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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Gunshot

HEY! LISTEN!

Woah, a month since my last post? I’m surprised I’ve kept this blog going for as long as I have considering how little I post on it with each new year. Ellen Nakamura on the other hand…

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I would have posted a little more frequently over the last month but I had to tend to some family matters which meant having to be overseas for a week. That and starting a new job means I have even less time (and an even lesser desire) to actually write which is pretty bad for someone who likes to project that he’s a writer, heh.

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Recently picked up Gone Girl (and Boogie Nights...) and, to my surprise, finished reading the book within a week or so! I don’t generally read novels so this is a big deal for me! So why did I pick this up?


One of my favourite directors, David Fincher, has adapted the book into a film which will see release later this year. The trailer released a day before I arrived back in Australia (embedded above) and, to me, it looked incredible (as a lot Fincher's trailers are!) so I figured I should read the book and get clued in a little as to what I should be expecting. It’s a decent book and while I’m not hugely behind it as others are, I’m still really keen to see how Fincher will bring the book to screen (he’ll likely elevate the material).

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Oh hey check it! I loved Lee Chang-dong’s romantic drama, Oasis, so much that upon hearing that the film would get a release on Blu-ray, I just needed to own it. Imported from South Korea (by way of YesAsia, thanks) this baby looks pretty darn great though I can’t help but feel if Criterion snatched this up, it would have looked even better (the blacks aren’t as dark as they could be unless you adjust your television settings and the image isn’t nearly as sharp as you’d like). Apparently there is limited supply on my copy too so should I ever sell it…
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WHAT I’VE BEEN WATCHING



NYMPHOMANIAC (Part 1 and 2): Being that this was my first Lars von Trier film(s), I felt like I knew what to expect coming into it (which is to say I really didn’t know what to expect). I came out from Nymphomaniac unexpectedly really liking it and, strangely enough, could have easily sat there for another four hours just to see how the Joe’s story would unfold. At this point in time though, I can’t exactly pinpoint what it was about Nymphomaniac that made me really enjoy it but I feel like the fact that it’s so brazen in its depiction of sexuality and the uglier side of humanity is incredibly interesting. Nymphomaniac had a similar effect on me that Spring Breakers did last year though perhaps not nearly as overwhelming. Keen to see what else Lars von Trier has to offer.

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TRACKS: Mia Wasikowska sure is blazing through her acting career right now isn’t she? The Australian actress has done wonders outside our fair nation and has now returned to lead an Australian picture based on a real-life personality who traversed the Australian outback with a couple of camels. A mostly modest film, Tracks functions a lot like a road-trip movie and is serviceable enough to please anyone. The Australian outback is lovingly presented in the film (and it would kind of have to be considering that Adam Driver’s character, a photographer for National Geographic, is documenting the Australian terrain) too which adds a nice exotic touch for audiences outside the country. Surprisingly, a good Aussie film! Who would have thought?!

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THAT DEMON WITHIN: The only other Dante Lam films I’ve seen are Sniper and Beast Stalker and I liked those so, after seeing the marketing for this, I thought That Demon Within would be in a similar vein just with a touch of Michael Mann’s Heat added to the mix (I mean look at those badass demon masks…). The film let me down though – it had me in the beginning but lost me halfway through when it basically settled into genre cliché and had poorly-told story. By the end, That Demon Within basically became Max Payne (yes, the one starring Marky Mark).  

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THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL: I love me some Wes Anderson, that much is true. A new Wes Anderson film is always cause for celebration but truth be told, the way Anderson presented The Grand Budapest Hotel had me concerned. And I was right to be concerned. Unlike his previous films, The Grand Budapest Hotel is divorced of any genuine heart or emotion, leaving the film feeling rather empty and vacant. Though it reminded me a lot of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – a film I wasn’t particularly joyous towards - even that had a more heart to its story than this! I fear Anderson might become to involved in his own aesthetic and become like Tim Burton. I really don’t want that to happen.  

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CAPTAIN AMERICA - THE WINTER SOLDIER: I would probably say that this is the first big blockbuster of 2014 and what a fantastic way to kick off the blockbuster season! A superior sequel in every way, Captain America – The Winter Soldier is a hugely enjoyable film and the best film to have been released by Marvel post-The Avengers. In fact, it’s the best sequel to any film Marvel has put out so far! Yes, the idea of Captain America, the character, can sound a bit stale but having the character sit comfortably within the spy/espionage action thriller genre gives the character and the film an identity they can embrace. Every character is given enough screen time to make a meaningful impact making the supporting characters in Captain America feel way more important than they previously were (Black Widow especially). Good, good film. Couldn’t be more happier with it!


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LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Hirokazu Koreeda ranks in my top five favourite directors of all time. In fact, he could very well be number 1 with his near-perfect collection of intellectual work. His latest, Like Father, Like Son, is an exemplary addition to the cinema of Koreeda as the auteur further probes away at child-rearing and parenthood, ideas that the director has toyed with in the past. The film’s story – which concerns two families who discover that their respective child isn’t biologically their own due to a mix-up at the hospital when the children were first born – gives cause for Koreeda to use the film as an essay, of sorts, to explore the nature vs. nurture debate, in classic Koreeda fashion. Wonderfully acted and presented, Like Father, Like Son is recommended viewing! I should imagine that a double feature between this and Mamoru Hosoda’s excellent anime film, Wolf Children, would be more than appropriate.
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And there we have it! Let’s have some more Lykke Li on this blog cause why the hell not? Her new album, I Never Learn, is creeping ever so closely towards release and to honour it, this blog post’s title is from a song off that same album. I love the drums in this track! Listen and love.




End post. 

1 comment:

  1. Koreeda is definitely some kinda wonderful. Indeed, he is also one of my favorites --for sure of Japanese directors! Thx for sharing!

    ReplyDelete