Response to yesterday’s film list…

I didn’t want to spend too much time on Xanga today–chool has started y’know–but I couldn’t resist responding to some of them. Normally I will go to the individual sites with responses but since they are all movie related, I thought I’d share their thoughts and my responses with everyone.

Zettonvwhat no movies that completely satisfied you? when i was part of a muay thai class we trained out in the woods and our instructor told us about the mothman, i got scared
No, there are rarely movies that totally satisfy me–photography (Mis en sen), story (plot), music, etc. But Last Samurai came pretty close–If they had two scenes that portrayed the typical samurai as a bureaucrat, it would have been pretty perfect. I think the last movie that truly satisfied me is Pulp Fiction. And yeah, the early scenes of the mothman were pretty eerie and scared me.

SammyStormWow, you probably saw more movies than I did over break, and I saw a lot too! I think the person in the theater was trying to compare the trailer for the “Butterfly Effect,” with Mothman Prophesies – but they are nothing alike.
Out of all the Blockbuster ones you listed, I think X-Men 2 was the best. Although Better Luck Tomorrow was also good for different reasons.
Yeah, I think it was the Butterfly Effect–don’t get any perverted ideas, ladies… Anyway, likeyou said, the guy behind me didn’t know what he was talking about. X-2 was pretty good, but A Clockwork Orange was the best, especially given the time in which it was made (1971). It was an anti-violence, anti-war, anti-govt. flick during the Vietnam War and just before Watergate, so it was pretty influential and eye-opening. And Better Luck Tomorrow, I think, strikes a chord in most of us Asian Americans who are often confronted with issues in our very Non-Asian society.

iisonysoundiiMy favorite one up there is Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick’s best film, in my opinion… Suicide Club was eerie…but I liked it. But have you seen Ichi The Killer? Now that’s eerie.
I agree with you that A Clockwork Orange is ONE of Kubrick’s best. Better than 2001: A Space Odyssey, certainly better than The Shining (that sucked) or Sparticus, but I have to rate Dr. Strangelove and Lolita right there next to it. Had Full Metal Jacket come out in the 70s it would have had a greater impact, I think… I was going to see Ichi the Killer, too but my wife hates gory flicks so I decided to see it later.

Satosorry to burst your bubble… but Wolverines power was not the adimantium skeleton, but his ability to heal at incredible rates… Anyways… I recommend a couple of Japanese movies… Audition, Suicide Circle, Yomigaeri, and Kuroi Tenshi. Really really good movies.. I don’t know about Suicide Circle though… it was kinda creepy… and you have to really pay attention to the movie to understand the hidden message that they are showing… Suicide Circle is different from Suicide Club… that was a good movie also..
Okay, you Marvel expert… It’s been a long time since I actually read the comics, and I was more an Averngers guy than an X-Men reader, so I won’t argue with you. However, I am curious about the difference between Suicide Club and Suicide Circle. The English title in the US is Suicide Club–since they don’t use the word Circle as they do in Japan. But on the DVD jacket and the intro screen to the movie, it says Suicide Circle in katakana, so I presumed it was the same movie. Is there anyone out there who can confirm any of this? Is Suicide Circle and Suicide Club the same movie or are there two different movies with virtually the same title? Any help would be appreciated.

Bane_Vixenhmm, suicide club. is that the one where a bunch of japanese girls commit suicide by jumping in front of a speeding train (or was it truck)? interesting. my friend was telling me about it. i want to see that one.
Yeah, that’s the one, but be sure to rent the correct one. See SATO’s comment above.

Enigma81You guys are wusses, we never have snow days here in Illinois. 😛 Also, I hated The Man in the Iron Mask almost as much as I hate The Count of Monte Cristo. They ruined the novels. And, A Clockwork Orange was okay, but once again, I prefer the novel, especially the English publication (21 chapters) as opposed to the first American publication (20 chapters). You get a better feel for the twisted language of the young thugs when you read it.
Okay, I admit it, I’m a wuss… I also agree that books are virtually always better than the movie, BUT to apply the same criteria on a movie as you would a book might be unfair, unless you want a long ass 5 hour movie to ensure the integrity of the book. That just isn’t possible. I think the director has to somehow convey the book in an abbreviated form without compromizing its gist/thrust. Some are successful–The Exorcist, The Shawshank Redemption–others are total flops–The Shining. As for The Man in the Iron Mask and the Count of Monte Cristo, I was refering to the TV movies., and for TV movies they were enjoyable (for me) adaptations of the originals, but as you know–dear English major–nothing replaces the original. And when did you see them? They came out in the mid 1970s! Okay, fess up, how old are you REALLY? Hahahah J/K!

