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Sunday, 20 June 2010

No I In Threesome

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Did that just happen? Did Ghana just tie with Australia? Australia have had such bad luck. They're not entirely out of the World Cup, I think, but their chances are so slim right now that they may as well get ready to pack up and work hard for 2014. I don't even think that red card for Harry Kewell was even necessary. Sure, he was the last defender between the goal and the striker but it wasn't like he put his arm out intentionally! If you wanna see someone put their hand out intentionally, see Thierry Henry of France tap the ball back in and allow the French to qualify. I thought the Aussies definitely upped their game after the horrific game they played against Germany but I think losing Kewell and suffering from the subsequent penalty goal that came after Kewell's departure left a major blow on Australia's morale. As for the rest of the World Cup, everything hasn't been quite as expected with countries like Switzerland and Serbia gaining upsets over the tournament's biggest countries and leading favourites.

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I stayed up till sunrise this past Monday and Tuesday to awtch the live feed of this year's press conferences at E3 (stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo). E3 is the world's largest gaming convention and the place where game developers and publishers show off their latest game and unveil upcoming projects. Rather than dissect each thing that was promoted at each press conference, I'll just list the good and bad of the big three conferences from Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony.


- MICROSOFT - http://thunderboltgames.com/s/img600/microsofte32010.jpg

Good: Metal Gear Solid: Rising, Gears of War 3, Xbox 360 Slim
Bad: Spent way too long on Kinect - I get it, you don't need controllers


- NINTENDO -

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Good: Almost every game they unveiled was win, 3DS
Bad: They didn't really have anything bad. Could be argued that they didn't have originality.

- SONY -

http://thunderboltgames.com/s/img600/sonye32010a.jpg

Good: Didn't spend too much time on the Playstation Move, Twisted Metal, Kevin Butler
Bad: Would've liked to have seen Uncharted 3 but it's too early for that, haha.

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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING
I didn't actually watch any films this week, which is very irregular of me but that's only because the new television series below, the World Cup and this weeks various press conferences at E3 have been taking over my viewings and have also screwed up my sleeping patterns. I'd have to correct this soon though because my one and only exam (it's for Japanese) will be in two weeks time so I figure I have this entire week to cram. It's bad, I know, but I reckon a week's worth of cramming should do the trick.

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I'm so glad I discovered "Community" and wasn't too late with it like I was with "30 Rock". I was recommended to "Community" on Sunday night and now I absolutely love the show. It's a really quality television show with a great cast, clever writing and is littered with epicly epic movie references, parodies and homages. So yeah, it's really no wnoder why I love this show so much. It's called "Community" because it's set at the fictional community college, Greendale College. I finished the first season this week and I've got quite a lot to say about it but will try and condense it to a paragraph. I felt that the coupling of a certain two characters felt so damn rewarding by season's end because the build-up to it was, to me, highly satisfying. The ending segments during the closing credits of the show are also highlights which feature the adventures of two of the show's characters, Abed and Troy. Abed's probably my favourite character cause he's a guy with Asperger's syndrome who constantly makes film and television references. Already my three favourite episodes are, "Modern Warfare" (amazingly fun episode that paid homage by parodying a LOT of awesome action films + "28 Days Later" reference), "Introduction to Statistics" (because most Halloween themed episodes for television shows are usually awesome + "The Dark Knight" parodies are always welcome) and "Contemporary American Poultry" (an entire episode that was a parody/homage of "Goodfellas"). One thing I've just noticed, also, is that all their episode titles are named after classes. One final thing to say is that the show gave me Alison Brie. New eye candy, hohoho.


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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

Real Steel

This is a horrible movie idea but it's got a pretty top-draw cast in Hugh Jackman, Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) and Evangeline Lilly (TV's Lost). This is the first official photo from the upcoming film, "Real Steel", a live action "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots". The film is described as a "rousing sports movie" and is set in the future where human boxing is outlawed and is replaced with 2000-pound fighting robots. So basically, it's like Rocky for robots. Awesome or hilarious? You decide.

