Survive Style Sonata + Bright Futures: Cine Wave Baraba w/ subtítulos en ingles


Favorite Scenes: Head (Bob Rafelson, 1968)
August 25, 2011, 8:54 am
Filed under: Favorite Scenes, Zappa

While watching the Monkee’s movie Head, I couldn’t stop thinking of the really creative Nobuhiko Obayashi’s Hausu (1977). While Hausu has more of a conventional plot than Head (which isn’t saying much) all the creative uses of editing is what connected the two films for me. The moment that put a smile on my face when I first saw it was the sequence when Davy Jones is singing “Daddy’s Song” and doing a very lively dance to accompany the song’s more tragic lyrics. The scene switches from Davy wearing a white suit on a black sound stage to a black suit on a white sound stage and back and forth with really exciting results. And there’s a great cameo at the end.



My Year of Nintendo
August 23, 2011, 7:18 pm
Filed under: Year of Nintendo

Nintendo has been hit with quite a bit of negative feelings lately. With Nintendo of America not releasing three high profile Japanese RPGs while Nintendo of Europe is, the lack of games for the 3DS as well as the price drop showing they are in trouble. Nintendo is also seen by a lot of hardcore gamers as just a casual machine, while there is quite a bit of crap on the system let’s not forget stuff like Sin and Punishment.

Like most people my Wii was getting dusty (sounds wrong) and most of my gaming was on my Playstation 3, Steam, or my brother’s XBox 360. While reading comments regarding the three games NoA is not releasing I came across someone who said they have owned only Nintendo consoles there whole life. I started gaming with a GameBoy and a N64. I owe a portion of my childhood memories to Nintendo so I wondered how I could support them.

On August 12th I got a 3DS and started my year of Nintendo. Only games for Nintendo consoles on Nintendo consoles. Meaning no Genesis or Playstation One emulators on the Wii.

In preparation I have softmodded my Wii (another rule: no illegal copies) and imported Disaster: Day of Crisis, Minna no Rhythm Tengoku, and Xenoblade Chronicles. Since the 3DS is region free for regular DS games I got Ouendan.

I see this as way to just fully focus on one area of gaming and find hidden gems also I plan on going back and playing games I’ve missed (lots of GameCube stuff) as well as keeping current with the new stuff. Maybe I can rekindle the feeling I had playing Pokemon and Super Smash Brothers as a kid.

Games Completed So Far:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Sin and Punishment: Star Successor



Looks Good Trailers: Another Planet Edition
May 3, 2011, 1:48 am
Filed under: Trailers

Another Earth

Melancholia

Casa de Mi Padre



REVIEW: Crime or Punishment?!?
May 2, 2011, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Reviews

Released: 2009, Japan
Tsumi toka batsu toka (罪とか罰とか)

Director: Keralino Sandorovich

Starring:
Narumi Riko
Nagayama Kento
Inuyama Inuko
Ando Sakura
Okina Megumi
Aso Kumiko

Running Time: 110min

Watching the irreverently silly detective show Jikou Keisatsu, I was excited by the presence of Miki Satoshi and Sono Sion behind the camera as well as Iwamatsu Ryo’s single episode behind and in front of it, but the eight episode of the first season found me laughing out loud the most at its creative gags. Looking up the director and finding the name Keralino Sandorovich (Caroline Sandwich?) matched this particular episode’s humor, which is Monty Python inspired. Crime or Punishment?!? was the only title which I could find from Sandorovich’s disappointingly small filmography, but it is definitely in the cliche of quality over quantity.

In a nutshell, the film features multiple story lines but they all revolve around Enjoji Ayame (Narumi), an up and coming model who finds her most recent magazine appearance is on the only page printed upside down. Ayame and her, at the time more timid, friend (Ando) both go into the modeling business. Ayame’s friend becomes more popular due to her 180 degree switch to the scandalous while Ayame is living through her streak of bad luck. This bad luck streak also includes an ex-boyfriend who couldn’t stop blacking out and murdering other women and being caught stealing a magazine and having to be police chief for a day as punishment.

A good deal of the film’s gags rely on the deadpan tone of the film, such as when Ayame is told that all criminals are punished by being police chief for a day. Or when giving her impromptu speech as police chief for a day, an awkward silence is broken by a modest gust of wind and her skirt blows up ala Marilyn Monroe and the previously bored press starts snapping photos wildly.

Another pleasant bonus to the film’s quirky ensemble who could rival Leslie Nelson’s deadpan delivery (on a side note: star Narumi Riko stated she thought this film was a serious drama when reading the script) is the addition of Aso Kumiko (from Jikou Keisatsu) in a bizarre cameo.

It would be unfair to spoil just how creative this movie is (one that I feel needs to be told is a character named Mosaic whose face is a mosaic censor) and it is highly recommended to seek out no matter how far you have to scourge the internet.



New Year + 2010 Favorites
January 19, 2011, 4:03 am
Filed under: 2010, Lists

This year I have given myself the goal of watching 213 films before the year is up. I know this is nothing compared to this guy but sometimes homework and other things ruin movie time. I use the term “film” loosely in the sense that DVD, streams, and video files will count along with theater presentations and in the sense that short films and series will count (for example the thirteen episode anime Baccano! can be looked at as film cut into parts). Only things seen for the first time will count.

First film watched this year was Elevator to the Gallows which hopefully the title will not be indicative of the year ahead of me.

