Blog Archives

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

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“…an unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences.”

The Age of Innocence

I couldn’t help but think of Edith Wharton’s witty summary of 19th century opera society as I watched Memoirs of a Geisha. Hollywood’s oriental-chic movie of the year is based on a novel narrated by a Japanese geisha, but written by … (read more)

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Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

When Final Fantasy The Spirits Within came out in early 2001 there was talk not so much about the film itself but about the future of filmmaking. There was a great deal of hype about how realistic this all-CG film was, about how life-like the characters were, right down to individual strands of hair and their eyelashes. There was even, at one point, a fair amount of fear-mongering (at least in the media) about how this film was the way … (read more)

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Notorious C.H.O. (2003)

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Notorious C.H.O.? There’s no rapping or rhymin’ to be seen here and no P. Diddy stylistics either. This homegirl just jumps on stage and delivers comedy. But she will certainly be going down in American standup history as being notorious – notoriously funny, raunchy, honest, and of course watchable.

Filmed in Seattle 2001, Notorious C.H.O is a live recording of Cho’s show at the end of what seems like an incredibly long US tour. Opening shots of punters lining up … (read more)

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Kung Faux – Vol. 1 (2003)

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Not so long ago, the greatest joy I took from writing for Heroic Cinema was the fact that I could use my position on the team to justify watching all sorts of crazy crap, usually starring Amy Yip. Seeing as I could never be sure what Mark would ask me to review next, I had no problems at all sitting down with a copy of Erotic Ghost Story, or similar, and feeling just fine about all the exploitative sex … (read more)

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Kill Bill Vol.2 (2004)

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So, now that this tale of bloody revenge has reached its climax, which ‘r’ do I feel? Relief, that it met my expectations? Regret, that it’s all over? A little of both actually, but mostly I feel Respect. From the opening ‘Massacre at Two Pines’ to the surreal final chapter ‘Face to Face,’ this proves to be a brilliant film; one quite different to the first half of The Bride’s quest to kill Bill, but certainly no less of a … (read more)

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Kill Bill Vol.1 (2003)

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I was always going to score this film a 10. This is also the hardest review I’ve ever had to write. Not, mind you, because Kill Bill failed to meet my 10-out-of-10 expectations — quite the opposite in fact. Tarantino has made a film that is far better than anything I could have (and did) imagine, and the highest compliment that I can pay his work here is that I had to watch it a second time right away. Unfortunately … (read more)

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Transformers: The Movie (1986)

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This 1986 big budget continuation of the series must have come as quite a shock to children everywhere. Eleven year olds, imprinted like baby ducks with toys that turned from robots into various types of vehicular transport, must have been stunned with what the movie offered up. Unaware that toy producer Hasbro saw the movie as a deck clearing exercise for a new line of toys, kids must have been close to traumatized to witness Autobot leader Optimus Prime’s brutal … (read more)

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Unleashed (2005)

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David and Margaret of The Movie Show didn’t really like Unleashed, giving it a good panning, although admitting that they liked the action sequences and some of the performances. This raised my hackles a little — I liked this film, though I can see why some would feel that it’s a little cliched and lacking in dramatic depth. Nonetheless, I really think it’s the best thing that Jet Li’s done in the Western cinema world and very like several … (read more)

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