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A film that will definitely make it to my watch list is Zack Snyder's (300, Watchmen) upcoming children's film, "Legend of the Guardians". I've posted a teaser for it before but this is the full-length theatrical trailer which sheds a bit more light onto the plot and shows off a lot more of the beautiful use of CGI. I can only wonder what this film would be like to experience in 3D because it looks absolutely spectacular visually.


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The international film trailer for Edgar Wright's, "Scott Pilgrim vs the World" can be found below. Expect this version to appear in various cinemas throughout Australia. This new trailer shows some new footage, more story and I think I hear Blood Red Shoes playing again, haha.



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Stuart Beattie's Tomorrow When The War Began Poster

Last trailer today and it's for Australian film, "Tomorrow, When The War Began". As with the previous two trailers above, this trailer offers new footage and gives an indication of where the story will be heading. It looks to be a rather exciting film not just for fans of the novel series but for Australian films as well. I've noticed that Australia have had quite a lot of local releases become internationally released or recognised in the last two years.



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"Toy Story 3" came out this week in theaters all across America and, while we still have to wait for the release of Pixar's third installment in the beloved 'Toy Story' series, word of mouth has been immensely positive with almost all critics praising the film as "a rare second sequel that really works". However, one man had to change all that and his name is Armond White. For those of you who do not know who Armond White is, he is a film critic for the New York Press who is notorious for condemning critically praised films such as "Up", "The Dark Knight" and "District 9" and instead praising universally panned films such as "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen". Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, sure, but this guy is like the troll of the film community. As it stands, however, "Toy Story 3" is currently at 99% on the Tomatometer which is a damn good result. Cannot wait for next week!
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And that is all this week. And now for an awesome video that was featured on Ray William Johnson's, "=3" this week. Enjoy!



End post.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Surface of the Sun

World Cup Fever! Kick-off was last night and saw Mexico take on South Africa to a 1 - 1 draw. I didn't watch the whole match (my friends and I were playing Poker at the time and one of my friends ended up changing the channel), but was able to catch the replay and thought it was a pretty good game. The first goal from South Africa was spectacular and they would've sealed their victory in the dying minutes of the second half if one of their player's didnt kick the ball into the post of the goals. It was tragic to watch that cause it would've been a great goal. I was pulling for South Africa in that match but it went to a draw, a good one anyway. I don't really have a team to cheer for in the World Cup, though I do recognise that teams such as Portugal, Spain and Brazil have favourable chances at going for the gold. As an Aussie though, I'd cheer for Australia and wish them the best (even though they're up against Germany).
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Oh I was gravely mistaken about the Melbourne International Film Festival's film list being released this week. I was so caught up in the excitement that I didn't read that it said July instead of June. The Chau is very embarrassed. Still, it's only a month away and I've got enough time to wait, I think.


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I... I have to have this. That Blu-Ray above is THE definitive edition of the first of the newly revised versions of this masterpiece in anime. I didn't think it would get Australian liscencing. Anyhow, "Neon Genesis Evangelion" was the first "serious" anime that I was exposed to and it's one that really holds a special place in my little world. Anyways, I already have a copy of "Evangelion 1.0" on DVD, but this is "1.11", the only difference being the picture and audio are much crisper, therefore much better; there are a few more minutes of previously unseen footage added; some extra features and a nice 20-page booklet. I'm a collector and for this, I have to double-dip. I haven't even opened the original DVD that I bought and it's still sealed in it's plastic casing so I have no idea what the DVD looks like inside. I'm willing to sell it and use the money for the new version.


