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.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

LAMB Devours the Oscars - Up

the Large Association of Movie Blogs Devours the Oscars
Howdy all!
Just a note to say that my write up of Up and its Best Picture nomination is now at the Large Association of Movie Blogs (LAMB) for their LAMB Devours the Oscars event.

Go there NOW!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The 4-Week Subtitle Sensation!

Orright all? What’s occurring?

Here at Rach’s Media Opinions we have an event. It’s huge. Massive, even. On Tuesday night, my best mate is going away with her folks for 4 weeks . Granted I’d give the left testicle of God to go with her (Mauritius *sob*), but I can’t, so instead I’m house-sitting their 2 (that’s right, TWO) flat-screen televisions.

Consolation prize, yes, but I’m making the most of it. How am I going to spend my magical 4 weeks of magical TV alone time? I’m havin a foreign movie marathon, that’s how!

See, the thing with watching a subtitled movie is that you can’t really walk around or do too much else. That makes it difficult to watch them in a share house where people keep asking you to do shit. I’ve had a number of foreign films in my collection waiting for a moment where I could dedicate my uninterrupted attention, and I’m finally getting the chance!

Currently in my collection:

  • Thirst
  • JSA
  • Nosferatu (technically silent, but you still have to pay attention)
  • Audition
  • Dead or Alive
  • Fudoh
  • Les Diaboliques

Already on my list (but don’t own):

  • Let The Right One In
  • The Chaser
  • The Returner
  • Inside
  • Salo
  • Full Metal Yakuza
  • I’m a Cyborg but that’s OK
  • Battle Royale
  • Versus
  • Cure
  • Memories of Murder

I need more. That’s only 18. I NEED MOOOOOOOORE!!!!

I want 28 that I can get hold of. 1 a day (though that’s not necessarily how they’ll be watched). So I need a massive bunch of suggestions just in case my rental stores don’t have copies (stoopid Perth).


Monday, February 8, 2010

District 9 vs Avatar – Best Visual Effects

I know, I know, another Oscar post lamenting the popularity of Avatar. But I watched District 9 again last night and 2 cents jumped into my hand so I’m giving it to you whether you like it or not.District-9-alien

Look, as I’ve said before, I really did enjoy Avatar. It was a fun movie and the special effects were fabulous. For $300 million USD they’d fucking want to be! But here’s the thing. District 9 had a budget of $30 million USD, and the effects were as good, if not better. See where I’m going here?NA'VI JAKE

The effects of District 9 were grittier and more realistic, and they demonstrated the quality that could be accomplished without a Cameron-sized budget. It’s not like the aliens only appeared in shadows, and it’s not like the aliens and humans never interact. You also can’t tell me that the cost was because the horizon needed to be generated, because District 9 has a dirty, great, big spaceship in the horizon for most shots!

But the other night, during my re-watch, I realised something that I believe puts District 9 over the edge. The lighting. One of the most difficult things to do right in graphics is lighting. Most filmmakers try to avoid well lit shots that involve CG. The reason is that if you don’t have the light source coming from exactly the right place, the shot looks fake. Basically, you shouldn’t be able to do shots like this without a budget higher than some countries GDP:district_9_new_image-10

Alas, the likelihood of District 9 beating Avatar in the Best Visual Effects category is about as likely as it winning Best Picture. *Sigh* I know. Give it up.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to 3 Fabulous Fellas!

Everybody knows it was George Romero's birthday on 4th Feb (yesterday).

Happy Birthday!

Did you know it is H.R. Giger's birthday today ?? Me either! My friend at The Glass Walking Stick told me!

Happy Birthday!

And lastly, just for shits and giggles, it was Heavenztrash from In Nervous Convulsions birthday yesterday as well :)

Happy Birthday!

(not actual photo :P)