Friday, June 25, 2010

Sex and the City 2 AKA How to Undo Everything Good You Ever Did

Hi all,

sex-and-the-city-2-poster-371I know, I’m a little late on this argument, but I have 2 cents and I gotta give it to someone. I  watched Sex and the City 2 yesterday, and I need to vent.

I firstly should let you know that I actually enjoy the TV series. I’m not a die-hard fan, but I’m definitely not a hater. The TV series blew away stereotypes, and was the first series I could relate to as a single woman whose friends had become more important to her than her family. And it had sassy, sexy, ladies using the word “cunt” unapologetically. It made me laugh.

But then the first movie came out and I thought they’d kind of started to lose track of what the original point was. It was OK. My best mate fucking loves it, I’m quite happy to forget it was ever made. To me it was basically a really long ending. Which was funny, cos then they made another. They really shouldn’t have.

You see, the complaints that I had read about it had more to do with it not having the same spark as the series. That kind of complaint I usually disregard and make up my own mind. I knew going in that I wasn’t going to enjoy it as much as the people I was with, but I didn’t expect this. In terms of narrow-minded, patronising, judgemental racism, The Blind Side has fuck all on this pile of faeces. Note, I’m gonna spoil the fuck out of this, because I really have no respect for it. You’ve been warned.

For the first hour (in this 2.5 hr chickflick, don’t get me started on that) it’s just like an episode of the TV show. There’s even some of the snappy dialog that won me over in the first place! I started to think that I might even enjoy it! Then they went to Abu Dhabi and I went to hell.

*Sigh* It’s just… I mean… >.<

Bear with me, I’m trying to find the words.

As a film attempting to have something to add to feminism, this movie decided to make comment on the behaviour and treatment of women in the middle-east. It was so badly handled that I could not believe the script was approved. From the point that they arrive, Samantha walks around in next to nothing while Miranda chastises her for being disrespectful. YA THINK?? Of course, Samantha makes a big thing about her being a sophisticated, sassy, independent woman, and I get the shits on. You don’t go to someone else’s fucking country and shit on their customs and beliefs.

In an attempt to show some sort of lesson about respecting other peoples beliefs, Samantha is arrested for making out with a guy on the beach. After proving herself to be less of a sophisticated, sassy, independent woman, and more of a rude, disrespectful whore, her whole deal that had scored them the trip is called off and the girls are forced out of the hotel. Hijinx ensue and the girls find themselves in the middle of a market, surrounded by religious men, with Samantha throwing around condoms shouting that she likes to fuck. You know what? I like to fuck too. You know who’s face I don’t feel the need to throw that in? My Muslim friends. Nor my Catholic friends, come to think of it. And that’s here, where you can’t get thrown in prison for it.

burqa But the part that REALLY pissed me off, came just after that scene. The girls are rescued from being arrested by a group of women wearing traditional veils and robes. But wait! The women throw off their robes and display some of the most horrific “fashion” I’ve ever seen, proving that under the veils of tradition and faith, even the modest women of the East are as vain and obsessed with meaningless, materialistic crap as we Westerners are! So the girls learn that deep down, every woman, everywhere in the world, yearns to be exactly like them. Hooray!

Then, FINALLY, it ends. I turn to my friends, hoping and praying for a response similar to my own. I get “what was all the complaining about?”.

I blame Twilight.

I don’t really know why, but I just ranted for a long time, so it felt natural to mention it.


Monday, June 14, 2010

GoF Radio!

Hi all,

I know, where the fuck have I been, sorry.

I’ve been busy with my very first podcast! Oh yes! You can now download and listen to me and a few friends waffle about movies!

The podcast is called GoF Radio. That’s short for Girls on Film Radio. It’s basically myself and a various number of fellow she-movie-geeks reviewing a couple of movies and trying to stay on topic. The films are randomly selected from this list, which anyone can add to (note: chickflix will be deleted).

Episode 1 has myself, Emily from Deadly Dolls House of Horror Nonsense , Christine from Paracinema, and Deb from the twitter discussing Martyrs and Predator.

Episode 2 has myself, Christine from Paracinema, Sleepycris from the twitter, and Rachel from the twitter discussing Maborosi and Striptease.

