, 439, 441, 445, 446, 447, 448, 451, 453, 455, 456, 457, 459, 460, 461, 462, 465, 470, 475, 476, 478, 481, 482, 487, 490, 497, 498, 499, 500, 501, 503, 505, 512, 524, 525, 526, 528, 529, 530, 531, 539, 540, 543, 556, 565, 572, 578, 579, 580, 586, 596, 650, 664, 677

Previous Editions: 2,
Eclipse: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 23, 26, 33

“Empty your bladder of that bitter black urine you call coffee.” – The Tick

My HK movie reviews
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#226 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 12:25 PM

The Great Magician (2012: Derek Yee) Hong Kong/China **/****

While the R1 DVD did come out in 2013, this has been released elsewhere last year. IMDB has it as a 2011 film though it was mostly released in 2012 and the copyright is also 2012. It does not matter too much since it will not be on any top list for either 2012 or 2013.

With the combination of Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Happy Together) and Lau Ching-wan (Mad Detective), who had not worked together since the great noir-ish The Longest Nite (1998) and directed by Derek Yee (Protégé) I was quite looking forward to this. I have a small fascination with magic and it can be quite effective in films like The Illusionist or The Prestige. I am certainly disappointed from this, though I probably should not have been since both Triple Tap and Shinjuku Incident from Yee were average fare.

I read that this was called the Chinese The Illusionist which is completely wrong since the tone here goes into farce (the tonal shifts in the film do get annoying). When the movie is playful it is indeed fun. If they had worked on the plot, explained some of the characters actions more (I thought we would have had more explanation for Chang Hsien leaving his fiancé), removed some characters (did Lam Suet and his wife feel superfluous or what), had a more cohesive script and well spent more time on making the movie. Tony Leung and Lau work well together but the script does not know what they should be doing.

This is one of those films were I do not even want to take a stab at explaining the plot. I was wondering at some point if this was cut from a mini-series (it is not). The magic shown here is mostly CGI and for the most part not “real” (like slight of hand.) The transitions are somewhat cheesy. Zhou Xun (True Legend, Confucius), who plays the love interest, is not as apt in dealing with comedy as the other two.

Look for cameos from Tsui Hark and Daniel Wu.

Teaser Trailer (the tone from this trailer is completely wrong)
Under Construction:
My Criterion Collection (408; I Own and Have Watched):
1-16, 18, 19, 20, 21(2nd), 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51(1st & 2nd), 52, 52, 53, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86. 87, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151(1st), 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 177, 180, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 204, 205, 206, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 224, 226, 227, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 237, 239, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 260, 263, 266, 267, 268, 271, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 297, 298, 300(2D), 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 335, 336, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 351, 352, 353, 354, 357, 358, 359, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 378, 379, 380, 383, 385, 386, 387, 388, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 404, 405, 408, 409, 410, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 424, 425, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 437, 439, 441, 445, 446, 447, 448, 451, 453, 455, 456, 457, 459, 460, 461, 462, 465, 470, 475, 476, 478, 481, 482, 487, 490, 497, 498, 499, 500, 501, 503, 505, 512, 524, 525, 526, 528, 529, 530, 531, 539, 540, 543, 556, 565, 572, 578, 579, 580, 586, 596, 650, 664, 677

Previous Editions: 2,
Eclipse: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 23, 26, 33

“Empty your bladder of that bitter black urine you call coffee.” – The Tick

My HK movie reviews
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#227 sexy rancheros

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 04:56 PM

Rust and Bone(dir. Jacques Audriad)
I didn't much care for A Prophet, but from the trailer, I wanted to check this one out and was pleased by it to an extent. I'd probably place it in my honorable mentions or somewhere on a top 25 for the year or something. I think what I liked is that it looked like it was gonna go down certain roads dramatically that I wouldn't be too keen on but it doesn't. I'm not sure that's exactly a glowing endorsement. I liked what they did with Marion Cotillard's character after the "incident" just because you wouldn't expect that's the way they'd handle her. Also, Katy Perry music and traumatic events seem perfect for each other.

