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Sunday, 6 February 2011

Dance In The Dark

OH HAI GUYS!


I don't remember much of this week (as per usual), but I do remember that what happened last night was extremely enjoyable. The Nova had it's anniversary screening of the infamous film, "The Room". If you don't know what it is, it's basically a film so bad that it's good. While I have seen the film before, I had always wanted to watch it on the big screen with a bunch of other people who would mock it. But oh man, I can't begin to describe how much fun I had watching that film again with a bunch of loud people yelling obscenities at the film and throwing plastic spoons and plates at anything stupid that happened (which was basically throughout the entire film). Easily my favourite movie experience ever. I've never laughed so hard in a film as I did last night.

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Oh hey, two new additions to my DVD collection! Two weeks ago, I walked passed the Asian DVD section of JB Hi-Fi and the cover of "Dolls" really grabbed my attention which caused me to stop and see what the film was. After finding out that it was a film that Takeshi Kitano directed and reading what the film was about on the back, I decided to keep it on watch until I had the money to buy it. And now I have it! I like buying things based on the cover art. As for the first season of "Damages", my two reasons for purchasing it were my infatuation with Rose Byrne and because it was cheap. I could add a third reason which would be "always wanting to check it out", but who are we kidding here? It's mostly Rose's involvement that makes me want to watch it, lol.
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING


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Directed by Takeshi Kitano, "Dolls" is a 2002 feature that is an artistic mediation on the power of love. Kitano, known both as a famous comedian (under the stage name of Beat Takeshi) and serious filmmaker in Japan, crafted a beautiful film that tells deeply affecting stories.

The first is of a man who abandons love for success and leaves his fiancee to marry his boss' daughter. After a failed suicide attempt - which makes his former fiancee lose her mind - he drops everything to be by her side. The two then begin to roam the country while tied together by a red cord. The second story concerns an aging yakuza boss who reminisces about a past girlfriend that he had to abandon. 30 years later, he decides to visit the park that the two of them used to meet at in hopes that she kept her promise and would still visit. The final story is of a pop star who becomes a complete recluse after a horrifying car accident disfigures her and it is up to one brave fan to prove his absolute love and devotion to her.

The stories are partially inspired by traditional Japanese bunraku puppet theatre and while I didn't know anything at all about this, it didn't deter my experience watching the film. It's an absolutely gorgeous film with stunning cinematography that leaves you enamored by what's displayed on the screen. Oftentimes I wonder where filmmakers even find these amazing locations to shoot. There's a real sense of poignancy and beauty in the film that many would consider to be completely the opposite to most of Kitano's work as a filmmaker. Nonetheless, the film is able to artistically capture the profound power that love has over people as well as being able to capture it's tragedies. Coupled with a subtle score from Joe Hisaishi and anchored by fantastic storytelling, "Dolls" a moving film that features stories and characters that resonates long after the credits roll. My new "In the Mood for Love", perhaps?


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Considered to be his most accessible movie, "Zatoichi", is Kitano's revisionist telling of one of Japan's famous fictional samurais. Much like a Western, the film follows a mysterious swordsman disguised as a masseur, who takes refuge in a town where the local yakuza gangs push the working class townspeople around for protection money. With the help of two geishas who both have their own agendas, Zatoichi, comes to the aid of the people to rid the town of the yakuza. Unlike his previous film, "Dolls", where colour and love were dominant, "Zatoichi" has a bit more of a monochromatic colour scheme and is violent. And while the film may be violent, it's obvious that stab wounds and blood in the film, are completely fake. Unfortuantely, this threw me off, and made it hard to take the film seriously. And while the film does rely a bit of a monochromatic outlook, I interpreted that as how Zatoichi's view of the world: black and white, good and evil. Kitano is enjoyable to watch as the good-natured blind swordsman and is convincing when being intimidating and jovial. The ending is a bit bizarre and what should have been a climactic battle to the end was quickly snatched away and feels like a bit of a letdown. That's not to say the film is bad in anyway, it's just disappointing, after having seen something like "Dolls". An entertaining feature at best.


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The Coen brothers' latest feature, "True Grit" stars Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld and tells the story of a fourteen year old girl who, after the murder of her father, seeks vengeance by employing the services of a U.S. Marshal to bring her father's killer to justice. The film looks amazing. "True Grit" features some great cinematography and features fantastic shots of the harsh American west that really gives the film a unique look and tone about it. It's not a gunslinging Western and that's where the film's strength lies in. It's a dialogue driven film that has an excellent script with very well rounded characters (expect no less from the Coen brothers) and features fantastic performances all around. Hailee Steinfeld is most impressive in her lead role as Mattie Ross and all the recognition she's been receiving for her performance in this film is more than well deserved. I'm surprised she didn't an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role instead of being relegated to Best Actress in a Supporting Role as the film revolves entirely around her. The rest of the cast is great although Jeff Bridges was a little hard to understand here and there. And all seriousness aside but I couldn't help but snicker and smile everytime Matt Damon spoke because he was basically doing his Matthew McConaughey impersonation. "True Grit" is a good film but not one that, I thought, needed to have 10 nominations, including best director, at the Academy Awards.


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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

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It seems that Warner Bros have found their new Superman in British actor Henry Cavill. Relatively unknown, Cavill is mostly known for his work on television series, "The Tudors". I find it so crazy that a few of today's superheroes who are of American origins are being brought to life by British actors (Andrew Garfield, Christian Bale).

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In other casting news, Joseph Gordon Levitt is currently in talks to join Christopher Nolan's third Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises". The two previously worked together in last year's mammoth blockbuster, "Inception". JGL was previously rumoured to be linked to the project as The Riddler but Nolan has gone on record to say that The Riddler will not be included in The Dark Knight Rises. Let the speculation begin as to who JGL will bring to life on the big screen! My money's on Dick Grayson but not his alter ego of Robin. Could be wrong, but whatever.

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The first official trailer and poster for Judd Apatow produced comedy, "Bridesmaids" was released this week. Early test screenings of the film have said to have been quite positive with people saying that it's hilarious and that everyone, even guys, can enjoy it. While I am not completely convinced by the trailer, I assume that a red-band trailer will release sometime closer to release date that will sway my opinion of the film. Not that I need one to make me want to watch the film since two of it's stars are Rose Byrne and Jon Hamm.



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Vanity Fair released their cover photo for this year's Hollywood issue just in time for awards season. Interesting to see who they've selected to be on the cover here with mostly young, up and coming actors and actresses. I guess they really wanted to showcase the new generation of Hollywood (and Robert Duvall whose sadly alone in the background). Anyways, cover looks great and sexy people are being sexy. Why's Rashida Jones feeding a baby lion with milk? Oh who cares. Below there is also behind the scenes video of the video shoot.


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And finally, the first official trailer for Donnie Yen's new project, "The Lost Bladesman" was released and looks to be a pretty big epic. Expect Yen to kick ass of course. I just hope it's actually a good film though.

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So that's all for this week's post. I heard you guys like Spider-man. Here's him dancing (or something) in his new costume and looking like a real alien... Yeah, I don't know either.

gwenstasty:  I’m pretty sure he was limbering up but lolll internet

End post.

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