If you’re interested, you can download the episodes from or search iTunes for “GoF Radio”. You can also like us on facebook!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pontypool. Watch that shit!

First, a mini-review.

Pontypoolposter Pontypool is a Canadian horror set in a radio station. The employees of the station are going about their morning as normal when a strange report comes over the police radio and a few strange calls start coming in reporting riots. The reports escalate violently and it becomes apparent that the people of the town are being hit by a peculiar virus.

By setting this film, indeed restricting it, to a radio station, the makers of this outstanding film are able to create one of the most tense cinematic experiences available. The tension, ohhhh the delicious tension, is created by a slow, uncertain, drip... drip... of details combined with the genuine concern  and panic displayed on the employees faces and heard in their voices as they realise this is not an ordinary day.

This really is one of those diamonds that comes occasionally appears from the low-budget horror film "rough". See it. That's an order.

From this point on, I’d suggest those who haven’t seen Pontypool to stop reading. I have thoughts that I need to remove from my head that are not so spoiler-free as the above mini-review. For a unspoiled first viewing…


OK, now that the kiddies have gone to bed we can talk about this in more detail.

Confusion_of_Tongues You see, as soon as it became apparent that the virus was carried through language, two things popped into my head. The Tower of Babel, and Snow Crash. For those unaware, the Tower of Babel is a bible story that explains the diversification of language. The basic story is that for the generations after the great flood, humanity was united under a single language. They gathered together and decided to build a tower so tall that it would have it's top in the heavens. Unfortunately they did it as a symbol of the glory of man, not of God. This pissed God off for a variety of reasons so he confused their language and scattered them to all corners of the globe. Hence why there are so many languages.

Snowcrash The novel Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson, uses the story of the Tower of Babel to suggest that there is a forgotten language that all humans have an innate understanding. This awesome cyberpunk novel talks about the original language working like a computer virus that infects our minds instead of our computers, allowing us to be controlled. Once again, it’s the understanding that causes the infection.

Ever since I first read Snow Crash, I’ve found it to be an incredibly intriguing thought. Now that I’ve seen seen Pontypool though, I can’t help but add a small degree of terror to that intrigue. It’s well established within the horror genre that “the unknown” is infinitely more frightening than the “known”. Add to that a complete inability to protect yourself. I mean, seriously, Grant said it. How do you make yourself not understand something? What if you didn’t even know you understood it?? *Shudder* It’s enough to keep you up at night… night… I mean, not day, it’s not night… night. night. night… *pop*pont

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Badass, The Magnificent Bastard, and The Crazy

Otherwise know as The Good, The Bad, The Weird.

Quad People who know my love of South Korean cinema know I’ve been dying to see this movie. Well it just so happens that I found a job after only 2 weeks of searching so I rewarded myself with the purchase of this film. I didn’t get it for a steal. I paid full price and was happy to do so. I’ve been trying to find this bitch for as long as I’ve know it exists but I often have an allergic reaction to paying full price for movies (note: full price for movies in Perth is $25). Considering I recently ordered 3 movies for less than that online (including shipping), you can see why it pains me. But I decided to splurge.

Thank God I did. It was oustandingly fun and hilarious. The basic synopsis is that The Magnificent Bastard (AKA The Bad, Lee Byung-hun) is hired to steal a map from a Japanese official. The fun starts when The Crazy (AKA The Weird, Song Kang-ho) steals it first. Bounty hunter The Badass (AKA The Good, Jung Woo-sung) just wants The Magnificent Bastard (don’t we all!) because he believes he’s the notorious Finger Chopper. Meanwhile, the independence fighters want the map, as does the Japanese army. The word “hijinks” doesn’t even come close.

good-the-bad-and-the-weird11 The real superstar in this is The Crazy. The comedy he brings to this role is just brilliant. I knew Song Kang-Ho was capable of being funny (even the most serious role I’ve seen him in has a touch of humour to begin with) but I hadn’t seen him in an intentionally comedic role. I’ve said it before, South Korean comedy kills me. I was laughing loudly throughout. However, The Crazy also has the benefit of being the most developed character, which also helps set him up as the favourite.