Killing Them Softly(dir. Andrew Dominik)
I have no idea why Obama and John McCain are the first two faces we see after Scoot McNairy's, but they are. And I wouldn't necessarily say the shoehorning of "political discourse" into a film about two guys holding up a poker game is the problem. It's more of an indication of the actual problem and the actual problem is, in my eyes, that the film has a serious of rather boneheaded stylistic and narrative decisions. To score a scene with a character shooting up heroin with the song "Heroin" by The Velvet Underground would okay if it's not being done with such a straight face like it is here. Then there's the slow motion on the first "hit" that seems better suited for shots of people synchronized swimming or dancing ballet than a guy getting shot in the face. Brad Pitt seems miscast, which is especially apparent with the film's big cynical and "daring" speech at the end. He just doesn't exude the heartlessness that comes with the territory that Gandolfini seems to in this. Back to the political side of this. It's tacky, sure, but it's more, for me at least, that it just makes everything that transpires seem so insignificant by comparison. I understand the part of it was to compare this situation with the larger national economic meltdown except by doing so, you just underline how petty and small it really is. Also, the film seems to striving for a sort of low-key 70s style vibe, probably because it's based on a low-key 70s crime novel (I haven't read it), but including this shit sort of undermines that. It seemed like every stylistic touch in here like the camera being placed on the car door so when the characters open a door, the camera swings with it felt like Dominick trying his damnedest to put his mark on the material, when a more reserved and impersonal approach would have suited the material better. Dramatically, the film could have been kind of devastating or, at the very least, affecting with how things transpire, but it isn't. One of the most annoying movies for me from last year not because it's outright bad(it isn't), but for the fact that you could see seams of a potentially great movie.

Skyfall(dir. Sam Mendes)
I dug the first ridiculous chase sequence that kicks off the film until I realized I liked the more gritty and low-key downtime instead. The film totally feels like two separate movies: the ridiculous action movie and the more nuanced and subtle character drama. I prefer the latter, but I'd be fine with the former if it wasn't placed awkwardly side-by-side with the other. The peak of the movie is the introduction of Bardem's character on that island and the game of William Tell after. I'm no James Bond expert, but I'd be surprised if any of the others toyed with, I don't know, this kind of amorality. The island sort of becomes briefly a nihilistic purgatory. I don't know. I'm starting to sound pretentious with this. The film never achieves the high that chunk produces again, but the movie is worth seeing just for that high alone. I'd probably place this in a top 25 if I made one.

Argo(dir. Ben Affleck)
Alright, I'm now with the contingent that thinks each subsequent film Affleck has directed has been worse than the last. I was pretty much put off at the start with the whole retelling of Iranian history through storyboard (I initially thought they were comic panels) that looked like it was made with Flash. Then there's the script with plenty of "clever" lines that remind me of Shane Black's work in The Last Boy Scout, which is not a good thing(One specific example from this: "No. I'm just screaming his name because I'm fucking him."). Maybe, I'm inhuman, but I didn't think any of it was particularly suspenseful or dramatically interesting and most of it came across as simply marking time before the film goes full-on celebration mode to please the audience. It seemed like a movie perfectly engineered to win Best Picture.

Django Unchained(dir. Quentin Tarantino)
I didn't hate Tarantino's cameo because let's be honest: if you're endured his cameo in Pulp Fiction, you can take him in anything, even in interviews. I think the "revenge" that takes place on Don Johnson's plantation is especially well done. Something about watching Jamie Foxx march to these men to seek his vengeance while slave women in the background are swinging on tree swings seems nice and cinematic along with the flashbacks of what these men did to him and his wife. It's the rest of the vengeance stuff that I feel less comfortable with it. And once the film drops by Candieland (sic?), it starts to crawl until it gets to its climatic bloodbath or two except for a scene where Leo busts out a skull because what? While the Don Johnson plantation violence is satisfying in its way, the rest is just ugly and unpleasant, even if you can understand the reasoning behind it to an extent. Violence has always been the thing that's put me off of Tarantino's films and here, he just seems to double down on it to the point that it seems that Gallagher was involved with the special effects in regards to bullets to the head. I understand Tarantino wants a conflicting reaction to his violence, but the problem I tend to have with it is more along the lines of whether he enjoys it or not. Since it's just so flamboyant and out there, I always get the feeling he does, even while I'm disgusted by it except for Basterds, which might be my favorite film of his(need to rewatch the Kill Bill movies and Jackie Brown).

Need to watch: Amour, Sister
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#228 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:00 PM

Bunohan (2012: Dain Said: Malaysia) ***/****

To use a Thai analogy, the director Dain Said is much more similar to Apichatpong Weerasethakul than Prachya Pinkaew meaning this movie is more art-house fare than an action film. It is probably best to avoid the trailer unless you have actually seen this film as it is misleading. There are a couple of Muay Thai action scenes while important to the plot are not long and not impressive. But what is impressive is the cinematography with its use of local, framing and slow movement to create atmosphere and dread.