Consummate_LeahDude, please consider xangaing more and watching movies less.
Sorry, but I think I’m gonna hafta cut back on BOTH. I love watching movies, but I will be teaching a J-film class this semeser–as I do every spring–and I give out tons of work, which means tons of grading. (メ_・

Hamamotoi’m curious to read your review on warm water under red bridge.
Yes, this was a weird one on the topic of a woman who blows water as a whale blows water (shio fuki), except she uses a different part of her anatomy. This is a legend in Japan, that there are women who actually accomplish this… And I actually knew one… If I had the guts that Paiky has, I’d talk about it here, but like Enigma said…

tanjfyo dude, you sure got waaaay a lotta spare time in your hands. how long is your break? a year? haha!!! anyway, you better get ready to work man… too much holiday can cause your body to become rusty.
I’m already rusty…..

Barberic_bojowow, you watched alot of movies this break.. ive seen most of those.. wasnt a clockwork Orange wierd?>? man.. anyway.. ill have to check out some of the ones i didnt see.. Dragon Fly.. etc..
Yeah, A Clockwork Orange was weird, but still good. Don’t go rushing ot Blockbuster to see Dragonfly. It was good, but not THAT good.

honey77thats a weird sketch in your profile pic… wondering if they disfigured your face or not…
No, my face is already disfigured! Maybe I should relate my reasons for my handle, Onigiriman… You’ll get to see HOW disfigured I am!

Ca1boyWow, I think you watched more movies over the break than I’ve watched this whole past year… 😛 As for X-Men series, don’t expect it to be too true to the comic. As with the cartoon series, I expect the movie series to place its own spin on things. I just don’t see how long they can maintain the same cast.
Like I said to SATO and Enigma above, I’m more af an Avengers guy–I should add that this was like 30 years ago when I read the comics religiously–the original, be it book or comic, is always the best. But screen adaptations can be enjoyable, as well.

PaikyPoook, your movie criteria is whack… *1/2 for man in the iron mask? come one now!
Just for the record, I admit that I’m whacked, but I don’t whack… at least not at this age; too few to spare, if y’know what I mean… And as I said, the ensemble was horrible! DiCaprio, Depardieu, Irons, Malkovich! I like these actors individually, even DiCaprio, but man! This group is way to diverse to convey even a hint that they are from the same society or culture or country!

This is probably the last of my long ass entries…

Some of you have commented on how long my entries are. There are a lot of reasons for them: I have a lot to say; maybe I have too much time on my hands; Maybe I’m addicted to Xanga. Who know? Still, some of you actually read the whole thing, and I truly appreciate the comments you leave. But this is likely the last one for awhile because school is starting tomorrow. I can’t believe break is over. It only seemed like yesterday when I was finally handing in final grades for last semester… Dear God, let it snow like 24-36 inches on Monday so we can have an extra week of vacation. Fro those of you who don’t know, DC is not really a snow town, so if enough snow falls, the city closes, and along with it, the education system. And while the administration urges faculty to offer make up classes, I rarely go against the dictates of God. If He says snow–and as an all knowing Being, He has to know that school will be cancelled–then I will not hold make-up classes. The heck if I want to go against Him and risk His wrath. Hahaha!

I know what I did over break, Watch Flicks…
Anyway, I didn’t too much this break: Except for my trip to NYC, I spent most of my time playing on my computer and on Xanga, and watching movies. So here’s a list of the movies I saw at the threaters and DVDs I rented.

    At the Theaters

  1. The Last Samurai ****ス–Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe. I’ve already written plenty on this. If you haven’t read them, go to Jan. 4-6. It took three days to write about it!
  2. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ****–This was pretty exciting and enjoyable, but I had to make sure I reviewed the previous two stories before I went, otherwise it would have been far to confusing. I was sad to see Golom die.

    He was so precious… And I got the feeling that Jackson didn’t want the movie to end. It seemed like that it wouldn’t. First Aragon is crowned king and they provide a panoramic scene from above. Great shot to end the movie… then they cut to the Shire… Okay, I guess it was about the Hobbits so they had to go. Nice ending… But no, they have to make one more visit to the Elves, where not only Bilbo Baggins, but Frodo too is going to the sea with the elves. Sad but perhaps fitting ending… Fade out… Fade in, back to the Shire where Sam has kids, balh, blah, blah… I’m sitting there thinking, will you end it already?
    From Blockbusters

