A Perspective from Within

I’d thought I’d take the time to not review a movie.

“Why’s that,” you ask? As a critic myself, I love to review movies and tell others what I think of them. But my criticisms come mainly from my experience in the film industry itself, which makes my view different from most other’s even if only slightly. A viewer will watch a movie and think “Oh, this movie was good,” or “I just hated this movie.” I, on the other hand, see every film ever made as a result of a miracle. It staggers the mind how so many people can agree on a project, produce said project, then release that project to a number of people. (It’s even more staggering if it’s a bad movie with a poor premise.)

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My Sassy Girl

Jun Ji-Hyun & Cha Tae-Hyun... possibly the two biggest reasons to watch this movie.

Directed by Kwak Jae-Yong

South Korea; 2001

137 min. (director’s cut)

Starring Cha Tae-Hyun and Jun Ji-Hyun

In Short: Based on a series of blogs, this romantic comedy is quite possibly South Korea’s most internationally popular film, and it’s not hard to see why. The two leads make for memorable characters, and much of the broad humor and melodrama actually work. However, the film is much longer than it needs to be, and there are a few embarrassingly bad sequences that really should have never made it out of the editing room intact.

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Alternate Perspective: Summer Wars by JH

“Anime? You mean the Japanese cartoons like Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!” or “Anime? You mean the Japanese cartoons full of sex and violence?” are probably the two most common responses by “normal” people when they find out that someone watches anime; I can’t help but find the polar opposite associations rather hilarious. Nobody would ever say “oh, you read poetry, you mean that stuff about flowers?” or “oh, you read poetry, you mean that stuff about wars?” The Association stem from the confusion that anime is a genre rather than simply animation from Japan; it’s no more a genre than French films are a genre. Once I’ve explained that to people unfamiliar with anime the next question is inevitably “why do you watch cartoons?”.  Indeed, the stigma against animation has something only suited for kids or outrageous satirical comedy is pervasive in most of the West. The simple answer behind why I watch it is that the creative freedom inherent in animation, and frequently expressed through animation, far outweighs that in the vast majority of live-action films, and Mamoru Hosoda’s Summer Wars is a prime example of that imaginative explosion. Read more of this post

Stefan’s R&A: Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance

Also known as "Evangelion, New Theatrical Edition: Break"

[Due to the pre-existing nature of the film’s source material, this article has been split into two separate groups. The first half of the article is a traditionally written movie review for Evangelion 2.22 free of important spoilers that might ruin the experience for first-time viewers. The second half of the article is a in-depth comparative analysis between Evangelion 2.22 and the television show it was based upon: Neon Genesis Evangelion, and even a look as to how art can sometimes imitate life, and is targeted for those who have watched both the film and the original television show.] Read more of this post

Citizen Kane (April Fool’s)

This poster does not seem to have anything in common with the movie.

Directed by Orson Welles

United States; 1941

119 min.

Starring Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, and Agnes Moorehead.

In Short: Often considered to be one of the greatest films of all time, Citizen Kane has begun to make me question my taste in films. How is it that everyone liked this film so much? While it has a few neat visual tricks that were probably considered groundbreaking at the time, the story is based on a dubious account of history, the acting is unimpressive, and none of the characters are the least bit sympathetic. Felt more like a Michael Bay film than classic Hollywood cinema.

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This will probably be one of the most negative reviews I’ll ever write for a film I actually enjoyed. Maybe that sounds like an absurd statement, but when you’re dealing with a film that’s been hyped as much as Inception has, anything less than a film genuinely deserving of masterpiece status (as its current 9.0/10 rating on IMDb would suggest) is bound to be disappointing. I can’t say I was exactly surprised that Inception didn’t blow me away given my reactions to Christopher Nolan’s other films (of which I feel Memento is still the best if only because it’s a perfect distillation of what he does best). In that sense, Inception hit better than par for the course. But, masterpiece? Greatest film ever (or should that be: “EVAH!!!!!111”)? I don’t think so. No, what Inception is, is an ingeniously original, thrillingly plotted, occasionally provocative action film with too many glaring flaws to be deserving of its reputation.
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RS Indie Awards: Richard “Rex” Thomas’s 2nd Line, Rebirth

Part 2 of a multipart series on my favorite independent films I’ve seen in 2010.

Take it or leave it. My reviews, I mean. Watch the films. And buy them, of course.

5 out of 5

Perhaps I don’t review documentaries as well as I do narrative features. I acknowledge this, but to be fair, I felt it necessary to review at least one of the numerous documentaries that I’ve watched in my travels throughout the East Coast and the internet this year. In retrospect, I could have watched more. A significant number more, in fact – there were opportunities that I more or less avoided simply because I found the subject matter uninteresting. The documentary that I probably enjoyed watching the most this year was a film actually directed by a professor of mine, a one on a topic really close to my heart – the life, death, and most recently, rebirth of Jazz radio in New York and Los Angeles. Perhaps it seems like I’m showing an unfair amount of favoritism here – but I’m not, heck, I’m not even taking any of his classes yet. He’s a moderator of my school’s film club for Pete’s sake – and yeah – I’m getting ahead of myself to show very clearly, once again, that me awarding anything to a documentary is going to be a process loaded with bias.

 I suppose this review will have to not only convince you that the film is good, but my bias is better than yours. Pretentiousness, Ahoy! Read more of this post