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So I said I'd upload the video from my friend's short film that I volunteered to be a part of and there it is above. I like the idea and I like how the film turned out. Of course, my amazing acting skills are what make this video all the more greater, hohoho. If you wanna watch it, let the video load first and then skip to 1:28. I chose Vimeo cause I liked the layout of the embedded video moreso than that of YouTube.
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

Not included in this week's watch list was "Moon". I know I said I'd watch it last week but considering that I'd already seen it, I didn't think it was necessary to write about it twice. I did see it again during the week though as I said, I didn't feel it was required of me to write twice about it in such a small amount of time. Anyways, below are this week's viewings.

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I watched "Ellie Parker" late Tuesday night and it's not that great of a film. I don't see myself watching it again any time soon, although, Naomi Watts is really what makes the film bearable and very watchable. If it were anyone else I don't think I could even bother watching it. The movie revolves around the titular character, Ellie Parker, as she goes from audition to audition trying to land roles to make it in the weird bubble of Hollywood. The film takes a light jab at Hollywood and aspiring actors trying to make it big in LA and shows how hectic this lifestyle can be. I like the fact that it was filmed entirely on a handheld digital camera because it gave the film an almost mockumentary kind of feel (in some ways, Ellie could be the fictionalised version of Watts, except I always imagined Naomi Watts to be a little bit more classier and elegant than Ellie). However technical praise aside, it doesn't excuse the fact that film pretty much had an incredibly dull plot with random things happening here and there. I think it should be noted, however, that the film originally started out as a short film between Watts and screenwriter Scott Coffey on the set of, "Mullholland Drive" and through their friendship, expanded to something that was shot over the course of four years. So it's obvious that things are just filled in here and there. As I said earlier, Naomi Watts makes this film watchable as her performance as Ellie is quite memorable and is very fun to watch (it's a character that's very unlike the roles she's usually seen playing). This next point shouldn't be taken as bias for the film, but I do put Naomi Watts in high regard because she's one of Australia's finest exports and is, in my opinion, one of the best actresses working today. Fans of Watts should check this out, but it's not a recommendation from me to anyone else. I've wanted to check out some other films in her filmography and have acquired, "Mullholland Drive", "Funny Games U.S" and "The Painted Veil" to watch whenever I have the time. I'm expecting big things from "Mullholland Drive" because it's her breakout performance that got people raving about her but I don't know if it's going to convince me to change my opinion about her amazing performance in "21 Grams". *end Naomi Watts praise*



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"Mean Streets" was the breakout feature film for Martin Scorsese and cemented him as a filmmaker. It's not quite "Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull" or "Goodfellas" but it's still an important film in the Martin Scorsese filmography. The reason behind the film's importance is because it gives you the early indications of what later would become trademarks and staples of an important and truly magnificent director. The film is heavily embedded in Catholicism and it's evident with Harvey Keitel's character. The film isn't as powerful or memorable as the aforementioned films but it does contain a few noteworthy scenes such as the opening credits (they're accompined by The Ronettes' "Be My Baby"), Johnny Boy's introduction (played by a young Robert De Niro and set to The Rolling Stones' "Jumping Jack Flash") and the "What's a mook?" scene. The performances of Keitel and De Niro are equally impressive and very good. I liked it, like most of the films I've seen from Martin Scorsese.


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"Event Horizon" could have been a staple in sci-fi horror. It had the makings of a potentially good and memorable movie. However, I do believe that the film's falling was it's very script. I actually think the director, Paul W.S Anderson, did an okay job setting up potential danger for the crew. This comes as a surprise as Anderson is usually a crappy director (he's done "Resident Evil", "Mortal Kombat" and "Alien Vs Predator"). The script made the characters far too one-dimensional and they never really changed or progressed. I have nothing against Laurence Fishburne, but I think he plays the same person in almost every movie. I could've sworn he was going to tell someone to choose the red or blue pill at some point. Anyways, the film's okay, not enough to warrant a second or third watch and is passable enough for a recommendation. Also, if there's one thing, other than the script, that I absolutely disliked, it was the incorporation of random techno music in the opening and closing credits. Why? It just doesn't fit anywhere into the context of the film. So why?