  3. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen ***–Sean Connery. Critics panned it, but I enjoyed it. What do they know. See Jan.6 entry…
  4. The Mothman Prophesies ***–Richard Gere. I rented this movie cuz as I was watching a trailer before LOTR, a guy sitting behind me says the trailer reminded him of the Mothman Prophesies… Well, it turned out the guy didn’t know what the $hit he was talking about. A moth-like creature appearing in different manifestations–light, shadow, sound–appears to people when disaster is about to strike, and it appears to Gere in a town in West VA called Pleasant Point. Perhaps because I had low expectations, I enjoyed it. And I like Laura Linney, in a platonic kind of way.
  5. Dragonfly ***–Kevin Costner. Another flick panned by the experts, and perhaps with good reason, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Costner loses his wife, but she tries to communicate a message to him through people who are on the threshold of death. The ending caught me off guard, which is a good thing to be sure.
  6. A Clockwork Orange (1971) ****–Malcolm McDowell. A classic movie I had never seen. It’s about a violent, arrogant young man, Alex, in London who is caught and sent to prison for 14 years for murder–I guess a person’s life isn’t worth much in England. He is released early if he willingly submits to a new treatment that will condition him to abhor violence and sex. The general message is one of anti-violence, but there is also a strong undertone of distrust in the government: Immoral treatments, police brutality, and the final scene of Alex with the Minister of the Interior cozing up to him in Alex’s hospital bed for publicity photos reminded me of the phrase “politics make for strange bedfellows.”
  7. Better Luck Tomorrow ***ス–A movie about young Asian Americans. It sorta reminded me of my early NLUTE days, except we weren’t as violent… although I knew many who were: Drugs, parties, figuring out how to deal with being Asian in a white world, studying hard to get into college… Except I was more like Han, an in-school drop-out… These young Asians had many problems all the while trying to meet the expectations placed on them by parents, Asian culture and the scoiety at large (model minority began as a white concept). It was kinda scary to think that some things haven’t changed.
  8. Terminator 3 **ス–Ahnole Schwartzeneggar. I saw it because I thought I was obliged to. Actually, it was more involved than T-2.
  9. Freaky Friday ***–Jamie Lee Curtis. Another movie I liked. Although it was corney, as these kinds of movies are, Jamie Lee acting like a punk 17 year-old was funny to watch.
  10. X-Men 2 ***–Patrick Stewart, Halle Barry. I’m a Marvel guy. Anything they put out–Spiderman, Daredevil, Hulk–I will watch. Of course, I am looking less at the movie than I am comparing it to the comic book: Is this a “true” representation of the comic? Anyway, it was better than the X-1, but that’s probalby because, X-1 was mostly trying to set up the characters for everyone–see my powers, I can shoot rays from my eye, and control the weather, and unsheath titanium claws from my knuckles… Can’t wait for The Punisher.
  11. Italian Job **ス–Mark Wahlberg. Ok flick, but predictable, something I hate. The chase seen through LA gives it the star.
  12. Hollywood Homocide **–Harrison Ford. All too predictable. Ford playing a homocide detective free lancing as a real estate agent provided a few chuckles and saved it from being terrible…
  13. S.W.A.T. ***–Sam Jackson, Collin Farrell. I went to Blockbuster when it first came out and it was not on the shelf so I got a rain check and saw it for free. I have to remember to go on the first weekend it comes out. Probably better than the original TV show, and Jackson will make any movie watchable.
  14. Bruce Almighty ***–Jim Carrey–I didn’t see any on the shelf so I thought I could get another rain check but the store clerk “helpfully” went through the return bin and found me a copy… I’m not a Carrey fan but this was funny enough, especially the dog using the can. And like Jackson, Morgan Freeman will add class to any film he’s in.
  15. Winged Migration **ス–Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, and a cast of thousands… It was sorta interesting but after the first 15 minutes, I was bored of watching birds fly north to breed then south in search of food. I like documentaries, and watch Discovery Channel frequently, but they tried to be too artsy fartsy. There were a couple of birds that piqued my interest–in strictly a zoological way–but the lack of narration or supplemental info left me wondering what I was watching. Actually the “Making of” segment was more interesting than the feature, as they showed th process of raising these birds and then transporting them to Vietnam or Africa to fly and film them “on location”. In this sense, it was more of a movie than a documentary, since these man-raised birds were actually actors in a story of migration.
  16. Scary Movie * –Waylon Bros. Man this movie sucked major. It was crass and the jokes weren’t even close to being funny. A parody? I think it was an “In Living Color” skit gone amuck, nothing more. What a waste of money.
  17. Man in the Iron Mask *ス –Leo Di Caprio. I mentioned earlier about the criticism that Tom Cruise was too modern for Last Samurai. Well this movie has it beat. You have King Louis XIV and the four Muskateers played by an extremely talented but culturally diverse cast. A modern American youth as Louis, Aremis by old-school upper-crust British actor Jeremy Irons, Athos played by the intense or intensely soft-spoken John Malkovich, Porthos by the gregarious French actor Gerard Depardieu, and the brooding Irishman Gabriel Byrne as D’Artagnan. This ensemble was laughable. But I give it star more than Scary Movie because the story is a good one. But it’s hard to go wrong with a story by Alex Dumas: Three Muskateers, Count of Monte Cristo. For my money, the movies from the 70s with Richard Chamberlain–I think he was in 3M (1974), CMC (1975), and Man in the Iron Mask (1978)–were much better and far more enjoyable… for a TV movie…
    Japanese Flicks Later…
  18. Suicide Club
  19. Warm Water Under Red Bridge
  20. The Sea is Watching
  21. Millenium Actress
  22. Voice of a Distant Star
  23. Onmyoji

That’s it for now.