good-the-bad-and-the-weird1 After The Crazy, The Magnificent Bastard gets a decent amount of development as well. Why do I call him that? Because that’s what he is. He’s magnificent in his nasty ways, from laughing at his old boss before killing him, to shooting one of his own men to steal his horse. He’s damn good, and damn good-looking, and he knows it. He’s one of those irritating shits who has a right to be as cocky as he is.

good-the-bad-and-the-weird3 The Badass doesn’t really get much in the way of development, but if there’s one scene where he shines it’s the uber, mega, chase/gunfight. From the moment The Badass joins the chase and the music changes to the classic disco track “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Santa Esperanza, I was hooked. In fact, it’s how The Badass earned his new name. Riding a horse, shooting a rifle, he reloads by spinning the rifle around his finger. Bad.Ass. THEN, he turns around and rides back into the Japanese Army.

This is the kind of film that gets referred to as a “rollicking good time”. If you have someone you’d like to expose to South Korean cinema without frying their Hollywood-fed (or starved) brain, this’d be a good place to start. I urge everyone to give it a go.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Infernal Affairs vs The Departed – one gals opinion

Heeeeey! Ya found me!

Yep, this my first post as Rach On Film (though all my previous Rach’s Media Opinions post are still here). Why did I change? Because :)

200px-Infernal_affairs 200px-Departed234 So, just prior to my 4-Week Subtitle Sensation I purchased the Infernal Affairs trilogy. It took a while, but I finally watched it. Naturally it blew me away, but it also got me thinking about The Departed. I knew that the stories were very, very similar (except that one involves the Triads and the other the Irish Mob) but I found them SO similar that it’s actually changed the way I see The Departed.

Let me explain. When I first saw The Departed, I was suitably blown away. The story was ingenious, the acting superb, and the direction masterful. As with most Scorsese films, the brilliance was in the smaller details. After watching it, I found myself going back over it over and over again in my head. It’s a sign of a great film when it sits in your mind and refuses to leave you be. So, what the fuck am I whining about?

Simple. Most of the things that utterly impressed me about The Departed appear in the original Infernal Affairs. My favourite plot twists, the joking dialogue about if you’re looking at the gangsters but pretending to do something else then you’re a cop, the entire cinema scene, all of them were written by the original writers (Alan Mak and Felix Chong). It leads me to form the opinion that Master Scorsese should not have won Best Director and the film should not have won Best Film.

Now, before you all lynch me, I’m not saying Scorsese doesn’t deserve AN Oscar, we all know he’s been robbed time and time again. I just feel that this wasn’t the movie he should have won it for. And yes, the film is brilliant, but I have incredibly strong feelings about what movies deserve awards and what don’t. Number 1 on my list of attributes a “Best” film should possess is originality. If that means that no remake should ever be eligible, then so be it.

infernal-affairs_l Or maybe I just prefer Andy Lau and Tony Leung Chiu Wai to Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Sue me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Format! Woo Hoo!

Hey ramblers!
So, with the new template designer in blogger, I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and mix my blog up a bit. I think it's a little lighter and makes much better use of the space.

Whaddya think?
Any complaints, comments, suggestions?

Pretty please?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lusty, Lewd, Lollygagging Lists of Enlightenment

New segment! Woop woop! Put your hands in the air, Yo!
This one is clearly my list segment. I love reading lists, so I figured it was about time I started making them. The reason these are Lists of Enlightenment is simply because they are constructed using only my opinions, thoughts and feelings. As such, they may enlighten my readers to various aspects of my personality that would otherwise have remained unknown. So, today’s list is:

Top 5 Movies to Turn me into a Snivelling, Slushy Bag of Sap
That’s right, these are the movies to remind the world (and myself) that I am a woman and actually quite capable of being reduced to a giggling ball of fairy floss as well as a sobbing mess.

pride_and_prejudice5. Pride and Prejudice
The BBC series, not the Keira Knightley, “didn’t really need to be made and really wasn’t as good” number. I know it’s technically not a movie but I could care less. Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy *sigh* *swoon* *sigh*.