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I wanted to like "Pandorum" but it really disappointed me. It's worse than "Event Horizon" in that I didn't care for any of the characters in the film and that the "creatures" that were on the space ship with them seemed hardly a threat at all. There wasn't ever a real sense of emergency or danger for the people in the film and when it came time for the movie's twist, it wasn't really executed that greatly and felt flat. Simply put, I didn't care for anything that happened. Like "Event Horizon" it had the makings of something uniquely spectacular to the genre of sci-fi/horror, but it falls flat and is poorly executed. Gravely disappointed.


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After seeing those aforementioned two films, I was hoping Stanley Kubrick's critically acclaimed masterpiece, "2001: A Space Odyssey" would lift my hopes up for science fiction films. And it did. The only criticism I'd give the film is the fact that there were WAY too many scenes that could've been chopped and left on the cutting room floor. Honestly, certain scenes seemed to have gone on forever and didn't require the length of time they were given. However, having said that, I think it's a great film - one that probably only gets better the more you watch it. I didn't like it as much as I thought I might've, but I still appreciated it and thought it was good. The set designs and cinematography of the film are absolutely spectacular and the special effects are brilliant and still hold up very well to today's effects (considering the advancement in technology in the last few decades). I'm still quite confused about the film as a whole as I was given the impression that this was a film that was heavily embedded in philosophical debate but that's only a personal thing as I'm sure it may be different from person to person. That remark wasn't meant to be taken as a critique on this otherwise wonderful looking film. Nonetheless, cinephiles owe it to themselves to see this film if they already haven't.


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I remember seeing Danny Boyle's "Sunshine" some few years ago (when my taste in films was only starting to mature and become much more acquired) and thought it was a pretty exceptional movie. Even now as I watch it, it's still an exceptional movie - one that not many people have seen. It's highly underrated in my opinion but it's a really well made and brilliant film. The film is set approximately 50 years into the future where the sun is dying and Earth is on the brink of a permanent winter. Out of desperation, seven astronauts are sent into space to deliver a bomb into the sun - thus, reigniting the dying sun and creating normality back on Earth. As I was watching it, the mysticism of space and the sun felt so awe-inspiring, much like in "2001". Another awe-inspiring element of "2001" that transferred over to "Sunshine" were the set designs and magnificent cinematography. I think with effective and well-made science fiction films, you'd have to have good lighting and camerawork. Finally, the acting among the cast members is very good as everyone works off one another really well. It's an ensemble cast but the names aren't too big or too recognised which is good cause you're not really focusing your attention and one but all (as this mission is a group effort). The one thing that I didn't like this time around watching was how random the third part of the film felt, in that it descended quickly into mediocrity by eliminating what mde the first two thirds of the film wonderful. It slowly turns into a typical slasher film (think "Friday the 13th" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street") which feels a little out of place. I can see what writer Alex Garland was trying to do and the third part has its moments sometimes but it just doesn't feel right. Nonetheless, Boyle's "Sunshine" is a magnificent film, in my opinion, and one that I'd fully recommend.

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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

This week was a pretty slow news week for film but this video came from out of no where, surprised everyone and got a LOT of people talking and speculating. A video was posted anonymously on YouTube by username "MortalKombatRebirth" and featured an incredibly polished looking seven minute short film/preview/trailer for a potentially new "Mortal Kombat" film. People speculated it could be a live-action teaser for an upcoming MK game (with E3 - the world's largest gaming convention - being around the corner, it wouldn't be a surprise) or a trailer for an upcoming film. You can see the video below for yourself but basically what you need to know, now that the facts have come out, is that the video was directed by Kevin Tancharoen ("Fame") and that he used $7,500 to make that short and convince Warner Bros (who own the rights to the "Mortal Kombat" series) to give him funding for a new dark and gritty reboot of "Mortal Kombat". If the short video he directed was of any indication, it proves that the man knows which direction to take the series and how to approach it. I think that by posting this video virally, Tanchareon will get a lot of support from fans and people who genuinely thought this would make for a badass movie. If enough interest in the fanbase and other people is generated, Tanchareon should get the funding he needs from WB and convince the studio that he's the right one for the job. The casting choices for the video were pretty awesome, especially Michael Jai White as Jax (before he gets his robotoic arms).