The film centers on three estranged half-brothers and their return and collision in Bunohan (means murder in Malay; the director says this is a real border town with Thailand). Said uses these three as a way to discuss homosocial relationships and also as an allegory for modern day Malaysia. There is Adil Bunga Lalang, a not-so-good Muay Thai boxer who was losing a death match over the border, but was rescued by his friends when he was about to be defeated. This leads to a gangster hiring Ilham to find and kill Adil. He later finds out that it is his half-brother but he states that does not matter he will kill him anyways. Meanwhile a third brother Bakar (the actors performance reminds me of Francis Ng’s demeanor in Infernal Affairs II), a school teacher, comes home to take care of his Dad, but also to try to obtain the land so he can sell it. All the sons suffer from the sins of the father.

Surprisingly the fight scenes are the least interesting aspect of the film. The cinematography is beautiful. The characters could have been defined more and they feel more like archetypes than actual humans. Their actions are predefined, though this is not uncommon in a tragedy. But there are plenty of reflexive scenes, ghost-imagery, metaphorical content and sublime scenery to make this a worthwhile movie for those who like contemplative cinema.

While technically the earliest release of this came out in 2011, most theatrical releases were in 2012 as well as some DVD releases. I got the 2013 R1 release from Oscillscope which has a commentary and the following extras (I like the Making of, but the In Conversation one is way too long for the information you gain):

Trailers at beginning: A variety of films from Oscillscope.
Making of Bunohan (19:27m) English with burnt Malay and English subtitles
Dain Said [speaks English]: real town called Bunohan
Faizal Hussein (Ilham: Eldest brother):
Zahiril Adzim (Adil Bunga Lalang): character from Kelantan
Pekin Ibrahim (Bakar): says character is unlike him [I hope so]
Bront Palarae (Deng)
FH: Pok Eng is a shadow puppet master, wife Mek Yah was a Mak Yong had son Illham, Pok marries Mek Ani had son Bakar, grew apart he goes back to Mek Yah .
DS: Bakar is real shadow puppet master.
Using Kelantanese dialect
Amerul Affendi (Muski), Carliff Carleel (Chart) speaks English, Mat Seman (Bakri)
FH: Lawl Ayam is the knife he used.
DS: no guns in film.
Tengku Azura (Mek Yah): character 50 years old like crocodile [speaks some English], is a model.
In Conversation, with Dain Said and Acclaimed Dramatist Huzir Sulaiman (31:20m) English
[I would have loved to hear more about Said’s influences instead of just what Huzir sees into the film; Huzir keeps calling Ilham an honorable criminal which he really is not, more of a ruthless one until…]
DS: moved around a lot as a kid including London (26 years in England; which is why he has his accent).
Grew up in small town environment; shadow puppet,
Talks of lost ceremony [though I think the slaughtering of the bull is a good thing lost]
Destroy or question the mythology that the small town was a place to discover youself.
Bakar switches Kelantanese (the main language in the film) to Malay in one scene.
[talks throughout of themes of identity, landscape]
Everything is shifting except for the mangroves.
Pattern in the boxes (open spaces versus closed, boxing ring is a box, containment)
Relationship to men. Why do they go the way they go (homosocial relations)?
Possibly explores his own relationship with his dad.
Is not making a film that he wishes his dad would have seen.
Role of mother was something that influenced the main mother character.
Original Theatrical Trailer (59s) [too fast paced for what the movie actually is]
Under Construction:
My Criterion Collection (408; I Own and Have Watched):
1-16, 18, 19, 20, 21(2nd), 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51(1st & 2nd), 52, 52, 53, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86. 87, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151(1st), 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 177, 180, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 204, 205, 206, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 224, 226, 227, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 237, 239, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 260, 263, 266, 267, 268, 271, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 297, 298, 300(2D), 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 335, 336, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 351, 352, 353, 354, 357, 358, 359, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 378, 379, 380, 383, 385, 386, 387, 388, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 404, 405, 408, 409, 410, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 424, 425, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 437, 439, 441, 445, 446, 447, 448, 451, 453, 455, 456, 457, 459, 460, 461, 462, 465, 470, 475, 476, 478, 481, 482, 487, 490, 497, 498, 499, 500, 501, 503, 505, 512, 524, 525, 526, 528, 529, 530, 531, 539, 540, 543, 556, 565, 572, 578, 579, 580, 586, 596, 650, 664, 677

Previous Editions: 2,
Eclipse: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 23, 26, 33

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