Resize%20of%20JointSecurityArea064. JSA: Joint Security Area
No, this isn’t a girly movie, but my reaction was. At the point where I realised how this was going to end, I got quite upset. When it finally happened, I wept. I’m not ashamed, it was a magnificent film and I’m glad to still be affected in this way. So there :P

3. Love Actually
This movie is played every Christmas and every time it comes on I get a big ol’ smile on my face and say “I looove that moooovieee!”. I blame Colin Firth and Liam Neeson. And possibly Bill Nighy just a bit ;)

2. My Sassy Girl
This movie made me laugh, cry, laugh again, and go “Awwwwwww! That’s so sweeeeeeet!” (pitch should increase to the level of squeaking). And I finished on more tears. Then I watched it again with my Mother, and I still teared up. It just rocks so much :)

1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Yeah, this film destroyed me. If you need more details, go here. I’m not explaining it again.

So that’s my list. Let the ribbing begin…

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Actors FTW!!! Song Kang-ho

Hello peoples :)

song I’m starting to get my shit together a little here at RMO and I’m starting to set up some regular segments (mostly so that I have something to fall back on when writers block hits). I started earlier with the new segment “Movies to Grow Up On” and now I’m starting “Actors FTW”. In this segment I plan to outline an actor that I have recently been impressed with and the movies that acquainted me with said actor. Today is Song Kang-ho.

Host Song Kang-ho is a South Korean actor that I first saw in The Host. I really enjoyed that film and the simple yet utterly devoted father played by Song is one of the reasons. His goofiness is perfectly balanced, as is his desperate need to find his daughter. This was actually the very South Korean film I had ever seen. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was onto a good thing.

From there, I found him again in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. Considered the calmer of Parks Vengeance Trilogy (see my review here) I enjoyed this film nonetheless. His part wasn’t spectacularly huge though so I’ll move on.  Straight after watching Sympathy for Lady Vengeance I watched Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, which is backwards but I’m glad I watched it in that order.  Song’s performance in that film is just brilliant. He demonstrates the lengths a father will go to to have his child returned to him, and the actions he might take if that doesn’t happen. mrvengeance

At this point, I started my 4 Week Subtitle Sensation and was really pleased that a few of the films I watched in that time had Song Kang-ho in them. I won’t go through all of them, but the titles and the order I watched was JSA: Joint Security Area, Thirst, Memories of Murder, and Shiri. All of those titles are brilliant, but I feel the need to draw attention to Memories of Murder. Not only are the performances fantastic, but it’s as Coffin Jon of the VCinema Podcast pointed out to me, its an awesome retelling of Moby Dick.

So if you haven’t seen any of Song Kang-ho’s work, I strongly suggest you go looking. Meanwhile, I’m going to continue to hunt down the rest of his films :)

thirstpromopics02 He not too shabby on the eyes either. Just sayin’…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Movies to Grow Up to – The Battle for Endor

m_950dd87162fa4de6814096a66c5f9311Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve been inspired. The source of that inspiration? The Gentlemen’s Guide to Midnight Cinema podcast.
“Oh,” you might be thinking, “we don’t need any of THAT sort of inspiration here.”
But it’s totally not what you’d think! And besides, they weren’t responsible for any of that nasty salsa waffles business anyway.*

It just so happens that I was a-listening to the GGtMC’s most recent podcast and the topic got onto what movies The Samurai intends on showing the new edition to his family (Mrs Samurai is expecting! FTW!!). It got me thinking about the films that helped me grow into the she-geek extraordinaire you see before you. Now that I’m 30, you see, I feel I’m allowed to say things like “you know what’s wrong with kids these days?” I also feel like the answer of “they watch the wrong movies” is actually a pretty good one.

So I’ve decided to start going through the old movies I used to watch repeatedly as a youngster. I plan to make this a regular feature. Hopefully I can give some future parents some ideas, or at least get some nostalgia juices flowing. Yes, I know what I just said there…

The first film I’m going to talk about is the result of yet another twitter conversation. I recently mentioned the term Caravan of Courage and was immediately rewarded with recognition by Emily, creator and owner of the XTREEEEEM Deadly Dolls House of Horror Nonsense. Yeah. She cool, yo’. She then reminded me of the other Ewok title.