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How the hell does Entertainment Tonight do it? I don't even consider them a real television show because they report about things that don't matter half the time. In fact, their "journalists" ask really stupid questions too. So someone explain how ET are able to get exclusive invites to the sets of some of the biggest movies like the upcoming "Thor" movie! They recently had a set visit and, while it doesn't actually contain official footage of any kind, it does show a few things here and there (you'll see in the video). Also, just listen to the interviewer's questions. They're so stupid. The plus side to this video, other than seeing the film-making process behind "Thor" is watching Natalie Portman be awesomely cute. I'd embed the video, but it auto-starts so just go over to /Film to see it.

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I wouldn't really write anything about this, but because it's semi-Seyfried related, I feel obligated to say something. "Mean Girls 2" has been greenlit and the plot details and director have been revealed. The story has nothing to do with the first "Mean Girls", isn't written by the insanely epic Tina Fey and doesn't have the same stars as the first one. It pretty much has all the makings of a straight to DVD film (much like all those "Bring it On" movies I keep seeing at JB Hi-Fi). Tina Fey's writing was what made "Mean Girls" absolutely hilarious and insanely quotable. Oh well. I thought I'd just write something about it for a bit. For the full story, head on over the /Film for more details.

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Yeah this week was pretty slow for film news. There were a few other small bits of news that I thought could've made it's way on this blog but I just picked out a small handful that were "good" enough to be put here for readers.
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Anyways, that concludes this week's post. To finish off, here's a video of a "Toy Story 3"/Google commercial. I thought it was pretty good, how it used certain quotes here and there from "Toy Story 3" and placed them into the commercial. As previously mentioned in countless other posts, I cannot wait for this movie and am willing to kick a kid out of line so I can get a seat first.


End post.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Kissing Families

University's over which means I've got two months to screw around before it starts all over again! Well that is to say I've got one month to screw around if we were talking in technicalities (seeing as how I have on exam and should use this month to study) but alas, I've basically got two months to do whatever it is I do. I think what I really need to do is get a damn job and maybe even actually attempt to do my Learners. Oh well, a rundown of this week's happenings. :D

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I bought myself a copy of "The Zombie Survival Guide" written by Max Brooks, on Tuesday night. I'm still in the process of reading it of course but everything I've read so far has been quite funny and good (I'll be thoroughly prepared for the uprising of zombies in no time, thanks to this book). For anyone who has ever imagined themselves in a zombie apocalypse, this books is an essential must read because it basically tells you everything you need to know about preparing for the invasion of zombies. It's got a lot of funny things in there and has so many awesome fun things to read about the pros and cons of various weaponry, armour, safehouses and even "reported accounts" of zombie attacks throughout world history. It's just a fun piece of geeky awesomeness. I still need to get myself a copy of "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" also written by Max Brooks.

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That short 90 minute film that I volunteered to "act" in for a friend's Film and Television course has been finished but I haven't got a copy yet. I don't know when i'll see her again to get the film but I will upload it here for anyone who wants to see it, haha. Hopefully she's free sometime next week so I can get it off of her. (Y)