Some stuff I was able to see and really enjoyed from this year. I don’t count film festival premiers for year and only look for date of the film’s domestic release. If I counted stuff to make it’s US debut in 2010 I would put Bong Joon-ho’s Mother at the top.


1. Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance, US)


2. The Man from Nowhere (Lee Jeong-beom, South Korea)


3. Buried (Rodrigo Cortés, Spain)


4. Poetry (Lee Chang-dong, South Korea)


5. Golden Slumber (Nakamura Yoshihiro, Japan)


6. Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (Imaishi Hiroyuki, Japan)


7. True Grit (Coen Bros., US)


8. Somos lo Que Hay (Jorge Michel Grau, Mexico)


9. Yuriko’s Aroma (Yoshida Kota, Japan)


10. Jack Goes Boating (Philip Seymour Hoffman, US)


11. 127 Hours (Danny Boyle, US)


12a. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, US)


12b. Tangled (Nathan Greno y Byron Howard, US)


13. Black Swan(Darren Aronofsky, US)/
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand
)

Stuff I Really Wanted to See But Couldn’t Because of Horrible Foreign Exposure in Certain Parts of the United States or Maybe I Have it Downloaded and Either Have Not Gotten to It Yet or Lack of English Subtitles:
Kokuhaku (will probably top the list from what I’ve heard about it)
I Saw the Devil
Let the Bullets Fly
Echoes of the Rainbow
Last Train Home
Live Tape
Aftershock
The Housemaid
13 Assassins

Also Really Dug:
Outrage, Jackass 3D, Despicable Me, Kick-Ass, Greenberg, Secret Reunion, Exit Through the Gift Shop, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, The Loved Ones, La Pantera Negra, and finally the classy Mutant Girls Squad.

¡Hope for good future year!

UPDATE: Since the time of this post I have seen a great deal more 2010 films and would say that Ogigami Naoko’s Toilet and Nakashima Tatsuya’s Confessions would take the first and second spots while I Saw the Devil, 13 Assassins, Please Give, The Trip, Atami no Sousakan, and The Seaside Motel would have places on the list. (May/2/2011)



Beautiful DVD: Thirst (Korean 3-Disc Director’s Cut)
September 12, 2010, 8:38 pm
Filed under: DVD

The disc booklet out of the outer case.

The disc booklet folded out.

Theatrical version, director's cut, and bonus features discs.

Kim Ok-bin on the theatrical version disc.

Song Kang-ho on the bonus features disc.

Some lobby card sized poster and promotional photos.

A cast listing mostly in Korean.

A comparison of the Korean DVD and the US DVD. Notice the bust size difference and lack of legs on the American release. Also notice the lack of cheesy blurb on the Korean cover.



REVIEW: TiMER
September 2, 2010, 6:40 am
Filed under: Reviews

Released: 2009, USA

Director: Jac Schaeffer

Starring:
Emma Caulfield
Michelle Borth
John Patrick Amedori
Desmond Harrington
JoBeth Williams

Running Time: 100min

What if there was a device that counted down to the exact day you will lock eyes with your soul mate? Would you want one and if you did get one what if it was blank?

A great premise but the film itself is as if the SyFy channel and the Oxygen network got together to make a movie and Oxygen ponied up a larger percentage of the budget. A romantic comedy with lite-sci-fi elements like Happy Accidents but unlike that film TiMER can’t or doesn’t want to escape from the usual trappings of a rom-com.

Oona (Caulfield) is an almost thirty something with a blank timer. She’s only interested in guys without timers so she can get them to an installation store and find out if they are soul mates. Her step-sister, Steph (Borth), who shares the same birthday as her also shares the same apartment. Steph’s timer is set to go off about 1,400 days from now and until then she is getting her fill of the one night stand. Oona meets Mikey (Amedori) who plays the drums in a small rock unit and works in a grocery store. He meets Oona on the job and comes off a bit too strong. Oona doesn’t mind until she sees that his timer has about four months left on it. After some inner battles Oona finally decides to pursue a one night stand with Mikey and as you guessed he doesn’t get top billing for nothing as Oona develops feelings for him and vice versa.

Throughout the film are moments easily seen scenes ahead. The timers are supposed to give some ground to the unpredictable nature of meeting a soul mate too bad the film is grounded in convention. Although the cast has many hiccups in delivery part of that can be credited to the embarrassing dialogue. At one point a character says “I’m telling you that I love you” with a straight face. Any attempts at social commentary regarding how the mechanization of society has affected even true love are negated, or moot as the film loved to use, by the overly sappy tone of the majority of the flick. It’s sad to watch these characters have a hard time following their hearts when they are slaves to the countdown, or lack thereof.

The film is trying too hard to be cute with cheesy dialogue and characterizations that try to come off as smart but only result in something as cringe inducing as the hamburger phone scene in Juno (“It’s a fucking Greek tragedy up in here.”).

Like Being John Malkovich the premise provokes a lot of what ifs. With TiMER what if the person has already met their soul mate before their timer’s installation? Can a person have more than one soul mate if they survive a loved one? What if the timers were just an electronic scam?  Unfortunately, the film decides to follow formula rather than explore some of these. For a sci-fi romance that keeps you guessing try Happy Accidents.

If Buggin’ Out Was Asian: Why does the inventor of this thing have to be Asian?




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