The Battle for Endor

ew This film is the sequel to The Caravan of Courage. It centres around Cindel, the little blonde girl with the ace headband and totally rad curly hair, and Wicket W. Warrick, Ewok. The basic story is a group of nasty marauders led by King Terak and the witch Charal attack the Ewok village, killing Cindel’s family (thank God, that snarky teen brother is infuriating) and capturing the Ewoks. Cindel and Wicket escape and manage to find the only other human on the planet, Noah. Noah also has a funny, furry friend named Teek (not an Ewok). They join forces to defeat the baddies and save the other Ewoks.

*Smile* I love this movie. It’s dodgy as all bollocks. The acting is absurd, the dialogue more wooden than Keanu Reeves and somehow Wicket can talk, which is funny because this supposedly takes place before Jedi where he meets Leia and can’t understand English. But Teek is disgustingly cute with a spectacularly addictive giggle and the monsters are genuinely monstery. Not the sanitized, plastic attempts at scary you get in kids films today (sans Pixar). On top of that, you’ve gotta admire Warwick Davis and Niki Botelho. Both of them ran around in the summer wearing teddy-bear suits. Forget. That.


*Sigh* Meeeemoriiiies. Light the cooorners of my miiind…

* Not for public consumption.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Hey champs, fiends, and inbetweenies, I’m done with discussing the cowardice of anonymous commenting and I’m back to reviewing movies from my 4 Week Subtitle Sensation.

First off, my review of I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK is up on (Cool)Shite. Go check out the review and then watch the film because it is awesome :)

diving_bell_and_the_butterfly Secondly, here’s my review of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I’ve posted it on here because this review is going to go into a little detail on some personal experiences of mine, so I decided it should probably stay on my personal movie blog. I guess I should warn you that if you’re looking for a clinical, intellectual or unemotional review, you’re reading the wrong blog but I will break it up.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly tells the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, French a journalist who was the editor of Elle magazine until he suffered a massive stroke. The stroke leaves him with a condition known as locked-in syndrome, where he is completely self-aware but paralysed and unable to speak. Through the patience and encouragement of a brilliant speech therapist, Bauby learns to communicate by blinking his one functioning eye as she reads reads a list of letters to spell out his messages. As a well respected journalist, Bauby had already signed a contract with a publishing firm for a book deal. In a pretty incredible act of faith the firm agrees to send a secretary to take dictation, allowing Bauby to write his book.

Intellectual Side

divingbell-03The direction of this film is superb. At the beginning of the film we are restricted to seeing what is happening through Bauby’s eyes. We hear what he is thinking in response to the people speaking to him, but the camera only moves with Bauby’s good eye and we experience his frustration at being unable to communicate or move. It’s not until Bauby himself begins to look beyond his loss and see his future that we as an audience are allowed to do the same.

From then we see the writing of the book juxtaposed with Bauby’s memories, his recollections and regrets. We see him find similarities in others who find themselves “locked-in” to their situation, and we see him attempt to reconnect to his family. The movie flows perfectly from the writing to the story being written about and back again. It never feels heavy-handed nor sappy, but if you don’t find yourself moved then I would seriously consider checking your pulse. You could be a cyborg.divingbell_butterfly

Emotional Side

divingbellbutterflyI remember when this film was release in Australia. I didn’t go and see it in the cinema and I have to say, I’m pretty glad about that. I’m also glad my friends and family didn’t go and see it. You see, about a month before the Australian release of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Dec 2007) I suffered an intracranial brain haemorrhage, otherwise known as a brain bleed. I experienced aphasia (couldn’t speak) and lost all feeling to the right side of my body. At the time of its actual release I was in a rehabilitation hospital. I heard about it because my speech therapist was going to see it.