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The full list of films that will be screening at this year's Melbourne International Film Festival will be released on Wednesday morning. Some of the films they've named already look good with "Ghost Writer", "Four Lions" and "Air Doll" being my ones to watch. Of course, I'd need money if I wanted to watch all these films. I'll post up what I'd like to see once the full list is released next week.
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WHAT IVE BEEN WATCHING
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I'm so glad that the last film we were screened for this semester in cinema studies was Hayao Miyazaki's Oscar winning animated feature, "Spirited Away".
I haven't seen this film in so long and it was so nice to see it again. While I do recognise the film as a very outstanding one, I always have to put it below "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Princess Mononoke". Those two are my favourites but I do love "Spirited Away" don't get me wrong. It felt much longer than the last time I watched it but I'm still happy to have seen it again. When my tutor asked the class what we thought of the movie in terms of what we'd been studying, I was kind of lost for words and couldn't really say WHAT made the film fantastic other than the obvious (being the visuals and narrative). For me, it's harder to analyse and discuss an animated film because things like cinematography and mise-en-scene are hard to pick out since it's all predetermined with drawings and/or CGI. Truly wonderful film that many should go out and see once in their life time.



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A friend of mine passed on "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" to me on Monday morning which was great cause I've been meaning to watch the film and was in an anime mood after watching "Spirited Away". I watched the film on Tuesday as soon as I was done with homework at the State Library. I really enjoyed the film and thought that it could've easily been adapted into a live-action drama or full feature film. What I didn't know, however, was that this film was actually a pseudo-sequel to the original novel from which the film was based on. The aunt of Makoto, the film's protagonist, was actually the protagonist of the original novel which would explain why she believed Makoto's story about travelling through time. I also remember showing a trailer for the 2010 live-action film ages ago on this blog and thought it was strange that Makoto didn't travel to 1972 (this was suggested in the trailer of the 2010 film) as I thought that both films were the same. The 2010 live-action actually can also be considered a pseudo-sequel to the novel as well as the character this time around is actually the daughter of the original novel's protagonist. So if we were talking about canon and linearity, Makoto and the girl in the live action would technically be cousins. Something else that also came to my attention was the fact that the voice of Makoto, Riisa Naka, is also playing the protagonist of the upcoming live action. Oooooh.


Anime Trailer

Anyways back to the actual anime film, I thought it was a really sweet film and had a really good heart. I loved all the characters, the animation was superb (characters actually looked like they came from "Neon Genesis Evangelion", my all-time favourite anime series) and the voice acting was handled very well. Characters never seemed too unrealistic or exaggerated which is a problem I always encounter when watching most things in Japan. It's a really nice film and I'd recommend it to anyone who's a fan of Japanese dramas because you'd no doubt appreciate and like the film.


2010 Live-Action Adaptation

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The same friend that gave me, "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" also gave me an anime film entitled, "5 Centimeters Per Second". Unfortunately, I had to watch it with the English dub so the voices didn't always click with me as they would in their native of Japan. The title, according to the film, refers to the rate at which a cherry blossom petal falls. The story follows Akari and Takaki, two childhood lovers trying to maintain their relationship despite some of the obstacles that complicate it. The film is split up into three parts and, in a sense, can work well on their own but added together form to make an even grander story. This is mostly evident in the way the second part of the film is told as Akari is almost never present and we are instead introduced to Kanae, a girl who falls in love with Takaki upon first sight. The film itself is incredibly gorgeous to look at as it relies on hues of pink and blue to truly give it an ethereal-like quality. The animation itself is also quite rich which director, Makato Shinkai, shows in his choices of wide composition shots and choices to show marvelously drawn landscape scenery. As I was watching the film, I couldn't help but think that this reminded me A LOT of another anime film, "Voices of a Distant Star" (a thirty minute film which I really enjoyed and one that I need to track down a copy of). Surprisingly, a quick Google search of the director showed that he created that very film (nice bit of trivia I found out for myself there). Also, I noticed the film was very Wong Kar Wai-esque in that the themes of time and love are very much prevalent to the characters and the overall narrative; characters narrate and have interior monologues; one scene in the film saw Takaki and Kanae walking down a lonely road together, side by side talking to one another in similar fashion to how Andy Lau and Maggie Cheung were in "Days of Being Wild"; and carries a heavy melodramatic tone much like most Wong Kar Wai features. These similarities could be ignored though because I've studied that man far too much. However, those of you reading this who are fans of Wong Kar Wai may like to check this out. I was disappointed a little with the seemingly rushed ending, however, in spite of this, I'd still recommend it also to anyone wanting to see something new or different in terms of anime. It's not a long film too (clocks in at about an hour) so it shouldn't eat too much of your time either.


I really like this trailer. It says nothing, plot-wise, about the film, yet with a few shots and the wonderful accompinament of the piano, it says so much about the film also.

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The first film I watched as part of my own little Korean week was 2001's, "My Sassy Girl". The film opened to much critical and commercial success throughout Korea and was one of the first movies to truly elevate Korean cinema into the forefront of Asian film-making. While that isn't to say that Korean movies weren't around, it just meant that the sudden rise and popularity of "My Sassy Girl" also paved the way for many Korean films to have an advance in international markets. You know you've made it when you have a bad American remake (seems there were also remakes in Japan and India also) and several copycats throughout your own country and other neighbouring countries. The film is based on real-life events (some of these most-likely exaggerated for the benefit of the audience) about a guy whose world is turned upside down when he encounters a drunk girl at a train station and is forced to take care of her. You can probably see where things go from here as it is, somewhat formulatic, but it's still a very enjoyable film nonetheless and was never too predictable. I wasn't ever bored and thought it was quite funny throughout (particuarly in the first half). The true star of the film, as many have noted, is the very pretty, Ji-hyun Jun, who plays the outrageously eccentric "sassy girl" (her character's name is never mentioned). The movie is basically about her so we, as the audience are seeing her through the eyes of Geoum-woo and react in similar fashion to him to whatever she does - confused, bewildered, excited, happy and angry. It's this high level of energy that Ji-hyun Jun, brings to "My Sassy Girl" that makes her character all the more loveable and makes the film that much more enjoyable. I'm not a fan of "coincidental" and conventional happy endings, however, the ending in this made me smile. if there was one criticism to be made, it would be length. It clocked in at about two hours and I think a few minutes could've been cut from a scene where our two protagonists enter a themepark inhabited by a soldier on the run. That particular scene felt too long but other than that, the film's very enjoyable and good fun to watch.


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I wanted to like "Take Care of My Cat" but truth be told, a bit of it was lost on me as I was watching this with a friend. Towards the end of the film, we started talking a bit more about other things and weren't paying attention to the film so I didn't really understand some of the things that were happening. I was paying attention for most of the film, however, and it is a pretty interesting character driven film. It's a pretty good character study of young adults transitioning from high school to entering the work force and studying at Universities and handles relationships in a realistic manner. The film is admittedly slow however and there were points where I checked to see how long the film had left until it was over. Also, the cat of the title isn't featured as much as I imagined but it's role isn't as important as the relationships of the teenage girls. I'd watch it again on my own with 100% attention given but for now, it's just an okay kinda movie.



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Bong Joon Ho's, "Memories of Murder" is a fantasticlly crafted film which tells the true story of South Korea's first wildely publicised serial murders from 1986 - 1991. It's a police procedual thriller and it's a damn good one at that. Fans of David Fincher's films, "Se7en" and "Zodaic" should look no further than this Korean gem if you're looking for something very similar (it's more in line with "Zodiac" than "Se7en" though). Despite the nature of the film, certain choices in the cinematography department make this film incredibly rich with visuals (the opening scene and ending scenes are etched into my head, it's that awesome). Our two police detectives, Park Doo-Man (played by Song Kang-ho) and Seo Tae-Yoon (played by Kim Sang-kyung) are characters that are very well played by both actors and work off one another very well. The story's pacing is very meticulous with every twist and turn in the serial murder case feeding so much more interest in the viewer. It's a movie that rewards you for every minute you're watching it and almost never fails to disappoint. One scene in particular had me on the edge of my seat and writhing in anticipation to see what would happen next. Having said that, I do want to see Bong Joon Ho's latest feature, "Mother" which is in similar vein to this only not so much focused on the painstaking detective work. The film's a recommendation, definitely.