That was 2 years ago (last November). It didn’t take long for me to start speaking again, nor did it take long for me to walk again, but the feeling of not being able to do those things is not something you forget. Consequently, watching this film was like a rollercoaster for me. About 20 minutes in, I fell to pieces, put myself back together again, fell to pieces again, and so on. And the ending completely destroyed me. The imagery of the diving bell that is used when Bauby is feeling completely isolated is just striking. Likewise when he has his awakening of sorts and starts embrace his rehabilitation (the first of my little breakdowns), the depiction of the honest, human therapists who are genuinely concerned with his wellbeing reminded me of the people who helped me.  diving-bell-and-the-butterfly

I found that the true brilliance of this film was in the small details. Things like the awkwardness of some visitors who couldn’t quite hide their grief, the well-meaning staff turning the television off, or the person who should have come to visit but couldn’t handle seeing him in his weakened state (there’s some contention about whether that actually happened, but I didn’t know that when I was blubbering into my puppy).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this film is pretty damn real and heart-wrenchingly honest.

And if you or anyone close to you has ever had a brain injury, get ready for a shit-storm.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dear Anonymous...

Hi pets.
As a lot of my regular readers (and twitter followers) know, this blog hit a spectacular milestone today. That’s right, I received my very first idiotic, narrow-minded comment from Anonymous. It’s on the post directly after this one, but so that you don’t have to leave this page to see what it says, here it is:complaint
I was so excited. As a horror/exploitation/art-house/foreign film blogger, you aren’t important until someone thinks you’re disgusting. It turns out that Anonymous had tried to post the same comment on the review of Deadgirl I posted on (Cool)Shite. Knowing that at least explains where the points in the comment are from. It’s still idiotic and narrow-minded, but at least I can see what movie brought it on.

The post started receiving support comments (all of whom identified themselves) and talked with a lot of people on twitter and there was a couple of things that became clear. Firstly, Anonymous is a self-righteous coward, secondly, as a woman I feel obliged to answer the charge that people who watch horror films like Deadgirl think rape is sexy or get enjoyment from witnessing violence against women. I’m not going to waste time defending my review. I used to have a t-shirt that said “Sarcasm is just one of the services I offer”. Maybe I should add that to my bio on (Cool)Shite. Obviously Anonymous has no sense of humour though, so I don’t think I’ll bother.

irreversibleSo Anonymous thinks horror films like Deadgirl, Martyrs, or Irreversible glorify violence against women and that people who watch them find rape sexy. I have some questions for you, Anonymous. Firstly,  are you trying to tell me that the film industry should not portray rape or assault? Or that people should not choose to watch these films? Why? Is it so the existence of unpretty or unhappy things can easily be forgotten or denied? Perhaps it’s so that people who experience these nasty things will think they’re the only ones and keep their mouths shut?

What about movies like Iron Jawed Angels? That’s the movie about a group of uppity birds thinking they had the right to vote (FYI – sarcasm). You know the one, where the women get sent to a work camp so they declare a hunger strike and get force-fed. The force-feeding scenes are pretty horrific, best if we shield the worlds eyes from such nastiness. Nevermind that it’s a true story and an integral step in the Equal Rights movement. After all, sexual assault is true and real but you obviously don’t approve of it being made a public issue.

Tori AmosKnowledge is power. It’s a cliché but, like most clichés, its quite true. One of the greatest barriers stopping victims of assault (domestic, sexual, any really) from coming forward is that they lack the knowledge that they aren’t alone. They aren’t aware that the world knows it happens and that there is help available. They also lack the encouragement and inspiration to do what is required to free themselves f rom their isolation. There’s a fabulous singer named Tori Amos who was sexually assaulted after a gig just before she started making albums. Her first solo album Little Earthquakes contains the song Me and a Gun, an a cappella number describing her assault. She then went on to co-found RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) and went on a year-long campaign called, wait for it, “Unlock the Silence”.

And so, Anonymous, I throw your charges back at you. The only intelligent reason I can think of to ban movies with assault is to hide it’s existence. The only reason to disparage those watching it is to encourage ignorance. If you don’t like watching horror films, then don’t watch. If you have the opinion that they shouldn’t be made, then stand up.

I’m not just speaking to the coward who posted the above comment, I’m talking to anybody who has ever posted an abusive comment and hidden behind Anonymous. You call me and mine pathetic, at least we have identities. If you have an opinion, stand the fuck up and own it.

Get on twitter and discuss it.
Email me and explain yourself.
Otherwise, shut up and fuck off.