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If there's two Korean directors that I love seeing work from, it's the aforementioned Bong Joon-ho and Park Chan-wook. Park's "Vengance" trilogy has been praised on my blog before but those were the only Park films I'd seen. I'd wanted to watch "I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay" but never got the chance to and still haven't seen his latest film "Thirst". I could if I wanted to, I just haven't gotten around to it. Anyways, I watched the film that introduced the world to Park, "Joint Security Area", and it's really not that hard to see why he's one of Korea's best directors with this film. The movie takes place primarily in the Korean DMZ (Demilitarised Zone), a strip of land that indicates the intersection between North and South Korea and tells the story of four men who, despite their allegiances to their respective country, form a bond of brotherly bond between each other and become close friends. It's an important movie in Korea and it's perfectly understandable to see why as it is a film that breaks down the barriers between North and South. Park is able to get great performances from his cast, however, his decision to allow actress Lee Young-ae to speak with cringe-worthy English is a questionable one (her character, Major Sophie E. Jean is of Swiss and Korean heritage, however, it was her character's first time being in Korea). Nonetheless, it's a realy exceptional movie with a truly powerful story.



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Next week is sci-fi/horror/thriller week. I'll put in a few other movies for myself as well that aren't from this particular genre if I have the time but my main concerns are with the films I listed in my previous post (can't be bothered pointing 'em out again).
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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

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The official theatrical trailer for Edgar Wright's, "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" hit the internet this week and it looks just as great, if not moreso, than the original teaser trailer released some months ago. Actually it's really just an extension of the teaser trailer only with a lot more new footage (I'm not complaining, really). The movie looks and sounds so awesome but don't take my word for it, watch the trailer embedded below and find out yourself. Very excited about this one (but why must it be released all the way in August).




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Last week, I mentioned that Megan Fox had left the "Transformers" series and that Michael Bay was quickly looking for a replacement in the form of Victoria's Secret model, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. This was of course mostly speculation and pure gossip but rumours were silenced as this past week, Victoria's Secret released a video congratulating their "angel" for nabbing the part in "Transformers 3". Seriously not anticipating or looking forward to "Transformers 3" after that last film but that doesn't mean I'll shell out money to watch it. The one thing I hate about Fox leaving is the fact that whenever I think of the "Transformers" movie franchise, I think two things: the actual robots and then Megan Fox.


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For anyone interested in what Chris Evans will possibly look like in the "Captain America" film, above is the official first look for the concept art to the Captain America outfit that might be used in the film. The term concept art just makes me think that they're still playing around with ideas but as it stands, this particular look they're going for is quite good and doesn't look to crazy and farfetched. I've always thought the Captain America outfit would look ridiclous if there were to be a true live action adaptation of it but this doesn't loo too bad. I especially like how the suspenders end up being the red stripes instead of having red stripes designed directly onto the suit itself. It's a smart move on their part, I thought. For more poses and larger images, check AintItCool.com.

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And if the Captain America batch of concept photos weren't enough, new images of Chris Hemsworth as Thor have been revealed also. I like the overall look for Thor more than Captain America but these images make me afraid that Thor won't be wearing his helmet (not that it really matters, I just like him with his helmet). Go to Collider.com for high res photos.

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And finally, the trailer for Takashi Miike's next film, "13 Assassins" was released this past week and it looks to be the most "straight" film he's ever done. By that I mean it doesn't contain that element of surrealism or insanity that usually comes with his films. It looks quite good and I'd be interested to see more from it.


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And that's all for this week. To wrap up, below is an awesome prank that was conducted by a few college students. /Film writes:
A bunch of students turned Carleton College’s Goodsell Observatory into R2-D2, complete with sound effects.


To check out more photos from the college prank, click to link above to see more.

End post.