From here on in, any comments posted under Anonymous will be deleted for being gutless. Only identities can have opinions here.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Update – The Exceptional

Hello again! I’ve managed to find myself with my laptop and no TV, so I’ve resolved to get as much writing done as possible. Right now I’m on a train on my way to Kalgoorlie.

My last post went through some of the great films I’ve been watching as part of my 4 Week Subtitle Sensation. In this post I’m going to go through some of the exceptional films I’ve been watching. These are films I recommend everyone watch, though I’ll mention which are horror (not everyone enjoys horror).

AttackTheGasStationAttack the Gas Station
Hilarious! It’s like a Korean Airheads,  but with less reason and more madness! Everyone needs to see this film. Everyone :)

*Shudder* Whooee. There isn’t much I can say about this film without spoiling it, but I want to advise that it’s pretty much the slowest burn to ever stay alight, so give it a chance.

Horror, and then some! Almost too realistic. It’s quite possible to imagine the events of this film playing out exactly.

JSA: Joint Security Area
Oh God, that was so sad. You can see what’s going to happen, but you have to wait the whole film to learn exactly how. I was distraught afterwards. Just ask my twitterfiends!

let_the_right_one_in_poster Let The Right One In
Original vampire movie. I know! There’s 2 in this list! Beautifully shot, slow-burn film. Loved it.

Has it’s own post but it has spoilers. It’s an uber-intense study of torture, madness and faith. Not for the faint hearted.

Cyberpunk, noisy, madness. Listen to the VCinema Podcast (if it’s out yet *dig dig*). Actually, you should be doing that anyway.

The Bird People in China
Awwwww! I loved this movie! The yakuza is my favourite. He’s funny from his first scene :)
I should probably mention its a Takashi Miike.
Chan-Wook Park’s take on the vampire thing. Very awesome (of course) with Park’s usual quirky humour which I am completely in love with.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Update Time! – The Greats (so far)

Hey all, I promised an update, so here it goes. I’ve actually had to turn the TV off to get this done. It’s too massive. If it’s on it demands your attention. I found myself watching Seinfeld yesterday. I don’t fucking like Seinfeld.

Anyhoo, my 4 Week Subtitle Sensation has been going quite well, with 14 movies watched. All have been great with a handful of the exceptional. Just to catch you all up, I’m gonna list them with just a few words on each. Todays post will be on the great films. I’ll cover exceptional in my next post.

A great Japanese tale about a young female assassin. Really awesome humour and great fight scenes. I recommend it to anyone who likes Kill Bill.

Castle in the Sky
A Studio Ghibli anime directed by Miyazaki Hayao. Apparently it’s their first official feature. It’s lovely, of course :)

District B13
Very cool futuristic movie by Luc Besson. The best part is the stunt work. It was all parkour, with no wires or CG. Really worth seeing.

Les Diaboliques
Old French mystery. Decent suspense and great plotline. I’m fairly sure it’s now freely available online, so check it out.

Ninja Scroll
Not your mama’s animation. Uh, very original storyline :D Really great old guy. A total crack up :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Martyrs - not a review (complete with spoilers)

So, the 4 Week Subtitle Sensation has been going well since Wednesday. The first film I watched was not Martyrs, and I promise I’ll do a post on what’s been seen since I started, but right now I need to get Martyrs out of my head. If only so I can free up my brain for watching other things.

Firstly I’m going to say that this post is only for people who have already seen the movie. You see, to write about Martyrs is to spoil it. I’m not going to do a synopsis, nor a summary. I’m just going to talk about my feelings about it so if you haven’t seen it, it may not make much sense.

Secondly I’m going to make sure you’re aware that things don’t often get to me. I watched Cannibal Holocaust, laughed at my friend for throwing up, and finished it by rather analytically stating that the director did himself a disservice by killing the animals but that I could see what point he was trying to make.

But Martyrs got to me. In a really big way. At first it goes along as expected. The creepy violence gets started a little earlier than expected (like, before the title appears) but that’s all good. I was creeped out with woman attacking the young girl, but nothing serious. It got serious once we arrived at the house. From *ding dong* *door opens* BOOM, I started getting more and more affected by this film.

What starts as a horror film becomes a study of insanity. The moment when you realise that Lucie is doing that shit to herself, it’s a revelation equivalent to Unbreakable. My brain had no idea what to do with the information. So, to maintain the order of things, my brain decided that she must have been completely nuts and that the family she just slaughtered were innocent.

Course, that’s when Anna finds the trap door with the tortured woman inside. The entire sequence with the tortured woman had me devastated. Devastated that Lucie had been right, devastated that I had doubted her, devastated for this innocent woman who had a metal plate stapled into her head to cover her eyes. To then hear the explanation that the same madness that caused Lucie to kill herself had caused the tortured woman to cut at her arm to get imaginary cockroaches off…

To be honest, what happens to Anna didn’t get to me as badly as the earlier scenes (that’s when my analytical side got to have a go, I found the concept of martyrdom intriguing). I’ve been thinking about what that might mean and I believe I have a greater fear of losing my wits than I do of experiencing great pain. Makes sense I guess. I just don’t think I’ve ever had it so clearly illustrated until now.

Quite a fucking film.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Shutter Island Experience

G’day ramblers. How’s things?

Last night I managed to score tickets to see Shutter Island at an advanced screening. I have to tell you about it. It was so great! I had two tickets so I took my sister. She enjoyed it too, so it wasn’t just me fangirling after Scorsese (ooooh Marty, you make the BEST movies *squeak*).

The film starts with U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels on the ferry going to Shutter Island. He is investigating the disappearance of Rachel Solando, a patient from Ashecliffe which is a hospital for the criminally insane. She was there for murdering her three children, but apparently she had no memory of the event. From the point he arrives, Teddy senses there is more going on at Ashecliffe than the good Dr. Crawley is letting on. When a storm hits the island and wipes out the power and the backup generator, the prisoners escape and provide Daniels the opportunity to explore unhindered. Hi-jinx ensue.

Do you know what doesn’t happen often anymore? Filmmakers don’t often use artistic techniques to generate specific responses from the audience. I’m not just talking about music to create tension, I’m talking about using silence to create even more tension. Or lighting. Or weather. It’s something that foreign films still do, but a lot of Hollywood filmmakers take shortcuts. Not so with Master Scorsese.

The first thing that will hit you is the music. It’s dark as heck, and loud. Not bad loud, but it makes you uncomfortable. Then there’s a lady in the garden. Creeeeepy. The dream sequences are magnificent and again, creepy, and the scenes in ward C were fabulously tense. But I think my favourite technique was the humanising comedy that is dropped in at the best moments. I’m not gonna quote any of them. Wouldn’t be funny here anyway. Ya gotsta be there ;)

The performances are outstanding, which is to be expected given the cast. For me, the more noticeable awesomeness came from Ben Kingsley as the the peculiar Dr. Crawley, Michelle Williams as the dead yet chatty Delores, and the two smallest parts, Elias Koteas and Jackie Earle Haley. Don’t get me wrong, Leo was awesome as well, but these guys were mental.

So that’s my quick review. Now go see the film.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Deadgirl Review at Cool(Shite)

Heya zombie fans.
My review of the excellent Deadgirl is up at Cool(Shite). Check it out here!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Australian Hero

Hi all, what’s occurring?

I thought that seeing as it’s the Winter Olympics and I don’t care, I’d make a little post to remind everyone of the Australian hero of the 2002 Winter Olympics. That’s right, I’m talking about Steven Bradbury, the short track speed skater.

Bradbury won his first heat off his own back, but it looked like that was as good as it was going to get. He was in the same race as the favourite and the defending champ for the quarter finals. Naturally, he came 3rd, only to find that the defending champ was disqualified. Bradbury was in the semis!

Once again, this looked like the end of the road. Bradbury was in last position for the entire race. All of a sudden the first 3 racers crashed into each other, putting our Aussie legend in second place, scoring him a spot in the final.

Come final time, no one could believe what had happened, least of all Bradbury himself. Australians all waited with baited breath to see if his luck would hold out. And did it. The crash that caused all 4 of Bradbury’s competitors to tumble was a gift from God himself, and Bradbury took home gold.

Fucking superstar.